BiographyI came to academia after working the private sector for seventeen years. I was also a volunteer union activist during that time. I have long been interested in how the modern workplace developed. My recent publications have focused on the development of management in post-World War II Canada, and also on management interaction with unions. My first book was a case study of a large composite local union in Canada from 1950 to 1990.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Canadian and American labor and working-class history
History of management in Canada and the United States
My future research projects will continue to focus on interaction between workers and employers, the development of business and management, and workers' movements.
“Caterpillar Hates Unions More Than It Loves Profits”: The Electro-Motive Closure and the Dilemmas of Union Strategy
Published: May 01, 2018 by Labour/Le Travail
Authors: Jason Russell and Stephanie Ross
The February 2012 closure of London, Ontario’s Electro-Motive Diesel by the notoriously anti-union US multinational Caterpillar symbolizes the deep challenges faced by private sector unions in globalized industries. This article explores the implications of changes in corporate structure, investment, and labour-relations strategy in manufacturing that have reduced capital’s dependence on production and increased corporate power over workers.
Published: Dec 10, 2015 by Management and Organizational History
Authors: Jason Russell and Andrew Smith
Ten years after the call for a ‘historic turn,’ this paper builds on recent developments in organizational remembering scholarship to outline a new research agenda for management historians. Traditionally, management historians have focused on understanding what actually took place in the past. The research agenda for management historians proposed in this paper involves a shift in focus to understanding how perceptions of the past influence economic action in the present.
Published: Oct 30, 2015 by Management and Organizational History
Authors: Jason Russell
The development of management as an occupation in post-World War II Canada is a topic that has received some attention from historians, but it is still an aspect of work and labor history that merits closer attention. This article seeks to reveal something about the nature of management work in Canada in the postwar decades by looking at how managers at Bell Canada were trained from the late 1940s to the late 1960s.