The behaviour of business

It’s hardly business as usual at Victoria Business School, where an eagerly awaited behavioural research laboratory is set to open.

The recent redevelopment of Victoria’s Rutherford House, which includes the addition of a new six-floor annex, provided the opportunity to establish the laboratory.

The laboratory will host researchers with expertise in behavioural and experimental research in any business or public sector-related discipline.

Laboratory co-directors Professor Jake Rose and Associate Professor Ania Rose say staff and PhD students will have access to the laboratory early  next year, when construction is scheduled for completion.

In addition to accounting, researchers in economics and finance, international trade and negotiations, management and marketing are expected to participate in the laboratory’s activities, says Jake.

“Research will examine the effects of policy and business choices on the behaviour of stakeholders, such as the influence of investor perceptions on retirement saving decisions, the effects of big data on auditor judgement and indiscretions that can trigger decisions to engage in financial frauds.”

Professor Ian Eggleton, current head of school, says, “Behavioural accounting began in Victoria’s School of Accounting and Commercial Law in the early 1980s, so the laboratory’s opening is an eagerly awaited event.”

Having a centralised space for  this type of research will encourage cross-pollination of ideas by researchers, says Ania.

“The laboratory will allow researchers to tap into each other’s resources, and will generate opportunities to address business problems that are important to New Zealand. It’s great to see this long-held vision come to fruition.”