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PhD alumnus appointed director of business research lab at Arkansas

October 20, 2015 //

John AloysiusDr. John Aloysius, who earned his doctoral degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been appointed the director of a major business research lab at the University of Arkansas.

John Aloysius, PhD ’96, was named interim director of the Sam M. Walton College of Business’ Behavioral Business Research Lab at University of Arkansas. He will hold this position for the remainder of the 2015-16 academic year, while colleague Cary Deck serves a one-year visiting professorship.

Arkansas’ Behavioral Business Research Lab is a unique, multi-user facility for economics, marketing, information systems and supply chain faculty, said Aloysius, who earned his Fox PhD in Operations Management. The center is an interdisciplinary resource geared toward the study of human behavior and decision making. It features state-of-the-art computer equipment that will assist in marketing- and retail-based experiments.

Aloysius, an associate professor of supply chain management at Arkansas, said he conducts a majority of his research within the lab. He examines how consumers use mobile technology in a retail context, looking into the use of coupons, product reviews and promotional activities in influencing shoppers. This research has been published in Management Information Systems Quarterly.

“If you entice them at the precise moment, consumers can go from being a browser to being a buyer,” Aloysius said.

Aloysius’ other research pursuits delve into privacy and security issues for shoppers and inventory management.

“Managers stand in front of monitors that have information about how much inventory there is and the distribution of demand,” he said. “They are trying to figure out what a company would need to order to put product on the shelf.”

Dr. Edward C. Rosenthal, Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, served as Aloysius’ dissertation chair while he pursued his Fox PhD. Rosenthal said he encouraged Aloysius to conduct his research independently. In his dissertation, Aloysius applied game theory to cost-sharing problems in the telecommunications industry, which evolved into an interest in decision making and how people apply technology in the retail industry.

“He was a bright student who was motivated and great to work alongside,” Rosenthal said. “I think that John’s assuming of the directorship of the Behavioral Business Research Lab at the University of Arkansas had its origins while he was a graduate student here at Fox all of those years ago. “

Aloysius said he hopes to widen the lab’s horizons by working with external local firms and incorporating new technology.

“What is happening in retail blurs the line between physical stores and online shopping, and in the lab as well,” he said. “It is a natural extension.”

Aloysius plans to reconnect with his Fox School colleagues while visiting Philadelphia in November for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science conference (INFORMS). He said he plans to meet with Rosenthal and current research colleague Dr. Misty Blessley, an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Fox.

Aloysius and Blessley are collaborating on experimental research into switching behavior under various conditions of psychological contact breach. The experiment will move into the data-collection phase in November. “What I like about John is he challenges you to look over your research meticulously,” Blessley said.

“At Arkansas, John has become more deeply involved with the behavioral aspects of supply chain management research and leading their behavioral business research lab is a natural next step,” Rosenthal said.

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