Professor Cindy Axelrod in the Capital Markets Room in Alter Hall | Photo: Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

In partnership with Schwab Advisor Services, Charles Schwab Foundation has committed $352,000 to Temple University’s Fox School of Business to support the School’s financial planning program. Launched in Fall 2015, the Fox financial planning program has been one of the school’s fastest growing undergraduate degrees, with more than 300 registered students since the program’s launch, including 98 registered students in Spring 2018.

Charles Schwab Foundation’s gift will enable the Fox School to purchase and install state-of-the art technology to bolster the financial planning program’s online and remote capabilities.  Installation is slated for completion in Spring 2019. This investment in the School will effectively connect students with wealth managers, financial planners, and advisors to create awareness of the field and prepare students for futures in the registered investment advisor (RIA) industry; at a time when an estimated $30 trillion in assets is expected to pass between generations. Charles Schwab Foundation’s contribution will finance a 158-inch diagonal video wall, complete with two HD cameras for web video conferencing, ceiling pickup microphones, and JBL speakers, touch annotation monitors, and an LCD touch display with controls in Alter Hall, home of the Fox School of Business.

“We are proud to work with Temple University to shape and inspire the next generation of independent investment advisors,” said Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services. “Access to cutting-edge technology and firsthand perspectives from professionals in the field will prepare students for successful careers in the independent investment advisor industry.”

“The generous support from Charles Schwab Foundation enhances our students’ academic and professional experience by enabling them to apply their classroom knowledge to the financial planning industry,” said Cindy Axelrod, director of the Fox School’s Financial Planning programs. “The enhanced investment in cutting-edge technology will allow students to directly connect with financial planning professionals without any physical or geographical constraints, giving them a first-hand understanding of the industry, so that they will be better prepared to enter the job market.”

The school introduced Financial Planning as an undergraduate major in 2015 to prepare students for careers in this in-demand field. Students who complete Financial Planning curriculum at Fox are eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) examination upon graduation, a unique feature of the program. The Fox Department of Finance oversees the program, which also draws upon the expertise of faculty from Fox’s Legal Studies in Business and Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management departments.

“According to job and occupational outlooks, the field of personal financial advisors is growing much faster than other fields,” said Ronald Anderson, interim dean of the Fox School of Business and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management. “I’m delighted that, thanks to our first-rate faculty and high-quality program, we are preparing so many talented, determined, and hard-working students to fulfill their desires for better life opportunities and career paths.”

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. Learn more at fox.temple.edu. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Charles Schwab

At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com. Follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and LinkedIn.

About Charles Schwab Foundation

Charles Schwab Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization funded by The Charles Schwab Corporation. Its mission is to create positive change through financial education, philanthropy, and volunteerism. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com/community. The Charles Schwab Foundation is classified by the IRS as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is neither a part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC) nor its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation. Charles Schwab Foundation and Temple University are unaffiliated entities.

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

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

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

Graph 1: Electoral Cycle vs the Regulatory Interventions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about Fox School Research.

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

In honor of its Centennial anniversary, the Fox School of Business brought together alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of Temple University at Foxtoberfest, an outdoor event featuring food trucks, vendors, entertainment, giveaways, and a beer garden.

The fall festival was a century in the making, taking place 100 years after Temple’s business school was founded as the School of Commerce in 1918. Foxtoberfest celebrated entrepreneurship, a key pillar of the Fox School, by featuring Temple alumni-owned businesses, ranging from popular food trucks and donuts to a cell phone repair company and artists.

Among the more than 25 vendors lining Liacouras Walk and Montgomery and 13th Streets, 18 were alumni-owned, including:

As part of the celebrations, the first 100 people to each food truck and vendor were treated to free food, such as caramel apple and pumpkin bourbon ice cream sandwiches from Weckerly’s; roasted corn on the cob from Li Ping Corn Co; fried cheese curds from The Cow & The Curd; and healthy treats like gourmet fruit pops from Whimsicle and jars of fresh, local, and organic ingredients from Simply Good Jars. Factory Donuts took the celebration to the next level by bringing along 1,000 fresh donuts from its headquarters in Northeast Philly to the Temple community.

Attendees over the age of 21 years old mingled in the on-campus beer garden, playing lawn games and enjoying brews from alumni-owned breweries, including Love City Brewing (Melissa Walter, EDU ’11) and Victory Brewing Company (Bill Covaleski, TYL ’85).

Relive the celebration with our photo gallery and share your experience at the event by tagging #FOX100 and connecting with the Fox School on social media. To get involved with and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Fox School of Business, visit the Centennial website to travel through an interactive timeline, share your story, and attend an upcoming event.

Photo: Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

Just one year into business, Jared Cannon, MS ’16, founder of the healthy eating startup Simply Good Jars (SGJ) is making a bold pivot away from individual food-in-jars subscriptions toward a smart refrigerator model that the company says will offer growth and sustainability.

“Over the summer, our waiting list grew to over 750 people,” said Cannon. “So we decided to shut down subscriptions and move to a vending model.”

The decision may seem strange given the popularity of meal subscription services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. However, customer loyalty and enthusiasm gave SGJ instant credibility in 2018, when Cannon was selected as a Philadelphia Inquirer Stellar Startup finalist and Independence Blue Cross named him a semifinalist for the Health Hero Challenge.

Cannon and his team are working on securing the capital needed to bring their jars to smart fridges. Plans include nearly 40 of these refrigerators in coworking spaces across Philadelphia. SGJ is already in locations that include WeWork, Pipeline and the Brandywine Liberty Trust corporate office. Business success will mean changing lunch culture at work by building a customer base that is willing to pay for the convenience of healthy, delicious breakfasts and lunches.

There’s a shift happening in the startup landscape, according to Cannon, an energy that is motivating entrepreneurs to solve problems in cities rather than vice versa. He feels a personal responsibility to serve as a part of the solution, something the northern Delaware native may have gained from an unlikely upbringing. Before the chef-turned-entrepreneur took off on his tasty endeavor, Cannon benefited from some unusual experiences.  

“In seventh grade I enrolled at a Democratic Free School to learn as an individual,” he said. “There weren’t classes, report cards or standardized tests.”

Cannon attributes his unique perspective as a business owner to his self-governed education. He was given permission to develop differently and to dabble in things he may have never tried—like engineering, computer mechanics and construction. Food wasn’t a focus at the Free School, but at home Cannon learned to love the culinary arts. In their kitchen, the big Cannon family came together. They also instilled a general enthusiasm for the outdoors in their children, which shaped Jared’s value system.

“I think something that’s baked into my generation is an awareness about how our product choices affect the environment,” he said. “My parents taught me to value food and not to waste it—that’s something I’ve carried into my business model.”

Social enterprise is also shifting at SGJ. Instead of contributing meals to Philabundance, the company is now donating funds to help support the Philabundance Community Kitchen. Beyond financial help, Cannon’s team is engaging with the Community Kitchen’s job placement and internship program to offer jobs to their low-income participants and graduates who hope to begin careers in the culinary field.

“We’re young, we’re growing, and there’s nothing better than working on something that you’re passionate about,” said Cannon. “The human element behind a product is the powerful differentiator.”

Beyond the business pivot, there’s more big news for Cannon and the SGJ team. He’s an expecting father just two years out of Temple and a year into business. And beginning in November, SGJ will celebrate another first—a stall at Reading Terminal Market that will be open from Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A refrigerator will be on site, though it won’t be smart. Exclusive breakfast and lunch jars will be sold, created in collaboration with other Reading Terminal vendors like Old City Coffee, Martin’s Meats and Sausages, Iovine Brothers Produce, Godshall’s Poultry, Pequea Valley yogurt and Condiment.

“The most stressful thing right now is having all of these dynamic people around me who have bought in, and are taking the risk with me,” he said. “I’m learning how to be the fearless leader that I’m supposed to be, and I take it very seriously that it’s not just me anymore.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about Fox School Research.

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

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.