News > 2022 > Hosain Zaman and Karima Afif win the 2021 Award for Best Dissertation

Hosain Zaman and Karima Afif win the 2021 Award for Best Dissertation

June 7, 2022

The PhD in Administration program has presented 2 Best Dissertation Awards for 2021. First place, along with a prize of $4,000, went to Hosain Zaman (specializing in Management Sciences). His dissertation work was supervised by George Zaccour. Second place and its prize of $2,000 went to Karima Afif (specializing in Logistics and Operations Management), whose research was co-supervised by Claudia Rebolledo and Jacques Roy.

In both cases, the jury noted the relevance of the research topics and the potential repercussions on public policy.


Hosain Zaman: improving recycling subsidy programs

Hosain Zaman’s dissertation, Vehicle Scrappage Subsidies in the Presence of Strategic Consumers, deals with the issue of optimizing subsidies for replacing older cars, given the strategic behaviour of some consumers.

The study consists of three essays, each one considering different aspects of this problem:

  • Incentives to accelerate the replacement decision
  • The optimal level of government subsidies
  • Subsidies and manufacturers’ pricing strategies

In particular, his dissertation illustrates the repercussions of the subsidy on decision making by different types of consumers, and the resulting differences in environmental impact.

The dissertation is innovative in that it introduces the heterogeneity of consumers as a factor, a crucial component in designing incentive measures. The research also differs in its use of a dynamic model that makes it possible to more accurately measure the effects of the subsidy program over time.

Its main contribution is that it will help governments design more efficient scrappage subsidy programs, thereby preventing the wasting of public funds.

It should be noted that 2 of Hosain’s articles have been published in 2 prestigious international scientific journals, one specializing in management and the other in operational research: Omega and European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR).

Hosain is currently Data Scientist – pricing for the American company Priceline.

Hosain Zaman, 1re place Prix de la meilleure thèse 2021


Karima Afif: practical solutions to the problem of overpackaging

Karima Afif’s dissertation, Sustainable product packaging: exploring the organizational buying decision and the effect of the weight-based packaging tax, addresses the topic of sustainable packaging, the buying decisions of concerned organizations, and the effect of the weight-based packaging tax.

Based on a multi-method approach combining longitudinal qualitative and quantitative data analysis, the dissertation extensively explores

  • the decision-making process for buying food packaging;
  • the incentives, barriers and performance outcomes associated with sustainable product packaging; and
  • the effect of taxation on the decision of food manufacturers and retailers to reduce their packaging at source.

The research clarifies among other things that increasing the weight-based packaging tax is not enough to produce a reduction effect at source. This effect can only be promoted by focusing on reducing the costs arising from the operational, environmental, and technical properties of packaging materials and their local availability.

This dissertation has potential implications for the development of new public policies on taxation that encourage the adoption of eco-friendly packaging. It provides recommendations with respect to the regulatory framework governing packaging and offers customized training as well as decision-making tools to help managers faced with such a challenge.

Karima’s high research standards have led to the publication of 4 articles in renowned scientific journals, including the prestigious International Journal of Production Economics and Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences. The results of her dissertation were disseminated to managers and public decision makers through 3 conferences organized by Carrefour Logistique at HEC Montréal.

Karima is currently an Assistant Professor in Operations Management at Laval University.

Karima Afif, 2e place Prix de la meilleure thèse 2021

Learn more about the PhD in Administration program