Dr Eliza Ahmed’s research interests lie in the regulation of rule violation as it relates to shame/pride management, interpersonal relationships, and the processes of regulation. Focusing in particular on tax evasion, school bullying, and workplace bullying, she is interested in how shame/pride management shapes and is shaped by social perception, social interaction, and the processes of regulation.
Understanding rule violation (especially school bullying, workplace bullying, tax evasion) in terms of shame management, interpersonal relationships, and the process of regulation; Tax evasion among self-employed business taxpayers and the graduate population; Psychological processes in organizations and the workplace
In work on tax evasion among the graduate population, Eliza focuses on the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) liability. The Australian Taxation Office is responsible for collecting HECS payments. Eliza argues that tax policy needs to be not only economically sound but also emotionally intelligent in order to ensure the voluntary compliance of citizens. Dissatisfaction with HECS spills over to adversely affect taxpayer compliance.
Eliza is currently engaged in several research agendas on shame/pride management and wrongdoing. She argues that, when people are unable to acknowledge their own mistakes, they may displace their shame by blaming others and expressing anger with the world at large. The combination of the non-acknowledgment of mistakes and high levels of shame displacement gives rise to bullying in schools and other institutions. Eliza also argues that pride (arrogance and the display of superiority to others) is a precursor to bullying and poor management of workplace relations.
Eliza believes that theory development must be accompanied by the testing of hypotheses, through which alone scientific knowledge can grow. Among her empirical investigations is her book, Shame Management through Reintegration, (Cambridge University Press, 2001, co-authored with Nathan Harris, John Braithwaite and Valerie Braithwaite), which examines the implications of shame in relation to wrongdoing of different kinds, such as drink-driving and school bullying.
Eliza also maintains a strong interest in cross-cultural research. She has been engaged since 1996 in the Life at School Project on school bullying (Australia, Bangladesh and South Korea). Currently she is involved in the Cross-national School Behavior Research Project (Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Israel, Italy, and South Africa) and the Attitudes to Restorative Justice Project (Australia and Japan).
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