Living to work versus working to live

Lorna Wright, professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, was quoted in the Toronto Star Oct. 4 regarding employee vacation time. In the European community, the minimum amount of vacation time off is 20 days. In Canada, it’s two weeks. Wright explained that in Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America, the cultures are focused on "being." Quality of life is emphasized. "It’s about living to work versus working to live," she said. Wright said if you want to increase productivity in a "being" culture, money isn’t necessarily the answer. "If you offered Mexican employees higher wages to increase productivity, what you’ll find is the opposite of what you might expect," Wright said. "As a gross generalization, people will only work to earn a certain amount of compensation and then they’ll stop working to spend time with their family."

York part of pain study

York University was mentioned in Regina’s Leader-Post Oct. 7 as being part of a national health research grant worth more than $1.1 million that is studying post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The team of researchers, which includes five other universities, is led by a University of Regina professor. The team was the recipient of a Canadian Institute of Health Research New Emerging Team grant. Researchers are looking at everything from genetic predispositions to the strong relationship between PTSD and chronic pain.

Reality check

Richard Leblanc, professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, was quoted in the National Post Oct. 7 as saying there is no empirical evidence that any of the popular structural solutions to perceived corporate governance problems – separation of CEO and chair, board independence, board size and the presence of outside directors – actually contribute to better corporate performance. "The evidence, thin as it is, indicates that these things really make no difference in general board performance. And no one has been able to find a positive relationship between good corporate governance, as currently defined, and corporate financial performance." Leblanc, whose specialty is boards of directors, debunks most of the current governance fads.

School standards slipping

Sharon Murphy, professor in York’s Faculty of Education and associate dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, was quoted in the Toronto Star Oct. 7 on the struggle by schools to feed mind and body with depleted resources. In 1991 "US author Rexford Brown held up Toronto schools as the kind of schools America should have," she said. "I don’t think he could do that today." But, Murphy said, "they still look toward Canada with some envy, even while recognizing [the education system] has slipped.", 

On air

  • Alan Middleton, professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about low voter turnout for the Ontario election and potential voter burnout because of upcoming elections, on CBC Radio’s "Morning North," Sudbury, and news segments in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, Oct. 6
  • James Laxer, political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, was interviewed about Canada-US relations on "The Bill Good Show," CKNW-AM, Vancouver, Oct. 6, and on "Newsline," CKRM-AM, Regina, Oct. 3.
  • Robert MacDermid, political science professor in the Faculty of Arts, talked about the Ontario provincial election on "Ontario Today" on CBC Radio and on "Global News Morning" on Global TV stations Oct. 3.
  • Martin Shadwick, defence analyst with the York Centre for International & Security Studies, discussed the death of two Canadian soldiers in an explosion in Afghanistan and the vehicles soldiers are driving, on "Jennifer Mather," CKNW-AM, Vancouver, Oct. 3.