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Asian Management Institute

Research

Ivey is a global leader in producing Asia-related research. This growing body of work by our internationally-recognized faculty and PhD students can be found in books and leading journals. Our research digs into the key issues that affect business and management in Asia, including cooperative strategies, leadership, and Japanese Foreign Direct Investment (JFDI).

Assisted by the Asian Management Institute, Ivey is continually adding new research on a regular basis. This effort contributes to Ivey's ranking as the top school in the world for International Strategic Management research in the past decade (Source: Journal of International Management, 2003).

Recent Publications

The Moderating Effects of National Culture on Escalation of Commitment
by David Sharp, Stephen Salter, Yvonne Chen, June 01, 2013. Advances in Accounting

This study tests the cross-cultural sensitivity of three determinants of escalation of commitment: agency conditions, negative framing, and self-justification. A multiple-case experiment, using a sample of 1208 managers and MBA students surveyed over several years in nine countries investigated the moderating effects of national culture. We find that the effect of negative framing on escalation of commitment is significant, but unaffected by differences in national cultures. The adverse selection problem arising from agency predictions has a stronger effect in high-Individualism countries than in low-Individualism countries, and managers in higher Long-term Orientation countries are more likely to escalate projects with potential long-term payoffs.

Project Escalation and Sunk Costs: A Test of the International Generalizability of Agency and Prospect Theories
by David Sharp, Stephen Salter, January 01, 1997. Journal of International Business Studies

Previous North American research suggests that aspects of agency theory and prospect theory may explain decisions to escalate commitment to failing projects. This study explores the universality of these theories in this context. The willingness of North American and Asian managers to escalate commitment to losing projects was measured using four go/no-go decision cases. We hypothesized that Asian managers would be less willing to act in their self-interest (a lower agency effect), and would be more willing to escalate a decision in the face of negative framing (a stronger framing effect). We found that agency theory had strong explanatory power for project in our Asian sample. Framing effects were significant in both, but they were not significantly different.

An Exploratory Examination of International Differences in Auditors' Ethical Perceptions
by Jeffrey Cohen, David Sharp, Laurie Pant, January 01, 1995. Behavioral Research in Accounting

A recent study examines differences in the ethical decision-making of auditors in one multinational public accounting firm. Subjects were drawn from Latin America, Japan, and the US. The strongest differences emerged in the Latin-US comparisons, countries that differed most on the individualism and power distance dimensions. The results of the study supported expectations that culture was related to differences in both subjects' ethical evaluations and in the likelihood that they or their colleagues would perform the action. Evidence was also found of a social desirability bias in all 3 groups and that its magnitude varies between countries. Implications of this for future cross-cultural behavioral and accounting ethics research are discussed.

An International Comparison of Moral Constructs Underlying Auditors' Ethical Judgments
by David Sharp, Laurie Pant, Jeffrey Cohen, January 01, 1995. Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting

Prior research has documented a link between accountants' individual levels of moral development, ethical sensitivity, and behavior (e.g., Ponemon 1990, 1992, 1992; Shaub, Finn, and Munter 1993) and has demonstrated the importance of using a multidimensional ethics scale to understand overall ethical evaluations. This study extends prior accounting ethics work in two ways: first, by using a multidimensional ethics scale with accounting vignettes to examine ethical evaluations of auditors, and second, by testing these evaluations in an international setting. Subjects from the United States, Japan, and Latin America (who were shown by Hofstede [1980, 1991] to differ on a number of important cultural dimensions) were asked to evaluate the actions depicted in several vignettes along philosophical dimensions, The five moral constructs suggested by Reidenback and Robin (1988) include justice, relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, and a deontological dimension. Results indicate differences in the ethical evaluations among the three groups. A multidimensional ethics scale did appear to provide greater predictability of an overall ethical evaluation than did separate unidimensional ethics scales based on each of the five moral construct. Further, U.S. auditors found the actions to be more ethical. However, very little difference among the three groups was evident in the predictability of the moral constructs in explaining overall ethical evaluations. Exploratory factor analysis was also conducted. In general, natural three-factor solutions emerged for the United States and the Latin Americans while a natural two-factor solution was evident for the Japanese. A deontological factor was found for the Japanese in all eight vignettes, for the United Sates in five vignettes, and for the Latins in three vignettes. Implications for audit research and audit practice are discussed.

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Significant Research

In the wake of backlash against Made-in-China toys in 2007, two studies done by Ivey Professor Paul Beamish and Hari Bapuji at the University of Manitoba generated significant international attention. The two studies: “Toy Recall – Is China Really the Problem?”  and “Toy Import and Recall Levels: Is There a Connection?” were published by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and quoted in over 200 media outlets.

In 2008, a follow-up paper called “Toy Recalls and China: One Year Later”, again published by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada,  noted that the number of recalls continued to increase in 2008. However, the total number of toy units recalled appeared to decrease.