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The season of giving has been productive for the Fox School of Business. In the spirit of the holidays, the Fox School faculty and staff came up with creative ways to give back to Philadelphia and the Temple community.

Filling “Purses of Hope” for Local Women’s Shelters  

For their annual We Give Back event, the Fox School and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) marketing and communications team donated to local charity Purses of Hope. This organization delivers purse donations to women’s shelters in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area housing women in poverty or seeking refuge from abusive partners and toxic households. Each purse is filled with female hygiene, beauty or clothing products. The team was able to donate 100 purses to women in need!

Bartending Deans and Student Scholarship Donations

On Dec. 10, the Fox School and STHM faculty and staff  came together to celebrate a successful fall semester and give back to Temple University students. From 5-7 p.m., Dean Anderson and the rest of the Fox School dean’s served as guest bartenders at Interstate Draft House in Fishtown. All tips and $1 of every draft beer was donated to the Temple student scholarship fund, which helps provide accessibility and excellent education for students across all walks of life.

Have a suggestion for a great nonprofit or charitable organization that should be on our radar? Contact us!

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Do you feel like you’re always thinking in 140 characters?

Microblogging platforms have skyrocketed in popularity in the last decade. As of August 2018, Twitter had over 335 million active monthly users, while Weibo, the Chinese social media giant, had over 431 million users. What makes these platforms so enticing to billions of people?

Xue Bai, associate professor with dual appointments in the Departments of Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Management Information Systems, investigated why these short-form social media platforms can be so addictive, together with researchers from Renmin University and Tsinghua University, in her recently published paper.

Bai and her colleagues analyzed the habits, uses and desires of 520 microblogging users. They found that users often used the platform for three distinction purposes: communication, information gathering and entertainment. Then, the researchers took the study deeper by distinguishing the levels of gratification, or the reasons why users feel satisfied when using the platform. Bai classified gratification into three categories: when people are satisfied due to the content they consume or share, the process of using the platform and the social needs they look to fulfill.

“Before, the commonly accepted understanding was that use leads to addiction,” says Bai. “But it turns out in our study, it is how you use it and how you feel from the use of it that leads to addiction.” For example, Person A might use Twitter more than Person B, but if Person B feels more satisfied when using it due to her particular purpose, she may be more likely to become addicted, regardless of time spent on the platform.

The theory behind the study, called “uses and gratifications,” is a common approach to analyzing mass media. However, by distinguishing between the “uses” and “gratifications,” Bai and her colleagues extended the theory to study the causal relations between use, gratification and addiction, opening up new possibilities for media research.

The researchers hypothesized that users with higher gratification levels have a great possibility of becoming addicted. “This constant feeling [of satisfaction] leads to psychological reinforcement and then eventually to dependence,” says Bai. The researchers then linked gratification to four dimensions of addiction—diminished impulse control, loneliness or depression, social comfort and distraction—to determine the path from use to gratification to addiction tendency.

The study found that the different types of purposes led to varying levels of gratification. “For example, if a user is using the microblogging platform mostly for information, information leads to content gratification and social gratification,” says Bai. Using microblogging for entertainment purposes led to satisfaction with social interactions and their experience of the process. The purpose for social communication, surprisingly, yields the least satisfaction among the three types of use.

“Social gratification, however, was the most impactful to addiction,” says Bai. Users who were satisfied from the social aspects of the platforms were more susceptible to loneliness, diminished impulse control and distraction, and were the most likely to be addicted. “Users who felt satisfied with content were the least likely to become addicted,” said Bai.

With the pervasiveness of microblogging tools, these insights are practically important to both consumers and platform designers. Bai hopes her research will help address the issue of social media addiction by understanding more about how these tendencies are formed. “We hope this will guide platform designers to better construct microblogging platforms to enhance the positive effects and avoid the negative impacts,” says Bai. “The research can inform the design of a platform to satisfy users’ needs at an optimal level, not to the point of being addicted.” For example, companies could use this research to emphasize content gratification, which has the least impact on addiction tendency.

Certainly, microblogging will not be going away, says Bai. “It is changing the way people, especially teenagers, communicate with each other and socially interact with the rest of the world.”

Learn more about Fox School Research.

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Merves Research Fellow Jayanthi Krishnan was promoted this fall to full professor. Krishnan joined the Department of Accounting in Fall 2000. She teaches cost accounting and intermediate accounting for undergraduate students, and financial and managerial accounting for the school’s MBA programs. Her research interests are in the areas of audit quality, audit regulations and the impact of international diversification on auditor decision-making.

Dr. Jayanthi Krishnan has been named to the Fox School Dean’s Research Honor Roll and has received the Business Honors Association Teacher of the Year Award, 2008 Musser Excellence in Leadership Award for teaching and several other faculty awards. Krishnan is also the recipient of the 2015 American Accounting Association’s Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature Award for “Audit Committee Quality and Internal Control: An Empirical Analysis,” printed in The Accounting Review. She is an editor of Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, and serves on the editorial boards of The Accounting Review, Accounting Horizons, and Current Issues in Auditing.

Director of the Master of Accountancy program Sheri Risler, CPA was promoted to Associate Professor of Practice this fall. In 2011, Professor Risler was named the Director of the Fox School Master of Accountancy Program. She has received several faculty awards, including the 2009 Beta Alpha Psi Teacher of the Year Award, the 2012 Master of Accountancy Faculty Award, the 2013 Musser Award for Faculty Service and the 2017 Student Professional Organizations Faculty Award.

Professor Risler is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). Risler was the recipient of the 2016 PICPA Volunteer Service Award. In March 2017, she was appointed to the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy as a board member for a four-year term. Prior to joining the faculty in 1997, she was an Audit Partner with the Philadelphia office of Ernst & Young where she provided a broad range of services to entrepreneurial, middle market and public companies.

Professor Cory Ng, was named a Dean’s Teaching Fellows by the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning for 2018-2019, for his consistent demonstration of innovation and excellence in the classroom. Professor Ng’s professional background as a Certified Public Accountant and as an educator taught him the importance of critical thinking, problem solving, respecting diversity, keeping a global perspective and behaving ethically in the workplace. He is also a Honors Faculty Fellow for 2018-2019 academic year.

Since joining the Department of Accounting in 2015, Ng has developed a new special topics course for the Master of Accountancy program focusing on data visualization using Tableau software. Ng was also the recipient of the Department of Accounting’s Departmental Adjunct Teaching Award for Excellence in the Classroom (2015) and the Student Professional Organization Award (2017). Beyond the Fox School, Ng has published four papers in the Pennsylvania CPA Journal since 2016 and was recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Board of Directors.

More faculty news.

Mitrabarun Sarkar
Mitrabarun Sarkar

Dr. MB Sarkar, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been appointed Associate Editor of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (SEJ).

SEJ has the second-highest article influence score among entrepreneurship journals in the JCR “Business” and “Management” lists. In 2015, it was rated an “A” journal in the VHB German ranking, and as a “4” journal, with the “most-original and best-executed research”) by the United Kingdom’s Association of Business Schools. SEJ’s mission is to showcase influential and impactful entrepreneurship and innovation research, and is international in scope.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as Associate Editor on one of the leading journals in entrepreneurship,” Sarkar said. “I am humbled to join such a great team of international scholars who are at the helm of this journal. While it feels good to be acknowledged by my peers, it feels even better to know that I am helping build the Fox brand in entrepreneurship research.”

Sarkar is the founding academic director of Fox’s Global Immersion program in emerging markets. Under his leadership, the Fox School has built immersion programs for graduate students in Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Israel, Morocco, South Africa, and Turkey.

A renowned scholar of Strategic Management and a highly decorated teacher, Sarkar received the Great Teacher Award – Temple University’s highest honor – in 2013. Since joining the Fox School in 2008, he has received Outstanding Professor of the Year Awards multiple times from the Executive MBA, Online MBA, Professional MBA, and the Global MBA programs. His research on technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and industry emergence has been published in several top-tier journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Management Science, Journal of Business Venturing, and Journal of International Business Studies among others. He currently serves on the editorial review boards of Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal and Global Strategy Journal.

Sarkar received his PhD from Michigan State University and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi.

He is currently collaborating with his doctoral students to examine technological innovation and entrepreneurship in five emerging industries, namely solid-state lighting (Alice Min), lithium-ion battery (Sung Namkung), neuro-prosthetics (Seojin Kim), unmanned aerial vehicles (Jungkwan Kim), and 3D printing (Anna Pak).

“They are terrific doctoral students – smart, hardworking, creative and nice. They keep me sharp,” Sarkar said.

Sarkar’s areas of interest have given him a unique perspective in reviewing SEJ submissions.

“An editor’s job is to lead the review process and help authors develop their papers to their fullest potential,” Sarkar said. “It is a big responsibility, not only to the journal and the authors, but to the field as a whole, and one which I strive to fulfill the best I can.”

Sarkar intends to leverage his position as SEJ editor to further the journal’s ability to publish rigorous and relevant research in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, and thus enhance its profile as an A journal.

“Journals are institutions,” Sarkar said. “This is an opportunity for me to help build an important institution in the field of entrepreneurship. Through my tenure, my single aim will be to make this journal the strongest that it can be by helping nurture novel ideas into impactful scholarship.”

“Enlightening, Useful and Conversational” are just a few words to describe TechConnect.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) partnered with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the second time to host their semiannual innovation and technology two-day workshop, TechConnect Idea to Invoice Workshop, on Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1. The two-day workshop brought scientists and technologists together with business professionals to develop strategies to move tech innovations to market success.

The IEI hosted a successful TechConnect in fall 2014, with 90 attendees including Temple University students and faculty, Philadelphia business executives and representatives from Mayor Nutter’s office. Along with returning participation from the Philadelphia Mayor’s office, this year’s TechConnect had over 100 registered attendees with participating organizations including Comcast, Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Boeing, and other technology giants.

TechConnect kicked off at 5:30 p.m. by assembling multi-functional teams around a number of technologies. The workshop then followed a technology commercialization roadmap, leading teams with the active support of business mentors, through each stage of the process.  Workshop attendees had the option of working on their own technological innovation or a technology provided by one of our partners.

A participating MBA candidate who attended TechConnect shared, “the most important value addition was the people I met along the way. It is because of the people that events such as these are so awesome.” Sr. Technology Commercialization Specialist of NASA found the event to be “very informative and useful.”

Andrew Maxwell and IEI Managing Director, Robert McNamee, led presentations throughout the conference speaking about topics including new product development, innovation science, technology to job mapping, corporate challenges, and much more. The workshop took place in the MBA Commons on the 7th floor of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Alter Hall and concluded at 8:30 p.m.

The IEI Institute is looking forward to the next TechConnect workshop, which will place fall of this year. Stay tuned for more details on iei.temple.edu/techconnect.

All photos taken at this event were from Temple SMC Senior, Saeed  Briscoe. Click here to learn more about IEI.