A Canada Research Chair awarded to Wietske Van Osch
June 17, 2021
�Associate Professor Wietske Van Osch is now the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Enterprise Social Media and Digital Collaboration.
The new Chair, announced officially by the federal government on June 15, will begin operations starting on January 1, 2022, for a 5-year period, with a possible 5-year renewal.
As with other research chairs of this type, it will come with a $120,000 annual grant for the first 5 years, and the possibility of another 5-year term at $100,000 per year, for a total of $1.1 million over 10 years.
Improving team collaboration and decision-making
The Chair directed by Professor Van Osch will focus on new systems introduced in the workplace in recent years and how they can provide more insight into how people work, interact and make decisions.
She is particularly interested in enterprise social media (ESM) systems, which have the benefit of combining most of a team’s information exchanges together on one platform. The study of ESMs also makes it possible to obtain unparalleled quantities of data on the structure and dynamics of decision making. The Chair will be able to use these data to build multilevel theoretical models applicable to different situations.
In short, the Chair’s research will create opportunities mainly in 3 fields:
- Determining whether ESMs help in decision making
- Identifying new ways of studying decision making
- Designing recommender systems integrated into ESMs so as to improve the ways in which teams collaborate
“One of the advances expected from the research by this new chair is the design of persuasive systems, i.e. that can encourage users to change their behaviour and correct shortcomings in collaboration or decision making. This is interesting because this kind of system can help to bridge the gap between what actually happens on a team and the optimal situation,” explains Professor Van Osch.
About Wietske Van Osch
Wietske Van Osch has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Technologies since 2019. She holds a PhD in Economics, specializing in information systems, from the University of Amsterdam. Before coming to HEC Montréal, she was a Professor at Michigan State University.
Her main fields of interest in teaching and research are team management, collaboration, innovation and the role of enterprise social media (ESM).
According to the SCOPUS database, Professor Van Osch is the most prolific author on the subject of enterprise social media. She has produced over 50 articles and papers on this topic and many others in leading scientific journals and at conferences.
She was recently ranked as the world’s 5th most-frequently published author in the Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), with 3 articles in the past 3 years.
Over the years she has received many prestigious awards, including:
- National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2018) – for early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as role models in research and education in their organizations
- Highly Commended Paper Award (2017) – from the Emerald Literati Network
- Best Paper Award (2016) – presented at the 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)