Fields of Study
- Human Resources Management
- Industrial/Employment Relations
Areas of Interest
- Union administration
- Public sector work
- Public policy
Jen’s research is the Canadian component of an international effort to study union administration. The International Union Administration Project is run by a network of researchers in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. This is the first time the Canadian perspective will be included in the international study since the initial wave of data collection that took place approx. 30 years ago. Jen’s research documents Canadian unions from the perspective of their internal human resource management (HRM) practices. These practices include recruitment, selection, training, development, as well as performance management and other strategies focused on the administration of the workforce. It also considers if select findings in HRM research are universal in nature and can be applied to the union context. Further, it attempts to understand if internal HRM practices are a source of competitive advantage for unions by exploring if these practices can be tied to organizational outcomes such as union expansion.
Jen is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in labour studies and political science at McMaster University, Jen obtained a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Western University. After graduation, Jen joined a policy shop in the field of municipal finance at the Government of Ontario. She worked in progressive positions from economist to manager before pursuing a PhD. Management experience has helped her develop skills to bridge the world of research and practical application. She hopes her efforts at the university will improve knowledge about the world of work and will have a meaningful impact on workplaces in Canada and beyond. Jen is also passionate about international development and in 2014 embarked on a trip around the world.
- Gomez, R., & Harmer, J.M. (forthcoming). Why it’s hard to organize a union and get a decent contract. In J. Peters, & D. Wells (Eds.), Confronting Inequality: Canadian Labour Policy and Politics. University of British Columbia Press.
- Pohler, D.M., Luchak, A.A, & Harmer, J.M. (2020). The missing employee in research on employee voice. In A. Wilkinson, J. Donaghey, T. Dundon & R.B. Freeman (Eds.), The handbook of research on employee voice (2nd ed.). Edward Elgar Publishing Inc.
- Harmer, Jennifer (2007). Community & Political Participation of Municipal Employees: An Analysis of the Community and Political Participation of Municipal Employees in the City of London. MPA Major Research Papers. 65. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/lgp-mrps/65
- Harmer, J.M. (2006). Community and political engagement of youth in Hamilton. (Undergraduate thesis). McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
- 2016 entry