• Research Projects

    Schulich researchers continue to successfully secure external funding from Canada’s Federal Tri-council agencies. The Tri-council agencies are the major source of funds for research and scholarship within Canadian academic institutions. Schulich faculty members primarily receive funding from The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

    Previously Funded Projects (2015-2016)

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)


    Developing a Social and Trust-Based Book Recommender System for Indigo
    Principal Investigator: Henry Kim

    Indigo is Canada’s largest book, gift, and specialty toy retailer, operating stores in all 10 provinces and one territory in Canada and offering online sales through its indigo.ca website. As of March 28, 2015, the Company operated 91 superstores under the banners Chapters and Indigo and 127 small format stores under the banners Coles, Indigospirit, SmithBooks, and The Book Company. The Company also has a 50 per cent interest in Calendar Club of Canada Limited Partnership (Calendar Club), which operates seasonal kiosks and year-round stores in Canada.

    Indigo seeks to innovate upon its products and services offerings by leveraging state-of-the-art business analytics capabilities. To that end, they are designing a recommender system that will match potential customers and human recommenders, and match customers’ preferences to other’s reading lists. What this entails – incorporating social and trust based capabilities into traditional recommender system capabilities – is the focus of this proposed NSERC Project.

    Enabling Data Management for Big Data Business Analytics for Sphere3D using Context-Aware Ontologies
    Principal Investigator: Henry Kim

    Sphere3D Corporation is a leading global virtualization and data management software solutions company, publicly listed on the NASDAQ Exchange. Its keystone offering is the Glassware 2.0 platform, which delivers virtualization of applications and enables movement of applications from a physical PC or workstation to a virtual environment on premises and/or from the cloud. Sphere3D seeks to innovate upon its products and services offerings in the current and future business context of Big Data availability, and growth in the analytics software market. The business analytics challenge for Sphere3D is to prepare its clients’ data for ready business analytics. Inasmuch as its Glassware 2.0 platform enables device and location independent application use, there is value in considering a parallel paradigm for data; that is, how it can enable similar device- and location independent data analytics. The key for this capability may lie in designing context-awareness – not just device and location independence – into how the data are collected, federated, and prepared for analytics. This is the challenge that we aim to address in this project.

    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)


    Designing Effective Negotiation Teams
    Principal Investigator: Kevin Tasa
    Collaborator: Mary Waller

    Negotiations are often carried out by teams with clearly defined roles. Despite the ubiquity of negotiation teams in business negotiations, research on the topic is modest in comparison to research focusing on individuals. Remarkably, despite the prevalence of negotiating teams and the significant outcomes such teams can advance for organizations, relatively little is known about the within-team dynamics that support or challenge their ability to plan, create, coordinate, and execute a rational across-the-table bargaining strategy. Very often, the biggest challenge these teams face is not the negotiation with the other side; instead, negotiating teams report the greater challenge usually comes from their own side of the table. Too often, team members sabotage their own team’s efforts, fail to create a unified front, and generate conflict regarding the goal of the negotiation. Research contains few answers to questions about the inner workings of negotiation teams. Therefore, the objective of this research program is to examine the internal dynamics of negotiating teams and formulate practical techniques for managers and negotiating team leaders who wish to create effective teams.


    Does Executive Compensation Change in Response to Changes in Personal Tax Rates?
    Principal Investigator: Amin Mawani

    The executive labour market is considered to be reasonably competitive, in part because it is generally more mobile than rank-and-file labour. Prior to 2010, tandem stock appreciation rights (TSARs) offered the best of both worlds: a full deduction for the TSAR to the employer and a half exclusion for the employee. The federal budget of March 4, 2010 announced that employers and employees would henceforth have to choose one or the other, and could not access both. In other words, either the employer could enjoy the tax deduction for the cash benefit paid out under TSAR or the employee could enjoy the half inclusion, but both could no longer be accessible simultaneously. Assuming that employers retained their tax deduction, this budget provision effectively increased the tax rate on TSARs and therefore reduced the executives’ after-tax compensation.

    My first research question is whether executives’ total compensation or option compensation went up in post-2009 years as a result of the tax increase on the employees. My second research question is whether the executives’ compensation paid in the form of equity changed in the post-2009 period.

    The results of this study will contribute to the literature on whether executive pay reacts to changes in executives’ personal tax rates, and hence their relative bargaining power and the mobility of senior management. In general, capital is considered to be mobile and labour not as mobile. However, senior management may be regarded as being somewhere in between pure labour and pure capital, as suggested by the capital-like tax treatment of their compensation packages (i.e., equity portion of compensation taxed at lower capital gains tax rates). The results of this study could influence employers’ compensation practices − both the amount and the form of senior management’s pay packages − in a globally competitive market for senior management talent.


    Social Impact Research Lab
    Principal Investigator: Geoffrey Kistruck

    The Social Impact Research Lab (SIRlab) is a newly formed partnership based at the Schulich School of Business. It is a collaborative effort comprised of three primary types of actors:

    1. Strategic management scholars from developed country institutions (e.g., Canada, the U.S., etc.) that possess a passion for designing and pilot testing theoretically-based improvements to poverty alleviation models;

    2. Management scholars from developing country institutions (e.g., Ghana, Tanzania, etc.) that possess a desire to strengthen their knowledge of current management theories and combined qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in the context of poverty alleviation; and

    3. Non-profit organizations and social enterprises (e.g., CARE, Technoserve, Accion, etc.) that are willing to acknowledge shortcomings in their existing programming, and to experiment with potential solutions in order to achieve greater impact and efficiency in the scaling of their overall efforts. Thus, the overarching goal of the SIRlab partnership is to build stronger networks between both academic and non-academic audiences from diverse contexts for the direct sharing and co-creation of knowledge with regard to the role of business in poverty alleviation.

    Other External Grants Other External Grants


    Survey on the Culture of Lawfulness
    Principal Investigator: Andrew Crane

    The purpose of this research project is to better understand the relationship between firms and the “culture of lawfulness”, which is comprised of the factors in the environment that impact the success of the rule of law. The context of this research is Mexico, a country in which the culture of lawfulness is known to make the undermining of the rule of law, or rule breaking, taken for granted as an unquestioned and accepted part of conducting business.

    Research on rule-breaking in management research tends to focus on its explicit manifestations through study of phenomenon such as corruption in which bribery and extortion become commonplace as a means to conduct business. In this project, we intend to study why rule-breaking occurs at a more basic level by examining the societal and cultural factors that create a tolerance for rule-breaking. A study of what underlies rule-breaking will further the understanding of how its visible manifestations such as corruption become systemic in the business environment and firms. Furthermore, it will allow for examining how rule-breaking is perceived by firms, and accordingly, what affect it has on their behaviour and outcomes.


    Limited Term Professorship
    Principal Investigator: Mark Kamstra

    Mark Kamstra’s research interests focus on two areas: valuation using discounted cash flow techniques and the variation of returns to investments due to predictable fluctuations in investor mood/sentiment and investor risk aversion. An objective of Kamstra’s research during his term professorship with the Canadian Securities Institute Research Foundation is to test for variation in fundamental value resulting from changes in investor risk aversion, and to evaluate deviations from fundamental prices caused by investor sentiment. The results of this research will bear importantly on the determination of appropriate policy reactions to extreme events in financial markets.


    Implicit Taxes and Canadian REITS
    Principal Investigator: Amin Mawani

    Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) make distributions in the form of Return on Capital and Return of Capital, with the former taxed more heavily than the later.

    This study will examine whether publicly traded Canadian REITs that distribute relatively more of the tax-disfavoured Return on Capital and relatively less of the tax-favoured Return of Capital offer higher pre-tax returns compared to other REITs in an efficient market. I have collected distribution data for all publicly traded Canadian REITs over the 2002- 2014 period. I will examine whether pretax returns over a one-year holding period are positively associated with the average taxation of the annual distribution made by the REIT and the interaction of the tax inclusion rate (or the proportion of the return that is currently taxable) and levels of market risk.

    If tax-favoured Return of Capital is found to be associated with lower pretax returns, then investors may not want to hold them in tax shelters such as RRSPs and TFSAs.


    “Educating for Integrity” Conference Organizing Grant from the Central European University
    Principal Investigator: Wesley Cragg

    This grant is from Siemens, the German multinational via the Central European University to organize a conference on “Educating for Integrity” that was held at York University in November, 2015. The conference brought together scholars, business, government, and voluntary sector leaders from North and Central America to examine and discuss the issue of corruption and bribery; how to effectively address the challenges it poses for business and the economy through education and the development of courses and training on the part of business schools, institutions of higher education generally; and executive training on the part of universities, professional organizations and associations and corporations.