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2024 International Summer School

We are pleased to announce the 2024 program for the International Summer School in Advanced Studies in Labour, HR, and Employment Relations at the University of Montreal's School of Industrial Relations. Join with other students and professionals from around the world in this unique international experience.



Instructor Pamela Lirio

Globalization and the increasing presence of multinational enterprises (MNEs)  and  global organizations highlights the importance of understanding how people are managed in different cultural and regional contexts. This has implications for many stakeholders in global business today, including employees, managers,  HR  practitioners, unions, policy makers and academic researchers. REI 6611 introduces students, through theory and practical examples, to the complexity of international human resource management and cross-cultural issues within global management.

This course aims to:

  • Introduce the field of international human resource management (IHRM) and the concept of cross-cultural/global management
  • Present key theoretical concepts and examples of IHRM issues in practice today Explore the impact of national culture within organizations and how HR practitioners and  managers  can  develop  key  global  competencies  (e.g.  cultural  intelligence, managing global talent through technology)
  • Provide an opportunity for students to understand their own potential as an effective global leader and to consider building a future global career

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to: 1) Understand HRM in an international or global context and implications for policy in multinational or global organizations, 2) Analyze the impact of cultural dimensions on people’s behavior in work settings, and cultivate a global mindset for effectively managing staff worldwide, 3) Understand different forms of global work and implement this knowledge for strategic global HRM and one’s personal career development, 4) Implement effective communication techniques and managerial strategies for a global workforce, and 5) Conduct research in the international HRM field by investigating and networking within a multinational or global organization.

Course themes include (subject to change):

  • Introduction to international HRM and the global context of work/business
  • Interpreting culture (country-level, organizational)
  • Global talent management (staffing, sourcing, training and development)
  • Global mobility issues (adjustment, compensation, work-life balance)
  • Global careers and diverse global workers
  • Global business ethics


Professor Ian MacDonald

Globalization is one of the major forces restructuring the world of work. Technological change and international trade and investment agreements have allowed multinational corporations to stretch production networks across the globe in order to access a massive increase in the world’s workforce as well as rapidly expanding consumer markets in the developing world. Meanwhile, financialization and new forms of corporate organization have squeezed workers and unions and forced nation states to adjust labour policies, both in the Global North and in the Global South. A critical and carefully empirical account of these changes will reveal that labour market actors – including corporations, nation states, and labour unions – face not only challenges in this period, but also choices between alternative strategies. Are multinational corporations free to move production to lowest cost locations, or are unions and local states able to influence investment decisions and industrial relations practices? What varieties of labour relations regimes are being developed to adjust to global competitive pressures, and which achieve better social and labour market outcomes? What forms of global regulation will be adequate to re-balancing power relationships in the world economy?

This course is an advanced introduction to the issues and debates that arise in the globalization of labour relations. We begin with a critical and concrete examination of the contours of the world economy, paying attention to the key structures and agents. We turn in a second section to a comparative analysis of how labour relations are being globalized in the major centres of the world economy, including Europe, North America and China. Here we develop an understanding of how domestic labour relations are being globalized as countries adopt new laws and domestic firms respond with new IR strategies to competitive pressures, while domestic labour movements, states and multinational firms seek to transfer labour relations from one context to another. Building on our understanding of the structures of global production and the strategic options confronting labour market actors, a final section turns to the emergent global relationships between unions, multinational corporations, and international institutions which will shape the future of globalization, with particular attention to current debates on global labour standards, labour strategies and labour policy.

By the end of this course, students will have mastered the key debates surrounding globalization and will have a strong understanding of how labour relations are adjusting in the majors centres of the world economy. Students will have gained a command of the main contributions to the academic literature in the field, as well as national-level policy options and implications for local industrial relations practices in the global economy. They will be prepared to apply this knowledge as workplace professionals or develop their understanding in further graduate study.

Course themes include:

  • Contours of the global economy
  • Globalization and labour in long historical perspective
  • Globalization and shifting employment structures and relationships
  • Multinational Corporations (MNCs) as strategic and embedded actors
  • The state, free trade agreements and labour law
  • Labour relations and the globalization of finance
  • Labour relations and economic development in global production networks (GPNs)
  • Varieties of capitalism, varieties of IR regimes
  • The globalization of labour relations in liberal market economies (US, UK, Canada)
  • The globalization of labour relations in coordinated market economies (Europe)
  • The globalization of Chinese labour relations
  • Restructuring and collective bargaining in MNCs
  • The social regulation of MNCs and global value chains
  • Transnational labour alliances and global union federations
  • Global debates on labour policy reform after the crisis


Christiana Simonsen, M.Sc., CRHA

Christiana Simonsen is the HR director for Genius solutions, ERP solution company based in Montreal. Christiana has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mackenzie University in Brazil (2003). She gets a master’s degree in Industrial relations from Université de Montréal (2017) where she concentrated her research on the dynamic of employment of the immigrant workers in Quebec’s labour market, under the supervision of Marie-Thérèse Chicha, world renown professor and researcher in the field of immigration, equity and diversity. She has been working in human resources since 2006, in both large international companies and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in software solutions and engineering.

Member of the board of directors of an immigration non-profit organization from 2016 to 2018, she also volunteered in organizations such as PMI (project management). She is a lecturer at Université de Montréal,  since 2023, specialized in Human Resources Management.

She was a recipient of many highly valued awards such as the Medal of merit from the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec in 2005 for her leadership and social responsibility skills. The Commission scolaire de Montréal also granted her with an award for her commitment as a major contributor for the Centre Pauline-Julien to be accepted as a member of the Brundtland Green Schools. Recently, she was awarded the Young Industrial Relations Professionals Award from the School of Industrial Relations of Université de Montréal.

Scope of Practice: Cultural Diversity, International Mobility, Staffing (Recruitment, Selection and Onboarding Process), Performance and Compensation Management, Leave (i.e., Parental), Human Resources, Organizational Development, Strategic Planning, Human Resources Policy, Employment Law.


Professor Ian MacDonald, Ph.D.

Ian MacDonald is a professor in the School of Industrial Relations at Université de Montréal. His research interests include labour politics, organization and union bargaining strategies, comparative political economy, labour geography, urban policy, labour relations in Latin America and globalization.

His research has already resulted in numerous publications and scientific outreach activities. Ian has a PhD (Political Science) from York University. He has recently been a Visiting Scholar at the Worker Institute of Cornell University's ILR School and an adjunct professor at the Murphy Institute of the City University of New York. An edited volume under his direction, Unions and the City: Negotiating Urban Change, was published by Cornell ILR Press in 2017.



Classes start Monday, July 8th, 2024 and end Thursday, August 8th, 2024. The summer school is an intensive program. Each course typically has 2 sessions per week over the 5-week program.


Courses feature a dynamic and interactive approach to teaching with an emphasis on intercultural exchange, team-building and advanced learning in a supportive and stimulating environment. Summer School students can take 2 courses.


  • Graduate students and undergrads entering their final year of studies who want to add a stimulating international experience to their learning portfolio in labour and employment relations.
  • HR and employment relations professionals who want to upgrade their skills and   gain university level graduate school credit in an intensive but friendly learning format over the summer period.
  • Students from our ÉRIUM partner schools and universities who are participating in   our international summer school program in a planned bi-lateral exchange for credit from their home institution.
  • Anyone interested in taking a first step towards postgraduate qualifications in labour and employment relations, health and safety, labour law, human resource management, and public policy.