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.

Attendees at the 19th annual League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference (Photo: Chris Kendig)

On a bluebird Tuesday morning in Alter Hall, the Fox School of Business hosted the 19th annual League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference. With nearly 300 people in attendance, this year’s conference was the largest to date, evidence of strong interest in investing in female innovation. According to stats from the Women’s Business Owner’s Association, there are 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S.—yet only 17% of startups are headed by women.

“From recognizing women who have excelled in the fields of law, business, theater, and sports, along with advice about how to ‘Ask for What You Want’ from entrepreneurs, to the three current students pitching their ideas, the conference represented a true cross-section of entrepreneurship,” said Ellen Weber, executive director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI).

Yasmine Mustafa, BBA ’06, delivering the keynote presentation. (Photo: Chris Kendig)

As the keynote speaker, Yasmine Mustafa (Fox ’06) shared her story of perseverance and inspiration as an undocumented immigrant who is now a proud American citizen and co-founder and CEO of ROAR for Good. As a wearables startup, ROAR for Good helping thousands of women to feel safer around the world. Mustafa relayed a few small business learnings she’s come to embrace over the past few years:

  1. Others are happy to help
  2. Get as many no’s as possible
  3. Give, give, and give some more

Four Temple alumni were inducted into the League’s Hall of Fame during the event, including Arbill CEO Julie Copeland, Blackstar Film Festival founder Maori Karmel Holmes, Axelrod Firm president Sheryl Axelrod, and retired professor and diversity trailblazer Tina Sloan Green. Generosity in words and actions abounded as Copeland doled out “Weapons for Success” to young entrepreneurs in the audience:

  1. A sense of belief in yourself
  2. Gratitude, even in the worst times
  3. Show up every day with love

In candid conversation, Temple Executive Vice President and Provost Joanne A. Epps made a pitch to start-ups to move the needle in innovation.

A conversation with Temple Executive Vice President and Provost Joanne A. Epps (Photo: Chris Kendig)

“I do think it’s important to change the numbers, change perspectives and attitudes,” she said. “It matters profoundly that we don’t have enough female leaders.”

Making pitches of their own, three young entrepreneurs had the opportunity to let the room in on what they were up to. Two Temple students—Stephanie Taylor of TailorFit Laundry and Emily Kight of Ovarian Lab & Biomaterix, gave three-minute pitches. Adding one final voice, eighth-grade student Anna Welsh, founder and CEO of Little Bags, Big Impact, shared her textile recycling business model with a bit of social enterprise mixed in for good measure.

“I design, hand cut, and sew small bags from locally sourced materials,” she said. “I have an accountant, a lawyer, have received an official U.S. trademark, have sold over 1,000 bags and employ two people two part-time. Expansion plans include moving my business out of my parent’s house.”

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

Temple University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), housed within the Fox School of Business, has secured an additional four years of federal funding. This represents the fifth such grant for CIBER, a fixture at Temple since its inception in 2002.

Temple is one of only 15 such centers in the country to receive this prestigious U.S. Department of Education grant. Out of the field of other highly regarded internationally-focused business schools, Temple was the only university in the northeast region to receive funding.

“With five CIBER grants so far, this cements the position of the Fox School and Temple University at the apex of International Business programs in the world,” says Dr. Ram Mudambi, principal researcher of Temple CIBER. “Our program continues to excel in all realms of International Business, from innovative programs to cutting-edge research focusing on both the world and our Philadelphia backyard, working with a global network of researchers as well as with U.S. government and our local Mayor’s office.”

Executive Director and Principal Investigator Dr. Kevin Fandl worked to ensure that the grant benefits recipients across the university and throughout the region. “We coordinated with several schools outside of Fox to identify opportunities to create synergies around international business and language access. Thanks to this grant, both students and faculty will have broader access to the many international programs available at Temple, including global immersions, faculty development in international business seminars, online language training, and a new podcast series meant to generate new interest in international business issues.”

The grant allows for continued external partnerships between Temple CIBER and the Philadelphia U.S. Export Assistance Center, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, among others, and with local community colleges.

“Our partnerships are integral in being able to afford our faculty and students the opportunity to learn from a valuable international community and to share our knowledge with them, both at home and abroad,” says Ronald Anderson, interim dean of the Fox School of Business and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

About the Program

The Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBERs) were created by Congress under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to increase and promote the nation’s capacity for international understanding and competitiveness. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CIBER network links the manpower and technological needs of the U.S. business community with the international education, language training, and research capacities of universities across the country. The 15 CIBERs serve as regional and national resources to business people, students, and teachers at all levels. This grant program adheres to the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 74-86 and 97-99.

About the Fox School of Business at Temple University

Established in 1918 and celebrating its centennial, the Fox School of Business at Temple University is the largest, most comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region and among the largest in the world, with more than 9,000 students, more than 220 full-time faculty and more than 60,000 alumni around the globe.

The Fox School has a proud tradition of delivering innovative, entrepreneurial programs for the past 100 years. With facilities that provide access to market-leading technologies, the school fosters a collaborative and creative learning environment. Coupled with its leading student services, the Fox School ensures that its graduates are fully prepared to enter the real-world job market.

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

Why 25% of Workers Leave Their Jobs

A bad commute is the reason that one in four employees change jobs. Ravi Kudesia, assistant professor of Human Resources Management, provides advice on how companies can ease the stress of commuting and retain workers on CBS3 Philly. Read more>>

2018’s Best Credit Cards

Overwhelmed with all of the credit card options out there? Michael McCloskey, associate professor of RIHM, gives WalletHub advice on what to look for in a credit card. Read more>>

KYW | September 28

In October, the Fox School of Business hosted a series of free adult legal education classes for the Philadelphia community, led by Sam Hodge, professor of legal studies. Read more>>

Inquirer | October 2

Paul Pavlou, associate professor of MIS, warns that business should be careful interpreting survey feedback, as the extremely pleased (or upset) customers are the ones most likely to respond. Read more>>

Technical.ly | October 17

The 19th Annual Conference for the League for Entrepreneurial Women brought together Fox students, faculty, staff, and friends to encourage women to “ask for what you want.” Read more>>

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

Busy People Make Healthier Choices

Thinking of yourself as a busy person can boost your self-control, according to research from Monica Wadhwa, associate professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, and her co-authors. Read more>>

Go Viral with the Right Audience

Yili Hong, PhD ’14, and Gordon Burtch, PhD ’13, study how companies can amplify customers’ influence over their peers by engineering content—and how targeting shared audiences is key. Read more>>

Crowdfunding Advice from an Expert

Why do GoFundMe campaigns like the one for Johnny Bobbitt go viral? Sunil Wattal, associate professor of MIS, weighs in on how distinctive campaigns stand out. Read more>> 

CBS3 Philly | September 21

Carvana, a car vending machine, is opening soon in Fishtown. Subodha Kumar says how this will affect purchase prices. Watch>>

Medium | September 18

What is it like to be a woman in business? Ellen Weber shares her insights into being a female leader, investor, and entrepreneur, and why Fox students stand out. Read more>>

IndyStar | September 16

Leora Eisenstadt discusses why racial slurs are having a moment of reckoning in today’s society, as people are being held to account for things that they did in the past, Read more>>

CBS3 Philly | September 6

Half of all American workers don’t take lunch breaks, according to Ravi S. Kudesia. He relays how mindfulness and work-breaks can help employees better manage their energy levels. Read more>>

BusinessBecause | September 4

Current MBA student Sandeep Gupta serves on the board of an India-focused NGO as part of the Fox Board Fellows program to learn more about corporate social responsibility. Read more>>

Asian Correspondant | September 12

Fox School’s partnership with Flinders University brings the best in global education methods and content to help students solve problems. Read more>>

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

When looking for a new job, applicants typically consider a large number of organizations,looking for the right fit. Companies do the same, tending to hire job applicants who have similar attributes to those of their incumbents, all other things being equal.

In-Sue Oh, Brian Holtz, and You Jin Kim, three professors in the Fox School of Business’s Department of Human Resources Management, along with two other co-authors, studied why individuals are more likely to be attracted to, selected by, and stay longer in organizations that fit their personality. Their research explored this phenomenon, called the theory of attraction-selection-attrition (ASA), and found that organizations are becoming increasingly homogenous over time.

Their new study examines how different personality traits contribute to ASA processes that promote within‐organization homogeneity and between-organization heterogeneity progression over time. Their article, “Do Birds of a Feather Flock, Fly, and Continue to Fly Together? The Differential and Cumulative Effects of Attraction, Selection, and Attrition on Personality-Based Within-Organization Homogeneity and Between-Organization Heterogeneity Progression over Time,” was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

The ASA theory works on multiple levels: first, individuals tend to estimate, consciously or not, the extent of similarity between their own personality and the characteristics of potential employers. Because of this, people are attracted to organizations that best fit their personality and submit employment applications accordingly.

Next, the hiring managers reviewing the applications tend to favor and select those who they believe best fit the organizational characteristics, as well as those who are similar to their own personalities.

When newcomers join the organization, for the next several months up to one year, they evaluate the true fit between the organization and their personality. “People whohave a similar personality to that of their managers are more likely to have a higher chance of promotion. Those who don’t fit their managers’ personality are more likely to be unhappy,” says Oh. Newcomers who feel that they do not fit may decide to leave, this contributing to the level of attrition at the company.

In this study, the researchers tracked the personality profile changes and career trajectories of the employees of three South Korean companies from the manufacturing sector, the banking industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. The researchers used the five‐factor model (FFM) of personality traits—extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, agreeableness and neuroticism—to determine the employee’s personality.

“Through the process of attraction, selection, and attrition, people at an organization become more homogeneous in terms of their personality,” says Oh. “We showed that through the reduction in the standard deviation in extraversion or other personality traits.”

The study was the first to examine this phenomenon of within‐organization homogeneity, or the similarity of employees’ personalities, over time. This study also examined between‐organization heterogeneity progression over time to see whether and how similar personalities within organizations contributes to inter-firm differences.

In viewing changes over time, the researchers found that selection is most responsible for the within‐organization homogenization, whereas attraction contributes most to between‐organization heterogeneity. In terms of personality traits, the progression of within-organization homogeneity over time was mostly driven by extraversion, but between-organization heterogeneity was influenced by neuroticism.

“Different organizations attract different people, select different people, and retain different people,” says Oh. “Because of that reduction in variance within organizations over time, organizations will become more different [from each other] over time, even within the same sector.”

Overall, this study provides an inside look at how personality functions as human capital resources within organizations and how personalities are unevenly distributed across organizations. This study extends Oh’s previous research on the impact of personality-based human capital resources on firm-level labor productivity and financial performance.

In today’s world, as more companies turn to artificial intelligence and technology to help screen for applicants, understanding the types of employees that are attracted to and will stay with a company are invaluable to human resource managers. By understanding how these processes work over time, the researchers also share insights in terms of human resource management practices.  

Learn more about research from the Fox School on the Idea Marketplace.

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

“The greatest thing you can give someone is an opportunity,” says Fox School sophomore Nasir Mack. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without someone giving me opportunities, and so now I want to help create opportunities for others.”

Helping create opportunities is what Mack and fellow members of the Fox School Philanthropic Society (FSPS) do. FSPS is involved in many events across campus, including Student Philanthropy Week in February. They also organize events for the Fox Student Emergency Fund, which assists students who experience unexpected financial hardships.

Milka Lopez, a Fox School junior and economics major who has been an FSPS member since freshman year, says the goal of the student group “is to spread information and awareness about philanthropy and the impact it can have on students’ lives. A big part of our organization’s objective this year is to branch out to not only give back to Fox students, but to various members of our community.”

For International Charity Day (Sept. 5), FSPS volunteered at Tree House Books—and they documented their experiences through a takeover of the Fox School Instagram. Founded in 2005 and located a few blocks away from Temple University Main Campus, Tree House provides the community with a free lending library and a variety of literacy programs.

“They’re right around the corner and an important part of the Temple community,” says Mack about why FSPS chose to work with Tree House. “It’s important to give back and help propel the philanthropic culture here at Temple. It can’t just be about ourselves—it has to be about the entire community. It was a great pleasure giving Tree House a helping hand and watching kids pick out books.”

“Giving back acknowledges the fact that so many of us have been given so much,” adds Lopez. “This is our way of paying it forward.”

Learn more about the Fox Student Philanthropic Society.

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.

The Fox School of Business Alumni Association (FSBAA) held an election for new leadership at its annual meeting in May.

Four new directors-at-large were elected and, along with the six other directors-at-large and the executive committee, they will help the FSBAA plan events, develop professional development opportunities, manage the budget, and much more.

We spoke with the new directors-at-large to learn more about their involvement in FSBAA and the one piece of advice that changed their lives.

 

Sasha Buddle

Sasha Buddle, BBA ’16

Job: Human resources system specialist, AmeriGas; Supply specialist, U.S. Army; Fox School MS candidate

Best thing about FSAA: “I love the alumni association. There is a wide variety of events—like seeing individuals who are also successful and have the same educational background as me—and it really shows that greatness does not quit. And I love the ability to network with and meet new people I did not have a class with.”

Best advice ever received: “To be myself—to be my true and best self. This advice has stuck with me for years and at times when I feel like I have nothing more to give, I remember I am not a quitter and if I ever quit I am not being myself. I may fail, which gives me a chance to learn and try again, but I never quit.”

Fun fact: “I was born and raised in Jamaica. And I love dancing, even though I was never taught professionally.”

 

Anuja Deshmukh

Anuja Deshmukh, BBA ’09

Job: Manager of business systems analysts and product development, Change Healthcare

Best thing about FSAA: “Meeting people: alumni from different graduating years, alumni working in different industries and jobs, families of alum. Temple Owls really are everywhere!”

Best advice ever received: “It has come to me in different forms of an Epictetus quote that goes, ‘It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.’”

Fun fact: “Most people are surprised to learn I was born in Louisiana even though I’ve been in the Philadelphia area since I was five-years-old.”

 

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson, CLA ’14, MBA ’17

Job: Director of finance and administration, Philadelphia Futures

Best thing about FSAA: “I love connecting with and learning from fellow alumni across Fox’s powerful network.”

Best advice ever received: “Take ownership in everything you do.”

Fun fact: “The first time I left the country was on an international immersion trip with the Fox School. We went to India and it was really inspiring. You have this massive country with such rich history and vibrant culture, thousands of years old, that is also a world leader in disruptive innovations in technology and engineering. There is also a tremendous energy, optimism, and ambition among entrepreneurs and business leaders that is infectious.”

 

Corey Lewis

Corey Lewis, BBA ’17

Job: Global brand digital assistant, Essity

Best thing about FSAA: “The ability to be involved. Fox has contributed immensely to my professional development and it’s an honor to give back and pay it forward.”

Best advice ever received: “It came from my business ethics professor: The hardest thing to do is usually the right thing to do.”

Fun fact: “When I was a kid, I worked on ‘The Sixth Sense’ with a few of the set designers, but not on set. The movie itself was filmed in various parts of Philadelphia, with Bruce Willis’ character living on Delancey Street in Society Hill. We were in Maryland picking up some vintage pieces from a local auction in Crumpton, Maryland. My role as a 15-year-old was to mostly help move these heavy pieces from Maryland to a storage location. It was a short assignment, but an experience I was able to take advantage of due to some very exceptional networking on my part.”

Learn more about the Fox School of Business Alumni Association.

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

Temple University American Marketing Association

Student Professional Organizations (SPOs) are an excellent way for students to build their networks (personal and professional) and to gain valuable skills that will prepare them for their future careers. And many students at Temple University earn exciting internships and their first post-graduation jobs through active involvement in one of the many Fox School of Business SPOs.

Alana Vicale, the president of the College Council (the four-person board that oversees all Fox SPOs), has landed two internships through her involvement with Gamma Iota Sigma. A senior majoring in risk management and minoring in finance, Vicale worked last summer in New York City for a brokerage firm; this summer she was in Cincinnati as a risk solutions intern with Great American Insurance Group.  

“If I wasn’t involved in SPOs, I wouldn’t have had these opportunities,” says Vicale. “One of the best things about all the Fox SPOs is they give you great access to people from the real work world. A lot of what you learn in the classroom is very technical and textbook based, and SPOs give you a chance to meet people from the industry. SPOs are a great way to meet new people and build your network.”

To help you make a decision on which of the Fox SPOs to join this semester, we asked Vicale to provide some info about five of them. Learn more about the others on the Fox School website.

1. American Marketing Association (AMA)

“A lot of what AMA does is real, actual marketing case competitions, which are great; they went to Wall Street Journal this year for a case competition where 84 people from Temple participated. They were also semi-finalists for Mary Kay and placed first for Proctor & Gamble case competitions. This allows students to interact with CMOs and VPs of marketing from big firms, who often come for speaker events, too.”

Learn more at the Temple American Marketing Association website.

2. Association for Information Systems (AIS)

“AIS has about 42 chapters internationally. This year they placed second in the National Data Analytics Challenge in Dallas, and the president just told me that, of all the chapters, Temple AIS won the most awards at their national competition. My favorite thing about AIS is how much community service they do; their members volunteered 600 times this past year. They work with Red Cross, the Children’s Hospital, Philabundance, and others. And AIS always has high-level guest speakers come talk to students.”

Learn more at the Temple Association for Information Systems website.

3. Beta Alpha Psi (BAP)

“Beta Alpha Psi has over 300 chapters internationally and is very unique. It’s for honors students and you can only apply after you’ve taken at least one 3000 level course and maintained a GPO above 3.0. It represents accounting, finance, and informational systems, so it’s really diverse with students from all three majors. Last semester they had the CEO of the Phillies, the CEO of Saxby’s, and a CAO from Vanguard as guest speakers. They have a great career fair and networking events, too. BAP provides great experiences and opportunities for students.”

Learn more at the Temple Beta Alpha Psi website.

Alana Vicale, College Council president

4. Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS)

“GIS, with 624 members, is the largest SPO at Temple and includes risk management, healthcare management, and actuarial science majors. It’s massive; we’re also the biggest chapter worldwide. We have a strong, leading speaker series with very high-level executives in the insurance industry. GIS has opened up a lot of doors for me personally. We really encourage professional development and for members to attend the networking events, etiquette workshops, mock interviews, professional portraits, etc. GIS provides a lot of great resources.”

Learn more at the Temple Gamma Iota Sigma website.

5. Professional Sales Organization (PSO)

“I’m always impressed with PSO. All these organizations are student-run, but PSO is truly, truly student-run. They regularly place in the top five in international and national sales competitions. This year they placed second out of 140 competitors in the speed sell division at the International Collegiate Sales Competition. And they recently had a big case competition with judges from Comcast and AFLAC, and Temple placed first, second, and third. Our students came out on top!”

Learn more at the Temple Professional Sales Organization website.

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

Dave Covington talks with students in Alter Hall.

When Fox School students return to Alter Hall to begin Fall classes, they may notice someone is missing. Recessed lighting still brightens the lobby, but an electric smile no longer lights up the room—the smile’s owner being now-retired security guard Dave Covington.

To know Covington is to have experienced a warm, light-hearted greeting each day.

“Good morning!”

“Howdy do?”

“You’re going to be late for class!”

Wednesdays seemed to be Covington’s favorite day, as he would utter his iconic line, “Happy Hump Day,” to greet the masses at the week’s midway point.

Since Alter Hall opened in 2009, Covington has been its gatekeeper. He began his career at Temple University on July 17, 1977, in the bookstore. Then he worked in Speakman Hall through the 1980s.

“I worked in shipping and receiving for three years,” he said. “Some of my fondest memories there were the Christmas parties we had—after the boss left, we sang Christmas carols over the PA system.”

After a switch to a “nice, easy job” in security on December 3, 1980, Covington was in for a surprise.

“They threw me to the wolves,” he said. “My first assignment was the dorms—J&H, 1300, Peabody, and McGonigle. Finally I told them, I need help!”

Encouraged by his colleagues to enter the Temple Municipal Police Academy, Covington completed the training in 1984 as part of the “Centennial” class of officers. However, he eventually returned to TU Security and was promoted to work in Speakman Hall, the business school building before Alter Hall was built.

“I’ve met some good folks in security over the years,” he said. “We used to have annual cookouts in Fairmount Park.”

Even with his salt and pepper hair and kind expression, there have been a few people who have dared to get past Covington. As a self-described “customer service” security guard, Covington has experienced people trying to push past, sneak by, or ask to “use the bathroom.” His years of service have added up to an instinct that is rarely wrong.

“I’ve learned to trust my gut,” he said.

Covington, a diehard Philadelphia sports fan who earned a certificate in small business while working at Fox, grew up at 35th and Allegheny. As his city has changed, he has watched Temple and Fox do the same.

“It’s like an obstacle course around here,” he said. “There are so many new buildings.”

Over the years, food at Temple has been a pastime for Covington. He’ll miss gyros from Ernie’s Lunch Truck—a beloved food truck that’s tenure on campus hasn’t matched Covington’s, yet—the most. He liked his quick breakfasts of sausage, egg, and cheese in the quiet, secluded third floor PhD lab.

Retirement, for Covington, will take some getting used to. With a songlike rhythm to his voice, he spoke about what lies ahead. He’s been an early riser for the past 41 years, with a 6:30 a.m. roll call at Temple each day. His morning pleasantries, doled out by the hundreds for decades, will now be shared with just one special person: his wife, Naomi, a Temple graduate.

“She’s already got a honey-do list at home in Mount Airy,” he said.

An endless stream of well-wishers had kind words of farewell for Covington on his last morning in mid-August.

“I’ll miss messing with the pizza guys that came in to deliver at the student organization events,” he said. “Temple’s been good to me—what a journey, what a journey.”

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

Are you a seasoned marketing and advertising professional looking for a hyper-specific master’s program to launch your career to the next level? Or a rising star seeking a path into an exciting, growing industry?

Temple University’s new Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing could be exactly what you’re looking for.

The part-time grad program is a collaborative effort between the Fox School of Business and the Klein College of Media and Communication. In order to get a holistic, sophisticated view of the interrelationship between these two vibrant disciplines, students alternate between marketing classes taught by Fox faculty and advertising courses led by Klein professors.

Below, a few current students talk about finding exactly what they were looking for in the Strategic Advertising and Marketing program—and how their new degrees will help boost their careers. 

 

Matt Barber

Becoming a Better Marketer—and Moving Up to Manager, Too

Matt Barber, after earning a bachelor’s in marketing from Messiah College in 2005, worked in various marketing roles before taking a job with Subaru in 2015. He now works as a brand partnership and experiential marketing specialist at the Japanese car company’s Camden, New Jersey headquarters.

Barber’s c goal is to move up to a managerial role. But that’s not necessarily why he’s pursuing the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing—it’s because he, first and foremost, wants to be a better marketer.

“It wasn’t just a play to move up the ladder, but to be better as a marketer and then let everything else settle where it settles,” says Barber, who started the program last year and plans to finish in 2021.

But, of course, Barber sees the degree as a necessary step to a leadership position, too. And he chose the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing over an MBA program because he loved the “hyper-targeted” curriculum focusing on his chosen field.

“Temple is the only school I knew that actually had a marketing graduate program with this narrow of a focus,” he says. “It’s very unique to have a program with a combined marketing and advertising track—that was huge for me.”

Barber, who in addition to working full time has two children, also chose the program because it can be customized to meet the demands of busy, working professionals.

“It’s great to be able to go to school and work while having a family,” Barber says. “It’s been a great experience so far. I find myself in meetings, big strategy discussions, or discussions around positioning, and these higher-level concepts are clicking quicker for me now. This is totally a result of what I’m learning in class.”

 

Brittany Turner

To Grad School or Not to Grad School?

When Brittany Turner, BBA ’17, graduated from the Fox School in 2017 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a major in marketing, she was unsure about her next move. Grad school was an option, but it was tough finding the right program. Then she heard about the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing.

“It was exactly what I was looking for,” says Turner, who plans to complete the degree in 2018. “So far it’s been everything I feel was missing from my undergrad studies and it has connected the dots to make everything more applicable to the real world. I think it goes hand-and-hand with somebody who is working in the industry, because it gives you the chance to understand it from, not only the educational standpoint, but also from the actual working standpoint.”

Turner was working as a staffing manager when she started the program in 2017; she is currently looking for a full-time job in marketing. “I would love to get more into strategic marketing,” she says. “And this program is great mix between marketing and advertising, so it gives an overhead view of the field, which a lot of other programs lack.”

In addition to gaining valuable skills that will help her succeed in her career, Turner is learning a lot from the diverse professional backgrounds of her classmates.

“Since it is a new program,” she says, “I pretty much know everyone in my classes. We are all going through it together. It’s been a fun experience getting to know everybody, and getting to know their different business experiences and how they fit in with what we are learning.”

 

Victoria Cianciulli

Finding the Perfect Fit

Victoria Cianciulli, BBA ’11, within several months of earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Fox School in 2011, took an entry level role as a marketing coordinator with Comcast Spotlight, the Philadelphia-based global telecommunications conglomerate’s advertising sales division. Her current title is senior sales marketing specialist.

She started her MS in Marketing Communications at the Fox School two-and-a-half years ago. But when the Strategic Advertising and Marketing program launched, she switched degrees because it was the optimal fit for the career she’s pursuing.

“It couldn’t have been more perfect,” says Cianciulli. “Temple is the only school with a specialized program like this. Being in the workforce while participating in this program has helped everything click. I find myself constantly applying subjects from class to my job and the real world.”

Cianciulli’s objective is to progress within Comcast Spotlight—and she’s confident this degree will enable her to do that.

“I love what I do currently and I am definitely in pursuit of growth within Comcast,” she says. “I also hope I am able to position myself as a thought leader—having now been trained in an elevated educational setting—and share new information with my peers or even managers and leaders above me. This degree will help me do so.”

Learn more about the Fox School’s Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing.

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