“Sophisticated technologies have increased our opportunities to connect even as they have presented new challenges in how we communicate without the benefit of face-to-face interaction.”
Dr. Martine Durier-Copp, in an May 2017 interview with CEGE Connection maintained that research is ongoing and must be integrated within our day-to-day interaction and activities. Research goes beyond academic walls for it is the foundation of knowledge exchange and is a continual process.
Research is a core strength of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management.
“To be engaged, today’s citizen needs to be able to tease out fact from fiction. Notably, it is not just about obtaining information and being able to cite the sources of one’s ideas but being able to digest information, think critically, and participate in dialogue among others with different perspectives.”
CEGE Connection recently learned that Dr. Martine Durier-Copp, Dr. Joyline Makani, Dr. Binod Sundararajan, Dr. Stéphane Mechoulan and Research Assistants, Alison Brown and Conor Falvey ( aka the SSHRC Partnership Engage Team) have been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant to explore virtual teams, e-leadership within the context of the public sector. Dr. Durier-Copp notes, “This is an exciting research initiative that will enhance our understanding of how project teams and working groups collaborate within a virtual environment.”
The professional landscape in the Canadian public service is increasingly dominated by project teams and working groups which collaborate virtually to address complex problems. Not constrained by traditional geographic and time boundaries, virtual teams like these can offer many advantages, if effectively managed: improved efficiency, leveraged expertise, increased ingenuity and innovation, and reduced costs. However, literature demonstrates that most virtual teams are established without planning or training, are not working to their full potential, and are leading to unsatisfactory outcomes and sometimes even conflict
In the coming months, the SSHRC Partnership Engage Team will develop, deliver, and assess the value and impact of a set of guidelines and best practices intended to enhance the management and leadership of virtual teams within the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Guidelines and training will be designed to meet the specific needs of virtual teams within the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, including cultivating trust, keeping employees engaged, leveraging technology to overcome communication barriers, aligning organizational goals, and clarifying roles, objectives, and expectations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will benefit from finalized actionable guidelines that will enable enhanced productivity and innovation of its virtual teams and contribute to overall strengthened organizational performance and service to Canadians.