Research Innovation and Expertise

The Ted Rogers School continues to be at the forefront of research that is driving innovation and advancing knowledge in areas ranging from cybersecurity and social media to diversity and inclusion. We focus on research that makes a difference both within our community and beyond. We have also partnered with external organizations to expand our research initiatives and have greater impact.

Ted Rogers School researchers collaborate the write way

Writing research papers can be a lonely process, but the Research Writing Group has helped make writing a team sport, creating a sense of community among faculty members and making the process more enjoyable and productive.

The group was originally formed in 2017 when Dr. Julie Kellershohn, Assistant Professor, Hospitality and Tourism Management, reached out to Dr. Kelly McKay (the former Associate Dean of Research), to see if she would support weekly research writing sessions with resources such as room bookings, beverages and snacks. Dr. McKay was on board with this idea, and the first Research Writing Group session was held on March 17, 2017.

Read more about the Research Writing Group

The writing group provides dedicated time to focus on research writing,” says Dr. Kellershohn. “It can be tempting to push writing to the side during the teaching weeks of the term. This group helps to ensure that you make consistent progress on it.

The group runs during most of the year – even during Reading Weeks and exam periods – but usually takes August off. And when the pandemic hit in March 2020, the group wanted to continue to meet, so they pivoted and connected online over Zoom.

The writing sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and use a modified Pomodoro method, which consists of 30 minutes of writing, and then a seven-minute break. They continue with five rounds of writing/break until 1 p.m.

There are currently over 20 members in the group, and while the composition varies from week to week, on average six to ten people join for part of the writing session every week.

Dr. Kellershohn says that some of her favourite moments in the sessions are during the breaks. Not only does it provide people with a chance to clear their heads, but it also provides moments of socialization. “As people socialize, sometimes research problems get solved or new collaborations occur,” she explains. “Ideas move forward faster when you can bounce them off of someone with a different lens.

Research writing is a crucial component in effectively communicating research ideas and findings,” says Dr. Ozgur Turetken, associate dean, research. “In this light, I am very excited to see the ongoing success and engagement of our Research Writing Group. We will be supporting the needs of this group with the hopes of engaging more and more of our researchers in this important activity.

Screenshot of Zoom meeting participants

From left to right: Julie Kellershohn, Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee, Janice Rudkowski, Annika Hillebrandt, Shengkun Xie, Sareh Pouryousefi, Vik Singh, Jackie Csonka, Rishad Habib and Jenna Jacobson

Think your food looks basic? The algorithm might actually prefer that

Restaurants that place a focus on unique “Instagrammable” foods as a marketing strategy may not receive the results they hope for, as AI technology shows that consumers interact more with food content they view as more typical and “normal appearing,” according to research from the Ted Rogers School.

Showcasing unique, original and atypical appearing foods to garner attention on social media – everything from elaborate presentations to offbeat combinations of food – is a marketing trend, especially as consumers use social media before visiting a restaurant to view photos and reviews.

More about our food research

Effective use of a restaurant’s social media can positively impact the business. However, according to Ted Rogers School researchers Dr. Matthew Philp (Assistant Professor, Marketing Management) and Dr. Jenna Jacobson (Assistant Professor, Retail Management), and Ethan Pancer from Saint Mary’s University, this strategy is not optimal, and research reveals that typical or “normal” looking foods are preferable for consumers and social media.

Results from the research shows that if Google Vision AI better recognizes food images as actual food (i.e., the more typical it is), the more likely it would receive engagement on social media. Additionally, another experiment showed that typical-looking foods on social media were easier for consumers to mentally process, and therefore drove engagement.

These findings are counterintuitive, as conventional social media wisdom suggests that users will engage more with unique and original, as this is seen as more ‘interesting.’ However, in the context of food, this might not be the case,” said Dr. Philp. “Instead, in the fast scrolling nature of social media, people appear to engage more with food that they can more easily recognize as being normal and typical.

Overall, this research shows that restaurants should step away from making and posting elaborate food content, and instead focus on producing, as well as posting, more typical-appearing foods on social media as a means to increase engagement.

Social Media Lab helps build a defense against misinformation

The invisible front in the 2022 conflict between Ukraine and Russia was misinformation, and a group of researchers in Toronto helped to sort fact from fiction in real time.

In February 2022, Professor Anatoliy Gruzd, Canada Research Chair in Privacy Preserving Digital Technologies and Philip Mai, co-director of the Social Media Lab at the Ted Rogers School, created an online tool that tracked false or misleading information. The Ukraine-Russia ConflictMisinfo Dashboard provided context and evaluations of the disputed information and links to reliable third-party fact checking sites.

Read more about the Social Media Lab

Social media is a contested public space. There was a flood of disinformation and misinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine directed at the public in the hope of swaying people’s allegiance and sympathy,” said Gruzd.

The dashboard, which was available in English, Ukrainian and Russian, automatically aggregated and translated professionally fact-checked claims about the Ukraine-Russia conflict from around the web and brought it all in one place. It also simplified and standardized disparate ratings received from multiple fact-checkers, labeling the reports as true, misleading or false. In one case, viral videos claiming to show Russian and Ukrainian fighter pilots engaged in combat, were in fact screenshots from video games and are verified as fake on the dashboard.

Information informs public opinion, which in turn drives political decision-making, but the rapidity of information shared through social media channels means the process of evaluating the accuracy and independence of that information can be lost, making the dissemination of validated information crucial – particularly in times of conflict.

Screenshot of Russia-Ukraine ConflictMisinfo Dashboard

One Big Idea: Can Canadians protect themselves from Russian disinformation on social media?

Dr. Hossein Zolfagharinia and alumna Nina Jovanovic

Driving sustainable change in Canadian trucking

Photo above: Dr. Hossein Zolfagharinia (left) and Nina Jovanovic (right)

When it comes to greening the Canadian trucking industry, Ted Rogers School researchers have found that competition to attract new drivers is what is helping to propel small and medium-sized companies towards sustainability, while anti-competitive activity is a barrier to progress.

As part of her graduate studies, Ted Rogers School alumna Nina Jovanovic and her supervisor, Global Management Studies Associate Professor Dr. Hossein Zolfagharinia, explored the state of environmental sustainability in the Canadian trucking industry.

The pair examined practices and initiatives undertaken by several small and medium-sized companies based in Ontario, where much of the country’s trucking industry is based. They investigated what sustainable activities had been adopted, and analyzed the factors that can motivate or impede undertaking environmental initiatives – the first time such research has been conducted about Canada.

Read more about the Canadian trucking research

To help green the Canadian trucking industry, Jovanovic and Dr. Zolfagharinia developed recommendations, particularly for policies and government initiatives that could support more companies in becoming more sustainable. They identified an opportunity for governments to play a role in greening the Canadian trucking industry through education, incentives and enforcement.

During the interviews that Jovanovic conducted during her research, many of the companies highlighted a lack of governmental initiatives and incentives for businesses of their size. There was also interest in educational and benchmarking resources. The researchers additionally identified action items for policy-makers that included mandating environmental performance reporting in the industry.

What we observed is there’s huge room for improvement, meaning that the policy-makers, the government, they can take actions and they can contribute to this particular sector, and contributing to this sector can translate into a big savings, a big improvement in terms of emissions reduction,” said Dr. Zolfagharinia.

graph 2018: 29 (30%), 2019: 46 (46%), 2020: 74 (50%), and 2021: 93 (55%)

Extending our research reach

The number of research articles published by Ted Rogers School faculty in top-ranked journals continues to rise steadily through the years. Here is the total number and percentage of all peer-reviewed journal articles published by our faculty that were in A*/A or equivalent journals.

Journals are ranked A*/A on ABDC journal quality list or ranked above 85 percentile on Scopus.

93 Journal articles published in 2021

Indigenous people at work

The need to improve Indigenous populations’ access to standard work

The over-representation of Indigenous populations in non-standard jobs is leading to income inequality, says a report co-authored by Dr. Danielle Lamb, Assistant Professor, Human Resources Management and Organizational Behaviour.

The report, “Nonstandard Employment and Indigenous Earnings Inequality in Canada,” written for the Journal of Industrial Relations by Dr. Lamb and her co-author, University of Toronto Professor Anil Verma, examines earning disparities for Indigenous populations through the lens of type of work.

Read more about the report

In their article, the researchers describe non-standard employment as anything outside of regular, full-time employment. They show that Indigenous men are 24 per cent more likely to be in a full-time, non-permanent job rather than a standard job when compared to their non-Indigenous peers. Also, the percentage of those who are in part-time work involuntarily is 25 per cent higher for Indigenous males, as compared to non-Indigenous, Canadian-born males.

Indigenous women are 18 per cent more likely to be in full-time, non-permanent work and 15 per cent more likely to be in involuntary part-time work, as compared to non-Indigenous, Canadian-born women. By contrast, Canadian-born women choose to work part-time. Indigenous women are 37 per cent less likely to opt into part-time work voluntarily.

These findings are significant because non-standard work is associated with lower earnings.

Non-standard work may often represent a second-tier of the labour market, and no matter who is performing the work, the pay is generally lower,” says Dr. Lamb. “What’s more concerning is the over-representation of Indigenous workers in that market.”

She notes that barriers need to be eliminated to create more secure jobs for Indigenous workers, and that we must look beyond education to build more achievable solutions. “We need to look at the pipelines into these higher quality jobs and find ways for Indigenous workers to access these jobs,” she explains, adding that quality jobs go beyond better earnings for workers and include security, benefits and opportunities for growth and development.

Indigenous people in various work environments
Danielle Lamb

We need to look at the pipelines into these higher quality jobs and find ways for Indigenous workers to access these jobs.”

Dr. Danielle Lamb,
Assistant Professor, Human Resources Management and Organizational Behaviour

Insights and opinions that matter

Media outlets have turned to Ted Rogers School faculty members for their expert insights and opinions. From August 2021 to July 2022, we had 8,624 media mentions across online, radio and TV news outlets, both nationally and internationally.

Media Mentions


Sell culture: First Canadian conference on advancing sales education

In May 2022, Dr. Karen Peesker and the Ted Rogers Sales Leadership Program hosted the first Canadian university conference on Advancing Sales Education and Research in Canada in conjunction with Dr. Wendy Cukier from the Diversity Institute, Dr. Maria Rouziou and Jean-Luc Geha from HEC Montréal and Eric Janssen from Ivey Business School.

The two-day conference provided a platform for university sales educators to come together to advance and improve sales research at Canadian universities, set and actively monitor sales program standards, enhance sales curricula and ultimately provide students with the best possible practices to succeed in a career in sales.

The conference was held at the Ted Rogers School and funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connection Grant and generous donations from Microsoft, the Canadian Professional Sales Association and sponsors of the Ted Rogers Sales Leadership Program.

Cybersecurity Research Lab awarded OCI’s Voucher for Innovation and Productivity

Ted Rogers School’s Cybersecurity Research Lab (CRL) and industry partner Mavennet Systems Inc. have been awarded the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) for their collaborative project on the design and analysis of a blockchain-based digital wallet for energy asset tracking.
The OCI’s Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) program helps companies develop, implement and commercialize technical innovations by supporting partnerships between Ontario’s industry and publicly funded post-secondary institutions.

This project by the CRL and Mavennet furthers Mavennet’s Neoflow platform with an additional case – end-to-end environmental impact accounting.

“Collaboration between industry and academia brings to the table novel innovation approaches that are very hard to achieve in either industry or academia in isolation,” says CRL Director Dr. Atefeh Mashatan. “This partnership between Mavennet and Toronto Metropolitan University is our humble contribution to help cement Ontario as a global reference model for technology innovation in the digital assets space.

Dr. Atefeh Mashatan (center), director of The Cybersecurity Research Lab and associate professor, with the CRL team

Bryant McBride, co-founder of the Carnegie Initiative, speaking at the first Carnegie Initiative Summit

Breaking the ice: Striving to make hockey more inclusive

In February 2022, the Ted Rogers School formed an academic partnership with the Carnegie Initiative and in collaboration with the Future of Sport Lab (FSL) to examine racial barriers in hockey.

The Carnegie Initiative represents the ongoing legacy of Dr. Herb Carnegie and his illustrious hockey career breaking down racial barriers in a sport dominated by white (or caucasian) athletes. The partnership with the Ted Rogers School aligns with ongoing research and practice advocating for change in the game of hockey, and to dismantle systems of oppression, opening the sport to all individuals.

“The Carnegie Initiative is one-of-a-kind in its ability to connect community practitioner, professionals and academics together, all committed to changing the game of hockey,” says Ted Rogers School postdoctoral fellow Dr. Richard Norman. “It honours Dr. Carnegie’s legacy while making sure future generations don’t have to contend with the same conditions of racism and oppression as in the past.

Listen to Like Nobody’s Business podcast: How hockey can work to be more inclusive and diverse

Prestigious grants

Three Ted Rogers School researchers secured Insight Grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in 2022:

Dr. Claire Deng

Dr. Claire Deng, Assistant Professor, Accounting & Finance was awarded a prestigious grant for:

“Management Accounting and Control for Conservation: The Recovery of Species at Risk in Canada.”

Dr. Hong Yu

Dr. Hong Yu, Associate Professor, Retail Management and Associate Dean, Graduate Programs was awarded a prestigious grant for:

“Shopping for Self vs. for Elderly: Modeling Baby Boomers’ In-Store Fashion

Dr. Hossein Zolfagharinia

Dr. Hossein Zolfagharinia, Associate Professor, Global Management Studies was awarded a prestigious grant for:

“Managing Meat Supply Chains Under Demand and Supply Uncertainty: Working towards Sustainable and Resilient Networks.”

Discovery Grants

Two researchers from the Ted Rogers School were awarded Discovery Grants by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in 2022:

Amira Ghenai

Dr. Amira Ghenai

Assistant Professor, Information Technology Management

“The Effect of Online Harmful Content on People’s Attitudes.”

Dr. Zeinab Noorian

Assistant Professor, Information Technology Management

“Early Detection of Information Campaign in Social Systems.”


#1 school in Canada

#25 worldwide
Ted Rogers School’s Real Estate Management program is the #1 school in Canada in the Real Estate Academic Leadership (REAL) Rankings for 2017–2021, and is tied for #25 worldwide (with five other schools).

#1 program in Canada

In the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022, Ted Rogers School’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program has ranked #1 in Canada and #7 in the world in Hospitality Leisure Management subject area’s “citations per paper” index.

Corporate Knights

Ted Rogers MBA

Corporate Knights’ 2022 Better World Ranking named the Ted Rogers MBA program 2nd in Canada and 8th globally for integrating sustainability knowledge and skills into business education.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Ted Rogers MBA

Ted Rogers MBA ranked #3 on Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2022-23 survey of MBA programs in Canada. It also ranked #3 in Canada in both the compensation and learning categories, and #5 for entrepreneurship.

Katherine Lo receiving an award

HTM Award helps graduate become a published researcher

Photo: Katherine Lo receiving William B. Pattison Research Fellowship at 2018 HTM Awards night

Thanks to an award that helps to hire and train a student at the Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Research, recent graduate Katherine Lo (HTM, 2019) was able to get the research paper she co-authored published in a journal.

As a Dean’s List student, Lo received the William B. Pattison Research Fellowship worth $10,000 in 2018. This award is given to a student to work as a Research Assistant in the Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Research in the Fall and Winter term. The recipient must commit to work 16 hours a week in the Institute in the following year. William Pattison is best known in Canada for founding Delta Hotels Ltd. in 1962 with four partners, and serving as president and CEO until 1988.

Read more about the award

With the support of this award, Lo was able to work on a research study related to luxury hotel service gaps in Canadian hotels with Dr. Frederic Dimanche, director of the HTM program. Their resulting research paper, “The Elusive Search for Talent: Skill Gaps in the Canadian Luxury Hotel Sector,” was published in the journal Tourism and Hospitality.

Over three years ago, Dr. Dimanche and I began researching skills gaps in luxury in order to address the need in the Canadian labour market to have more robust training programs for those pursuing careers in high-end service environments,” explains Lo. “I am so grateful that he had this idea and pushed me in doing this research during my undergrad.

Greatest of all, Dr. Dimanche made sure that our research could have a tangible impact,” she adds. “We’ve presented our findings at an international conference in Europe, a course in the HTM program was born to address these skills gaps and we even won an award for the research before publishing it.

Over three years ago, Dr. Dimanche and I began researching skills gaps in luxury in order to address the need in the Canadian labour market to have more robust training programs for those pursuing careers in high-end service environments”

Katherine Lo

Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2019


Taking STOCK: PhD student has paper published in top-ranked finance journal

PhD in Management student Meet Shah had his research paper, “Did the STOCK Act impact the performance, risk, and flow of hedge funds?,” accepted in the A-ranked International Journal of Managerial Finance. The paper, which stems from his award-winning Master of Science in Management thesis, was co-authored by Associate Professor, Finance, Dr. Laleh Samarbakhsh.

After the financial crisis of 2008, U.S. legislation began to control the unregulated sectors of the financial industry. Since corporate lobbying can provide advantages to firms, which can increase performance in personal portfolios, the Obama administration introduced the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act in 2012. Shah’s research examines hedge funds’ performance, risk and flow before and after the Act’s implementation. The study finds significant differences before and after the Act came into effect.

“This research is important as it provides empirical evidence to evaluate policies’ effects and determine if they work – in this case, analyzing the impact of government policy change on hedge funds,” says Shah.

Meet Shah

Meet Shah, PhD in Management

Tara Raessi

Tara Raessi, Law and Business, 2022

Independent Research course helps undergrad student get academic paper published

In December 2021, fourth-year Law and Business student Tara Raessi had her first research paper published by Intersect: The Stanford Journal of Science, Technology, and Society thanks to her learnings in the BUS 720 – Independent Research course.

BUS 720 is a unique professionally-related course that allows a student – pending department approval – to conduct research for a semester under the supervision of a professor of the student’s choice.

“My lack of research practice led me to new experiences in the course, and, with it, new lessons learned,” Raessi explains. “I gained fundamental research skills such as drafting a proper annotated bibliography, creating research questions and other valuable techniques.”

Once she completed the course, Raessi had the goal of having her research paper published. She spent time revising her paper and once she was confident in it, submitted it to Intersect.

The publishing journey was challenging and sometimes intimidating, but it was very rewarding in the end,” Raessi explains. “When it comes to independent research and publishing as an undergraduate student, my most significant piece of advice would be to believe in yourself.

PhD students share knowledge as instructors at school

Some members of the first cohort of Ted Rogers School’s PhD in Management are now teaching classes at the school in their discipline as well.

Zachary Robichaud, for example, is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on retail and consumer services. He completed both his undergraduate (Retail Management, 2017) and master’s degrees (Master of Science in Management, 2019) at the Ted Rogers School, and is now sharing his knowledge as an instructor in the school’s Retail Management department.

Zachary Robichaud

Zachary Robichaud, Master of Science in Management, 2019

Hands-on projects, international trips, entrepreneurship competitions and co-op placements

Members of the Ted Rogers School have received numerous awards and accolades which has raised our reputation

Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University

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