Dr. Gabrielle “Gabie” Durepos, Associate Professor in the Department of Business and Tourism at Mount Saint Vincent University, was recently named the University’s 2019 Research Excellence Award winner. The award recognizes exemplary contributions to MSVU’s research and creative community, research climate, and intellectual life of the University. Gabie was presented with her award at the University’s fall convocation.
2019 MSVU Research Excellence Award winner brings a critical perspective to organizational historiography
“I was excited and surprised to be the recipient of this award. The award, for me, is a celebration of community in many ways. Any piece of research stands on behalf of the collective efforts of a community,” said Gabie. “My field of research [organizational history] is relatively new and being recognized as part of it says a lot about the headway we have made over the years. It is an honour to be acknowledged by my MSVU colleagues and the broader research community.”
“History is very subjective and from a business perspective it’s important to think critically about how organizations shape their past and the impact that this may have on their strategic position in the present,” stated Gabie.
Dr. Peter Mombourquette, Chair of the Business and Tourism Department, highlighted one of Gabie’s research achievements in particular. “Dr. Durepos’ co-authored book ANTi-History: Theorizing the Past, History, and Historiography in Management and Organizational Studies, is revolutionary in the explorations of Actor-Network Theory and cultural theory historiography,” he said. The book was published in 2012, and explores how the collection of business decisions over time affect our interpretation of business practices today.
Distinguished scholar Roy Suddaby also commented on the unique perspective explored in Gabie’s book, stating “This view of history [i.e., ANTi-History] is perhaps the most distant from functionalist views of history, but arguably offers the greatest potential for communion between historians and organizational theorists.” The book has also been internationally recognized among scholars in Canada, France, the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Finland.
In addition to developing ANTi-History, Gabie has published 18 articles since 2009 in several high-profile journals. She has 16 peer reviewed book chapters to her name and has co-edited or co-authored seven books. An eloquent speaker, she has presented internationally and is currently a co-investigator on a significant external grant on equity, identity and history in management knowledge. This project is exploring the emergence of Canadian management knowledge over time and implications of promoting equity and inclusion in the workplace.
“We are looking at the construction of management knowledge over the years, and how these ways of knowing business shape business practices today. Our hope is that this work will encourage people in business and those studying in this realm to think more critically and to challenge traditional business practices. It’s about challenging the narrative and thinking outside of the box,” she said.
– Dr. Gayle MacDonald, AVP Research
Gabie also places a strong emphasis on supporting students and colleagues. She has supervised 19 PhD students via distance while still managing to make each of them feel well supported. Her colleagues have commented on her collegiality, her mentorship and overall kind spirit. Gabie has become a “go-to” for many new faculty members, providing support and guidance at every step of their journey.
Associate Vice-President of Research at MSVU Dr. Gayle MacDonald commented, “This is a research excellence award, but I believe that how we do our work is just as important as what we achieve. In an age in which competition is highly valued, it is Dr. Durepos’ humanity that I believe is her most striking quality. In many ways, Gabie is the best kind of university citizen; she mentors, researches, and does committee service equally well.”
Gabie hopes to continue to build on her research on critical organizational history. She is currently working on an organizational history of the Nova Scotia Museum to examine how the museum has shared stories about the province through time.
From a dedication to international connections, to collaborations with colleagues and student mentorship here at home, Gabie’s commitment to research is making an impact on many levels and makes her a very deserving recipient of MSVU’s Research Excellence Award.