Byron Lee, MA

Assistant Professor, School of Business, Renmin University, China

Byron graduated with a PhD in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Toronto. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Management and Economics from the University of Toronto and a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Waterloo. His research focus is primarily in the area of compensation where he examines how incentives in both North America and China lead to different motivations for employees and management. He also examines money as a psychological motivator and how different forms of psychological motivation leads to varying levels of performance for employees. Dr. Lee's research has been published in top journals such as Industrial Relations, Industrial and Labor Relations Review and the Journal of Labor Research. His teaching interests lie mainly in the area of Human Resource Management, Compensation and Behavioural Economics. Previous to his academic career, Byron worked for over six years in the public and private sector in Canada as an economist.

What interests and goals led you to graduate studies in economics?

I was always interested in the rigour provided by economics and the questions that arose from my study of management and economics in undergrad. I knew that graduate studies in economics would provide me with further skills and knowledge to begin to understand how to analyze and think about economic problems and solutions that can further benefit society.

How has your graduate training in economics impacted your career path?

My graduate training in economics has provided me with a foundation for analysing problems with a variety of skills and from a critical viewpoint. It has provided the basics for further doctoral studies and it has allowed me to further develop an appreciation for the technical skills and analytical skills that are needed in order to complete high-quality research. In addition, it has given me a basis for teaching my students how to analyze problems with the appropriate critical approach.

What aspect of Waterloo's economics graduate program did you find most useful in terms of your career?

The enthusiasm of the faculty for their research was infectious and it allowed me to also understand and become excited about doing research as a career path. The faculty at Waterloo really helped to develop my research skills and to understand the importance of basing policy decisions on sound research.

Any other comments about the Department? Would you recommend it as a destination for graduate education? If so, why?

I believe that my short time at Waterloo has helped build a foundation to prepare me for my career as a professor. I definitely recommend Waterloo for graduate education due to the high quality faculty at this institution and the time that they spend developing and nurturing their students for whatever career path they may choose in the future.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo