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Faculty of Business Administration to host prestigious academic conference

By Moira Finn

Shifts in demographics, global trade and technology have changed labour markets and altered workplaces as we know them.

Now, a major academic conference, hosted by the Faculty of Business Administration, aims to get a better understanding of the impact of these changes and their significance for organizations and individuals.

Themed Exploring the New World of Work, the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) 2012 conference will run June 9-12 at the St. John's Convention Centre in St. John's, bringing together more than 500 academics, researchers, educators and managers in the public and private sectors, from across the country and around the world.

With the goal of advancing the research and practice of management from a global perspective, the conference will explore emerging organizational challenges and potential solutions in a host of areas, ranging from healthcare management to technology and innovation and from strategy to social responsibility.

Among those lending insight and perspective on management practices is Rick Hillier, Memorial's chancellor and Canada's former chief of defence staff, who will deliver the conference's keynote address, Leadership in the School of Hardknocks, at the Sunday luncheon.

Conference chair and business faculty professor, Dr. Travor Brown, who spearheaded efforts to bring the annual conference to St. John's, said the theme of exploration was chosen to underscore Newfoundland and Labrador's heritage of discovery and to highlight that, while change may bring obstacles, it also offers up new opportunities.

"This province is a strong example of how it is possible to embrace change and respect tradition," Dr. Brown said, adding that the conference offers numerous sector and area-specific sessions that make it relevant to different academic disciplines outside of business, including sociology, political science, psychology, education and more.

"Between the setting and the quality of the program and presentations, ASAC 2012 promises to be a very interesting and informative event indeed," he said.
In addition to scholarly proceedings, delegates will have the opportunity to sample Newfoundland culture and hospitality through a number of social events, including a Newfoundland kitchen party.

Dr. Celeste Brotheridge, ASAC president and a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said many delegates are eager to get back to St. John's, where the annual conference was last held in 1997.

"People remember the beauty and hospitality of the community," she said. "Memorial University has demonstrated a strong commitment to the conference, so I know that ASAC 2012 will be a great success as well."

Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, said Dr. Brown's work in bringing the ASAC 2012 conference back to St. John's benefits the faculty, the university and the community.

"Sharing research, knowledge and new ideas is fundamental to what we do," said Dr. Zerbe. "Travor has shown great leadership and an admirable commitment to scholarship. His work in making ASAC 2012 a reality is another example of his dedication."

ASAC 2012 takes place Saturday, June 9, to Tuesday, June 12, at the St. John's
Convention Centre. More information on the conference is available at