CFPRS Doctoral Student Research Support

The Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society is delighted to announce that funding is now available to support the research efforts of three Gies College of Business doctoral students or faculty members. Support to any one doctoral student or faculty member will now be up to $7,500. The amount awarded will depend on the assessed quality of the project and its overall fit with the Center's mission.

To apply for support please complete the application found here.

With financial help from the Center, congratulations to Clara Chen, Jennifer Nichol, and Flora Zhou on their paper, “The Effect of Incentive Framing and Descriptive Norms on Internal Whistleblowing,” published in Contemporary Accounting Research. Read it here or see the PDF.

2019 Research Funding Awards


Jihyeon Kim

Her research investigates biases that can work against selecting moral people during hiring processes. Using lab experiments, surveys, and field studies with multiple populations, she examines whether and why individuals fail to actively seek signs of morality in candidates, tend to reject particularly moral candidates, and tend to select morally compromised candidates. Identifying these issues provides new insights into how to support ethical organizations.


Joseph T. Mahoney, Jiayue Ao, Eva Herbolzheimer, and Hyeonsuh Lee (“The Comparative Assessment of Governance in the Context of Public and Private Prisons”)

Abstract: Several states as well as the federal government have outsourced correctional services with the goal of reducing cost. However, we know little about the effects that prison privatization has on quality outcomes and costs. Previous literature suggests that when capabilities critical to the public interest are controlled by private individuals, agents, or organizations, the public interest might not be pursued as a consummate goal. Furthermore, when quality is difficult to measure and contracts difficult to enforce – such as in our prison context – agents with high-powered incentives are likely to engage in quality shading, which increases probity hazards. The goal of this research study is to compare two different forms of organizing prisons (public and private) from a quality perspective to unravel contradicting findings concerning the efficacy of private prisons and provide evidence- based policy recommendations. In doing so, this study empirically examines governance modes of prisons in the United States and their effects on recidivism rates. This research study posits that the extant literature on public entrepreneurship and privatization needs to be more sensitive to contexts because there are differential probity hazards. Accountability, transparency, and probity are especially crucial in the prison context for serving the public interest.


Shiyu Yang (“Culturally-attuned implicit theories of leadership morality: A comparative study on East Asia and North America”)

Abstract: The current research investigates cross-cultural differences in people’s implicit beliefs about morality in leadership. More specifically, the following themes are examined: (1) Cross-cultural variations in the interpretations and expectations of leaders’ morality. Do people from different cultures understand leadership morality differently? Do they emphasize the moral component to varying extents? (2) Cross-cultural variations in the reactions to leaders’ moral transgressions. How would people react to violated moral expectations? What explains the differential consequences ensuing from leaders’ moral failings? In addressing the above questions, special attention will be paid to understanding and contrasting leadership morality in the professional domain and the personal domain. In addition, mechanisms underlying concerns with leadership morality will be dissected into different levels, ranging from individual, to organization, to culture.


Nan Zhang (“Competition Policy as an FDI Deterrent: U.S. Antitrust Enforcement and Inward-FDI Flows”)

Abstract: Motivated by the potential for competition policy to be used in a protectionist manner, we formulate the theoretical prior that the enforcement of competition policy deters inward-FDI activity. We test this prior by employing sector-level data on U.S. antitrust enforcement and FDI inflows over the 2002–2014 period. The U.S. represents a hard case to establish protectionism as it has been considered to be open to foreign investment and the paragon of exemplary competition policy. Our panel-data empirical results indicate U.S. antitrust enforcement deters inward-FDI activity.