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Business School wins six Best Paper awards at Academy of Management meeting

15 August 2019
Sydney well established as global management research centre
A paper by University of Sydney Business School researchers has won the prestigious Carolyn Dexter Award at the annual Academy of Management conference held recently in Boston.

Titled 'Protecting 'monsters': How complicity practices facilitate wrongdoing in organizations', the paper by HDR student, Fannie Couture, and her supervisor, Adjunct Professor Jane Lê, was one of six Business School submissions to take out Best Paper awards at this year's event.

"The Carolyn Dexter Award is presented to papers providing new insights, are rich in observation and employ creative methodologies," said the head of the Discipline Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professor Leanne Cutcher.

"Papers receiving this honor typically reflect collaboration between scholars from different countries, topics that are not in the US mainstream, but are important in other countries' research traditions, and that have themes and content reflecting an awareness of business and management outside of domestic boundaries," Professor Cutcher added. 

A groundbreaking analysis of the corporate response to climate change, titled 'Making Climate Change Fit for Capitalism: The Corporate Translation of Climate Adaptation', was another to win a Best Paper award.

The paper, by Professor Christopher Wright and Honorary Professor Daniel Nyberg, contends that the political debate is shifting from emissions reduction to adaptation, allowing corporations to take a "business as usual" approach to the environment crisis.

Another winning paper by Senior Lecturer Dr Stephen Zhang, master's student Afreen Choudhury and visiting PhD candidate Liangxing He, is titled 'Responsible Innovation: The Development and Validation of a Scale', and looks the effective measurement of responsible innovation.

"The burgeoning literature on responsible innovation is encumbered by the lack of a validated measure of responsible innovation," said Dr Zhang in a description of his research. "In this paper, we develop a measurement scale to assess responsible innovation at the organisational level."

In a winning paper titled 'Leader Humility and Team Proactive Performance: The Mediating Role of Group Silence', PhD candidate, Nate Zettna and Senior Lecturer Helena Nguyen examined the link between management style and group silence’in the workplace.

"We discovered that teams with humble leaders are less silent and therefore proactively perform better," said Mr Zettna in his description. "Moreover, when team-level leader-member exchange is high the impact of leader humility becomes stronger."

In his winning paper, titled 'Does FDI Presence make domestic firms greener in an emerging economy? The effect of media attention', PhD candidate Wei Liu looked at the impact of foreign direct investment, and the media's coverage of it, on levels of environmental awareness amongst local companies in developing countries.

"In this paper, we theorize that foreign direct investment enhances the host country's media attention on environment protection,"said Mr Liu. "Such enhanced media attention on environmental protection imposes strong pressures to drive domestic firms' environmental investments."

Senior Lecturers Helena Nguyen and Anya Johnson also won "Best Paper with practical implications" with colleagues in a symposium, 'Aggression in Service Interactions: New Developments in Customer Mistreatment'.

"In this paper, we look at the very real challenges faced by frontline staff who have to deal with customer maltreatment," said Dr Johnson. "We also look at strategies they can adopt to reduce the impact on their wellbeing."

Dr Johnson and Dr Nguyen are also finalists in the category for most outstanding paper published in the journal Group and Organization Management 2018. Their paper examined functional diversity in healthcare teams. The winning paper in this category will be announced in Boston.

Congratulating the winners, the Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, said that to have five papers selected from the thousands submitted is a "very pleasing" indication of Sydney's standing as a global centre for cutting-edge research.

Around 12 thousand participants attended this year's Boston meeting, which was themed "Understanding the Inclusive Organization."

The New York-based Academy of Management was founded in 1936 as "an organization of educators dedicated to the advancement of the philosophy of management."