Dr. Dionne Pohler is a social scientist and assistant professor at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto. Dionne's previous research projects explored the impact of employment laws, strategy, employment systems, human resource practices, and unions on employee and organizational outcomes. Current research includes projects investigating the impact of pay equity and the working income tax benefit.

Dionne is also a research fellow in the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) at Rotman, a Filene research fellow, and a 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. Her main project with GATE includes investigating the causes of the gender wage gap; projects with Filene and the Co-op Centre include understanding the political economy of governance successes and failures in the Canadian credit union system and co-op federations.

Dionne helped develop a co-operative model of economic and social development alongside Western Canadian rural 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 and Indigenous 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. She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed academic journals in her field 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
  • Policy implementation and compliance
  • 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 and Indigenous communities
  • HR professionalization