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Quinetta Roberson's Spends Research Sabbatical in Italy

Professor Quinetta RobersonILR Human Resources associate professor Quinetta Roberson, spent three months of her Spring 2006 sabbatical conducting research, teaching, and embracing the Italian lifestyle as a visiting faculty member at SDA Bocconi’s School of Management in Milan, Italy. Professor Roberson’s relationship with the top business and economics school in Italy started in her graduate school days when she connected with Silvia Bagdadli, today a Professor at SDA Bocconi’s School of Management. Professor Roberson then joined her Advisor and traveled to Bocconi while in graduate school. More recently, Professor Roberson collaborated with Professor Bagdadli on a project focused on the importance of organizational justice in promotion decisions, which has been published in the Journal of Business and Psychology. The focus was on Italian manager’s reactions to promotion decisions over an eight-year period and their career outcomes. When the opportunity to return to Bocconi presented itself, this time as a visiting faculty, Professor Roberson welcomed it.

Professors Roberson and BagdadliThough an avid traveler, this was the first time Professor Roberson lived outside the US. While adjusting to a Milan lifestyle took some getting used to, Professor Roberson began doing something she was well acquainted with, research, right away. One of her main areas of expertise is in Organizational Justice, a subject of which limited research has been done in the Italian context. Collaborating once again with Professor Bagdadli, Professor Roberson has begun a project to examine job seekers’ perceptions of organizational selection systems, which mirrors similar studies done in Singapore and France. In addition, they have started a project with Great Place to Work (GPTW) Institute Italia, which is interested in assessing whether there are financial benefits to appearing on the organization’s “Best Companies to Work For” list. Although similar studies have been done in the American context, Professors Roberson and Bagdadli are extending prior research by examining company practices and employee responses to the GPTW survey to determine what dimensions of an organization’s climate enhance firm financial performance. The study is currently in the data collection phase.

Boconni CampusIn addition to her research endeavors, Professor Roberson delivered guest lectures on Organizational Justice and Conflict Management to Master’s level Bocconi students. Professor Roberson also took that opportunity to survey the 100+ students and gather data on their perceptions as job seekers. When it came time to return to Cornell, Professor Roberson wanted to continue her relationship with the faculty at Bocconi. Therefore, starting in Summer 2007, the HR Studies faculty in Cornell’s School of ILR will be collaborating with SDA Bocconi’s School of Management faculty on its Executive Masters in HR program. Esade Business School in Spain will also contribute. The program invites executive-level HR professionals from around the world to join a two-year program to take place on the Bocconi and ESADE campuses.

For more on Professor Roberson’s experience in Italy see CAHRS Spectrum’s July-August issue.

- Dina Gabriel

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