Harry A. Cochran, Dean, 1934-1960

Since its founding a century ago, the Fox School of Business has produced outstanding thinkers, innovative doers, and formidable trailblazers.

Distinguished research has been at the forefront of Temple University’s initiatives since the 1940s. Following World War II, the federal government had a vested interest in funding research centers all across the country.

Harry A. Cochran, then dean of Temple’s School of Business and Public Administration, predicted that this movement towards research would steer this university to great heights.

“Harry Cochran was smart enough to figure out how to take advantage of this,” said Dr. William Aaronson, PhD ’86, former director of the Fox PhD program, and current associate professor at the College of Public Health. “He had a vision of a research enterprise with the business school that is very much still alive today.”

In the mid-1940s, Dean Cochran led the Fox School’s research agenda, creating a Bureau of Economic and Business Research and establishing the school’s first journal, The Economics and Business Bulletin, to disseminate its findings. It was over a decade later that a watershed report from the Ford Foundation highlighted the trend of business schools changing from trade schools to research institutions. The Fox School was ahead of its time, already a large and prestigious business school as others began to recognize the importance of a research agenda.

Dr. Harry A. Cochran, left, and Dr. Millard E. Gladfelter admire Dean Cochran’s portrait in 1967. The portrait now resides in the Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives on the third floor of Alter Hall.

While Dean Cochran retired in 1960, his legacy grew. His successors recognized the need for a doctoral program to support the mission of leadership in high-quality research, so in the early 1960s, the Fox School established its PhD program, which awarded its first doctoral degree in 1969 to Lacy H. Hunt. “Accommodations were made in order attract the best,” said Aaronson. “We brought in better students, who drew better faculty. We were evolving.”

The doctoral programs at the Fox School grew to encompass PhD programs in Statistics, Decision Neuroscience, and Business Administration. In 2014, the school once again blazed a trail, instituting an Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA) program, a unique opportunity for industry executives and business leaders that few schools offer today. And Dean M. Moshe Porat constantly offers strong support for the doctoral programs at the Fox School.

Cochran’s vision became a virtuous cycle. Research would not be something we merely did, but who we were. By creating an environment that would house brilliant minds, past and present deans of the Fox School have demonstrated their commitment to support leaders in both academia and industry. From its roots in 1918 to its continued success in 2018, the Fox School continues its tradition of distinction through work ethic, innovation, and research impact.

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Stanley Wang, MBA ’72.

A $2 million gift from Temple University graduates Stanley and Franny Wang will support a fully endowed chair professorship at the Fox School of Business.

The couple’s philanthropic support allows the Fox School to create an endowed fund for the Stanley and Franny Wang Chair in Business and Management. This fully endowed chair will be held by a leading scholar in a department soon to be chosen, said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, the Fox School’s dean.

The Wangs’ gift to the Fox School, which was founded in 1918, ranks among the largest in the School’s history for the purposes of academic leadership.

“I am continually humbled by the generosity of our school’s graduates, and Stanley and Franny Wang serve as shining examples of this philanthropy,” said Porat. “The Fox School has a proud tradition of providing leading and cutting-edge business education. Stanley and Franny’s transformative gift will significantly enhance our efforts to attract the world’s top professors and most-renowned researchers—both now in our centennial year and throughout the school’s next 100 years.”

Stanley Wang is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Pantronix Corporation. Based in Fremont, Calif., Pantronix is a national leader in advanced packing, testing, and microelectronics assembly for industries ranging from semiconductor and automotive, to medical, computer, and military.

The Wangs earned MBAs from the Fox School of Business in 1972, with Stanley’s concentration in management, and Franny’s in accounting.

The Wangs have long supported the development and growth of the Fox School of Business. The school’s home in Alter Hall, which opened in 2009, houses the Stanley Wang MBA Business Center. The couple’s philanthropy has supported the building of schools and scholarship programs in rural China and California.

“Franny and I are lifelong advocates for the importance and value of education,” Stanley Wang said. “It is our hope that supporting the Fox School of Business in this way will launch bright futures for dynamic students and create a better world through education.”

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You put in all the work—collecting data, analyzing information, writing the article. But what happens next?

Get your research off your computer and into the world through the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), a free, online platform dedicated to disseminating scholarly research throughout the world. With 1.5 million users, SSRN can put your insights into the hands of people who can use them.

Here are three reasons to publish your work on SSRN.

1. Enhance your online presence

Whether you are a doctoral student at the start of your career, a professor working towards tenure, or advanced researcher, SSRN can support your career goals by providing a platform for your online presence.

By uploading your work to SSRN, you are building your online identity—which includes your LinkedIn presence, personal or professional websites, and social media platforms. SSRN gives you an opportunity to host everything from working papers to published articles, which builds your credibility as a researcher.

2. Make your research accessible

Through the Fox School’s partnership with SSRN, your research will be included in the Fox School Research Paper Series, a monthly newsletter with nearly 6,000 subscribers and 12 subtopics that allow subscribers to easily search for your work, making it accessible to prospective PhD students, business executives, and potential collaborators.

As the Fox School builds a greater emphasis on translating research into actionable insights, the accessibility of research plays a huge role. With SSRN, your research can go beyond your own network and generate greater impact.

3. Start collecting citations

Impact is measured in a variety of different ways—from media mentions to changes in the way we do business. One metric of research impact is the citations it receives from other academics. If others are citing your work, it demonstrates the paper’s influence and insights into that field.

With SSRN, you can begin collecting citations while waiting for a journal to accept or publish your work. Upload working papers, accepted articles, or completed publications and track the number of downloads it receives or citations it garners. Researchers often play the long game, but with SSRN, they make “tomorrow’s research today.”

Ready to publish?

The Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives at the Fox School supports faculty members and doctoral students in subscribing and uploading papers to SSRN. Click to learn more.

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

Translational Research Center launches
The Philadelphia Business Journal covers the launch of Fox’s Translational Research Center, which hopes to bridge the gap between business-school research and applications of it in industry. PBJ speaks with Fox’s Dr. Charles Dhanaraj about the Center, as well as last week’s kick-off summit. Read more >>

NCAA-in-Japan project in next phase
For now, Japanese universities do not formally recognize their sport teams. A research project, led by STHM’s Dr. Jeremy Jordan and Dr. Daniel Funk, is exploring the possibility of creating for Japan a sport governing body equivalent to the NCAA. Japan Times provides coverage of the project, which will soon enter its third phase. Read more >>

Philly Style profiles Porat
For its charity and social datebook, Philly Style Magazine speaks to Dr. M. Moshe Porat for a profile on the Fox and STHM dean. Porat discusses the schools’ growth and their focus on student professional development. Read more >>

The Atlantic | March 1, 2018
A feature story in The Atlantic identifies a recent study by Fox’s Dr. In-Sue Oh as one of 16 that have found coworkers to be the best-equipped predictors of an individual’s workplace success. Read more >>

WHYY | March 9, 2018
A sizable portion of land in Northeast Philadelphia, which had been dormant for years, has been purchased and will be converted into a logistics hub. Fox’s Tom Fung explains, in an interview for WHYY’s NewsWorks news show, the benefits for its use in supply chain. Listen >>

Philadelphia Magazine | March 8, 2018
Last week, Philly Mag asked a litany of local leaders to pick the best places in the city to hold coffee meetings. Fox’s Ellen Weber provides her pick. Read more >>

Al Dia | March 9, 2018
Recently and historically, economic implications have led millions of immigrants to the United States. For more on this, Fox’s Dr. Ram Mudambi speaks with Al Dia—the nation’s leading Latino news organization. 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

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The Fox School of Business is making history—and driving real impact.

On Monday, March 12, the Fox School hosted a first-of-its-kind forum that brought together editors-in-chief of leading academic business journals across multiple disciplines. The 2018 Editors’ Summit united academia and industry, researchers and executives, students and educators, for a day of dialogue on a way forward to generate transformative impact of business school research.

With leadership from Charles Dhanaraj, director of the Fox School’s new Translational Research Center, over 150 people discussed the opportunities for creating impactful research and barriers standing in the way.

Fox School faculty and doctoral students were joined by editors from prestigious business journals from many disciplines, including management, marketing, accounting, finance, operations, management information systems, and international business; colleagues from Villanova University, the Wharton School, and Northwestern University, among others; and executives from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, LyondellBasell, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Here are five key takeaways from the event:

1. Define impact

What do we mean by “impact” and how do we measure it? “It has to meet the qualifications of rigor, relevance, insights, and action,” said V. Kumar, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Marketing and Regents Professor at J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

While a definition of impact may remain elusive, participants identified its signs: from small shifts in how companies work and academia teaches, to societal, economic, and public policy changes.

Anne Tsui, president of the Responsible Research Leadership Forum, noted that this discussion about impact was a large step. “In the last 20 or 30 years, rigor began to dominate research and relevance began to decline,” she said. “Today, we’re here to discuss this gap.”

2. Ask the right questions

“Just because something hasn’t been studied doesn’t mean that it should,” said Tyson Browning, co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Operations Management and professor at Texas Christian University. In order to study issues that affect business, researchers need to know the right questions to ask.

Researchers can develop relationships with businesses, through programs like Fox Management Consulting, or invest in listening platforms to identify what problems businesses face.

Bhavesh Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell, put it another way: “Think about what value your work will create from the beginning. If you do it early, it will guide the work you do.”

3. Know your audience

“In reflecting about practical impact,” said Arun Rai, editor of MIS Quarterly and professor at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, “we need to think about partnerships with complementary channels to reach audiences that we do not have core competencies to reach.”

Executives are not reading academic journals, nor should we ever expect them to. If academics want their research to have impact on the real world, they should think beyond publications and about distribution.

“In the Twitter and soundbite era, no one wants to read a 40-page paper,” said Dr. Scott Bauguess of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “They want the major takeaway.” His suggestion? Write white papers and stylized facts.

Practitioner journals, trade magazines, and popular media like newspapers and TV can also be relevant channels to getting research insights into industry. Mary Barth, senior editor of The Accounting Review and professor at Stanford University, also recommended translating research into thought pieces that are understandable to non-academics. To do that, however, researchers need a new set of skills—like marketing or social media strategies—that require training or support from the school.

4. Adjust the infrastructure

A recurring theme throughout the day was incentives. How can business schools incentivize faculty to produce research that has impact, not just publications? How can editors affect trends in what is published to promote relevance?

Participants brainstormed solutions for both. While structural changes take time, discussions centered on adjusting tenure requirements and timelines, defining impact, creating industry partnerships, hosting workshops with executives, providing funding incentives for research with practitioners and non-tenure-track faculty, and publishing special issues in journals that focus on bundled topics.

Alain Verbeke, editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Studies and professor at University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, put it bluntly: “If you really want change, you can’t do it with the existing structure and processes.”

5. Teach the future

Students cannot be neglected in the conversation about impact. “One way we take our research articles and ideas and make them relevant to practice is by teaching them in our classes,” said Jay Barney, editor-in-chief of the Academy of Management Review and professor at the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Constance Helfat, co-editor of the Strategic Management Journal and professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, agreed. “Every single thing I teach is based in academic research. And it works.”

The Fox School is already addressing the way forward. M. Moshe Porat, dean of the Fox School, affirmed his commitment to research and doctoral education throughout the day.

With support from the dean, the Translational Research Center has big plans for the future of research at the Fox School. The center plans to develop a white paper of the findings from the event and is hosting a case-writing consortium for faculty interested in writing and submitting a teaching case through the summer.

“The shift toward impact is a significant one, but it will take time,” said Dhanaraj,. “We will need everyone to make this big move.”

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A conversation with Alain Verbeke about how the international business research community should adapt to today’s global context. 

*The opinions expressed are the personal opinions of the interviewee and not of the Fox School of Business.

In late 2017, the Fox School of Business hosted the Academy of International Business U.S. Northeast Conference. For the second consecutive year, scholars from around the world—this year, there were representatives from 32 countries—met at Alter Hall to examine and discuss the most pressing issues facing the international business community.

The keynote speaker was Alain Verbeke, a professor at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), who talked about corporate globalization and what it means for international business researchers. We connected with Verbeke after the conference to discuss these issues further.

What’s the biggest challenge JIBS, and international business researchers as a whole, now face?

I see JIBS as the last intellectual barrier against the hordes trying to destroy the vestiges of globalization. One problem is that most of the defenders of globalization have a self-interest in globalization. For example, the CEOs of large multinational enterprises want maximum freedom for their firms. Academics who do speak out in favor, are mostly economists, political scientists, and geographers who do not talk to managers of firms. That is what JIBS does—talk to firms. You can’t say anything reasonable about globalization if you don’t know what’s happening at the firm level. And our role is becoming more important in this new global context where the anti-globalization forces are clearly gaining momentum and power.

I don’t like to use the phrase “fake news,” but when we’re talking about the cost and benefits of globalization, there’s an enormous amount of fake news that literally crowds out what is factually correct in terms of the great benefits that typically accrue to countries involved in international exchange. This is a big problem JIBS addresses.

How do you cut through the noise with more reasonable arguments?

Unfortunately, people see problems in their community and they blame others for them. I call this “the new geography of discontent.” Basically, people blame some individual or group or set of people—preferably those who don’t look like them—for all the problems happening in their community. Easily, one third of people in any community—whether rightly or wrongly, or based on fake news or real news—is aligning with populist movements. There’s a renewed, built-in reflex that says, “Nation first.” One positive element that may come from this is more awareness in policy circles about the adjustment costs that will need to be addressed after freer trade deals, freer investment deals, and freer movement of human capital.

What can policy makers do to adjust for the actual detrimental aspects of globalization?

What has been neglected in the past are the forgotten men and women of trade deals. Globalization has led to outcomes that benefit consumers, but also trigger concentrated job losses and vicious cycles of de-clustering. One positive outcome of populist movements may be that the mainstream parties with common sense will think more carefully about how to deal with those dynamic adjustment costs, and how to anticipate them and how to avoid creating unfortunate reservoirs of forgotten people. Workers need to be retrained, re-tooled, and reintegrated into the economy. That doesn’t mean a former steelworker will tomorrow be operating robots, but other things can be done for those individuals and groups. Policy makers must think about what resources are needed to help with each transition.

What’s the role of academic business researchers in all this?

The anti-globalists often turn to that maligned presence of global firms and the supposedly malevolent processes of corporate globalization. The way I see it is that these critics are attacking imaginary enemies—they’re the equivalent of Don Quixote, who said to Sancho Panza, “Look at these monstrous giants, we’re going to defeat them.” But they were looking at windmills. We must teach the Don Quixotes and the Donald Trumps of the world—it is quite interesting how similar their names are, isn’t it? —that it’s not wise, when you have limited time and resources, to attack windmills. This is the responsibility of the international business research community.

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The automobile industry in Detroit is thriving.

This seems counterintuitive considering all we know about the damaging impact the last four decades of auto industry decline had on the city. But a meaningful transformation happened and automobile firms have found new ways to flourish.

Fox School of Business professor Ram Mudambi has been researching the Detroit auto industry’s transition from a manufacturing center into an innovation hub for many years. His work was recently featured in a New York Times article, “What Happens When the Richest U.S. Cities Turn to the World?,” about how a city’s prosperousness can be determined by how globally connected it is with other cities.

This is true for Detroit’s auto industry, which has become a thriving innovation center due to its robust relationships with other global knowledge hotspots, such as Germany and Japan. However, while innovation and connectedness are thriving, Detroit, which in 2013 became the largest municipality to file for bankruptcy, as a city is not.

“Manufacturing in Detroit is still shrinking along with blue collar jobs,” explains Mudambi. “There’s a quality-quantity disconnect, as there are increasing white collar jobs, but by definition there are fewer of those. When a factory closes, we lose 5,000 blue collar jobs, and then when you open a R&D center, you only create 100 knowledge jobs. That’s been happening in Detroit for decades. In short, this is not a recipe for a healthy metropolitan area. The innovation ecosystem is very healthy, but it has not helped the city very much.”

But there is a possible solution. Mudambi says it’s all about nurturing entrepreneurship and small businesses. He cites Silicon Valley, where thousands of companies start every year, as a healthier alternative. And Seattle, he claims, is Detroit’s most edifying counterpoint.

“America’s future is in the garage,” says Mudambi. “While the auto industry in Detroit has done great innovation-wise, they haven’t done great with the city. But if you look at Seattle, Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing have done great with innovation and with the city. Why? Because they’ve been engines for startups; they’ve put money into starting small companies. GM and Ford haven’t done this—they just look for suppliers, and haven’t thought about creating new businesses. In the last 20 years, those three Seattle companies have been involved with 66,000 startups. That’s where the jobs are. The solution is no longer in these large companies.”

The Seattle example, Mudambi suggests, specifically the unique way companies there have managed to become vanguards of global innovation while simultaneously elevating the conditions of the city itself, is one other U.S. firms and policymakers should take seriously.

“The U.S. is getting a winner-loser economy where you have winner locations and growing cities, like Silicon Valley and Seattle and Austin, and hinterland areas, like Appalachia and Flynt, Michigan,” says Mudambi. “They’re falling further behind and they’re not happy about it. We can’t ignore these places, so we need to find smart ways to address these challenges. The knee-jerk reactions we’re seeing now from some people, saying America needs to cut itself off from the world, are losing solutions. The answers must be in the direction of building skills, knowledge, and more connectivity, and making more informed policy decisions. If we can fix these struggling cities, then we will be on our way to fixing the economy as a whole.”

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What was it like to be a woman earning a doctorate degree forty years ago? Dr. Gloria Thomas, PhD ’80, has firsthand experience.

Today, Dr. Thomas is an accomplished researcher, a dedicated professor, and an esteemed administrator at Baruch College.

But in 1980, she was a trendsetter for women at the Fox School of Business.

As the first woman to obtain a doctorate from the Fox School, Thomas received her PhD in marketing, a field that is now predominantly women, but was all men during her tenure at Temple. “Women were very uncommon in business PhDs, even marketing, when I was in school,” she recalled. “And I rarely saw women at conferences.”

Dr. Thomas is currently a professor of marketing and the Director of the Zicklin Undergraduate Honors Program at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, City University of New York. Thomas praises her experience at Temple University for the appreciation she has developed towards public institutions.

“Temple has taught me to believe in public education,” Thomas professed. “I went to Baruch right from Temple and we have really smart students from all over the world with parents who don’t speak English or have any money.” After years of private schools, Thomas’ experience at the Fox School helped her appreciate the value of diversity in education. “Cultural exposure makes public institutions more valuable and it gives students opportunities they normally wouldn’t have,” she said.

With undergraduate degrees in math and art history, Thomas pursued a doctorate in marketing. Following graduation, she went straight to Baruch, where her roles included professor, associate dean, and director of the doctoral program. She currently serves as director of the business honors program.

“My current role is my most favorite,” Thomas said. “Many students at large public schools don’t get the attention they would at a private school, but I make sure to give that attention in my honors program.”

Thomas credits her mother, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s law school in the 1940s, for her then unconventional educational choices. “I grew up thinking everyone was equal. I never thought that [by going to business school] I was going into a man’s profession,” Thomas said.

That ‘man’s profession’ has changed. Today, 50-percent of PhD students are women at the Fox School, compared to 45-percent for all business-focused doctoral programs in the United States, according to the Council of Graduates Schools’ 2017 report.

Thomas did not let any obstacles get in her way of her goals. “It never occurred to me that women couldn’t do whatever they wanted to,” she recounted. “In reality, many women [at that time] didn’t even know they had options.”

“It never occurred to me that I didn’t.”

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Alter Hall, Home of the Fox School of BusinessLook around. They are in newspapers and social media feeds. They are online and on scrolling news tickers, too.

Almost daily, you’ll see splashy headlines announcing the latest scientific-research findings—from groundbreaking disease cures, to solutions for cell-phone addiction and possible causes of global warming.

Rarely, if ever, are real-world applications of business-school research given such a high-profile platform. Temple University’s Fox School of Business is hoping to alter that reality with the launch of a center designed to bring impact to the forefront of business-school research. Next week, the Fox School will host a workshop on March 12 to bring together industry leaders and top journal editors to start the conversation on driving real impact with scholarly research.

The Fox School’s Translational Research Center is the first of its kind nationally to attempt the alignment of business-school research produced by Fox’s award-winning faculty with critical problems of the industry and to communicate it quickly and effectively to practitioners and executives.

Why hasn’t such an endeavor been launched? There are multiple reasons, says Dr. Charles Dhanaraj, the Fox School’s H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest Professor of Strategy. Conventionally, business-school research is produced by faculty looking to earn tenure status, or as a mechanism to support the school’s reputation. Faculty often gauge the success of their research based upon the journal within which it’s published and the volume of citations it receives.

“Business schools need to go beyond academic citations; they need to create real impact on business and on policy,” said Dhanaraj, the center’s founding director. “That being said, the Fox School has more than 210 full-time faculty in a variety of research disciplines, which means we are uniquely positioned to accomplish those traditional research goals, too.”

“Everyone in academia discusses impact,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, the Fox School’s Dean. “How you define impact and how you measure impact takes time. We are moving in that direction. Our school has the agile, entrepreneurial faculty to take the lead in shaping the future of business school research—and not just ours, but for everyone.”

The Fox School’s Translational Research Center will focus on four dimensions of impact: academia, students, business, and society. The center enables faculty to broaden their scholarship portfolio and support them in stretching their reach.

Typically, translational research is linked to fields of medicine and science. This approach bridges multiple disciplines, as practitioners and academics work together to uncover new and innovative medicines and treatments.

Fox’s Translational Research Center will operate under a similar construct, Dhanaraj said.

“Think of it as push and pull,” Dhanaraj said. “We want to tap into the needs of industry to pull in their problems to drive our faculty research, and we want to push actionable insights in the most effective way back to the business community, as quickly as possible. Our mission is to change the way everyone thinks about business school research. We don’t want to simply overcome the perception of lack of relevance, but really demonstrate that research creates substantive value. By increasing the engagement of faculty with business executives, the Translational Research Center will ensure that our researchers are asking the right questions, and that they are producing their research in a way that it can be consumed by academic peers and leading practitioners.”

Eventually, the Fox School will house the Translational Research Center in 1810 Liacouras Walk. That space is currently under renovation. The Fox School’s expansion across Liacouras Walk is happening in conjunction with the school’s centennial. For now, the center operates out of Dhanaraj’s office.

“Between the center, our school’s expansion, and our 100-year anniversary, it is an exciting time to be at the Fox School,” he said.

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You probably already know Pennsylvania is the mushroom growing capital of the world, that it’s flush with cows and laying hens, and that each year it ships jaw-dropping quantities of potato chips and pretzels.

But did you know the state is the top producer nationwide for export-grade hardwoods? How about that it boasts the top horse breeding farms in the country? Or that it ranks second in the nation for organic farm sales?

A comprehensive new report by Fox Management Consulting (involving 50 students, and 5 advisors) and Econsult Solutions, commissioned by Team Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, examines threats and opportunities facing agriculture in Pennsylvania. With $136 billion in yearly output and over 9-percent of all PA jobs, the future of the sector is intimately tied to the future of the commonwealth.

Changing Consumer Preferences

Customers, like agriculture, are changing. Bill Black, who oversaw the Fox Management Consulting class which accompanied the project, remarked, “I don’t think anyone realized the level of consumer interest in organics and local. It’s just one of the things that crept up on the marketplace.”

Between 2012 and 2016, production of organics in Pennsylvania more than doubled, topping $659 million in 2016. Yet many farmers are still reluctant to adopt organics, unsure if the trend will stick.

Meanwhile, some consumers are moving away from dairy altogether. In the last few years, milk dumping became a major concern for farmers across the nation as consumers moved towards alternative products, like soy and almond milk.

Bill Kitsch works closely with farmers in his role as vice president and agricultural lending manager with PA-based Ephrata National Bank. He worked as an advisor on the project and says the agricultural sector faces unique constraints in adjusting to changing demand.

“Farmers have to make decisions about how many hens to buy or how many cows to bring to milk 18 to 24 months in advance.” Kitsch explains this long time horizon makes it difficult for farmers to be agile as consumer preferences are in flux.

The report also pointed out that Pennsylvania lacks sufficient milk and protein processing facilities. This leaves farmers trucking milk long distances, decreasing its shelf life, increasing costs for farmers, and reducing the economic benefits to the state.

To better support farmers, Fox MC and Econsult recommended increasing processing capacity within the state, education opportunities, and financial support for farmers as they adjust their operations to line up with demand.

Opportunities for Marketing Collaboration

Even as farmers wrestle with organics, Pennsylvania is already well-positioned to respond to another consumer trend. With 88.3-percent of state farms owned by families or individuals and more than half selling less than $10,000 each year, the state is primed to meet consumer demand for traceable and local food.

The PA preferred brand, approved in 2004 and enacted in 2011, already markets the state’s agricultural wealth. The report argues that PA Preferred should shift its brand identity to become even more synonymous with local goods and traceable food.

PA Preferred Brews, launched in 2017, is a subsection of PA Preferred aimed at supporting Pennsylvania’s $5.8 billion brewing industry. To qualify, breweries must brew in, and use agricultural commodities from, Pennsylvania. In addition to providing branding, the program promotes branded taps, handles, and coasters at venues across the state and has partnered with the Penn State Extension to further support local hops growers.

Programs like PA Preferred create increased value for food manufacturers, producers, and consumers. Through continuing to innovate under this brand, PA can bring new growth and synergies to other sectors with agriculture.

Building the Next Generation of Farmers

While marketing, education, and incentives are helpful in supporting farmers, the state faces another challenge. With 75,000 new and replacement jobs opening in the sector in the next decade, accounting for approximately 2-percent of all state jobs, developing a new agricultural workforce is a major concern.

“There aren’t enough young farmers because they see how hard their parents and grandparents are working and they see how little they’re making,” explains Black. “If the Department of Agriculture can help farmers be more profitable, then the industry would be more attractive to younger farmers.”

Increasing automation is driving a need for STEM skills within agriculture. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has encouraged several programs to support education, including the Jobs that Pay Apprenticeship Program for STEM Jobs in Agriculture, introduced by the Wolfe Administration in 2017.

The report also encourages loan forgiveness programs for high-shortage careers like large animal veterinarians, increases in agricultural education in existing STEM programs, and exploration of an ex-offender to work program to alleviate workforce shortages.

From climate change to new technologies, consumer preferences to workforce shortages, this analysis from Fox MC and Econsult Solutions highlights that many things about the future of Pennsylvania agriculture are uncertain. Yet when it comes to the strategic importance of the sector for Pennsylvania, and the significant impact that state policies and incentives will have on its future, the report leaves little room for doubt.

Fox Management Consulting completes multiple high-value projects each year for corporations, SME’s, start-ups, and non-profits. Put our dedicated MBA teams and experienced industry advisors to work on your next strategic challenge.
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There has been a backlash against globalization and multinational corporations lately, but as new markets emerge, people, knowledge, capital, raw materials, finished products, services, and culture will increasingly flow across national boundaries. This flow is the essence of international business, and its success hinges on understanding the new configurations that will emerge. It is essential that we prepare for the new world order.

Why is it important to study the flow of international business? First, comprehending the nuts and bolts of how business is conducted across borders expands knowledge and skill sets. Second, knowing other languages and having overseas experience shows employers that students have an open global mindset. It differentiates them from others competing for a job. The Fox School of Business specializes in teaching the international business flow and in giving students that employment edge. For this reason and more, the Fox International Business (IB) program attracts top students from the Philadelphia region and beyond.

Students also choose the Fox School as a result of its world-leading faculty, beginning with Arvind Phatak, who studied globalization and multinationals in the 1960’s long before these words became popular. Today, Professors Mike Kotabe, Ram Mudambi, and Charles Dhanaraj are driving the Fox School’s IB program to the top. The popular press regularly cites the research output of these three scholars, and the Academy of International Business has elected them Fellows of the Academy—the highest honor that the academy can bestow.

The Fox School’s IB program is committed to providing outstanding internship and career placement help for graduates. The Fox Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) has close contacts with many international companies and international organizations in the city, region, and beyond. IB student recruiters include GSK, Bank of America, Vanguard, Lockheed Martin, BDP International, BNP Paribas, Alibaba Group, LinkedIn Corporation, Amazon, and various U.S. and foreign government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Salaries reported by IB students cover a wide range based on specific elements (e.g., industry, cost of living, etc.) and have sometimes exceeded $100,000. On average and according to the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia’s export plan, IB jobs and export-related jobs pay 20% more.

A Brief History of IB Education at Fox

Professor Hart Walters offered the first course in International Business at the undergraduate level in 1971, and in 1984 IB became an undergraduate major. The Fox School continues to be a pioneer in developing a state-of-the-art curriculum. For example, it is a founding member of the Consortium for Undergraduate Business Education (CUIBE), a group of nationally recognized IB programs that aims to improve the way IB is taught to undergraduates.

Opportunities to Study IB at Fox

Some scholars see globalization as a continuum: companies start local, and then expand nationally, go on to become continental or regional, and then finally global; all strategy therefore has to be global in scope. Because of this, students are advised to specialize in one functional area and add IB as a second major. Fox students can also minor in IB or get specialized area certificates.

Undergraduates usually take six courses comprised of a core and a menu of electives towards the IB major. Through these courses, students learn both the analytical aspects of IB, such as accounting, economics, finance, insurance and risk, and the behavioral side of IB, such as human resources, legal, marketing, supply chains, offshoring, and strategic management. IB students are also encouraged to join the IB Student Professional Organization (SPO), the fastest growing on campus. The IB SPO hosts practitioners who share their experiences with the students. IB students also work with Temple’s Small Business Administration and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, advising local clients who would like to take their products or services abroad. IB students get hands on experience by helping these clients enter emerging markets or help foreign clients enter the U.S. market.

At the master’s level, the IB the concentration has remained a popular choice among students. The Fox School offers an Executive MBA in many major countries in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Global Immersions

Temple University and the Fox School have campuses in Rome and Japan. The university has also had a presence in China through the Fox School and Temple’s Beasley School of Law. Additionally, the Fox School has agreements with many foreign schools where students can spend a semester or year. Undergraduate and graduate students have studied at many of these locations and immersed themselves in the cultures of these places.

Through the Fox PhD program, multiple students have earned a doctorate with an international business concentration. The Fox School’s IB doctoral students have won dissertation awards at the Academy of International Business Annual Meetings. Today these alums are major knowledge creators and occupy prestigious positions in major universities.


The IB Program has also been the beneficiary of a Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) grant from the U.S. Department of Education for more than 15 years. This grant provides funding of more than $1 million every four years to selected research institutions that are on the cutting edge of finding ways to improve U.S. competitiveness and trade. Specifically, the grant requires grantee institutions to become regional and national centers for the research and teaching of critical languages, politics, economic geography, culture, laws, and trade practices vital to enhance U.S. trade. Only 17 universities currently hold this grant.

Contact Us: The Fox IB Program is strong in terms of teaching expertise, research impact, rankings, job placements, and in total provides great value for money. To learn more about the program, contact Dr. Bertrand Guillotin via email at Bertrand.Guillotin@temple.edu.

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Lisa Peskin, MBA ’86, never thought she’d work in sales.

“I had the same negative connotations most people do of the pushy, obnoxious car salesman,” says Peskin, whose focus in the Fox School of Business MBA program was marketing. “But my opinion of sales certainly changed; now I’ve been doing it for 31 years.”

Peskin started her own sales training and management company in 2003. In 2010, it evolved into Business Development University.

“BDU works with salespeople, and if they’re underperforming, we help them get their numbers,” explains Peskin. “If they’re average, we figure out how to get them good. If they’re good, we get them great. And if they’re great, we figure out how to turn them into superstars. We maximize the performance potential of the people we work with; we help each person and each team drive the numbers.”

Peskin, in addition to being the CEO of BDU, is presently writing a book. The topic? Sales!

“The focus of the book,” she says, “is what I wish people told me back in 1986 when I started in sales. I had to make so many mistakes, and I wish someone had taught me the fundamentals so I didn’t have to figure it out on my own.”

With her upcoming book in mind, we asked Peskin, who in the past has worked with Temple University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute to create workshops for students on similar topics, to share some of her sales secrets.

1. Have a well-defined game plan

“Most salespeople wing it every day; there’s no rhyme or reason to what they’re doing. How many coaches come into a game without a game plan? Doug Pederson, the Eagles’ coach, clearly had a well-defined game plan in their game against the Vikings. Salespeople need that, too. They need activity goals and result goals.”

2. Build strong networks

“In 1986, when I started in sales, it was dialing for dollars. There was no such thing as the Internet, or email, and it was all about knocking on doors and picking up the phone. The best way to fill your pipeline with good prospects is building a strong network of centers of influence who will be able to refer business on a consistent basis. The close ratios will be much higher if they come through networking.”

Lisa Peskin (far right) appeared on the cover of a Fox School magazine when she was an MBA student in the 1980s.

3. Leverage your existing customer base

“I have a concept called ‘squeeze the lemon.’ It’s not making lemonade out of lemons, it’s making the most out of every opportunity, every meeting, every day. Everything we do should be purposeful. A lot of times salespeople aren’t purposeful when it comes to their existing client base. The best way to get referrals is from happy customers.”

4. Uncover key information

“You must uncover the prospects needs and what they need to know. They need to know qualifying information, decision-making process and criteria, timelines, budget, and so on. Most salespeople are good at uncovering what the prospect needs, but not what they need to know to make the sale. They need to take a consultative approach.”

5. Prepare a customized presentation

“Most salespeople do what I call ‘showing up and throwing up.’ They go into presentation mode before they find out what the prospect cares about. When you walk into a physician’s office, they hand you a clipboard. Then you go into another office and they ask you the same questions and they take your vitals. Then the doctor does a full examination and they send you to get more tests and then they offer a diagnosis. Salespeople need to act more like doctors and not offer a diagnosis before they’ve done proper discovery.”

6. Handle objections effectively

“Most salespeople don’t try to handle objections, and the ability to properly and effectively handle them at the beginning and end of the sales process is critical. Objections aren’t a bad thing; salespeople have to stop thinking about it like that. Instead, they need to examine specifically why the prospect is objecting. There are six different objection handling techniques that we use to train people.”

7. Formulate a solid closing strategy

“Closing begins at the very beginning of the sales process. If you don’t set it up properly, you’re going to sound like a pushy, obnoxious car salesman trying to close at the end. There are about nine closing techniques. My favorite is the assumptive close, where if you’ve done everything right, you should be able to assume the sale.”

8. Maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated

“This is the most important thing. Are you willing to do what it takes to be successful and are you committed to it? The fact is you’re going to get way more ‘Nos’ than ‘Yesses,’ so you need a strong attitude, work ethic, and to stay motivated. In sales, you never get to take a breather because you’re only as good as your last month, last week, and last quarter. Attitude and motivation trump everything.”

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Bogotá, Colombia

According to the research findings of a professor from the Fox School, business ownership doesn’t always equate to entrepreneurship.

Dr. Kevin J. Fandl, assistant professor in the Department of Legal Studies in Business, and his coauthor, Juana Paola Bustamante of the International Finance Corporation, analyzed a law passed in 2010 in Colombia to assess the impact of business streamlining laws on small, gray market firms. The law aimed to convince owners of gray market or legally non-compliant firms to become part of the formal marketplace, which entails steps such as acquiring licenses, registering with the local chamber of commerce, complying with labor laws, and paying taxes.

They found that a majority of business owners in Colombia had no interest in becoming entrepreneurs and scaling their firms. Instead, they preferred to operate within informal markets as a means of generating enough capital to support their cost of living, and not much more. In fact, in most cases, these firms utilized informality as a market advantage, securing economic advantages by avoiding the very things that make firms formal, like taxes and labor costs. Fandl’s research paper, “Incentivizing Gray Market Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets,” was published in Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, the world’s top-ranked international trade law journal, according to Washington & Lee.

Colombia’s 2010 formalization law, Fandl explained, was an attempt by the country to streamline the process through which businesses registered with the government. The law offered these “shadow” businesses a transition period during which they would pay no taxes, registration fees, or contributions to the government for the social security and health of their employees. The costs eventually would be phased in, according to the law, allowing businesses to be more successful in the immediate term and contribute to employee benefits at a later date. But this approach was based on an economic theory that high costs are the principal barrier to business formalization, a theory that Fandl appears to debunk in some cases.

Kevin J. Fandl

Fandl’s study explored the level of informality exhibited within Colombian firms and found practically no significant change before or after the law was enacted. While some larger firms used the law as an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of formal operations at virtually no additional cost, most small firms targeted by the law chose to stay informal.

“The World Bank and a number of other institutions have studied this, and economists have generally concluded that firms operate informally as gray market firms, because it is too difficult or too expensive to formalize their operations,” says Fandl, who added that roughly 50 percent of firms in Latin America qualify as gray market firms. “It’s a huge problem, because, in essence, these firms are engaging in anti-competitive behavior that undercuts the formal market and allows them to lower their overhead costs, giving them an unfair advantage.”

Prior studies in this area relied heavily on anecdotal evidence, according to Fandl, and found that bureaucracy and escalating costs were cited as reasons for holding back owners of gray market firms, providing them with no incentives for registering their businesses. Fandl’s research, however, revealed the opposite.

“We found that while a few use the informal economy as a means to build businesses in a cost-effective manner, the majority of small firms operate informally only to accrue basic income. These inefficient firms are what we call ‘survivalist firms,'” he says. “They operate their firms to maintain a basic standard of living, and without the desire to become a successful entrepreneur.”

Since passing its 2010 law, Colombia and its Ministry of Commerce have developed pilot programs to educate the owners of these firms to become more entrepreneurial, teaching basic business skills such as accounting and management, helping them differentiate between strong and weak markets, offering mentorship, and providing collaborative opportunities with other survivalist firms. These efforts, Fandl says, are intended to find and spark the entrepreneurial spirit the Colombian government believes lies within some of these firm owners.

Fandl’s study concludes that there’s no single solution to Colombia’s efforts to legitimize its informal marketplace. The nation struggles to combat a high unemployment rate, which prompts its people to seek work and find a living any way possible, even if that means doing so by operating a gray market firm.

“’Forced entrepreneurship’ is the term we use in our paper, and until the unemployment crisis is addressed, this issue will not have a solution,” says Fandl, who adds that follow-up studies in this area are ongoing.

This story originally appeared in On the Verge, the Fox School’s research magazine.

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Students who earn degrees in information systems (IS) earn higher starting salaries than fellow business-school counterparts. And they benefit from one of the fastest national placement averages.

These statistics are just some of the findings from the latest edition of the Information Systems Job Index, produced by researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, in partnership with the Association for Information Systems (AIS).

Published and released in January 2018, the third installment of the IS Job Index culled the responses of 2,140 IS graduates of the Class of 2017, from 58 universities nationwide.

Some of the index’s more-interesting findings include:

  • Salaries for IS undergraduates ($62,820) are the highest among students who pursue typical business majors ($52,047).
  • The percentage of women in IS jobs (39%) is more than double that of women in other STEM fields like computer science (18%).
  • Internships double the likelihood of an IS student getting a job offer (39% for those who hold at least one internship vs. 16% for those who do not).

“There are more than 3 million IS jobs in the U.S. alone,” said index co-author Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor of management information systems (MIS) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “This data is critical for parents of college-age children, current and prospective students seeking an accurate job outlook, employers, and policymakers—and it cannot be found anywhere else.”

Mandviwalla conducted research for the latest installment of the IS Job Index and co-authored it with Dr. Crystal Harold, associate professor of human resource management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and Maria Boggi, a junior MIS major in the Fox School and Temple University Honor’s programs.

The AIS-Temple Fox School Job Index is the only systematic assessment of the IS job market. It is a joint project, with support from AmerisourceBergen and LiquidHub, to produce reliable national-level data on placement, job type, satisfaction, and related factors like career services, knowledge level, preparedness, and search strategies.

More: To read the Information Systems Job Index, visit isjobindex.com.

Interview 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

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J.W. Pepper & Son chief strategy officer Scott Grady, MBA ’17.

“I started at the bottom, literally at the lowest position in the company,” says Scott Grady about the job he landed in 1996, the year after he graduated from high school. It was with J.W. Pepper & Son, the 142-year-old Pennsylvania company that’s now the world’s largest sheet music retailer.

“I walked around the warehouse pulling customer orders all day,” Grady continues. “The way the orders were organized—and we’re talking about a thousand orders a day—was illogical to me. So I devised a system to help the order flow be smoother. That was noticed by upper management and it sent me on my way.”

That was 22 years ago. Grady still works at J.W. Pepper & Son, but now he’s in a C-suite position. In 2017, the same year Grady earned his MBA from the Fox School, he was promoted to chief strategy officer (CSO).

Upward bound

Grady began climbing the ladder at J.W. Pepper & Son soon after devising that new order system back in his warehouse days. In 2001, he was relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and tasked with opening a new sales and marketing office. In his nine years out west, he earned a business degree and rose from being operations manager to vice president and regional marketing manager.

He returned to the Philadelphia area in 2010, this time as J.W. Pepper & Son’s vice president of brand strategy.

“It was a defining moment for me,” recalls Grady. “I had worked in many different roles, from operations and management to marketing, but this was a senior leadership role working closely with the core brand and new brands. I had to learn how to be entrepreneurial inside of a company that was 140-years-old—that’s when I decided I needed to get an MBA.”

The Fox Online MBA experience

Grady entered the Fox School’s Online MBA program in 2015. As a working professional with a hectic schedule and senior level responsibilities, he was drawn to the flexibility of the online format. He was also skeptical, namely about the lack of direct interaction with fellow students. But the program’s in-person residency, held at the Fox School’s Alter Hall at the beginning of the first semester, was a major perk.

Online MBA students meet during a residency held at Alter Hall, home of the Fox School of Business.

“I was afraid that, since it was an online program, I’d be too far removed from people,” he says. “But the residency brought us together and it was a defining experience. I learned so much and I’m still friends with many of the other students. It was great to work and network with professionals who were already in the field doing great things.”

“Every day,” he says about his two years in the program, “there was so much practical work application for what I was learning. Balancing the work load wasn’t the biggest challenge, it was figuring out how to apply everything. What I learned from the entrepreneurship class, about business models, is something I apply in almost every business meeting now.”

The C-suite demands confidence

Grady, in his current role as CSO, is responsible for managing a portfolio of projects and initiatives, a team of developers and business analysts, and new mergers and acquisitions. One of Grady’s main focuses with J.W. Pepper & Son, whose biggest client in the sheet music game is public school music programs, is bringing new technology initiatives to music classrooms. He recently helped launch Cut Time, a group management tool for music educators. And last year, he oversaw his first acquisition.

Grady regularly applies what he learned from his MBA at J.W. Pepper & Son. He says the most important skill he acquired was how to be a confident decision maker.

“At this level,” says Grady, “you have to be a confident decision maker. You have to earn people’s trust and you have to be decisive. You have to look at all the angles and to make sense of all the incoming information, and then make decisions that will effect the entire business. Being able to make these big decisions is the number one thing the MBA gave me.”

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