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PhD Spotlight — Mariam Magdy Hussein

Mariam Magdy Hussein

Mariam Magdy Hussein started a PhD in management in 2017, specializing in organizational behaviour and human resources, at the Telfer School of Management. She had earned an MSc from the German University of Cairo in 2014 and previously worked as an assistant lecturer in human resources management in management technology (2011 to 2014). Now, under the supervision of Professor Sharon L. O’Sullivan, Mariam has been looking at cultural variations in verbal and non-verbal communications, and the potential role of empathy in facilitating intercultural interactions.

Why did you choose to study organizational behaviour and human resources (OBHR)? Any personal motivation behind your interest?

I chose the OBHR stream because I enjoy listening to people’s stories about their experiences and their communicational interactions in different organizational settings. I’m particularly interested in finding ways to help underrepresented persons improve their experiences with their diverse counterparts in cases where miscommunication is routine and, in some cases, dysfunctional.

What is your research about and what will it contribute to academic literature?

My research is focused on underrepresented Middle Eastern newcomers’ groups in Canada. I’m eliciting their experiences in the health care service sector in terms of facilitators and barriers to effective communication and high-quality interaction. I’m also speaking to a sample of Canadian health care providers to understand their perspectives on interacting with newcomer clients. With my research, I will develop recommendations for training and orientation interventions for both groups to reconcile any perceptional differences and improve the quality of service provided.

Tell us about a recent highlight of your research.

I recently received the best student paper award at the 2021 Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) conference. In my conceptual paper Behaving Culturally Empathic versus Being Culturally Empathic: Does Authenticity Matter?, I argue that perceptions of authenticity in intercultural interactions do matter for quality organizational interactions between cultural insiders and outsiders. I developed propositions that stimulate empathic and culturally intelligent interactions.

What impact could your research have on Canadian businesses?

My research underscores the challenges that many newcomers face in Canada within specific service provision organizational sectors. It will shed light on the positive and negative influencers of these interactions to develop concrete recommendations. These recommendations will support training interventions for Canadian service providers, as well as orientation services for newcomers.

About the Author

Rania Nasrallah a rejoint le bureau de recherche Telfer en 2019. Elle a obtenu son doctorat en médecine à l'Université d'Ottawa et apporte à ce rôle plus de deux décennies d'expérience en recherche. Rania participe à tous les aspects du mandat du Bureau de la recherche et est responsable de fournir un large éventail de services aux membres du corps professoral et aux étudiants de recherche de deuxième et troisième cycle. Elle gère les subventions internes et les bourses d'études, et participe à la stratégie de communication de la recherche. Elle fournit également un soutien aux chercheurs avant l'attribution des subventions afin de maximiser le succès du financement au niveau national et international. En outre, elle travaille en étroite collaboration avec le Vice-doyen à la recherche pour élaborer et mettre en œuvre des stratégies visant à améliorer le financement et la vélocité de la recherche à Telfer, conformément à notre vision pour créer un meilleur Canada et un meilleur monde pour tous.<br/><br/>Rania Nasrallah joined the Telfer Research Office in 2019. She completed her PhD in Medicine at the University of Ottawa and brings over two decades of research experience to this role. Rania is involved in all aspects of the mandate of the Research Office and is responsible for providing a wide range of services to faculty members and research based graduate students. She manages internal grants, student awards, and participates in the research communication strategy. She also provides pre-award support to researchers to optimize funding success nationally and internationally. In addition she works closely with the Vice Dean Research to develop and implement strategies to enhance research funding and intensity at Telfer following our vision to create a better Canada and a better world for all.

Profile Photo of Rania Nasrallah