Celebrating Excellence: 2023 Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards (ODRA) Winners Revealed

ODRA are an awards scheme designed to recognise exceptional doctoral research in responsible management

EFMD Global and Emerald Publishing are delighted to announce that Sherri Kong has won the 2023 Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards (ODRA), and Vasanthi Suresh and Ahmed M. Adel have been recognised as highly commended.

The ODRA are an awards scheme designed to recognise exceptional doctoral research in responsible management that addresses the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are an urgent call for action for everyone to achieve a better and more ethical, responsible, and sustainable future for us all.

“In recognising the outstanding achievements of the recipients of the 2023 Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards, I extend my heartfelt congratulations,” said Eric Cornuel, President of EFMD Global. “Their remarkable research not only exemplifies rigorous inquiry but also offers innovative solutions to global challenges, serving as a beacon of inspiration for researchers worldwide.”

Winner: Sherri Kong

The 2023 winner of the Emerald and EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards is Sherri Kong, whose insightful study investigated the management approach of multicultural leaders to sustainability work.

Individuals who grow up in multicultural surroundings often find themselves navigating the complexities of their mixed identities. While a multicultural upbringing presents several challenges to overcome, it can also shape individuals in interesting ways. Dr. Sherri Kong’s research explores how leaders from multicultural backgrounds approach the problems related to sustainability.

“As a mother of bicultural children and having lived overseas myself, I recognised the complex thinking skills that emerge from navigating one’s identity between cultures. I was curious about how these cultural experiences could help a leader working in sustainability since all sustainability issues cross borders,” said Sherri Kong, 2023 ODRA winner.

Infographic - EFMD Emerald Outstanding Doctoral Research Award 20232 Winner

“The main implication of my research is that leaders from multicultural backgrounds have the cultural understanding and insight to navigate complex situations. We had participants share examples of how they used their cultural knowledge and language skills to facilitate dialogue, generate ideas, and influence behaviour change,” added Kong. “I hope that more people from bicultural and minority backgrounds recognise that their unique abilities are needed to address sustainability-related issues.”

Highly Commended: Vasanthi Suresh

Vasanthi Suresh has been Highly Commended for the 2023 Emerald and EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards for her research, which explores ways to enhance employment levels among Persons with Disabilities.

Persons with Disabilities (PwD) make up approximately 15% of the world’s population. Surprisingly, approximately 80–90% of working-age people with disabilities in developing nations are unemployed. Vasanthi Suresh’s doctoral thesis delves into the perspectives of both PwD and their employers in India’s organised sector to examine strategies for inclusive employment of this marginalised group.

“There exists a need to consider the intersection of disability with other vulnerable identities so that employer policies can be designed to effectively address the compounding negative effect of multiple intersecting vulnerable identities,” said Vasanthi Suresh, 2023 ODRA Highly-Commended recipient.  “I feel incredibly grateful and honoured to receive this prestigious award and humbled by the recognition. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my research advisor, Dr. Lata Dyaram, for her guidance and support through the various phases of this challenging but rewarding journey.”

Highly Commended: Ahmed M. Adel

Ahmed M. Adel has been Highly Commended for the 2023 Emerald and EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards for his research exploring the factors influencing consumers’ choice of suboptimal food products.

Food waste has adverse social, environmental, and economic effects, making it a major hurdle in achieving sustainable growth. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. The tendency of people to avoid non-aesthetic food products, known as “suboptimal” food products, is a major factor that contributes to food wastage.

Ahmed M. Adel explored the factors that motivate or deter people from purchasing suboptimal food products and recommending such food to others in his award-winning dissertation thesis.

“Encouraging consumers not to avoid suboptimal food products might help reduce the burgeoning food waste problem. Despite the obvious imperative to identify the major factors that motivate or discourage individuals from choosing suboptimal food products, little research to date has directly investigated them. Meanwhile, most studies concerning preferences for suboptimal products lack the appropriate theoretical basis due to a disproportionate reliance on practical interventions,” explained Ahmed M. Adel, 2023 ODRA Highly-Commended recipient. “Creating a constructive community dialogue about the seriousness of food waste and the role of suboptimal products represents the first step in awareness creation and developing favourable social pressure.”

Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards (ODRA)

To be eligible for the awards, the research must address an issue that is of importance to one of the subject areas:

  • Responsible leadership
  • UN SDG-related issues for responsibility
  • Food poverty and security
  • Sustainable supply chains
  • CSR and greenwashing
  • Reducing inequality
  • Responsible and ethical marketing
  • Innovative, responsible management
  • Social responsibility
  • Responsible economics
  • Curriculum development in responsible management
  • Responsible management knowledge transfer partnerships

Editors and other senior journal stakeholders were this year’s judges, choosing the winning papers based on the significance/implications for theory and practice, originality and innovation, appropriateness and application of methodology, and the quality of the data/research.

“Our collaboration with Emerald underscores our commitment to fostering exceptional doctoral research that drives positive change, shaping a more responsible and impactful world,” Cornuel added.

Discover more information on the Emerald and EFMD Doctoral Research Awards and previous winners.

For additional insights, announcements and perspectives about ODRA, visit the conversation here.

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