Research Topics:

  • Organizational safety
  • High-risk organizations
  • Leadership theories
  • Organization theories
  • Complexity theory
  • Organizational behaviour
  • Symbolic management
  • Organizational change


  • PhD (Colorado)
  • MA (Purdue)
  • BA (Central Arkansas)

Research Interests

Professor Barker’s research interests include complex organizational behaviour, ethics and strategy with a particular focus on leadership, safety, change management and stakeholder engagement.

Selected Awards & Honours

  • 2014  Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Establishment Grant for $113,829 to study the reporting of medication incidents in Nova Scotia pharmacies
  • 2014  Best Paper of the Year Award, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences
  • 2012  Highly Commended Paper Award, Sustainability, Accounting, Management, and Policy Journaland the Literati Network Awards for Excellence
  • 2010  Fredric M. Jablin Outstanding Contributions to Organizational Communication, given annually by the International Communication Association
  • 2006-2012  Editor in Chief, Management Communication Quarterly

Selected Publications

  • Rhetorical profiling: Modes of meaning generation in organizational topoi Barker, J.R., Gilmore, S.E. & C.H.J. Gilson, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences 30(4), 280-291 (2013)
  • A tropological theory of institutionalization  Sillince, J.A.A. & J.R. Barker  Organization Studies33(1), 7-38  (2012)
  • Working under intensive surveillance: When does ‘measuring everything that moves’ become intolerable? Sewell, G., J.R. Barker & D. Nyberg  Human Relations 65(2), 189-215  (2012)
  • Committed to a failing strategy: Celebrity CEO, intermediaries and stakeholders in a co-created drama  Sinha, P.N., K. Inkson & J.R. Barker  Organization Studies 33(2), 223-245  (2012)
  • Science and technology development and the depoliticization of the public space: The case of socially and culturally sustainable biotechnology in New Zealand  Macdonald, L.R., R.J. Varey & J.R. Barker  Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 2(1), 8-26  (2011)

Current Teaching

  • BUSI 6313 Organizational Change
  • BUSI 6326 Management Skills Development
  • BUSI 6350 Authentic Leadership
  • COMM 3310 Reflections on Management