MA Interdisciplinary Studies Theses

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    Paramedic Flourishing at Work: A Way Forward
    (2024) Mason, Paige; Harris, Brigitte
    The field of paramedicine is a complex and unique work environment. The paramedic profession is ever evolving to the needs of the community, facing increased challenges compounded by the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care system. Paramedics are exposed to acute and chronic occupational stressors, traditionally studied with a deficit-based approach to well-being. This study utilized an explanatory sequential mixed methods design to explore paramedic well-being with a strengths-based lens. At a single urban paramedic service, this study followed the thread of flourishing through a quantitative survey to semi-structured interviews utilizing narrative inquiry with an appreciative focus. The integration of these findings resulted in the emergence of aggregate dimensions that were interwoven and operating across many contexts simultaneously. There were five important senses associated with paramedic flourishing at work: sense of role identity congruence, sense of self, sense of coherence, sense of opportunity, and sense of connection. Future research utilizing a salutogenic strength-based lens is necessary to further explore the concepts of paramedic well-being to learn from those that are actively thriving and replicate their flourishing.
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    Exploring the Use of Inclusive Teaching Strategies to increase the Effectiveness of Adult Learning Programs related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) within Canadian Public Sector Organisations.
    (2024) Gay, Brian, Roland; Fovet, Frédéric
    This study discusses EDI training in a Canadian context, friction between EDI training and the lived experience of the participants, and identifies elements of inclusive strategies. The research methodology is focused ethnography, and with the theoretical frame of social constructionism this research allows for a focus on the relationship between individuals and a particular aspect of their life i.e. corporate training. Participants were identified through convenience and purposive sampling. The findings presented through the novel use of the lattice framework indicate the following areas of inclusive design are critical: Behaviour Matters, Context Matters and Authenticity Matters. When all three modules are planned for in an inclusive pedagogy approach to EDI training, there is an opportunity to bring environmental influences through the philosophy of experiential learning. This study contributes to organisational behaviour research around leadership, the development of a prioritization matrix, and the development of a model for diverse learning environments. Keywords: Public sector; EDI training; critical pedagogy; measuring EDI training effectiveness; lattice framework; diversity management; bias; identity.
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    Indigenous Knowledge of Human–Polar Bear Coexistence in Churchill, Manitoba
    (2023) Miller, Katharina; Lickers, Michael
    Polar bears (wapusk; nanuq; sas; loor blaan; Ursus maritimus) and people have shared northern coastlines for time immemorial, yet concerns about polar bears coming into communities is increasing. As the Arctic warms and sea ice habitat declines due to climate warming, coexistence strategies between people and polar bears have become increasingly important. This study uses community-based participatory research; coproduction of knowledge; hands back, hands forward; and storytelling to documents Indigenous knowledge of human–polar bear coexistence with Swampy Cree, Sayisi Dene, Caribou Inuit, and Métis people of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. By coupling deductive time-based themes with inductive thematic analysis, this research documents Indigenous knowledge and provides recommendations as future visions for human–polar bear coexistence in Churchill, Manitoba: protect tourism as an important industry and economy, support proactive management and less invasive research, elevate Indigenous knowledge, improve education and safety awareness, and cultivate a culture of coexistence.
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    Working through ambiguity - a phenomenographic study
    (2023-08-09) Atamanchuk, Dawna; MacGillivray, Alice
    Leaders are dealing with unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). This study explores how leaders from multinational firms navigated ambiguity. A phenomenographic approach was used to understand nine respondents’ thinking and feelings regarding ambiguity and their ability to move beyond the situation. This occurred through semi-structured interviews, flashcards, and shared stories. When individuals find themselves in ambiguous situations, they tend to sit in them for a while, until something triggers new behaviours or actions. An outcome space presents varied ways in which individuals can work through ambiguity. It also shows that when they found alignment with their values, they experienced movement, resulting in an awakened life. Findings may be of value to leaders for their own work and for their mentoring of employees. Executive coaches could use findings to formulate new coaching questions. Further research is encouraged to fully understand this phenomenon from cross-cultural and Indigenous perspectives. Keywords: ambiguity, phenomenography, coaching, story-telling, uncertainty, leaders
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    Hyperconnected : brand building in a decentralized world
    (2023-04-25) White, Catherine Jean; Moller, Kim
    Historically, brand building was closely controlled, relying on top-down hierarchies to ensure consistency, and brand communications was delivered through one-way channels i.e., newspaper, radio, and TV. However, digital technology is transforming and fragmenting communications channels, creating a world that is hyperconnected yet decentralized. A world where stakeholders are intrinsically interconnected, and they have shifted from passive audiences to active participants. Consequently, old brand strategies may no longer be relevant as brands now have to contend with a dynamic ecosystem where there has been an increase in transparency and the movement of control from the few to many. With that in mind, this thesis was undertaken to explore the question “what strategies do corporations founded before 2000 need to adopt in order to build a strong brand in a hyperconnected yet decentralized world?" The paper begins with a literature review that starts with a high-level discussion of brand strategy to provide an overview of how organizations have traditionally approached brand building. With the foundation set, the review examines business-to-business (B2B) research, as B2B organizations are used to operating in complex environments to build relationships with multiple stakeholders across decentralized networks. Public relations research is explored next, as the field has a long history of discussing the importance of two-way communications with multiple stakeholders, and the focus on stakeholder theory may provide answers to how companies should communicate across diverse and complex communication networks. To examine the relevance of the literature review, an exploratory qualitative study was undertaken, which involved interviews with ten senior marketing and public relation professionals. These interviews were then compared with the literature to explore the emergent trends and their potential impact on developing brands. The thesis concludes with implications and recommendations for further research.