Jenn Cox, BTHM
Communications & Records Assistant
School of Information Management
In an ever-changing and complex world it is no longer sufficient for managers to be knowledgeable in just one field; management requires knowledge in many fields, as well as the ability to apply that knowledge in decision-making processes. This is as crucial in the MLIS program as it is in any other management degree program, perhaps more so as these are the future information professionals who will be responsible for the acquisition, preservation and access of information. Within Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management this type of leading is referred to as “Management without Borders”.
So important is this concept that an interdisciplinary course, Management without Borders (MWB), has been designed specifically for incoming first -year graduate students in the Faculty of Management. This course places management in its broadest context and helps students from diverse disciplines understand the complex social, economic, ecological, political and technological forces shaping 21st century leadership in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Key themes explored in the course include:
- systems thinking;
- collaboration across sectoral boundaries;
- values based approaches to management;
- sustainable economic development; and
- personal/professional development.
The course is team taught by leading faculty from across the Faculty of Management as well as guest speakers. Learning opportunities are delivered in a mix of formats, including lectures, tutorials, readings, multi-disciplinary cases and group discussions.
The course is characterized by a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary team work for effective problem solving in complex environments. Interdisciplinary group projects marry academic learning with real-world experience as MWB student groups are paired with host organizations (private, public or not-for-profit) to investigate key challenges or issues as identified by each company.
Students work with Faculty of Management peers and must learn authentic time management, project management and teamwork skills as part of the group project process. Formal reports containing their findings, conclusions and recommendations are submitted to the host organization and the professor.
The culmination of the group project is the Management Without Borders Conference held at the end of the semester. This conference gives students the opportunity to share their written and oral communications skills as they present posters explaining their group projects to an audience consisting of peers, professors, and professionals as well as members of the host organizations.
This year’s project topics were wide-ranging and inspired an array of posters. Pictured below are two samples of the quality work produced by the students.
The first group, comprised of Christina Castronovo, Stephanie Lewis, Lars Johnston, and Jessica Wright, utilized the Facebook website to present their research on social media marketing for Student Community Services at Dalhousie.
Scott C. Watson, Erin Mutrie, Margo MacGregor, Danny Jacobs, and Daniel Gould were tasked with researching renewable energy sources for lighthouses.
A total of 41 posters were created for this year’s course, some of which were displayed at SIM’s Information Without Borders Conference, held February 11th.
Dalhousie’s MLIS program is unique in offering this type of interdisciplinary course as part of its program. It is a significant addition to the MLIS degree because it differentiates Dal MLIS graduates from their colleagues, and allows them a taste of real-world consulting. The students enjoy the challenge of working with peers and professionals, and leave the course with a sense of satisfaction with what they have accomplished. For more information on Management Without Borders please contact Vivian Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jenny Baechler (email@example.com).