From our roots as Temple University’s School of Commerce in 1918, the Fox School of Business has built a century-long heritage of innovation within business education. For the last one hundred years, we have prepared professionals to lead tomorrow’s economy and advanced thought leadership in the world business through research.
Our research has far-reaching effects—from advancing academic literature to changing business industries—that demonstrate the high caliber of scholarship produced at the Fox School.
Highlights across Departments
The conservatism principle and the asymmetric timeliness of earnings
Basu, S. (1997)
Journal of Accounting and Economics, 24(1), 3-37
Conservatism has guided accounting practice and theory for centuries. This approach, which encourages anticipating possible future losses but not future gains while making financial statements, reduces the risk of overestimating a firm’s value. Over 20 years ago, Sudipta Basu, professor of accounting, redefined the field when he proposed the now popular “Basu models” to measure conservatism in his award-winning 1997 article, “The Conservatism Principle and the Asymmetric Timeliness of Earnings.” Basu’s definition of one type of conservatism—now called “conditional conservatism”—captures accountants’ tendency to require more verification to confirm manager-reported ‘good news’ than ‘bad news’ while determining the reported value of an asset. He argued that this counteracts data biases introduced by managers who can get larger bonuses and promotions by disclosing good news but hiding bad news. Because debtholders have asymmetric payoffs—meaning, they share in losses when a project does poorly but do not share in the gains above their loan when the project is successful—they value conservative reporting that warns them quickly about potential losses. Overall, this research, which has garnered over 4,000 citations on Google Scholar, has helped to reorient the conceptual framework of the International Accounting Standards Board, which sets accounting standards for over 100 countries.
Founding-Family Ownership and Firm Performance: Evidence from the S&P 500
Anderson, R. (2003)
Journal of Finance, 58(3), 1301-1328
Founding families are a prevalent and important class of shareholders in U.S. public. Until fairly recently, the widely held belief–based on anecdotal evidence and prior literature–was that founding-family ownership was an ineffective organizational form that resulted in poor firm performance. In the first large-sample study to examine the relation between founding-family ownership and firm performance, Ronald Anderson, professor of finance and interim dean of the Fox School, documented that the reality was in contrast to conventional wisdom. In his 2003 article, “Founding-Family Ownership and Firm Performance: Evidencefrom the S&P 500,” published in the Journal of Finance, Anderson found that family firms performed better relative to nonfamily firms. His research was the most highly cited paper published in that year in the Journal of Finance and was nominated for the prestigious Brattle prize. The research also garnered coverage in the New York Times, Forbes, Economist, Business Week, Inc. Magazine, Washington Post, and the MIT/Sloan Management Review.
Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior (HRM/OB)
Tit for tat? The spiraling effect of incivility in the workplace
Andersson, L. M. & Pearson, C. M. (1999)
Academy of Management Review, 24(3), 452–471
A recent poll of the American public revealed that 90 percent of the respondents think workplace incivility is a serious problem. Nearly 20 years ago, Lynne Andersson, associate professor of human resources and management, introduced this new concept of workplace incivility in her 1999 article, “Tit-for-tat: The Spiraling Effect of Incivility in the Workplace.” This research identified that subtle acts of mistreatment in organizations can potentially spiral to increasingly intense aggressive behaviors. The researchers argued that a person’s hot temperament and an informal work culture facilitates the escalation of arguments, which can eventually affect the whole organization. Andersson’s colleagues praise the paper, which “launched the entire field of workplace incivility.”
Adios embargo: The case for executive termination of the U.S. embargo on Cuba
Fandl, K. J. (2017)
American Business Law Journal, 54(2), 293-346
The United States and Cuba have a long history of tumultuous relations since the 1960s. Kevin Fandl, assistant professor of legal studies, argues that 1996 legislative embargo unconstitutionally interferes with the U.S. President’s powers as the nation’s diplomat-in-chief in his 2017 paper “Adios Embargo: The Case for Executive Termination of the U.S. Embargo on Cuba.” Fandl asserts that opening trade routes with Cuba would benefit Cuba and the United States, but the embargo stands in the way of realizing these gains. He provides historical and legal foundation in support of the President’s power to bypass embargos and act unilaterally in re-establishing diplomatic and possibly economic relations. His argument takes a deep dive into presidential power to act in the absence of Congress, an issue of significance in many areas of policy today.
Management Information Systems (MIS)
An empirical examination of the antecedents and consequences of contribution patterns in crowd-funded markets
Burtch, G. Ghose, A. & Wattal, S. (2013)
Information Systems Research, 24(3), pp, 499-882
Crowdfunding has now become a hugely popular source of capital for entrepreneurs. Gordon Burtch, FOX ’13, and Sunil Wattal, associate professor of management information systems, presented the first empirical analysis of crowdfunders’ behavior in their 2013 article, “An Empirical Examination of the Antecedents and Consequences of Contribution Patterns in Crowd-Funded Markets.” They argued that information of the amount and timing of others’ contributions significantly influenced crowdfunders while making funding decisions. They observed a partial crowding-out effect for projects that have already received ample amount of funds, as contributors believed their donation may not be valued as much by the recipient. More importantly, they also established a clear linkage between the marketing effort and the success of crowdfunded projects, as projects that were available for funding for a longer duration in the markets received more exposure for their plan and thus were relatively more successful.
Marketing and Supply Chain Management
What makes a helpful online review? A study of customer reviews on Amazon.com
Mudambi, S. M. & Schuff, D. (2010)
MIS Quarterly, 34(1), 185–200
Customer reviews are an integral part of most online purchase decisions. Susan Mudambi, academic director of the DBA program and research professor of marketing and supply chain management, and David Schuff, research professor and chair of the Department of Management Information Systems, evaluated the factors that contributed to the perceived helpfulness of a review in their 2010 article, “What Makes a Helpful Online Review?”. Their interdisciplinary research provided evidence that helpfulness of a review depends on whether the product’s attributes can be assessed before purchase, like a camera or a printer, or after being experienced, like music or a movie. The product type also influenced how extreme the reviews were and the number of people finding the reviews helpful. Overall, their research, which garnered over 1,520 citations on Google Scholars, found that extremely negative reviews are viewed as less helpful than moderate reviews, but product type mattered.
Risk, Insurance & Healthcare Management
Consolidation and Efficiency in the U.S. Life Insurance Industry
Cummins, J.D., Tennyson, S., and Weiss, M.A. (1999)
Journal of Banking and Finance, 23(2-4), 325-357
Life insurance can be an emotional but important subject for many. Three researchers in the Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management took a close look at the U.S. life insurance industry in 1999 and accurately predicted changes in the field over the last two decades. In their paper, “Consolidation and Efficiency in the U.S. Life Insurance Industry,” David Cummins and Mary Weiss, with colleague Sharon Tennyson of Cornell University, examined the relationship between mergers and acquisitions, efficiency, and scale economies in the life insurance industry. They found that that overall, mergers and acquisitions have had a beneficial effect on the efficiency of firms. The researchers accurately predicted that repeal of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act would lead to greater consolidation. In the decades following, researchers predicted that many firms would struggle to use technology effectively to create value for shareholders and policyholders, providing a further motivation for consolidation. Today, non-traditional competitors like GEICO and Progressive have outpaced traditional insurance companies.
The Simes method for multiple hypotheses testing with positively dependent test statistics
Sarkar, S. K. and Chang, C. K. (1997)
Journal of the American Statistical Association, 92(440), 1601-1608
Sanat K. Sarkar has been a staple of the Temple University statistical science community since his arrival in 1982. As Cyrus. H. K. Curtis Professor and current department chair, Sarkar has produced numerous publications that contributed and expanded to the field of statistical theory, including statistical inference, multivariate statistics, probability inequalities, categorical data analysis, and pharmaceutical statistics. In particular, Sarkar has become an internationally recognized leading researcher in multiple testing. In 1997-1998, Sarkar wrote a series of articles that first proved a conjecture related to the Simes test, one of the more powerful methods used in the context of testing multiple hypotheses. Sarkar’s research broadened the scope of the Simes test’s use to a wide range of statistical investigations, making his work well cited throughout the field.
Strategic Management (SGM)
Orchestrating innovation networks
Dhanaraj, C. & Parkhe, A. (2006)
Academy of Management Review, 31(3), 659-669
The competitive advantage of a company heavily depends on its “innovation networks” – the people or firms outside of the organization that can help it solve problems and find inventive ideas to bring new products to the marketplace. Over 11 years ago, Arvind Parkhe, Laura H. Carnell Professor and chair of the Department of Strategic Management, and Charles Dhanaraj, then-future colleague and current H.F. Gerry Lenfest Professor of Strategy, presented a set of deliberate actions that major companies can take to ensure maximum value creation from this innovation network. In their 2006 article, “Orchestrating Innovation Networks,” they introduced three interrelated processes—knowledge mobility, innovation appropriability and network stability—that can improve the efficiency of the innovation network. High mobility increases the ease with which knowledge is shared, acquired and used. Innovation appropriability allows equal distribution of the value created to all the contributors. The combination of these processes ensures network stability, which promotes continuous collaboration and maximizes value creation for everyone involved.