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   Contact Information

    The Institute for Corporate Responsibility
    2131 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20052

    Email: Patti Niles
    Phone: 202-994-5206
    Fax: 202-994-5966

Research Grants

2010 Research Grant Recipients

One-Year Awards

“Investing in Peace and Development: The Process of Diaspora Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Diasporans often invest in their home countries despite political and economic uncertainty - they generate new jobs, turn “brain drain” into “brain gain,” introduce new technology and production methods, and help domestic firms reach international markets. Diaspora investors also often can serve as reputational intermediaries for domestic firms in foreign markets, thereby stimulating foreign investment from non-diaspora sources. Diaspora investors in conflict-prone environments often are motivated to invest not only for pecuniary reasons but also by their desires to contribute to the stability and development of their home countries.

The African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM -- is a business plan competition co-sponsored by USAID and Western Union designed to facilitate diaspora investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, a conflict-prone area of the world much in need of foreign investment. Over 750 African diasporans in the United States participated in the program, submitting proposals for start-up businesses to be operated in one of the 19 countries of origin represented.

This will be a three-year longitudinal study of the over 750 ADM participants. It will explore if and the degree to which a diaspora investor’s motivations (pecuniary and non-pecuniary) change as he/she becomes more involved in business activity in the country of origin. It will investigate whether and to what extent investor perceptions of business environment obstacles change as the investor gains greater hands-on experience in the country-of-origin economy. It also will examine how investors utilize their social networks to gain access to the financial, human, and social capital needed to launch their investments.

Liesl Riddle

Liesl Riddle, Associate Dean for MBA Programs and Associate Professor of International Business and International Affairs
Dr. Riddle has written extensively about diasporas and development, international entrepreneurship, and trade and investment promotion. In 1999, Dr. Riddle co-authored the first diaspora-focused article to appear in the top international business journal, The Journal of International Business. Dr. Riddle is a member of a United Nations' advisory panel concerning diaspora investment and entrepreneurship policies.

Having examined diaspora investment and entrepreneurship for over fifteen years, Dr. Riddle has conducted research among numerous diaspora communities in the USA and Europe, including the Afghan, Armenian, Cuban, Ghanaian, Iranian, Israeli/Jewish, Jamaican, Lebanese, Liberian, Nepalese, Nigerian, Palestinian, Sierra Leonean, and Sri Lankan diaspora communities. She currently spearheads a multidisciplinary research team, the GW Diaspora Capital Investment Project, whose work is funded by the GW Center for International Business Education and Research. Her team aims to generate and disseminate learning about diaspora investment and its role in development to assist policymakers, diaspora organizations, diaspora entrepreneurs, and researchers.

Dr. Riddle is the acting co-director of the Diaspora Program within GW's Elliott School for International Affairs' Institute for Global Studies ( She also serves on the Executive Committee of GW's Institute of Middle East Studies ( Dr. Riddle teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, including Managing in Developing Countries, International Marketing, Survey Research Methods, and Introduction to International Business. She has received numerous teaching awards, including the GW School of Business' Teaching Excellence Award.She is a frequent guest speaker at the US Foreign Service Institute in the Near East North Africa Area Studies Program. Dr. Riddle holds a BA and MA in Middle Eastern Studies, a MBA in Marketing/International Business, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to her appointment at GW in 2001, she worked in the field of market research and held the position of the Director of Research for an international market research firm. She has served as a consultant for several organizations, including the World Bank, the US Department of State, the Grameen Foundation, Western Union and other private-sector clients.

“How Corporate Climate Change Adaptations Influence Corporate Environmental Performance: A Longitudinal Study in the U.S. Ski Resort Industry”

This research project explores how and why the geophysical phenomenon of climate change impacts firms’ strategy and induces them to adapt in ways that have implications for their environmental performance. The main hypotheses of the research are that climate change can induce firms to create environmental harm in their immediate biophysical environments, but improve their environmental performance with respect to the conservation or protection of ecological resources that are traded in the market. The logic underpinning these predictions is that firms can adapt to the risk created by climate change by consuming additional natural capital from their biophysical environments, which can harm that ecological domain. At the same time, to protect environmental legitimacy, they may offset the biophysical environmental impact by improving how they manage environmental resources that are traded in their socioeconomic environments. The setting for the study is the U.S. ski resort industry, using data from 2001-2009. It relies on climatic data collected from the National Climatic Data Center and environmental performance data collected from the Ski Area Citizens Coalition.

Pete Tashman

Pete Tashman, PhD Student, School of Business
His research revolves focuses on exploring how forces from the ecological, economic and social environments of firms affect firm strategy, performance and sustainability. Currently, he is examining how the geophysical impacts of climate change affects firm strategy and environmental performance. Pete has published his work in the Journal of Business Ethics, Policy Studies Journal, and the 2007 Academy of Management Conference Best Paper Proceedings. At George Washington University, he has taught Strategic Formulation and Implementation, and the capstone Strategy course, and Business and Government Relations.

“Entrepreneurial Approaches to Sustainable Development: Aligning Incentives, Measuring Outcomes”

Saurabh Lall
, PhD Student, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

“Sustainability Governance Across Time and Space:  Connecting Environmental Stewardship in the Firm with Global Community”
To differentiate ecosystem management, three models of firm-level environmental stewardship are paired with three types of trust, which serve as informal governance mechanisms. The interconnectedness of organizational fields and the influence of intertemporality and interspatiality (time and space) are key dynamics in developing decentralized networks as an approach for linking firms, organizational fields, and global sustainability efforts. Interviews with 18 firms, government agencies, and nonprofits from Japan and the U.S. are utilized to discuss the key concepts in the paper.

Mark Heuer

Mark Heuer, Adjunct Faculty, Strategic Management and Public Policy
Mark Heuer is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna University. He earned his Ph.D. from George Washington University, where he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Mark earned an MBA from The Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He also attended Yale Divinity School. Mark previously held positions in the governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors. His research interests include sustainability, social issues management, and national culture.

“A Stochastic Discrete Analysis of Scrapping Subsidies”
The co-authored project (with Shanjun Li at RFF) constructs a dynamic stochastic discrete choice model of vehicle ownership and scrappage at the household level, and examines the factors that determine vehicle scrappage, new vehicle sales and fuel efficiency of new vehicles. The model is capable of generating annual scrappage rates of vehicles by age and fuel efficiency under various aggregate economic conditions, and replicating stylized features which are broadly consistent with historical data, including procyclicality of new vehicle sales, the comovement between gasoline prices and fuel efficiency of new vehicles, and varying scrappage rates for vehicles of different fuel efficiency during gasoline price hikes. The next step is to estimate the model and use it to evaluate the economic effect of the "cash-for-clunkers"-type programs.

Chao Wei, Assistant Professor of Economics
Chao WeiChao Wei received her PhD in Economics from Stanford University in 2001. She also holds an MA in economics from Columbia University and a BA in economics from Fudan University in China. She worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for two years before joining the George Washington University in 2003. Her research interests focus on the intersection of macroeconomics and financial economics, with an emphasis on the asset pricing implications of production economies with and without nominal rigidities. Her current research examines the impact of personal and corporate income taxes on asset returns. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Money and banking, and Macroeconomic Theory.

“Commitments to Global Initiatives: Empty Promises or Good Practices?”
How can the global operations of large Multinational Corporations (MNCs) be governed and regulated? Since the 1990s, an important shift has been underway. Traditional emphasis on national laws, regulations, and politics has given way to voluntary global initiatives. More than 300 initiatives now govern a number of sectors including the environment, energy, minerals, chemicals, project finance, and human rights with the participation of several thousands of companies, including some of the largest and most prominent MNCs. This project investigates the dynamics of voluntary global initiatives. We examine two related questions: First, do voluntary global initiatives complement (and better enforce) domestic laws or do they act as substitutes for them? Second, which Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are more likely to join voluntary global initiatives, especially those addressing social and environmental impacts? In addressing these questions, the project will focus on firms' decisions to join the UN Global Compact – the world's largest voluntary sustainability initiative governing human rights, labor, environment and corruption issues.

Srividya Jandhyala

Srividya Jandhyala, Assistant Professor of International Business and International Affairs
Srividya Jandhyala ( is an Assistant Professor of International Business and International Affairs at the George Washington University, Washington DC. She received her PhD in Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Her research is driven by the confluence of politics and markets. She examines how government institutions (or the lack of them) influence economic activity and the international investment strategy of firms. Her research addresses issues surrounding international property rights in the technology, petrochemical, and other sectors. Her research has received recognition at international conferences in International Business and Management, and her recent work is forthcoming at the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

“The Greening of Human Rights: NGOs and Climate Change”

Medlir Mema
, PhD Candidate, Graduate Research Fellow-Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

“Ethical Employee Behavior through Trust Network Embeddedness”
Recent models in business ethics literature have begun to shed light on the aspects of ethical organizational culture that can predict ethical employee behavior. I generate hypotheses about the level of trust that must exist amongst employees in order to foster ethical employee behavior. I extend this examination by empirically testing perceptions of an organizational justice system through social network analysis with employees at a Fortune 50 company.

Smita Trivedi

Smita Trivedi, PhD Candidate, School of Business
Smita Trivedi received her undergraduate degree from Duke University with a B.A. in public policy and Spanish, and completed a Master's in education policy from Harvard University. In August 2009, Smita began the PhD program in strategic management and public policy at George Washington University School of Business. She has been a graduate research assistant for Jorge Rivera and Tim Fort and leads a student research team for the Institute for Corporate Responsibility. She has held several high school teaching positions and from 2006 until 2008 she worked for Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian aid agency, as the senior program officer for education and youth programs. In summer 2009 Smita was the urban policy graduate student intern at the White House Domestic Policy Council.

“Doing the Right Thing: Perceptions of Ethical Problems and the Social Legitimacy of Multi-national Corporations”
Global corporate social responsibility (GCSR) encompasses the social and moral obligations that the business sector has to the global community and involves the consideration of a ‘triple bottom-line’ of economic, environmental and social accountability (Panchak 2002; Haufler 2001). Since the 1990s MNCs have voluntarily formulated national and transnational codes of conduct and ethics to guide their activities (MacLeod 2007). But recent scandals and the global financial crisis seem to support the view that these codes of conduct are simply ethical window-dressing and do not impact how MNCs pursue profit-making. My research examines this hypocrisy, or a mismatch between ethical rhetoric and action, as one of four types of ethical problems. I argue that despite their profit-making motives, MNCs, like other non-state actors must also maintain their social legitimacy, but we have little understanding of the types of legitimation strategies they employ and when. I show that their perceptions of ethical problems influence how they define their social responsibility and how they maintain or repair their social legitimacy using different GSCR mechanisms. I investigate the evolution of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to test and refine my model.

Maryam Zarnegar Deloffre, PhD Candidate, Columbian College for Arts and Sciences
Maryam DeloffreMaryam Zarnegar Deloffre, earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. in International Development from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris-Fondation Nationale de Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris, and will complete a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University in Spring 2011. Her current research examines the social legitimacy, ethics and accountability of non-state actors such as humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and multi-national corporations. She develops a typology of ethical problems and shows that NGOs' perceptions of ethical problems influence both the types of legitimation strategies they employ and their accountability relationships. Deloffre has lived abroad in France and the United Kingdom and has worked for NGOs such as Oxfam-UK and Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger) in France. Her scholarly work includes a chapter published in Nonprofit Accountability Clubs: Voluntary Regulation of Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organizations, Mary Kay Gugerty and Aseem Prakash (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2010. She has received research support from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University and the Institute for Corporate Responsibility at The George Washington University.

“Credit Market Reforms and Corporate Borrowing Costs in Emerging Markets”
Using a panel dataset of syndicated bank loans for 11 emerging markets, we examine how credit market reforms affect the cost of corporate borrowing. We find that the impact of credit market reforms on yield spreads are closely related to the contractual environment of a country. In countries that have low corruption and well functioning legal system, reforms to improve bank competition reduces yield spreads as more banks can operate in the market. Reforms on bank supervision, on the other hand, increases spreads in these countries as lending standards become strict following this reform. In countries with strong investment profile, bank privatization reduces yield spreads and other reforms do not have a significant effect on spreads. These findings suggest that the success of credit market reforms hinges upon the quality of institutions and cannot be considered independently.

Senay Agca

Senay Agca, Associate Professor of Finance
Senay Agca is an associate professor of finance at the George Washington University. Her current research interests are international finance, corporate finance, credit risk and fixed income security valuation. She has published in various academic journals such as the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Financial Research, Journal of Derivatives, Applied Mathematical Finance, Journal of Computational Finance and the Journal of Alternative Investments. She was awarded the J. Wendell and Louise Crain Research Fellowship in 2005, the GW-CIBER research grants in 2008 and 2010, Journal of Financial Research Outstanding Paper Award in 2008, the GW-Institute for Corporate Responsibility grant in 2010 and the George Washington School of Business Dean's Scholar award for 2008-2010. She has also worked as a visiting scholar on several occasions at the International Monetary Fund.

“Corporate Environmental Strategy: A Corporate Governance Perspective”
My research investigates how the greening of corporate governance structures enhances the likelihood that firms will comply with pressures to improve their environmental performance. Greening the corporate governance structures – meaning the efforts to tie executive compensation to environmental targets and to enhance board oversight over environmental performance – has only recently been investigated by researchers. Surprisingly, despite the recognized importance of corporate governance on the firm's outcomes (e.g. Core, Holthausen, & Larcker, 1999; Daily, Dalton, & Cannella Jr, 2003a; Gompers, Ishi, & Metrick, 2003), the corporate governance literature has provided little insight into environmental strategy. Evidence on the link between corporate governance and environmental performance is mixed. Empirical results on the relationship between executive compensation and environmental performance are non-conclusive. Likewise, it is not clear whether board oversight enhances firm environmental performance. This study shifts the attention toward the identification of those conditions under which a specific corporate governance structure is most appropriate in improving firm's environmental performance. While previous research has found either a positive or a negative linear relationship between corporate governance and environmental performance, I suggest that this relationship is contingent on the firm's environmental risk and it is represented by an inverted U-curve.

Patricia Kanashiro, PhD Candidate, School of Business
Patricia KanashiroPatricia Kanashiro is a Ph.D candidate at the Strategic Management and Public Policy Department, GW School of Business. She holds a Master in Economics from the same university and received a Fulbright award to pursue a Master degree in International Relations at the University of Pittsburgh, from 2003 to 2005. She received a bachelor degree in Business from Fundacão Getulio Vargas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her working experience is focused on corporate social responsibility including various organizations such as the ILO – International Labor Organization, ABN AMRO Bank, Ethos Institute, and the ISS – Institutional Shareholder Services. Her research interest is on sustainability, corporate governance and financial market in developing countries.

“What Attributes of Corporate Governance are Relevant to Bondholders?”

Javier Ayala
, PhD Candidate, School of Business