PhD project Participant Information Sheet (2014)

[UPDATE:  Please note that the research is now complete and this survey is now closed.
The following Participant Information Sheet is included for archival purposes only.]


You are invited to participate in a research study investigating inputs to, and processes of, decision making.  This study is being conducted by Kerri O’Donnell in fulfilment of a PhD degree, under the supervision of Associate Professor Trevor Wilmshurst and Dr William Maguire, at the University of Tasmania (Australia).

Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Trevor Wilmshurst, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business & Economics, Locked Bag 1317, Launceston Tasmania 7250, Australia.  Ph: +61 3 6324 3570.  Email:

Student Researcher:  Kerri O’Donnell, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business & Economics, Private Bag 86, Hobart Tasmania 7001, Australia.  Ph: +61 3 6226 2755.  Email:

What is the purpose of this study?

We are particularly interested in exploring any differences in how people in different occupation groups balance the mix of information, prior knowledge and experience they draw on as inputs for judgments and decision making.

  • Why have I been invited to participate?

Everyone’s views are relevant to the research.  The study is being conducted within the joint fields of Accounting and Corporate Governance, so groups of particular interest include those studying in either discipline, those employed in professional accounting or allied fields, and those involved in all types of businesses, whether they are just starting out, or are very senior in their fields.

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are aged 18 or over.  Participation in this study is entirely voluntary.  There will be no consequences for those individuals who do not wish to participate.

  • What will I be asked to do?

You are asked to answer an online questionnaire, which should take you no longer than 10-20 minutes to complete.

You are asked to rate your personal views, so there are no correct or incorrect answers, just your views.  (The questions are all multiple choice.)  Please answer the questions as honestly as possible, rather than choosing what you think the researchers might want you to.

  • Are there any possible benefits from participation in this study?

The information gathered from this study may assist researchers in further understanding the ways in which people use information, prior knowledge and experience to make decisions.  Any significant differences that are identified between groups may help us to clarify expectations and improve communication between businesses and support organisations.

  • Are there any possible risks from participation in this study?

There are no foreseeable risks anticipated with participation in this study.

Participation is anonymous.  No personal identifying information is asked for, and participants’ IP addresses are not collected by this survey.

  • What if I change my mind during or after the study?

You are free to withdraw from this study, without providing an explanation, by closing your browser before selecting ‘DONE’ at the end of the survey.   It will not be possible to remove your data after final submission (‘DONE’) because responses are collected anonymously and are therefore unidentifiable.

  • What will happen to the information when this study is over?

The research data will be securely stored in electronic (spreadsheet) format for 5 years from the date of first publication, after which time the data will be destroyed.

* How will the results of the study be published?

The results of this study will be published in a doctoral thesis in the first instance.  It is also intended that the results will be submitted for publication in at least one academic journal, in the form of an article.  As the questionnaire is anonymous, you will not be identifiable in the publication of results.

* What if I have questions about this study?

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this study, please contact Associate Professor Trevor Wilmshurst on +61 3 6324 3570.  Also, please feel free to browse the School website to find out more about its research and about the people involved in this particular study.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this study.  Please understand that by completing and submitting the anonymous survey, consent to participate in this study will be implied.

The questionnaire is now available at:
[now closed]


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