PhD success

Wednesday, 5 August 2015  Features

In addition to her day job as Deputy Dean and Director AGSM @ UNSW Business School, one of the many additional hats (or in this case, Tudor Bonnets!) Julie Cogin impressively wears, is PhD supervisor.

Her latest successful graduate is Ilro Lee. Ilro was recently awarded a UNSW Business School Doctorate for his thesis Strategic Investment Decisions of Organizations and Leaders, and Their Impact on Performance. Spanning three years and 27 countries, his thesis provides a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the strategic choices that organisations and leaders make, and their impact on performance.

Ilro investigated how the more that organisations invest in Human Resource Management (HRM) Systems, the higher the firm performance. His findings suggest that firms need to invest a substantial amount towards HRM systems before they can yield positive performance gains. He also found that there is an optimal point of return where the performance of an organisation can be maximized such that investing further would result in diminishing returns.

In the second part of his study, Ilro investigated the leaders of organisations. While facing uncertainty in the business environment, a premium is put on the leaders' ability to acquire relevant information and resources, and their ability to reconfigure internal capabilities in response to uncertainty.  Ilro proposed that, adopting social capital as the overarching theory, networking is the underlying mechanism that leaders utilise in establishing and maintaining relationships to acquire information, and they leverage these relationships to influence others.

His results also suggest that the benefit of leaders' networking is more apparent during times of uncertainty. 

Both studies were conducted in the post Global Financial Crisis era where organisations have increasingly focused on cost cutting and maximising return on investment. 

Ilro is currently a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at The Centre for Social Impact at UNSW.

phd-success