|2016 Quality of Life Survey|
|by Associate Professor Tan Soo Jiuan and Co-PI Associate Professor Tambyah Siok Kuan (Department of Marketing)|
|Research studies on happiness and wellbeing are of interest to academics, policy makers and practitioners as they seek to enhance the lives of individuals and communities. In our project on the quality of life of Singaporeans, we use theories and measurement tools from three main streams of research: (1) the subjective wellbeing perspective (2) values, and (3) socio-political indicators. The 2016 Quality of Life Survey comprises a fairly comprehensive set of social indicators that have been validated for use in the Singapore context through past surveys (in 2011, 2006 and 2001). The sample of 1500 respondents is a stratified and random one that is representative of the demographics of Singaporeans according to the latest Population Census.
Through the data analyses of this project, we aim to answer research questions pertaining to the quality of life and wellbeing of Singaporeans from a holistic perspective. Who are the happy Singaporeans, and what contributes to their life satisfaction? Issues like the impact of demographic variables on Singaporeans’ cognitive aspects of subjective wellbeing in terms of life satisfaction, and affective aspects of subjective wellbeing in terms of happiness, enjoyment, achievement, emotional, and psychological wellbeing will be examined. Correlation and cohort analyses will be conducted to track changes in Singaporeans’ personal values over time. The value orientations of Singaporeans together with demographic variables will be used to perform cluster analyses to define psychographic profiles of Singaporeans and examine whether and how these profiles evolve over time. Additional analyses will also be conducted to help uncover the underlying determinants of wellbeing for Singaporeans.
|Brokerage Culture, Tipping, and Analyst Ranking|
|by Assistant Professor Ma Guang (Department of Accounting)|
|Anecdotal evidence suggests that financial analysts tip large institutional investors prior to publicly releasing their forecast reports. While tipping generally is in the grey area, regulators view it as unethical and there are cases in which tipping is punished by regulators. We investigate whether brokerage firms’ culture affects financial analysts’ tipping behaviour, and how brokerage culture interacts with economic incentives such as analyst ranking.|
|Feeling the Heat of the Mid-life Pause: Impact of Menopause on Work and Well-being|
|by Professor Vivien Lim (Department of Management and Organisation)|
|For women, transiting into midlife (40-55 years) is especially significant as it is marked by the onset of and transition into menopause. Menopause brings with it many physical, psychological and emotional changes. Given that most women in this life stage are still engaged in paid employment, the physical, psychological and emotional outcomes triggered by this mid-life change, clearly, have significant implications for work and well-being, particularly in a society where the workforce is rapidly ageing, such as Singapore. This study examines the impact of menopause on employees’ work-related outcomes and well-being, as well as organizational strategies to help women cope with this mid-life transition.|
|Pasteur ’s Quadrant and the Technology Commercialization Impact of Universities|
|by Professor Wong Poh Kam (Department of Strategy and Policy)|
|This project addresses the tension in a university when balancing the core mission of basic research and the “third mission” of contributing economic value and societal impact. Current public policy is focused on encouraging universities to have greater industry collaborations. However, the empirical evidence on whether collaborations lead to successful commercialisation of university technologies is mixed.
Drawing on Stokes’ (1997) quadrant model of scientific motivation, industry-oriented research in universities falls into two categories. Pasteur’s Quadrant represents use-inspired research that both furthers fundamental scientific understanding and addresses real-world problems. Meanwhile, Edison’s Quadrant represents applied research that provides industry solutions. The project will collate data to construct indicators based on patenting and publication performance of researchers, in order to fulfill the project’s objectives: (a) develop a scientometrics-based methodology for classifying Pasteur’s and Edison’s Quadrants; (b) examine the comparative technology commercialisation outcomes of Pasteur and Edison Quadrant research.
|Peer Effects in Corporate Disclosure Decision|
|by Assistant Professor Seo Hojun (Department of Accounting)|
|This study investigates peer effects in corporate disclosure and accounting behaviour. Peer effect is defined as the average behaviour of a group influencing an individual group members’ behaviour.
The primary contribution of this study is to document that peer firm disclosure behaviour is an important determinant of corporate disclosure decisions. Prior research in accounting literature primarily focuses on firm-specific determinants but ignores potential externalities generated by peer firms. One important implication is that the externalities might interact with other firm-specific factors, and therefore change our inferences regarding firm-specific behaviour obtained from prior research.
|Pricing for Efficiency in the Sharing Economy: An Empirical Study of the Ride-hailing Platforms|
|by Associate Professor Chu Junhong (Department of Marketing)|
|We study the optimal design of the price structure and the optimal take-rate for ride-hailing platform models, and the associated efficiency and welfare implications. The study will provide recommendations on how the platform should set prices. On the supply side, commissions must attract drivers, while on the demand side, prices must attract consumers. The commissions and prices must balance demand and supply across the platform.ent findings and identifying critical questions to be addressed in future research.|
|Re-Examining the Dimensional Structure, Antecedents and Consequences of Interpersonal Trust in Organisations|
|by Associate Professor Daniel J McAllister (Department of Management and Organisation)|
|Scholars and practitioners alike are quick to acknowledge the importance of trust in business relationships. There is less agreement on how best to measure trust dimensions and model their antecedents and consequences.
I am now summarising key findings from more than 400 published and presented studies that have addressed one or more of these trust dimensions, testing critical assumptions about the extent to which they are distinct and differentially associated with key predictors and consequences. Beyond a distillation of key findings, my work will be focused on addressing inconsistent findings and identifying critical questions to be addressed in future research.
|Strategic Corporate Disclosure upon Liquidity Shock: Evidence from the Lehman Brothers Bond Rating|
|by Assistant Professor Lin Yupeng (Department of Accounting)|
|In this paper, we found that, in response to a positive (negative) demand shock, managers strategically provide management forecasts with more negative (positive) information. This finding is robust to different measures of disclosure and various specifications that seek to rule out alternative explanations. Further evidence suggests that bond financing-dependent firms and financially constrained firms exhibit a greater sensitivity of corporate disclosure decisions to demand shocks in the bond market.|
|Think Unethical, Think Male: A Role Congruity Approach|
|by Assistant Professor Ke Mai (Department of Management and Organisation)|
|We have accumulated knowledge to better understand why people behave unethically, but there seems empirical research to be little to examine the outcomes of unethical behaviour at work. Based on the criminal justice literature, unethical behaviour can be categorized into either impulsive or premeditated (or pre-planned) crimes. I have data indicating that people differentiate between the two types of behaviours and punish premeditated behaviour more severely. In my dissertation, I asked participants to rate the masculinity and femininity of each act and then asked whether they thought the perpetrator was male or female. For premeditated acts, participants rated it as more masculine and felt that the perpetrator was male, which is in line with our expectations and role congruity theory. Based on the role congruence theory, I hope to explore the phenomenon in more detail to see whether third-party evaluator (e.g., manager) view individual (e.g., our employee) unethical behaviour differently based on their gender.|
|Travel Demand Management: Understand how and Why Commuters can (not) be Persuaded to Avoid Peak-Time Travel|
|by Assistant Professor Yang Nan (Department of Strategy and Policy and Department of Marketing)|
|This project is a field experiment on Singapore’s subways and aims to evaluate the effectiveness of using reward schemes to incentivise peak-time commuters to travel pre-peak. In a randomised controlled trial design, frequent peak-time commuters in the treatment groups will receive rebates of their subway fare for traveling pre-peak. Some of them will receive a further bonus if their numbers of pre-peak trips reach a threshold. The monetary incentives are designed to be temporary, while our observation will cover the period after the discontinuation of the incentives. In a difference-in-differences analysis, we test (1) whether the promotional scheme shifts peak-time trips and (2) if so, whether the shifts persist beyond the promotional period.|
|Efficacy of Nascent Venture Evaluation and Strategy|
|by Assistant Professor Erin L Scott (Department of Strategy and Policy).|
| The uncertainty inherent in pursuing truly original venture ideas is different from the typical risks associated with financial investments. This is because the distribution of the outcomes for new ideas is by their nature unknown. Yet, in order for the commercial viability of an idea to be realised, entrepreneurs and investors must choose to devote considerable time and resources to its development instead of pursuing other more well-established career paths or project types. The research project seeks to understand the nature of the uncertainty these ventures face. This will inform decisions by prospective entrepreneurs and investors to move a nascent venture idea forward and provide guidance as to viable strategies to do so.
Together with co-authors, I have collected unique data on the evaluation and evolution of nearly 700 venture ideas founded between 2005 and 2012 across a wide range of industries. The ventures in our sample have raised over 700 million dollars from venture capitalist and angel investors.
|Environmental Expenditure and Firm Performance|
|by Associate Professor Thompson Teo (Department of Decision Sciences)|
|Drawing from the resource-based view and natural-resource-based view (NRBV), we examine the relationship between a firm’s environmental expenditure on both cost of revenue and net income. We also analyse the moderating effects of R&D and environmental products on the respective relationships. Specifically, we conduct robust regression analyses using environmental and financial data of S&P500 firms from 2000 to 2014. The results provide insights into conditions when it pays to be green.|
|How Do Political Events Affect Politically Connected Firms?|
|by Assistant Professor Johan Sulaeman (Department of Finance)|
|We examine how political events influence the performance and behaviour of politically connected firms. We focus on the time-varying aspects of political ties over a reasonably long time horizon in countries where these ties are prevalent. Our analysis pays special attention on countries that experienced instances of political instability in the recent past as the time series variations in political conditions will allow us to examine the effect of political connections, while controlling for potentially unobserved differences in corporate and political actors.
The expected findings of our study should provide important contributions to the existing literature on the effect of time-varying political ties on firm value and information quality. In sum, our research agenda is geared towards contributing to the broad question of how a country’s political environment affects its economic development and the performance of the private (but potentially connected) sector.
|Housing Market under Asymmetric Information and Behavioural Biases|
|by Professor Sumit Agarwal (Department of Finance)|
| Increased competition has a causal effect on banks’ pricing strategies to compete for consumers and profits. We test this conjecture using an exogenous shock due to the interstate banking restriction that has been sequentially lifted across states since 1994. We find strong evidence that increased competition leads banks to reduce initial rates offered on the adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) to attract borrowers but increase interest rates after the rate reset and thereby exploit consumer inattention in the pricing terms. Different banks design pricing strategies that are optimal to their own profit structures. Consistent with theoretical predictions, we find that banks shroud more with naïve borrowers or less financially sophisticated borrowers, who are more subject to behavioural bias. Subsequently, banks earn more profits from lower default risk and delayed prepayments.
|MRT Travel Study|
|by Associate Professor Leonard Lee (Department of Marketing)|
| The public transportation system in Singapore faces peak-hour overloads. At times, MRT trains are over-crowded to the extent that commuters cannot board the trains. The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) have been trying to shift part of the crowd to off-peak periods by offering fare discounts for off-peak travel.
This research examines the effectiveness of a surcharge policy at shifting travel from peak to off-peak periods and commuters’ perception of the policy. We also develop and test different potential solutions to increase commuters’ receptivity toward peak-hour surcharge. In particular, we investigated the behavioural and psychological impact of donating the collected surcharge to charity—varying the proportion of the surcharge to donate (50 per cent or 100 per cent) and the degree of autonomy commuters have in deciding the benefactor of the donation. To this end, we conducted a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) involving more than 900 commuters across the nation, examining their travel patterns before, during, and after a six-week intervention period as well as capturing their attitudes toward the surcharge policy at different points in time during the experiment.
|Reference Price Models and Dynamic Pricing|
|by Assistant Professor Hu Zhenyu (Department of Decision Sciences)|
| This research project aims to understand how reference-dependent behaviours of consumers affect the aggregate level market response as well as how the firm should make optimal pricing decisions. The project investigates this question from two separate perspectives.
First, the dynamic pricing literature with reference effect commonly imposes assumptions about consumer behaviour directly on the market response. While this may be convenient for analytical purposes, it may not accurately reflect the real market response. We propose to bridge this gap and examine the analytical and empirical consequences when one builds up the reference dependent demand function from the consumer behaviour model.
Second, we analyse the problem of determining the optimal prices in more realistic settings such as reference prices can evolve stochastically or the firm needs to manage the pricing decisions for multiple products.
|Sharing Economy and Sustainable Transportation: Service Region Design and Operations Management for Car/Ride Sharing Systems|
|by Assistant Professor He Long (Department of Decision Sciences)|
The objective of this project is to design effective models and systems for car/ride sharing services, with the eventual goal to provide viable solutions, from both operational and technological perspectives, to sustainable transportation development. The research scope covers the following three areas: 1) designing service region for one-way car/ride sharing systems; 2) managing fleet operations in various car/ride sharing business models; 3) promoting synergy with public transport.
|The Effect of Social Power on Consumer Behaviour|
|by Assistant Professor Yan Zhang (Department of Marketing)|
| Social power, defined as an individual’s relative capacity to modify the states of other people by providing or withholding rewards or administering punishments, has been recognised as a persuasive influence on human behaviour.
We investigate whether power really corrupts by examining the effect of power on ethical behaviour. We are interested in testing whether the powerful are more or less likely to donate to charity as compared to the powerless, and whether the powerful are more or less likely to buy counterfeit luxury products. The research will contribute to our understanding of the triggers of (un)ethical behaviour and the role of power in the ethical domain.
|Behavioural Ethics in Organisations|
|by Dr Yam Kai Chi (Department of Management and Organisation)|
Given the numerous business scandals in recent years (e.g., Volkswagen, AIG, etc.), many scholars and practitioners have advocated for increased CEO morality. Although CEO morality is assumed to be a highly desirable trait, in this research I propose its downside —reduced firm innovation. I propose that CEOs high on morality are likely to promote a rule-adhering organisational climate within their organisations, which discourages their employees to think "outside of the box". This rule-adhering organisational climate will in turn stifle firm innovation as a whole. This research will provide a more complete understanding of the effects of CEO morality on firm-level outcomes.
|Beyond the Hype: A Taxonomy of Social Entrepreneurship in Health and an Assessment of Impact|
|by Assoc Prof Audrey Chia (Department of Management and Organisation)|
In the last few decades, social entrepreneurs have tried to address the needs of the poor in Asia, especially where governments and markets have failed. In particular, social entrepreneurs in health stand out for their innovative and far-reaching work in disease prevention, treatment and enabling conditions for good health.
There have been many captivating stories and cases, but no systematic studies that have assessed the models and contributions of social enterprises as a whole. We shall conduct a systematic review of health social enterprises to produce a taxonomy of models and identify factors associated with their success and effectiveness.
|Cultural Bias, Trust and Consumption: An Empirical Study|
|by Assoc Prof Chu Junhong (Department of Marketing)|
Cultural proximity and trust have been found to affect international trade, portfolio investment and direct investment (Guiso, Sapienza and Zingales 2009), product adoption (Albuquerque, Bronnenberg and Corbett 2007), and pro-social lending (Burtch, Ghose and Wattal 2014). However, no study has examined the mechanisms through which culture and trust influence consumer demand. Existing studies tend to focus on cross-country cultural differences and trust. In geographically vast countries like China, India and the US, there are huge regional differences in culture and trust. There has not been any attempt to study the impact of within-country cultural differences on domestic trade and consumption and their policy implications.
This project has two research questions and objectives. First, how cross-country cultural proximity and trust influence consumer’s brand preference and price sensitivity, and consequently consumer’s demand. I will use the European car market as an empirical context. Second, how within-country cultural proximity and trust affect choices of sellers of different destination provinces by buyers of different origin provinces on online consumer-to-consumer (C2C) shopping, and what are the policy implications for regional e-commerce development and digital divide. I use the Chinese online C2C shopping as the empirical context.
Not only will this project help deepen our understanding of cultural elements in demand and consumption, it will also help policy makers to take relevant measures to alleviate the possible negative impact of cultural biases in demand and consumption.
|Discrete-Discrete Choice Models|
|by Dr Yao Dai (Department of Marketing)|
For some business contexts, a transaction starts with a customer making an initial purchase decision (e.g., reserving a specific car, or putting a specific product in the shopping cart), and ends when the customer pays for the chosen product if the initial decision is held on, or a new product if the initial decision is replaced.
This format of transaction, which comprises two related discrete decisions, cannot be fully accommodated by existing choice models which mainly deal with either discrete or concrete decisions, or, in rare cases, a combination of one discrete decision and one continuous decision (i.e., the so-called discrete-continuous choice model which has been widely used in the telecom business to model the mobile plan subscription for each month and the minute usage in the month). More importantly, this two-step transaction adds a great deal of richness into the customers’ as well as firms’ decisions which cannot be easily uncovered with existing tools. As an example, while the first decision is made for future consumption, the second one is usually for immediate consumption. Yet, these two are related decisions and it’s likely that the second one is influenced by the first one. How customers make the two decisions and to what extent the time gap between the two affects the second decision are interesting questions that this study will explore.
This proposal will complete a few on-going projects that help us better understand the customers’ and firms’ behaviours in such two-step transactions. It will also explore many new directions that are enabled by this new format of transaction.
|Geographic Investment Restrictions on Asian Mutual Funds: Costs and Opportunities|
|by Dr Johan Sulaeman (Department of Finance)|
This research will focus on legal barriers to overseas investment imposed on mutual funds across Asian countries, and particularly in Southeast Asia. Mutual funds in the region face restrictions regarding the fraction of their holdings that can be invested in foreign securities. Some of these restrictions can be relatively strict—Indonesian mutual funds are not allowed to hold more than 15% of their holdings in foreign securities. These restrictions limit the ability of local investors to invest in foreign assets, which in turn will limit the investors’ ability to diversify their portfolios and retirement accounts. As these investors are already exposed to the domestic risk through their labour income (as well as government policies), this restriction can prove harmful, particularly for the middle class.
The research will examine the costs and benefits of geographical investment restrictions on mutual funds’ investment. We aim to collect data on legal barriers to geographical diversification, and then examine research questions related to (1) the effects of these legal barriers on the performance of local mutual funds, (2) the corresponding effects on the ability of local investors to reduce their risk exposure and attain more optimal portfolios, and (3) the effects on the development of local and regional financial markets.
|Impact of Daily Commuting and Work and Well-Being|
|by Professor Vivien Lim (Department of Management and Organisation)|
Commuting to work is an unavoidable reality for majority of the working population. Research suggested that employees are spending an increasing amount of time commuting to work over the years (Lyons & Chatterjee, 2008). For instance, employees in Canada spend an average of 53.2 minutes a day commuting to work, while employees in London endure the longest average commute of 74.2 minutes a day in the UK (the UK average is 54 minutes).
In Singapore, there has been a heightened demand for public transportation amidst the growing population and tighter government regulations on private car ownership. As of 2014, per day train ridership consisted of 2.76 million passengers, and 3.75 million passengers for public buses (Land Transport Authority, 2015). These numbers are set to grow further. Against this context, the current study examines the impact of employees’ commuting experience on their work performance and well-being.
|Innovation Processes in India, China and Singapore: Towards a Cross-Cultural Lens|
|by Professor Michael Frese (Department of Management and Organisation)|
Cultural differences and similarities are examined that affect innovation processes in India, China, and Singapore. China and India are two giant economic powers that are important for the development of the world. All three countries emphasise in their public statements their wish to increase their innovative ability. However, there are differences in innovative abilities between these countries.
One potential reason for differences may be cultural. However, cultural differences do not just affect differences in innovation processes. They also may affect in a subtle way specific strategies and ideas to increase innovations, e.g., in R&D teams. Thus, cross-cultural differences are important – however, as far as we know cross-cultural psychological studies have not been done comparing these three countries.
We use the GLOBE study as a starting point to develop hypotheses on how cross-cultural differences affect these three countries. The GLOBE study examines nine cultural difference variables and is the newest and methodologically the best developed cross-cultural study (based on more than 17,000 responses from mid-level managers in 61 countries.
The study will be an important addition to the burgeoning literature on innovation and contribute greatly to cross-cultural studies. It also fills a gap of studies based in Asia and with contribution to Asian businesses.
|Job Search and Socialisation: Follow up Studies Using the Genome Pool Cohorts|
|by Assoc Prof Song Zhaoli (Department of Management and Organisation)|
College graduates transit from students to organisational members through two major processes— job search and organisational socialisation. In the last year of college life, the most important activity for most students is job seeking. A successful job search leads to an ideal employment opportunity. After obtaining that opportunity, students start their organisational entry process, which is most often been examined as the organisational socialisation process. The current proposal plans to examine both processes with college graduates.
Job search is the behavioural process through which individuals look for job. In the job search process, job-seekers undertake a series of activities, such as following leads from newspaper ads, writing resumes, contacting employers, and going through job interviews. The job interview is often considered as a popular recruiting and selection tools in organisations. Whether job-seekers can engage in job search in an effective and timely fashion has important implications for them to obtain their employment. The current proposal plans to examine college graduates’ job search behaviour from the lens of affective experience. The data can enable us to address questions of how job search behaviours change over time, how job search activities and job interviews are related to positive and negative affect, and how these behaviours and affects are related to job search effectiveness.
This study will also investigate the combined effect of newcomer’s proactivity and the leader’s support on newcomer’s organisational socialisation outcomes from two perspectives — learning and organisational identification, and in a three months period. According to person-organisation fit literature (specifically, person-supervisor fit [Kristof, 1996; Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson, 2005]), I propose that the more aligned a newcomer’s proactivity and his or her leader’s supports are, the higher the newcomer’s learning and identification developing. At the same time, this study will test asymmetrical incongruence effects when the newcomer’s proactivity is higher than the leader’s support, and vice versa. Finally, the study will test the newcomer’s and the leader’s combined effects on distal organisational attitudes and behaviours— newcomer’s work engagement and organisational commitment at the end of the dynamic process, three months after the newcomer’s entry.
|Law, Social Responsibility, and Outsourcing|
|by Dr Gong Jie (Department of Strategy and Policy)|
Previous research into law and corporate social responsibility mostly assumes that the vertical structure of production is exogenous. By outsourcing, a brand may avoid some liability and responsibility, but lose direct control over the evasive actions that cause harm. Here, we analyse the trade-off between avoidance of liability and control over evasion. (i) Evasive actions reduce production costs, and so, evasion increases with the speed/scale of production. Under outsourcing, the brand may depress speed/scale to induce less evasion. (ii) Maximising welfare requires comparing welfare under vertical integration and outsourcing, and so, is an inherently non-convex problem. (iii) If demand is elastic, the cost of production is high or enforcement is weak, then vertical integration is optimal. It discretely raises welfare by raising production speed/scale (increasing consumer benefit by more than production costs), and lowering evasion (reducing harm by more than it raises production costs).
|Predicting Corporate Frauds|
|by Professor Ke Bin (Department of Accounting)|
Corporate fraud is a worldwide problem, especially in emerging markets (e.g., China and India). If not detected and prevented on a timely basis, corporate fraud can cause significant harm not only to stakeholders of the firms directly linked to the fraud cases but also to non-fraudulent firms that compete with fraudulent firms for investors’ scarce capital or customers. Unfortunately, the detection of fraud is difficult, especially in emerging markets due to weak firm-level corporate governance and country-level investor protection. Even if fraud is detected, it may not be disclosed to the public. Hence, an important research question in academic research is to develop effective methods to detect corporate frauds on a timely basis so that the extent of damages from such fraud cases can be either completely prevented or minimised and an economy’s resource allocation becomes more efficient.
The existing literature has employed a variety of fraud detection techniques, ranging from the simple logistic regression model to more advanced models such as the bivariate probit model with partial observability or the SVM (support vector machines) method developed in computer science. The objective of this proposal is to develop new fraud detection methods appropriate for different levels of financial markets (e.g., the US versus China) using new ideas and interdisciplinary methodologies.
|Public Release of Enforcement Actions and Financial System Stability|
|by Dr Ma Guang (Department of Accounting)|
In the wake of financial crisis, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA) puts more emphasis on financial system stability and establishes two new regulating agencies to monitor systemic risk. Meanwhile, financial system transparency is advocated by researchers and practitioners and promoted by the banking regulators. However, the underlying assumption that transparency helps improve financial system stability is not warranted. Especially for disclosures from regulators, it is not clear whether such disclosures will improve the financial system stability, and no empirical evidence has been documented.
In this project, we investigate the impact of public releases of enforcement actions on the stability of the entire banking system. Specifically, we investigate the impact of the public releases of bank regulators’ enforcement actions against a bank on the entire banking industry, the role of the peer bank’s financial reporting transparency in mitigating or intensifying the effects of public releases of enforcement actions on financial stability, and the cross-sectional variance of impact due to types and qualities of enforcement actions.
Our project will contribute toward the debate on transparency in financial industry and have practical implications for financial regulators. Our evidence also provides rational explanations for some actions taken by the regulators in recent years. For example, during the financial crisis in 2008-2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deliberately halted the application of fair value accounting on some financial instruments to prevent further market crash.
|Retailing Analytics with Sensors|
|by Assoc Prof Wang Tong (Department of Decision Sciences)|
In face of increasing competition from online retailers, traditional retailers have been losing their market share. One of the key disadvantages for traditional retailing, besides higher cost due to rental for shop space, labour for salesforce, etc., is the lack of data availability. Not like an online retailer, who can easily identify which customer is browsing what product and for how long, traditional retailers have very limited visibility in customers' activities in the store. The absence of such valuable data has been the major obstacle for traditional retailers to better understand and optimise their retailing operations. In this project, I attempt to explore various sensors technologies that may lead to cost-effective ways of collecting data on customers' activities in retailing outlets, investigate statistical methodologies for calibrating models with such data, and optimise operational decisions such as assortment, inventory, pricing, and product display. The framework closes the loop of data collection, parameter estimation, and model optimisation.
|Strategic Information Disclosures, Agency Problems and Small Business Lending|
|by Dr Susie Wang (Department of Accounting)|
Private debt finance provided by banks plays a significant role in facilitating small business growth. Economic theory posits that banks are special in terms of their ability to collect and process information to screen and monitor borrowers. When making lending decisions and structuring loan contracts, banks incorporate different types of information from both public and private sources. In order to enjoy substantial information advantage over competitors during the lending process, lenders have strong incentives to collect borrower-specific proprietary information, which is not easily accessible to prospective lenders, through personal interactions with borrowers over time. Nevertheless, banks’ competitive information advantage relative to potential lenders is a decreasing function of transaction costs associated with the collection and processing of soft information, much higher than those for hard information which is usually quantitative and standardised, and easily transmitted and communicated. Financial information represents a fundamental source of firm-specific hard information that plays a central role in mitigating information asymmetries across contracting counterparties. Access to such information could potentially attenuate adverse selection and moral hazard problems in bank lending to the extent that it significantly reduces the information asymmetry between the bank and the borrower.
Privately held small businesses are well suited for an inquiry into subjective aspects of firm decision-making with respect to information disclosure choices and their significance for the access to external finance, investment decisions and, ultimately, firm growth. Informational opacity plagues many small businesses as high information asymmetry between the contracting counterparties might result in either credit rationing or the extension of credit on unfavourable contractual terms. To address information concerns, borrowers have incentives to increase transparency so as to potentially alleviate agency problems associated with small business lending. One possible choice for private firms is to provide more decision-relevant financial information by, for example, following the set of accounting standards which publicly held companies in the U.S. are required to follow. To shed light on this issue, we intend to investigate the consequences of a private firm’s strategic information disclosure as reflected in the choice of financial information disclosure in the form of financial statements.
|Subsidy and Product Adoption in a Residential Solar Market: The Role of Switching Cost|
|by Dr Ping Xiao (Department of Marketing)|
The worldwide concerns on reducing the pollutants and greenhouse gases have spurred researchers’ interests in exploring issues related with the adoption of solar technology products.
The adoption of green technology products is crucial in reducing pollution and sustainability development. This project is to study and quantify the impact of switching costs on the performance of the subsidy in promoting green products, and the role of switching cost in designing the subsidy program by examining rural consumers’ solar heater adoption under a subsidy programme initiated by the Chinese government.
|Sustainability Reporting and Firm Performance in Singapore|
|by Assoc Prof Lawrence Loh (Department of Strategy and Policy)|
Sustainability reporting is becoming a most critical area of concern for organisations all across the world. In particular, more and more companies are required disclose information related to sustainability. Singapore Exchange just announced plans in May 2015 to boost the transparency of governance with sustainability reporting on a “comply or explain” basis and thus making sustainability reporting an important feature in the Singapore business landscape of the future. This research aims to investigate the relationship between firm performance and sustainability reporting in Singapore. Specifically, it will generate a broad-based model of awareness, acceptance and adoption of sustainability reporting and the linkages with the key domains of firm performance.
|The Construction of Social Purpose Organisation Database (SPOD)|
|by Dr Zhang Weina (Department of Finance)|
This research project aims to collect primary data from Singapore social purpose driven organisations such as social enterprises. Although there are several existing international databases that evaluate the social impact of this type of firms, there is a lack of contextualised framework that takes into account of the local political, social and economic considerations in Singapore.
The construction of SPOD will allow the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) at NUS Business School to develop relevant training and development programmes for the social purpose organisations. Researchers can also benefit from the SPOD by conducting in-depth analysis on these organisations to contribute to the literature on social entrepreneurship and philanthropy from an Asian country’s perspective.
|Triggers of and Responses to Workplace Incivility|
|by Dr Irene Elisabeth De Pater (Department of Management and Organisation)|
Incivility is an interactive event where the target, the instigator, and the situation play a role. Research has not yet examined what actually triggers employees to act in an uncivil manner and how targets and witnesses respond to uncivil behaviour. It has been suggested, though, that targets and witnesses of workplace incivility may react with equal or harsher deviant behaviours toward the instigator or others in their environment and that uncivil incidents at work could ultimately result in a spiral of increasingly deviant and aggressive behaviour. However, because uncivil incidents are relatively mild and characterised by the ambiguous intent to harm the target, targets and witnesses may have difficulty making sense of the situation and how to perceive the uncivil incident. Hence, individuals may differ in their perceptions of and reactions to uncivil incidents, depending on their causal attribution of the instigator’s uncivil behaviours. The current study will examine these issues— what triggers workplace incivility, what are the causal attributions targets and witnesses make for instigators’ uncivil behaviour, and how do they actually respond to it.