Workshop Session
25 September 2019 | 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm | Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Associate Professor Dr. Gina Poncini, 
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi

Gina Poncini, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, in the College of Arts and Science at Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates, where she teaches Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering Design, and Corporate Leadership. Prior to this, she was Associate Professor of Business Communications in the College of Business at Zayed University (UAE), and tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods, University of Milan, Italy. She also taught Organizational Communication in Its Social Context at New York University in Florence, Italy, and communication courses and seminars at the University of Lugano, Switzerland. Her research interests focus on innovation and meetings; community engagement, sports events and sports tourism; ethnographic methods; multidisciplinary approaches; and discourse and communication. She served 2 four-year elected terms as Association for Business Communication (ABC) Vice President Europe and member of the Board of Directors.

Workshop title:

Researching Business Communication and Professional Practice: Innovation, Collaboration and Creativity

This workshop focuses on ways to develop and conduct research on business communication and professional practice amidst current trends to foster innovation, collaboration and creativity in businesses and other organizations.

Workshop participants will engage in interactive activities on themes such as mixed methods, ethnographic techniques, ways to develop a more reflective approach to qualitative interviews, interdisciplinary collaboration, and research ethics. We will also incorporate selected themes emerging during the workshop.

In particular, workshop participants will draw on the stages and tools of design thinking to develop creative approaches to problem-solving, for example ways to identify and reframe problems in the research process and generate a range of potential innovative solutions. We will also review some of the ways design thinking has been incorporated into professional practice and research; for example, cases of how businesses have adopted its ethnographic approach for a particular project and how design thinking approaches were then used to make sense of the qualitative data obtained.

Other themes incorporated in discussions and interactive activities include meeting spaces and the physical environment of professional practice, drawing on concepts and insights presented in Doorley & Wittholft (2012) and relating them to collaboration, different configurations of interaction, and professional practice, with a view to fostering innovation, engagement and creative collaboration in professional contexts.

The workshop welcomes researchers at different stages of their research careers, work in progress, and collaborative endeavors.



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Adams, R.S., Daly, S.R., Mann, L.M., & Dall’Alba, G. (2011). Being a professional: Three lenses into design thinking, acting, and being. Design Studies 32, 588-607.

Cravens, A. E., Ulibarri, N., Cornelius, M., Royalty, A., & Nabergoj, A. S. (2014). Reflecting, iterating, and tolerating ambiguity: Highlighting the creative process of scientific and scholarly research for doctoral education. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 9, 229-247. Retrieved from http://ijds.org/Volume9/IJDSv9p229-247Cravens0637.pdf

Doorley, S., & Witthoft, S. (2012). Make space: How to set the stage for creative collaboration. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Sarangi, S. & Candlin, C. N. (2010). Editorial Applied Linguistics and professional practice:
Mapping a future agenda. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 7, 1, 1-9.

Ulibarri, N., Cravens, A. E., Cornelius, M., Royalty, A., & Nabergoj, A. S. (2014). Research as design: Developing creative confidence in doctoral students through design thinking. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 9, 249-270. Retrieved from http://ijds.org/Volume9/IJDSv9p249-270Ulibarri0676.pdf

Yates, P. (2018). Insights: Design Thinking: Can it enhance nursing research? Cancer Nursing, 41, 4, 344-345.