Dr Stephen Thorpe

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Head of External Relations and Development

Email: sthorpe@aut.ac.nz

Address for blogs:
Links to relevant web pages:

www.aut.ac.nz/cms

Qualifications:

PhD - Auckland University of Technology (2009)
Diploma of Facilitation - Zenergy (2006)
BBus with First Class Honours (Information Technology) - Auckland University of Technology (2001)
Advanced National Certificate in Retailing - Manukau Institute of Technology (1997)
National Certificate in Retailing - Manukau Institute of Technology (1996)

Memberships and Affiliations:

Member of the International Association of Facilitators
Member of the Australasian Facilitators Network
Member of IT Professionals New Zealand
Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand
Member of the Heart Politics NZ

Biography:

Dr. Stephen Thorpe is an academic, educator and group facilitator who specializes in group work in the online world. He is passionate about online group work, group facilitation and online collaborative technologies. His 2009 PhD from the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand investigated the use of storytelling as a team-building process in the facilitation of online groups. He has a background in group facilitation and computer-assisted group work and user-centered design. Stephen also holds a Diploma of Facilitation from Zenergy and a Bachelor of Business with First Class Honours from Auckland University of Technology.

He is the Head of External Relations and Development at the School Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences and the Editor-in-Chief of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal; an international multi-disciplinary publication focused on the art and science of group facilitation published by the International Association of Facilitators. His areas of research interest include cloud computing, information security, online groups, storytelling, virtual teams, e-Government, group facilitation, virtual worlds and education, multi-stakeholder engagement, information technology governance and computer mediated communication.

Teaching Areas:

Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences
COMP702-707 Research & Development Project
COMP600 IT Project Management
COMP607 Information Security Technologies
COMP501 Computing Technology in Society
COMP718 Information Security Management
INFS703 Contemporary Information Systems
INFS500 Enterprise Systems

Research Areas:

Group Facilitation
Virtual Teams
E-Government
Multi-stakeholder Engagement
Virtual Worlds and Education
Cloud Computing
Information Security
Information Technology Governance
Computer Mediated Communication

Research Summary:

Much of my work over the last 10 years has been involved in, and informed by, efforts in leading the development, at an international level, of the emerging profession of practicing group facilitators. This has involved four years on the Board of the International Association of Facilitators, three years as an Associate Editor and nine as Editor-in-Chief of the Association’s Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, leadership at the regional level and co-convening facilitator conferences.

As an emerging profession, group facilitation has yet to develop a significant body of research knowledge – particularly in my own research area of group facilitation and group process in the facilitation of global virtual teams. While information technologies are becoming mainstream in groupwork, the process and team theory knowledge hasn't kept pace with our rapid adoption. The gap my research has focused on is in the area of how to effectively facilitate virtual teams through group process. It is multidisciplinary research that is aimed to be relevant in contexts of organizational learning and development, group and system dynamics, collaborative technology and education. Some of my work, such as my PhD’s focus on storytelling processes in team building, brings new knowledge about the effectiveness of face-to-face facilitation processes using a range of online software tools (completed in 2009). Other work is research that informs facilitation practice through forwarding online facilitator competencies, conference workshops, training and consultation work.

Current Research Projects:

Online facilitator competencies for group facilitators
Enhancing the facilitation of online groups in higher education
Student and alumni expectations of new venture and enterprise support in New Zealand higher education
Academic perceptions of e-learning systems in Saudi Arabia
Advantages and disadvantages of of e-learning in Saudi Arabian high school education
Data and process modelling: Investigating the gap between education and industry expectations in New Zealand
Investigating effective e-Government implementation: A case of The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Research outputs:

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Bint, L. (2018). Protecting New Zealand Native Birds: An Investigation of Founder Motivations in the Squawk Squad Collaborative Innovation Network. In F. Grippa, J. Leitao, J. Gluesing, K. Riopelle, & P. Gloor (Eds.), Collaborative Innovation Networks Building Adaptive and Resilient Organizations (pp. 123-138). Springer. Retrieved from https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319742946

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2012). Facilitation online. In D. Hunter (Ed.), The art of facilitation (pp. 173-179). Seoul, South Korea: Sigma Press Korea.

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2012). Facilitation online. In D. Hunter (Ed.), The art of facilitation (pp. 175-182). Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Facilitation-Essentials-ebook/dp/B00AM7FE6Q

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Facilitation Online. In D. Hunter (Ed.), The Art of Facilitation: The Essentials for Leading Great Meetings and Creating Group Synergy (pp. 175-182). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from http://au.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470467924.html

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2008). The use of storytelling in building online group relationships. In S. Kelsey, & K. S. Amant (Eds.), Handbook of research on computer mediated communication (pp. 551-569). Hershey PA: Information Science Publishing. doi:10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2008). Facilitating effective online participation in e-government. In New Zealand E-government 2007: Progress Towards Transformation (pp. 72-73). Wellington: State Services Commission.

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2007). Facilitation Online. In D. Hunter (Ed.), The Art of Facilitation: The Essentials for Leading Great Meetings and Creating Group Synergy (pp. 349 pages). Auckland: Random House New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/Book_Display_46.aspx?CategoryId=20&ProductId=456169

Conference contributions

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Sommerford, R. (2018). Emerging technologies for remote group facilitation: An edge thinking exercise. In Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2018. Melbourne: Australasian Facilitators Network. Retrieved from https://www.afnconference.org.au/

  • Hunter, D., & Thorpe, S. J. (2018). Accessing wisdom and presence in groups. In Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2018. Melbourne. Retrieved from https://www.afnconference.org.au/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2018). Security strategy for E-Government. In 2018 Cyber Forensic and Security International Conference. Nuku'alofa: Cyber Forensic and Security Research. Retrieved from http://cfsrc.net/Program.html

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2018). The importance of information security research for the national economy. In The Proceedings of the 2018 Cyber Forensic & Security International Conference. Nuku'alofa: Christ's University in Pacific. Retrieved from http://cfsrc.net/

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Bint, L. (2017). Protecting New Zealand native birds: An investigation of founder motivations of the Squawk Squad collaborative innovation network. In 7th International Conference on Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs17). Detroit, Michigan.

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Bint, L. (2017). Protecting New Zealand native birds: An investigation of founder motivations of the squawk squad collaborative innovation network. In 7th International Conference on Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs17). Detroit, Michigan.

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Thomas, G. (2016). Facilitating online groups: Keeping pace with leading edge tools and techniques. Poihakena Marae, Whaingaroa (Raglan). Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. (2016). Towards online facilitator competencies for group facilitators. In Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2016. Whaingaroa (Raglan).

  • Wu-Ross, A., Hitchcock, L., & Thorpe, S. J. (2014). Learning and teaching strategies in an intercultural context: An offshore program in Vietnam. In Proceedings of the 2nd Forum on International Collaborative Academic Programs (FICAP-2) Collaborative Education: Era of Convergence and Perspectives (pp. 46-53). Hangzhou: BrownWalker Press. Retrieved from http://www.brownwalker.com/book/1627345272

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2014). A framework for offshore alumni services in higher learning institutions. In Proceedings of the 2nd Forum on International Collaborative Academic Programs (FICAP-2) Collaborative Education: Era of Convergence and Perspectives (pp. 31-35). Hangzhou: BrownWalker Press. Retrieved from http://www.brownwalker.com/book/1627345272

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Wu-Ross, A. (2013). Learning and Teaching Strategies in an Intercultural Context: Offshore Programme in Vietnam. In ICERI2013 Proceedings. Seville: International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED). Retrieved from http://iated.org/iceri2013/publications

  • Thorpe, S. J., Thomas, G., & Hunter, D. (2013). A review of online learning in higher education: Towards transformational learning. In Online Facilitation Unconference 2013. https://ofu2013.hackpad.com/. Retrieved from https://ofu2013.hackpad.com/

  • Thorpe, S. J., Ru-Ross, A., & Hitchcock, L. (2013). Learning and teaching strategies in an intercultural context: Offshore programme in Vietnam. In Second Forum on International Collaborative Academic Programs. Hangzhou.

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2013). Towards a Framework for Offshore Alumni Services in Higher Learning Institutions. In Second Forum on International Collaborative Academic Programs. Hangzhou.

  • Wu-Ross, A., & Thorpe, S. J. (2013). Learning and teaching strategies in an intercultural context: Offshore programme in Vietnam. In ICERI2013 Conference Proceedings (pp. 4629-4635). Seville: International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED). Retrieved from http://library.iated.org/publications/ICERI2013

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Wu-Ross, A. (2013). Learning and teaching strategies in an intercultural context: Offshore programme in Vietnam. In 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation: Conference proceedings (pp. 4629-4635). Seville: International Association of Technology, Education and Development.

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2013). Towards online facilitator competencies in collaborative higher learning programmes. In FICAP-1 Proceedings: Collaborative Academic Programs as a Contribution to Developing Nations (pp. 68-78). Ho Chi Minh City: BrownWalker Press. Retrieved from http://www.universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=161233704X

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2011). Storytelling and building collaborative team relationships in Second Life. In International Conference on Distance Learning and Education. Singapore: International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2011). Engaging Better Online Group Relationships. In 2011 Virtual Working Summit. Loughbourough: Making Projects Work. Retrieved from http://virtualworkingsummit.com/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2011). Online Group Engagement with Storytelling. In Australasian Facilitators Network 2011 Conference. Freemantle, Western Australia. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2011). Storytelling and building collaborative team relationships in Second Life. In International Proceedings of Computer Science and Information Technology Distance Learning and Education Vol. 12 (pp. 62-66). Singapore: International Proceedings of Computer Science and Information Technology. Retrieved from http://www.ipcsit.com/proceeding.htm

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2011). Storytelling and building collaborative team relationships in Second Life. In International Conference on Distance Learning and Education. Singapore: International Proceedings of Computer Science and Information Technology. Retrieved from http://www.ipcsit.com/proceeding.htm

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2011). Storytelling and building collaborative team relationships in Second Life. In International Conference on Distance Learning and Education. Singapore: International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology. Retrieved from http://www.ipcsit.com/

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Hunter, D. (2011). Mapping the field of facilitation. In The 9th Annual International Association of Facilitators Asia Facilitator Conference. Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Enhancing the effectiveness of online groups: online facilitation with storytelling. In Australasian Facilitators Network 2009 Conference. Nelson. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Sherriff, C., Thorpe, S. J., & Almerigi, S. (2009). Catch the Facilitation Wave! IAF in the Caribbean – What’s in IAF for YOU?. In The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference 2009. Bridgetown. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Enhancing online facilitation with storytelling. In The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference. Bridgetown. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J., Ruiz, R., & Hunter, D. (2009). Multi-stakeholder engagement. In The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference. Bridgetown. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Generating a Quantum Shift in Group Consciousness. In The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference. Bridgetown.

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Enhancing online facilitation with storytelling. In The International Association of Facilitators European Conference. Oxford. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J., & Hunter, D. (2009). Working in blended realities. In The International Association of Facilitators European Conference. Oxford. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Enhance your online facilitation with storytelling. In The International Association of Facilitators North America 2009 Conference. Vancouver, BC. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Ryall, K., Golden, M., & Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Facilitating across cultures and across generations: challenges and opportunities. In The International Association of Facilitators North America 2009 Conference. Vancouver, BC. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Hunter, D., Thorpe, S. J., Firkins, J., McKinley, E., & Ochre, G. (2008). Facilitating Social Change. In Australasian Facilitators Network 2008 Conference. Bathurst, New South Wales. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Hunter, D., & Thorpe, S. J. (2007). The art of facilitation: Experiencing co-operacy and purposeful facilitation. In Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2007. Adelaide, South Australia. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Hunter, D., & Thorpe, S. J. (2006). Person-centered facilitation: Being there - self, other, group, purpose. In Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2006. Geelong, Victoria. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2006). The Effectiveness of Narrative in Facilitating Online Relationship Development. In 39th Midwest Facilitators Network Conference. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved from http://www.stephenthorpe.co.nz/

Edited books/volumes

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2014). Proceedings of the 2nd Forum on International Collaborative Academic Programs (FICAP-2) Collaborative Education: Era of Convergence and Perspectives. Boca Raton, Florida: BrownWalker Press. Retrieved from http://www.brownwalker.com/book/1627345272

Theses

  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009). Enhancing the effectiveness of online groups: an investigation of storytelling in the facilitation of online groups. (Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand). Retrieved from http://aut.researchgateway.ac.nz/handle/10292/778

Other outputs

Awards:

2016 - Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies Award for Contribution to the Research Infrastructure
2015 - AUTSA Award - Best Lecturer in the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
2015 - Vice Chancellor's Award for Professional Excellence in a Team
2013 - Best Conference Paper - Second International Forum on International Academic Programmes, FICAP-2 HangZhou, China
2011- Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies Award for Sustained Outstanding Service
2011 - Best Conference Paper - 5th International Conference on Distance Learning and Education (ICDLE) Singapore 16-18 September.