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Accounting, Finance & Economics (AFE)

AFE Research Centre

The AFE Research Centre brings together a dynamic group of younger and more experienced academics in a multi-disciplinary team with substantial experience and expertise. Our research is primarily focused on financial and economic decision making, based on the use of new technologies for advanced analytics and modelling. 

With world-leading research that impacts on both national and international regulations and policy making, we have a particular interest in the social, economic, and sustainability changes that can be made by our research contributions. AFE research also informs the study programmes within the School of Management to ensure all of our teaching is research-led.

Abstract Image Depicting AFE Research

Who do we work with?

Our team has strong international links, and a global research focus covering both the developed and emerging economies. We work with financial institutions and corporations, social stakeholders such as public sector bodies and not-for-profits. We provide essential research and data to governments, NGOs and private sector bodies. We have substantial experience of participating in and managing projects funded by leading research and industry bodies such EPSRC and ICAEW.

How do we work?

Our research combines academic rigour with relevance developed through and with international partnerships, collaborations and consultancies. Our work is shared with practitioners through our executive education programmes to advance professional practice. Our research is frequently published in high ranking national and world-leading journals and contributes directly to new thinking in the financial industry. Our team disseminates their work at a number of leading national and international forums and seminars to advance understanding as well as to inform national and international regulations and policy making in accounting, finance and economics.

AFE Research Areas

AFE’s primary research is focused on all areas of accountancy, finance and economics but within this, our research expertise more specifically focuses on:

  • Market-based Accounting Research
  • Accounting Regulation
  • Corporate Governance and Ethics
  • Corporate Finance
  • Business Economics
  • Financial Economics
  • Financial Markets
  • Risk Management
  • Financial Institutions and Banking
  • Financial Technology and Blockchain
  • Asset Pricing and Derivatives
  • Financial Technology and Cryptocurrencies
  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

Social media usage in evacuations and emergency management

As part of an EPSRC funded project, Dr John Fry has undertaken research work on the mathematical modelling of emergency evacuation strategies with his co-author. Applications included crowd management of major events in London and the resilience of major cities in the Yorkshire region – especially in regard to flooding. John has presented this work at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and his co-author has also presented at written testimony to the parliament.

"In this paper, we examine the social media usage in evacuations and emergency management which represents a rapidly expanding field of study. Our paper thus provides quantitative insight into a serious practical problem. Within this context a behavioural approach is key. We discuss when facilitators should consider model-based interventions amid further implications for disaster communication and emergency management. We model the behaviour of individual people by deriving optimal contrarian strategies. We formulate a Bayesian algorithm which enables the optimal evacuation to be conducted sequentially under worsening conditions".

 Journal: European Journal of Operational Research [CABS 4]

 Co-author: Prof Jane M. Binner, University of Birmingham

Image showing flood in town with people being evacuated in boats

International Determinants of Organizational Ethical Vulnerability

This research project was based on the collaborative work of Prof Saeed Akbar with colleagues at the University of Nottingham, University of Liverpool, Open University Business School, and University of Hull. The project was published in the British journal of Management in 2018. 

The project proposed a model to explain what makes organizations ethically vulnerable. The research considered institutional context, internal corporate governance mechanisms and organizational ethical infrastructure combined in a framework for classifying ethical issues to produce a new model of organizational ethical vulnerability.

The model was tested on a large number of firms involved in ethical misconduct and compared with a matched sample size of firms in 28 different countries. The results showed that weak regulatory environment and internal corporate governance, combined with profitability warnings or losses in the preceding year, increased organizational ethical vulnerability. The findings have been found to have implications for firms’ external regulatory settings, corporate governance mechanisms and organizational ethical infrastructure.

Journal: The British Journal of Management [CABS 4]

Co-authors: Dr Subhan Ullah [University of Nottingham], Dr Sardar Ahmad [University of Liverpool], and Prof. Devendra Kodwani [The Open University Business School]

More about research on International Determinants of Organizational Ethical Vulnerability

World map made of wood with blue flags to mark places

Advertising, earnings prediction and market value: An analysis of persistent UK advertisers

This research project is part of Prof Saeed Akbar’s extensive work on advertising, intangible assets and his research collaboration with colleagues at the University of Manchester, University of Warwick, and the University of Liverpool. This project paper was published in the British Journal of Management in 2019.

The paper examines whether major media advertising expenditures help in predicting future earnings.

"We consider the role of media advertising in firms’ marketing efforts and posit that persistent advertisers are more likely to benefit from advertising activities in creating long‐lived intangible assets. Employing a sample of persistent UK advertisers over the period 1997–2013, the research found that advertising expenditures are significantly positively associated with firms’ future earnings and market value. These findings have implications for marketers in providing evidence of the value generated by firms’ advertising budgets, for investors in validating the relevance of advertising information in influencing future earnings, and for accounting regulators in relation to the provision of useful insights for any future deliberations on financial reporting policies for advertising expenditures".

Journal: The British Journal of Management [CABS 4]

Co-authors: Dr Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah [Warwick Business School], Dr Sardar Ahmad [University of Liverpool], and Prof. Andrew Stark [University of Manchester]

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AFE Research Centre Staff