School of Management scholarships - postgraduate

PhD scholarships

PhD scholarships offered by the Massey Business School and specifically by the School of Management.  

Master's scholarships

During 2018, a number of Master of Business Studies (MBS) projects will be offered by various School of Management Special Interest Groups.

The projects are designed specifically for an eligible domestic student (permanent resident or citizen) enrolled  fulltime in the research Masters degree to work alongside staff to undertake a genuine Masters project. 

One student will be awarded a $7000 scholarship for each of the listed projects, which will fulfill the requirements for a 90 credit or 120 credit thesis.

Understanding psychosocial risk and non-standard work

There is a growing emphasis on promoting the on-going health and holistic wellbeing of workers. Psychosocial risk management involves examining the social and organisational context of work design, and assessing these work environment factors as potential agents for risk creation. Just as one would view exposure to chemicals, noise or heavy lifting as a potentially harmful agent, greater recognition is now too being given to the organisation of work in the same way.

At the same time, the world of work continues to evolve – with factors such as increasing globalisation, an ageing workforce, and an increase in service-based enterprises dramatically altering the concept of the ‘typical worker’. Employers are choosing (or in other cases, forced) to utilise more flexible, nonstandard forms of labour to meet the challenges they are faced with from the evolving economy. Some of the most prominent forms of non-standard work include part-time, fixed-term and temporary employment, casual or on-call work (including zero-hour contracts), self-employment, telework and ‘gig work’.

The Healthy Work Group would be very interested in supervising a Master’s student conducting research, which addresses any aspect of psychosocial risk in relation to non-standard forms of work. Our group is very ‘problem’/question driven so we would welcome research which is either quantitative or qualitative in nature.

Achieving a Circular Economy: A New Zealand Perspective on Sustainability

The business sector increasingly sees the opportunity in circular economy business models, which allow them to capture additional value from their products and materials, and to mitigate risks from material price volatility and material supply. In the quest for a substantial improvement in resource performance across the economy, businesses have started to explore ways to reuse products or their components and restore more of their precious material, energy and labour inputs. The most progressive and smart companies are those that are looking to embed circular thinking into their core business. Thus, a circular economy has been touted as a long term policy that offers economic, social, and environmental benefits. To meet some of most pressing economic, environmental and social challenges, an innovative attempt is the suggestion of a circular economy as a trajectory for the transformations needed towards sustainability. How much real progress are New Zealand companies making on this agenda? This embraces the rational use of resources; low level of carbon emission, and less pressure on biodiversity; reducing waste and making production processes more efficient.

You will examine, using a qualitative method approach including in-depth interviews of relevant companies and stakeholders, the need for improvements to embrace innovations that enable achievement of a circular economy in New Zealand. 

At the intersection of sex, gender and power relations: Organising work through intimacy

It has been suggested that sex, sexual affect and intimacy guide much behaviour at work, whether conscious or unconscious (Kerfoot & Knights, 1993; Hearn, 1994; Brewis & Linstead, 2003; Brewis, 2005; Vachhani, 2012; Fotaki & Harding, 2013). While some of the impacts of this are registered in relation to sexual harassment and worse it is also operative in the more mundane aspects of organisational life, hiring, firing, performance management, work allocations and promotions.

In this research project you will examine some aspect of sex and intimacy using one of a variety of 'critical management' lenses to look at the intersection of sex, gender and power relations specifically in relation to how work is organised through intimacy.

Video gaming and management education

According to Wikipedia a significant number of New Zealanders play video games regularly.  The website reports:

In New Zealand, 67% of the population play video games, 48% of video game players are female and the average age of a video game player is 34. New Zealanders spend an average of 88 minutes a day playing video games. (“Video gaming in New Zealand,” 2017)

With its beginnings as a leisure activity, video gaming is now a burgeoning industry which employs software developers, graphic artists, and video animators.  There are creative possibilities in management education for using virtual games to help students learn problem-solving skills, strategy development and planning.  Yet according to Fisher, Beedle and Rouse (2014) the potential for the use of this modality is still largely untapped, despite consistent findings which demonstrate the positive impact of video games in problem solving skills, knowledge acquisition and student engagement (Perrotta, 2013).

There are examples of video game simulations used to teach procedural systems in business, for example financial business management, such as simulations ("Marketplace live," 2017) or supply chain management (Liu, 2017).  Simulation games have been found to be more effective when students develop decision-making abilities for managing complex and dynamic situations (Pasin & Giroux, 2011).  Despite the widespread use of games in a range of curricular areas (including health, business and social sciences), Connolly et al. (2012) note that, while simulation and puzzle games were common and well supported, educators are still unclear about how to incorporate different genre of games in their teaching.

There remains a significant gap in the research around using video games in the teaching and development of non-procedural concepts through experiential learning, for example in the field of ethics (Shrier 2017), leadership (Barnett & Coulson, 2010) or even legal jurisprudence (Newbery-Jones, 2016).

We propose a research project for a masterate student that would explore the development of the video gaming within New Zealand and then to articulate how this modality might be used as an educational tool within the business school environment.

What should the role of information systems be in society

Using social media to crowdsource an answer

Information systems have developed from discrete business and government based applications in the 1960s, to global systems widely used and integrated into every aspect of society. New and advanced technology continues to proliferate in areas of health, legal, home and transportation, amongst many others. Even the poor of the world have started to engage with information systems and communication with the global growth in mobile phone ownership (Walsham, 2012). At the start of the 21st century, technology has become embedded into every aspect of individual and social life (Pauleen, Dalal, Rooney, Intezari, & Wang, 2015).

 Information systems “denote any of a wide combination of computer hardware, communication technology and software designed to handle information related to one or more business processes” (Yeo, 2002, p. 241). Recent advances and contemporary patterns in technology have raised some new and critical questions and challenges in the information system field (Markus & Mentzer, 2014; Pauleen, Rooney, & Intezari, 2015). The impact of technology has changed the world so dramatically in the past three decades that ‘business as usual’ is no longer good enough if information systems are to create a positive impact (Walsham, 2012). For all the good technology promises, there is also the potential for technology to have consequences beyond the bounds of human control.

 This project proposes to target users of information systems (e.g. Internet, social media, online shopping, digital news, etc.) outside of normal business use to determine how they feel as citizens and users of information technology.  We suspect that users of information systems will have interesting and valuable perspectives on the effects of these technologies/systems on themselves as users, on their relationships with others and its impact on society.

 We suggest that crowdsourcing data collection using a social media platform will not only allow for wide data gathering but also significant opportunity for introspection and feedback as contributors will be able to dialogue their views with others. This has been described as ‘thinking together’ by William Isaacs (2008), founder of the decade-long Dialogue project at MIT.  Dialogue may create insights that go beyond discussion, sharing, collective understanding, and knowledge – there can be a strong element of observation, reflection, listening, and un-patterned organic learning about oneself (Dalal, 2006).

What do (low pay) employers think about the Living Wage?

The concept of a Living Wage (LW) differs from a Minimum Wage in that the former is usually calculated by independent groups, linked to quality of life not simply subsistence, and applied voluntarily.It has become increasingly prominent around the world as a result of rising living costs and the growth of insecure and low-paid work.

According to orthodox economics, paying above ‘market clearing’ wages will lead to job losses and likely work intensification.Alternative concepts such as ‘efficiency wages’ and insights drawn from motivational psychology suggest that (especially over the longer-term) higher pay could help deliver returns through improved recruitment and retention; motivation and productivity; staff development and training; and better people management and employee relations practices generally, including in small firms (Arrowsmith et al, 2003).

Case study work also suggests that employer agency (e.g. strategic choice, CSR and owner-manager ethics) can be important as well as structural context to do with product and labour market competition and profitability in explaining the drivers, constraints and effects of LW adoption by employers (Parker et al, 2016).

These issues need to be explored in a systematic way. The prevalence of small firms and service sector work means that in New Zealand 86% of employers do not pay at or above the LW rate. However, little is known about employer attitudes around low pay and the LW. Are low-paying employers favourable in principal but handicapped in practice? Or could they pay more but choose not to? What explains differences in attitudes and practice – how important is, for example, size, sector, management attitudes and priorities and employee representation/ unionisation?

This research will benefit by complementing a three-year study of employer and employee experiences of the LW commencing in March 2018, supported by the Marsden Fund. The Marsden study adopts a qualitative and longitudinal approach to understanding organisational pay dynamics. This study will focus on a single multi-sector survey of employer attitudes and practices. The research is largely quantitative though the survey will incorporate open questions and the study will be supported by stakeholder interviews.

What ever happened to the Shand Report?

The issue of funding for local government is a perpetual political hot potato – more so when national, state or other upper tiers of government legislate to create increased operational roles for local authorities without providing the necessary funding streams. This can often lead to questions being asked about the scope and scale of local authority functions and funding.

In New Zealand this is certainly the case.  In 2006 the then Labour Government, in an attempt to address these issues, as well as an impending property revaluation, appointed an expert panel to the New Zealand. Local Government Rates Inquiry – chaired by David Shand. The final report of the Inquiry (The Shand Report) was received by the Labour Government in 2007. The Report contained 96 recommendations of local government financial management best practice evidenced in local government in NZ. This project seeks to ascertain what became of the Shand Report, and why successive governments have opted to ignore its content.

Application process and deadline for masterate scholarships

Applications are open from December 2017 until all scholarships are awarded.

To apply first send your expression of interest to Dr Andrew Cardow, Director, Master of Business Studies (Management). More information may then be required.

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