The collaboration and the sharing of knowledge in local innovation systems, networks or clusters
The first research axis gathers works on the topic of local innovation systems, business networks and clusters, and the collaboration among firms; among other dimensions, research projects are underway on the issue of proximity (organizational, relational or geographical in particular) as the factor that can promote collaboration and the sharing of knowledge.
Professor Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay participates in the Canadian research network named Innovation Systems Research Network. The research is part of the major initiatives Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the network is directed by professor D. Wolfe of Toronto University. Professor Tremblay , in collaboration with another professor of the institution, Pr. Denis Robichaud, has undertaken a research on local innovation systems in the sector of information technologies (IT) and multimedia. Along with two colleagues from University of Québec in Montreal (UQAM), she has also undertaken research on the economic and industrial reconversion of Montreal ; the research has been financed since 1996 by three SSHRC grants and one Québec FQRSC grant and the team works under the name of Collective research team on the economic, social and territorial innovations (Collectif de recherche sur les innovations économiques, sociales et territoriales -CRIEST). The research concerns the re-conversion of urban territories to knowledge economies and the role of technological and social innovations within this context. Many case studies and publications have been produced over the years (see bibliography under Fontan, Klein and Tremblay). In the research still in progress, Professor Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay seeks to highlight the role of the collaboration and the sharing of knowledge in the development of technological, social innovations or of products as well as the role of organizational or territorial proximity in the collaboration and the sharing of information and knowledge. The theories relating to innovating “milieux”, clusters, local innovation systems, among others, are analyzed by the research team.
About ten professors of the Télé-université are also interested in the communities of practice or in the collective intelligent learning and, along with Richard Hotte, Olga Marino, Mario Poirier and Denis Robichaud, Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay leads a new research on learning and training in the sectors of commerce, tourism and hotels; the research is financed by Emploi-Québec (the Québec Employment Department).
Here are some questions that the researchers will look into within this axis of research:
Collaboration and learning in various contexts of organizational and technological change within organizations
The second axis affects various dimensions related to the organization of work as well as the development and the sharing of knowledge in the knowledge economy. It is interested in the collaboration and the sharing of knowledge in the context of the new work and employment forms such as telework, self-employed using IT devices, new nomadic careers, team work or again communities of practice within organizations, and communities based on computer networks. Some research has been done on the issue of the knowledge economy and the business-education collaborations (SSHRC education-training network, 1996-2001; SSHRC, 1997-2000; strategic SSHRC on the knowledge economy, 2000-2003 with the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie - CIRST), on the collaboration within sectoral committees (SSHRC, 1998-2001), on the collaboration and the development of competences in the multimedia sector (Tele-learning, 2000-2003), on research networks as a community of practice (Tele-learning, 2000-2002).
Another research in which professor Tremblay takes part is done in collaboration with the Francophone research center on the computerization of organizations (Centre francophone pour l’informatisation des organisations : CEFRIO, 2001-2003). It is interested in issues of virtual communities of practice, the preconditions for development, the challenges, the impacts of these communities for individuals and organizations. based on the virtual practitioners communities of about twenty organizations. A research on tele-work (its advantages, disadvantages, challenges and impacts) was also completed in collaboration with the CEFRIO (1999-2001). Many publications have resulted from this research (see: www.cefrio.qc.ca and the bibliography at the end of this presentation)
The Bell-Téluq-Enap Chair on technology and work organization (www.teluq.uquebec.ca/chairebell), created in 2001 and co-directed by Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay (Téluq) and Yves-Chantal Gagnon (Enap), will also be associated with some of the works of Canada Research Chair, since it has interest in similar issues.
Within this axis, the researchers will discuss the following questions:
The articulation between personal life and professional life or work-life balance
The third research axis is centered on the articulation between personal life and professional life, which some call work-life balance, this being seen as a major element of the socio-organizational challenges of the knowledge economy.
Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay has received several grants (SSHRC, FQRSC, French Ministry of Labour - DARES) on the topic and published extensively on this issue. Her research results have been presented in many scientific conferences and publications, and are also used extensively in government circles and ministries of Labour and Family in Québec, Canada and France.
For almost two decades, professor Tremblay has been at the forefront of research on working time and social times, as well as work-life balance. The research lead to identifying the difficulties and the aspirations of parents in employment, while identifying the measures offered by organizations for the improvement of the articulation between professional life and personal life. New forms of organization of work such as tele-work and self-employed work raise also the question of their effect on the organization of personal life and possible interference with family life. Ongoing research will look into various forms of employment and work-family articulation, and address the issue of their impact on equity in employment for men and women.
Some of the questions addressed under this research theme are the following: