Dr. Dionne Pohler is a social scientist and associate professor appointed at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources and Rotman School of Management Department of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources at the University of Toronto. Dionne is also a research fellow in Co-operative Strategy and Governance with the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan, where she previously held positions at both the Edwards School of Business and the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. She is currently serving as the Associate Director, Undergraduate and PhD Programs, at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources.

Her research covers topics on work and employment, unions and labour relations, organizational governance, and co-operative development. Major current projects include investigating the causes of the gender earnings gap and the implementation challenges of labour and social policies in Canada.

Dionne helped develop a co-operative model of economic and social development alongside Western Canadian rural settler and indigenous communities as one of the co-investigators on the Co-operative Innovation Project (CIP). CIP required extensive stakeholder outreach and engagement, and eventually led to the creation of a non-profit organization, Co-operatives First, dedicated to working with rural communities to address the needs identified by community members. Dionne was a founding board member of Co-operatives First.

Dionne holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University, and a PhD in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Alberta School of Business. In 2011, she earned a Chartered Professional in Human Resources designation from CPHR Saskatchewan. Her research is published in peer-reviewed academic journals including Industrial and Labor Relations ReviewIndustrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and SocietyBritish Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Human Resource Management. She holds four international awards for her research and three university teaching awards. She has received three Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grants and one major industry grant, and is an active public and media commentator. Read some of her public opinions and comments here.

Photo of Dionne Pohler

Research interests

  • Political economy of organizational governance
  • Labour and social policy implementation
  • Compensation and HR practices
  • Employment relationship, employee voice, and union impact
  • Strategic human resource management
  • Governance and strategy in co-operatives and business federations
  • Co-op development in rural settler and indigenous communities
  • HR professionalization