School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

So much cooler online – Meet Addison Maerz

PhD candidate, Smith School of Business      

by Phil Gaudreau, April 2020

Amy Cleaver

You meet someone new. They seem nice. You get along well and spend more time together. Eventually you decide to look them up on social media. And that’s where you start to get the sense that maybe you have a lot less in common with your new friend than you thought.

This might not be a big deal in interpersonal relationships, but what happens when the other person is a co-worker and you will be seeing a lot more of this person in the future?

Addison Maerz, who is completing his PhD in Organizational Behaviour at Smith School of Business, is exploring this question.

“I am really interested in how social media can impact relationships in teams and whether that affects how effective they are at what they do,” he says. “What we know about social media is that it can both bring people together and push them apart by highlighting similarities and differences.”

Addison hopes to continue exploring this topic after he graduates through a research role. He first became interested in what makes teams effective during his undergraduate studies. Organizational behaviour involves understanding the characteristics of the group as a whole, unique relationships between team members, and the attributes of individual team members and how each of these can affect how teams function. Queen’s offered one of the only programs in the country which would allow Addison to further his interest in applying psychology to the workplace.

“What I love about the field of organizational behavior is that it seeks to answer those types of questions in an environment that is relevant to everyone: the workplace,” he says. “I think that the more I understood the how much our work, our behaviors at work, and our colleagues’ behavior impacts our lives and other, the more I thought this field was ‘for me’.”

Addison also greatly appreciated the opportunity to teach during his studies, allowing him to apply his knowledge, connect with students, and see the course material through fresh eyes. He shares that interest in teaching with his wife, who graduated from Queen’s with her education degree since the couple relocated to Kingston from Calgary. The two have enjoyed the active lifestyle in the Kingston area with camping opportunities, and Addison spending time at the hockey rink.

“I love the feel of Kingston as a city,” he says. “If you live around the campus and downtown area it really feels like you live in a historic, laid back small town where everything and everyone is within walking or biking distance.”

To learn more about the PhD in Organizational Behaviour program, visit the Smith School of Business website.