Urška Kosi, Professor for Business Administration at Paderborn University, is currently working on two research projects within the TRR 266. In B02 she explores, together with Joachim Gassen, how transparency affects the business activity of private firms. In Project B09, she and Benedikt Franke investigate the demand of debt providers for financial information. She shares her views on conducting research in an interdisciplinary network, below.
Accounting: Thinking outside the box
Accounting has always fascinated me. I find it incredibly exciting how complex business transactions can be translated into a few pages of figures. The research in this field is pretty diverse and there are many connections with other disciplines. Sometimes you get into areas you wouldn’t expect – for example when it comes to social media activities of a company or its corporate social responsibility report. These activities are not necessarily related to accounting, but are still of great interest to us. We want to know how such reporting activities affect the company and its related parties: Do they contribute to company’s performance or success? In the end, performance is measured by (accounting) figures such as profit or share price.
Transparency is an exciting and important research field. I think it will keep gaining its importance since access to information is getting easier due to technological advances.
Transparency: Finding the right balance
Transparency is an exciting and important research field. I think it will keep gaining its importance since access to information is getting easier due to technological advances. However, it will become essential to find a good balance between transparency and information overload. The latter increases the costs of information provision as well as processing. It is necessary to ensure that the costs don’t outweigh the benefits. I’m very pleased that the TRR 266 gives us the opportunity to explore those important issues scientifically.
Investigating the effects of transparency
Within the TRR 266 I’m affiliated with two projects. In Project B02 we want to know how transparency affects the business activities of private firms. For example, we investigate their investment activities and labor-market responses to transparency. We use a setting of private firms to better identify the driving forces behind all these activities. In Project B09, we currently work on gaining a better understanding of transparency in the various European debt markets. Debt markets are of critical importance to our economies. To ensure they are functioning well, we need to understand how transparent these markets currently are, how transparent they should be, and which information investors require for decision-making. The research in both projects and the collaboration with my fellow team members is really enlightening.
TRR 266: It’s all about exchange
Research benefits from joining forces. It is not something that can take place behind closed doors, or in an ivory tower. You need exchange and critical feedback to make good and reliable research. The TRR 266 offers perfect conditions for this. Our community consists of highly motivated people, whose research interests are aligned. We are experts in different areas, willing to cooperate and to exchange ideas and critical arguments. The TRR 266 provides excellent platforms for exchange – not only with members of our community, but also with other scientists, companies and regulators. Such as the Forum “Forschung im Dialog” (Research in Dialogue), where scientist and practitioners discuss guiding questions. This exchange is extremely important for our work and can support regulators and companies with relevant scientific findings.
We are looking at many different aspects from a scientific perspective and are confident that we can pool them together in such a way that it will give a comprehensive overview – for example to regulators
Impact: Drawing a complete picture
I believe that our research could have a great impact on our society – for example in terms of regulation. We are looking at many different aspects from a scientific perspective and are confident that we can pool them together in such a way that it will give a comprehensive overview – for example to regulators. Sometimes we see regulators installing new regulation to improve one aspect but being unaware how this might negatively affect other aspects. By exposing the interconnections and possible chain reactions such unintended side effects could be avoided and a healthy balance between transparency and information overload could be found.