2017 Summer research projects

2017 Summer Research Projects

Teaching and Learning Expectations in First Year Management Classes: Perspectives from Multiple Stakeholders

Project Duration

8-10 weeks

Description

Inconsistencies between student expectations and the reality they experience are a major reason why students fail to complete tertiary studies. The purpose of the current project is to explore teaching and learning expectations of first year students and other significant stakeholders, focusing on curriculum content, learning activities, assessment and graduate attributes. The project will contribute to a deeper understanding of the expectations of first year students, and the extent to which these align with other stakeholders. The findings will assist to develop learning activities and assessment approaches designed to engage and enrich students’ learning experiences in the management discipline and across UQ more broadly.

The project is funded by a UQ New Staff Start-Up Grant (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) and data collection commenced in March 2017. This summer project specifically will involve:

  • Conducting interviews with academic staff and analyzing interview data
  • Cleaning and analyzing undergraduate student qualitative and quantitative data from ongoing surveys and focus groups
  • Collecting, cleaning and analyzing industry quantitative data
  • Writing up papers for publication based on the results of the student surveys and focus groups, interviews with academics, and industry survey

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Students can expect to have gained the following at the completion of the project:

  • Experience conducting literature searches and reviews and compiling information for journal articles
  • Experience conducting face-to-face interviews with academic staff (under supervision)
  • Experience using online survey software including Survey Monkey and Qualtrics
  • Experience conducting data analyses in major software programs including SPSS and NVivo
  • Knowledge of and experience in preparing research articles for publication

Suitable for

This project is open to students with the following skills and attributes:

  • Working knowledge of Excel and SPSS
  • Working knowledge of NVivo software, or a willingness to learn
  • A very high level of accuracy and attention to detail when completing tasks
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • High level interpersonal skills, including the ability to work as part of a small project team
  • Ability to work autonomously when required to achieve high quality results
  • The ability to exercise initiative in undertaking responsibilities and prioritize tasks to meet deadlines

Primary supervisor

Dr Marissa Edwards

Further information

For more details, please contact Marissa Edwards. m.edwards@business.uq.edu.au

Effectiveness of state level organisations (SLO) in servicing needs of their sport in regional Queensland

Project Duration

8 weeks

Description

Background on the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing
The vision for National Parks, Sport and Racing is that Queenslanders are enriched and connected through healthy parks and active lifestyles. One aspect of the department’s work is to support and encourage active participation in physical activity. This can be achieved in a number of ways including:

  • Supporting a wide range of physical activities, including sport, fitness and other recreation-based activities, encouraging all Queenslanders to become more active.
  • Activating places and spaces for sport and recreation, including making the most of government-owned facilities.
  • Building strong partnerships across government, the community and commercial sector to boost participation in physical activity.

Project background
To ensure we are providing officers in the department with the latest information, so they can incorporate this into their policies and programs, the department has an annual ‘call for research topics’ - this topic was submitted by the Sport and Recreation Services, Central Region.

The aim of this research is to ascertain the effectiveness of state level sporting organisation’s service delivery into regional Queensland and if the services are meeting the needs of the sport outside of the south east corner of Queensland. The findings from this research could potentially link into the findings from the proposed research topic: “What constitutes successful sport and recreation outcomes in small and remote communities with large geographical distribution”.

Project requirements
The objectives of the project are:

  • Determine if and which SLOs have in place and are meeting service standards for support of organisations and individuals involved in their sport outside of the south east corner of Queensland.
  • Identify gaps between the service standards and the needs of organisations operating in regional locations.
  • Identify if SLOs have adapted their delivery models or have the capacity to adapt their delivery models to address the changing expectations of their clients in regional Queensland (outside the south east corner).

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The scholar is required to:

  • Determine quality and quantity of services provided by SLOs in regional Queensland.
  • Provide accurate data on the delivery models currently in use to service the required needs for that particular sport in regional Queensland.
  • Accurately quantify what is considered to be successful sport and recreation outcomes in regional Queensland.
  • Collect information that describes the barriers or drivers to sustainable sport delivery in regional Queensland.

This will lead to:

  • Stronger partnerships with SLOs to deliver services in regional Queensland.
  • SLOs assisted in identifying gaps in services and to be accountable for the level of service and opportunities provided in regional Queensland.
  • NPSR Regional Services Delivery to better understand and provide more specific advice to clubs at grassroots level.

Deliverables:

  • A report is to be submitted to the Manager (Research and Evaluation) NPSR
  • A presentation on the key findings to Sport and Recreation Services officers (within NPSR) at 400 George Street Brisbane.

Outcomes:

  • Deliver research that can be incorporated in government policies and programs
  • Gain an understanding of some of the research needs required by a government Department
  • Attain a practical understanding of working in State government

Suitable for

This project would be suitable for students with a background in business or sport and recreation management.

Primary supervisor

Dr Shane Pegg – UQ
Dr Kylie Galway – National Parks, Sport and Racing

Further information

For further information prior to submitting applications, please contact Dr Kylie Galway (kylie.galway@npsr.qld.gov.au).

Normative dilution: Do positive social norms diminish the impact of prosocial actions?

Project Duration

10 weeks (specific dates to be negotiated)

Description

Maybe there CAN be too much of a good thing.  This project explores the theoretical proposition that when positive social actions become normative, there are unintended consequences that undermine the value of that action.  For example, we have shown that apology norms may increase the likelihood of receiving an apology after harm, but can also reduce our satisfaction with that apology.  [See http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2015.05.008]

This phenomenon may be applied to any number of prosocial behaviours, including collective action (protest norms make protesting less effective), political correctness (accommodation norms enhances litigation), or concern for employee well-being (duty of care norms increase work claims).  These phenomena illustrate the potential downside of prosocial norms – they create an “arms race” that escalates our expectations and reduces the impact and intrinsic value of prosocial actions.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Summer scholars will advance ongoing research on this project.  This will likely involve literature review, experimental research design, survey programming, data collection, and write-up of preliminary methods/results.  Thus, students will gain valuable experience with many aspects of the research process, and a greater depth of knowledge in one or more content areas within social/organisational psychology.

Suitable for

This project is open to applications from students with interest in social and/or organisational psychology.  Existing experience with experimental research design is preferred but not required.  This project is ideal for students about to start (or finishing) their honours year in psychology, organisational behaviour, or other related disciplines.

Primary supervisor

A/Prof Tyler Okimoto

Further information

Applicants are welcome to contact the primary supervisor prior to application if they wish to learn more about project expectations: https://www.business.uq.edu.au/staff/tyler-okimoto

Creating a "Pitching Research" Academy

Project Duration

10 weeks [Commencing 4 December 2017].

Description

This project seeks to build on the success of the “pitching research” concept developed by Faff (2015), who provides a simple 2-page template tool, SO THAT a novice researcher can confidently and succinctly convey all the essential elements of a new research proposal to an academic expert. The tool is both methodical and succinct in its design.

Notable landmarks to date, in developing this tool:

  • In 2015, a small grant ($2000) was received from Accounting Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ) to build a web portal for creating pitches. See: PitchMyResearch.com
  • The pitching template is being used as the basis for AFAANZ Research Grants (2015 & 2016: > $1.5million dispersed since 2003) and hosted by the “PMR” web portal in 2016 and beyond
  • “Pitching Research” has engaged with novice researchers across many disciplines including: accounting, finance, management, marketing, strategy, international business, tourism, medicine, public health, food science, engineering, pharmacy, philosophy, ethics, education, business information systems and psychology
  • Substantial investment in supplementary resources: online library with worked pitch examples across > 180 different areas; various YouTube videos, etc
  • Substantial investment in pitching workshops/talks: presented at 37 Australian universities, and 41 different countries.

As a consequence of the above, in 2016 “pitching research” recently received an accolade from the accreditation body AACSB.

Aim/Objective:
Primarily using the newly created web portal, PitchMyResearch.com, this project seeks to:

  1. Give a meaningful "taste test" of research to undergraduates - especially those on a 4th year Honours track, through a blend of individual and group work activities.
  2. Explore "digital scholarship" applications of the "PR" framework.
  3. Further expand the worked examples available to help guide novice researchers how to use the template tool.
  4. Provide pilot examples of pitches that leverage off the “Research Skill Development” framework [see Faff (2016)]
  5. Collect student based feedback on how best to develop the web portal resource into a more useful T&L tool right across UQ.

Project significance:
By enhancing an already established tool for starting research, this project will continue developing a larger technology-driven initiative for use across all faculties at UQ.

References
Faff, R., (2015), “A Simple Template for Pitching Research”, Accounting and Finance 55, 311-336.

Working Papers (mostly highlighting prior Winter/Summer Scholars work):

  1. Faff, R.., (2016a), “Pitching Research”, Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2462059 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462059
  2. Faff, R., (2016b), “Mapping “Pitching Research” Tasks into the RSD7 Framework: A Pedagogic Perspective”. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2724451
  3. Faff, Robert W. and Li, Ya and Nguyen, Bao Hoang and Ye, Qiaozhi, (2016), "Pitching Reseasrch: A Pilot Experiment with UQ Wiinter Scholars" (July 30, 2016). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract= 2816233
  4. Faff, Robert W. and Carrick, Robin and Chen, Angel and Dallest, Kathy and Escobar, Marisol and Foley, Gabe and Gill, Chelsea and Khong, Bo Xuan Matthew and Liu, Maggie and McCullough, Jon and Ndugwa, Zina and Nguyen, Bao Hoang and O'Brien, Shari and Orole, Felix and Qureshi, Asma and Rad, Hossein and Rekker, Saphira and Shahzad, Syed Khuram and Smith, Marita and Tunny, William and Wallin, Ann, (2017), “Motivating Postgrad Research Students to Pitch Their Ideas: What Have We Learned from “Pitching Research” Competitions at UQ?” (January 15, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract= 2899942
  5. Faff, Robert W. and Carrick, Robin and Chen, Angel and Escobar, Marisol and Khong, Bo Xuan Matthew and Nguyen, Bao Hoang and Tunny, William, (2017) “Pitching Research: A Reverse-Engineer “Sparring” Experiment with UQ Summer Research Scholars” (January 23, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903811
  6. Faff, Robert W., Carrick, Robin, Chen, Angel, Escobar, Marisol, Khong, Bo Xuan Matthew, Nguyen, Bao Hoang and Tunny, William, (2017b), “Fantasy Pitching III: UQ Summer Research Scholars – the Role of “Money” in the 21st Century” (January 26, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2906617
  7. Faff, Robert W., Carrick, Robin, Chen, Angel, Escobar, Marisol, Khong, Bo Xuan Matthew, Nguyen, Bao Hoang and Tunny, William, (2017c) “UQ Summer Research Scholar Program: Insights and Reflections from the Pitching Research “I-Templates” Team” (February 16, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2919027

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The successful scholar will, with close guidance from the supervisor:

  1. Be exposed to a simple tool designed to kick start research, with a role of helping to gather feedback on its enhanced web development
  2. Get first-hand experience of the challenges in starting research on topics relevant to their academic interests, either as a prospective Honours student or a current research student
  3. Create several reverse-engineered examples of completed research pitches relevant to their research interests, showcasing recent research completed within UQ Business School
  4. Assist developing other "pitching" related resources and intiatives - especially from a digital scholarship perspective
  5. Co-author several working papers on SSRN.

Suitable for

This project is suitable for very high achieving students who are enrolled in their final year of undergraduate study (and seriously thinking of Honours enrolment) or Coursework Masters students.

Primary supervisor:

Professor Robert Faff

Further information

Applicants are encouraged to contact the primary supervisor to discuss the project and application prior to submission.

Professor Robert Faff r.faff@business.uq.edu.au

Country level Institutions as a moderator factor on Open innovation: A systematic literature review and identify research gaps

Project Duration

10 weeks

Description

Background One of the most influential books on open innovation (Chesbrough et al., 2006) suggests that both formal and informal country level institutions influence innovation in general and open innovation in particular. The book sets a future agenda for open innovation and asks the following questions: “to what extent do we see open innovation practices in different institutional context? Is the distribution of knowledge altered by the institutional characteristics of different countries? Do we find commonalities in these different institutional settings that spur open innovation practices?” (Chesbrough et al., 2006, pp. 14‐25). We do believe, as the previous authors, that country institutions matter to open innovation and that this topic is core to advancing the innovation research and policy agendas. This theme is also core to our ARC Discovery grant and will be critical to the analysis of a survey that will be conducted in China during the second half of 2017. Based on the above, we are calling for expressions from research students who want to join our project team over summer to:

Aim Conduct a systematic literature review (SLR) on the role of country level institutions in open innovation and identify research gaps.

Approach The summer project will follow a SLR methodology with the final objective of identifying research gaps. The summer scholar will follow Fink’s (2005) approach on how to assess and systematise academic literature to produce an explicit and reproducible SLR. This will guide her/him to develop an initial critical analysis on a specific body of literature and to understand the importance of divergent thinking to identify the literature gaps.

The researcher will learn how to use computer‐assisted qualitative data analysis software, such as NVivo, and learn about template analysis (King, 2012) as an instrument to organise and codify qualitative data. In general, this work will be useful for the purpose of our broader ARC project, but it will be particularly important for the survey‐based project that we are conducting in China.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The successful applicant will join a team of highly productive scholars, consisting of three Chief Investigators and a Post‐Doctoral fellow, who will provide a collegial working environment. The team has well developed skills in conducting SLRs and is well‐known in the research field.
The applicant can expect to develop:

  • Skills in conducting SLRs - a method that has wide application in research and practice;
  • Skills un using qualitative data analysis software, such as NVivo;
  • Learn a qualitative analysis technique, template analysis, and understand that is possible to structure qualitative research.

The deliverables will be:

  • A review paper that identifies the connections between country institutions and open innovation;
  • The identification of research gaps in the literature;
  • A research article that, should it be of suitable quality, will be submitted to a conference or journal.

Suitable for

The successful applicant will be a postgraduate (honours or masters) student who:

  • Has knowledge of the field of innovation, or related fields of entrepreneurship or strategy.
  • Aims to complete further studies in business.
  • Has well developed writing skills.
  • Has a good work ethic with good time management and organisation skills.
  • Ideally, has some experience or qualifications in qualitative research methods.

Primary supervisor

Rui Torres de Oliveira

Further information

Interested applicants should email their CV and a statement of their motivation to participate in this project (one page) to Rui Torres de Oliveira r.oliveira@business.uq.edu.au prior to submitting the formal online application.

How to evaluate a Startup?

Project Duration

10 weeks

Description

This project focuses on understanding how angle investors, venture capitalists, startup mentors and entrepreneurs value early stage startups.

This project aims to examine the schemas and heuristics employed to establish the valuation of early stage startups. Early-stage startups are particularly dependent on valuation schemas as traditional financial methods are difficult to employ when a startup is pre-revenue and in the early stages of development.

The project brings together stakeholders who hold different perspectives on a vividly debated topic yet with opaque guidelines on best practice. Startups are currently raising millions of dollars in investment on the back of limited technology and not much more than idea; others are raising millions, yet with funds sitting in the bank. The project aims to debunk the metrics used to assess the valuation of a startup and create a meaningful discussion which benefits startups, investors, mentors and government.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The successful applicant has the opportunity to gain skills in qualitative data analysis, report writing and preparing a literature review. As part of the project, the applicant will write up a report based on their findings

Suitable for

The project is suitable for students interested in startups and angle investing who wish to develop their research skills. Applicants interested in pursuing honours are encouraged to apply.

Primary supervisor

Anna Jenkins and Paul Spee

Further information

For more details, please contact Anna Jenkins. a.jenkins@business.uq.edu.au

 

 

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