Business summer research projects

Browse the range of summer research projects on offer in the Business School.

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Identity Leaders of the Māori Economic Renaissance


Supervisor

Carla Houkamau

Discipline

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS001

The purpose of this research project is to assist with data collection, input and analysis for a project led by Dr. Carla Houkamau, entitled "How Great Can We Be? Identity Leaders of the Māori Economic Renaissance".

This project offers the opportunity for a student to work with experienced researchers on a large-scale, quantitative study of Māori economic values.

Dysfunctional Brand Relationships


Supervisor

Michael Lee

Discipline

Marketing

Project code: BUS003

Brand relationships (BRs) have gained prominence in marketing practice in recent years as they enhance brand loyalty, brand commitment, positive word-of-mouth and price premiums. However, BRs can also be dysfunctional, potentially impacting on brand equity. Although dysfunctional BRs are a common occurrence within the marketplace, there has not been any extensive research on the process of dysfunctional brand relationships (DBRs). This research project aims to provide clarity and understanding of the antecedents, behaviours, actions and consequences involved in DBRs. 

Establish Trust in Data with Blockchain


Supervisor

Johnny Chan

Discipline

Information Systems and Operations Management

Project code: BUS004

While the general interest in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has grown exponentially throughout the years, researchers and practitioners have gradually shifted their focus on applying the underlying technology, collectively known as blockchain, to contexts outside the financial circle. A blockchain is a distributed database that manages a growing list of records secured from tampering. All data entered to a blockchain are timestamped, permanently stored and verifiable. This project aims to examine systematically what and how blockchain has been explored and exploited in trust establishment among various fields.

Smart Contracts and Consumers


Supervisor

Alex Sims

Discipline

Commercial Law

Project code: BUS005

Blockchain is a new and truly disruptive technology. One key part of blockchain technology is the use of smart contracts or, rather, self-executing computer programmes. While smart contracts promise much to consumers, there is the strong possibility of consumer detriment if proper regulation is not in place.

This research project aims to assess the current legal status of smart contracts in New Zealand and explain how smart contracts fit within New Zealand’s law. If there are gaps in the law, the goal is to detail the regulation required to effectively regulate smart contracts.

The Causal Effects of Media Coverage: Evidence from Stock Price Reactions to Earnings Announcements of Dual-Listed A-H Shares


Supervisor

Stephen Gong

Discipline

Graduate School of Management

Project code: BUS006

This research project will investigate the causal effects of media coverage by exploiting the unique setting in China where some companies simultaneously list A-shares in the Chinese mainland and H-shares in Hong Kong. While these shares are entitled to exactly the same shareholder rights (including earnings and dividends), they are subject to differential media coverage, both in quantity and quality, due to the segmented nature of the Mainland and Hong Kong stock markets and media sectors. 

Computational Experiments in Finding Relaxed Solutions to Symmetric Travelling Salesman Problem


Supervisor

Tiru Arthanari

Discipline

Information Systems and Operations Management

Project code: BUS007

This research project will provide optimal fractional solutions to very large instances of the symmetric traveling salesman problem (STSP). It will implement new findings on the applicability of a LaGrangean approach to STSP instances. Computational experiments are planned. 

Paths to Market for Scientific Inventions and the Role of Pre-Seeding Funding


Supervisor

Lisa Callagher

Discipline

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS008

When scientists fail to secure funding for commercialisation, it is often assumed their inventions face a slower path to market or are dropped entirely. This research project will investigate what happens to unfunded inventions and compare their development trajectory to funded inventions. Insights into the paths-to-market of inventions and how pre-seed funding shapes them is particularly important in the New Zealand context where private investment markets remain under-developed and public funds are used as substitutes.

The Smaller the Screen the Meaner I Get


Supervisor

Laszlo Sajtos

Discipline

Marketing

Project code: BUS009

Nowadays, customers can complain about their experiences at any time and place by using a myriad of online and offline feedback channels. The environment in which the feedback/complaint is sought, and provided, can have positive and negative consequences for the brand concerned. For instance, customers who provide negative feedback “on-the-go” via their mobile devices (in contrast to their laptops or desktops) may be meaner about the brand in their complaint. The feedback environment can consist of several components (including the size of the screen) and this research aims to explore all of them.

Which Customers are Most Likely to Defect During a Brand Merger?


Supervisor

Bodo Lang

Discipline

Marketing

Project code: BUS010

Despite stubbornly low success rates, mergers between large companies are commonplace. Many mergers fail because the revenue of the merged entities does not live up to expectations. This research project will build a practitioner-oriented framework that helps to assess what types of customers are most likely to leave during a merger. 

Immigrant Networks and Brain Waste


Supervisor

Asha Sundaram

Discipline

Economics

Project code: BUS011

The literature on labour market outcomes for immigrants has acknowledged the presence of “brain waste”, a phenomenon where immigrants are employed in occupations that are not commensurate with their skills and level of education. Brain waste can have negative implications for individual immigrants and their families and for the host economy since immigrant skills remain under-utilised. This research project will focus on the role played by migrant networks in determining the level of brain waste in South Africa, a country that hosts immigrants from around the world.

Talent Management in New Zealand Companies


Supervisor

Snejina Michailova

Discipline

Talent Management in New Zealand Companies

Project code: BUS012

Talent management (TM) is the concept and practice of managing people as indispensable human capital that provide a high-value corporate asset. It involves the utilisation of human resource management activities to attract, develop, and retain individuals with high levels of human capital consistent with the strategic directions of the company and in the context of a dynamic and highly competitive global environment. This research project is centred around identifying what TM approaches, strategies and practices are adopted by New Zealand businesses.

Analysing Changes in New Zealand’s International Trading Environment


Supervisor

Robert Scollay

Discipline

Economics

Project code: BUS014

This research project will analyse the implications of current changes in New Zealand’s international trading environment.  This includes the changing outlook for NZ trade agreements, changes in world trade flows, changes in outlook for economic activity in major economies and regions, and changes in New Zealand’s export performance in key markets.  The analysis will be used to produce an appraisal of current and potential future trends in New Zealand’s international trade, and of the opportunities, challenges and risks likely to be faced.

Five Years of Comprehensive Credit Reporting in New Zealand and Standardisation of Credit Scoring: Still a Pipedream?


Supervisor

Gehan Gunasekara

Discipline

Commercial Law

Project code: BUS015

Amendments were made to New Zealand’s credit reporting rules in 2011 and 2012 aimed at widening the types of personal data that can be used to decide a person’s credit-worthiness. Instead of “negative” or default data, those who extend credit could report on factors such as repayment history and the amount of credit extended, referred to as Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR). This research project will assess the degree to which CCR has been adopted in New Zealand.

When Rational Preference Axiomatization Meets Lab Experimentation to Improve Multiple-Unit Auction Design


Supervisor

Fernando Beltran

Discipline

Information Systems and Operation Management

Project code: BUS016

In this research project, we will investigate rational bidding and auction efficiency in the Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA). CCA includes constraining rules on bidding to encourage bidders to reveal their “true preferences” as well as mitigate “strategic manipulations”. But can the current CCA implementation be submerged into a single constraint that provides its effects and incentives for consistent bidding in a less complex way? We will attempt to answer this question, among others, by collecting data from using our DECIDE lab to administer lab auctions.

The Switzerland of the South Pacific: Perceptual Barriers for New Zealand and How to Overcome Them


Supervisor

Daniel Tisch

Discipline

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS018

John Key envisioned New Zealand as an ‘Asia-Pacific Switzerland’ to inspire business leaders in New Zealand to learn about what it takes for a country to be like Switzerland – 8 years holding the highest rank in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.  The New Zealand Initiative organised 40 chief executives and chairs of leading New Zealand companies to visit Switzerland in 2017.  With the overall aim to identify perceptual barriers to competitiveness and how to overcome them, this research project will collect and analyse the rich interview data from these 40 business leaders and report significant themes.

First-Year Team-Based Learning Analytics Initiative


Supervisors

Tom Agee
Richard Brookes
Douglas Carrie
Herbert Sima (Marketing)
Michelle Kirkolly-Profitt
Parizad Mulla
James Sun (Management)

Disciplines

Marketing

Management and International Business

Project code: BUS019

This research project is about evaluating the success of a major teaching and learning innovation. Introduced in 2011, the two-course sequence of BUSINESS 101 and 102 represents a very large and complex implementation of Flipped (Team-Based) Learning. By any international standard, it is a very innovative development. This project will analyse qualitative and quantitative data on the effectiveness of these courses. 

Crowd Sourced Approach Towards Sustainability and Productivity


Supervisor

David Sundaram

Discipline

Information Systems and Operation Management

Project code: BUS020

There are many areas within organisations and communities where good sustainable activities are taking place. Conversely, bad practices are also prevalent. Currently there are few mechanisms or systems to explicitly identify sustainable, productive, unsustainable and/or non-productive activities across organisational and community borders. In this research project, we aim to leverage the power and wisdom of the crowds to identify sustainability and productivity concepts, ideas, cases, exemplars, heuristics, rules, approaches, models and processes. 

Developing Public Private Sector Partnerships and Organisational Resilience to Cope With Uncertainty


Supervisor

Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor

Discipline

Graduate School of Management

Project code: BUS021

The 21st century has been a time fraught with concerns about safety, from the micro-level of identity theft and credit card fraud to the threat of terrorism at the macro level. A key challenge for governments, NGOs and organisations across the globe is how to develop the organisational, institutional, supply-chain and critical national infrastructure capabilities to become resilient in the face of extreme events. In this research project, the extent to which NZ exporters understand their strategic vulnerabilities and mitigate their risks will be investigated. 

Adaptive Enterprise Systems


Supervisor

Gabrielle Peko

Discipline

Information Systems and Operation Management

Project code: BUS022

The global business world is characterised by rapid and unpredictable change where enterprises are being challenged on all levels. Customers, employees, partners, investors and society are all sources of uncertainty, resulting in the need for enterprises to be adaptive. There is a significant lacuna of concepts and models that weave the deliberate and emergent aspects to support an adaptive enterprise (AE). This research aims to identify the key behavioural flows of an AE and model their behaviour from a dynamic, systems perspective.

Extent of lean accounting coverage in NZ tertiary institutions


Supervisor

Winnie O’Grady

Discipline

Accounting and Finance

Project code: BUS002

The New Zealand government is encouraging businesses to adopt lean approaches to production. These operational changes should be mirrored in changes to the content of management accounting courses. Management accounting can operate as a tool to motivate and reinforce lean changes if it provides information about performance targets, continuous performance improvements, and changes from non-productive to available capacity. This project will explore how educational programmes in management accounting can support lean operational environments.

Overcoming the NZ Productivity Paradox Through International Connectedness


Supervisor

Antje Fiedler

Benjamin Fath

Discipline

Graduate School of Management

Project code: BUS025

NZ small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to become more internationally connected by fostering the flow of ideas as well as goods and services. However, the distance to major markets makes this endeavour burdensome. The objective of this research project is to empirically investigate how NZ SMEs can utilise new technology to leverage opportunities for both collaboration and customer engagement in distant markets, with a particular focus on Asia.