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PhD Spotlight - Daniel J. Quintal-Curcic

Daniel J. Quintal-Curcic

Daniel J. Quintal-Curcic (he/him) joined the Telfer PhD in Management program in 2019, specializing in organizational behaviour and human resources. He is supervised by Professor Laurent Lapierre.

Why did you choose to study organizational behaviour and human resources? 

A little over a decade ago, I took an introductory organizational behaviour course as an elective and became enamoured. Since then, my passion and appreciation for the field have grown immensely. I am particularly interested in employee mental health and what managers can do to support mental health at work. 

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

Despite previous research emphasizing the benefits of leadership and social support on employee health and well-being, scholars criticize existing literature as being too broad and too general, with limited insight into practical recommendations. My dissertation draws on public health and health psychology literature to identify specific actions that managers can take to better recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of poor mental health. 

You recently presented your research at the 84th Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association. What are the highlights of that study?

In a qualitative recall study, employees and managers recalled specific actions they received (as employees) or provided (as managers) when employees showed signs and symptoms of poor mental health over the past six months. The findings from this study inform the subsequent studies of my dissertation, in which I intend to develop a precise set of actionable behaviours that managers can regularly perform to respond to poor mental health.

How can your research influence Canadian businesses?

My research may be instrumental in helping organizations train their managers on how to respond more effectively to the signs and symptoms of poor mental health in employees. For example, my research may ensure that managers can better support employees to reduce their experiences of burnout, lapses in memory, and inattention at work, which may influence how employees perceive stressors at work and how they perform their work. This in turn may help organizations reduce costs related to poor employee mental health, such as the costs of absenteeism, reduced productivity, and higher turnover.