Queen's University

School of Business announces Research Awards winners


Professor Laurence Ashworth has received the Queen’s School of Business (QSB) 2009 Award for Research Achievement and Professor Pamela Murphy has received the school’s 2009 New Researcher Achievement Award.

The Award for Research Achievement acknowledges the outstanding research contribution of an established QSB faculty member over the past five years. Professor Ashworth’s interests are in the social and emotional influences on consumer judgments and decisions. Using controlled experiments and finely-tuned scenarios, he discovered different routes by which unfair treatment can have a strong impact on consumers’ self esteem. He has also conducted research on other topics related to the way consumers respond to their social environment. His work on “impression management” has shown that consumers will sometimes deliberately avoid saving money in order to avoid appearing cheap.

The New Researcher Achievement Award recognizes a pre-tenured faculty member’s research contribution. Professor Murphy's research focuses on extending the knowledge of behaviours that could be red flags for fraud. To learn how people rationalize unethical behaviour, she runs experiments with students in networked computer labs. Students perform a task that culminates in an earned income, and then are given the opportunity to report any income (even lie) in order to be paid more. Her research identifies how people rationalize unethical behaviour, using excuses such as “everyone else does it” or “no one gets hurt.” In other experiments, she has removed some of these possible rationalizations in an effort to determine whether or not this might get people to act more ethically.

 “I’m thrilled about this award,” says Professor Murphy. “I couldn’t be happier at the level of support that I’ve received at Queen’s.”

The award program is administered by an ad hoc committee of QSB professors who consider the research achievements of their peers. In addition to the recognition, recipients receive grants to support their research and facilitate its dissemination into journals and other quality publications.   

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Last updated at 12:12 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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