Wharton-SMU Research Centre

The Wharton-SMU Research Centre (WSRC) under the Office of Research (OR) was established in June 1999 as a centre for research collaboration between SMU and the Wharton School , University of Pennsylvania . It aims at establishing a strong Wharton-SMU presence in the international research arena, with specific focus on issues relevant to Singapore and Asia . Through this joint activity between Wharton and SMU, it helps inculcate a strong research culture at SMU.

At the signing ceremony, Dr. Tony Tan said that “the establishment of the Centre underlines the commitment of both institutions to the development of SMU. It is also a recognition of the potential of the university sector in Singapore to attain world-class standards in research and scholarship. The Wharton-SMU Research Centre will provide SMU with a platform to attract high-quality academic staff who are strong in research. Staff members who conduct leading-edge research, are a critical hallmark of a world-class university. The Centre will be instrumental in enhancing SMU’s reputation from the outset and promote its development as a leading academic institution in the region and beyond.”

Concurring with Dr. Tony Tan, Professor Janice Bellace, then President of SMU and Deputy Dean of The Wharton School, emphasized that “a university cannot be dynamic without having research at its core. A faculty cannot convey state of the art knowledge unless it is at the cutting edge of knowledge. Thus, by ensuring that, from SMU’s inception, the faculty of Singapore Management University will engage in both research and teaching, the government has laid the strongest possible foundation for a new university……….. The joint Wharton-SMU Research Centre will foster the closest working relationship between the two faculties as they engage in research projects in areas such as technopreneurship, knowledge transfer within organizations, competition in emerging technology-based industries, and electronic commerce marketing strategies.”

As of December 2011, eighty-two projects have been undertaken by Wharton faculty associated with WSRC. Of these,seventy-four are in collaboration between Wharton and SMU faculty. These projects cover a wide range of topics in Marketing, Economics, Finance, Legal Studies, and Management. Diverse areas of application include e-market institutions, knowledge management in information-space, business-to-commerce markets in developing countries, pricing models for web-site shopping, high-tech product innovations, currency crises prediction, boom-bust cycles in real estate markets, capital market integration, legal systems for dispute resolution, science and technology parks in China, forecasting customer lifetime value, conflict resolution in store versus brand choice, career paths in corporations, and recruitment practices and employee performance.

Under the Wharton-SMU collaboration scheme, the Wharton professors funded by WSRC are expected to visit SMU during the year (typically, during the summer months in Philadelphia ) – for research interaction with their SMU counterparts and presentation of research findings at seminars they would give while visiting SMU.