UMass Amherst Professor Marta Calas Receives Fulbright Award to Conduct Research in Finland

AMHERST, Mass. - Marta B. Calas, associate professor of management at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, has received a Fulbright Scholar grant to spend four months conducting research in Finland during the spring of 2000. Calas, who is currently acting chairwoman of the UMass women’s studies program, will spend this time at Abo Akademi in Turku, Finland, where she will address issues of gender, organizational theory, and diversity.

The Fulbright award to Calas is one of two in the department of management this year. Doctoral student Paul F. Donnelly, an Irish student who is a teaching assistant to Calas, has also been awarded a Fulbright grant which will provide him with additional funding for his doctoral studies. In both cases the amount of the grant covers travel, living, and research expenses for the recipient for the specified time period.

Calas says she will spend her time in Finland examining the issues of gender and organization - in particular the underlying assumptions behind organization theories that sustain organizations in particular ways. "Finland is a pretty advanced society when it comes to issues of gender and organization," Calas says. "They have very liberal policies on parental leave and a strong culture built around child care." Those policies are now being tested, in part because Finland has joined the European Union and is under pressure to bring its social policies closer into alignment with those of other members.

Calas says her long-term research combines feminist theory with organizational theory. "It’s not just about women; it’s about how and why organizations are designed the way they are, and the values that sustain these organizational ideas," Calas says. "Whose values are they, after all?" She previously conducted research in Finland in 1993. This is the second Fulbright Scholar grant Calas has received. The first was in 1980 to teach and conduct research in Central America for a year.

Donnelly earned two degrees from Trinity College in Dublin, a bachelor’s in languages (Spanish and French), and master’s of business administration. He has just finished the second year of his doctoral program at UMass and says that receiving the Fulbright award is very encouraging at this stage of his career. His research is in the area of organizational studies, culture studies, and communications. Donnelly is a Dublin native and will return to work in Ireland when his doctorate is completed.