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Ivey receives funding for social sciences and humanities research

  • Dawn Milne
  • |
  • Sep 10, 2019
Ivey receives funding for social sciences and humanities research

Six Ivey research projects have collectively received more than $600,000 in grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), an agency that supports post-secondary research in the humanities and social sciences.

The projects range from investigating the Indigenous perspective on sustainable development to determining how neurodiversity employment programs can help companies access untapped talent. They showcase the breadth of expertise at the School as well as Ivey’s focus on understanding both business applications and their social implications.

“What’s great about this set of grants is it covers a range of very topical issues,” said Mark Zbaracki, Ivey’s Associate Dean, Research. “If we’re going to be at the forefront of education and business, we have to be at the forefront of research into these areas.”

Research that matters

Zbaracki said Ivey typically does well when it comes to SSHRC grants, proving that faculty are engaged in thought leadership that matters.

“This is a clear demonstration that our faculty are doing important research in Canada and internationally and that these are topics worth exploring,” he said. “The approaches they’re taking meet the high standards of peers.”

Being involved in leading research also supports Ivey’s PhD program.

“Our PhD students and postdocs are coming in with both a general curiosity and specific questions that they care about. Our task is to guide their inquiry in constructive ways,” said Zbaracki. “The SSHRC grant process is important to supporting them in their inquiry.”

Here's a brief overview of the SSHRC-funded research projects:

Diane-Laure Arjaliès and Tima Bansal

“The Contribution of Indigenous Knowledge to Sustainable Development: A Place-Based Perspective.”
Assistant Professor Diane-Laure Arjaliès and Professor Tima Bansal will explore how three Indigenous organizations – in Canada, Tibet, and Peru – think about sustainable development and their relationships to time-space and place.

Rob Austin

“Don’t Leave Talent on the Table: Discerning Best Practice in Neurodiversity Employment.”
The recent emergence of neurodiversity employment programs is hoped to help companies employ people who have conditions such as autism, dyslexia, or ADHD. Professor Rob Austin will evaluate how such programs work and what constitutes best practice.

Mary Crossan (with Jianyun Tang, PhD ’07, Faculty of Business Administration, Memorial University)

“Toward a realistic theory of leader effectiveness.”
Jianyun Tang, PhD ’07, of Memorial University, and Professor Mary Crossan will look more closely at what makes an effective leader. In particular, they intend to reconcile two differing views of leader effectiveness to develop a more realistic theory through in-depth case studies of some well-known leaders.

Kirk Kristofferson (with Darren Dahl, UBC Sauder School of Business)

“The Opportunities and Limitations of Virtual Reality is Charitable Campaigns.”
Hoping to capitalize on virtual reality’s ability to give people an immersive look at an experience, charities are increasingly using the technology in hope of increasing donations. Assistant Professor Kirk Kristofferson, along with Darren Dahl of the Sauder School of Business, will investigate the opportunities and limitations that virtual reality offers charitable marketers seeking to persuade donors.

Simon Parker

“Regional Innovation Adoption: The role of regional determinants on Bitcoin adoption by new and incumbent firms.”
The rise of blockchain technology and Bitcoin has ushered in new opportunities for FinTech ventures and other startups focused on smart contracts and trustless transactions. Professor Simon Parker will examine how regions differ in their ability to host such firms, and the implications for future regional economic development.  

Xin (Shane) Wang and Neil Bendle

“Application of Deep Machine Learning to Unstructured Data.”
How do online consumer reviews and spoilers/trailers affect movies’ box office success? Assistant Professor Shane Wang and Associate Professor Neil Bendle will analyze this unstructured big data to assess their effectiveness in generating buzz and box office revenue.