Monday, October 3
Professor Malavika Sundararajan, “Discerning the Nature of Uncertainties to Lead Sustainably”
Abstract: Disparate definitions and categorizations of uncertainties faced by leaders have led to less than optimum solutions for companies, making it unsustainable to lead effectively. Based on the key variables, definitions, and categorizations of uncertainties across the management literature, a causal model that integrates all the uncertainties is designed. The integrated model provides a clear layout of types, sources, levels, and obstacles related to uncertainties faced by leaders and four possible outcomes that leaders must anticipate. The more precise the leader’s understanding of the uncertainties, the greater their ability to address the gaps in their knowledge and alleviate the uncertainties present in the firm’s innovation processes. Consequently, the integrated model allows leaders to design strategic solutions of more outstanding quality and impact. The paper puts forth three brief sample scenarios and shows how to categorize them based on the nature of uncertainties.
Professors Liat Shklarski & Kathleen Ray, “Back to the Future: How Master of Social Work Students Adjusted to Returning to In- Person Instruction during the COVID-19 Pandemic”
Abstract: The global COVID-19 pandemic impacted everyone’s life. As such, social work students who have traditionally studied the profession predominantly in an in-person learning method had to adjust to remote learning. During the Fall of 2021 and Spring of 2022, many institutions required social work students to return to in-person classes after utilizing remote platforms. Research on the transition of social work students to remote learning has been developed. However, little research examines the impact back to in-person learning during the global pandemic. The current study used a convenience sample of 135 Master Social Work students in the tri-state area in the United States. The study’s goal was to explore the emotional and cognitive impact of transitioning back to in-person classes after they have spent a minimum of one semester studying remotely. Results from the current study reveal the following elements: (1) Students want to be able to choose the way they study (in-person vs. remote); (2) emotional preparation is required for students to better adjust back to in-person learning; (3) students have multiple psycho-social concerns that impact their ability to engage in their social work education. We recommend that institutions be flexible in their delivery of academic content and provide additional support to their students with an emphasis on emotional support to allow them to process the effect of the global pandemic on their social work education.
Thursday, November 3
Professor Sam Mustafa, “Look Who’s Back: Germany’s Cautious Return as a Military Power”
Abstract: In 1990, when the two Germanies reunited, their combined military strength was nearly a million soldiers, by far the strongest army in Europe.
Over the next three decades this strength ebbed away as the federal government kept cutting the budget and the force structure until it rested at about 170,000 – one-sixth its former size. Surrounded by friends and allies for the first time in their history, and with Russia apparently a friendly trade partner, German leaders had no political will for defense. Defects and scandals plagued the institution. Experienced personnel left in droves. By 2020 the Bundeswehr was in such a miserable condition that it couldn’t even equip a parade force for the annual NATO parade in Paris. French President Macron snorted that NATO had become “a joke.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine changed everything. Within two weeks the parliament had voted a massive budget increase and pledged to sustain it over a decade until Germany was once again a significant military power in Europe. Orders for new equipment have gone out. A new recruiting effort has begun.
In years past, Germany’s neighbors would have looked at this with alarm. Today, they seem grateful that Germany is rearming at last. How will a united, democratic Germany get its head around this major taboo against militarism that has dominated its politics for more than a generation?
This topic is part of my larger project on Germany’s 21st century re-thinking of its image, its past and future, and its role in the world.
Professor Fariba Nosrati, “The power of stories for impression management: evidence from a city cultural digital storytelling initiative”
Abstract: This research responds to a growing interest among cultural organizations regarding how to use emerging digital technologies in the communication of cultural content. The need to investigate various aspects of digital transformation for cultural organizations has been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. This presentation explores how city cultural organizations can utilize digital stories for impression management to enhance public perceptions of a city. The aim is to understand how end-users are affected by a city cultural digital storytelling information system and the benefits of using such a system.
An interpretive case study was conducted on a digital storytelling initiative carried out by three cultural organizations in a medium-sized city in Canada. Data collection included 95 interviews with the general public, questionnaires, and the gathering of documents.
Findings suggest that digital storytelling can be a viable tool to share city cultural heritage information and positively affect end-user perceptions of a city. The overall outcome of creating/maintaining a positive favorable impression is shaped through a layered experience of benefits by users. Through digital stories, users are first personally engaged and informed about a city’s cultural heritage, and then they are influenced and inspired positively towards the city. Further, factors, such as leisure learning, cultural heritage information, and cultural organizations situate this context of use.