Collectively, Social Impact Hub researchers have particular expertise related to diverse forms of social impact, especially charities and nonprofits, social enterprises and social entrepreneurship, and socially-conscious business practices.

Charities and nonprofits

Social Impact Hub members research a broad range of topics relevant to the work of charities and nonprofits, both in Australia and around the world. Areas of expertise in this area include:

  • Nonprofit marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Nonprofit programs and evaluation
  • Nonprofit innovation
  • Voluntourism
  • Nonprofit branding

Social enterprises and social entrepreneurship

Social Impact Hub members research hybrid organisations and emerging business models that advance a dual focus on both financial and social profits. Researchers in the group are experts in:

  • Business models and dual value creation in social purpose organisations
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Social partnerships

Socially-conscious business practices

Researchers in the Social Impact Hub also focus on a wide range of socially-conscious practices that may be embedded into the work of commercial organisations. These include:

  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Cause-related marketing
  • Social purpose branding
  • Social impact measurement
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Social marketing
  • Employee wellbeing


Associate Professor Casandra Chapman headshotAssociate Professor Cassandra Chapman – Charitable giving, donor psychology and fundraising, trust in non-profits, and public responses to charity scandals, mixed methods




Associate Professor Jay Weerawardena headshotAssociate Professor Jay Weerawardena – Social innovation-based value creation in social purpose organisations (SPOs), social entrepreneurship, business model innovation in SPOs, building resilient non-profit brands, managing dual-value creation in social enterprises and hybrid SPOs


Key Researchers

Dr Andre Pekerti – acculturation, human factors, n-Culturals, servant leadership, social justice, trustworthiness and well-being

Dr Ann Wallin – Founding donor decisions (foundations/trusts), decision-making & social marketing in social impact space, quantitative, choice modelling

Dr Anne-Maree O'Rourke – Brand purpose, diversity, equity and inclusion in marketing

Dr Cassandra France – Social brand purpose, non-profit brand vulnerability, volunteer engagement

Dr Faith Ong – Social inclusion of events and tourism, volunteering in events, qualitative

Dr Felix Septianto – Corporate social responsibility, non-profit marketing, charitable giving, volunteering, diversity and inclusion

Dr Jie Wang – Tourism risk management, organisational disaster resilience, travel accessibility for people with disability, inclusive travel, algorithmic management in tourism and hospitality

Dr Josephine Previte – Social marketing, transformative service research (TSR), non-profit branding, social inclusion, intersectional evaluation

Associate Professor Judith Mair – Events & festivals, sustainability, social capital, social justice, social inclusion, sense of community 

Dr Kate Power – Discourse analysis, creative industries, gender, religion 

Professor Kathleen Herbohn – Corporate social responsibility, climate change and tax transparency, financial accounting

Dr Kim Weinert – Charity law, charity governance, not-for-profit legal structures, and comparative charity law

Professor Lisa Ruhanen – Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism and policy, planning and governance

Dr Marten Risius – Social media, online extremism, content moderation, hate speech, privacy protection

Professor Martie-Louise Verreynne – Social innovation and entrepreneurship, public good innovation, mission-oriented knowledge co-creation

Dr Monica Chien – Sponsorship, cause-related marketing, prosocial behaviour, corporate social responsibility, social sustainability, social impact measures

Dr Mucha Mkono – Sustainable tourism, wildlife tourism, animal ethics, trophy hunting, air travel, cyberactivism, African destinations

Associate Professor Nicole Hartley – Services marketing, service technology and communication health, retail, tourism and not-for-profit

Professor Peter Popkowski-Lesczcyc – (Internet) auctions, charitable giving, consumer shopping behaviour and store choice behaviour, sustainable purchases and robotics

Associate Professor Ravi Pappu – Non-profit sponsorships, social partnerships, charitable giving

Associate Professor Raymond Rastegar – Justice, sustainability transition, climate change, sustainable tourism, recognition

Dr Richard Robinson – tourism/hospitality/services, employment, workforce, disadvantaged/marginalised groups, advocacy

Dr Samantha Cooms – Decolonising disability, diversity, inclusion, & sustainability, mental health

Dr Sharlene Leroy-Dyer – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage in education and employment; social impact of unions

Dr Terry Fitzsimmons – Women on boards, workplace gender equity strategy, national gender equity strategy, intersectionality and leadership, gender role stereotypes

Dr Xin Yu – Corporate philanthropy, corporate social responsibility (CSR), environment, social, and governance (ESG), sustainable investment, sustainability

Research Fellows

Mr Tyler Riordan – Non-profit, work & workforces, disenfranchised communities, corporate social responsibility, disruption

PhD Candidates 

Aakash Thottam – Exploring the Role of Different Motivations in Donor Decision-Making: Implications for Competitive Fundraising in the Charity Sector

Guanrong Liu – Service experience co-creation in human-robot interaction: An exploratory study based on psychophysiological measures

Kevin Blasiak – Social Bots for Peace: How moderator bots prevent online radicalization

Lakma Algewatthage – Examining the Role of Proactive Marketing Analytics in Innovation Based Competitive Advantage: Big Data Context 

Rose Ahearn – The Social Impact of Social Impact Evaluation: A Meta-Evaluation 

Sarah Rank – An empirical analysis of the practice of grant making through Private Philanthropic Foundations

Tyler Riordan – Mediated hospitality: how migrant workers navigate interactions in and beyond the platform economy

Yufan Liu – Destination Images and Place Identity: Understanding and Addressing Young Tourists' Risk-Taking Behaviour

Charities and nonprofits

  • Brand Purpose 
    Researchers: Cassandra France, Claudia Gonzalez, Anne-Maree O’Rourke, Amanda Spry 
    The research explores the social impact from commercial brands pursuing higher purpose, that is purpose beyond profit. We are interested in understanding the impetus and outcomes of brand purpose strategies for both brands and society. Initial work clarifies the nature of brand purpose in relation to CSR and brand activism, with ongoing research focuses on purpose motivations and the resultant business and social impacts. 
  • Brand vulnerability: Building resilient non-profit brands, business model innovation in social purpose organizations 
    Researchers: Jay Weerawardena, Josephine Previte, Cassandra France, Peter Popkowski-Leszczyc, Roderic Brodie, Surf Life Saving Queensland
    In collaboration with Australian non-profit brands, our work aims to understand what factors cause brand vulnerability. The project Researchers: aims to develop and test a novel brand vulnerability index (BVI) for non-profits that will assess how branding actions and external market and societal changes impact brand value. 
  • Celebrity endorsement effects on Nonprofits 
    Researchers: Ravi Pappu, Ann Wallin and Bettina Cornwell
    This research examines how celebrity endorsement affects consumer evaluations of a non-profit brand.
  • Corporate Giving Effects on Consumer Evaluations: The Type of Donation Matters 
    Researchers: Ravi Pappu, Sajeeb Saha, Kumar Rakesh Ranjan and Saeed Akhlaghpour
    This research examines how the type of donation offered influences consumer evaluations of firms involved in corporate giving.
  • Mixed Emotions and Prosocial Behaviours 
    Researchers: Felix Septianto
    Prosocial contexts, such as natural disasters or risky yet morally commendable activities, can elicit mixed emotions. This project investigates how to encourage people to engage in prosocial behaviours, such as charitable giving and volunteering, in response to such contexts.
  • Non-profit’s Sponsorship Engagement
    Researchers: Ravi Pappu, Monica Chien, Dao Chuan Tang 
    This research examines the impact of perceived sponsorship engagement on consumer prosocial behaviour toward the non-profit
  • Sponsorship portfolio effects on Nonprofits 
    Researchers: Ravi Pappu, Ann Wallin and Bettina Cornwell
    This research examines how sponsorship portfolios affect consumer evaluations of a non-profit brand.
  • Temporal distance Effects of Corporate Giving 
    Researchers: Ravi Pappu, Sajeeb Saha, Kumar Rakesh Ranjan and Saeed Akhlaghpour
    This research examines how temporal distance of the donation influences consumer evaluations of firms involved in corporate giving.

Social enterprises and social entrepreneurship

  • Manifesto for Hospitality Work, GHRA (Global Hospitality Research Alliance)
    Researchers: Olga Gjerald; Richard Robinson, Tom Baum, Tone Therese Linge, Anastasios Hadjisolomou, & Xander Lub
    A Manifesto is a reflective piece that differs from other conceptual papers: it is a public declaration of a body of persons, making known certain intentions or proclaiming certain motives in reference to some course of conduct. Our team from the Norwegian School of Hotel Management, UiS WITH group, GHRA, and international collaborators, are developing a Manifesto for Hospitality Work.
  • Queensland Tourism Workforce Strategy V2: A Crisis Resilience and Recovery Plan, Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship
    Researchers: Richard Robinson 
    In partnership with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, we will be developing a Tourism Employment Crisis and Resilience Strategy to allow Queensland, Queensland businesses and Queenslanders to recover from the massive disruption of COVID-19 – and to effectively weather future shocks. 
  • Social entrepreneurship as a strategic response for socio-economic development in Sri Lanka 
    Researchers: Uva Wellassa,: Kumudu Jayawardhana 
    This large research project funded by the World Bank is the first-ever known country-wide study to examine how social enterprises can contribute to regional development in Sri Lanka through social enterprises model. The study adopts a multi-method design with an initial qualitative phase followed by model development and concluded with a large-scale survey. 

Socially-conscious business practices

  • Accessible peer coaching for artists and arts support workers with disabilities 
    Researchers: Kate Power,  Arts Access Australia & Rhonda Faragher
    This project builds on and extends Dr Power’s 2021-2022 Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship. It seeks (1) To innovate in the field of peer coaching by developing and testing Easy Read versions of Creating Out Loud Discussion Guides, for use by artists living with an intellectual disability, and (2) To increase the accessibility and impact of the “Creating Out Loud” peer coaching program by developing tools that meet the needs of artists and arts workers who have low literacy and/or intellectual disability.
  • Are we measuring the right things? Improving behaviour change evaluation through participatory evaluation methodologies
    Researchers: Josephine Previte, Helen Truby, Clare Dix and Ann Wallin
    This research project aims to prioritise an intersectional approach to social change evaluation, and will develop an evaluation protocol and toolkit to allow for customisable, mix-method evaluations that can be easily deployed by health and community members. 
  • Careers in everyday industries: Potential benefits of increased visibility (National Careers Institute: Partnerships Grants)
    Researchers: Smith, E., Richard Robinson, Victor Callan, Smith, A., & Snell, D. 
    The project focuses on investigating and publicising available career paths, as well as on the reasons for poor public perceptions among various stakeholder groups.
  • Charity law research projects examine the incorporated structures of Australia and Canada 
    Researchers: Kim Weinert
    This research critically examines Australia and Canada's incorporated federal not-for-profit structures. As part of her doctrinal research, Kim's research has identified how Australia's dual registration and regulatory oversight of specific legal structures has created numerous governance issues. In examining these issues, Kim's research explores what, if any, lessons Australia can learn from Canada's new federal not-for-profit structure.
  • Cultural Metacognition:  A Large, Well-stocked, Organized, and Illuminated Toolshed in the Mind
    Researchers: Andre Pekerti
    Cognition and metacognition are discussed in terms of automatic- and deliberative-processes which are involved in activating one’s interdependent network of schemas in cultural metacognition.  The metaphor is used to discuss CM processes, where functionally-equivalent toolkits are mixed-and-matched to create new solutions for problems within cultures and cross-culturally.  
  • Cybermobbing on Social Media – The Role of Technology in Formation, Prevention, and Intervention of Online Collective Deviant Behavior (Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Senior Research Fellow Scheme
    Researchers: Christy Cheung, Marten Risius, Jason Thatcher, Xiao-Liang Shen  
    This project aims to study the collective nature and mechanism of cybermobbing on social media and evaluate technology-based prevention and intervention strategies
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Marketing
    Researchers: Hiba Khan, Anne-Maree O’Rourke, Frank Mathmann, Shasha Wang
    Our research explores how the online environment reduces weight-based stigma for larger sized fashion consumers, eliciting gratitude and resulting in more positive star ratings for the retailer. Our research presents the positive business impact of catering for this group of consumers, who are increasing in quantity, as fashion retailers have traditionally been reluctant to do so due to cost and brand image. 
  • The Effect of Race and Foreign Accent on Managers’ Career Progression
    Researchers: Nasreen Sultana, Andre Pekerti, Charmine Hartel & Tyler Okimoto
    The paper investigates factors that act as career progression barriers in immigrant managers.  Factors derived from the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) - warmth and competence, were used to examined perceptual cues (surface-diversity).  Race (white, non-white), and accents rather than immigrant-status were largely responsible for perceiving.
  • Empowering Users to Protect their Personal Privacy on Social Media (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)
    Researchers: Marten Risius, Yuan Fang, Reza Ghaiumy Anaraky, Annika Baumann, Bart Knijnenburg, Hanna Krasnova 
    This Information Systems project takes a bold approach aiming to finally overcome the paradoxical inertia of people who care about their privacy but do not protect it. This project integrates different psychological theories proposing a paradigm shift expecting to generate new knowledge in privacy research, which can currently neither explain nor provide means to overcome the vexing issue.
  • Enhancing mobility inclusion at events: from service failure to accessibility advocacy (UQBS Internal Research Grant)
    Researchers: Jie Wang and Faith Ong 
    This project aims to understand how advocacy for accessibility at events is enacted, and the responses to this form of advocacy by the event industry.
  • Enhancing service inclusion for travellers with a disability: attribute-aware travel accessibility profiling (BEL connect Grant) 
    Researchers: Jie Wang, Josephine Previte, Rocky Chen, Barbara Pini
    Representing innovations in the intersection of Tourism, Social Marketing, Data Science, and Social Mobility and Disability, this study aims to develop a travel accessibility profiling system to understand customer needs and innovate universal design for tourism service inclusion.
  • Establishing Fairness in AI Hate Speech Content Moderation (UQBS 2023 Research Project Funding)
    Researchers: Maren Risius, Kevin M. Blasiak, Okan Aydinguel 
    The goal of this project is to establish fairness in AI content moderation algorithms (i.e., a reduction of the disparate impacts of content moderation across groups advantaged and disadvantaged (marginalized) online groups (e.g., LGBTQ+ advocates, black civil rights activists).
  • Facilitating disabled arts participation
    Researchers: Ruth Rentschler, Jay Weerawardena, Fara Ahmat, Ayse Collins
    Drawing on customer engagement theory and using semi-structured interviews of people with and without disabilities, site visits and observations, this study contributes to understand the benefits and limitations of existing customer engagement theories and the need to develop context-specific models to capture motives and processes of disability participation in arts. 
  • Globalization and n-Culturalism identities’ impact on trustees’ trustworthiness - A multiple paradox phenomenon and agenda for future research
    Researchers: Andre Pekerti, Kwantes, C., Nicole Gillespie, Steve Lockey  
    Multiculturalism within trustees may create a paradox for trustors.  Discussion on the limitations of the human cognitive systems unpack five interrelated cognitive paradox.  The question does trustees’ individual-level identity(ies) facilitate or hinder the perceived trustworthiness of trustees is discussed.
  • Indigenous Multiculturalism: Role of Orthogonal n-Culturalism Within First Nations and Indigenous People 
    Researchers: Andre Pekerti, Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, Kwantes, C.
    Work in early stage - A theoretical presentation of orthogonal n-Culturalism for First Nations and Indigenous peoples.
  • LGBT+ consumers 
    Researchers: Anne-Maree O’Rourke, Frank Mathmann, Alex Belli and Felix Septianto  
    Our research looks at how to better target LGBT+ consumers so that brands can authentically engage with this growing segment, and consequently, enhance their well-being
  • Migrants’ Perspectives of Managerial Career Progression: Lessons from Australia: 
    Researchers: Nasreen Sultana, Andre Pekerti and Charmine Hartel
    The career progression of migrants varies depending on their categorization as immigrants or members of the dominant in society, influenced by perceptions of warmth and competence in the migrants. This work highlights that human resource management practices need to be aware of unconscious biases and potential discriminatory practices in employment and career progression decisions for migrants.
  • Mission-oriented knowledge co-creation
    Researchers: Martie-Louise Verreynne
    This research program focuses on knowledge co-creation between industry and university partners to produce innovations to address pressing social and environmental issues. It investigates the triggers, mechanisms, technologies, business models and outcomes from these collaborations and develop guidelines for practitioners, universities and policy-makers.
  • On The Fairness of Data-Driven Online Extremism Detection (UQ AI Student Internship, Summer Projects)
    Researchers: Marten Risius, Rocky Tong, Kevin M. Blasiak, Okan Aydinguel
    This project gathers data from online social forums on a specific collection of topics across different groups based on key attributes (e.g., race, gender, occupation, etc.) to quantify the performance gap of major data-driven online extremism approaches between groups. The goal is to design additional fairness constraints to be incorporated into the learning objective of the detection algorithms, and validate both the accuracy and fairness of the revamped algorithms for online extremism detection.
  • Race to Well
    Researchers: Kate Power; Queensland Ballet Company & Remi Ayoko
    This research uses Queensland Ballet’s redevelopment of the Thomas Dixon Centre as a case study through which to analyse the relationships between space, creativity, wellness, and sustainability. It seeks (1) To identify whether (and, if so, how) the Thomas Dixon Centre (TDC) refurbishment meets its design intentions as both a workplace and a community hub, and (2) To identify how the new TDC space impacts creativity, wellness, and sustainability for individuals, the company, and the wider arts and culture sector.
  • Social Systems of Care
    Researchers: Josephine Previte
    This research focuses on the ecology of care and implications for inclusive service for people with disabilities (PWD), and aging consumer – specifically consumers using the aged-care service system. Current projects driving this research inquiry include:
    • Project 1: Understanding consumer perceptions of financial information to enhance group decision making when accessing aged care services in times of crisis. Collaborators: Josephine Previte in collaboration with Robyn King, Kath Herbohn, Tracy Comans. 
    • Project 2: Enhancing service inclusion for travellers with a disability: attribute-aware travel accessibility profiling. Joe Previte in collaboration with Jie Wang, Rocky Chen . Industry partners: Binna Burra Foundation and Vacayit.
  • Sustainability Informatics for the Pacific (ACE-SIP): Grant scheme: Algorand Foundation - Algorand Centres of Excellence
    Researchers: Marten Risius with multiple partnerships including Climateworks
    ACE-SIP (Sustainability Informatics for the Pacific) is a multi-university team advancing blockchain research and education in environmental, governmental, and social sustainability in the Pacific Region. For further information, see Algorand Centre of Excellence on Sustainability Informatics for the Pacific.
  • T&E-SIG-DEI: A Global Perspective of DEI in International Business Education
    Researchers: Andre Pekerti, Peter Liesch
    Presentation and continuing work on diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education.  The Academy of International Business is working towards developing the DEI initiative in the academy.
  • UN Women project 
    Researchers: Terry Fitzsimmons, UN Women
    This project aims to synthesise and map all existing gender equity stakeholder groups, research, reporting and knowledge in Australia to provide a national level understanding of the complexity of gender inequity.