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The U of R business faculty's new research lab will give students like Morgan Adams the opportunity to learn about research in a hands-on way. Photo by Taylor Rattray.

As part of the University of Regina’s new 2015 to 2020 strategic plan to strengthen research impact, the business faculty will unveil a new human research lab. Officially called the Laboratory for Behavioural Business Research, it will open in the fall of 2015.

 

The lab will be designed to study counterproductive and antisocial behaviour in business settings. It will be supplied with equipment to run computer simulations, experiments, focus groups, and psychological tests.

 

Assistant professor of marketing at the U of R, Haithem Zourrig, is one of the three researchers whose work has inspired the lab. He says he has four different projects that he would like to conduct in the lab.

 

“The first one is related to the emotion detection. So we’re trying to detect or to read the facial expressions of the consumers. Emotions are very important in marketing, as you may know. So we need to understand how consumers express their emotions, and what (that means),” said Zourrig.

 

As well, the lab will help Zourrig further his work on how cultural and individual differences affect consumer behaviour.

 

“I do some work on fraud and some fraudulent behaviour. So (that’s) related to the dark side of consumer behaviour. Using the lab, it can help me to do some experiments relating different components (with) consumers, and to see how consumers make judgements,” he said.

 

According to Zourrig, students studying business at the university will also be able to take advantage of the state of the art lab. Morgan Adams is a third year business administration student at the U of R. She said that, if given the opportunity, she would like to take a class that uses the lab.

 

“The Paul J. Hill School of Business is mostly focused on experiential learning,” explained Adams, “So, by having this lab where you can work on the behavioural side of marketing, instead of just reading it out of a textbook, I think is a really good step in promoting the experiential learning side of it.”

 

Adams thinks the lab will have real world implications as well.

 

“I think the business community might end up approaching (the school) to use it or maybe have some of their students do research for them using the lab. So it might positively affect the Regina business community,” said Adams.

 

Ashley Binkley is an administrative assistant at 3S Health, a company that provides services and support to the Saskatchewan health sector. She holds a certificate in business and is currently working on her diploma in business administration. In her opinion, the research that will be conducted at the new lab will impact everyone.

 

“Everyone reacts differently to different things so, if they’re doing research on this, I think that it definitely will impact everyone,” Binkley said.

 

She also thinks research findings will help people in the business community, “because then they would know how to market their product to different consumers, depending on what they like and how they work.”

 

Zourrig agrees. He believes the business community will be able to take advantage of the results of the research done in the lab.

 

“A lot of our research also can help to improve training programs. So we have a lot of implications and recommendations for the business community that can be easily derived from our research,” said Zourrig.