2021 KBS Spring Series

The 2021 KBS Spring Series comprises of weekly lunchtime seminars led by colleagues from across the Kemmy Business School.  Over the coming weeks during March, April and May, there will be variety of seminars showcasing recent work by our Research Clusters and other emerging research in the KBS. The format of the seminars will be informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A.   

  • Tuesday 2nd March at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Juliane Ressel and Martin Mullins of the Emerging Risk Assessment & Underwriting Cluster.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams.   The title and abstract are below:  Click here to listen to this seminar  

Creating a Governance Framework for the Ethical use of AI in the Insurance Industry - Juliane Ressel & Martin Mullins 

Abstract: The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the insurance value chain raises a set of pressing questions about its trustworthiness and impact on society. Given the centrality of the insurance industry to the life of EU citizenry, there is a need for a bespoke approach on digital ethics. Over the past twelve months, Martin has been working with EIOPA’s expert group on digital ethics. The group is made up of representatives from the insurance industry, NGOs along with trade unions and members from the academia. Debates in the group have centered on how to ensure that consumer or citizen rights are protected whilst at the same time allowing the insurance industry to benefit from these new technologies. Within her PhD research, Juliane critically examines the use of AI by the insurance industry and aims to create an appropriate risk governance framework. The challenge is to develop a framework that adopts a multi-stakeholder approach to leverage the benefits while ensuring social acceptance and trust. This research topic invites and requires interdisciplinary participation in order to understand the overall conditions. In this seminar, we will provide some insights into the current public policy intervention and begin a discussion on an appropriate profession ethic in line with the European idea on social solidarity and a duty of care towards consumers.

  • Tuesday 9th March at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Prof Sheila Killian, Dr Veronica O’Regan and Prof Philip O‘Regan of the Accountability Research Cluster. The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams.  The title and abstract are below:    Click here to listen to this seminar 

Ethical and Spiritual Values in Tax Work -  Sheila Killian, Veronica O’Regan and Philip O’Regan.

Abstract: As professionals, accountants hold a public interest mandate, and ethics forms a significant element of professional training. However, individual professionals, particularly in tax, commonly see their work as more technical  than relating to the common good. Amid rising public concern about tax avoidance, there is particular concern with how ethical values are brought to bear on tax work and, the role of personal and organisational values merits attention.  This study draws on a survey and a set of semi-structured interviews  to explore the balance between the personal ethical and spiritual values that individuals bring to their tax work, and the ethical framing of their organisation.  The approach is direct, capturing self-reported moral awareness experienced at the level of the individual tax professional. Our work is framed by concepts of ethical fading (Tenbrunsel & Messick, 2004) and ethical awareness as a base level of ethical action (Rest, 1986).

We find, inter alia, that spiritual values are understood as personal and are most influential in smaller, more nationally-focused firms and among those still undertaking professional exams, while ethical fading is pervasive among early career professionals in large international firms.  Socialisation within the firm adds to the potential for the early-career stage to set the tone for career-long ethical framing. This heightens the responsibility of firms as well as professional bodies to valorise moral judgement. This work contributes to our understanding of how values impact in a highly technical arena, and  raises questions about ethical formation in a professional context.

  • Tuesday 16th March at 1:15 pm

Seminar by Annmarie Ryan and Martin Mullins.   The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Click here to listen to this seminar The title and abstract are below

Gasping for a pint: On qualifying markets as safe in the time of Covid, the case of the Irish Hospitality
A presentation by Dr. Annmarie Ryan, Management and Marketing, followed by response from discussant, Prof Martin Mullins, Accounting and Finance

Abstract This project is concerned with disruptive effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and how the crisis that has ensued has triggered many re-ordering effects in how markets are configured. While, at first there was much talk of ‘all being in this together’, it has soon become apparent that there are winners and losers and stark inequalities evident. Where some multinationals have seen profits soar, we see many small firms closing, initially temporarily due to lock downs, but evidently this is becoming a more permanent feature. These effects are not just economic, but also social and cultural, disrupting public, private and third spaces, after Oldenburg and Brissett (1982).  I focus on the (humble) Irish Pub as a third space (see Scarbrough, 2008). Third places exist outside the home and beyond the "work lots" of modern economic production. The focus of this paper is how safety has become a key marketing positioning and survival strategy in markets for hospitality services. We take the position that Covid-related safety is a negotiated, accomplished quality, and therefore not something that can be taken as given or straightforward (see Smith, 2013).  The process of qualifying a good/service for market exchange has been an important feature in the work of Callon et al., (2002) and research within Constructivist Market Studies (CMS). The notion of qualification, as a process points to the efforts made by competitors to attach consumers to their own products, and where needed detaching them from competition products and services. These ongoing efforts suggest that even markets that could be said to be “up and running” are subject to constant changes and shifts (Geiger et al 2012). While there is much literature on the qualification of products, less attention has been given to the qualification of services and spaces. Drawing on data from documentary and social media sources we trace the reconfiguration of markets elements, (actors, objects and places), market processes, and market forms, in particular around key moments of controversy (e.g. initial lock down March 2020, Summer reopening, Autumn lock down, pre-Christmas opening, and the January 2021 fall out).

  • Tuesday 23rd March at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Tim Jannusch.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Click here to listen to this seminar  The title and abstract are below

Cars and Distraction - Evidence the German Young Drivers. How to Address to Limits of DMS and Improve Safety Gains – Tim Jannusch

Abstract: The introduction of highly automated vehicles into our society will cause a concurrent increase in the emergence of distracting activities while driving. This is especially the case for young people who, more than other age groups, employ their cars as a place of personal fulfilment. This research presentation proposes an interdisciplinary safe-by-design (SbD) heuristic to address this emerging risk. It harnesses the German version of the Behaviour of Young Novice Driver Scale (BYNDS) to gather representative information about young people’s distracting activities. This information is then used to address to limits of Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) and posit safety measures in the context of young driver distraction.

  • Tuesday 30th March at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Martin Laheen.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Click here to listen to this seminar The title and abstract are below

The Risk Management of Old Age - The Impact on the Older Adults Sense of Social Identity – Martin Laheen

Abstract: This paper looks at old age and social perceptions of the older adult in western societies. While old age represents the final stage in the life course, traditionally, the older adult could expect to retire and enjoy his or her “golden years”. In western societies in particular, factors such as increased life expectancy, a declining welfare state, and pressure to stay longer in the workforce, means that growing old has also been transformed from a collective social responsibility to an individual experience (Curryer et al. 2018), where older adults feel socially and politically pressured to self-scrutinise their own ageing process. This has consequences for the older adult. First, it influences and canalizes the older adult into thinking and acting according to a socially objectified “sense of self. Second, it dictates the degree of agency they can expect to enjoy in a social “future” that is politically and socially predicted.

  • Tuesday 13th April at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Michelle O’Sullivan and Juliet McMahon.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Click here to listen to this seminar  The title and abstract are below

Wage Theft in Modern Ireland: The case of Portuguese Migrants and the Limerick-Nenagh Motorway – Michelle O’Sullivan and Juliet McMahon

Abstract: Wage theft refers to the non-payment of wages for work performed and there have been calls in recent years from civil society organisations and trade unions that Ireland needs stronger wage theft laws. This seminar presents a case study of large scale wage theft involving 180 Portuguese construction workers who were hired to help build the Limerick-Nenagh motorway between 2007 and 2009. Based on analyses of legal decisions and an in-depth interview with the workers’ legal team, we discuss the exploitative nature of the workers’ conditions while working on the site and we analyse the legal efforts made by the workers to recover unpaid wages over a 12-year period from 2008 to 2020. The case study illustrates the significant gaps in legal protections on wage theft and the tensions that exist between industrial relations and employment law mechanisms of employment regulation.

  • Tuesday 20th April at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Lisa O'Malley.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Click here to listen to this seminar  The title and abstract are below 

Last Night of Freedom: Marketing and the Performance of Deviance – Lisa O’Malley

Abstract: The Anglo-Saxon tradition that a ‘soon to be married’ man celebrates the end of his ‘freedom’ with male friends is a rite of passage in the USA (the  Bachelor Party), Australia (Bucks Night) and the British Isles (Stag Party). Although historically occurring on a single night and involving drinks at the local pub, stag ‘dos’ as they are colloquially know have expanded in recent years to include a weekend or tour.  While Brighton, Bournemouth and Newcastle remain popular weekend destinations for UK Stag Parties, by the mid-noughties it was estimated that 70 per cent of British stag and hen parties were held abroad. The dramatic growth in Stag Tourism is associated with the liberalisation of the airline industry in the 1990s and the resultant proliferation of low-cost airlines making the weekend city break affordable. Dublin and Amsterdam were the original foreign destinations for the British stag but cities in Central and Eastern Europe are now increasingly popular. As such, the foreign stag ‘do’ as it is colloquially know, has become a cultural norm for many young (and even older) men (Thurnell Read 2011, 2012; Briggs and Ellis, 2017). Stag tourists are an interesting example of consumer transgression or (mis)behaviour in action, where men who would most likely not engage in such behaviours at home, are compelled to do so within the auspices of the stag weekend. Thurnell-Read (2009, 2011, 2012) offers some interesting insights following his ethnographic study, highlighting the demands of hegemonic masculinity, the marketing efforts of tour organisations, and the activities of local organisations. Part of a wider study, this presentation considers how various market actors are implicated in the performance of the stag party..

  • Tuesday 27th April at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Donald Truxillo & Gemma McCarthy.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Teams Click here to listen to this seminar  The title and abstract are below 

Supporting an Aging Workforce – Donald Truxillo & Gemma McCarthy

Abstract: In response to the ageing Western workforce, there has been a growth in research on how to support aging workers’ wellbeing, performance, and engagement. As such, there has been an increased interest in work ability or one's ability to continue to meet one’s job demands. Originally developed in the occupational medicine literature, the work ability concept is gaining attention in the organisational sciences due to its association with work outcomes such as future disability status, burnout, satisfaction, turnover, and retirement. In this seminar, we will share some of our past and ongoing research on work ability, its measurement, and implications for an aging workforce.

  • Tuesday 4th May at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Cian O'Shea.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Teams Click here to listen to this seminar  The title and abstract are below 

Does the bundling of O&M and lifecycle costs in PPP lead to superior performance? A comparison of PPP and traditionally procured schools in Ireland – Cian O’Shea

Abstract: The fundamental rationale for the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is that they can provide a superior alternative to conventional approaches to procuring infrastructure that have a history of cost inefficiencies and time overruns. Much of the literature and commentary on PPP proposes that it provides a mechanism for achieving greater efficiency, value for money, and improved innovation compared to traditional procurement. Despite the claims, there remains a paucity of studies comparing how PPPs perform relative to more conventional procurement, particularly after the contracts have been agreed (ex-post). This study builds on our previous research (O’Shea et al. 2019) by focusing explicitly on the ex-post operational performance of Ireland’s longest-running School PPP project. Using a comparative case study approach, we seek to compare the performance of Ireland’s first bundle of PPP Schools with a representative sample of traditionally procured schools.

  • Tuesday 11th May at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Niall Devitt, Marta Zieba and Declan Dineen.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Teams Click here to listen to this seminar  The title and abstract are below 

Technical efficiency in Irish public hospitals: a multi-output distance function SFA approach - Niall Devitt, Marta Zieba and Declan Dineen

Abstract: Understanding resource utilization in the public hospital system has become imperative for academics, healthcare managers and policymakers due to growing healthcare costs and the continuing record numbers of patients being recorded on trolleys. In this paper an output-oriented technical efficiency (TE) of hospitals is evaluated as the ability to produce the highest number of treated cases (outputs) given limited or constrained resources. The TE and efficiency determinants for 37 acute public hospitals in Ireland are estimated using monthly panel data for the years 2017-2018. The utilisation of a trans-logarithmic output distance function permits an accurate estimation of the multi-output production technology of these hospitals. The true-random effects stochastic frontier model accounts not only for noise but also for the unobserved heterogeneity of hospitals, and it allows for the decomposition of inefficiency into transient and persistent terms. Our results show that Irish public hospitals are operating at relatively high efficiency levels but with high occupancy levels. This implies that the capacity issues prevent Irish hospitals from operating closer to the fully efficient production frontier. Moreover, returns to scale are decreasing but above 0.9 and input elasticities are positive for all factors of production (doctors, nurses, non-medical staff and beds). Whereas all output elasticities positively contribute to the production of case-mix adjusted output, inpatient discharges are almost three times as resource-intensive as the day-cases. These results reinforce the rationale for the HSE policy in Ireland to decrease the level of inpatient activity in acute public hospitals by introducing more interventionist policies with pre-emptive elective surgeries as day-cases. Furthermore, the scope of hospital activities which are determined by the hospital model-type increases the level of output in hospitals, while the share of emergency patients negatively affects their production. We also find that the length of stay is an important contributor to hospitals’ inefficiency and that the medium-sized hospitals with 200 to 400 beds are the most efficient hospital units.

  • Tuesday 18th May at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Rebecca Tumebaze.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Teams  Click here to listen to this seminar  The title and abstract are below 

Knowledge Sharing through a Bourdieusian Lens: Negotiating practices for a sustainability Logic in Uganda’s Agriculture Sector -  Rebecca Tumwebaze, John Walsh & John Lannon 

Abstract: There has been widespread modernization of agriculture world over, as countries focus on employing various policy and practice push strategies aimed at making a transition from subsistence-led to commercially viable agriculture. These strategies have led to increased agriculture production and productivity. In Uganda, the agriculture sector has registered improved growth rates over the last five years averaging 3.4 percent per annum. Unfortunately, this growth has come at the expense of overtaxing important environmental, social and economic resources. Amidst the intensification of agriculture activities, unsustainable agriculture practices have led to massive losses of natural vegetation, encroachment on wetlands, high loss of biodiversity, a general low quality of life in farming communities, as well as unregulated and exploitative black markets, which leave many farmers with low levels of profitability. This trend of unsustainable agriculture practices has been aggravated by low levels of awareness among farming communities as well as the failure to support relevant actors/players in the agriculture sector to share knowledge and collectively develop contextual knowledge on sustainable agriculture practices through collaborative learning. This study recognizes that the conceptual space of sustainable agriculture is congested with diverse knowledge characterized by different ideas/perspectives through which sustainability can be achieved. The agriculture space is also inhabited by multiple stakeholders such as farmers, farm households, technical experts, extension agents, scientists, researchers, private sector players, governments and NGOs. These stakeholders from multiple backgrounds possess diverse, sometimes conflicting knowledge (both formal and informal), which if brought together into collaborative learning spaces, can be negotiated to facilitate the collective co-creation, learning, development and application of contextual sustainable agriculture knowledge. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s conceptual framework, this study analyses the agriculture sector, its inhabitants (actors), their different dispositions and experiences and their resources, which all have an impact on the final practices that the actors adopt. Drawing on an interpretivist epistemology integrated with the ontological choice of critical realism, the main objective this study seeks to address is to develop a knowledge sharing model for negotiating practices that promote a sustainability logic in Uganda’s Agriculture Sector.

  • Tuesday 25th May at 1:00 pm

Seminar by Robert Joniec and John Garvey.  The seminar format is informal and interactive facilitating discussion and Q&A and will take place on MS Teams Teams  Click here to listen to this seminar   The title and abstract are below 

Reinsurance Marketplaces and their Microstructure - Robert Joniec and John Garvey

Abstract:Understanding how reinsurers fulfil their function and are likely to do so in the future is a critical task, particularly in the context of a changing climate and associated catastrophic potential. Global insured losses from natural events were $81 billion in 2020 with the potential for annual losses from climate-related natural events to reach $250 -300 billion. The current paper aims to identify where vulnerabilities may exist in the reinsurance marketplace, an important component in the global insurance market. This research draws on approaches used in microstructure research as well as the relatively new field of market design to document the nature of the reinsurance transaction. Issues around market congestion and stable matching are considered and provide direction for marketplace design and the application of new technologies.