Dr. Chris Hinnant Participates in the Workshop on Science Team Dynamics and Effectiveness at the National Academies of Sciences

Chris HinnantSchool of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), Florida’s iSchool, Assistant Professor Chris Hinnant was invited to participate at the Workshop on Science Team Dynamics and Effectiveness, held at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC on July 1, 2013.

The workshop examined current research on collaboration and management within large and small scientific teams across a variety of research settings.  Specifically, participants discussed existing research on how individual, team, and research center-level factors influence the overall effectiveness of scientific teams.  Furthermore, workshop participants explored potential leadership and management approaches that may be most effective within different research settings.

Hinnant participated as a discussant on a panel with professors Bradley Kirkman (N.C. State) and Gary Olson (U.C.-Irvine) that examined virtual scientific teams – science teams composed of members who are usually not geographically co-located and rely on information technologies in order to communicate and carry out vital team activities.  The panel discussed how the current research pertaining to virtual teams within diverse organizational settings may be applied to virtual teams conducting research within specific types of scientific enterprises.

Hinnant discussed his experiences researching virtual scientific teams that use the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory’s facilities.  This research was conducted with several other SLIS faculty members (Kathleen Burnett, Gary Burnett, Michelle Kazmer, Paul Marty, and Besiki Stvilia) and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The workshop is part of a broader study being carried out by the National Research Council and funded by the National Science Foundation to study The Science of Team Science in order to suggest ways to enhance collaborative research within research centers and institutes.  The study attempts to expand our understanding of the factors that promote or interfere with heightened levels of research collaboration. Furthermore, the study seeks to better synthesize current knowledge pertaining to collaborative teams functioning within an array of contexts. The ultimate aim is to understand how increasingly complex research may be conducted and lead to scientific outcomes that more readily translate to practical outcomes beneficial to society.

Hinnant’s research focuses on social and organizational informatics, digital government, information management and policy, and technological innovation.  He is particularly interested in how organizations employ Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to alter organizational processes and how the use of ICT ultimately impacts governance mechanisms and effectiveness.

Hinnant received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.   Prior to coming to Florida State he was most recently a Fellow and Assistant Director of Information Systems at the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C.