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Queen's University IRC

Research and Resources

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For more information on Queen’s IRC’s practitioner-focused research, please contact our research team at: ircresearch@queensu.ca

Human Resources

Job Evaluation: A Quest for Gender Neutrality

The long debated issue of gender bias in job evaluation systems has become even more important with the advent of pay equity legislation in Ontario. This statute requires the use of a gender-neutral job comparison system to identify and rectify wage discrimination in female-dominated jobs. Unfortunately, this legislation provides very little guidance as to what is meant by a gender-neutral job comparison system. This paper identifies the ingredients of a gender-neutral comparison system.

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Developments in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Practices in Canada: An Update from the 1980s

This study was undertaken as part of the Structural Change in Canadian Industrial Relations project at the Centre for Industrial Relations, University of Toronto. The Canadian industrial relations system has followed a course of incremental change and adjustment over the past decade that leaves intact the basic institutional framework and relationships among labor, business, and government. Thus, the system, while changing in ways that are similar to employment relations in other industrial nations, has not undergone any dramatic transformation.

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Who Gains from Worker Participation?

There is a growing interest in participative management as a way to overcome rigidities in labour-management relations. This implies a higher degree of self-supervision, flatter hierarchies and blurring of the lines dividing workers and managers. In other words, participative management entails a restructuring of the power relation between labour and management. This paper addresses this issue.

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Parental and Maternity Leave Policies In Canada and Sweden

Sweden and Canada provide two significantly different maternity and parental leave programs. Sweden's Parental Leave program is comprehensive and "progressive", covering all eligible individuals and enjoying an extremely high utilization rate. Canada's Maternity Leave program, in contrast, does not share the Swedish success; only about half the women who bear children each year collect maternity benefits.

 

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Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value

Research on the male-female wage differential in Canada has produced evidence of a substantial link between occupational segregation and low female earnings. Because most Canadian labour jurisdictions have enacted equal pay for equal work legislation, this component of the wage gap is unaffected. Consequently, programs which attempt to desegregate occupations and/or resolve pay inequities arising from occupational segregation are being debated.

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The Seniority Principle: Is It Discriminatory?

This paper pursues the questionable effects of seniority systems by examining; the remedial powers at the disposal of each legal forum available to an employee to pursue a discrimination claim, the relevant Canadian jurisprudence on discrimination, and the American experience with discrimination claims based on seniority. This paper concludes with a proposal detailing an outline of an affirmative action plan tailored to fit the Canadian situation as it is exposed by the previous sections of the paper.

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Psychological Testing in Personnel Selection

This research paper reviews the subject of psychological testing in personnel selection. The history of employment testing is traced from its beginnings in World War I to current day testing practices. Tests are described in a five category classification: intelligence, aptitude, performance, interest and personality tests. Next the various psychometric properties of tests are discussed: standardization of a test, objectivity, the different kinds of norms and reliability, and the different types of validity.

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Innovation at Work: The Working with Technology Survey, 1980-91

This summary report provides some of the first results of the analysis of the data contained in the Working with Technology Survey for the 224 respondents who responded to the questionnaires in both 1985 and 1991. Comparisons of establishments' behaviour across the two time periods provides many valuable insights both into tech change and its impacts on workers, and into organizational change. More detailed survey results will be reported later in the course of the Human Resource Management Project.

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The Concept of Leisure

This paper was presented at the 1963 Spring Conference Programme of the Industrial Relations Centre, Queen's University, at Kingston, Ontario. This paper discusses the origins of the idea of leisure, the need and desire for leisure, while also suggesting that we rethink the whole notion of leisure. It also makes some suggestions about how we might think positively and usefully about the concept of leisure.

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Our research includes a variety of activities that complement our programming. Through surveys, interviews, and articles, we aim to communicate trends in the HR and LR fields.

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