Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance

Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance


The importance of and challenges to trust, ethics and effective governance is high on the national agenda. Recently, Australia has seen national enquiries into institutional failures and trust breaches by the banking and financial services sector, aged care, churches, and sporting organisations. Findings from these enquiries uncovered systematic failures of ethical culture, integrity and governance systems. In recognition that long term sustainability of business is dependent upon trust and goodwill, ethical and trustworthy organizational conduct requires robust governance systems that benchmark and assess performance and culture. 

Professor Nicole Gillespie (left) and Associate Professor Sarah Kelly (right).

While critical, many organisations struggle to align their various formal and informal control mechanisms to reliably produce trustworthy and ethical conduct. Rapid changes in society, such as the rise of advanced technology and artificial intelligence further place unprecedented challenges on managing trust, ethics and governance issues. This is exacerbated by economic, political and social polarisation that further challenges robust public debate and action on critical issues. These issues require multi-interdisciplinary research to develop holistic responses that promote sustainable and effective policy reform.

The Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance (TEGA) brings together experts from across the Business School and the TC Beirne School of Law to help address these complex and rapidly evolving challenges. 

Our researchers are internationally recognised for their thought leadership in the areas of:

  • building and repairing trust
  • reputation and image management
  • organisational and ethical decision making
  • corporate regulation, governance and corruption control 
  • responsible stewardship of intelligent technologies and data

Through our research, partnerships and executive education, we bring evidence-based insights that help industry, government and not-for-profit organisations understand and manage trust, ethics and governance issues. Our thought leadership brings new perspectives that challenge traditional governance approaches and encourage research-informed debate. 

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Our experts

Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance brings together an interdisciplinary group of experts with complementary backgrounds in management, law, accounting, strategy, finance, marketing, tourism, international business and business information systems. Together we tackle the complex trust, ethics and governance challenges currently facing industry, government, not-for-profits, and society.


Professor Nicole Gillespie – KPMG Chair in organisational trust – building, repairing and maintaining trust in organisations, measuring stakeholder trust, managing trust during change and disruption, trust in AI & technology-mediated services, designing trustworthy organisations; trust across cultures.

Nicole’s research focuses on the development and repair of organizational and stakeholder trust, particularly in challenging contexts such as after trust failures, during organizational transformation and technological disruption, and in contested contexts. She is also an expert on the measurement of trust. Current projects focus on understanding trust in artificial intelligence, repairing trust in organisations, designing trustworthy organizations, understanding and measuring stakeholder trust, preserving trust during change, and understanding the causes of and responses to trust failures in non-profit organisations. Her work spans the Banking, Resources, Health, Education, R&D and Not-for-Profit industries.

Associate Professor Sarah Jane Kelly – Ethical and legal transgressions in sport, corruption in sport, professional ethics, governance and regulation in e-sports, brand authenticity and trust and ethical marketing.

Sarah blends her background in law, psychology, and marketing to explore corruption, governance, and ethics in sport. From a legal perspective, her work looks at the governance issues around e-sports (competitive online gaming). From a psychology perspective, her work explores the health and social wellbeing impacts of e-sports. From a marketing perspective, her research looks at the advertisement of harmful products (e.g., alcohol, gambling, energy drinks, junk food) in sport and e-sports. Other ongoing projects include the evolution of values and ethics in sport, anti-doping and integrity regimes, marketing policy in sport, protection of vulnerable consumers and scandal in sports.

Key researchers

Professor Neal Ashkanasy – Emotions and trust, including emotional intelligence and emotional regulation. Organisational and national culture, abusive supervision and ethical behaviour in organisations.

Dr Micheal Axelsen – Data governance/IT governance, privacy laws, data breach notification scheme, information systems audit and compliance, artificial intelligence and reliance on intelligent decision aids.

Associate Professor Francesca Bartlett – Ethics, professional ethics, private law and governance and woman and the Law.

Dr Justin Brienza – Wisdom and ethics, reasoning and decision making, bias and balance and conflict and cooperation.

Dr Vicky Comino – Building, repairing and maintaining trust in corporations and financial institutions, corporate culture and governance.

Dr Peter Do – Financial accounting, corporate governance; board monitoring and information intermediaries in capital markets.

Professor Martin Edwards – People analytics, governance of analyses of employee linked data, ethical challenges of people analytics transparency and accountability of automated HR analytic/HR processes bias algorithmic application in HR decision making and employees' perceptions of their employer's social responsibility credentials.

Associate Professor Kathleen Herbohn – Accountability of organisations around climate change and consequences for their choices within equity and debt markets.

Professor Matthew Hornsey – (mis)trust in communication within and between groups, predictors of ethics breaches in organisations and efficacy of different trust repair strategies.

Dr Radha Ivory – Corporate criminal liability laws, their features, reforms and problems, international anti-corruption law, its regulatory form and unintended consequences, corporate negligence offences and legal regulations on corporate culture, non-trial resolutions with corporations in foreign bribery cases.

Dr Adam Kay – Mindfulness training in organisations, stakeholder reactions to corporate social (ir)responsibility.

Dr Tracy Martin – Behavioural corporate governance, board decision processes and strategic human resource management

Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy – Service failure and recovery, customer experience management, customer experience measurement, customer emotions and justice and fairness.

Associate Professor Bernard McKenna – Wisdom, leadership and wise decision making.

Dr Lance Newey – Wellbeing as strategic ethical governance, strategic stakeholder wellbeing, business and society wellbeing strategies and paradoxical wellbeing tensions in leadership.

Professor Tyler Okimoto – Justice and justice repair, post-conflict reconciliation, biases in organisational and ethical decision-making and inequality and discrimination

Dr Andre Pekerti – Acculturation cross-cultural research ethics multiculturalism within individuals.

Dr Josephine Previte – Ethics of care and community resilience, social change processes in behaviour change campaigns and program evaluations.

Dr Vanitha Ragunathan – Corporate governance, board behaviour and delegation, board responses to crises.

Dr Ida Asadi Someh – Organisational and societal impact of data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Dr Michael Turner – ethics and fraud, corporate governance.

Dr Gabrielle (Gabby) Walters – Image and reputation management, market recovery following crises and disastrous events, consumer behaviour and hospitality and tourism.

Professor Anne Wyatt – Accounting, auditing and accountability, corporate governance and stakeholder engagement and board of directors' governance.

Early career researchers

Dr Cassandra Chapman – Prosocial behaviour, trust in charities, moral organisations (e.g., non-profits), public responses to ethical transgressions.

Dr Shannon Colville – Dark networks, trust development in criminal networks and drivers of police corruption.

Dr Steve Lockey – Trust violation and repair, role of emotions in the process of trust violation and repair, ethical leadership and wellbeing.

PhD students and research associates

Mahsa Amirzadeh
Kaylene Ascough
Agata Bialkowski
Heidi Cooper
Niamh Daly
Lucas Dixon
Alana Dorris
Hamidreza Harati
Daniel Holms
Fitri Oktaviani 
Vanvilay Phommalah
Azadeh Rezvani
Resham Vasandani

Our Research

The research theme is underpinned by three interconnected areas of focus: trust-building and repair, corruption, corporate regulation and culture; and stewardship in the digital era.  

Trust Building and Repair 

Trust is a fundamental building block of any relationship, whether that be with customers, employees, investors, suppliers and partners, regulators or broader communities. Despite its central importance, it is a concept that is often misunderstood. Our researchers investigate this multifaceted concept across a broad range of contexts.

Key areas of research expertise:

  • Building, preserving and restoring trust and reputation
  • Responding to and recovering from trust breaches and scandal
  • Cultivating resilience to trust breaches
  • Understanding and measuring stakeholder trust

Corruption, Corporate Regulation and Culture

Corruption is as true today as it has ever been and combating the supply side of corruption has not been successful without taking steps to ensure that corporations are developing cultures that are supportive of the effort to end corrupt activities. From a diverse disciplinary background, our researchers confront these hard issues using multiple theoretical lenses.

Key areas of research expertise:

  • Understanding conceptions of corruption, integrity and ethical risk in organisations and societies 
  • Examining decision-making near the ethical edge, where hard regulations meet soft cultural controls 
  • Assessing the effectiveness of corporate regulation, governance and corruption control from diverse disciplinary, legal and ethical perspectives

Responsible Stewardship in the Digital Era

Advancing in technology and artificial intelligence, combined with the unprecedented creation and capture of personal data, raises a number of ethical, trust and governance issues and challenges. Our researchers tackle these complex and rapidly evolving issues around the collection, use and governance of data, and its responsible transformation and use in society.

Key areas of research expertise:

  • Using personal data for business analysis, including HR data analytics
  • Responsible stewardship of intelligent technologies and data into society
  • Accountable use of intelligent algorithms.  
  • Explanability of machine learning algorithms 

Our Projects

Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance researchers undertakes innovative, timely and high-quality projects across a range of disciplines to transform the future outlook of trust, ethics and governance in organisations and society.

Trust Building and Repair

  • Dynamics of Forgiveness and Self Forgiveness.
    Discovery Grant: $240,000
    Researcher: Tyler Okimoto
  • Understanding and overcoming public rejection of scientific innovation.
    Discovery Project: $228,000
    Researcher: Matthew Hornsey
  • Understanding Stakeholder Expectations of Stanwell.
    Industry Grant: $80,000
    Researcher: Nicole Gillespie
  • Behind the moral shield: Responses to trust breaches and trust restoration among mission-based groups.
    Discovery Project: $225,000
    Researchers: Matthew Hornsey and Nicole Gillespie
  • Science with Impact Development Fund; Maximising innovation, sustainability and trust in Australian livestock industries.
    Industry Grant: $53,000
    Researcher: Nicole Gillespie
  • Stakeholder Trust in Coal Seam Gas: Benchmarking Survey.
    Industry Grant: $138,000
    Researcher: Nicole Gillespie
  • Community expectations and perceptions of the environmental performance of Australian livestock industries; CSIRO.
    Industry Grant: $17,000
    Researcher: Nicole Gillespie
  • Predictors of home telehealth adoption in the aging population: Consumer perspectives.
    NHMRC Project Grant: $325,000
    Researcher: Nicole Gillespie
  • Modelling Multidimensional Multiparty Decisions to Improve Outcomes for Customers and Service Providers: New Theory and Measurement Tools. 
    Discovery Project: $330,000
    Researcher: Janet McColl-Kennedy
  • Examining the effectiveness of patient-centred practices on health outcomes.
    Linkage Project: $180,000
    Researcher: Janet McColl-Kennedy

Corruption, Corporate Regulation and Culture

  • Building Global Sports Integrity through Transnational Education: A Sports Law Immersive Course and Practicum.
    New Colombo Grant: $92,000
    Researcher: Sarah Jane Kelly
  • Whistle-blowing regulation: A uniform or tailored approach? 
    Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (The German Research Foundation): €13,000 
    Researcher: Michael Turner
  • The effectiveness of governance mechanisms in sporting clubs: Perceptions of the stakeholders.
    Accounting & Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ): $2500
    Researcher: Michael Turner
  • An investigation of personality and whistle-blowing accounting fraud.
    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA): $15,764
    Researcher: Michael Turner
  • Blowing the whistle: The impact of formal channels, anti-retaliation protection and financial rewards.
    Accounting & Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ): $4000
    Researcher: Micheal Turner

Stewardship in the Digital Era

  • Understanding and Trusting Algorithms in Data-Driven Governments.
    Systems, Applications & Products (SAP): $30,000
    Researcher: Ida Asadi Someh
  • The Effect of Algorithm Explanations on Managerial Decision-Making.
    National Australia Bank (NAB): $50,000
    Researcher: Ida Asadi Someh
  • Early Career Research Grant, Developing Data-Driven Organisations: An Agent-Based Modelling Approach
    The University of Queensland: $13,000
    Researcher: Ida Asadi Someh
  • Access to Justice: Technology, Innovation and Sustainability 
    Conducted in collaboration with legal centre, Law Right, and UQ Business School: $35,000
    Researcher: Francesca Bartlett

Advisory board

The Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance advisory board are highly respected professionals, with extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of trust, ethics and/or governance.  Together, we help advance research and its translation into practice to better tackle current and future challenges.

  • Mark Ainsworth – Deputy Commissioner, Queensland Racing Integrity Commission
  • Deb Barnes – General Manager, Risk Management Group
  • Rupert Haywood – Managing Director Corporate Services and Chief Risk Officer, Queensland Treasury Corporation
  • Micheal Hiller – Queensland Chairman, KPMG
  • Leanne Kemp – Queensland Chief Entrepreneur
  • David Lavell – Integrity and Investigations Unit, The University of Queensland
  • Juanita Maiden – Senior Associate, Murdoch Lawyers
  • Karl Morris – Chair of QSuper and Broncos, Managing Director of Ord Minet
  • Graham Newton - Partner with McGrath Nicol
  • Fraser Power – Stakeholder & Advocacy Manager, Australia Pacific LNG
  • Richard Watson –  A/Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Trade and Investment Queensland


The Regulation of Corporate Ethics: Governance in an Age of Inquiries

How the law should regulate companies for more ethical behaviour is a key issue for policy-makers around the world. Organisations are generators of wealth and important providers of public services. But they are also sites for wrongful and sometimes criminal activities, as recent inquiries in Australia have shown.

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