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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Katharine McGowan, Latasha Calf Robe, Laura Allan, Elinor Flora Bray-Collins, Mathieu Couture, Sarah Croft, Antonio Daling, Amy Farahbakhsh, Susan Grossman, Sara Hassan, Paul Heidebrecht, Nicole Helwig, Michelle Jackett and Jessica Machado

The purpose of this paper is to explore multiple Canadian educators' experiences with the Map the System (MTS) competition, designed to foster and grow systems thinking…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore multiple Canadian educators' experiences with the Map the System (MTS) competition, designed to foster and grow systems thinking capacity among students exploring complex questions. The challenge has been an opportunity for social innovation programs (from the nascent to the established) across Canadian post-secondaries to engage both with their own communities and with social innovators internationally, connecting social innovation spaces as part of their third mission. Across the organizations, students valued the interdisciplinary and systems thinking qualities, and organizations benefited from the external competition, there remain questions about organizational engagement in social innovation as a deeply transformative process internally.

Design/methodology/approach

All Canadian post-secondary institutions who participated in the 2020 MTS competition (17) were invited to a digital roundtable to discuss their experiences. Ten were able to participate, representing a range of post-secondaries (including large research institutions, undergraduate-only universities and colleges). To facilitate discussion, participants met to discuss format and topics; for the roundtable itself, participant educators used a google form to capture their experiences. These were summarized, anonymized and redistributed for validation and clarification. To reflect this collaborative approach, all participant educators are listed as authors on this paper, alphabetically after the organizing authors.

Findings

For students participating in MTS, they have built both their interdisciplinary and systems thinking skills, as well as their commitment to achieving meaningful change in their community. But MTS arrived in fertile environments and acted as an accelerant, driving attention, validation and connection. Yet while this might align with post-secondary education’s third mission, educators expressed concerns about sustainability, internal commitment to change and navigating tensions between a challenge approach and collaborative work, and internal work and national competition limitations. This complicates the simple insertion of MTS in a post-secondary’s social innovation-related third mission.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to Canadian post-secondaries participating in MTS, and therefore are not representative of either post-secondaries in Canada, or all the MTS participants although Canada is well represented in the challenge itself. Additionally, while the authors believe their approach to treat all participants as authors, and ensured multiple feedback opportunities in private and collectively, this is a deliberate and potentially controversial move away from a traditional study.

Social implications

More than half of Canadian universities (a subgroup of post-secondaries) had at least one social innovation initiative, but questions have been raised about whether these initiatives are being evaluated internally, or are triggering the kinds of transformative internal work that might be an outcome. Understanding the impact of MTS one example of a social innovation-related initiative can help advance the broader conversation about the place (s) for social innovation in the post-secondary landscape – and where there is still significant work to be done.

Originality/value

As Canada has only participated in MTS for four years, this is the first inter-institution consideration of its related opportunities and obstacles as a vehicle for transformational social innovation. As well, educators talking openly and frankly to educators reinforces the collaborative quality of social innovation across the post-secondary landscape.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Sarah Crofts

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Program, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Abstract

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Program, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

Sarah Crofts

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234

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Program, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Sarah Crofts

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634

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Program, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

Sarah Crofts

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54

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Program, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2009

Sarah Crofts

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332

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Program, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2011

Sarah Crofts

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271

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Program, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

J.M. Barclay and L.J. Scott

The purpose of this paper is to examine the key issues involved in situations within the workplace when an employee goes through gender reassignment, in order to consider…

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5801

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the key issues involved in situations within the workplace when an employee goes through gender reassignment, in order to consider how such situations might be managed more effectively.

Design/methodology/approach

It analyses a case study from a national public sector organisation in the UK where a transsexual person went through male to female gender reassignment. The case was compiled via participant observation and one to one interviews with the key players in the process (managers, human resource staff and colleagues as well as the individual).

Findings

Key issues discussed include the effects on trust and relationships at work, harassment, the role of trade unions, training, and other support. It explores the difficulty of gaining acceptance for a transsexual, and links this to literature on managing diversity and change management.

Research limitations/implications

The case study is in the public sector in the UK, but implications are valid for other organisations.

Practical implications

Makes suggestions for managing transsexual issues for management and for trade unions, whilst being cautious about the extent of acceptance that can be achieved.

Originality/value

Existing literature tends to focus on the transsexual individual's own viewpoint, and guidelines from transgender support groups. This study includes the roles and reactions of all the key people involved within a real organisational case, and offers insights into the issues involved when managing transsexual cases in the workplace.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Reference Reviews, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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