People at ILR

John McCarthy
people / faculty

John McCarthy

Associate Professor
Global Labor and Work (GLW)


John McCarthy received his PhD from the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University. Prior to joining Cornell’s ILR School, he was a Visiting Doctoral Student and the Northrop Grumman Research Fellow at The Wharton School and a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Teaching Statement

I believe teaching is one of the most powerful ways we have to improve business and society writ large. Teaching creates the foundation for the future of the field and ensures that contemporary workplace issues are correctly understood and applied. I believe learning and comprehension are facilitated through the practical application of concepts and principles whenever possible. Thus, I make extensive use of practical assignments, case studies, simulation exercises, and papers as methods of fostering a deep understanding and integration of subject matter. I also believe that it is essential for students to understand the relevance of course material to their future. I instill this understanding by presenting examples from real organizations, publicized events, or my research efforts which link to concepts and topics covered in the course. As I also believe that students can learn from the knowledge and perspectives of other students, and that I can learn from students during the process of instruction. Therefore, I try to encourage students to present their (potentially conflicting) points of view and to make meaningful contributions to class discussions. As evidence of my passion for teaching, I have earned consistently high teaching ratings and was recognized by Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity for my excellence and passion in the classroom..

Research Statement

Undertaken in the context of U.S. public schools, one of my primary research streams focuses on how empowering workplace institutions, including labor-management partnerships, affect outcomes such as employee well-being, turnover, and performance. I’m particularly interested in how empowering institutions affect these outcomes by transforming the nature of workplace relationships for different stakeholders, including union leaders (McCarthy, 2019) and frontline staff (Rubinstein & McCarthy, 2016). A second, related research stream critically evaluates core theoretical assumptions regarding the nature of social capital in the context of the modern economy, including the prevailing assumption that relationship stability is essential for supporting worker mobilization (Heckscher and McCarthy, 2014) and employee well-being (McCarthy and Levin, forthcoming 2019). My research appears or is forthcoming in leading peer-reviewed journals, including ILR Review, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations. My scholarship has also been cited by two Supreme Court cases, namely Friedrichs v. California Teachers Ass'n (2015) and Janus v. AFSCME (2018)


Journal Articles

Professional Activities

  • The Fleeing US Educator Workforce: Causes and Solutions. Presented to Labor and Employment Research Association. Minneapolis, MN. 2016.