• 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 (2016-2017)

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


    Ontology-Based Reference Model for Financial Business Processes in Retail for Opterus
    Principal Investigator: Henry Kim

    Opterus Inc. is a privately held software company, founded in 2006 and based in Ontario, Canada. Its mission is to provide an efficient, cost-effective information-storing and execution management tool that increases productivity and improves retail enterprise communication. All of this is achieved through an easy to access, easy to implement solution for any retail environment.

    Opterus was interested in ensuring inter-operability between its solution and the variety of systems used by their clients. To help in this endeavour, Opterus collaborated with Henry Kim and the Schulich School of Business to develop a reference data model useful for modelling retail business processes, particularly those that collect and aggregate data for financial reporting. This collaboration was funded by an NSERC Engage grant. Kim’s expertise in ontologies was leveraged to develop this model. Opterus hopes to develop inter-operability tools and capabilities based on this reference model, thus enhancing its capabilities and offering more value to its clients.

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


    Institution Maintenance and Legitimacy Basis
    Principal Investigator: Stan Xiao Li

    Research in organization theory has long confronted the following puzzle: How do some institutions survive legitimacy challenges for a remarkably long time? For instance, the institutionalized practice of Christmas, a ritual that started as a pagan festival, endures with an astounding longevity. Over the past three decades, the general public has been captivated by another striking example (Gilley, 2008): although the tides of communism have largely ebbed away, the power monopoly of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China continues to the present day. The objective of this study aims to uncover the strategies the CCP uses to preserve the institution of power monopoly.

    Cooperating with the Competitors: The Experience of Bombardier in China
    Principal Investigator: Justin Tan

    The research proposes to examine cooperative competition (coopetition) strategies and knowledge transfer. We attempt to gain insights on the dynamic interplay between upstream cooperation and downstream competition and address the following research questions: Why do competitors choose to cooperate? How does cooperation and competition co-evolve and affect firm competence?

    The research is grounded in a theoretically significant issue about simultaneous cooperation and competition, or coopetition. This proposed research not only contributes to academic research, but also offers added insights on an issue with profound implications for vital Canadian economic interests. The importance of this research is validated by increasing collaboration among competitors in various key industries.

    Our study will be set in the rail transportation equipment manufacturing industry, and focuses on a series of strategic alliances between Montreal-based Bombardier and its extensive network of competitors in the fast growing Chinese rail transportation infrastructure market.


    Information Content of Financial Analysts’ Site Visits
    Principal Investigator: Hongpin Tan

    Access to management is a valuable source of information for financial analysts. The natural secrecy of private interaction with management, however, has hindered our knowledge of the exact information flow between analysts and their visited firms. This research program utilizes a unique setting in China in which firms listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange are required to disclose the main discussion content of the site visits within two days after any visits by market professionals since July 2012. We explore the following questions:

    • What are the major topics asked by analysts during their site visits?
    • Does the information that analysts collect through site visits affect their forecast revisions?
    • Is the market reaction to analyst forecasts different between the analysts who have visited the firms and those who have not done so?

    Stock-Based Compensation and Corporate Risk Management
    Principal Investigator: Yisong Tian

    When revenue is tied closely to volatile market (e.g., commodity) prices, companies often use derivatives (e.g., forward or option contracts) to manage the risk in order to maintain profitability and minimize the likelihood of bankruptcy. Nevertheless, different companies in the same industry often adopt different risk management strategies (aka hedging policies), such as using different hedging instruments (e.g., forward vs. option contracts) and using different hedge ratios (how much of the risk to hedge).

    There is very little research on how top managers’ stockbased compensation (e.g., stock and option grants) impacts these hedging decisions. This is quite surprising given that more than half of a typical CEO’s pay is stock-based (either restricted stock or options) and how much such incentivebased pay can affect managerial attitude toward risk management. Do managers who are provided with different levels of stock-based pay hedge differently? Does the mix of stock and option grants matter? In the proposed research, I will fill this gap in the literature and examine the impact of stock-based compensation on corporate hedging decisions and whether or not the mix of restricted stock and option grants is an important factor for these decisions.

    Status Attainment in a Foreign Country
    Principal Investigator: Stan Xiao Li

    Although both academics and practitioners have widely acknowledged that cross-country mobility can advance a person’s career, neither of them have offered systematic evidence for the central question in this study: What are the mechanisms that affect the ability of individuals in one country to attain status in another country? This research attempts to investigate the change in social status of a job mover who moves from one labour market to another labour market.

    Other External Grants Other External Grants


    The Innovation, Design, and Consumption Laboratory
    Principal Investigator: Theodore J. Noseworthy

    The CFI infrastructure will assist in advancing our current understanding of how consumers make sense of innovation, and how marketers can better communicate innovative goods and services to facilitate adoption. The end goal is to inform business and policymakers not only about the benefits of properly communicated innovation, but also about the potential costs of ambiguous products to susceptible consumers and society at large. This consumer innovation research has three programs that collectively examine:

    1. How marketers can better communicate radical (disruptive) innovation;
    2. How consumers can be susceptible to ambiguous foods and thus may need to be highly informed when it comes to food innovation; and
    3. How behaviours can alter with the introduction of monetary/currency innovation.

    The CFI funds have allowed Noseworthy to build and equip a state-of-the-art behavioural lab that is dedicated to the study of product design and innovation.


    The Impact of Monetary Incentives and Deontic Justice on Whistleblowing Reporting to Tax Agencies
    Principal Investigator: Linda Thorne

    By introducing a monetary incentive, government agencies presume that whistleblowers are motivated by extrinsic factors, such as financial gain, and that by offering monetary incentives, potential whistleblowers will be motivated to blow the whistle. Nevertheless, there is empirical evidence suggesting that individuals will sacrifice personal gains (i.e., financial incentives) to punish others for unfair behaviour (Turillo et al., 2002). Given that prior research shows that whistleblowers are, and perhaps primarily, motivated by intrinsic perceptions of justice (Douhou et al., 2012; Gundlach et al., 2003), we examine the impact of monetary incentives on whistleblowers’ intentions to report a transgression to the tax authority by using an experimental approach to consider the combined impact of external rewards and intrinsic need for justice on individuals’ propensity to blow the whistle. We empirically consider how deontic justice and external rewards encourage or undermine individuals’ propensity to blow the whistle.


    Whistleblowing and Taxpayers’ Monetary Incentives
    Principal Investigator: Linda Thorne

    In the past decade, North American tax authorities have made special efforts to encourage individuals to blow the whistle on major cases of tax evasion by offering monetary incentives. The United States has offered tax whistleblower awards since the Civil War, but these awards were discretionary and seldom claimed. In 2006, American tax laws were changed to stipulate award amounts (up to 30% of taxes collected), and in 2007, an official Tax Whistleblower Office was created to oversee the processing and granting of financial awards, which has led to a dramatic increase in the number of claims (West et al., 2012). More recently, in 2014, Canada established a tax whistleblower award program for the first time, in which whistleblowers are eligible for a financial award in cases of major international tax evasion (from 5% to 15% of taxes collected; CRA 2016). Although the Canadian Revenue Agency does not publicly report on the success of this initiative, the Internal Revenue Service (the tax authority in the United States) has paid in excess of $315 million to whistleblowers between the 2011 and 2015 fiscal years (GAO 2015). This project examines the literature with a view to the identification of the effectiveness of monetary incentives and the important thresholds used to encourage Taxpayers’ whistleblowing.


    Are Tontine Annuities Feasible in the 21st Century?
    Principal Investigator: Moshe A. Milevsky

    While the concept of a natural tontine annuity in which expected payouts decline in proportion to survival probabilities was shown to be optimal in a utility-maximization framework, in prior theoretical work published by Milevsky and Salisbury (2015, 2016), the question remains whether the structure can be operationalized in practice. For example, given the current term structure of interest rates and current mortality rate projections, what would the natural tontine payout be at age 60, 65, or 70? More importantly, how would it compare with payout rates on conventional life annuities? Assume that a group of 1,000 Canadians, now age 65, had entered into a tontine scheme in 1985, based on prevailing interest rates and mortality rates. What would the distribution of their income have been over the ensuing 30 years, assuming mortality patterns were consistent with Canadian mortality rates? Comparing different projection methodologies from 1985, what would the actual impact on ongoing payouts rates have been? What sort of capital and regulatory requirements would an insurance company face? In sum, the main research question is: Are tontine annuities feasible in the 21st century?


    Strategic Challenges among Hybrid Organizations: A Field Experiment in Collaboration with Goodwill Industries International
    Principal Investigator: Geoffrey Kistruck
    Co-Principal Investigators: Angelique Slade Shantz, Libby Weber, and Isaac Smith

    In this research program, we will undertake a field experiment in collaboration with one of the largest and most well-known social enterprises, Goodwill Industries International, around strategic issues related to hybridity. More specifically, we will design and execute a pilot study to explore alternative ways of leveraging non-traditional mechanisms to identify, motivate and retain a workforce comprised of vulnerable or at-risk individuals. Given the stated goals of the RiO grant of connecting research and practice, and strong engagement between strategy researchers and strategic decision-makers, we feel that the collaboration with Goodwill represents an ideal organizational setting in which scholarly and practical collaboration has an opportunity to generate new knowledge that can contribute to both strategic management theory and practice, in an organizational setting that contributes to the social wellbeing of millions of at-risk individuals each year.