Queen's University IRC

Research Briefs – April 2019

Queen's University IRC - Research Briefs

   Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners

Apr 2019   



In This Issue…

  1. Are You in a Communication Rut? Shift the Pattern, Get Different Results
  2. Designing for Collaboration
  3. Flashback Feature:
    Managing the Future: Why Some Ontario Municipalities Are Not Engaging in Succession Planning
   Queen's University Campus 

Are You in a Communication Rut?
Shift the Pattern, Get Different Results

Kate Sikerbol and Romi Bouchard, 2019

Imagine that you are in a conversation when you suddenly realize that you have had this exact same disagreement with a co-worker, or a family member, many times before. In the moment, you can predict what you will say and do and what the other person will too. You feel compelled to act in a certain way, even when you know that what you will say or do next is unwise or unproductive. You cannot seem to help yourself. Or the other person! After the conversation has gone from bad to worse, you may find yourself attributing it to the other person’s incompetence, character flaws, or bad motive. You end up feeling frustrated and angry about how you and the other person did it again. Furthermore, you may be oblivious to how your behavior contributed to the undesirable behavior of the other person. You’ve just had an URP (unwanted repetitive patterns) moment.

It can feel embarrassing to admit that despite our best intentions, our communications with others do not go the way we intended and that we could make better choices in the moment. Leaders and managers can learn to address some of these unwanted, repetitive, and intractable dynamics and shift the pattern to what they want instead.

>> Download Article

Designing for Collaboration
Brenda Barker Scott, Queen's IRC Facilitator, 2014

Collaboration is emerging as a core organizational competence, and indeed an imperative, in today's interconnected work context. Despite the need, collaborative results often fall short of the intended ideals. A large body of research suggests that while collaboration may be necessary, it is not easy (Bryson, Crosby & Stone, Rhoten, 2003; 2006; Suddaby, Hardy, & Huy, 2011). Failed collaborative efforts have led academics to point to the many sources of collaborative inertia; organizational elements that act as barriers to collaboration. What if, instead of attempting to overcome elements of inertia, we shift our efforts to designing holistic systems that enable collaboration? Below, I argue that collaboration is a design challenge. To enable more fruitful collaboration in our organizations, we need to design for it.

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Flashback Feature:
Managing the Future: Why Some Ontario Municipalities Are Not Engaging in Succession Planning
Jessie Carson, 2009

Succession planning is important today for municipalities because Canada faces a slower growing labour force and an aging workforce, particularly in the public sector. As well, municipalities have new and expanded responsibilities. This puts pressure on their need to spend in an environment in which citizens are resentful about paying taxes. Succession planning will therefore help municipalities meet and prepare for these challenges.

This report assesses why some Ontario municipalities choose not to engage in succession planning initiatives. In particular, it analyzes and compares data from municipalities on the degree to which municipalities in Ontario are addressing the challenge of identifying their next top executives/senior management. There is very little empirical research on succession planning in the local government setting. Particularly, there is no research regarding whether Ontario municipalities are currently engaging in succession planning initiatives focused on top executives and senior management.

>> Download Article



Upcoming Programs

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Apr 7-12, 2019

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Apr 26, 2019

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Apr 30-May 2, 2019

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May 14-16, 2019

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