Dr James Connor is an academic with the School of Business, UNSW Canberra.
Professional Experience and Research Interests
Current Research Projects
Dr James Connor has three research areas all informed by his sociological training and perspective that fundamentally we are creatures of social interaction. The view that we interact and exist through our emotional life informs all his research into emotions, sport and project management.
Feelings, passion and emotion drive social action and allow us to interact with each other. Our emotional life is also crucial to how we make decisions. The emotion that most fascinates Dr Connor is loyalty, and how and why we are loyal to family, friends, team and nation. His key work in this area is The Sociology of Loyalty (Springer, 2007).
His current research on loyalty is focused on military loyalty, specifically how emotions bind soldiers together in war. The problem of small unit cohesion is an enduring one for militaries (and any organisation needing high performing small teams) and he is exploring the experiences of former Australian soldiers with the assistance of an Early Career Researcher Grant. His most recent work on military loyalty is "Military Loyalty: A functional vice?" and in public commentary on Crikey.
His work on sport is from a critical Marxist perspective with a view to highlighting the inequities, complexity and lived reality of sporting experience. He argues that elite sport tends to use the majority of athletes like factory fodder in "The Athlete as Widget: How exploitation explains elite sport." Dr Connor, with colleagues (Dr Mazanov, Dr Huybers & Dr McEwen) has also published on sport marketing and scandals, drug use (here and here) , policy and sport development.
His current work on sport is funded via the World Anti-Doping Agency and investigates the Goldman dilemma in more detail (with Dr Mazanov and Dr Wolff). He also is continuing to investigate scandal in the rugby league and the 'spirit' of Olympic sport. Dr Connor (with Dr Mazanov and Prof Lyons) has also developed materials on over-training for Sports Medicine Australia and their Cleanedge program.
- Project Management
Dr Connor's perspective on project, program and portfolio management is that they are the new 'Taylorism' a means of organising work in a vain attempt to control the human factor. His research (with Dr Owen and Dr Linger) is focused on emotional life in a project team and policy via projects. This research is funded via a research agreement with an Australian Federal Government Agency where they are engaged in action research with a major change program and also via a PMI research grant. Examples of his work are here and here.
- Project Management
I currently have capacity to supervise PhD students. UNSW Canberra is offering scholarships of $35,000 (AUD) for PhD students who achieved H1 /High Distinction in their UG program and/or have completed a Masters by Research. If you are interested, contact me.
Dr Connor has presented key note speeches for the Norwegian Security Agency and Australian Defence Force on loyalty, emotion and culture. He is available (and experienced) for media interviews on any of the areas above. He currently supervises a number of HDR students working on military loyalty (Elisha Kropp), military team work and formation (Ray Hingst) and portfolio management (Kumaran Muragan). His expertise on military culture has resulted in the ARC Discovery Program funding for a project on "Institutional Abuse & Organisational Reform in the Australian Defence Force" (DP180100114)