University of Sydney Handbooks - 2011 Archive

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Subject areas


The discipline's research profile is diverse, reflecting its pioneering contribution to the decision-usefulness debate, extant research paradigms and emerging research areas. Thus, members of the Accounting Discipline are actively pursuing research into:

  • the role of accounting information in decision making in private sector and public sector settings
  • the role of 'fundamentals' in explaining market value and takeovers
  • analysing corporate collapses and identifying the role of accounting
  • directors€™ obligations and accountability
  • the economic impact of and corporate responses to accounting regulation
  • the role of accounting in corporate governance regimes
  • international accounting
  • inflation accounting
  • extended reporting, including environmental and social reporting and accounting for intellectual capital
  • accounting history
  • public sector accounting and accountability
  • human judgment and decision making
  • accounting information systems
  • technologies and processes
  • design of accounting information systems
  • the context and accounting for superannuation
  • auditing.
Further inquiries

Associate Professor Sue Newberry
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of Accounting
Economics and Business Building, H69
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9036 6406
Fax: +61 2 9351 6638

Business Information Systems

With a commitment to practice-based industry relevant inquiry our research and teaching is centred on the analysis and understanding of the entirety of an organisation€™s strategies, information management, decision-making and business processes and the introduction of innovation and improvement through the application of information technologies. Adopting a holistic approach our research has four broad themes:

1. Structures and services

Understanding the contribution of IS to the development of new intra- and inter- organisational business modes

Specific areas of interest include:

  • eGovernment
  • eCommerce
  • Enterprise systems
  • Application Service Provision
  • Electronic records
  • Collaboration & organisational teams
2. Modelling and management

Applying and enhancing methodologies and tools to assist organisations improve their performance.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • Identity management
  • Digital information design and management
  • Business process management
  • Project management
3. Intelligence and innovation

Increasing the capabilities of organisations to identify novel ways apply IS in their business

Specific areas of interest include:

  • Innovation
  • Business intelligence
  • Environmental sustainability
4. Law and assurance

Developing strategies, policies and practices for the management of information over its entire lifecycle

Specific areas of interest include:

  • Information policy
  • Information risk and assurance
  • Information technology governance
Further inquiries

Dr Deborah Bunker
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of Business Information Systems
Economics and Business Building, H69
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9036 7109
Fax: +61 2 9351 7294

Business Law

The Discipline of Business Law provides supervision at the intersection of law and business. We welcome cross-disciplinary proposals. Members of staff have expertise in other disciplines such as accounting, economics, financial crime, history, and jurisprudence.

Much of our research is comparative and international and there is an emphasis on creating and protecting legal rights, regulation, risk and compliance, governance, education and ethics.

In particular, we have research expertise in:

  • Contracts, torts, property; issues around consumers and marketing; trade practices; sale of goods; employment, employment regulation and the public sector; electronic commerce and internet law; credit; international business; intellectual property and personal property
  • Corporations: corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and business ethics; corporate jurisprudence; corporate insolvency; corporate takeovers; insider trading and market misconduct; and comparative corporations law
  • Finance: financial services (which includes Chapter 7 products such as insurance, managed investments and superannuation), retail clients; capital markets, banking and finance (including private banking and off shore financial laws), financial crime and money laundering
  • Taxation: income, companies and shareholders, entities and consolidated groups; trusts; business tax planning; taxation administration and compliance; cash economy and tax evasion; tax policy and tax jurisprudence; and asset protection.
Further inquiries

Dr David Chaikin
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of Business Law
Economics and Business Building, H69
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 90367132
Fax: +61 2 9351 7473


The School of Economics has specialists in many areas of theoretical and applied economics. Particular strengths include:

  • Auctions
  • The economics of crime
  • Development
  • Finance
  • Game theory
  • Growth
  • Health
  • History of economic thought
  • Housing
  • Industrial organisation
  • International trade
  • International macroeconomics
  • Labour economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Mathematical economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Monetary economics
  • Public economics
  • Experimental economics
  • Law and economics
Further inquiries

Dr Mark Melatos
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
School of Economics
Merewether Building, H04
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9036 9257
Fax: +61 2 9351 4341


The Discipline of Finance provides PhD supervision in both theoretical and applied research in finance. The PhD cohort is about thirty-five to forty students. We rarely offer places in the MPhil program. This is because demand for our PhD program is so strong that we need all of our supervisors for PhD students.

The main research strengths of the Finance Discipline are in security market microstructure, corporate finance, and modelling in relation to financial time series, volatility and risk,. There is also some capacity to supervise topics in behavioural finance, corporate governance, decision theory, and quantitative finance. Further details are given below, but prospective students are also encouraged to review the publications of staff members on the Faculty web-site.

Through links to the Securities Industry Research Centre (SIRCA), the Capital Markets Co-operative Research Centre (CMCRC), and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), the Finance Discipline has access to exceptionally rich financial databases. Industry contacts also provide opportunities to undertake industry linked research, which provides very generous scholarship opportunities for exceptional students.

Trading and Dealing in Securities Markets (Microstructure)

The Finance Discipline is widely recognised for its research in security market microstructure. This research looks at how securities markets operate and examines ways of increasing their efficiency, liquidity, and integrity. Research in market microstructure also assists in understanding the behaviour of security prices and in designing improved experiments with applicability to all areas of finance.

Corporate Finance

The Finance Discipline offers excellent opportunities for research in all areas of corporate finance, capital budgeting, valuation, the cost of capital, capital structure, dividend policy, share buybacks, security issues, takeovers, and financial distress.

Modelling Financial Time Series, Volatility and Risk

The Finance Discipline has considerable research expertise in modelling financial times series. This expertise extends to risk management, modelling volatility in asset prices, the term structure of interest rates, and exchange rate behaviour.

Other areas

The Finance Discipline offers supervision of topics in mathematical and econometric modelling in finance, in behavioural finance, in corporate governance, and in statistical decision theory applied to finance. However, only a small number of places are available for these topics.

Other research activities

The Discipline of Finance, in association with SIRCA, the CMCRC, and the ASX, has attracted considerable research funding, amounting to many millions of dollars. This money is used to fund generous scholarships and research infrastructure. The discipline runs an active seminar and research workshop series, which attracts distinguished scholars both from Australia and abroad.

Competitive entry

Entry to the Finance Discipline€™s PhD program is highly competitive. Several hundred students make enquiries to the PhD coordinator each year but only five to ten places are available annually. Consequently, a first class honours degree is a minimum requirement for entry to the finance PhD program.

Full-time study

The Finance Discipline only offers places for full-time study.

Advice to Overseas Students

In assessing applications from overseas students we are looking for excellent grades from quality institutions, and excellent written and spoken English, We also want the student to be research ready. Being research ready means that the student already has the skills and understanding necessary to undertake a PhD thesis, and hence the entry requirement that the student has already completed as substantial research thesis. Overseas applicants need to pay particular attention to demonstrating how they meet these requirements.

Further inquiries

Associate Professor Graham Partington
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of Finance
Economics and Business Building, H69
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9036 9429
Fax: +61 2 9351 6461
Email: Graham.Partington@

Graduate School of Government

The Graduate School of Government (GSG) welcomes students wishing to pursue applied or conceptual research leading to the PhD or M Phil degrees across a wide range of topics in public administration, government, governance and regulation, public policy, social policy, and public management. The GSG encourages its students to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach in research and is interested in students undertaking Australian or international, comparative and/or cross-sectoral studies.

Members of the GSG are actively pursuing research into a wide range of issues including:

1. Public administration and policy implementation
  • Public sector management and reform
  • Globalisation and public sector skills transfer
  • Managing the public sector €’ the role of the centre
  • Relationships between ministers, ministerial staff and the executive
  • Developing the core executive
  • Strategic governance
2. International, comparative and Australian themes in social policy and governance
  • International and/or comparative social policy
  • International education, including regulation and student welfare
  • Australian social policy, including welfare, work and/or employment services
  • Social security
  • International or Australian non-government organisations (NGOs)

    Governance and regulation
3. Public budgeting and expenditure management
  • The politics of resource allocation and reallocation
  • Planning and budgeting in developing countries
  • Changing roles of central budget agencies
  • Performance management and budgeting
  • Performance and results-based budgeting
4. Public consultation and dialogue
  • Community leadership
  • Public-Private Partnerships and contracting
  • Ethics and responsibility
  • Parliament and the executive
Further inquiries

Dr Gaby Ramia
Senior Lecturer and Postgraduate Research Coordinator
Graduate School of Government
Institute Building, H03
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9036 5236
Fax: +61 2 9036 5183

International Business

Research expertise in international business is available in the following areas:

  • International business strategy
  • Foreign investment decisions and entry mode choice
  • Cross-cultural management
  • International joint ventures, strategic alliances and mergers and acquisitions
  • International risk management
  • International entrepreneurship and new ventures
  • International corporate governance
  • Business strategy and organisation in emerging markets
  • Ethical issues in international business
  • The psychology of strategic decisions
  • Negotiations
  • Business growth
  • Resource allocation

Research expertise is available in a wide range of topics relevant to these areas.

Further enquiries

Professor Dan Lovallo
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of International Business
Institute Building, H03
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Ph: +61 2 9351 5538
Fax: +61 2 9036 5378

International Security Studies

The research expertise at the Centre for International Security Studies spans the range of traditional and non-traditional security challenges facing Australia, Asia and the world.

With a particular focus on Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East, the Centre examines issues, ranging from the causes and consequences of ethnic, religious, and ideological conflict and interstate war, to threats to human security and the stability of states caused by infectious disease, climate change, natural resource scarcity, and the activities of non-state actors. The Centre's research draws on a wide range of disciplines including defence, strategic studies, international relations, political science, public health, environmental studies, economics, law, business, biology, and population studies, and is committed to an interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary approach to security issues.

In this respect the Centre welcomes cross-disciplinary security proposals.

Further inquiries

Professor Peter Curson
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Centre for International Security Studies
Merewether Building, H04
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9351 4550
Fax: +61 2 9351 6635


The staff in the Discipline of Marketing use various methods in their research, including qualitative, experimental, and quantitative approaches. The primary areas of research in the discipline reflect the particular interests and expertise of staff. The substantial research areas include the following:

Consumer behaviour
  • Children and consumption
  • Consumer adoption processes; identity negotiation; learning
  • Consumption of sporting events; symbolism; systems
  • Cross cultural consumer behaviour
  • Culture and consumption
  • Cultural and consumption transitions
  • Environmental psychology
  • Gender and consumption
  • In-store promotions
  • Religion and consumption
  • Self concept and persuasion
  • Social class and segmentation
  • Store layout and design
  • Technology and learning
  • The role of habit in consumption
  • Voluntary lifestyle transition
Strategic marketing
  • Brand building
  • Business to business marketing
  • Corporate and marketing strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Firm capabilities and marketing strategy
  • Marketing metrics
  • Networks and relationships in business markets
  • Pharmaceutical marketing
International marketing
  • International entrepreneurship
  • International partnerships and alliances
  • International strategy
Further inquiries

Associate Professor Ellen Garbarino
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of Marketing
Economics and Business Building, H69
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9114 0575
Fax: +61 2 9351 6732

Operations Management and Econometrics

Members of the Discipline of Operations Management and Econometrics have expertise in the quantitative modelling, analysis and testing of various problems and issues arising in the contexts of economics, business, finance and the social sciences. Research is undertaken at both the theoretical and the empirical levels, the latter using a wide range of micro- and macro-data sources. The general areas of active research in the Discipline of Operations Management and Econometrics are:

  • Applied econometrics and business statistics
  • Bayesian econometrics and statistics
  • Computational econometrics and statistics
  • Financial Econometrics and Risk Management
  • Econometric theory
  • Management decision sciences
  • Operations Management

Information on specific areas of current research within these general areas is available upon request from the Postgraduate Research Coordinator.

Further inquiries

Dr Richard Gerlach
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of Operations Management and Econometrics
Merewether Building, H04
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9351 3944
Fax: +61 2 9351 6409

Transport and Logistics Management

With so many exciting and important themes available to research and the general shortage of well-trained researchers in transport and logistics, ITLS always encourages inquiries.

ITLS has a large number of research themes, which we believe would make an excellent research program. These can range from highly quantitative to highly qualitative research topics with a focus on basic and applied research.
ITLS has the largest group of postgraduate students in transport management in Australia. Our full-time research students become close members of ITLS and have open access to research facilities and internationally renowned academic staff in transport and logistics.

Facilities for research students at ITLS are excellent. Each full-time student has an individual work area, with full access to computers, printing, photocopying and fax facilities. Students also have access to the ITLS resource collection including leading transport journals, data, and other material.

Students must choose a topic of research related to the interests of ITLS staff. ITLS Sydney encourages research in areas of transport economics, modelling, passenger and freight, planning and management, and in logistics and supply chain management, across all modes.

Many ITLS research and consulting projects involve several aspects and modes of transport management. Areas of doctoral and master€™s research available at ITLS include:

  • Freight infrastructure and operations: ports, railroads and carriers
  • Supply chain management
  • Logistics and freight management
  • Information and pricing management in logistics
  • Optimisation in supply chain operations
  • Transport economics and management
  • Competition and competitive strategy
  • GPS and GIS applications in transport and logistics
  • Health and environmental impacts of travel choices
  • Traffic safety
  • Traffic systems
  • Understanding and changing travel behaviour
  • Travel-demand forecasting
  • Transport survey methods
  • Ownership and performance
  • Travel choice and demand modelling
  • Transport and spatial development
  • Transport data issues
  • Transport policy
  • Tourism
  • Organisational analysis and human resource management
  • Emergency evacuation and management
Further inquiries

Dr Ada Ng
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Institute of Transport Studies, C37
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9351 0095
Fax: +61 2 9351 0088

Work and Organisational Studies

Staff in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies are actively involved in research covering a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
  • Australian industrial relations
  • Bargaining and negotiation
  • Geographies of work and organisation
  • International industrial relations
  • Job quality
  • Non-standard forms of employment
  • Trade unions and employee voice
  • Labour law
  • Low wage work
  • Performance and Rewards
  • Risk mitigation
  • Skill
  • Technology and work
  • Trade union and work place learning
  • Work and family policy
  • Management and Organisations
  • Aesthetic and Emotional Labour
  • Co-operatives and Third Sector Organisations
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Knowledge management and innovation
  • Identity and organisation
  • Leadership
  • Management and organisational communication
  • Organisational Change and Development
  • Organisational Discourse
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Organisational Sustainability
  • Strategic management
  • Labour and Business History
  • Workplace Diversity
  • Diversity management
  • Ethnicity, race and work
  • Gender and work
  • Stigmatisation, status and stereotyping in organisations
Further inquiries

Professor Chris Warhurst
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies
The Institute Building, H03
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9351 7869
Fax: +61 2 9351 4729