2020/2021 Competition results

Compelling topics addressing key issues won this year's Business Research Translation Awards.

Translating an academic journal article into a 700-word paper that is easily understood by and useful to a non-academic audience is a challenging, yet vital skill. The Business Research Translation Competition recognizes and awards monetary prizes to the best translated papers.

The 2020/2021 contest received 36 entries and was co-sponsored by all eight business schools in New Zealand: AUT Business School, Lincoln University Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Massey University Business School, Otago Business School, UC Business School, University of Auckland Business School, Waikato Management School and Wellington School of Business and Government.  

This years’ winning papers addressed key issues ranging from the cultural boundaries impacting Māori academics, to the unaffordability of home ownership. The author of the winning paper in each category received $1,500, with the runner-up receiving $750.

Dr Nimbus Staniland and Competition Judge Michele Embling
Dr Nimbus Staniland and Competition Judge Michele Embling.

In the Māori and Pacific Research Category the first prize was awarded to Dr Nimbus Staniland (AUT Business School) for her paper entitled Indigenous and boundaryless careers: Cultural boundaries in the careers of Māori academics. The judges commented that Dr Staniland’s paper was compelling, dealing with a key issue in New Zealand today, and bringing the Treaty partnership to life. ‘It was beautifully written and well-argued and provided good insight into the motivation of individuals relative to their institutions and the conflict that lies within, addressing an important business and cultural issue in universities.’ No runner-up prize was conferred.

Dr Jessica Vredenburg and Competition Judge Justin Kennedy-Good
Dr Jessica Vredenburg and Competition Judge Justin Kennedy-Good

The first prize in the Early Career Research Category was awarded to Dr Jessica Vredenburg (AUT Business School) for her paper entitled Brand activism: What, when, where and how - translating theory into practice. The judges described the paper as interesting and engaging, and very relevant given the success of New Zealand’s Covid-19 communication strategy and messaging. Dealing with an interesting area of research outside the Covid-19 domain, Dr Vredenburg demonstrated how corporate brand identity and behaviour were inextricably linked to important political issues of the day.

Dr William Cheung with Competition Judge Justin Kennedy-Good
Dr William Cheung with Competition Judge Justin Kennedy-Good

The runner-up prize was awarded Dr William Cheung (University of Auckland Business School) for his paper entitled A sustainable housing ladder: The entry and exit affordability of shared-equity homeownership. The judges commented that Dr Cheung’s paper addressed a critical issue in New Zealand and internationally: affordability and housing. They said his research was clearly set out and nicely translated for a non-specialist audience and left them wanting to know more.

Dr Lydia Cheung and Competition Judge Justin Kennedy-Good
Dr Lydia Cheung and Competition Judge Justin Kennedy-Good.

In the Established Career Research Category Dr Lydia Cheung (AUT Business School) received the first prize for her paper entitled An empirical analysis of the competition in print advertising among paid and free newspapers. Dealing with the significant implications of a possible amalgamation of two large media enterprises in a small country like New Zealand, the judges said it was a well argued, well written paper, that investigated the potential effect on a small group of stakeholders that are not usually considered, that is the businesses that advertise using media platforms.

Competition judge Justin Kennedy-Good and Dr Mathew Parackal
Competition judge Justin Kennedy-Good and Dr Mathew Parackal.

The runner-up prize was awarded to Dr Mathew Parackal (Otago Business School) for his paper entitled Dynamic transactional model: A framework for communicating via social media. The judges described Dr Parackal’s paper as providing an interesting technique for the assessment of an ad campaign which was very relevant for social media managers who were trying to understand changing consumer behaviour.

The judges comprised Bronwyn Croxson (Chief Economist, Ministry of Health), Michele Embling (Chair, External Reporting Board), Roger France (a professional non-executive director and current trustee of the University of Auckland Foundation), Justin Kennedy-Good (Director Ara Manawa, Auckland DHB), Susie McKenzie (Policy Advisor, MBIE) and Jilnaught Wong (Professor Emeritus, University of Auckland Business School).

The awards event was part of the Research Translation Day organised and hosted by the University of Auckland Business School. Associate Professor Adam S Levine from Johns Hopkins University delivered the keynote, alongside two panel discussions chaired by Professors Robert MacCulloch and Paul Rouse from the University of Auckland.

The University of Auckland congratulates all the winners.