Diana Dakhlallah

Assistant Professor, Organisational Behaviour
Diana Dakhlallah
Contact Information
Email address: 
diana.dakhlallah [at] mcgill.ca
Alternate email address: 
linda.foster [at] mcgill.ca

Bronfman Building, [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G5


PhD, Stanford University, USA

BA, Barnard College, USA 

Organizational Behaviour
Office hours: 

By Appointment


Effective public sector organisations are essential for serving society and state. I am passionate about making them work better.

Good organisational design creates good government My research investigates how social incentives shape and motivate corruption and misconduct in public sector organisations; how they explain their incidence; and how they suggest solutions rooted in organisational design.

The relational aspects of work in organisations—how work is organised, how workers relate to their work, and the relationships that workers have with each other and with their managers—generate social incentives. These incentives create emotional and social costs for workers, determining their effort and behaviour choices in the workplace. They also shape the effectiveness of the more traditional economic and punitive levers that governments often use to promote public priorities.

Bribery is a particularly challenging kind of misconduct. It is difficult for third-party enforcers to directly observe and measure instances of soliciting and pocketing bribes. This means obvious solutions like money and monitoring do not work. My research reveals that social incentives structure bribery in organisations (Dakhlallah 2022, 2024, and R&R).

The right organisational motivation creates good government  I also research the global pharmaceutical industry and global health. The political economy of the market for human clinical trials (HCT) begins with testing novel therapies in human beings, moving them from lab to market. Difficult and expensive, HCTs approximate two-thirds of drug R&D costs. My research looks into when, why, and how governments create new markets for HCT testing, with attention to the impact on drug development, access to therapies, and healthcare delivery.

My approach to research I choose research questions based on my interests and their policy import. My work weaves various theoretical perspectives to illuminate understanding, advance theory, and empower policy design. I do primary data collection for most of my projects. My research varies methodologically—combining qualitative, experimental, and survey methods, and large-scale data analysis.

Selected working papers

  • The challenge of normalising bribery in organisations (R&R)
  • Investigating how social and financial incentives interact in shaping misconduct in organisations (with: Katie McIntosh, status: Data Collection)
  • Evolution of the human clinical trials market over time and space (status: Data Analysis)

MGCR 222 Intro to Org Behaviour 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MGMT 710 Seminars in Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MGMT 710: Designing for Causal Inference This PhD-level course is about design-based causal inference. Students learn how to leverage design choices, rather than statistical models, to establish causal effects in their research. The course covers causal inference in quantitative and qualitative research. Topics include the structure of theoretical arguments, measurement, causal graphs, sampling, and study design (e.g., quasi, natural, and field experiments and case studies).  Note: A foundational introductory statistics course is a pre-requisite. 

Tenured & Tenure Track
Research areas: 
Economic Sociology
Global Health
Organizational Theory
Political Economy
Graduate supervision: 

Katie McIntosh 

Selected publications: 

Dakhlallah, Diana (2024). "Bribery in the workplace: A field experiment on the threat of making group behavior visible." Organization Science. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2021.15264 

Dakhlallah, Diana (2022). "Making the right move: How effective matching on the frontlines maintains the market for bribes" In Economies, institutions, and territories: Dissecting nexuses in a changing world, edited by Luca Storti, Giulia Urso and Neil Reid, pp. 238-265. The Dynamics of Economic Space. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003191049.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Recent Grants

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant 2023
  • Internal SSHRC Development Grant 2023, 2020, and 2019
  • Desautels Research Support Fund 2023 
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