Roads to Research: Doctor of Social Sciences Students

12:00PM to 1:00PM March 9, 2016
Add to Calendar
Grant Quarterdeck
Roads to Research: Doctor of Social Sciences Students

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 - Katrina Connors - Indigenous Participation in Environmental Decision-Making                  

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. 


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.

Katrina Connors: Indigenous Participation in Environmental Decision-Making

Section 35 of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982 clearly affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights to land and water resources. The government of Canada has a fiduciary obligation to consult with Aboriginal communities whose traditional lands are subject to industrial development. The current environmental assessment process for reviewing industrial, commercial and public infrastructure projects provide limited opportunities for First Nations to meaningfully engage in the review of industrial projects. Recent changes to key pieces of federal environmental legislation have further reduced opportunities for First Nations participation in natural resource planning. First Nations living in the Skeena watershed in northern British Columbia, Canada are demanding a more participatory approach to decision-making for large-scale industrial development projects. Throughout Canada, there is increasing support for decision-making that is decentralized, community oriented and holistic in its view of the environment. Using the Skeena watershed as a case study, my research will explore options for increasing First Nations participation in environmental decision-making and moving towards a resource management framework that is more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

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.