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A commitment to research excellence

At the Telfer Master of Science in Management, we’re committed to research excellence. This commitment extends to all aspects of our program—from the services we provide our students to the outstanding teaching and research professionals that form the heart of our program.

Take a closer look at exactly what we mean:

  • Our program’s extensive, diverse and expert faculty members make it possible for you to learn from an array of leading management researchers. You can also participate in their research, or take advantage of their insights and experiences to help you uncover research opportunities of your own.
  • Our students have used our program to become great young management researchers.
  • Our program arms you with the research skills and experience to take full advantage of several exciting career options.
  • The Telfer School’s Research Office helps you prepare scholarship applications, ethics submissions and proposals to internal and external funding agencies. It also organizes events tailored to meet your needs and provides information on professional-development activities available to you.

Great questions. Great researchers.

Great answers only come to those who ask great questions. And only researchers who possess the highest levels of intellectual confidence and perception ask great questions.

Your journey of discovery is guided by our professors that are internationally recognized for their cutting-edge research, and their leadership in their respective management domains. Many of our professors hold prestigious fellowships, professorships and research chairs; serve as editors and reviewers for leading international journals and granting agencies; advise companies and governments. They are looking to work with enquiring, hardworking, and ambitious students who are willing to take on innovative approaches to managerial problems, push back the limits of knowledge, and help organisations strive. 

When you work with our leading professors, they will also guide you in writing research papers to present at renowned conferences and publish in high impact academic journals. Our Graduate Programs Office will assist you in preparing grant applications for prestigious external scholarships such as OGS and Tri-Council funding.

Martine SpenceDr. Martine Spence: Sustainability and the bottom line

More and more companies trumpet their social responsibility—in particular, the sustainability of their operations and products. But is this talk just that—talk? Or does corporate commitment to environmental health, ethical behaviour and social welfare have a measurable impact on a business’s financial performance? Dr. Martine Spence is finding out.

An expert in the behaviour, operations and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises—in particular, the so-called internationalization of Canadian SMEs that provide highly specialized professional services—she’s using her research to determine whether or not an enterprise’s financial performance reflects the company’s sustainability. At the same time, she’s uncovering answers to a host of parallel concerns, including the best way to measure SMEs’ involvement in social responsibility and environmental sustainability, and how to identify any cultural influences that may affect sustainable practices of SMEs in developing economies.

An increasing number of large multinational corporations use the answers Dr. Spence generates to decide which SMEs in developing economies to include in global supply chains or through which to outsource products and services. Now that’s sustainability affecting your bottom line!

Barbara OrserDr. Barbara Orser: Spurring entrepreneurship and business development

New businesses are the fuel that drives our country’s economic prosperity. No one in Canada has a deeper understanding of this fact than Dr. Barbara Orser. As co-holder of the Telfer School’s Deloitte Professorship in the Management of Growth Enterprises, she concentrates her research on uncovering ways to spur entrepreneurship and business development. More specifically, she zeroes in on the distinct needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and the nearly one million Canadian women who are entrepreneurs, self-employed workers or who own and operate SMEs.

Her work is paying off—big time. Business leaders and policymakers throughout Canada use her fresh insights to craft public policies and training programs that help equip Canadians with the targeted financial support and precise business skills they need to launch, nurture and expand successful enterprises.

The aftershocks of Dr. Orser’s research don’t end there. Her revelations about entrepreneurship and enterprise growth enable her students to gain a clear appreciation of Canadian business; and her passionate commitment to the discipline of management research makes it possible for her students to acquire the intellectual confidence, technical acumen and analytical skills required to carry out groundbreaking studies of their own.


Mark FreelDr. Mark Freel: Testing assumptions

Most businesspeople and policymakers steadfastly believe that small firms are the prime movers behind economic growth and innovation. Yet only a fraction of new small businesses actually become engines of economic development and innovation. So what sets these few firms apart from the many failures and also-rans?

Dr. Mark Freel has a sound answer. The director of the Telfer MSc in Management contends that small-business success boils down to what resources a company has, when it has them and how it uses them. And the most vital resource a company can have is its people. As a result, any corporate or national innovation strategy or policy should be based on cultivating exceptionally skilled workers rather than adopting new gadgets or fancy processes.

This clearheaded, practical analysis typifies all Dr. Freel’s research. Another case in point: his forthcoming work tests the assumption that entrepreneurial societies are intrinsically superior. This research is spurred by an intriguing proposition: is entrepreneurship the ideal path to personal and professional fulfilment if entrepreneurs are more likely than others to go bankrupt and get divorced, and if economies that emphasize entrepreneurship tend to be more unequal than others?

Judith MadillDr. Judith Madill: A different kind of marketing

Advertisements and branding, corporate sponsorships and product placements, publicity and sales promotion—the trappings of modern marketing are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Some may even see them as invasive. Yet not all marketing is carried out to attract customers and make money for companies.

More and more organizations take advantage of the strategies, principles and methods of traditional marketing to solve diverse social problems, such as preserving the health of our natural environment, halting the astronomical rise in the number of obese children and eliminating the stigma widely associated with mental illnesses.

This different kind of marketing is known as social marketing—and Dr. Judith Madill is widely recognized as a Canadian leader in this field. She uses her position as the Telfer School’s Paul Desmarais Professor to fuel her research and uncover original insights in this emerging field. Her research concentrates on two overarching aspects of social marketing: how non-profit organizations apply commercial marketing approaches to achieve community goals, and how so-called social ventures wield marketing tools both to improve peoples’ lives and boost these enterprises’ bottom lines.

Ajax PersaudDr. Ajax Persaud: Sparking the turnaround

Canada is being left behind. For the past two decades, our country’s ability to develop advanced technologies and bring them successfully to the market has slipped further and further back of other countries in the industrialized world. Dr. Ajax Persaud has dedicated his research career to halting this decline and sparking a turnaround.

An internationally renowned expert in the commercialization of new technologies, the Telfer School professor is deeply involved in unearthing key reasons why Canadian firms have performed so poorly in technological innovation and commercialization. He is also working diligently to use his research findings to reveal practical solutions that business executives and government policymakers can use to enable Canadian companies to reverse course and become worldwide leaders in this vital area.

Indeed, the stakes couldn’t be higher—for Canadian companies and for Canadians themselves: innovation and competitiveness are key contributors to many firms’ competitive advantage, growth and survival; and successful technological innovation and commercialization are critical determinants in the wealth, living standard and quality of life of all our country’s citizens.

Allan RidingDr. Allan Riding: Research that pays off

Emerging firms create a disproportionate share of new jobs compared to existing firms, making successful start-ups the fuel that powers our country’s economic prosperity. The ongoing expansion—and full job-creating potential—of these businesses, however, is often stymied by their failure to access financial capital.

No one appreciates this fact better than Dr. Allan Riding. As co-holder of the Telfer School’s Deloitte Professorship in the Management of Growth Enterprises, he uses his research to focus on the activities of angel investors, the structure of Canada’s venture capital industry, the ways in which growth-oriented new firms finance their operations and on public policies designed to help emerging businesses obtain funds.

That work is paying off. Through his research, Dr. Riding has found that government-sponsored loan guarantees and the services of business-development banks in Canada are vital ways through which emerging and often high-risk businesses acquire money that would not be available otherwise. What’s more, he has determined that the overall economic performance that these financing mechanisms help generate far outstrip their cost to taxpayers.

Students and Alumni Testimonials

Who are Telfer Master of Science in Management candidates? They come from various places, have diverse backgrounds and enjoy a wealth of different life and academic experiences.

Yet they all have several key characteristics in common. All are excellent communicators and hard workers. All show initiative. And all use creative approaches to tackle research challenges.

They are also all great researchers in the making. Indeed, our students have used the Telfer Master of Science in Management to begin meaningful careers as research professionals in governments, public-sector organizations and private consulting firms. Others have taken advantage of our program to move on to doctoral programs at prestigious universities—a key step on the road to careers in academia as teachers and researchers.

Find out for yourself. Read about the backgrounds, achievements and plans of some of recent alumni—six great researchers in the making.

Elliott Bourgeois: Intrigued by entrepreneurs

What makes people want to become entrepreneurs? Are they generally happier for their decision? And as an extension, are people in regions, countries and continents with higher levels of entrepreneurship happier than people in other regions, countries and continents? Elliott Bourgeois is going to find out.

"I've always been intrigued by entrepreneurs," says the 26-year-old Telfer MSc in Management student. "In particular, I'm curious about exactly what drives them to assume the risks and workload required to give birth to and sustain profitable enterprises."

Elliott has come to the right place to satisfy his intellectual curiosity-for three reasons. First, the Telfer MSc in Management emphasizes entrepreneurship-an area of study that can be examined from a wide variety of management perspectives; second, Dr. Mark Freel, one of Elliott's professors, is among the freshest thinkers when it comes to understanding entrepreneurship; and third, the program is a perfect academic home for students who are unafraid to ask penetrating research questions.

"Throughout my academic career, I was unsatisfied with being told how things were done," says Elliott, a finance undergrad. "I want to uncover why things are done certain ways. The Telfer MSc in Management is the ideal program to get the tools and access the resources I need to put my inquisitiveness into action."

Nicholas Bremner: Bringing out the best in leaders

You think you need to be a business student to get the most out of the Telfer Master of Science in Management? Think again. Nicholas Bremner used our program as an unconventional springboard to pursue a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Western Ontario.

“The Telfer Master of Science in Management simply made the most sense for me,” says the 24-year-old native of North Bay, Ontario. “I’m convinced no other program could have equipped me with the business knowledge and, even more importantly, the research skills I require to be successful in my future studies and in my career as an industrial and organizational psychologist.”

Nicholas has already put his top-flight research skills to energetic use. He has explored the concept of meaningful work, examined occupational burnout and uncovered ways to measure personality characteristics in the workplace. His primary research focuses on developing and refining a theoretical model of how the behaviour of employees as groups can empower their leaders.

“It seems that more and more industry leaders behave unethically,” he says. “I want to find out exactly how employees can positively influence their managers’ behaviours and bring out the best in them.”

Evelyne Lord Tarte: Understanding the dynamics of innovation

Does innovation in Canada’s wine industry differ from region to region, or do influences other than region have sway over innovation in that burgeoning industry? Evelyne Lord Tarte is searching for the answer to this two-pronged question.

“I’m investigating the extent to which innovation dynamics differ among Canada’s primary wine-producing regions: British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec,” says the Telfer Master of Science in Management student. “This industry is one of the few that operates in three distinct areas of the same country. At the same time, it has undergone profound changes recently in terms of product demand, key actors and management strategies.”

The Telfer MSc in Management is proving to be the perfect environment for Evelyne to carry out her research. In particular, she believes that the small size of the program’s cohort produces strong ties between students and professors, and makes it possible for budding researchers to generate exciting results—including her own.

“Early indications suggest that innovation in Canada’s wine industry varies little from region to region,” she says. “Instead, the age and level of development of a winery appear to be the most powerful drivers of innovation in the industry.”

Alex Mitchell: Passionate about marketing

Ever have something important in life come together for you perfectly? Alex Mitchell knows the feeling.

“I entered the Telfer Master of Science in Management because I’m passionate about marketing,” says the 32-year-old from Kars, Ontario. “It turns out that my program supervisor, Dr. Judith Madill, is a renowned expert in the discipline, and she introduced me to an exciting new field of study—social marketing.”

Alex wasted no time in taking full advantage of his stroke of serendipity. Through his research, he developed a model that represents the prevailing marketing strategy for enterprises that strive to achieve both social changes and financial goals. Perhaps most notably, his model identifies a number of what he calls tensions that influence how these social ventures employ marketing methods.

“All these tensions go the very heart of social ventures,” says Alex. “Yet four stand out: how these enterprises finance their social missions, plan expansion, balance a desire to cooperate with a need to compete, and manage stakeholders that represent ventures’ social ambitions and stakeholders that represent financial goals.”

François Neville: On the right path

A primary attraction of the Telfer Master of Science in Management is the wealth of academic and career opportunities the program presents our students. Among the many possibilities is the pursuit of a doctoral degree. That’s exactly the path François Neville is taking.

“I want to have a career in academia as a researcher and professor,” says the Telfer BCom graduate and now PhD student at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. “The Telfer Master of Science in Management—specifically, the guidance provided to me by my thesis supervisors—has been the ideal preparation for my current studies, which is an essential stepping stone on my career path.”

That preparation is paying off already. The 27-year-old Sudbury native used his Master’s thesis to delve deeply into the performance and growth of immigrant-owned firms that export. In doing so, he has filled a yawning gap in business knowledge, and revealed vital intelligence for entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and other researchers.

“No one had studied carefully whether ventures owned by immigrants outperformed firms owned by non-immigrants,” he says. “Through my research, I found that firms owned by immigrants neither outperformed nor underperformed. However, immigrant-owned firms that export grow much faster than all other firms, including other exporters.”

Weiwei Wu: Perfect sense

How do businesses and organizations foster, manage and exploit innovative products, systems and processes? That question is a focal point of the Telfer Master of Science in Management. It’s also the centre of interest and activity for Weiwei Wu.

“Coming to the Telfer School made perfect sense for me—for two reasons,” says the 26-year-old native of China. “First, I focused on innovation management in my undergraduate studies and it’s a core strength of the Master of Science in Management program. And second, the program’s class sizes are pretty small, which gives me plenty of opportunities to work closely with my classmates and professors.”

One of those professors is Dr. Margaret Dalziel, perhaps Canada’s most renowned expert in innovation intermediaries. These organizations, which are usually supported by national and regional governments, help firms create, manage and commercialize innovative products, services and systems.

“I want to use my time in the program—and what I learn from it—to understand more about the organizational actors that serve as innovation intermediaries,” says Weiwei. “Even more, I’d like to reveal new insights into the actions, influence and impact of these organizations and the activities they perform.”

Leading Researchers with whom you could work:

Here is a list of potential MSc in Management supervisors:

Strategy/Management/International Business

Professors who are members of the FGPS are authorized to supervise thesis. These professors are identified on the Current members page.

Find a thesis supervisor before you apply

Finding a thesis supervisor before you apply to the MSc in Management program will give you a much greater advantage of gaining entry into the program if you meet all the admission requirements. By having a thesis supervisor and some idea of the topic you would like to pursue before you apply, you show the admissions committee that you are ready to start your research journey.

How to find a thesis supervisor

Extraordinary destinations

The Telfer Master of Science in Management opens up a world of exciting career and academic possibilities for you.

Kick-start your career as a professional researcher

Many graduates have taken advantage of our program to land fulfilling jobs that enable them to carry out vital research in governments, public-sector organizations and private consulting firms.

Train to be a research academic

Several graduates have used our program as a springboard to top-flight doctoral programs. For those students, the Telfer Master of Science in Management is a key step on the road to careers in academia as teachers and researchers.

Become part of the Telfer School research community

To help prepare them to be research academics, our students can access many teaching assistant positions available throughout all programs of the Telfer School. In fact, our students are given their choice of teaching assistant positions. Our students also collaborate with Telfer School researchers on pioneering management research, participate actively in our year-long Management Research Seminar Series, and enjoy opportunities to attend conferences at which our students can interact as peers with top-flight Canadian and international researchers.

Research Support

The Research Office at the Telfer School of Management helps graduate students prepare scholarship applications, ethics submissions and proposals to internal and external funding agencies. The Office also organizes events tailored to meet the needs of students, and provides information on professional-development activities available to students.

Visit the official Research Office Website for more details.

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