Multi-million dollar boost for business and economics researchers

20 Nov 2020

Six projects involving University of Queensland business and economics resesarchers have secured $4.4M in federal government funding.

Sandstone cloisters in UQ's Great CourtRanging from topics on global tourism, social media use to monetary policies, the four UQ-led projects and two non-UQ led projects have been awarded Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project funding.

BEL Faculty Associate Dean (Research) Professor Brent Ritchie said this year’s result was a significant increase compared to the Discovery Project funding in 2019.

“This is an outstanding achievement for our Faculty and our researchers, who have had to face many obstacles this year due to the restrictions from the pandemic,” Professor Ritchie said.

“Our Discovery Project grant recipients will be helping find solutions for business, charities, governments and the public to continue our vision to address some of Australia’s biggest economic and social challenges.

“Congratulations to all our researchers whose applications were successful in an incredibly tight funding environment.”

ARC Discovery Project grant details

Professor Peter Popkowski Leszczyc (Business School) and Dr Cassandra Chapman (Business School) – $161,000

Increased competition from over 57,000 registered charities and a recent 6 per cent decrease in individual donations, have increased the need for charities to improve their fundraising strategies. This project aims to develop a comprehensive framework to determine effective charitable fundraising strategies in a competitive marketplace. These outcomes will enhance fundraising practice, ensuring charities can better serve the Australian public.

Professor Matthew Hornsey (Business School) and Professor Jolanda Jetten (School of Psychology) – $282,000

This project aims to provide new understandings of the psychology of believing conspiracy theories, a problem that promotes prejudice, undermines trust, and costs lives. This project will involve the first large-scale, multi-national survey of willingness to believe conspiracies, allowing us to identify how national and cultural factors influence conspiracist thinking around the world. The aims will be to reduce the impact of conspiracy theories, with benefits in terms of reducing societal mistrust, prejudice, and political violence.

Associate Professor Sabine Matook (Business School) – $376,000

This project aims to gain a better understanding of discontinued use of social media. For businesses and governments, social media serves as a dynamic channel for engagement, value co-creation, and business analytics marketing that is lost when users choose to discontinue its use. The expected outcome of this project is an integrated theory of social media discontinuance. The project findings provide significant benefits, such as strategic capabilities and actionable knowledge for businesses and governments to mitigate social media discontinued use.

Dr Ya-Yen Sun (Business School) – $401,523

With over 6 billion vacation trips annually, tourism is a major and fast-growing contributor to climate change. To support a climate-centred tourism policy, this Project aims to construct a world’s first global database that answers three key questions: 1) if tourism carbon footprint increases in direct proportion to its consumption, 2) how quickly tourism can decarbonise emissions, and 3) can tourism deliver better carbon performance than other sectors? A significant benefit of this Project is to identify mitigation policies that can better balance tourism economic yield and emissions stabilisation.

Professor Dr Markus Höllerer (University of New South Wales); Associate Professor Paul Spee (UQ Business School); Dr Graham Dwyer (Swinburne University) – $844,628

This project aims to tackle the challenges that coordinated collective action faces in situations of complex crisis. The expected outcomes include an improved theoretical understanding of multi-actor collaborative governance in crisis situations by identifying obstacles and governance gaps that need to be overcome. This should provide significant benefits in terms of national and international response strategies to crisis situations of various kind.

Professor Pedro Gomis Porqueras (Deakin University); Associate Professor Begoña Domínguez (UQ School of Economics) – $148,158

In response to the global financial crisis, the world’s major central banks cut their rates to near zero and implemented untested unconventional monetary policies, significantly expanding the size and composition of their balance sheets. More than a decade later, the Reserve Bank of Australia is considering similar balance sheet policies. This proposal aims to develop frameworks that can be used to prevent a prolonged recession. This Project will contribute to the current Australian monetary policy debate while providing some insights on how best to implement such policies, improving the living standards of Australians.

Contact: BEL Communications,