Prof Frank Sligo staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63541

Prof Frank Sligo

Director of Stakeholder Engagement

School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

I've spent most of my working life at Massey University but have also taught at two universities in the USA and two in China. My main research areas are in adult literacy, information richness and poverty, and the knowledge-behaviour gap. I’m interested in the problem of understanding what is happening when, even though people "know" more healthy or better options that are open to them, their actual behaviour does not necessarily reflect that knowledge. For example, people may understand that smoking will damage their health, but they continue to smoke anyway.

Interesting connections also exist between adult literacy and good health, with higher levels of literacy correlated with higher income, trust in others, sense of political efficacy, and readiness to engage in volunteering. Connections between literacy and factors such as income, trust, and volunteering, make for interestingly complex theoretical and practical research problems. Massey University’s Adult Literacy and Communication Research (ALCR) Group has been funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Tertiary Education Commission. This diversity of funding has permitted the ALCR group to explore a range of interconnected issues in adult literacy at work and in the community, and what is needed to ensure great outcomes for the 21st Century citizen.

My books include: Communication in the NZ workplace: Theory and practice (2005); The New Zealand general management handbook (2003); Effective communication in business (2000); Perspectives in business communication (1997); Organisational behaviour: Case studies and commentaries (1991); and Business communication: New Zealand perspectives (1990).

My refereed publications have appeared in: Agricultural Systems, Asia-Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Asian Case Research Journal, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Australian Journal of Communication, Australian Library Journal, Business Communication Quarterly, Educational Technology & Society, Information & Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, International Journal of Learning, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Community Informatics, Journal of Management in Medicine, Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Journal of Technical & Business Communication, Journal of Workplace Learning, Landfall, New Zealand Education Review, New Zealand Journal of Adult Learning, New Zealand Libraries, New Zealand Monthly Review, Omega: International Journal of Management Science, Pacific Journalism Review, Public Sector, Qualitative Research, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, RaPAL: Research and Practice in Adult Literacy, Systemic Practice & Action Research, and Visual Communication.

I've spent most of my working life at Massey University but have also taught at two universities in the USA and two in China. My main research areas are in adult literacy, information richness and poverty, and the knowledge-behaviour gap. Higher levels of literacy are correlated with higher income, trust in others, sense of political efficacy, and readiness to engage in volunteering. Massey University’s Adult Literacy and Communication Research (ALCR) Group has been funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Tertiary Education Commission.

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Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: 64 4 801 5799 62281
    Location: Five E 10, Block Five
    Campus: Wellington

Prizes and Awards

  • In 2016 the Emerald Literati Network presented me with its award for a "Highly Commended Paper" with reference to my 2015 published article "Reading against and writing back: Critical literacy and multi-modal study at the closing of the Gutenberg Parenthesis" in the journal English Teaching – Practice and Critique. 14(3), 350-365. The Emerald message read "Dear Prof Frank Sligo, Congratulations, your paper “Reading against and writing back: critical literacy and multi-modal study at the closing of the Gutenberg Parenthesis” published in English Teaching: Practice & Critique 2015 Vol 14 3 E has been selected by the journal’s editorial team as a Highly Commended Paper in the 2016 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. To increase dissemination of such a high quality article, we have made it freely available until end of May 2016. You can find details of all this year’s winners, including your own success, here: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/literati/awards.htm?year=2016 And details of the awards and how they are chosen here: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/literati/index.htm" - Emerald Literari Network (2016)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

I specialise in researching adult literacy in workplace and community settings, and have also published in information richness and poverty and in the knowledge-behaviour gap.

I’m interested in the problem of understanding what is happening when, even though people "know" more healthy or better options that are open to them, their actual behaviour does not necessarily reflect that knowledge. For example, people may understand that smoking will damage their health, but they continue to smoke anyway.

Interesting connections also exist between adult literacy and good health, with higher levels of literacy correlated with higher income, trust in others, sense of political efficacy, and readiness to engage in volunteering. Connections between literacy and factors such as income, trust, and volunteering, make for interestingly complex theoretical and practical research problems. Massey University’s Adult Literacy and Communication Research (ALCR) Group has been funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Tertiary Education Commission. This diversity of funding has permitted the ALCR group to explore a range of interconnected issues in adult literacy at work and in the community, and what is needed to ensure great outcomes for the 21st Century citizen.

My books include: Communication in the NZ workplace: Theory and practice (2005); The New Zealand general management handbook (2003); Effective communication in business (2000); Perspectives in business communication (1997); Organisational behaviour: Case studies and commentaries (1991); and Business communication: New Zealand perspectives (1990).

My refereed publications have appeared in: Agricultural Systems, Asia-Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Asian Case Research Journal, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Australian Journal of Communication, Australian Library Journal, Business Communication Quarterly, Educational Technology & Society, Information & Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, International Journal of Learning, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Community Informatics, Journal of Management in Medicine, Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Journal of Technical & Business Communication, Journal of Workplace Learning, Landfall, New Zealand Education Review, New Zealand Journal of Adult Learning, New Zealand Libraries, New Zealand Monthly Review, Omega: International Journal of Management Science, Pacific Journalism Review, Public Sector, Qualitative Research, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, RaPAL: Research and Practice in Adult Literacy, Systemic Practice & Action Research, and Visual Communication.

Thematics

21st Century Citizenship, Design – for Commerce, Community and Culture, Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Commerce, Management, Tourism And Services (150000):
Education (130000):
Languages, Communication And Culture (200000)

Keywords

I'm a specialist in adult literacy in community and workplace settings and I’m interested in the problem of understanding what is happening when, even though people "know" more healthy or better options that are open to them, their actual behaviour does not necessarily reflect that knowledge. For example, people may understand that smoking will damage their health, but they continue to smoke anyway.

Interesting connections also exist between adult literacy and good health, with higher levels of literacy correlated with higher income, trust in others, sense of political efficacy, and readiness to engage in volunteering. Connections between literacy and factors such as income, trust, and volunteering, make for interestingly complex theoretical and practical research problems.

Massey University’s Adult Literacy and Communication Research (ALCR) Group has been funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Tertiary Education Commission. This diversity of funding has permitted the ALCR group to explore a range of interconnected issues in adult literacy at work and in the community, and what is needed to ensure great outcomes for the 21st Century citizen.

My books include: Communication in the NZ workplace: Theory and practice (2005); The New Zealand general management handbook (2003); Effective communication in business (2000); Perspectives in business communication (1997); Organisational behaviour: Case studies and commentaries (1991); and Business communication: New Zealand perspectives (1990).

My refereed publications have appeared in: Agricultural Systems, Asia-Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Asian Case Research Journal, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Australian Journal of Communication, Australian Library Journal, Business Communication Quarterly, Educational Technology & Society, Information & Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, International Journal of Learning, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Community Informatics, Journal of Management in Medicine, Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Journal of Technical & Business Communication, Journal of Workplace Learning, Landfall, New Zealand Education Review, New Zealand Journal of Adult Learning, New Zealand Libraries, New Zealand Monthly Review, Omega: International Journal of Management Science, Pacific Journalism Review, Public Sector, Qualitative Research, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, RaPAL: Research and Practice in Adult Literacy, Systemic Practice & Action Research, and Visual Communication.

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 2
Team Member 0 2

Completed Projects

Project Title: Health literacy and communicating immunisation information to decision-makers

This pilot study investigated the impact that illustrations have on delivering immunisation information to immunisation decisions-makers who are of differing health literacy levels.  It had six objectives: (a) to develop illustrative tools that form the intervention of the study; (b) to describe factors that influence immunisation decision making processes of decision-makers with differing levels of functional health literacy; (c) to determine if recall of immunisation information was improved by the illustrations; (d) to determine if the illustrations improved comprehension of immunisation information; (e) to report on the outcomes in relation to immunisation uptake at six weeks and three months; (f) to evaluate the illustrations and suggest recommendations for modifications. This pilot intervention study included qualitative interviews, quantitative assessment, and focus groups. Enhanced immunisation information recall, comprehension and improved immunisation rates were predicted benefits of this study, alongside illustrative models available for use nationally.
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Date Range: 2008 - 2010

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Project Title: Literacy & Employment

Researchers from the Adult Literacy and Communication Research (ALCR) Group at the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, in partnership with the Wanganui District Library, undertook a major longitudinal research project funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, focusing on adult literacy and employment in Whanganui and Districts. Through a series of interlinked research projects we aimed to achieve the following four objectives: 1. To establish adult literacy needs of both employed and unemployed in Whanganui and Districts region. 2. To identify the social, attitudinal and economic barriers to adult literacy, numeracy and analytical thinking skills of employed and unemployed in Whanganui and Districts. 3. To evaluate how effectively adult literacy programmes secure employment outcomes. 4. To examine adult literacy learning processes and their relationship to employment. The Whanganui project group added their own further objectives, specific to gaining tangible benefits for Whanganui. These included: 1. Achieving positive, tangible and practical outcomes for the Whanganui community, with a well-researched plan of action for medium-long term 2005-2015 to address identified issues relating to literacy 2. Establishing a database of meaningful, relevant information relating to the links between literacy and employment in Whanganui and identify links to other social issues e.g. crime, health, and housing; and providing benchmarks to measure future progress 3. Developing collaboration between agencies within the Whanganui region, to strengthen the community and social infrastructure for future work and projects 4. Building the research capacity within Whanganui.
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Date Range: 2004 - 2007

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Consultancy and Languages

Languages

  • English
    Last used: Today!
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 0 7
CoSupervisor 1 9

Teaching

I'm a specialist in teaching communication research methods in on-campus and in distance modes. I am also course coordinator for the Communication Internship programme in Wellington and by distance.

Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • Angie Enoka - PhD
    Under the gaze: A study of the portrayal by the New Zealand print media of Pacific Island workers in the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, 2007 - 2012

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2016 - Min Wang - PhD
    Homecoming: Foreign-educated Returnees' Experience of Reentry into Chinese Universities in Yunnan Province, China
  • 2010 - Jocelyn Elizabeth Williams - PhD
    Connecting people: Investigating a relationship between internet access and social cohesion in local community settings
  • 2007 - Beverley Judith Edlin - Doctor of Business and Administration
    Boardroom Decision-making: Determinants of effectiveness
  • 2000 - Ms Claire Louise Massey - PhD
    The Role of the External Consultant in Facilitating Enterprise Development.
  • 2000 - Ms Linda Kathleen Liddicoat - PhD
    Stakeholder perceptions of family friendly workplaces: Case studies of six New Zealand organisations.
  • 1997 - Ms Margaret Ann Comrie - PhD
    The Commercial Imperative in Broadcasting News: TVNZ from 1985 to 1990
  • 1995 - Ms Judith Helen McGregor - PhD
    The 'Manufacture' of News in the 1993 New Zealand General Election

CoSupervisor of:

  • 2015 - Yun-Chin Hsu - PhD
    Consumer green purchasing behaviour: From attitude, perceived controllability and normative influences to purchasing behaviour
  • 2013 - Nurul Ain Binti Mohd Hasan - PhD
    Towards achieving global standards: The role of public relations in processes and outcomes of corporate social responsibility initiatives in Malaysia
  • 2013 - Margaret Emerre - Doctor of Business and Administration
    Collaboration in scientific research: The views and practices of researchers in the College of Sciences, Massey University, Turitea Campus: A case study
  • 2013 - Fiona Margaret Shearer - PhD
    A critical discouse study of an adult literacy organisation's publicity in Aotearoa NewZealand from 1973 to 2009
  • 2012 - Maria Elisa Fabiana Peirano Vejo - PhD
    Sensemaking in small farming stories: Knowledge creation in Crea groups in Argentina
  • 2011 - John Buchanan Peebles - Doctor of Business and Administration
    Power and influences on the board's agenda: Who determines what corporate directors discuss?
  • 2009 - Nicola Sheree Murray - PhD
    Dispositional coping styles and adult literacy: Exploring stress and coping in adult vocational training environments
  • 2009 - Michael McAuley - PhD
    A small drop of ink, falling like dew: An investigation into the process of interpreting the written word into an illustration
  • 2005 - Mr Alan John Coetzer - PhD
    The Effects of Managers on Employees' Learning in Selected New Zealand Small Manufacturing Firms

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