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Research profile: Cedric Dawkins
Associate Professor in Management
How long have you been at Dal?
I am in my second year at Dal.
Tell us about your research and what drove you into those topics.
I do research in areas of ethics surrounding labour unions and CSR and tangentially in corporate accountability area. My interest in justice and working-class persons developed from growing up in the ‘rust belt’ where manufacturing jobs were the staple of middle-class life, and earlier studies of labour relations and labour history. The seldom-acknowledged ethical underpinnings of the labour movement led to my study of business ethics and CSR.
Can you share with us some of your works-in-progress?
I currently have a conditional accept with Business Ethics Quarterly on Agonistic Pluralism. Essentially, the argument is that disagreement is inevitable in a pluralistic society and is to be valued as a means of vetting ideas and protecting the varied interests of involved parties. Consequently, in the stakeholder context, the need is for mechanisms that enable stakeholders to substantively engage with corporations on matters of interest. Beyond that I’m working on a piece of why ‘voice’ matters as an ethical prerogative and examining the impact of labour unions on the CSR of their respective employers.
How does your research affect business practice or what are some of the implications for the real world?
A model of issue management that I have developed (the pacesetter model) is excerpted as ‘Essential Knowledge’ in issue management by the Institute for Public Relations. I’ve also spoken on labour union social responsibility at the UN Global Compact conference in South Korea. I always take special pleasure when my work gets the attention of practitioners.
How does your research impact and support/enhance your teaching?
Fortunately, I am able to teach in the areas where I do research. There is no shortage of contemporary issues from which to teach. It helps that, given my research, I have developed my own thinking in these areas.
What would you consider to be a research success?
Just getting ideas that I believe to be valuable into the discussion with other scholars. After work is published I’ve had my say and the ideas sink or swim on their own merits.
What advice would you give to fellow young researchers?
Try to do work that excites you personally as well as professionally. That way it is a lot easier to get out of bed on a Saturday morning and do some writing.
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