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Research projects

Some research projects from our broad range of research expertise in business at Massey.

A Moral Truth

New Zealand has a long and rich tradition of journalism that holds power to account. This book by Dr James Hollings pulls together stories, dating from 1863 to reveal hidden truths. Some will be well known. Many will not. Some still shock and disturb. All show the craft, compassion, toil and persistence of the journalists and editors who unveiled them.

A Moral Truth

Bank e-loyalty improved by personal relationships

A study by Massey University and Curtin University researchers shows that banks can’t rely on the strength of their technology platforms to create loyalty with their business customers.

Mobile and online technologies have revolutionised banking, but there were no studies examining if technology creates brand loyalty like face-to-face relationship building. Massey's Dr Henry Chung and his colleagues collected data from 336 New Zealand small and medium-sized businesses and compared their commitment to local and national-branded banks with their commitment to foreign-branded banks. The study found that good, personalised relationship building did lead to an increase in e-loyalty.

Find out more

Biopolitical Media: Catastrophe, Immunity and Bare Life

Alan Meek’s book presents an historical account of media and catastrophe that engages with theories of biopolitics in the work of Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri and others.

Contact Alan Meek

Complex adaptive systems

Complex adaptive systems is a new interdisciplinary field of science for understanding and predicting behaviour by viewing complex systems (e.g. organisations, communities, cities) as living organisms. This is in stark contrast to the prevalent Newtonian view of the universe, which by extension, views human organisations as machines. In living systems, entities constantly evolve and adapt in the face of new circumstances in order to sustain themselves.

Professor Kambiz Maani’s research has been investigating how the principles of complexity science can be effectively applied to organisations and leadership. His work has resulted in a book Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems.

Find out more

Cultural identity influences motivation and style of play

The cultural identity of individual rugby players in a team changes the way the team plays, according to a Massey University study co-authored by Dr Yusuke Kuroda and Dr Farah Palmer. The research shows the Māori All Blacks, a team of players who share the same cultural heritage, are more playful and spontaneous and take more risks than the Japanese National Team, which has a mix of nationalities. The difference is down to the players’ cultural identity and norms. This has an application for management practice and the understanding of the motivational characteristics and cultural profile of any team.

Find out more

Culturally-centred health communication in African American communities

Professor Mohan Dutta worked on a culturally-centered health communication project on heart disease among African American communities in the Lake and Marion counties of Indiana. This community-grounded project interrogated the unhealthy structures that constrain the health and wellbeing of African American neighbourhoods in the US. It became the basis for multiple organic projects rooted in the aspirations in the community for health and wellbeing.

Contact Mohan Dutta

Cultural response could improve Māori financial literacy

A report on the spending habits of Māori women has identified that a culturally-responsive community model could help improve financial literacy among Māori.

The research project, conducted by the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre and funded by the SkyCity Auckland Community Trust, aimed to provide useful insights for creating targeted financial literacy programmes for Māori women. The results included showing a higher likelihood to borrow from family at short notice and a low engagement with bank loans.

Find out more

De-biasing pilots

In general aviation, cognitive biases can lead pilots to continue on their initial flight plan when deteriorating weather conditions suggest that the safe option might be to turn back or to divert. This is one of the primary causes of fatal accidents.

Associate Professor Andrew Gilbey and Dr Stephen Walmsley (Massey PhD graduate) have been investigating de-biasing pilots who were considering whether to continue a flight into deteriorating weather conditions, in attempts to find ways to make them more likely to divert or turn back. The de-biasing appeared to have little effect, showing how pervasive and enduring the effects are of cognitive biases in general aviation decision making.

Contact Andrew Gilbey

Defining the New Zealand Protein Market

In this research project Professor Christoph Schumacher worked on modelling the global protein market (in terms of human and animal supply and demand) five, 10 and 15 years into the future. The project also worked to define the position of New Zealand in the context of the global protein market.

Contact Christoph Schumacher

Employment in Nauru

A report by Massey University Professors Jim Arrowsmith and Jane Parker for the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO), "Situational Analysis of Employment in Nauru", explored prospects for employment diversity in Nauru. Similar projects have been conducted for the ILO in Tonga and Papua New Guinea.

Contact Jim Arrowsmith

Escaping the low skill, low pay, low commitment and low performance work cycle

This project involves a survey and qualitative research to explore how both productivity and employee engagement can be enhanced by better people-management practices. It examines current gaps and priorities in management capabilities and the drivers and constraints on HR strategy.

Contact Jim Arrowsmith

Executive and Management Education Survey study

The Executive and Management Education Survey study sought to understand and disseminate the views of New Zealand respondents on executive and management education, and to compare these findings with those from Australia. The study was undertaken to help inform and improve the content and delivery of management education delivery in both contexts.

Read the survey results (pdf)

    Awards and recognition

    Professor Stephen Croucher has been recognised in the publication 'Communication Education', as being ranked in the top one per cent of communications scholars for research productivity. Professor Croucher was the 17th most productive communication researcher, and the only researcher based outside the United States and Europe to make the list.

    Communication scholar in top 1% - Professor Stephen Croucher
    'Communication Education' quarterly journal

    Chief flight instructor Craig Whyte was awarded the Director of Civil Aviation's Flight Instructor Award. This recognised his decade in the role of chief flight instructor at the School of Aviation, a period that included the introduction of the technologically-advanced Diamond aircraft.

    Director of Civil Aviation Flight Instructor award - Craig Whyte

    The Director's Award for an Organisation recognised the School of Aviation's 30-year history of producing aviators with solid academic knowledge and technical skills.

    Director of Civil Aviation Organisation award - School of Aviation

    In 2018 Dr Flora Hung-Baesecke was invited to join the editorial board of Public Relations Review, the oldest public relations journal and an A journal on the ABDC and SSCI journal lists.

    Editorial board appointment
    Public Relations Review

    Paul Kearney, the chief of standards at Massey University’s School of Aviation, received the Greg Vujcich Memorial Award in 2017 from the NZ Airline Pilots’ Association for his outstanding involvement with aviation.

    Greg Vujcich Memorial Award - Paul Kearney
    NZ Airline Pilots’ Association

    In 2016 Mikael Boulic was awarded the Emerging Researcher Award by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. The award was in recognition of a project to improve health outcomes and indoor environments in primary schools, in an effort to decrease rates of illness, decrease absenteeism and the level of chemical pollutants using a low-cost solar ventilation unit.

    Health Research Council Emerging Researcher Award
    Health Research Council of New Zealand

    In 2016 the industrial innovation team at Massey won a Special Appreciation Award from the Asia Pacific Quality Organisation (APQO), the professional body for quality-related organisations internationally.

    Industrial Innovation - Appreciation Award from the Asia Pacific Quality Organisation - Industrial Innovation team
    Asia Pacific Quality Organisation (APQO)

    In 2017 Dr Pushpa Wood was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to financial literacy and interfaith relations.

    Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit - Dr Pushpa Wood

    In 2007 Distinguished Professor Robert McLachlan was awarded the Dalquist Prize. This international award recognises original contributions to fields in the area of numerical analysis as applied to differential equations.

    SIAM Dalquist Prize - Distinguished Professor Robert McLachlan
    Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)

    New Zealand Organisation for Quality awarded the Massey quality team their special services award in 2015.NZOQ is a non-profit, professional society dedicated to providing leadership in the adoption of the principles of quality management and best practice in New Zealand.

    Special services award from NZOQ
    New Zealand Organisation for Quality

    Dr Farah Palmer was awarded the 2018 Women of Influence Board and Management Award. The awards recognise and celebrate women from all walks of life who make a positive difference in the lives of their fellow New Zealanders.

    Women of Influence Board and Management Award 2018 - Dr Farah Palmer
    Women of Influence

      Student research

      Jane Hurst's PhD thesis investigated women's expectations of women in the workplace, and whether a gender bias existed. It showed that women have higher expectations of female managers, expecting them to be more aware of the complexities of their lives and to offer more flexibility to accommodate those complexities.

      Jane Hurst
      Doctor of Philosophy

      Jo Mutter's doctorate focused on the impact of global mobility in the workplace on the families that are left behind. How do they incorporate these ‘new’ forms of global employment into their lives, and how does it affect their home and their own careers?”

      Jo Mutter - Massey PhD student
      Doctor of Philosophy

      My thesis examined the hybrid features of convertible bonds. From the investment perspective, my thesis provides valuable insights into the degree of mispricing of convertible bonds. From the financing perspective, I examined why multinational corporations typically have lower long-term debt ratios than domestic corporations, forgoing the risk-reduction benefits of international diversification.

      Karren Khaw - Senior Lecturer - School of Economics, Finance and Banking, Universiti Utara Malaysia
      Doctor of Philosophy

      Kate Blackwood's thesis explored interventions in workplace bullying within the New Zealand nursing profession. She looked at barriers to intervention at three stages of a victim’s experience—identifying their experience as bullying, reporting, and organisational intervention.

      Kate Blackwood - Lecturer
      Doctor of Philosophy

      Natalia D’Souza doctoral thesis was on workplace cyberbullying. She found that nurses not only experience bullying by other staff, but also by patients and their families.

      Natalia D’Souza
      Doctor of Philosophy

      There is a growing trend in marketing to use third-party endorsers to encourage consumer preferences for brands, such as medal awards on wine labels, the Heart Foundation tick and the dolphin safe logo. My research examines whether consumers have higher preferences for products endorsed by ethical labels, if they think more (use deliberative information processing) about ethical issues.

      Roman Konopka
      Doctor of Philosophy

      Modern commercial flight simulators used by airlines can cost anything from $1 million to $20 million – putting them out of reach of most flight schools and students. I wanted to establish if low-cost flight simulators were as effective in terms of training transfer as commercial simulators for initial pilot training. For my PhD research I designed low-cost desktop trainers that can be customised for New Zealand pilots for as little as $15,000.

      Savern Reweti - Massey School of Aviation lecturer
      Doctor of Philosophy

      My PhD is titled Cleared to Disconnect? An Exploratory Study of the Interaction between Airline Pilots and Maintenance Engineers. Accurate information regarding the maintenance status of an aircraft is essential for safe and efficient airline operations. I found evidence of communication barriers that influenced the efficacy of information exchange between pilots and maintenance engineers.

      Tahlia Fisher - Senior Safety Specialist, Air New Zealand
      PhD (Aviation)

        Named Chairs

        We have a number of named chairs reflecting our connections with business and alumni and excellence in our research areas of expertise.

        MSA Charitable Trust Professor in Finance

        Prof Ben Marshall

        Ben has published in leading journals and is among the top 1% of authors based on paper downloads from the working paper website SSRN. His work has received extensive media coverage and he has consulted to public and private companies.

        Prof Ben Marshall

        Sir Stephen Tindall Chair in Retail Management

        Prof Jonathan Elms

        Jonathan joined Massey in 2014 after spending seven years at the Institute for Retail Studies (IRS), University of Stirling. He leads the Bachelor of Retail and Business Management and is the Director of the Centre for Advanced Retail Studies.

        Prof Jonathan Elms

        Dean's Chair - Finance

        Prof Nuttawat Visaltanachoti

        Nuttawat is in the top 1% authors based on the research download in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). He has published in leading international journals, blogs and popular financial media.

        Prof Nuttawat Visaltanachoti

        Dean's Chair - Strategy

        Professor Christian Felzensztein

        Christian has a wide range of international experience with leading universities and agencies in Latin America, Europe and the UK, including work for the European Parliament in Brussels. His research, which has received considerable external funding, focuses on agribusiness clusters, entrepreneurship and international strategy of small firms.

        Professor Christian Felzensztein

        Dean's Chair in Communication

        Professor Mohan Dutta

        Professor Dutta’s expertise is in health communication in relation to indigenous health, health and migration, and poverty. He has received over $4 million in funding to work on culture-centered projects of health communication, social change, and health advocacy.

        Professor Mohan Dutta


          Massey Business School

          Massey University's interdisciplinary approach to research means that schools and institutes from a number of colleges contribute to business research. However the majority of business-related research is conducted by people within the Massey Business School.

          About the Massey Business School

          Research centres and groups

          Massey has a number of research centres and groups in our areas of business expertise.

          Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)Centre for Advanced Retail Studies (CARS)Centre for Organisational Excellence ResearchHealthy Work GroupMPOWER

          New Zealand Centre for MacroeconomicsNew Zealand Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship CentreReal Estate Analysis UnitTe Au RangahauWestpac-Massey Fin-Ed Centre

          Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 [email protected] Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey