BUS News

Research Happy Hour: A Confluence of Insights and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

22 Mar, 2024
img The HKBU School of Business organised "Research Happy Hour" on 19th March, 2024, gathering 20 internal and external business scholars, providing a platform to share research insights and explore interdisciplinary collaborations. Amidst refreshments, participants engaged in fruitful discussions, fostering a dynamic exchange of knowledge and ideas.

The event kicked off with a sharing by Dr. Zheng LIU, Assistant Professor in the Department of Accountancy, Economics, and Finance. He presented his research findings on examined scenarios where a firm, in pursuit of specific financial targets, might potentially compromise ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals. Dr. LIU discovered that firms meeting or surpassing Earnings Per Share (EPS) targets often have higher environmental emissions. He highlighted three key observations: 1) Firms aiming to fulfill both financial and ESG goals are less likely to sacrifice ESG objectives to meet financial targets. 2) If the reward for achieving the financial goal is significant, the firm tends to prioritise financial targets over ESG goals. 3) When the bonus is determined using a piece-wise linear calculation between the actual performance and the performance target, the CEO is less likely to sacrifice ESG goals.

Following Dr. LIU's presentation, Prof. Xu HUANG, the Associate Dean (Research & Impact), introduced two ongoing research projects. The first project explores the dynamics of power. Prof. HUANG proposed that fear and mortality awareness prompt people to pursue more power. To support this theory, he is studying ancient Chinese history and scrutinising the circumstances emperors would purge their strongest generals. He is particularly interested in exploring whether founding emperors were more likely to take such actions compared to non-founding emperors. He drew parallels to modern day entrepreneurial founders and raised the question of whether these pioneers are more likely to sever ties with their competent colleagues and the conditions that influence such decisions.

In the second project, Prof. HUANG is investigating the governance of cryptocurrencies. He likened the ideal cryptocurrency system to the human body’s immune system – decentralised and balanced. However, he acknowledged the challenges inherent in a decentralised system, particularly in identifying unethical traders who manipulate prices beyond their true value. Prof. HUANG is keen to explore the financial tools and regulations that could effectively identify these unethical traders in a decentralised system. Wrapping up the session, he invited insights from fellow scholars, encouraging a collaborative effort to shed light on both projects.

Research Happy Hour promotes a multidisciplinary research environment. It offers scholars a supportive platform to foster collaborations and enhance their academic pursuits.
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