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Fox PhD Recipient Dan Zhang Earns Recognition as Christer Karlsson Best Paper Award Runner-Up


July 15th, 2014

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A recent graduate of the PhD program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has received international acclaim for her research paper.

Dr. Dan Zhang, a 2012 PhD alumna of the Fox School, recently was recognized as the runner-up for the Christer Karlsson Best Paper Award for her paper titled, “Affect, Attitude, and Meaning: Assessing the Universality of Aesthetic Design in a Transnational Marketing Context.”

Dr. Zhang, who co-authored the paper with Fox School marketing professors Dr. Anthony Di Benedetto and Dr. Eric Eisenstein, was honored at the 21st International Product Development Management Conference, which ran June 15-17 in Limerick, Ireland.

“I am so grateful for all the support I received from the school, the professors, the staff, the study participants, and my dearest family, as I was working on this project,” Dr. Zhang said. “I am especially thankful to my dissertation committee, who supported and helped me unconditionally.”

“I am also very thankful to my colleagues, who provided valuable comments and encouragement when I was presenting the early stage results of this project at the Design Conference organized by the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary. Without the support and help from so many people, I would not have been where I am today.”

The award recognizes the best papers submitted to the IPDMC. Dr. Zhang’s paper stemmed in part from her dissertation at the Fox School of Business, focusing on the universality of design.

Zhang’s research investigated the prevalence of the affect, attitude and meaning of designs in a product context. Zhang compared the responses of Chinese and American consumers to product designs produced by Chinese and U.S.-based designers. She found the affect toward a design tended to be consistent regardless of culture, but attitude – and especially meaning – of a design were difficult to translate across cultural lines and national borders.

“It is important for firms selling into the global market to understand if there are cultural differences in response to product design, or whether a single design will elicit similar responses across cultures,” Dr. Zhang said. “The results are important to global companies making decisions about product design outsourcing and about which designers to include on the product team.”

The paper has not yet been published. Dr. Zhang said she plans to soon submit the paper for review, to a quality marketing academic journal.

Megan Whelan

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