Foundation for Research Excellence Laid at College Research Day

Discover UKZN

Research Day overall winners, from left Ms Kerry
McCullough, Mr Barry Strydom and Ms Ailie
Charteris receiving their prize from Professor
Marita Carnelley.

Quality research by 45 academics was showcased at the annual Research Day of the College of Law and Management Studies.

The day, hosted by College Dean of Research, Professor Marita Carnelley, is part of an on-going strategic commitment to build a research ethos in the College through creating a supportive environment where researchers share their research and benefit from feedback and guidelines from their peers.

To cultivate a culture of research excellence, the College of Law and Management Studies recently hosted its Annual Research Day which saw 45 academics showcase quality research done in the College’s various disciplines.

The Research Day was hosted by the College Dean of Research Professor Marita Carnelley. The initiative is part of an on-going College-wide strategic commitment to build a research ethos in the College through creating a supportive environment where researchers, through sharing their research, can benefit from feedback given by their peers. The presentations were divided into various streams: Teaching and Learning, Accounting, Economics and Finance; Business, Leadership and Local Economic Development; Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research; Law and Management, Information Technology and Governance.

Carnelley said: ‘The theme of the day “Growing Academic Research Output” is linked to the provision of support for researchers to make in-roads into the academic environment.’

The day commenced with “An unseemly spat or a case of good manners?” – the title of the entertaining and insightful keynote address delivered by School of Law academic, Professor Tanya Woker. The address focused on the important issue of copyright versus plagiarism and the disastrous consequences that the latter can have on academic career.

‘It is becoming very important, from a career perspective to show how useful your work is and that can only be achieved if your work is cited in other people’s research. Therefore, even a trivial hint of plagiarism can be damaging to an academic because it is an emotionally charged allegation,’ said Woker.

‘You can use other peoples work, but you have to attribute it correctly. Given the importance of having your research acknowledged, academics may feel motivated to pursue claims of plagiarism if they feel they have been ignored or wronged,’ she added.

Amongst the many highlights of the day was the presentation delivered by UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Professor Jonathan Blackledge on economic modelling. Titled: “Financial Time Series Modelling using the Fractal Market Hypothesis from Conception to the Launch of a New Business” the presentation gave an overview of the process of using research as a basis for entrepreneurship: how a new company can be spinned off from research. It was a thought-provoking presentation, touching on history business, law, politics, economics and philosophy. The economists in the College are considering using the forex exchange system to assist with the turnaround strategy!

To inspire the spirit of friendly competition, the papers that were presented were evaluated by independent judges who resulted in the authors of the best papers walking away with great prizes – R5 000 for each of the five stream winners; a R1 000 book voucher for the persons placed second in each stream and a book prize for those in third place.

The overall first place prize went to the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance academics Ms Kerry McCullough, Mr Barry Strydom and Ms Ailie Charteris for their paper titled: “The long-term tracking ability of passive investment products in South Africa”. The study uses an alternative, cointegration based approach to measuring the long-term tracking error passive investments based on the JSE-All Share Index. Unfortunately they have to share the IPad donated by Adams & Adams Attorneys.

It is envisaged that through such initiatives the College of Law and Management Studies will make a valuable contribution to the University’s primary goal of becoming a research led institution.