Commerce rated tops in Canada for research

by Gavin Wilson
Staff writer

The Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration has shown once again that it is Canada's top business school for research.

The faculty received 15 grants totalling $698,700 this year from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) -- more than twice as much as any other business school in the country.

The grants will finance research on a wide range of topics, including consumer behavior, government privatization, renewable resources, corporate decision-making, stock market trading, product design, labor-management relations, information technology and the effects of deregulation on the Canadian airline industry.

"UBC has regularly been the number one business school in Canada for research accomplishments and is recognized as such internationally," says Izak Benbasat, associate dean of faculty development and professional programs.

"The Commerce faculty is honoured to receive these grants, which are based on the evaluations by our peers at other business schools across Canada, as well as the assessment of leading academics in other countries."

Benbasat points out that this outstanding scholarship goes hand-in-hand with teaching excellence. The majority of the top researchers who have received the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration research prizes given annually have also won, or have been nominated for, the teaching excellence prizes given by the faculty or by the Commerce undergraduate or graduate student societies.

Eleven of UBC's 15 SSHRC grants fall into the category of business administration and industrial relations, with the remainder in economics.

Even when the economics grants are factored out (many business schools would not be competing for grants in that category) UBC had more than twice as many grants as the next institutions, the universities of Toronto and Montreal, which each had five. Western Ontario and Queen's each received four grants.

Last year there were similar results, with UBC claiming 10 of the 49 funded projects, compared with five at the next highest business school at the University of Alberta.

A recent survey of top journals in management information systems also demonstrated UBC's strength in business research.

The survey, which ranked business schools by the number of articles published in the six leading academic journals in management information systems during the period 1991-96, placed UBC ninth in the world.

As well, the faculty was ranked 13th overall in the world for the number of publications credited to faculty members in the top finance journals during the period 1992-96.

The finance journal ranking puts UBC ahead of all other Canadian universities -- the closest Canadian institution, Queen's, was ranked 63rd -- and ahead of such prestigious U.S. institutions as Yale, Princeton, USC, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and Penn State.