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.

Publications:

Refereed Journal Articles
Chapters in Books
  • Thorpe, S. (2012). Facilitation online. In D. Hunter, The art of facilitation: The essentials for leading great meetings and creating group synergy (pp. 173-179). (Chung Hye-Soen (정혜선 역), Trans.). Seoul: Sigma Press (2007).
  • Thorpe, S. (2012). Facilitation online. In D. Hunter, The art of facilitation: The essentials for leading great meetings and creating group synergy [Kindle edition]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com
  • Thorpe, S. (2009). Facilitation online. In D. Hunter, The art of facilitation: The essentials for leading great meetings and creating group synergy (pp. 175-182). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Wiley.
  • 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. (2008). Facilitating effective online participation in e-government. In New Zealand E-government 2007: Progress towards transformation (pp. 103-104). Wellington, NZ: State Services Commission.
  • Thorpe, S. (2007). Facilitation online. In D. Hunter, The art of facilitation: The essentials for leading great meetings and creating group synergy (pp. 175-182). Auckland, NZ: Random House New Zealand.
  • Hunter, D. & Thorpe, S. (2005). Facilitator values and ethics. In S. Schuman (Ed.), The IAF handbook of group facilitation: Best practices from the leading organization in facilitation (pp. 545-558). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Thorpe, S. (2001). E-learning as an Opportunity for Higher Learning Institutions. In A. Tayeb, J. Metzner, & L. Bornstein (Eds.) Education Without Borders (pp. 21-26). Abu Dhabi, UAE: CERT Publishing Centre.
Papers in Refereed Conference Proceedings
  • Thorpe S., Ru-Ross, A., & Hitchcock, L. (2015). Learning and teaching strategies in an intercultural context: Offshore programme in Vietnam. In S. J. Thorpe (Ed.). Proceedings of the Second International Forum on International Academic Programmes, 2013. Boca Raton, FL: Brown Walker Press.
  • Thorpe, S. (2015). A Framework for Offshore Alumni Services in Higher Learning Institutions.  In S. J. Thorpe (Ed.). Proceedings of the Second International Forum on International Academic Programmes, 2013. Boca Raton, FL: Brown Walker Press.
  • Thorpe S., & Wu-Ross, A. (2013). Learning and teaching strategies in an intercultural context: Offshore programme in Vietnam. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation Seville, Spain.
  • Thorpe, S. (2013) Towards Online Facilitator Competencies in Collaborative Higher Learning Programmes. In J. Hichcock, L. Hichcock & P. Kaskenpalo (Eds.). Proceedings of the First Forum on International Collaborative Academic Programmes (pp. 68-78). Boca Raton, FL: Brown Walker Press.
  • Thorpe, S. (in press) Better online relationships. In P. A. Pullan (Ed.). Virtual Working: Proceedings of the Virtual Working Summit: 2011. Loughborough: Making Projects Work Press.
  • Thorpe, S. (2011) Storytelling and building collaborative team relationships in Second Life. In Zheng, Y. (Ed.). Proceedings of the International Conference on Distance Learning and Education Technology. International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology, Singapore. 12. 16 Sep 2011.
  • Thorpe, S. (2004). Online Storytelling in IS Research. In Cusack, B. (Ed.), The Proceedings of the 2004 NACCQ Post-Graduate Symposium (pp. 11-18). Auckland, NZ: Trumps.
  • Thorpe, S., Carter, P., Baker, A., & Lough, B. (2002). The use of large interactive display surface (LIDS) prototype in graphics design teaching. In A. Williamson, K. Gunn, A. Young, & T. Clear (Eds.), Winds of Change in the Sea of Learning: Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) (Vol. 2, pp. 889-892). Auckland, NZ: ASCILITE.
Keynote/Plenary
  • Thorpe, S. (2017, March). The Importance of Information Security and IT Research for the National Economy. Keynote presentation at Computer Science Research Week, Christ's University in Pacific, Nukuʻalofa, Tonga.
  • Thorpe, S. (2011, June). Online Group Engagement with Storytelling. Keynote presentation at the Virtual Working Summit. Loughborough, UK.
  • Hunter, D., Thorpe, S. Schwarz, T., Firkins, J. & Kneebone, S. (2007, November). “The next chapter:  Showcasing the purpose of facilitation. Plenary presentation at the Australasian Facilitators Network Conference - Adelaide, South Australia.
Non-Refereed Conference Presentations
  • Thorpe, S., & Thomas, G. (2016, December). Facilitating online groups: keeping pace with leading edge tools and techniques. Paper presented at the Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2016. Raglan, NZ.
  • Thorpe, S. (2016, December). Online Facilitator Competencies for Group Facilitators. Paper presented at the Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2016. Raglan, NZ.
  • Thorpe, S., Thomas, G., & Hunter, D. (2013, October). A review of online learning in higher education: Towards transformational learning. Workshop presented at the Online Facilitation Unconference 2013.
  • Thorpe, S. (2011, November). Online Group Engagement with Storytelling. Workshop presented at the Australasian Facilitators Network 2011 Conference. Fremantle, Western Australia, NZ.
  • Thorpe, S. (2009, December). Enhancing the effectiveness of online groups: online facilitation with storytelling. Workshop presented at the Australasian Facilitators Network 2009 Conference. Nelson, NZ.
  • Sherriff , C., Thorpe, S., & Almerigi, S. (2009, September). Catch the Facilitation Wave! IAF in the Caribbean – What’s in IAF for YOU? Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference 2009. Bridgetown, Barbados.
  • Thorpe, S. (2009, September). Enhancing online facilitation with storytelling. Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference 2009. Bridgetown, Barbados.
  • Ruiz, R., Hunter, D., & Thorpe, S. (2009, September). Multi-stakeholder engagement. Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference 2009. Bridgetown, Barbados.
  • Hunter, D. & Thorpe, S. (2009, September). Generating a quantum shift in group consciousness. Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators Latin America and the Caribbean Conference 2009. Bridgetown, Barbados.
  • Thorpe, S. (2009, September). Enhancing online facilitation with storytelling. Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators European Conference 2009. Oxford, UK.
  • Hunter, D., & Thorpe, S. (2009, September). Working in blended realities. Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators European Conference 2009. Oxford, UK.
  • Ryall, K., Thorpe, S. & Golden, M. (2009, April). Facilitating across cultures and across generations: challenges and opportunities. Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators North America 2009 Conference. Vancouver, Canada.
  • Thorpe, S. (2009, April). Enhance your online facilitation with storytelling. Workshop presented at The International Association of Facilitators North America 2009 Conference. Vancouver, Canada.
  • McKinley, E., Ochre, G. Firkins, J., Hunter, D. & Thorpe, S. (2008, November) Facilitating Social Change. Workshop presented at the Australasian Facilitators Network 2008 Conference. Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Hunter, D. & Thorpe, S. (2007, November) The art of facilitation: Experiencing co-operacy and purposeful facilitation. Workshop presented at the Australasian Facilitators Network Conference 2007. Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
  • Hunter, D. & Thorpe, S. (2006, November). Person-centered facilitation: Being there - self, other, group, purpose. Workshop presented at Australasian Facilitators Network Conference. Geelong, Australia.
  • Thorpe, S. & Hunter, D. (2006, August). Mapping the field of facilitation. Paper presented at The 9th Annual International Association of Facilitators Asia Facilitators Conference. Singapore.
  • Thorpe, S. (2006, January). The Effectiveness of Narrative in Facilitating Online Relationship Development.  Workshop presented at The Midwest Facilitators Network Conference. Chicago, IL.
  • Thorpe, S. (2004, January). Online Facilitation. Paper presented at Heart Politics. Taupo, NZ.
  • Thorpe, S. (2001, October). Online facilitation pilot study: An exploration of the Zenergy online group. Paper presented at AFN/ALARPM/IAP2/SCIAR. Brisbane, Australia.
  • Thorpe, S. (2000, December). Usability testing for web-based travel agents. Paper presented at the 4th Annual New Zealand Tourism and Hospitality Research Conference. Auckland, NZ.
Editorials
  • Thorpe, S. (2011). Editorial: The Inner Practice. Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, (11), 3.
  • Thorpe, S. (2010). Editorial: Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, (10), 3.
  • Thorpe, S. (2008). Editorial. Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, (9), 3.
Reviews
  • Thorpe, S. (2012). [Review of Leading effective virtual teams: Overcoming time and distance to achieve exceptional results]. Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, 12, 72.
  • Thorpe, S. (2011). [Review of the DVD Hot spots and tricky bits]. Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, 11, 56.
Thesis
  • Thorpe, S. J. (2009, December 10). Enhancing the effectiveness of online groups: an investigation of storytelling in the facilitation of online groups. (Doctoral Thesis, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand). Retrieved from: http://aut.researchgateway.ac.nz/handle/10292/778
Refereeing
  • 2017   Masters Thesis - Using Technology to Support The Parent-Child Relationship: Observations within The Context of the Child's Learning - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2016   Masters Thesis - Identifying the characteristics of usability that encourage prolonged use of an Activity Monitor - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2014   Masters Thesis - Developing an Android application to help parents keep their children motivated for learning - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2014   Masters Thesis - Investigating Evidence Produced by Online Session Spoofing: The Xbox 360 - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2014   Masters Thesis - A computerized system for loading and discharging oil tankers - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2013 - Masters Thesis – Online Buying Behavior in Saudi Arabia and New Zealand: A Comparative Case Study - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2012 - Masters Thesis – Social Forensics: Evidence Extraction Tool Capabilities - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2011 - Masters Thesis - Risk Based Assessment of IT Controls Frameworks: A Case Study - Auckland University of Technology
  • 2007 - Book Chapter - Digital Storytelling: From Artificial Intelligence to YouTube by Julie D. Woletz (Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Germany) - 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
Research Grants / Funding
  • 2014   SCMS Researcher Development Funds ($3,200)
  • 2014   SCMS Research Support Grant ($5,000)
  • 2014   AUT Innovative Teaching and Flexible Learning Support Grant ($1,600)
  • 2013   AUT Innovative Teaching and Flexible Learning Grant ($10,000)
  • 2012 - Summer Research Award for 2012-13 - Auckland University of Technology ($6,000)
  • 2003 - Innovative Teaching and Flexible Learning grant for Usability Research of the Tutorial for Business Modelling (TBM) ($10,000)

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.