Current Students Info

Roads to Research 2: Doc Soc Sci students

February 24, 2016
Source: Crossroads

The Office of Research Services is pleased to invite you to the second in a series of Roads to Research  presentations by the Doctor of Social Sciences program at RRU on Wednesday, March 9 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Quarterdeck.

The event will include the following presentations:

12:00 - 12:15 - Adrianne Lickers - TBA                    

12:15 - 12:30 - Amita Opal Gill - Values Based Business Leadership - A Case Study of Senior Business Leaders and Values Based Leadership                           

12:30 - 12:45 - Maria Anderson - From Static to Dynamic: How Information Technology Organizations Evolve to Foster Innovation, Productvity, and Thriving                       

12:45 - 1:00   - Chris O'Neil - Improving Social Impact Assessment for Oil Sands Development in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta                     

All are welcome to attend the presentations, including the public. Coffee and cookies will be served. Please bring your lunch.

We hope you will join us for this intimate look at the ground breaking work of our RRU Doctorate in Social Sciences students on March 9. 

Abstracts:

Amita Opal GillValues Based Business Leadership - A Case Study of Senior Business Leaders and Values Based Leadership

Business leaders today are under increasing pressure to gain trust from stakeholders-- customers, employees, and society.  In particular, the financial services industry is facing scrutiny around values due to recent scandals.  Financial Services business leaders especially are expected to enable their organizations to develop a values oriented culture. Some leaders have been able to create businesses known for doing “good” by all of their stakeholders and, in fact, have outperformed large conventional corporations with reputations of only focusing on the bottom line. Despite the literature and studies emphasizing the benefits for corporations to adopt values based cultures, many leaders have not yet chosen to practice values based leadership and, as a result, the corporations they led have not developed values-driven cultures.  Using Case Study methodology, I propose to explore the process leaders have followed to enable their organizations to evolve a values focused culture.  My goal will be to illustrate the critical qualities and mindsets of leaders needed for leaders of values-driven organizations with a view to supporting values based leadership in the financial industry.

Maria AndersonFrom Static to Dynamic: How Information Technology Organizations Evolve to Foster Innovation, Productvity, and Thriving

Information Technology (IT) organizations are complex subsystems within larger organizational systems. IT professionals must manage constant change and technology advancement; yet they may be employed by traditional, or conservative, organizations with static processes. In our knowledge economy, deconstructing and understanding what comprises a static versus a dynamic IT organization is challenging. There are more questions than answers as many factors must be considered such as the role of leadership, organizational culture and values alignment, levels of employee engagement and satisfaction, innovation, creativity, productivity, risk tolerance, and personal responsibility, among others. This dissertation proposal suggests that there is organizational and societal value in exploring how IT organizations evolve from being static to dynamic by fostering innovation, productivity, and thriving. In a global world where technology has become highly commoditized, if IT is to remain relevant in the near future, it is imperative that this transformation is explored, understood, and measurable in order to assist IT organizations and professionals to continue contributing to their profession and organizations in innovative ways. The primary research question for this dissertation proposal is: how can IT organizations evolve to become dynamic organizations that foster innovation, productivity, and thriving? The following subquestions will assist in exploring the transformational process of IT organizations: 1. What defines a dynamic versus a static IT organization? 2. What systems, processes, and leadership capabilities must co-exist to create dynamic IT organizations? 3. What must change in order to encourage IT organizations to become dynamic, thereby fostering innovation, productivity, and thriving?                  

Chris O'NeilImproving Social Impact Assessment for Oil Sands Development in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta

Mining and oil and gas development may have a significant impact on the livelihoods of Aboriginal communities.  Social Impact Assessment (SIA) processes are designed to mitigate adverse effects and enhance positive effects.  Canadian Aboriginal communities’ express frustration with current SIA processes and view them as ineffective and neglectful of cumulative effects.  Commonly, resource developers argue project accountabilities are limited to management of effects that relate directly to their project(s).  The resulting tension is a gap that threatens the social wellbeing of Canadian Aboriginal communities and the sustainability of natural resource extraction projects.  Process improvements may provide an opportunity to bridge this gap.  My research examines ways in which SIA processes may be improved to better manage cumulative social effects on Aboriginal communities.  Oil sands development in Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo will be used as a case study.  This five-minute presentation will highlight the research objectives and the methodology which will be used to complete the research.