Dr. Natalie Slawinski, Dr. Blair Winsor and Dr. John Schouten


From left: Dr. Natalie Slawinski, Dr. Blair Winsor and Dr. John Schouten

Advisory Board Research Impact Award

The research trio of Dr. Natalie Slawinski, Dr. Blair Winsor and Dr. John Schouten have won the second annual Faculty of Business Administration Advisory Board Research Impact Award for their paper, Managing the paradoxes of place to foster regeneration.

The paper was published in Organization & Environment and co-authored by Dr. Daina Mazutis (University of Ottawa) and Dr. Wendy Smith (University of Delaware).

The award recognizes research impact on teaching, practice or policy. In evaluating applicants, members of the faculty’s advisory board — primarily leaders in the local business community — are asked to consider the extent to which the research could impact their own business practice.

The research team has spent the past several years working with Shorefast on Fogo Island to examine regenerative organizations such as social enterprises, which seek to reverse economic, cultural and environmental damage and renew communities.

Funded by the national Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the team explored the challenges of negotiating the paradoxes of place — that is, managing the tensions between seemingly opposing views between insiders and outsiders, contemporary and traditional customs and technologies, and local and global economies — and developed a framework called PLACE to guide other social enterprises and community organizations.

The PLACE model of community development stands for:

  • Promote community champions (to nurture pride and drive positive action in the community);
  • Link divergent perspectives (such as insider and outsider knowledge or new and traditional skills);
  • Assess existing capacities (such as human, ecological, institutional and infrastructural);
  • Convey compelling narratives (to counter negative and self-defeating discourse); and
  • Engage both/and thinking (to reveal innovative and optimal solutions).

The PLACE model has garnered media attention and the researchers have shared it with community champions and policy makers from across the province, around Atlantic Canada and in Europe.

“More importantly, it has inspired community champions to use the power of place and social enterprise to strengthen their communities,” said Dr. Slawinski.

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