Don Wood Lecture Series

Dr. Don Wood was the Director of the Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) from 1960 to 1985. The W. Donald Wood Visiting Lectureship was established in 1987 by many of Don’s friends to honour his dedication to building the IRC. The IRC is internationally recognized for its outstanding research and continuing education programs, and for his many contributions to the wider industrial relations community in Canada and abroad. The Don Wood Visiting Lectureship brings to Queen’s University each year “a distinguished individual who has made an important contribution to industrial relations in Canada, or in other countries.”

About Dr. Don Wood

Known as “Canada’s Dean of Industrial Relations,” Dr. Wood was well-known and much appreciated for his work in bringing together academics and practitioners and closing the gap between the academic world and the professional practice of industrial relations (IR). This reflects the dual focus of his own experience. After serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, Dr. Wood studied economics at McMaster and Queen’s Universities and then at Princeton University, where he was awarded a scholarship and completed a Ph.D. thesis on white-collar unionism. He subsequently gained practical experience as Director of Employee Relations Research at Imperial Oil for five years.

Dr. Wood came to Queen’s University as a professor of economics and served as Director of the Queen’s IRC from 1960 to 1985. During this period, Dr. Wood built a world-renowned research and training institution, one that thrived while other industrial relations centres in Canada folded. He pioneered his continuing education program for human resources managers on employee-employer relationships. He helped shape public policy through his research and publications program, informing debate on key issues such as wage price controls in 1975 and surveying developments and trends in the IR field, and his participation on many federal and provincial task forces. He also assembled a remarkable IR library.

As Founding Director of the School of Industrial Relations at Queen’s University from 1983 to 1985, he created and guided the early development of the new multi-disciplinary Master of Industrial Relations program, which continues as one of Canada’s most respected programs in this field. Following his retirement in 1985, Dr. Wood ran the IRC’s Continuing Education Program for five years, and led training seminars well into the 1990s. His talent for bringing together leading authorities from industry, unions, government, universities and consulting firms for programs enriched the education of IR students across Canada, and internationally. It continues to inspire those involved in IR education and research today.

Listing of Don Wood Visiting Lectureship presenters

The Don Wood Visiting Lectureship brings to Queen’s University “a distinguished individual who has made an important contribution to industrial relations in Canada, or in other countries.” These are the recipients of the Don Wood Visiting Lectureship in Industrial Relations and the title of their public lecture:

Peter Edwards (2015)
Vice-President of Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific
A Futurist’s Look at IR/HR – Why it’s Time to Start Over

The Honourable Warren K. Winkler (2010)
Chief Justice of Ontario
Labour Arbitration and Conflict Resolution – Back to our Roots

Dr. Richard Freeman (2008)
Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University
A New Role for Labour in Financial Crisis?

George C.B. Smith (2007)
Strategic Negotiations: Perspectives from a Road Well-Travelled

Basil “Buzz” Hargrove (2006)
National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers’ Union of Canada (CAW-Canada)
The Current State and Future Prospects of Labour Relations

Linda Duxbury (2004)
Sprott School of Business, Carleton University
Issues in the Workplace: Standing Still is Not an Option

Leo W. Gerard (2003)
United Steelworkers of America
Globalization and North American Integration: Implications for the Union Movement

Francine Blau (2001)
Cornell University
The gender gap: Going, going… but not gone

John Crispo (1999)
University of Toronto
Looking backward and forward: Can industrial relations stand the test of time?

Paula Voos (1998)
Rutgers University
Changing labour markets: Implications for industrial relations

Harry Arthurs (1996)
York University
The new economy: The demise of industrial citizenship

Robert M. McKersie (1995)
Labour-management partnerships: Promise and challenge

Lee Dyer (1993)
Cornell University
Human resources as a source of competitive advantage

Nancy Adler (1992)
McGill University
Human resource management in the global economy

Thomas Kochan (1991)
Innovations in industrial relations and human resources: Prospects for diffusion

John Fryer (1990)
National Union of Provincial Government Employees (NUPGE)
The Canadian labour movement in the 1990s: Challenges and opportunities

John Sexton (1989)
Université Laval
Are Quebec labour relations so different?

John Dunlop (1987)
Harvard University
Industrial relations: Old and new

Queen’s IRC Announces Partnership with Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business

Queen’s University IRC is pleased to announce a collaborative partnership with the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Trinidad.  This agreement will allow us to bring existing programming to a different audience and to develop exciting learning opportunities with a new partner.

We have been working with the Cave Hill School of Business at the University of the West Indies in Barbados for a number of years, and we are excited to continue to expand our partnerships in the Caribbean.  Both Queen’s IRC and the Arthur Lok Jack GSB have the goals of creating a better working environment for labour relations and human resources practitioners. We have similar teaching styles, using adult learning principles such as engagement and experiential techniques.

The Arthur Lok Jack GSB was established in 1989 as a joint venture between the University of the West Indies and the private sector of Trinidad and Tobago to provide postgraduate education in business and management. It is recognized as the premier institution for the provision of business and management education, training and consultancy services in Trinidad and Tobago, and it extends its reach to the wider Caribbean region.

We welcome this collaboration and look forward to a mutually advantageous relationship as we support the continuing growth and development of business in the Caribbean.




Queen’s IRC Archive Revitalization Project

The Queen’s IRC archive revitalization project has been unveiled.  The goal of the project, driven by Queen’s IRC Director Paul Juniper, was to digitize archive publications to make them available to the public once again.

“I am excited to be able to share our IRC research and publication history in a new and accessible way,” said Juniper.

Throughout its rich history, Queen’s IRC has enjoyed a long-standing tradition of research excellence in the field of labour relations and human resources. For many years, the IRC operated the IRC Press, which was committed to creating, promoting, and disseminating knowledge about the world of work.

Today, Queen’s IRC primarily releases its practitioner-focused research online, but as a former publishing house, the IRC holds hundreds of publications in their archive.  In 2011, the IRC began a project to digitize some of the “lost” print copies of articles, papers, case studies, and interviews in the collection. During the digitization process, archive articles were carefully selected, scanned, converted, and reformatted digitally.  When the newly redesigned Queen’s IRC website launched in July 2013, they began to share these resources online.

“We have added these papers to the hundreds of resources available on our website,” said Juniper.  From George Adams’ Negotiation: Why Do We Do It Like We Do? to Diane Patterson’s First Contract Arbitration in Ontario: An Evaluation of the Early Experience, these documents will help students, practitioners, and life-long learners understand the context of where we came from and how we got to where we are today.

The two year project was spearheaded by Queen’s IRC Director Paul Juniper, and led by Marketing Assistant, Cathy Sheldrick. Several Queen’s students also assisted with the archive digitization process.

Archive documents can be found in the Research and Resources section of the Queen’s IRC website. More documents are being added on a monthly basis.

Queen’s IRC is also launching a “Flashback Feature”, which will appear in its newsletters, and will highlight an article from the archives that has recently been digitized.


Queen’s IRC Awards First Advanced HR Certificate

When Paul Juniper became the Director of Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) in 2006, he recognized the need for more senior level training in the changing human resources (HR) profession. To accomplish this, he designed a new series of Advanced HR programs to enhance the strategic knowledge, ability, and capability of HR practitioners. The goal was to enable HR practitioners to shift from an administrative and/or transactional role, to one that has become an integral part of an organization’s business strategy – an HR business partner.

By 2012, with a series of Advanced HR programming in place, the Advanced HR Certificate was introduced. This spring, Erin O’Flynn became the first IRC participant to earn this coveted certificate.

O’Flynn, who is the Director of Human Resources at Cogeco Data Services Inc., started her training with Queen’s IRC in 2008, with the popular Negotiation Skills program. While she had a wish list of IRC programs she wanted take, she wasn’t sure it would ever happen. “Training dollars are so scarce,” she said. “But over time, I was given the chance to take one here and one there, and then I just needed one more.” That one more was the Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy program, which O’Flynn completed in April 2013.

“The most beneficial programs for me were the Advanced HR, and Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy programs.” O’Flynn noted that the focus on culture change, how to become a business ally, and change management from a business perspective, were all key takeaways for her.

“I was at a point in my career where the programs underpinned everything I had learned to date, and they helped me to finesse what I’ve learned as an HR professional.”

O’Flynn also found the networking opportunities in the IRC programs very beneficial. She enjoyed the quality of the programs, and the hands-on experience that they offered. “I found the facilitators very good. They are all experts in their field, and they bring their experience to the table, not just the theory.”

“In the Talent Management program, the facilitator provided a lot of great tools. I was able to implement those as soon as I returned to work.”

“Overall, the IRC’s programming is fabulous,”O’Flynn said. “The IRC is very good at making people feel comfortable. It’s a rich learning experience, and very customer friendly.”

It is precisely these reasons why O’Flynn has arranged for other employees to attend the IRC’s programs. “We were coming up to bargaining, and I sponsored two people to attend the Negotiation Skills program. Both walked away with a whole new perspective.”

She describes one employee, who had an ‘I throw out my number and you throw out yours’ approach to collective bargaining. After attending the program, he was able to apply the skills and knowledge right away. “He learned the benefits of interest-based bargaining, and was looking for collaborative ways to negotiate. We saw an immediate cause and effect.”

O’Flynn was excited to earn her Advanced HR certificate – she already has it hanging on the wall in her office. “This certificate, coupled with my on-the-job experience, has further enhanced my credibility as an HR practitioner,” she said. O’Flynn is also excited to be a valued strategic business partner at Cogeco, and to have the skills and knowledge to help shape the company’s strategic goals.

The IRC’s Advanced Human Resources programming began with the foundational program, Advanced HR. It was designed for HR and labour relations professionals currently in a middle management role, with at least three to five years experience managing an HR department, who hold a CHRP designation or equivalent profile. Additional programs include: Succession Planning, Talent Management, HR Decision Making, and Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy.

Queen’s IRC: A Diamond Celebration

On October 12, 2012, the IRC commemorated a diamond milestone: 75 years of industrial relations at Queen’s University. Among the distinguished guests at the celebratory event were Queen’s University Principal, Daniel Woolf, and former IRC Directors, Carol Beatty and Don Carter. In addition, several Queen’s faculty members, IRC alumni, facilitators, and staff were also in attendance. The afternoon provided an opportunity to reflect on the IRC’s history, its accomplishments, and the many individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in shaping the Centre’s journey.

IRC Director, Paul Juniper, began his talk by acknowledging the contributions of his team: “We wouldn’t have had 75 years of achievements without an excellent staff.” He also discussed the IRC’s national presence: “I’m proud to say that last year we were able to offer programs in Victoria, Calgary, Banff, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Kingston, and St. John’s, Newfoundland. The issue we are facing right now is not one of demand, but one of capacity.”

Principal Daniel Woolf congratulated the IRC on its success. “I’m particularly thrilled with the fact that theory and practice have come together so well at the Centre,” he commented. Referring to the IRC as a “Queen’s University jewel,” Principal Woolf said: “I am delighted that the Centre has grown and prospered under its Directors and has become not only a Kingston feature but a national institution.”

According to Principal Woolf, “the IRC’s next 75 years are going to be even better.” Indeed, the IRC’s newly launched Advanced Human Resources Certificate and programs in Succession Planning, Strategic Grievance Handling, and Managing Unionized Environments are examples of the exciting changes underway at the Centre, as it continues to target the professional development needs of human resources, labour relations, and organizational development practitioners across Canada.

>>View the Video from our celebratory event

>>Download our Commemorative History of the past 75 years.

Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence

In 1937, Queen’s University formed the Industrial Relations Section. Since then, the Section has evolved to include two academic programs, a Master of Industrial Relations (MIR) and a Professional Master of Industrial Relations (PMIR), and the practitioner-focused Industrial Relations Centre (IRC).

The IRC has become a leading provider of premium professional development programs in labour relations and human resources. IRC programs are designed for practitioners, delivered by subject matter experts, and grounded in adult learning principles. The experiential learning opportunities allow participants to develop high-level skills and acquire knowledge that translates to the workplace.

The quest for excellence has been a driving force for the IRC’s successes over the years. IRC Director, Paul Juniper, joined the Centre in 2006. Under his direction, the IRC continues to raise the bar on program service delivery. In addition to increasing the number of programs offered, the IRC now holds its programs across Canada as well as in Kingston.

This October, IRC staff will be reflecting on the Centre’s history and celebrating this diamond milestone. We invite you to join us on October 12 at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

Dr. W. Donald Wood

Dr. W. Donald Wood, Director of the Industrial Relations Centre (1960-1985) and first Director of the School of Industrial Relations (1983-1985).


A group photo from the Industrial Relations Conference for Trade Union Staff Personnel, held May 11-12, 1964, at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Far right: Dr. W. Donald Wood, Director of the Industrial Relations Centre (1960-1985) and first Director of the School of Industrial Relations (1983-1985).

A group photo from the Industrial Relations Conference for Trade Union Staff Personnel, held May 11-12, 1964, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Far right: Dr. W. Donald Wood, Director of the Industrial Relations Centre (1960-1985) and first Director of the School of Industrial Relations (1983-1985).

Advancing the IRC Experience

I often think of September as a transitional month, full of promise and new beginnings. Not only does it mark a seasonal change, as summer turns to fall; it is also the time when students across the country head back to school. The Queen’s campus is once again bustling with activity, with the start of the new academic year. Likewise, the pace in the IRC office is gaining momentum, as we prepare for one of the most exciting program seasons to date. I am pleased to announce that this fall, the IRC is introducing several structural changes to our programming, in an effort to better meet the learning needs of human resources, labour relations, and organizational development professionals. In particular, we have redesigned the programming options available in our certificate series and are launching a new Advanced Human Resources Certificate. On behalf of the IRC, I hope that the changes described below lead to many new learning opportunities for our client community. For a full description of our programming, please download our new Program Planner.

Restructuring the IRC’s Certificate Series

A fundamental, strategic change to the structure of our programming portfolio is the reorganization of our certificate series. In addition to the new Advanced Human Resources Certificate, we offer certificates in Organization Development Fundamentals, Labour Relations, and Advanced Labour Relations. All program options are now categorized as 400, 300, 200, or 100- level series and are worth two, three, four, or five credits, depending upon the training time that is required. As part of this restructuring, we have sought to increase the programming options available in our certificates.

Please note, however, that the certificate in Developing Organizational Capacity will no longer be offered to new clients. Some of the programs in this series will remain, and are worth credit towards other IRC certificates. We will continue to award our Developing Organizational Capacity Certificates for a period of three years, to those who have already started on this path. Otherwise, these programs will be accredited toward another certificate series.

Four Certificates to Meet Your Learning Needs

NEW Advanced Human Resources Certificate

This certificate can be customized to address individual learning needs. A minimum of 12 credits is required to earn this certificate. Participants must complete our popular Advanced HR (3 credits) program and our soon-to-be launched program, HR Strategy (4 credits). We are also introducing two additional HR programs: Succession Planning and HR Decision Making. The Advanced Human Resources Certificate is an excellent complement to our portfolio and exemplifies our commitment to providing premium professional development.

The IRC’s Advanced Human Resources Certificate is the first of its kind in Canada, and is unique in the field of human resources (HR) education. As the HR function continues to shift from an administrative and/or transactional role, to one that has become an integral part of an organization’s business strategy, the skills and knowledge required by HR professionals to be successful in their roles have also changed. The Advanced HR Certificate will broaden and deepen the knowledge of the HR practitioner. It has been designed for the human resources or labour relations professional who has at least three to five years of experience managing an HR department, a CHRP designation (or equivalent profile), and is currently in a middle-management role.

Certificate in Organization Development Fundamentals

To earn this certificate, a minimum of 12 credits is required. The 200 Series OD Foundations program is a requirement (4 credits), and the eight remaining credits may be obtained by taking any combination of the 400 or 300 Series Advanced Human Resources programs, or the 200 Series Human Resources/Organizational Development programs.

Certificate in Labour Relations

This certificate is earned by completing the IRC’s 200 Series Labour Relations Foundations program (5 credits) combined with any of the 300, 200, or 100 Series Advanced Labour Relations or Labour Relations programs.

Certificate in Advanced Labour Relations

After successful completion of the Certificate in Labour Relations, learners may work towards earning the Certificate in Advanced Labour Relations. As such, 12 new credits are required. These credits must include eight credits from two Advanced Labour Relations programs in the 300 Series. A further four credits may be earned by completing any of the 300, 200, or 100 Series Advanced Labour Relations or Labour Relations programs.

A Tradition of Excellence

As the IRC celebrates 75 years of industrial relations at Queen’s University, we are proud of the structural changes that are being introduced to our programming. Our learning strategies remain focused on the needs of practitioners. Through a variety of instructional methods, participants will build their competencies in learning environments that promote dialogue and the exchange of ideas and best practices.

The IRC offers an unparalleled learning experience. Through in-depth, practitioner-oriented research, focus groups, and case studies, we will continue to develop and deliver programs to meet the evolving needs of our customers. We look forward to working with you in the future! Please do not hesitate to contact the IRC with any questions regarding our programming or the ways in which we can meet your custom learning needs (; 1-888-858-7838).

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