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Best paper award for study on global refugee crises


A paper on humanitarian accountability in refugee crises by Cambridge Judge PhD candidate Corinna Frey, with Professor Michael Barrett, wins Best Student Paper award at the annual conference of the European Group for Organizational Studies.

Profile photograph of Corinna Frey (grey background - landscape)
Corinna Frey, PhD candidate


The research paper won a 2,000 euro prize for the best student paper, which must have a PhD student as the first author. The winning paper “must display methodological rigour, theoretical relevance, innovativeness, and new insights into organisational phenomena,” says EGOS, which held this year’s conference in Copenhagen.

The winning paper – entitled “Accounting in global humanitarian crises. A translocal and transtemporal practice perspective” – examines how humanitarian organisations account for rising numbers of refugee crises worldwide.

The paper highlights how humanitarian organisations are accountable to the people they serve, their donors and the wider public, yet they are subject to frequent change of people and geography which poses a significant challenge to accounting practices.

The paper says:

Humanitarian emergency organisations need to translate what counts, but also why it counts for accountability across time and space.

“Our study sheds light on the question of how organisations enact their accounting practices over time and across space, of utmost importance in times of rising international emergencies.”

Professor Michael Barrett

Corinna, who specialises in knowledge and innovation in extreme contexts, is a member of the Organisational Theory & Information Systems subject group at Cambridge Judge. Michael Barrett is Professor of Information Systems & Innovation Studies at Cambridge Judge. He is part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Expert Advisory Group, which helps inform their strategic engagement of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion fund distributed across multiple delivery partners to be spent on international development research.