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Performance Anxiety


Groundbreaking research on workplace anxiety earned Management Professor Julie McCarthy (pictured right) a prestigious distinction in 2009: the UTSC Wynne and Beryl Plumptre Faculty Research Fellowship. McCarthy’s award-winning submission, based on her work with Canadian police services, proposes an in-depth investigation of social and performance anxiety in work environments.

(The fellowship is named for a pair of highly regarded Canadian economists; Wynne Plumptre was also Principal of the Scarborough campus from 1965 to 1972.)

An expert in organizational behaviour, Professor McCarthy hopes to better understand how worries over the hiring process, recruiting interviews, annual reviews and other milestones of career development affect performance from the employee’s point of view. Her program of research includes recommended strategies and policies aimed at helping employees and employers respond more effectively to anxiety issues.

On the UTSC Management faculty since 2002, McCarthy pursues a wide range of research subjects, including hiring and personnel selection, performance measurement, personality issues in the workplace and work-life balance.

Her academic interests are reflected in what she calls a “very student-centred” approach to teaching. While encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving skills, she also understands the daunting stresses that students face: “I am particularly sensitive to how students manage anxiety. Many come to see me, and we’ll talk about strategies to help them find balance. It’s very rewarding to feel I’ve helped.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough