A board of directors plays a crucial role in determining the success of any organization and is largely responsible for major strategic decisions. However, females in these top management roles are often underrepresented. Without women on boards, companies are losing out—not only on talented leaders, but also on different perspectives of business. This raises the question: in what ways do companies with women on the board perform differently than companies with all-male boards?

Prior research suggests there are gender differences in risk-taking decisions, with many researchers supporting that women are more sensitive to risk than men. However, Ofra Bazel-Shoham, research assistant professor in the Department of Finance at the Fox School, reconsiders the implications of this conclusion.

Bazel-Shoham argues that female leaders change the way business is being done in her paper, “The Effect of Board Gender Diversity on R&D.” She looked at boards’ decisions regarding high-risk, high-reward investment decisions, as well as their professional behavior, to understand the differences in outcomes that gender-diverse boards produce. The research recently won the Best Paper Award at the 2018 Engaged Management Scholarship Conference, hosted by Temple University this September. The award was sponsored by Business Horizons, an academic journal from Indiana University.

As a proxy for analyzing risk-taking decisions, Bazel-Shoham used choices around research and development (R&D), often a potentially risky yet highly rewarding investment. “It requires upfront resources and has a very low probability of success,” she says.

Bazel-Shoham, who is also the academic director of Fox School’s new part-time MBA Program in Conshohocken, collected data from CEOs and board members in 44 countries and over a period of 16 years. The gender disparity was already obvious, as she notes in her sample only 2% of all CEOs and 9% of all board members were female.

The study found that while the direct correlation between the number of women on boards and the number of investments in R&D was negative, women were more likely to focus on monitoring performance, which ends up incentivizing risky but data-driven decisions. Bazel-Shoham says, “As female leaders put more emphasis on monitoring, gender-diverse boards were able to quantify and measure their decisions better than all-male boards.”

Bazel-Shoham elucidates this argument by analyzing the behavior of female directors who are most often outnumbered by their male counterparts. Her interviews with female leaders suggest that being in a minority puts more pressure on women to not make mistakes and make data-driven decisions.

She elaborates, “We realized that female directors felt they were ‘under a magnifying glass’ most of the time and were judged more stringently than their male colleagues.” This made them make more conservative decisions, which usually translated into making lesser high-risk R&D investments. However, teams that quantified their results better supported performance-based compensation where incentives are measurable and dependent on the actual outcome rather than on vaguely defined promises.

Organizations often use performance-based incentives to motivate managers to make riskier but potentially profitable long-term investing decisions. Bazel-Shoham says, “We observed that such remuneration systems encourage CEOs and senior management to engage in more R&D activities.” With women involved, boards more often supported this form of compensation, in affect encouraging managers to make more of these investments. Bazel-Shoham found that these actions successfully mitigated women’s effect of being more risk-averse.

 

Besides indirectly increasing R&D spending, Bazel-Shoham notes having even one woman on the board of directors significantly influences how the board behaves, the decisions it makes and their resulting outcomes. To illustrate this, she quotes an experience of a male CEO of a large educational organization. “The women directors read all the materials ahead of time, have specific questions and are more professional than the others,” he says. “They have changed the organizational culture of the board. The men, in turn, have started to prepare themselves better as well.”

Underrepresentation of women on boards of directors continues to be a pressing issue to shareholders and society at large. However, organizations are slowly understanding the strategic importance of leveraging a more diverse top management team. With rapidly changing market dynamics, leveraging the power of gender diversity is beneficial for the long-term success of businesses.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Remember the last time you donated warm clothes to a homeless shelter and felt good about yourself? Or that time your friends helped you get through a difficult life problem after which you couldn’t help but feel extreme gratitude towards them?

A lot of traditional research has been done on why people help and how they feel after helping. You Jin Kim, assistant professor of Human Resource Management at the Fox School, goes beyond just that by exploring the role of the recipient of the help. Her research emphasizes how demonstrating gratitude, as well as the helper’s feelings of pride, interact to encourage repeated helping.

In her paper, “A Dyadic Model of Motives, Pride, Gratitude, and Helping,” which was accepted for publication by the Journal of Organizational Behaviour, Kim demonstrates that the motives of the helper interact to predict pride via initial helping whereas recipient attributions of helper motives predict recipient gratitude in response to being helped. This interaction of emotions (i.e., pride and gratitude) influences any subsequent helping by the helper, making them both active members of the social exchange.

Kim points out that the helper’s motives drive their initial actions. She highlights two positive motives: “autonomous motives,” where individuals help because they value doing so, and “other-oriented motives,” where individuals help because of their concern for others. These motives often lead to voluntary helping that is intended to benefit others.

These motives affect the perception of the recipient and the level of appreciation they feel. “Recipients seek information about helpers and helping contexts because they seek to understand why others help them,” Kim reasons. For example, an employee might choose to cover a shift for a sick worker because he or she truly cares about the coworker’s welfare, leading to the recipient attribute this action to the helper’s selfless (what Kim classifies as autonomous or other-oriented) motives. In such interactions, the recipient feels more gratitude toward the helper.

Kim also considers that the motives may not always be altruistic. She elaborates, “They could be doing it because of impression management, career enhancement motives, and not truly directed towards benefitting others.” For example, a helper could choose to teach a peer a new skill with the goal of transferring an undesirable task to this peer. Such interactions fail to evoke the feeling of pride or gratitude in either party.

Kim highlights cases where, although the helping motive was genuine and the helpers experienced authentic pride, they did not engage in repeated helping unless recipients expressed their gratitude. “Unlike economic exchanges, social exchange returns are not specified in advance, and so reciprocity is not guaranteed,” says Kim. “A simple ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference.” Thus expressing gratitude is very crucial in encouraging the helper to continue helping others in the future, making the recipient an important influencer of the interaction.

The results of these studies have practical implication for managers. “Managers need to understand why helping is being provided and create a work environment where employees do not feel pressured to help and that helping is voluntary,” says Kim. “It should not be related to any type of organizational decision, such as a promotion or vacation days.”

Importantly, gratitude also has positive implications for recipients. Kim says, “Managers also need to emphasize the benefits of showing gratitude and encourage recipients to communicate their gratitude when receiving help has been positive.” Such reciprocative interactions create a positive environment at a workplace, subsequently improving the efficiency and lowering the turnover intentions of all employees.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Most public officials want to stay in office—and insurance regulators are no different. In the days, weeks, and months leading up to the elections, many assume that public officials would be proactive, striving to implement policies that improve their credibility and increase their chances of reelection. However, recent studies by Martin Grace, Harry Cochran Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management at the Fox School and Tyler Leverty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, say that this is not the case for insurance regulators.

The financial health of the insurance companies is closely monitored by the state insurance departments to provide protection to the policyholders. When a company faces a financial crisis, the regulators intervene and help them regain their footing. In situations where the company is irreversibly dying, they are declared insolvent, or bankrupt.

To keep these stages in check, insurance regulators conduct regular financial examinations, especially for companies facing financial crisis. In their paper, ”Do Elections Delay Regulatory Action?” which was accepted by the Journal of Financial Economics, Grace found that these interventions on failing companies fall by up to 78% in the year leading up to an election. These delays result in an increased cost of failure for both policyholders and taxpayers.

Graph 1: Electoral Cycle vs the Regulatory Interventions

The reason for this seems to be rooted in the political incentives for the insurance regulators. Insurance commissioners are elected by popular vote in some states or appointed by the governor in the others. To have a positive opinion around their candidateship, insurance commissioners avoid making formal regulatory orders or making declarations of insolvency for insurance companies up to a year before the elections. “As this could raise questions on their competency and could be seen as a black mark when they run for higher office,” says Grace, “it is easier for insurance regulators to delay companies’ bankruptcies. So they strategically postpone any official resolution until after election day.”

And, Grace says, “The more competitive the race is, the more bad news might matter.” While appointed commissioners tend to delay interventions only before tightly contested elections where the appointing governor is running for office, elected regulators delay interventions before all elections.

To conduct this study, the researchers collected data from approximately 3,200 firms and 300 separate elections in 50 states over 21 years (1989-2011). With varying election dates and state-regulated insurance policies, Grace says, “these heterogeneities gave us a very rich data to study a given insurer at different intervals of time, across different states, and at various stages of the electoral cycle.”

With so much data and possible causations, it took the researchers about eight years to publish the paper. During various presentations of the research, Grace recollects offering a dollar to anyone who could come up with a plausible explanation to the observation that they hadn’t heard of before. ”We covered it all,” Grace says. “But if someone came up with a new idea, I would give them a dollar.”  However, given their extensive data set and time, Grace and his co-author were confident in their findings that elections were the main cause of these delays.

Grace emphasizes that these delays are important because they cost taxpayers more money. When an insurance company goes bankrupt and they run out of cash to pay off their debts, the balance is covered by the government from the pool of state taxes collected from policyholders of the healthy insurers. For example, he reasons, “Let’s say we have a $100 left in the failed insurer. If we closed the insurer immediately, the value would remain $100.” However, if the insurer is closed in 6 months, there would be more costs associated, like paying employees and managers of the failed insurer. “That means all taxpayers will have to pick up the balance.” Grace’s research found that delays increased the cost to taxpayers by up to $0.48 dollars for every dollar of failed insurers assets at the time of insolvency.

Research shows that prompt governance reduces the delays caused due to elections. “This was seen to be especially true in the case of appointed regulators,” says Grace. Current laws mandate regulators to report and take timely corrective actions at prescribed levels of declining capital of the insurers, limiting the regulators’ ability to delay.

The effect of delays in regulating insurance companies has a discreet yet profound effect on the cost of insurance to society. Timely settlement of claims, especially when the insurance company is in a financial crisis, helps decrease the cost of failure to both the policyholders and taxpayers.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School
on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The “agency theory of the firm,” a way of looking at social interactions in business, says that managers are agents of shareholders. As such, managers must generally make decisions that maximize shareholder profits. Since the Citizens United case in 2010, those decisions have included the right to make unlimited independent political expenditures, under the right to freedom of expression.

So what are the ethical implications of companies making contributions for or against a political candidate? Daniel Isaacs, assistant professor of Legal Studies and academic director in the Fox School, weighs on this question in his article, “When Government Contractors May or May Not Spend Money on Political Speech,” which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Ethics.

“There are some situations where it will be in the economic interests of businesses to forgo making independent political expenditures,” says Isaacs. By aligning profit motives with ethical conduct, Isaacs aims to remove barriers to ethical behavior.

Sometimes, however, profits and ethics do not align. In these cases, Isaacs argues that managers may not use the agency theory of the firm as a means to escape their ethical obligations.

For example, says Isaacs, imagine a private prison that is experiencing a reduced number of prisoners due to declining crime rate in the state. The prison has the right to make independent political expenditures on behalf of a candidate that favors laws that would require courts to impose longer prison sentences for all crimes. The outcome of these expenditures and the succeeding election would increase profits for the private prison by ensuring a steady stream of prisoners who will spend more time in jail.

But what happens if maximizing profits for shareholders by making these independent political expenditures leads to profit and unethical outcomes, like longer prison sentences? Does the agency theory allow managers to ignore the ethical situation and simply make money? No, says Isaacs, “because the agency theory relies on the concept that principals must do that which agents dictate.” If that is the case, though, managers cannot act beyond the authority of their principals.

“This relationship between the managers and the shareholders does not dilute the managers’ moral obligation,” Isaacs says. “The agency theory does not grant them an ethical free pass.”

Isaacs says that the shareholders lack the power to authorize managers to make profits in a way that they wouldn’t do themselves. “And managers cannot escape their ethical obligations by claiming that they were just following orders,” he says.

Companies should consider whether it is in their best interests to make independent political expenditures, as forgoing in some cases might make them more appealing. For example, if a company voluntarily waives its right to make independent political expenditures, Isaacs argues that it can use that to its competitive advantage. “One of the risks that at least one private prison identified in its disclosure statement was that the public may change its perception of private prisons,” says Isaacs. “If the public becomes hostile to the concept of private prisons, governments may stop entering into contracts with the corporations—something that a reasonable investor would want to know.”

With the boundaries of profitability, law and ethical obligations blurring in the real world of business, Isaacs’ research works to identify ways in which the market can support ethical decision making. He finds an unexpected friend in agency theory, arguing that the way people justify profit maximization, also serves to demonstrate the limits of shareholder power to engage in or authorize others to undertake such behavior.

“Shareholders and managers, as human beings, have a moral obligation, and desiring profits does not justify all actions of achieving them,” he concludes.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Peace has finally been brokered in a long-standing argument between two schools of thought in statistical science.

Research from Deep Mukhopadhyay, professor of statistical science, and Douglas Fletcher, a PhD student, was accepted for publication in Scientific Reports, a journal by Nature Research. Their research marks a significant step towards bridging the “gap” between two different schools of thought in statistical data modeling that has plagued statisticians for over 250 years.

“There are two branches of statistics: Bayesian and Frequentist,” says Mukhopadhyay. “There is a deep-seeded division, conceptually and operationally, between them.” The fundamental difference is the way they process and analyze the data. Bayesian statistics incorporates external domain-knowledge into data analysis via so-called “prior” distribution.

Subhadeep Mukhopadhyay

“Frequentists view ‘prior’ as a weakness that can hamper scientific objectivity and can corrupt the final statistical inference,” says Mukhopadhyay. “I could come up with ten different kinds of ‘prior’ if I asked ten different experts. Bayesians, however, view it as a strength to include relevant domain-knowledge into the data analysis.” This has been a disagreement in statistics over the last 250 years.

So, which camp is right? “In fact, both are absolutely right,” says Mukhopadhyay. In their paper, they argued that a better question to ask is, how can we develop a mechanism that incorporates relevant expert-knowledge without sacrificing the scientific objectivity?

The answer, Mukhopadhyay says, can ultimately help design artificial intelligence capable of simultaneously learning from both data and expert knowledge—a holy grail problem of 21st Century statistics and AI.

“The science of data analysis must include domain experts’ prior scientific knowledge in a systematic and principled manner,” Mukhopadhyay says. Their paper presents Statistical rules to judiciously blend data with domain-knowledge, developing a dependable and defensible workflow.

“That is where our breakthrough lies,” says Mukhopadhyay. “It creates a much more refined ‘prior,’ which incorporates the scientist’s knowledge and respects the data, so it’s a compromise between your domain expertise and what the data is telling me.”

Answering that question—when and how much to believe prior knowledge—offers dozens of real-world applications for Mukhopadhyay’s work. For example, healthcare companies can use apply this to new drugs by leveraging doctors’ expertise without being accused of cherry picking data for the sake of a speedy or unusually successful clinical trial.

Mukhopadhyay thanks Brad Efron of Stanford University, for inspiring him to investigate this problem. “It took me one and a half years to come up with the right question,” says Mukhopadhyay. “I believe Bayes and Frequentist could be a winning combination that is more effective than either of the two separately in this data science era.”

*This article corrects an earlier version by specifying that the research was published in Scientific Reports, a journal by Nature Research.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty, staff, and students from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Are You Suffering From Too Many Choices?
More doesn’t always mean merrier. USA Today cites research by Center for Neural Decision Making director Angelika Dimoka that shows how fewer choices lead to happier consumers and more sales.

Twins, Triplets Taking Over Temple
A whopping 36 sets of twins and triplets—including Fox students—have arrived.

6 Things to Do When You’re Angry at Work
Deanna Geddes shares tips with Business Insider.

From Wall Street Exec to High School Teacher?
This Fox alum left Goldman Sachs to teach at Northeast High.

Warning: Your Personal Data Is Not Safe
The New York Times talks corporate data breaches with Anthony Vance.

Disruption Coming to Philly’s Hotel Scene
Wesley S. Roehl discusses Comcast tower’s upcoming Four Seasons launch.

Dorm Room Decorating Tips
An entrepreneurship major shows off her dorm design chops.

International Business Schools are Thriving
Fox’s partnership with Australia’s Flinders University is highlighted.

eMoney, Temple Announce New Partnership
Cynthia Axelrod discusses the impact on financial planning education.

Marriott, Airbnb Selling Experiences, Too
People want activity curation and a room, says Elizabeth Barber.

Fox Launches New Women’s Leadership Series
Philly Mag shares details on the new Executive Education program.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Augmented reality (AR) technology is one of the most exciting advancements of our time. It can  generate empathy and new perspectives by transporting people, sometimes literally, into the shoes of another person with no barriers in time or space. Not surprisingly, many industries are considering the technology’s potential to improve customer experience.

Using Technology to Enhance Customer Experience

The museum industry is among the pioneers who are embracing this opportunity. Museums are currently facing a period of financial stagnation, with costs and insurance premiums rising and government funds dwindling. Many are forced to delay projects, downsize exhibitions, and even lay off staff. Forward-thinking museums, though, are embracing new technologies that enable visitors to have deeper connections with exhibits.

For example, the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia was AR-enhanced, with visitors able to see more detailed representations of how the sculptures and weapons looked through their AR app. They also have a Virtual Reality Demonstration Space, an immersive VR zone where you can go inside the human body, tour the solar system, walk around Chernobyl, peek into a brain, and more.

Researchers at the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospital Management are studying how these new technologies can be best deployed in fields where consumers still crave authentic experiences.

AR and VR: Technological Innovation Creates New Research Space

While virtual reality is a fully immersive experience (think of the VR headsets and being transported to a simulated environment), augmented reality is simply an enhanced version of reality created by adding information (image, text, or effects) to real places or objects using a piece of technology.

Despite the extensive discussions around the applications of AR technology, little research has been done on what kind of immersive experiences are best to use on visitors. Zeya He, an STHM PhD student, alongside professors Laurie Wu and Robert Li, recently examined the impact of different types of AR enhancements. Their paper, “When art meets tech: The role of augmented reality in enhancing museum experiences and purchase intentions,” will be published this fall in Tourism Management.
He, Wu, and Li recruited more than 200 participants for their online study and gave them video simulations of an AR-enhanced scene. The video showed a museum scene with Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night Over the Rhône, testing visual and text animations on the painting itself: glimmering stars, reflections on the river, a couple strolling on the bank, and added verbal information. In some videos,  the museum environment was also augmented with a visual of gently rippling water, testing virtual alterations to the museum’s ambience.

The researchers wanted to see what the participants found most engaging: adding animation to the different aspects of the painting, adding text over the painting, or adjusting the “virtual presence” by making the museum environment match that of the painting.

Enhancing Reality vs. Depriving Imagination

Though we might expect the most AR-enhanced scenario to have been the most highly rated, participants liked the one with the additional text and added ambience the most. The participants said the animation of the painting itself felt too intrusive. “It seems that technology may sometimes help create meaningfulness and excitement, but it can also make you think less, become less engaged,” He explains. While environmental visual cues can improve connection with an art piece, visual enhancement of the actual object seems to deprive the viewer of the freedom of imagination. Participants felt that they could no longer appreciate the painting itself with the added technological visualization, but the added text actually helped guide their eye to aspects of the painting and deepened their understanding.  

Looking to the Future

Though doing the study online had certain benefits, such as eliminating other possible confounding factors, further research is needed to test the effects of different kinds of technological enhancements of the museum experience, especially real AR technology in real museum spaces. The effects and results may also differ depending on the context, and the type of museum or exhibit.

“[These] results can be used by museums directly to design their content, but we also need to continue doing research on how it is possible to balance the excitement that technology brings and the meaningfulness the museum is trying to create,” He says. “So, it is the degree of technological enhancements that really matters, how we design the technology really matters.”

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

In the research world, the emphasis on statistically significant research results is so strong that often the art of the research process gets left behind. Luckily, a team of researchers at the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management (STHM) at Temple University recently offered a unique behind-the-scenes look at how they are advancing the commonly accepted research methods in their field.

Collaborative Self-Study: An Innovative Qualitative Research Method

Lead researcher Bradley Baker, PhD ‘17, found there was a lack of substantial progress in innovative methods, especially qualitative, in the sport management field. The antidote to this “lack of creativity, theoretical impact, and practical relevance” is to look past the traditional qualitative and quantitative approaches to embrace a novel way to do research: collaborative self-study.

Collaborative self-study, Baker explains, is a type of qualitative research where researchers study themselves and their own social environment, as opposed to traditional methods where the researcher is a separate, objective onlooker. While this method is still relatively new, it has already been embraced by similar fields, such as the sociology of sport. It provides a unique potential to break through barriers of access to data and research participants, while encouraging a deeper self-reflection by the researchers and strong collaboration between team members.

In their paper, “Collaborative self-study: Lessons from a study of wearable fitness technology and physical activity,” Baker and his co-authors—current STHM doctoral students Xiaochen Zhou and Anthony Pizzo; James Du, PhD ’17, and Professor Daniel Funk—use their experience with this method to advise future researchers on when and how it may provide additional, unique insights. Published in a special issue of the Sport Management Review focused on contemporary qualitative research methods, their paper gives an insider view on how the method worked in practice: “[researchers] ask research questions,” says Pizzo. “But the way we get at that data, that is the focus of this paper. It’s the story behind the story.”

Experiencing the Experiment

Seven sport management graduate students formed a research team to look into how collaborative self-study could be used as a research method. The team consisted of a mix of genders, ages, fitness levels, ethnicities, and professional backgrounds.

Each member received an Apple Watch to wear for one month to record their experiences, thoughts, and exercise levels in a daily journal. The team later shared their experiences in group discussions, identifying common themes found while interacting with the technology, such as social value and attention, influence on physical activity, and anxiety. The experiment gave them a deeper insight into using collaborative self-study as a research method, specifically the possible advantages and disadvantages.

Reflecting on Self-Study: Transparency, True Experience, and Teamwork

On the benefits side, the researchers stated their data had deeper insights and it was faster and more efficient to collect than traditional methods. By not having a barrier—physical, temporal, cultural, or otherwise—between themselves and participants, the researchers had a potentially unlimited, unfiltered data source. Additionally, discussing as a team provided an environment where they could further elaborate on their experiences, stimulate reflection in others, and bond. This collaborative discussion made the data insights more thorough than a simple content analysis of journals, as the researchers were able to clarify their experiences through reflecting on the experiences of others.  

However, breaking the barrier between researcher and participant, though innovative, brings up questions of ethics and validity of data, as well as privacy and data security.

“Objectivity is the dominant tradition,” Baker says, “but now things are changing. […] Even what research question you are asking is already breaking absolute objectivity. In all studies, but especially in self-study, you have to be very transparent in your role and your perspective, what biases get integrated in your data.”

In order to ensure data validity, the researchers combined the deep reflection of self-study and the collaborative aspect of using multiple voices to combat the assumed presence of unchallenged assumptions, or researcher “blind spots.” Another possible detraction of this method is the nature of collaborative work: the need to agree, compromise, and end up with a coherent narrative formed by many different voices. This is where in-depth discussion and making sure all voices were heard helped enhance the experience.

Though having pros and cons like any other research method, collaborative self-study gives unique insights into people’s lived experiences and should be considered a valid method in any researcher’s arsenal. “Our hope is that the current work provides a measure of guidance regarding key ethical issues, benefits, challenges, and opportunities inherent to the approach,” Baker says. “We encourage other researchers to consider the potential benefits of collaborative self-study for their own research.”

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty and staff from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Where do gig workers thrive?
Part-time work can be found anywhere, but some U.S. cities are home to booming gig economies. Fox’s Dr. Paul Pavlou shares a few and provides context in a recent interview with U.S. News & World ReportRead more >>

Boles speaks with WHYY
A Philadelphia man’s experience at Lowe’s has the home improvement store reconsidering its policy of checking receipts upon a customer’s exit of select stores in what Lowe’s arbitrarily identifies as “high theft” areas. Fox’s Dr. Jeffrey Boles, a retail theft expert, offers his take. Read more >>

The future of STHM
STHM’s Dr. Jeremy Jordan joins the PHL Diversity podcast to discuss his professional and academic background, and offers insights on future of the school and its programs.  Listen >>

Diverse Issues in Higher Education | June 4, 2018
Fox senior vice dean Debbie Campbell shares the successes of Temple’s Military and Veteran Services Center. Read more >>

Philly Voice | May 31, 2018
Why do people cover their laptop cameras with Post-It notes? Seeking an answer, The Philly Voice speaks with Fox’s Dr. David Schuff for more on this cybersecurity topic. Read more >>

CBS 3 | May 30, 2018
The general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers is in hot water after being linked to scandalous tweets from anonymous, burner accounts. Fox’s Dr. Sunil Wattal explains how a Twitter account can leave digital signatures. Watch >>

Media requests: Please send requests to Christopher A. Vito, associate director of communications & media relations, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, at cvito@temple.edu

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The academic year has drawn to an end, students have graduated, and campus is a little quieter. These moments are often the best times for reflection on the year behind—and what a successful year it has been!

Graduating with Distinction: Congratulations to the PhD and DBA Class of 2018

The Fox School’s PhD and Executive DBA programs have performed to high standards. The PhD program boasted eleven graduates in the Class of 2018. The PhD candidates have accepted opportunities to teach and conduct research in prestigious institutions around the world, from George Mason University in Virginia to the University of South Wales in Australia. The PhD program continues to produce students who graduate with publications in top-tier journals, such as The Accounting Review, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, and more.

The Executive DBA program applauds the 20 business leaders who successfully defended their dissertations in the second-ever DBA cohort. These alumni are just one example of our commitment to research with impact, as these students return to industry, not just as leaders, but as thought-leaders, ready to apply theory and research to business problems. This upcoming September, the Fox School will continue to demonstrate its leadership in the field as we host the 2018 Engaged Management Scholarship Conference, the premier meeting of executive DBA programs in the world.

Achievements in Research: Faculty Honored with Prestigious Awards

The world-class faculty at the Fox School has brought significant pride with many awards and achievements in research this year. The Office of Research applauds individuals such as In-Sue Oh, who was twice awarded the William A. Owns Scholarly Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the fields of HR and organizational behavior; Ram Mudambi, whose paper was one of eight to be selected the impactful paper in international entrepreneurship by the Journal of International Business Studies; and Thilo Kunkel, who is a 2018 North American Society for Sport Management Research Fellow in recognition of his contributions and achievements in sport-related scholarship.

These are just a few of the school’s achievements in research this year. Congratulations to all of the faculty for their numerous publications, citations, paper downloads, and grant awards. Learn more about the Fox School’s research impact.

Engaging Thought Leaders: Notable Events Highlighting Research

Through the year, faculty, staff, and students at the Fox School have worked tirelessly to create impactful, exciting events to showcase research and encourage collaboration. This year, the school hosted its semesterly Young Scholars Interdisciplinary Forum and the PhD Paper Competition, in which doctoral students and junior faculty present research concepts and solicit feedback.

The school also demonstrated its position as a thought leader in events throughout the year. The Translational Research Center hosted the inaugural 2018 Editors’ Summit, a first-of-its-kind forum that brought together editors-in-chief of leading academic business journals across multiple disciplines to discuss driving real impact with business scholarship. The Frederic Fox Lecture Series brought business executive and alumnus David Schoch, MBA ’78, previous chairman and CEO of Ford China, to discuss the implications on China in the international economy.

Congratulations to the students, faculty, and staff of the Fox School’s research community for a successful academic year!

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty and staff from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Eisenstadt in WSJ
Combatting sexual harassment can be a greater challenge for small firms than for their larger counterparts, a recent survey shows. The Wall Street Journal speaks with Fox’s Leora Eisenstadt, an expert on employee discrimination and discriminatory behavior in the workplace. Read more >>

Tackling stress for college students
Free pizza, therapy dogs, and an appearance from a member of the Philadelphia Eagles? An event centered on managing stress, and organized by students in a business honors course led by Fox’s Dr. Crystal Harold, earns publicity from NBC 10. Watch >>

Axelrod on NBC 10
As graduation draws near, NBC 10 focuses on a challenge that college graduates face: Debt. Fox’s Cindy Axelrod explains financial planning and the value of a college degree on an individual’s career earnings potential. Watch >>

Temple runs Broad Street (again)
Once again, the Temple-wide Broad Street Run team—led by Fox’s Michael McCloskey—contributed to Gamma Iota Sigma’s annual charity of choice. NBC 10 profiles McCloskey and the team, and a Fox alum shares how in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed how the Broad Street Run is more than a 10-mile race.

Philly I-Day recognizes Porat
Philly I-Day, celebrating the city’s risk management and insurance industry, recognizes Fox School Dean Dr. M. Moshe Porat as recipient of the 2018 Franklin Award for his lifetime achievement in the field. Industry news service A.M. Best speaks with Porat. Watch >>

Temple Now | May 1, 2018
Did you know the first Fly in 4 student is a Fox accounting major? Justin Grothmann’s story appears in the university’s newsletter. Read more >>

Temple Now | May 1, 2018
Last week, Fox’s Dr. Ram Mudambi moderated a Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event focusing on innovation. Mudambi’s related research work earns publicity in the university’s newsletter. Read more >>

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 1, 2018
The CEO of a Pittsburgh-area corporation turned down a sizable compensation package because it was less than what he had requested, then resigned. Fox’s Dr. Steven Balsam, who has studied executive compensation, shares his expertise. Read more >>

Business Insurance | May 1, 2018
Fox’s M. Michael Zuckerman weighs in on the intersection between the insurance industry, the organizations associated with the NRA, and the risks related to those associations. Read more >>

Media requests: Please send requests to Christopher A. Vito, associate director of communications & media relations, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, at cvito@temple.edu

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty and staff from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

A murder — and a social media dilemma
In Allentown, a family uses Facebook to memorialize a deceased loved one. But that family member’s page features countless photos of the murderer. Despite requests from the family, Facebook’s policy leans toward preservation of the account as the deceased person left it. Fox’s Amy Lavin, an expert on social sentiment analysis, speaks with the Allentown Morning-Call. Read more >>

More commercials in your car?
With the advent (and increased use) of ride-sharing services, what does the future hold for in-car smartphone advertising? Fox’s Dr. Subodha Kumar, in an interview with national entertainment magazine Variety, explains data transmission and GPS pinpointing for more-tailored ads from advertisers. Read more >>

Two interviews with U.S. News
Do you need life insurance? Fox’s Michael McCloskey describes it as “the most overbought” form of coverage. And in another U.S. News & World Report story, Fox’s Dr. Janis Moore Campbell explains how critical thinking plays a role in supporting financial success.

Philadelphia Business Journal | April 19, 2018
Local companies and investors are jumping into Blockchain and related technological initiatives. Fox’s Dr. Bora Ozkan weighs in on Blockchain and other cryptocurrencies. Read more >>

Temple Now | April 19, 2018
Last week’s edition of the university e-newsletter sheds light on a Fox undergraduate carving out a career path in the music industry, as well as STHM’s upcoming eSports conference. Read more >>

Philadelphia Gay News | April 19, 2018
Will Pennsylvania’s lack of an anti-discrimination law affect Philadelphia’s chances of securing Amazon’s HQ2? Fox’s Dr. Jeffrey Boles offers his insights. Read more >>

American Banker | April 17, 2018
How do natural disasters impact small businesses and their lines of credit? American Banker speaks with Fox’s Dr. Benjamin Collier, highlighting his research work in this space. Read more >>

WalletHub | April 16, 2018
Fox’s Dr. Eric Eisenstein speaks with WalletHub about credit card rates. Read more >>

Media requests: Please send requests to Christopher A. Vito, associate director of communications & media relations, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, at cvito@temple.edu

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Maureen (Mimi) Morrin

Maureen (Mimi) Morrin’s research path started with something many don’t like to think about: odors.

“As weird as it may sound,” says Morrin, “when I was in the doctoral program, I knew I wanted to do some scent research.” At the time, sensory marketing was not a term in research vernacular. In the last decade, however, Morrin has witnessed the growth of this field.

Understanding the Senses

What is it about holding a Starbucks cup that keeps customers coming back? How does the smell of a luxury car elicit an emotion? These are the types of questions Morrin and her associates explore as they determine how the senses drive consumers.

As founder and director of the Consumer Sensory Innovation Lab at the Fox School of Business, Morrin has established a collaborative setting for doctoral students, professors, and corporate managers to research the world of sight, sound, scent, taste, and touch as they relate to consumer influences. “I think that humans on some basic level need sensory input,” says Morrin. “It helps you make sense of your world—the senses tell you what’s what.”

Today, corporations want a deeper understanding of what exactly can attract customers to their stores—and what keeps them coming back. Her work with various retailers and consumer packaged goods companies has fostered growth within the center, which is funded in part by external grants. While Amazon and Jet.com are consuming more of the retail pie, Morrin says brick-and-mortar retailers have an edge when it comes to the shopping experience.

“Companies may ask, what is my competitive advantage when people can just buy my product on Amazon?” says Morrin. “But, they have the ability to impact all of our five senses—to delight us sensorially speaking.”

A Sense of Community

At the Fox School, Morrin works closely with a number of doctoral students and undergraduates. The Lab provides a venue for those who self-identify as sensory researchers and allows for information- and resource-sharing. Through projects that determine if a store’s messiness has an affect on sales or if mint-flavored snacks allay the guilt a dieter may feel on a cheat day; Morrin sees her collaborative lab as a safe zone.

“Being a doctoral student can be very stressful and you often feel isolated, because you’re essentially learning how to be an independent researcher,” says Morrin. “Those who have been in the program longer are able to help junior students—it makes them feel like they’re a part of something.”

Across All Boards

On days Morrin is not running sensory experiments or encouraging questions on consumer decisions in her class lectures, she is deeply involved in the research community. Earlier this year, Morrin was invited to join the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Consumer Affairs, and became an associate editor at the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

“I benefit from being a reviewer because I am able to see where the field is moving,” says Morrin. “The more reviewing you do, the better you get at detecting the bigger picture as a researcher.”

With a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of marketing, Morrin has seen her unique interest in sensory inputs become a mainstream trend. Though she is excited that more people are studying the field, Morrin’s passion for sensory research is not a fad.

“Whether it’s in or out, I’m here to stay.”

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Nobody likes a tattletale.

Since our days on elementary school playgrounds, we have been conditioned to avoid tattling. The possibility of being declared the class snitch has kept many school children’s lips tightly sealed—and, sadly, that attitude continues in the professional world today.

Dr. Leora Eisenstadt, assistant professor in the Department of Legal Studies at the Fox School of Business, once asked her undergraduate students in a business law and ethics class a simple question: Would they be willing to oust the firm they worked for, knowing there was fraudulent activity occurring?

Out of 22 students, only one said yes.

For the students who decided to stay quiet, their choice was not ddue to a lack of morality, but rather a fear of not recovering from the act of whistleblowing.

“Whistleblowing involves speaking out against an organization that you see doing something illegal, corrupt, or harmful to the general public,” says Eisenstadt. “Whistleblowers are often the subject of retaliation—once you come forward, you are likely to face termination or some other adverse employment action.”

Eisenstadt and co-author Dr. Jennifer Pacella of Baruch College confront the laws regarding whistleblowers in their paper, “Whistleblowers Need Not Apply,” which has been accepted for publication by the American Business Law Journal. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, retaliation against someone who complains of discrimination is prohibited. In contrast, the “swiss cheese” laws covering whistleblowing often provide little to no protection for the tipsters, who are likely to be ostracized and blacklisted from their company or even industry after the story breaks.

After reviewing the Whistleblowers Protection Act, Dodd–Frank Act, Sarbanes–Oxley Act, and the False Claims Act, Eisenstadt and her co-author uncovered many of the loopholes that would inherently exclude whistleblowers from potential support. Although the laws prohibit retaliation to some extent, three out of four statutes do not protect whistleblowers from future employers’ prejudices.

While whistleblowers may be lauded by the public as a righteous and ethical individual who brought down a corrupt company, new employers are likely to see them as disloyal troublemakers.

“Beyond losing your job, the main reason people won’t come forward as whistleblowers is that they know they could be blackballed in the industry and face an extraordinarily difficult time finding future employment,” says Eisenstadt. “Sometimes, that is even more traumatizing than losing your present job.”

While anti-discrimination law clearly prohibits retaliation against job applicants, whistleblowers are typically left out in the rain. Eisenstadt and Pacella, in the first article to examine the lack of legal protections for whistleblowers who are applying for new jobs, propose a way to change that.

“We are arguing that Congress needs to step in and amend each of these federal statutes to provide protection for whistleblower applicants,” says Eisenstadt. “Our reform proposal is remarkably simple: take the language that’s in Title VII (and the decades of court interpretations that come with it) and add it to the whistleblower statutes.”

By adding the phrase “and job applicants,” Eisenstadt argues that this would end the problem of courts’ varying and unclear interpretations and create stronger protections for a vulnerable group. With clear statutory language detailing protections available to whistleblowers, courts can more fairly apply the law to the many types of whistleblowing cases that occur in both private and public settings.

“This is a problem that requires legislative action and not something the courts can do on their own,” says Eisenstadt.

With their hopes set to send their research to legislatures once published, the future of whistleblowers may become more positive—and maybe those 21 students who stayed quiet will eventually speak up.

Learn more about Fox School Research.
For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Broad Street Run (Photo: Ryan S. Brandenberg)

A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty and staff from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Running for a good cause
A university-wide Broad Street Run team, led by the Fox School’s Michael McCloskey and students from Gamma Iota Sigma, annually supports a charity of choice. This year’s organization, reports The Temple News, provides resources for local high school students battling anxiety and depression. Read more >>

Fox featured in University Business
The Fox School’s Stephen Boro describes the school’s efforts to break down data silos to achieve admissions and recruitment success. The result, says Boro? Fox “has access to better and more useful admissions information than ever before.” Read more >>

Feeding those in need
Last week, Fox School SPOs united to collect food for the university’s Cherry Pantry—an initiative to combat food insecurity and allow students to take food anonymously.  Read more >>

Arkansas Business | March 19, 2018
Dollar stores tend to thrive in a depressed economy and in low-income communities, says the Fox School’s Dr. Jay Sinha, who has conducted research on the dollar-store phenomenon.

Captive Insurance Times | March 14, 2018
The Fox School’s M. Michael Zuckerman offers a solution to the talent gap in the insurance industry. Read more >>

Temple Now | March 22, 2018
A program led annually by the Fox School’s Dr. Steven Balsam aligns accounting students with members of the local community to file their tax returns free of charge. The university’s e-newsletter provides coverage. Read more >>

Temple Now | March 29, 2018
A recent gift to the Fox School by MBA alumni Stanley and Franny Wang receives mention in the university’s e-newsletter. Read more >>

Philadelphia Business Journal | Jan. 18, 2018
Earlier this year, a woman-owned advertising agency sold after 40 years. Fox’s Dr. Susan Mudambi explains the decision. Read more >>

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.