Research on Races Makes Funk a Winner

November 16, 2017 //

Dr. Daniel Funk has made a significant mark on the field of sport management.

Funk, the Washburn Senior Research Fellow in the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management (STHM) and the director of the Sport Industry Research Center at Temple University, recently received the Earle F. Zeigler Award from the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), one of the highest honors given to individuals in the field of sport research.

The award celebrates Dr. Funk as a key contributor to NASSM’s premier Journal of Sport Management and one of the most often-cited authors in the history of the sport management discipline.

Throughout his career, Funk has studied sport and recreation consumer experiences in order to help organizations understand customer acquisition, retention, and expenditure. He investigates the cognitive, physical, and organizational factors that shape our preferences and behavior to develop an effective mixture of marketing and management strategies that have become renown in the world of sport research.

Funk’s contributions have ranged from studies of an individual’s psychological connection to sports, to the relationship between sports team allegiance and customer loyalty. For example, Funk, along with Dr. Jeremy Jordan, associate dean at STHM, contributed to a paper by PhD student Bradley Baker about why runners keep running marathons.

The study investigated the relationship between runners’ satisfaction with and repeat participation in long-distance running events. Many studies have reviewed consumer satisfaction, but not much research has been conducted on experiential products, such as marathons.

After growing dramatically since 1960, road running peaked in 2013 and has been slowly declining each year. Between 2014 and 2016, two million less people crossed a finish line, but there were 2,000 more races from which to choose.

“Like any other business, running has a finite amount of customers,” Funk said. “If there is a decline in the demand for races and an oversupply in the amount of races offered, then there is an issue.”

While the researchers found a linear correlation between satisfaction and repeated participation in marathons—the more satisfied a customer is, the more likely they are to run the race again—satisfaction from an experience, like a marathon, is different than traditional customer satisfaction.

For instance, runners who have a “bucket list” may not come back to that race, regardless of how satisfied they are. Factors indicating a higher likelihood to return included previous running experience and geography—meaning that experienced runners and local runners were more likely to come back, despite that fact that first-time runners reported higher satisfaction levels with the race.

The article, “Run Again Another Day: The Role of Satisfaction on Repeat Marathon Participation,” was the winner in the NASSM’s national student research competition in 2016 and was recently published by the Journal of Sport Management.

Would you rather have $5 today or $10 in a month? Eat a donut or an apple? Save for retirement or buy something new?

When making these choices, you’re weighing two kinds of options: a short-term reward that is worse for your longer-term outcomes, or a less immediately satisfying reward that’s better for your future.

But what if you could be more patient? Dr. Crystal Reeck, assistant professor of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, has recently found that how you approach making these decisions can impact your ability to be patient and choose the longer-term option.

In Reeck’s study, participants chose between receiving smaller amounts of money delivered sooner (such as $44.80 in two weeks) or larger amounts of money delivered later (such as $51.50 in six weeks). Using mouse-tracking software, Reeck and her fellow researchers, Daniel Wall of Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Dr. Eric Johnson of Columbia Business School, tracked which pieces of information participants looked at as they hovered over the options.

About 50 percent of the participants took in all the information for the first option—the amount of money and time it would be delivered—and then all the information for the second option. The other half compared features between the options—first comparing the amounts of money, then comparing the delivery dates.

“What we found fascinating was not only were there these two groups of people with respect to their strategies, but they also differed in patience,” said Reeck, who is also the associate director of Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making. “People who were comparing between options were much more patient overall than those who were integrating the features of options.”

This increased patience when comparatively searching held true even when the research team manipulated the participants’ strategies. The team added a one-second delay in accessing information when hovering over a box on the screen, so that participants were subtly encouraged to search either comparatively (dollar vs. dollar, then time vs. time) or integratively (dollar and time vs. dollar and time).

“This change was so subtle that most people didn’t realize anything was different, yet it changed almost instantly how people made their choice,” said Eric Johnson, the Norman Eig Professor of Business and director of the Center for the Decision Sciences at Columbia Business School. “More importantly, it changed what they chose.” Participants who were assigned to search comparatively were more patient than those who were assigned to search integratively, regardless of how they searched before.

The results of the study indicate people are more likely to practice patience when the trade-off in value is easy to compare between options. “I’m a pretty impatient person. This research has helped me reframe the self-control decisions I struggle with as comparisons between salient options,” said Daniel Wall, a Ph.D. student in social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon. “My mom is always trying to give me junk food, but when I compare a bag of Peppermint Patties to not fitting into my jeans, it’s easier to abstain.”

For the researchers, they hope these insights encourage people to decide to save for retirement by anticipating how much the investment will grow in the future, or to choose an apple over a donut by considering the time on a treadmill needed to work off the pastry’s calories.

“Everyone encounters these intertemporal choices, often with decisions that are very important to us. Our research shows that by subtly changing how people search for information during these choices, we can encourage patience,” Reeck said.

Reeck’s paper, “Search Predicts and Changes Patience in Intertemporal Choice,” has been published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For media requests, contact: Christopher A. Vito, Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations, (215) 204-4115, cvito@temple.edu.

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For 800,000 young immigrants, the future is uncertain.

In August, the Trump Administration rescinded the executive actions that President Obama took to protect minors who illegally immigrated to the United States, not by their own choice, but alongside their parents. Established in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy allowed young immigrants to live, work, and go to college without the fear of deportation.

The Trump Administration maintains that Obama’s actions were unconstitutional, exceeding the scope of the executive branch by effectively changing the country’s laws—a responsibility that rests solely with Congress.

Kevin Fandl, assistant professor of Legal Studies at the Fox School, studied whether that claim is true in his paper, “Presidential Power to Protect Dreamers: Abusive or Proper?” which was accepted for publication by the Yale Law & Policy Review Inter Alia.

Fandl reviewed 200 years of case laws and statutes since the founding of the United States to learn what role the president has in enforcing—or ignoring—legislation affecting young immigrants, known as “Dreamers.” His research asks the question: “Does the president have the ability to selectively choose how the law is enforced?”

The president makes an oath to uphold the laws of this country. But, Fandl says, that doesn’t mean he has unlimited capacity to enforce each and every law. The president has the power of prosecutorial discretion—the authority to choose which laws to impose and to what degree—to allocate the resources available, such as budgets or staff, in line with his Administration’s priorities.

“The government is not a business,” says Fandl. “But in this case, you have to look at it from a business perspective and say, ‘This is how we have to dedicate our resources.'”

Fandl relates it to marijuana—an illegal drug by federal law, but legalized or decriminalized in many states. By choosing to not crack down on dispensaries, administrations can reallocate those resources to other issues, like, for example, border security.

In the case of DACA, Obama chose to not enforce immigration laws against individuals brought to this country as children. Fandl says, “Interpreting how the law is enforced is not only within the power of the executive—it is a logical approach to resource management.”

As Fandl’s research of the historical precedence shows, the Trump Administration’s argument against the constitutionality of DACA is flawed. The powers of prosecutorial discretion protect the president’s ability to spend more time or money on enforcing some laws over others.

Fandl’s paper, “Presidential Power to Protect Dreamers: Abusive or Proper?” will be published online by the Yale Law & Policy Review Inter Alia in the coming weeks.

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Job hunting is a challenge for most people—but for ex-convicts transitioning back into everyday life, finding a job can be nearly impossible. Data suggests that over half of the men and women who return home after being released from prison are unemployed for up to a year. Many of the formerly incarcerated see self-employment as one of the only routes to earn a steady income without resorting to low-wage employment.

Dr. Charlotte Ren, a Fox School associate professor in the Strategic Management department, saw the challenges the formerly incarcerated face and created an integrated course that provides entrepreneurial skills to this underserved population. This year, Ren’s course, “The Social Entrepreneurial Approach to Community Reintegration,” was identified by the Academy of Management as one of the finest innovations in the area of entrepreneurship education and received the 2017 Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award.

Ren’s course is part of a larger, on-going initiative called the Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program (PREP), an initiative she founded in 2014. “At the core of this course [and PREP] is the idea of addressing societal challenges and transforming lives through knowledge creation and sharing by bringing together college students and members of disadvantaged populations,” said Ren.

The ten-week accelerated program brings together students from multiple disciplines and formerly incarcerated individuals for intensive training on the many ways of starting and running small businesses and social enterprises.

After completing the course, students from both the university and the judicial system will be able to understand major theories of entrepreneurship, acquire skills involved in designing and implementing social entrepreneurship programs, and also understand the nature and scope of community reintegration problems

The economic benefits of re-entry programs like Ren’s have been projected to make a significant impact. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the U.S. economy lost between $57 and $65 billion in 2008 alone due to unemployed or underemployed ex-convicts. Through her course, Ren is helping to create opportunities for the formerly incarcerated to contribute to society and our economy in a meaningful way.

“I hope my course will inspire more faculty members,” Ren said, “both at the Fox School and across other schools and universities, to develop courses that apply their research and teaching expertise into addressing some of the pressing social issues in society.”

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Healthcare in this United States is a lightning rod for debate. As Congress grapples with the future of the Affordable Care Act, the American people face uncertainty in medical care and costs.

To improve the efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness for patient care, hospitals have increasingly turned digital, using Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems to store and share patient’s medical history. However, as the use of EMR systems increased, so did reported healthcare costs.

Since the adoption of the physician coding systems used to store and update EMRs in 2009, Medicare has experienced an estimated $380 million increase in reimbursements per year. Medicare accused hospitals of “upcoding,” or illegally overstating patients’ diagnoses and treatment, in an effort to receive a higher reimbursement. A 2012 study showed that hospitals in Utica, NY, and Nashville, TN, increased its patient reimbursement claims by 43% and 82% respectively after adopting EMR systems.

In response to this drastic surge in reimbursements, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted a pilot program, the Recovery Audit Program, from 2004 to 2010. Researchers at the Fox School partnered with researchers at McGill University to study how this audit program has been able to reduce illegal Medicare reimbursement claims, thus lessening the financial burden on American taxpayers.

Hilal Atasoy

The initial goal of implementing EMRs was to lower costs by reducing medical errors, over-testing, and re-admissions. But the findings of Dr. Kartik K. Ganju of McGill and Drs. Hilal Atasoy and Paul Pavlou of Temple University, confirmed that the adoption of the coding system is associated with an increase in Medicare reimbursements, particularly in the case of for-profit hospitals.

The research found an average of $217,745 in inflated reimbursements to Medicare per hospital per year, and even higher costs (nearly $370,000 in overages) at for-profit hospitals. After finding $693 million in overpayments by Medicare in six pilot states, the audit program was adopted nationwide in 2010.

The researchers looked into this “trillion-dollar conundrum” and found that the audit program successfully combated upcoding by using default templates and by identifying and removing cloned records of old patient that were erroneously copied into a new patient’s medical chart. After the audit became nationwide, the study found that it had corrected up to $2 billion in incorrect claims; yet for-profit hospitals were still reporting high reimbursement fees than their nonprofit counterparts.

The bottom line? While EMRs have enhanced coordination and information sharing, they also make it easier to report expensive and potentially inappropriate healthcare expenses.

As the first successful evaluation of the Recovery Audit Program, the researchers praise the work that has been done, but warn that stronger oversight by the government is still needed to combat ever-increasing costs, especially at for-profit hospitals.

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When looking for a restaurant, bakery, plumber, or lawyer, you’re likely to visit sites like Yelp or Angie’s List to help make a choice. In fact, recent research shows that 78 percent of consumers in the United States will read online reviews prior to making a purchase or decision. Meanwhile, businesses can use these review sites to interact more directly with their customers, through tools like new owner response features.

How does this online interaction translate into real-world performance? Dr. Subodha Kumar, professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, conducted a study to find out.

Kumar examines the impact of the adoption of the business owner response feature within online review platforms in his paper, “Exit, Voice, and Response in Digital Platforms: An Empirical Investigation of Online Management Response Strategies,” which was accepted for publication in the Information Systems Research, an A-level journal.

Businesses that use the response features saw an increased number of mobile “check-ins” through sites like FourSquare and Facebook. Although the feature has been beneficial for businesses that use it, the key to consistent success resides in the need for companies to stay up-to-date with ways to connect with their consumers, both present and future.

“Overall, the new features supported through digital platforms will help businesses develop the right engagement strategy, improve consumer experience, and generate more reviews and consumer traffic, which will ultimately open more revenue generating opportunities for both the digital platforms and businesses,” said Kumar. This strategy will essentially drive higher website traffic and, if done well, enhance customer relations.

The study also found that use of the online response feature impacted the performance of nearby businesses. For example, in analyzing the performance of nearby restaurants in direct competition, businesses that directly engaged with customers online increased their number of check-ins, while businesses that did not use the features saw a decrease. This spillover effect suggests that businesses must be aware of how their neighbors and competitors are engaging with customers online in order to optimize their own digital strategies.

With the growth of mobile check-ins, social media, and online reviews, the research possibilities are evolving as well. “A future research direction is to examine which types of online management responses are more likely to attract consumers and enhance business performance,” said Kumar.

Dr. Subodha Kumar recently joined the Fox School. He will be a part of the Data Science Institute, an interdisciplinary body that connects multiple disciplinary perspectives to increase collaboration in the fields of computer science, math and statistics, and business knowledge.

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More isn’t always better—and that theory applies to social media advertising.

Recent research findings suggest that the volume of social media posts will drive consumers to unfollow the accounts of even their favorite companies and brands. This was especially true within cities of greater per-capita population density, and when social posts are sent during traffic peak hours of 5-8 p.m., according to researchers from the Fox School.

Dr. Paul Pavlou

The researchers found both a short-term benefit and a long-term loss with regard to this form of social media marketing: While posts led to 5% sales increases, the posts often “fatigued and frustrated” consumers and increased the likelihood that they would unfollow these accounts by more than 300%.

“Companies may be inclined to intensify their advertising on social media once they see the immediate benefits,” said Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, the Fox School’s Senior Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives. “The volume and timing of these posts, however, may drive consumers to unfollow these accounts and be less likely to purchase from these companies in the future.”

Fox School PhD student Shuting Wang led the study, “Tempting Fate: Social Media Posts by Firms, Customer Purchases, and the Loss of Followers,” along with Pavlou and University of Minnesota associate professor Dr. Brad Greenwood.

Shuting Wang

The team worked with data from a Chinese fashion company that conducted its social media marketing through WeChat, China’s Facebook equivalent. The company, which has retail locations in 99 Chinese cities, sent identical messaging to its followers, regardless of their city of origin and their city’s population density. The company would post to WeChat four times per month and only during the 5-7 p.m. timeframe. While this method produced temporary jolts in sales, it ultimately cannibalized the company’s long-term sales, the researchers found.

“Our recommendations included a complete change of strategy, with a reduction in arbitrary posts that could create annoyance or interruption, and a plan to send messages only during non-peak traffic density hours,” Pavlou said.

For more on the study, or to schedule an interview with the researchers, contact: Christopher A. Vito, Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations, (215) 204-4115, cvito@temple.edu.

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Do you do more online mobile shopping when it’s raining, snowing, or sunny outside?

The recent research of Xueming Luo, a chair professor of marketing at the Fox School and the director of the Global Center on Big Data in Mobile Analytics, has found the answer to this question.

Philly Voice recently interviewed Luo regarding his research on the behavior of mobile shoppers during various types of weather. When asked about the weather conditions that promote the most mobile shopping, Luo said the following:

“So, the answer is during a sunny sky—compared with a cloudy sky—people will spend more. With the rainy sky, people spend less. And this is significant because we think people, during a sunny day, they’ll be in a better mood and when they’re in a better mood it triggers all kinds of purchasing decisions.”

Learn more about Luo’s research and read the full story at phillyvoice.com.

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Photo of Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Dr. Angelika Dimoka and Dr. Vinod Venkatraman
Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Dr. Angelika Dimoka and Dr. Vinod Venkatraman.

Even in today’s digital age, a printed advertisement is more likely to stick with a consumer than its online counterpart.

Mixed-media marketing campaigns are much more likely to succeed when they incorporate a print medium, according to researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

Neuromarketing research by three Fox School professors explored which combination of digital and print media left the strongest imprint on the brain. A grant from the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (USPS OIG) helped finance the study.

The laboratory component of their study asked participants to view the same combination of advertisements on two occasions over a two-week period. The study relied on traditional, self-reported measures and the recording of brain activity through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.

When test subjects submitted to self-reported measures, the researchers found that the participants who had seen advertisements in only one format (whether twice in print or twice in digital, as opposed to one of each) were best at recalling the ads and their content.

According to data procured from the fMRI portion of the study, there was evidence that the same format shown twice, particularly with the physical format, produced associations with higher memory. Lastly, greater activation in brain areas that have been associated with desirability or subjective value was found for products advertised twice in the physical format, denoting greater engagement of these regions in the computations of the underlying subjective value and desirability.

“The primary finding for us was that sequencing, the order in which a test subject saw the ads, does not seem to matter as much as the presence of a physical component,” said Dr. Angelika Dimoka, Associate Professor of Marketing and Management Information Systems. “Under these circumstances, we noticed a stronger activation of the memory center of the brain. This is known as the hippocampus, which is located in the medial temporal lobe.”

Dimoka completed the study with Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, the Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Marketing and Management Information Systems, and Dr. Vinod Venkatraman, Assistant Professor of Marketing. Dimoka and Venkatraman serve as Director and Associate Director, respectively, of Temple’s Center for Neural Decision Making.

The research team’s findings complemented their May 2015 study. This previous study, also commissioned by the USPS OIG, sought a better understanding of consumer decision making through human response to physical, printed media and its digital counterpart. (In that study, printed ads generated a greater neural response than did digital ads.)

“Our newer study differed, in that we examined whether sequencing would play a role,” said Pavlou, who also serves as the Fox School’s Senior Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives. “In the end, it did not matter whether a physical ad was viewed before or after a digital ad had been viewed, so long as a physical ad was included somewhere within the combination.”

Photo of the stock ticker in Alter Hall.
02_18_09 .Fox School of Buisness and Management.Alter Hall.

Faculty at Temple University’s Fox School of Business are among the most-frequently published researchers in the world, according to a recent ranking.

The University of Texas-Dallas Top 100 Business School Research Rankings placed researchers from the Fox School at No. 50 worldwide, No. 42 in North America, and No. 39 among U.S. schools for a four-year cycle, from 2012-2016.

UT-Dallas, which in March unveiled its latest rankings, has tracked research contributions to the 24 leading business journals across all disciplines since 1990.

“It’s an honor to learn that our faculty are among the leaders in making research contributions to the world’s top business journals,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “New, cutting-edge research is at the core of top-notch business education, and our faculty are leading the way in this area.”

“At Fox, our goal is to enhance the contributions and impact of Fox faculty in the world and in the classroom through cutting-edge research,” added Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Senior Associate Dean of Fox’s Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives. “UT-Dallas’ latest rankings demonstrate our commitment to promoting research and building a culture rooted in research that can inform our programs, industry, and society.”

Dr. Xueming Luo
Dr. Xueming Luo

A professor from Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been named one of the most-productive authors in marketing research in the world.

Dr. Xueming Luo is recognized in two separate lists within the American Marketing Association (AMA) 2016 Marketing Research Productivity lists. He ranks No. 11 globally for research publications in the two premier journals – the Journal of Marketing (JM) and the Journal of Marketing Research (JMR). Also, he ranks No. 28 in the world for publications to the four premier marketing journals – JM, JMR, the Journal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science.

Published in January 2017, the AMA lists acknowledge the top individual contributors to the world’s premier marketing journals over a 10-year period, from 2007-2016.

“I am humbled and honored to have been recognized by the American Marketing Association,” said Luo, the Charles Gilliland Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing. “These four premier journals together are the most influential and hold the highest standards in the entire marketing discipline, and across all streams of research in consumer behavior and quantitative marketing.”

Luo’s research centers on mobile consumer analytics; big data marketing strategies; and social media, marketing models with machine learning, and networks. He serves as founder and director of the Fox School’s Global Center on Big Data and Mobile Analytics, a leading center in the cross-disciplinary domain of big data for business strategies and consumer insights.

He previously has been ranked No. 1 nationally among preeminent scholars in his discipline regarding citations in the top-five marketing journals, from 2006-2010. And from 2011-2015, he ranked among the 20 most-productive authors of research in Premier AMA journals.

Five of the Fox School’s nine academic departments are nationally ranked for overall research productivity. In the 2015-16 academic year, Fox faculty published more than 40 A journal publications, secured more than $5 million in grant funding, and increased new grant funding by nearly $1 million.

When it comes to reducing instances of lethal force exhibited by police, a recent study suggests that wearable video cameras might not be the solution.

Researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business found that the use of analytics and smartphones to access intelligence, like criminal history reports, reduced instances of lethal force by police, while wearable video cameras were linked to increases in shooting deaths of civilians by police.

Paul Pavlou
Paul Pavlou
Min-Seok Pang
Min-Seok Pang

Dr. Min-Seok Pang and Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, from the Fox School of Business, utilized data from a comprehensive report by the Washington Post, to investigate how technology affects police performance and practice. The newspaper’s 2015 database compiled information from the 986 deadly shootings of civilians by police nationwide in 2015, from published news reports, public records, Internet databases, and original reporting.

Their study, titled “Armed with Technology: The Effects on Fatal Shootings of Civilians by the Police,” found that the use of body cameras by police led to a 3.64-percent increase in shooting deaths of civilians by police. Notably, body cameras produced a 3.75-percent increase in the shooting deaths of African Americans and Hispanics, but only a 0.67-percent increase in the deaths of Caucasians and Asians.

Meanwhile, instances of fatal shootings dropped by 2.5 percent when police departments conducted statistical analyses of digitized crime data or had real-time access to data via smartphones and information about a person of interest, the researchers found.

“Our findings suggest that body cameras generate less reluctance for police officers to use lethal force, because the wearable body cameras provide evidence that may justify the shooting and exonerate an officer from prosecution,” said Pavlou, the Fox School’s Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Information Technology and Strategy. “Instead, the use of data analytics and smartphones can reduce the use of lethal force by police.”

“There is a rush among police departments across the country to incorporate the use of body cameras by their officers, with millions of dollars being spent by federal and local governments,” said Pang, an assistant professor. “Instead, the decisions should be driven by evidence-based policy, and after careful consideration of scientific evidence.”

Click here to read more on their study.