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ILR Student Blog

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Posts, stories, and events from and for ILR students.

Phoebe Strom Travels to Ireland

portrait of Phoebe Strom

Thanks to a grant from the ILR International Travel Grant Program, I travelled to Dublin, Ireland where I joined a group of global scholars presenting their research at the 32nd Annual Conference of the International Association of Conflict Management (IACM) this summer.

The primary reason for attending this conference was to present my paper, Giving Health IT a Checkup: Information Technology, Collaboration, and Conflict, drawn from my recently defended M.S. thesis, and co-authored with ILR professors Ariel Avgar and Harry Katz. This research explores how the use of information technology in healthcare (HIT) is associated with different patterns of conflict and collaboration among employees. Despite mixed  findings for HIT, HIT has been promoted as a way to encourage coordination and teamwork, and as a panacea for poor outcomes and structural inefficiencies. Our results suggest that HIT’s ability to improve collaboration may be overstated. Conflicts with supervisors and with patients associated with higher use of HIT may be at the root of its disappointing performance.

In the Q&A following the presentation, session attendees provided valuable feedback, much of which I incorporated into the paper we have since submitted for peer review at a prominent journal.

While at the conference, I also participated in an Ethics & Values discussion-based session. I found it very useful to interact with a diverse group of scholars united by similar research interests, as norms around both workplace deviance and conflict vary widely by cultural context. Overall, the opportunity to present and discuss my work at this professional conference was very helpful because it had an impact on the way I will think about and conduct conflict management research moving forward.

Phoebe Strom presents her work