News about faculty and their research
School of Management faculty are recognized worldwide as thought leaders in their respective disciplines. Last fall, the school welcomed four new faculty members to its lineup.
Katerina (Kate) Bezrukova, associate professor of organization and human resources, earned her doctorate in social and organizational psychology from Moscow State University in Russia, as well as a bachelor’s and master’s in psychology. Her research interests include group fault lines and diversity, conflict evolution management, occupational health and work-life balance, and ethical dilemmas in engineering teams.
For fun, she likes to photograph anything and everything, especially kids. When not taking pictures, she likes skiing and rock climbing. She also loves to travel, and her favorite country is Australia, where she was hugged by a kangaroo.
Indranil Goswami, assistant professor of marketing, completed his doctorate in marketing and MBA at the University of Chicago. He also has a postgraduate diploma in management from MICA in Ahmedabad, India, and a bachelor of engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Durgapur, India. His research focuses on pro-social behavior, motivation and self-control, choice architecture, and judgment and decision-making.
Goswami’s leisure activities include yoga and collecting handicrafts from across the world.
Cheryl Hall came on board as a clinical assistant professor of accounting and law. She has an MBA from the UB School of Management, a master’s in education from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s in music from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Hall brings more than 25 years’ experience in public accounting to her role, with expertise in taxation of business entities, multistate taxation and accounting for income taxes.
When she’s not gardening, knitting or cruising around town in her little red sports car, Hall is renovating and restoring her 1836 farmhouse.
Sunyee Yoon joined the faculty as an assistant professor of marketing. She has a doctorate and a master’s degree in consumer behavior and family economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, she has a bachelor’s degree from Sogang University in South Korea where she was a double major in business administration and mass communication. Yoon’s research is in the areas of social status and mobility, cross-cultural differences and materialism.
As a hobby, Yoon enjoys making candles at home. Her favorite is a lavender soy candle that promotes deep sleep and relaxation at night.
It’s no secret men still hold the majority of leadership positions in American companies. But new School of Management research finds that when male-dominated work groups foster collaboration and communication, it’s women who are more likely to emerge as leaders.
Published in Leadership Quarterly, the study examined how gender and personality affected who took leadership roles. In both temporary and long-term work teams with more men than women, the researchers found that as the group became more social, women were more likely than men to seize leadership opportunities.
“Groups choose a leader based on who best exemplifies their shared values. For example, in sports, the captain is often the best athlete,” says Jim Lemoine, assistant professor of organization and human resources. “Our results indicate that when work teams value communication and increase their interactions with one another, women may have a leadership advantage.”
The researchers randomly assigned nearly 1,000 participants of varying ages to small groups and asked them to rate who emerged as leaders after performing a series of tasks. Interestingly, collaboration did not impact which gender emerged as leaders in teams with more women.
Lemoine says their findings have implications for the masculine C-suites in many corporations, particularly given recent studies by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Ernst & Young that found more women in management positions corresponded to higher profits.
“Companies need to take a hard look at their processes and culture,” he says. “When teams foster a culture of open communication and teamwork, it allows new leaders to step forward and diverse perspectives to be heard.”
Lemoine worked on the study with Ishani Aggarwal, assistant professor in the Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration, and Laurens Bujold Steed, doctoral candidate at Georgia Institute of Technology.
For businesses using social media, posts with high engagement have the greatest impact on customer spending, according to new research from the School of Management.
Published in the Journal of Marketing, the study assessed social media posts for sentiment (positive, neutral or negative), popularity (engagement) and customers’ likelihood to use social media, and found the popularity of a social media post had the greatest effect on purchases.
“A neutral or even negative social media post with high engagement will impact sales more than a positive post that draws no likes, comments or shares,” says study co-author Ram Bezawada, associate professor of marketing. “This is true even among customers who say their purchase decisions are not swayed by what they read on social media.”
The researchers studied data from a large specialty retailer with multiple locations in the northeast United States. They combined data about customer participation on the company’s social media page with in-store purchases before and after the retailer’s social media engagement efforts. They also conducted a survey to determine customers’ attitudes toward technology and social media.
In addition, the study found that businesses’ social posts significantly strengthen the effect of traditional television and email marketing efforts. When social media is combined with TV marketing, customer spending increased by 1.03 percent and cross buying by 0.84 percent. When combined with email marketing, customer spending increased by 2.02 percent and cross buying by 1.22 percent. Cross buying refers to when a customer purchases additional products or services from the same firm.
“The clear message here is that social media marketing matters, and managers should embrace it to build relationships with customers,” says Bezawada. “Developing a community with a dedicated fan base can lead to a definitive impact on revenues and profits.”
Bezawada collaborated on the project with Ashish Kumar, assistant professor of marketing, Aalto University; Rishika Rishika, clinical assistant professor of marketing, University of South Carolina; Ramkumar Janakiraman, associate professor of marketing, University of South Carolina; and P.K. Kannan, Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Marketing Science, University of Maryland.
Charities and nonprofits can increase engagement and revenue by setting suggested donation levels appropriate to their donors, according to new School of Management research.
Published in the Journal of Marketing Research, the study found low suggested amounts increased the total number of donations, while high default amounts increased the average donation but resulted in fewer contributions overall.
“About three-quarters of charities do not use suggested amounts and those that do tend to set low amounts, often out of fear of backlash from supporters,” says Indranil Goswami, assistant professor of marketing. “Our research shows that high default amounts do not negatively impact donors’ behavior or attitudes toward the charity or giving in general.”
In a series of studies — including a university fundraising campaign sent to 7,800 past donors and a hypothetical online drive with nearly 3,500 participants — the researchers found a low suggested amount brought in more donors, regardless of the charity and the donors’ age, gender or mood.
“Lower defaults are most effective when organizations are looking to cultivate their donor base,” Goswami says. “Participants who had not previously donated responded positively to lower defaults, saying the recommended amount ‘came from a trustworthy source.’”
Conversely, for organizations with a strong set of annual donors, asking for a higher contribution can influence donors to give more.
“Some people view a suggested amount as a goal set by the organization,” Goswami says. “People who identify strongly with your organization’s mission will rise to the challenge.”
Goswami advises nonprofit directors to send targeted messages with different suggested amounts based on donors’ giving history.
“Instead of looking only at total revenue, examine your donation rate and average donation levels,” says Goswami. “This information will help you understand your audience and tweak your communications appropriately — and potentially raise more money overall.”
Goswami’s co-author is Oleg Urminsky, professor of marketing, University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Technology entrepreneurs who get funding from venture capitalists go public sooner and have more impactful innovation than those who partner with angel investors, according to research from the School of Management.
Published in the Journal of Business Venturing, the study found that high-tech startups that received funding from venture capitalists were able to find a buyer or issue stock sooner than those that received angel investment — and the patents issued by venture capital-funded firms had greater reach.
“Angels and venture capitalists are both critical to innovation in business,” says study co-author Supradeep Dutta, assistant professor of operations management and strategy. “But it’s not enough to just get a patent. You need a strong network to shape the impact of the innovation, and venture capitalists have that network.”
The researchers tracked external investments in 350 technology ventures — 137 by angel investors and 213 by venture capitalists — and found that the limited control angel investors have on startups may undermine their ability to influence innovation. Prior research has studied contributions from venture capital investments but has not analyzed the difference between angels and venture capitalists.
The study’s authors say angel investors bring some benefits of their own, however.
“While the stringent control rights that venture capitalists have can move startups toward success, it can also create conflict with founders,” says Dutta. “Angels, who are investing their own money, tend to be more flexible and less focused on immediate financial returns, allowing longer-term experimentation.”
Dutta collaborated on the project with Timothy Folta, professor and Thomas John and Bette Wolff Family Chair of Strategic Entrepreneurship at the University of Connecticut School of Business.