Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Management and Organizational Behaviour


Lazaridis School of Business and Economics

First Advisor

Ivona Hideg

Advisor Role



Paternity leave policies, important tools for promoting gender equality that give men an opportunity to care for their newborn children, are becoming increasingly popular and legislated worldwide. However, there has been little research on how paternity leaves impact men’s careers and the research that exists has been inconclusive. This is problematic because, while men are increasingly being encouraged to take paternity leaves, they fear that such leaves may undermine their careers. Counter to these fears, by integrating the literature on changing norms regarding effective leadership with expectancy violation theory, I suggest that taking a paternity leave can enhance others’ perceptions of men’s communality, which are, in turn, related to positive career outcomes. I tested my hypotheses in four studies in the context of Canadian parental leave policies. In a sample of undergraduate students (Study 1) and employees (Study 2), I found that increased communality perceptions underlie the positive effect of taking a paternity leave (vs. no paternity leave) on perceptions of men’s hireability, reward recommendations, and leadership effectiveness. In Study 3, I found that this positive effect of paternity leaves on perceptions of men’s career outcomes was stronger in a female-dominated position (human resources) than in a male-dominated position (finance). In Study 4, I examined whether the positive effect of paternity leaves in a male-dominated position is stronger when a policy that reserves time for fathers only exists compared to when such a policy does not exist, but did not find support for this. Rather, I found additional evidence for the positive indirect effect of paternity leaves on perceptions of men’s career outcomes via communality perceptions in a male-dominated position, regardless of the existence of a policy that reserves the leave for fathers only. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season