Author Archive

Are Consumers More Likely to Buy Green Products?

July 25, 2014

environment-1445492-mRecently, concern about the environment has become a crucial public issue. Increasing governmental regulations, intensifying consumer environmentalism and growing pressure from stakeholders have made firms decide to go green (Leonidou et al., 2011; Menon and Menon, 1997). There has been a rise in eco-friendly (EF) product preferences among consumers and firms are desperate to trap this new market opportunity. In turn, green marketing is becoming more important for firms (Chen et al., 2006). An article recently published in Global Business Review entitled “Linking Environmental Awareness and Perceived Brand Eco-friendliness to Brand Trust and Purchase Intention” analyzes the relationship among perceived brand ecofriendliness (PBE), Environmental Awareness (EA) and brand trust and the effect of brand trust on EF brand purchase intention.

The abstract:

The research examines the link among environmental awareness (EA), perceived brandhome_cover ecofriendliness (PBE) and brand trust and the subsequent effect on eco-friendly (EF) brand purchase intention. The article adopted structural equation modeling approach to test the hypotheses. Data were collected from 223 Indian consumers. The results show that there is a positive relationship between EA and PBE. Consumer’s EA and perception that a brand is eco-friendly, lead to trust in the brand. Findings support that higher brand trust leads to increasing purchase intention towards the EF brand. The article adds to the existing literature by dealing with consumer perception about brand ecofriendliness and its subsequent effect on purchase intention. Contribution of this study to the academic and practice is discussed.

Click here to read “Linking Environmental Awareness and Perceived Brand Eco-friendliness to Brand Trust and Purchase Intention” for free from Global Business Review! Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all the latest research from Global Business Review!

How Do Employers Handle Termination Documentation?

July 24, 2014

woman-writing-in-the-agenda-1182878-mOne only has to do a quick internet search on job termination practices to find pages upon pages of advice ranging from legal tips to breaking the bad news. But is there a set procedure that employers follow when it comes to the documentation of a termination? That’s what authors Mike Duncan and Jillian Hill set out to explore in their article “Termination Documentation” from Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.

The abstract:

In this study, we examined 11 workplaces to determine how they handleBPCQ.indd termination documentation, an empirically unexplored area in technical communication and rhetoric. We found that the use of termination documentation is context dependent while following a basic pattern of infraction, investigation, intervention, and termination. Furthermore, the primary audience of the documentation is typically legal and regulatory bodies, not the employee. We also make observations about genre, collaboration, and authorship in these documents.

Click here to read “Termination Documentation” from Business and Professional Communication Quarterly for free. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and get notified of all the latest research from Business and Professional Communication Quarterly!

Read Journal of Marketing Education’s Special Issue on Sales Education and Training for Free!

July 23, 2014

class-room-990536-mWhat factors influence undergraduate business students’ decision to pursue sales education? What’s the role of self-efficacy in sales education? Can an interactive computer simulation teach students sales ethics? Journal of Marketing Education‘s Special Issue on Sales Education and Training explores these topics and more!

James W. Peltier of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Andrea L. Dixon of Baylor University collaborated on the issue’s Editor Corner:

Welcome to this Journal of Marketing Education (JME) Special Issue on Sales Education and Training. We proposed this Special Issue as demand for college graduates with a sales degree/major/minor/emphasis/interest continues to escalate. In addition to being the most common career entry point for marketing students, a 2010 Georgetown University study found that sales is a top-ranked career for a number of disciplines outside of marketing. Interestingly, sales JME(D)_72ppiRGB_powerpointranked second for students majoring in general business, economics, international business, and management. Sales ranked third for students majoring in finance, operations management, HR, and management information systems. Across campus, sales ranked second/third for students in the social, natural, and physical sciences and in liberal arts and communications.
While the demand for graduates to work in sales grows, there is a shortage of scholarly articles dealing specifically with sales curricula and sales pedagogy. In fact, the marketing education literature has been relatively slow in responding to changes in sales education and training. Of the over 800 articles published in JME’s history, only 27 papers deal with sales education (see Gray et al., 2012).
The absence of research in sales education is not due to a lack of activity or paucity of scholars in this area. According to DePaul’s Universities and Colleges Sales Education Landscape Survey, sales curricula grew from 44 U.S. programs in 2007 to 101 programs in 2011. As demand for sales-ready graduates grows, universities are trying to meet this demand by expanding curricular offerings, opening sales centers, and hiring sales faculty. We initiated this Special Issue with a goal of engaging scholars in this area and sparking additional research.
Journal of Marketing Education‘s Special Issue on Sales Education and Training includes sections focusing on recruiting and developing the student mindset, self efficacy and sales, and the classroom and teaching tools. Click here to access the table of contents and read the articles for free for the next 30 days! Make sure to click here to sign up for e-alerts and be notified about all the latest research from Journal of Marketing Education!

Using Gaming to Help Stroke Recovery

July 22, 2014

tablet-pc-299974-mAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 795,000 people in the United States experience a stroke every year. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that there are about 4 million people living in the United States living with the effects of a stroke, which can include problems such as weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, trouble using language both verbally and written, and memory issues among other complications. Recovery takes a great amount of skill, time and support. In a recent study published in Simulation and Gaming entitled “Stroke Patient Rehabilitation: A Pilot Study of an Android-Based Game,” researchers designed and tested a tablet game aimed at helping recent stroke patients recover damaged motor skills.

The abstract:

Background Cerebral vascular accidents (strokes) are the primary cause of disability worldwide and the second leading cause of death both in the Philippines and internationally. In recent years, a number of computer-based applications have been developed to assist in the stroke recovery process.

S&G_2014_C1 template.inddAim This article discusses an Android-based tablet game, FINDEX, that aids in the rehabilitation process of stroke survivors with impaired fine motor skills.

Method FINDEX was designed and developed in the Philippines. The game contains assessment and monitoring support for tracking the patient’s progress in terms of fine finger dexterity, for example, finger control, isolation and coordination, and range of motions. The baselines for data comparison and analysis were gathered through an initial test with subjects with normal hand function. Three stroke survivors then participated in a pilot study, using the game for a total of nine testing sessions.

Results Objective measures showed that patients’ dexterity did in fact improve, although it is not possible to draw strong conclusions because of the small sample size. In subsequent interviews, patients indicated that they believed that the games helped in their recovery and said that they preferred playing with the game over performing the standard therapeutic activities.

Conclusion The development of this game and the preliminary findings from the pilot study suggest that games may indeed be effective instruments for therapy.

Click here to read “Stroke Patient Rehabilitation: A Pilot Study of an Android-Based Game” for free from Simulation and Gaming. Want to be notified about all the latest research like this from Simulation and Gaming? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Did You Hear? When Rumors Are Used As Revenge At Work

July 21, 2014

scandal-1113908-mAccording to a 2008 study done by the publishers of the Myers-Briggs Assessment and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, 85% of employees at all levels are involved in workplace conflict to some degree. In the United States alone, time spent dealing with this conflict equates to an average of 2.8 hours weekly, or approximately $359 billion in paid hours. This conflict can take many forms, including that of workplace bullying and revenge. A recent study published in Group and Organization Management entitled “Rumor as Revenge in the Workplace” looks at rumors as retaliatory tool in an organizational setting.

The abstract:

Two studies that examined the role of revenge in rumor transmission and involved working adults as participants are reported. Study 1 used hypothetical 06GOM10_Covers.inddscenarios to manipulate organizational treatment of an employee and the believability of a rumor. Participants had higher intention to transmit a harmful rumor when the organization broke job-related promises (i.e., breached the psychological contract) and revenge motivation mediated this relationship. Believability of the rumor had no effect. Study 2 used a field survey methodology and, controlling for social desirability, replicated the results for self- and peer-reported rumor transmission behavior. Study 2 also showed that participants’ belief in negative reciprocity norm strengthened the relationship between breach and revenge motivation.

Click here to read “Rumor as Revenge in the Workplace” for free from Group and Organization Management. Want to be notified about research like this from Group and Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Implications for Theory and Practice of Philanthropy in Family Businesses

July 18, 2014

[We're pleased to welcome Dr. Alfredo De Massis who collaborated with Giovanna Campopiano and Francesco Chirico on their paper "Firm Philanthropy in Small and Medium-Sized Family Firms: The Effects of Family Involvement in Ownership and Management" from Family Business Review.]

FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddFirm philanthropy is a relevant topic, at times considered at odds with corporations and their profitability goals. Notwithstanding, firms nowadays are involved with charity, donating their extra money, letting their employees spend part of their time in social initiatives and establishing foundations. Both from the literature and from our personal experience it emerges that for a great number of these firms families play an important role, so that this research idea has been triggered. Particularly small and medium-sized family firms have been the focus of our analysis, as extant research has focused mostly on large companies, and smaller family firms are usually more committed to their local communities and proximate stakeholders.

This research has shown that family involvement in the business is crucial and it engenders distinctive dynamics within the shareholders and the management group that affect engagement in firm philanthropy. The intersection and overlap of family and business systems engender counterintuitive issues related to the behavior of these firms with respect to firm philanthropy.

This study can be considered a pioneering contribution at the crossroads of the family business and philanthropy literatures, and our hope is that it will stimulate further research on this topic. The impact of family firms’ engagement in philanthropy on performance or on firm’s reputation, as well as the relationship between the institutional context and the firm’s behavior are just a few examples of research directions deserving attention in the near future. Finally, a number of practical implications derive from the results of this study: family firms’ owners and managers may develop strategies to engage in philanthropy, if they believe that their firms should be involved in initiatives that reflect the personal motivations and values of these business families.

Click here to read “Firm Philanthropy in Small and Medium-Sized Family Firms: The Effects of Family Involvement in Ownership and Management” from Family Business Review. Want to know about all the latest research from Family Business Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Giovanna Campopiano1Giovanna Campopiano is an assistant professor at the Chair of Business Administration and Family Entrepreneurship at the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany. Her research interests mainly focus on management issues in Family Business in relation to growth, performance, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and entrepreneurial activities.

Alfredo De MassisAlfredo De Massis is the director of the Centre for Family Business at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (IEED) of Lancaster University Management School (UK) and a former professor in the area of family business at University of Bergamo (Italy), where he cofounded the Center for Young and Family Enterprise (CYFE) that he ran as deputy director until October 2013. He has been STEP Global Board member and currently serves as Chairman of the STEP European Leadership Council of the Global STEP Project for Family Enterprising. His research is focused on innovation, organizational goals, and social and behavioral issues in the context of family firms and enterprising families.

ChiricoFrancesco Chirico is an associate professor at Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO). His research stands on the intersection of entrepreneurship and strategy with a special focus on family-controlled firms. It explores the resource management processes and exit strategies that affect the realization of competitive advantage and value creation in organizations.

Do Technology and Educational Opportunities Boost Tradeshow Effectiveness?

July 15, 2014

[We're pleased to welcome Rohit Verma who collaborated with HyunJeong (Spring) Han on their article "Why Attend Tradeshows? A Comparison of Exhibitor and Attendee's Preferences" from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.]

Tradeshows remain more important than ever in the internet age. Our paper “Why Attend Tradeshows? A Comparison of Exhibitor and Attendee’s Preferences” finds that people attend tradeshows for the classic reasons of making business contacts and gaining new knowledge. But technology and sustainability have added new elements to the tradeshow equation.

cqx coverThe paper outlines the reasons given by 2,527 exhibitors and attendees for their tradeshow participation and also examines some of the ways that technology and sustainability have augmented tradeshows. We found that exhibitors and attendees have quite different reasons for participating in a tradeshow. Exhibitors are focused on selling or demonstrating their products and meeting qualified buyers. On the other hand, attendees are seeking educational opportunities. Since product demonstrations are a part of that education process, the tradeshow can be an effective way to meet both sets of goals.

Technology is increasingly used to improve the efficiency of that meeting and education process. For example, many events have an app that allows participants to schedule meetings with each other or to connect people with common interests. And, of course, most tradeshows have wi-fi, video displays, an internet café, and mobile apps. In general, the participants appreciate the availability of technology that helps them make the most of the tradeshow.

Event organizers are aware of the push for sustainability in the hospitality industry, and many tradeshows have an on-site recycling program, virtual collateral to cut down the amount of paper flyers, and reusable and environmentally friendly display materials. In addition, many operate in LEED-certified facilities. While sustainability options at tradeshows does not increase the likelihood of attendance, it significantly improves customer satisfaction for those who do attend the event.


“Why Attend Tradeshows? A Comparison of Exhibitor and Attendee’s Preferences” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly can be read for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Improving Together: Action Learning in a Network

July 14, 2014

JABS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpoint[We're pleased to welcome comments from David Coghlan and Paul Coughlan, both of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Their paper "Effecting Change and Learning in Networks through Network Action Learning" was recently published in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.]

  • Who is the target audience for this article?

Our article describes how a network in the transportation equipment industry engaged in collaborative improvement and transformed its way of working and the relationships among the participating organizations. Because we were working through the action learning approach we observed what took place in the real-live action of the network as it struggled with its challenges and problems.

There is not a single target audience for this article – if there is for any. We see three: fellow researchers in both of our domains; OD practitioners; and supply chain managers. Each will get something different from it. However, as audiences, they are not new to us. We have been writing with them, for them and about them for many years, based upon our collaborative research and action with them.

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Our interest in this topic is long-standing and ever changing. We work in the area of action learning which guides and inspires our research and teaching. Action learning always begins with the task to be done and an associated problem where there is no single or technical solution. Most complex organizational change projects fall into the category of a problem, as there is no single solution while there are likely to be many opinions as to what the preferred course of action might be. The learning formula which underpins action learning is L=P+Q where learning is a function of current knowledge (P) exposed to critical and reflective questioning (Q) in the light of experience. The components of action learning are that a group forms, comprising members who care about the problem, know something about it and have the power to implement solutions. The members of the group engage in a questioning and reflective process whereby experience is generated and interrogated. The group members have a commitment to both taking action and to learning. These commitments are based on the premise that no real learning takes place unless and until action is taken as implementation, rather than recommendations to others. There is often a facilitator who can play a variety of roles for the group: coordinator, catalyst, observer, climate setter, communication enabler, learning coach among many.

While management research is often criticized for being too theoretical and removed from practice (either in its origins or applications), we enjoy the opportunity to enquire into practice, with practitioners in a way that contributes to practice, theory and methodology. In a way, our approach is to work towards a different definition of quality of research. One of us is from within the domain of Operations Management. In OM, quality is much more than a performance objective, it is a philosophy. What makes for quality in action learning is that there is an engagement with real-life issues, that it is collaborative, has a reflective character through being deliberatively subjective while at the name time being rigorously objective about the facts of the problem and its context, and that there are workable outcomes. Inspiration for our research and writing – this paragraph captures it.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Traditional management research tends to be pre-occupied with findings. In contrast, action learning research generates data from which new insights emerge. So, in a sense, everything about the process and outcome of an action learning research initiative is surprising. The outcomes could not have been anticipated, even though the motivation, process, techniques and checks for relevance might be articulated and derived in a scholarly fashion and well executed.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research or practice?

Our article offers a contribution to networks and learning in networks theory. We bring network action learning, network types and collaborative strategic improvement together to understand the interactions that occur between organizations and demonstrate how the interactions between them may be seen as a path of transition through network types. Second, we propose a theory of researcher interaction that involves the researcher engaging with managers (or relevant practitioners) as co-researchers in addressing a real-life network problem through iterative cycles of action and reflection leading to practical outcomes and actionable knowledge.

We also offer a contribution to practice: for the supply chain managers who are responsible for the development of relationships with and among their suppliers, and the OD practitioners who work with managers to facilitate their improvement interventions. We invite supply chain managers to consider the usefulness and usability of action learning in identifying and addressing critical shared problems. We alert the OD practitioner to the particular sensitivities of managers to perceived interference with the workings of their firms and to the risk of commercial realities driving out learning.

Finally we offer a contribution to methodology. We show how action learning research has provided a basis for critical inquiry as it has generated insights into the process of effecting change and learning in a network. The actionable knowledge generated needs to meet the criteria of good research, namely was rigorous, reflective and relevant.We describe the process by which the data were gathered, generated and reflected upon. There was disciplined engagement in the interactions with the organizations and the gathering of the associated documents and records of conversation. Through collaborative engagement with the real-life issues of the network, it exposed to exploration the emergent (and latent) tensions, contradictions, emotions and power dynamics in and between the organizations. Throughout, the demands for rigour required the surfacing and exploration of the assumptions and interpretations of the data and events as they unfolded. The explication of the learning as it emerged was tested in action.

  • How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

Our collective body of work spans the domains of action learning, organizational learning, operations management and organization development. Our work/line of research frames how action learning constitutes an approach to collaborative management research. In our ground-breaking book, Collaborative Strategic Improvement through Network Action Learning (P. Coughlan & D. Coghlan. Edward Elgar. 2011) we framed action learning as such an approach. We explored and demonstrated how network action learning research provides a basis for critical inquiry in the fields of collaborative improvement and network learning. It generates insights into tensions, contradictions, emotions and power dynamics in and between organizations as they (and teams within them) work together to build their and to sustain an effective network.

Our article captures a locus and focus for our research which, currently, we are extending into the realm of traditional food producers. While the industry and associated dynamics differ from the transportation equipment industry focus of the article, the opportunities for actionable knowledge through engaging in action learning research remain. As noted earlier, our ambition for this research is, as always, to engage on a real life issue, collaboratively, reflectively, blending deliberate subjectivity with rigorous objectivity while aiming for robust theory and workable outcomes.

Click here to read “Effecting Change and Learning in Networks through Network Action Learning” from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science for free! Want to be the first to know about all the latest research from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

tcdadminDavid Coghlan is an action research scholar and an adjunct professor at the School of Business, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and a Fellow Emeritus of the college. He specializes in organization development and action research and is active in both communities internationally. He has published over 80 articles and book chapters. Recent co-authored books include Organizational Change and Strategy (2006) and Collaborative Strategic Improvement Through Network Action Learning (2011). He is the co-editor of the four-volume set Fundamentals of Organization Development (Sage, 2010) and the proposed four-volume set Action Research in Business and Management (Sage, 2015). He has recently published the fourth edition of his internationally popular Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization (Sage, 2014).

paulcPaul Coughlan is Professor of Operations Management and Director of Research at the School of Business, Trinity College Dublin. On graduation, he joined the faculty of the London Business School. In addition to his research and teaching he has held senior School and College administrative positions, including MBA Director, Director of Postgraduate Teaching & Learning and Course Co-Director at the TCD-UCD Innovation Academy. Outside of Trinity College, he was President of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) from 2003-09. His research in product development and continuous improvement has encompassed an innovative action research dimension involving companies engaged in action learning. This work has led to continuing methodology development and to specialised doctoral training in action research and learning through the EIASM doctoral network.


Top Five: What If?

July 11, 2014


This morning saw the beginning of the World Future Society 2014 annual conference: WorldFuture 2014: What If in Orlando, Florida!

WorldFuture 2014 is a collective of some of the world’s most inquisitive and dedicated scholars, asking about the future of a myriad of topics including humanity, government, education, religion and even happiness. Speakers will include Paul Saffo of Foresight at DISCERN, Stacey Childress of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s investment in K-12 Next Generation Learning, Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and many more! You can keep up with the conference on Twitter by using the hashtag #wfs2014!

In honor of the conference, we’re pleased to bring you the top five most read articles from World Future Review.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint“The Democratization of Innovation: Managing Technological Innovation as If People Matter” by Philip H. Spies from March 2014

“How Digital Outcasts Can Pilot the Future of Health Care” by Kel Smith from June 2013

“Peer Production and Prosumerism as a Model for the Future Organization of General Interest Services Provision in Developed Countries: Examples of Food Services Collectives” by  Katarzyna Gajewska from March 2014.

“Geothermal Energy” by Gioietta Kuo from February 2012.

“Higher Education in the Future Tense: Taking Futuristics to School” by Arthur B. Shostak from March 2014.

Want to know about all the latest news and research like this from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!



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