Accounting professor receives SSHRC Insight grants


Dr. Jeffrey Pittman

May 26, 2014

An accounting professor at Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration has received three research grants totalling nearly $474,000 from a national funding body.

Dr. Jeffrey Pittman, the business faculty’s chair in corporate governance and transparency and its CMA Professor of Accounting, is the principal investigator on one project and a co-investigator on two other projects that have received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Program.

Although pleased about his own successful application, Dr. Pittman says he’s happier to contribute to the success the other two projects.

“With those two applications, I’m with relatively junior authors and I know that it is very helpful for them and they are over the moon happy,” he says. “It’s real thrilling for me [and] a very rewarding experience when I can help a junior scholar thrive in their own careers.”

Dr. Pittman is working with Dr. Devan Mescall, an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, on a projected called, “The effect of tax enforcement and tax policy on the cross-border shifting of patents by multi-national corporations.” The project received a grant of $162,838.

He is also a co-investigator on a projected called “The links between culture and financial markets,” for which the principal investigator is Dr. Sadok El Ghoul of the University of Alberta. A collaborator on the project is Dr. Omrane Guedhami of the University of South Carolina. It received $194,711 in funding.

Dr. Pittman’s own project – “Corporate tax enforcement, tax avoidance and insiders’ diversionary activities” – received $116,118. He has been continuously funded by SSHRC since 2002.

The SSHRC Insight Program is aims to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world by supporting research excellence in Canada.

Dr. Pittman says his focus is less on his own research at this point in his career and more on the impact that he can have on those around him, a shift that has been partly driven by his role as chair in corporate governance and transparency.

“My days used to be spent working primarily on my own research,” he says. “However, at this stage in my career, I like to think that I can also have a positive impact by helping develop the next generation of scholars.”

Aside from a two-year stint in Hong Kong, China, Dr. Pittman has worked at the Faculty of Business Administration since 2000. His numerous awards for research, teaching and service include receiving the President’s Award for Outstanding Research from Memorial University in 2009.

Susan White-MacPherson