* Conference for Collaboration and Innovation
* Department of Organizational Leadership and Supervision

July 16, 2008

Purdue sponsoring conference on teams and innovation in September

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Department of Organizational Leadership and Supervision is holding a conference to help those in the workplace most effectively and creatively work in teams, whether they exist in person or in the virtual world.

The Conference for Collaboration and Innovation will be held Sept. 14-17 in Stewart Center and will feature presentations on subjects including leadership and ethics, virtual teams, building trust in employees, managing conflict and responding to globalization.

Michael Beyerlein, professor and department head, said the conference is a continuation of an annual program he directed for 18 years while a faculty member at the University of North Texas.

"Knowing how to work well in teams is essential in any business environment," he said. "Obviously, collaboration is key, but the problem is that many managers don't know how to achieve it. An absence of teamwork can undermine a company's ability to innovate, but if collaboration is successful, it can result in a considerable interpersonal and financial gain.

"The goal of our conference is to reach out to those in industry so they can learn new ways of organizing and managing people. With technology constantly changing the way we collaborate, and with companies working with partners around the world, this issue is more important than ever."

The conference will feature two keynote speakers. Lorinda Baldwin, director of empowerment and Parker operating protocol at Parker-Hannifin Corp., will talk about "Empowerment and High-Performance Teams at Parker-Hannifin" on Monday, Sept. 15. On Tuesday, Sept. 16, Deborah Dunagan of IBM Corp., who specializes in helping industries and organizations operate successfully in the rapidly changing marketplace, will discuss "Innovation at IBM."

The conference will be broken into three interrelated themes: teams and collaboration; innovation and creativity; and leadership and ethics.

Several sessions will mirror chapters in the book "The Handbook of High Performance Virtual Teams: A Toolkit for Collaborating Across Boundaries" and will be presented by each chapter's author. Beyerlein is one of the editors of the book.

Authors presenting sessions based on the book are:

* Dina Mansour-Cole: "Going Beyond Leadership Style: When and How Do We Lead Change."

* David Braga: "Transformational Leadership Attributes for Virtual Team Leaders."

* Trina Hoefling: "The Three-Fold Path of Expanding Emotional Bandwidth in Virtual Teams."

* Gina Hinrichs: "Sensemaking to Create High-Performing Virtual Teams."

* Chris Francovich: "Trust-Building Online: Virtual Collaboration and the Development of Trust."

* Lori Bradley: "The Technology that Supports Virtual Teams."

* Sue Freedman: "Combating Confusion: Virtual Teams that Cross Borders."

* Mehran Ferdowsian: "Correcting Chronic Decision-Making Problems through Effective Collaboration."

* Mal Conway and Jack Jennings: "VEtiquette: What is the Etiquette of Virtual Teams."

Speakers also are planned from Boeing Co., Sprint Nextel Corp., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Royal Dutch Shell, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and American Electric Power.

Beyerlein said the conference is open to anyone, but will be of special interest to directors, vice presidents, trainers, organizational development specialists, team leaders, union representatives, lean and Six Sigma professionals, plant managers and human resource professionals.

To register or for additional information, go to Questions about content can be sent to, and questions about registration can be directed to Kim Stockment, conference coordinator, at  or (765) 494-7225.

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998,

Source: Michael Beyerlein, (765) 494-0448,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

To the News Service home page