Catherine Connelly: Beyond the Bio

September 22, 2014 | Hamilton, Ontario
Contributed by Catherine Connelly, Associate Professor, Human Resources and Management

199r-catherine connelly-2012_ppCatherine E. Connelly’s research focuses on the attitudes and behaviours of non-standard workers (e.g., temporary workers, part-time workers, independent contractors, board members, volunteers, mobile workers), and ways in which employees’ use of different communication methods are affected by their attributes and attitudes.

Catherine holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier II), a CFI infra-structure grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and a matching grant of equal amount from Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI), and is Principal Investigator or Co-investigator in a number of Tri-Council funded research projects.

She was recently elected to the newly established College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).

In a few sentences, please summarize your academic/business career leading up to you joining DeGroote.

I first came to DeGroote in 2004. Before then, I did my MSc and PhD at Queen’s University, and before that I graduated from the Commerce program at McMaster! I was really excited to come back and see some of the changes to the campus and the program, and it’s been wonderful to be a part of the developments since then.

What is the most interesting place/event/moment that your research/career has led you to?

I enjoy travelling to work with researchers around the world. Last summer, a team of researchers in Slovenia invited me to collaborate with them. I travelled to Ljubljana to start some projects there. Next year we will continue our work in Oslo.

Why academia? What led you to teach?

The workplace is endlessly fascinating, and it’s important to understand because it affects so much of people’s lives. I enjoy teaching because it’s a chance to discuss workplace issues and the current research – there are a lot of misconceptions about organizational behaviour.

What is the first thing your students learn about you that isn’t in your academic bio?

My students don’t ask me a lot of personal questions. We’re usually busy talking about their job search strategies or a business book that they’re reading.

What excites you about your current research interests?

My colleague and I just won a large grant to study how to improve the job quality of workers with physical disabilities. We will focus on people looking for work, as well as people who are currently working. One of our first projects will use company records to find out the true net cost of providing job accommodations. We’re also developing a taxonomy of barriers to hiring and promoting people with disabilities. In five years we will have a series of recommendations and guidelines that we can provide to companies, community organizations, and people with disabilities. This research relates to my prior work on leadership, knowledge hiding, and contingent work.

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