James Barker

Professor; Herbert S. Lamb Chair in Business Education; Research Lead Dalhousie Safe Assured; Founding Fellow, MacEachen Institute for Public Policy & Governance


Related Information

Email: j.barker@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1799
Fax: 902-494-1107
Mailing Address: 
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Ave, Room 5090
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2

Research Topics:
  • Organizational safety
  • High-risk organizations
  • Leadership theories
  • Organization theories
  • Complexity theory
  • Organizational behaviour
  • Symbolic management
  • Organizational change



  • PhD (Colorado)
  • MA (Purdue)
  • BA (Central Arkansas)

Research Interests

Professor Barker’s research interests include complex organizational behaviour, ethics and sustainable processes with a particular focus on leadership, safety, change management and stakeholder engagement. His present research focuses on the discovery and implementation of innovative analytic frameworks, risk mitigation techniques, and public policy initiatives that enhance the safety and sustainability of Canadian community pharmacies.

Selected Awards & Honours

  • 2020  Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award. Presented to the SafetyNET-Rx Research Team, James R. Barker Team Research Lead, by the QSEN Institute, Jacksonville University, USA
  • 2017  Best Edited Book Award, Organizational Communication Division, National Communication Association
  • 2014  Best Paper of the Year Award, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences
  • 2010  Fredric M. Jablin Outstanding Contributions to Organizational Communication, given annually by the International Communication Association
  • 2006–2012  Editor in Chief, Management Communication Quarterly

Selected Publications

  • A complexity theory framework of issue movement. Dawkins, C.E., & Barker, J.R. Business and Society 59(6), 1110-1150  (2020)
  • Barriers to the use of patient safety information sources by community pharmacists. Barker, J.R., Boyle, T.A., Tay, L., Bishop, A.C., Morrison, B., Murphy, A., MacKinnon, N., Murray, E., & Ho, C. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 15(7), 895-901  (2019)  doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.02.015
  • Expansion of patient safety regulatory requirements in community pharmacy in Canada: The Melissa Sheldrick effect? MacKinnon, N., Cook, R., & Barker, J.R. Canadian Pharmacists Journal, 152(2), 77-80  (2019)  doi: 10.1177/1715163519827981
  • Quality-related events reported by community pharmacies in Nova Scotia: A 7-year descriptive analysis. Boucher, A., Ho, C., MacKinnon, N., Boyle, T.A., Bishop, A., Gonzalez, P., Hartt, C., & Barker, J.R. Canadian Medical Association Journal Open, 6(4), E651-E656 (2018)  doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20180090
  • Servant and supervisor: Contrasting discourses of care and coercion in senior medical school leadership roles. Gorsky, D., Barker, J.R., & MacLeod, A. Studies in Higher Education, 43(12), 2238-2250  (2018)  doi: 10.1080/03075079.2017.1318366

Current Teaching 

  • BUSI 6313 Organizational Change
  • BUSI 6326 Management Skills Development
  • BUSI 6994 Leading in Complexity
  • COMM 3310 Reflections on Leadership