Congratulations to TRSM Masters of Science in Management (MScM) graduate Maria Kandaurova (2018) who will have her thesis-based research paper on the effect of Virtual Reality (VR) in charitable giving published in the Journal of Business Research. This is a major accomplishment because it is rare for a recent graduate to have a research paper published in such a prestigious journal.
“This demonstrates the hard work that Maria exhibited while she was with the MScM program and also shows the capability of the program and the potential that the students can achieve,” says Dr. Mark Lee, Interim Director and Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management and Kandaurova’s thesis supervisor. In December 2017, Kandaurova’s thesis was also nominated for a Governor's Gold General Award.
As VR continues to have an increased presence in the consumer marketplace, charitable and non-profit organizations are looking to the technology to stimulate charitable giving – monetary or volunteering. Kandaurova’s research investigates the effects of VR on empathy, guilt, responsibility, and donation of time and money in the social marketing context.
The results of three experimental studies suggest that content viewed on a VR platform, compared with a traditional two-dimensional video media platform, increases empathy and responsibility, and instigates higher intention to donate money and volunteer time towards a social cause. For socially excluded individuals, VR enhances the level of guilt and social responsibility, ultimately leading to a higher intention to volunteer. Although, this did not manifest for monetary donations.