Call for Papers: Special Issue on Engineering Entrepreneurship Education

EEX_72ppiRGB_powerpointEntrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy will be publishing a special issue on Engineering Entrepreneurship Education! Articles should focus on learning innovations and research related to the integration of content intended to impact engineering students’ understanding of and experience with entrepreneurship. Submit your manuscript today.

Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy (EEP) is USASBE’s peer-reviewed opportunity for entrepreneurship educators to both publish their scholarship and showcase their practice. EE&P aims to provide a forum for the dissemination of research, teaching cases, and learning innovations focused on educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.

For more details click here.

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The Governance of Labor Standards in Australian and German Garment Supply Chains

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Elke Schuessler of the Institute of Organization Science at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Dr. Stephen J. Frenkel of the University of New South Wales, and Dr. Chris F. Wright of the University of Sydney Business School.  They recently published an article in the ILR Review entitledFocusing Events and Changes in the Governance of Labor Standards in Australian and German Garment Supply Chains,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Frenkel reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]


What motivated you to pursue this research

Globalization is a feature of the world economy. This is illustrated most sharply by the outsourcing of production to factories in developing countries. The resulting global supply chains raise questions about the pay and conditions of workers whose labour contributes to the final product. Absent adequate law enforcement and continuous pressure by large often multinational retail and marketing firms to reduce costs, factories and workers are subject to a ‘race to the bottom’ in what are commonly referred to as ‘labour standards.’ On the other hand, many lead firms are intent on avoiding reputational damage associated with worker exploitation, so they have become standards’ regulators, taking responsibility for ensuring that their suppliers abide by a code of labour standards’ conduct. Our research investigates similarities and differences in lead firm regulation policies with a view to advancing theory and offering insights into how the cost reduction v regulation puzzle might be resolved.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

Our research has been strongly influenced by the Rana Plaza disaster of April 2013 when the collapse of a building in Dhaka, Bangladesh left 1,130 mainly female garment workers dead and over 2,000 injured. This incident highlighted regulatory failure in the Bangladesh garment export industry which has become a major supplier to lead firms in advanced Western countries. As a result, a new set of institutions were established by lead firms, global and local unions and international agencies to promote and regulate building and worker safety in the industry. This development provided an opportunity to examine the impact of these institutional changes on lead firm and suppliers’ attitudes and behaviour regarding regulation of worker safety and labour standards more generally.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

There is no systematic publicly available knowledge regarding lead firms’ responses to Rana Plaza and ensuing institutional changes. We explore why some lead firms joined the Accord a collective agreement, signaling a preference for high safety standards and a commitment to sharing decision-making with unions while other firms responded in less demanding ways. The lead firms we examine are drawn from comparative samples of Australian and German companies which enables analysis of firm type, country of origin norms, the role of stakeholders, and host country institutions in explaining our findings. Our study has prompted a broader project currently underway that links lead firms in Australia, Germany, Sweden and the UK with garment factories and workers in Bangladesh (see We are tracing the impact of lead firm policies and institutional influences on factory labour standards, including how these are perceived by management and workers respectively. Our comprehensive approach emphasizing the importance of a ‘focusing event’ and the regulatory influence of resulting institutions on factory management and workers, is likely to make a major contribution to the theory and practice of global garment supply chain governance.

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What Motivates Board Members of Founder-Owned Companies?

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Alexander Libman of Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Tatiana Dolgopyatov of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Andrei Yakovlev the National Research University Higher School of Economics. They recently published an article in the Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “‘Board Empowerment: What Motivates Board Members of Founder-Owned Companies?” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the motivations of this research:]


Our study emerged from a puzzling observation we made looking at the development of Russian (and, more generally, emerging markets) companies after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. The crisis reduced the benefits of having an advanced and transparent corporate governance structure: international investors (who in many cases demanded better governance practices in the first place) became cautious and unwilling to engage even the most transparent companies. Since maintaining a well-functioning formal corporate governance system is costly, we would expect emerging market companies to abandon it in favor of informal management mechanisms. AFK Sistema – the company we study in our paper – did exactly the opposite. After the crisis, it invested substantial effort into improving the corporate governance, including empowering the board of directors, going well beyond the Russian standards in this respect.

Our paper, therefore, was an attempt to understand how does the company benefit from improving its corporate governance, even if it is created not for investor’s sake? It appears that empowering boards of directors could have another, equally important function: it can increase the motivation of board members, making them eager to invest their time and effort in advancing the cause of the company. This, in turn, opens new business opportunities and new possibilities for growth. These opportunities can be challenged by changes in external environment: after 2014, for example, AFK Sistema faced challenges in Russia related to Bashneft case, which could also influence the further pathway the company will follow in terms of developing the corporate governance. But fundamentally, the approach of empowering boards to improve motivation appears to be sound and beneficial for achieving long-term business growth.

Our argument applies even to companies with concentrated ownership, which traditionally pay less attention to transfer real authorities to the board of directors. In the AFK Sistema, it was the founder, who controls more than 60% of the company’s stock, who triggered and consistently implemented the change towards a more transparent and better organized corporate governance structure.

From this case study, two conclusions follow. First, we show how important it is to go beyond the simple generalizations and to look at more nuanced factors explaining the choices made by individual companies. In some cases, personality and convictions of the key decision-makers can push the company in a new direction, creating avenues from achieving success. Capturing these nuanced factors was, in fact, the main challenge of our research: we had to gain insight into the motivation and the perceptions of the highest echelons of the AFK Sistema (which is one of the biggest Russian companies). It was not enough that the managers and the board members agreed to talk to us to verify facts and to respond to specific questions – we needed to gain insights in their view of how the company develops and why certain decisions are made, without biasing the respondents by our own preconceptions and ideas.

Second, the case of AFK Sistema also shows that the business experience of emerging markets can be used to draw valuable lessons for companies operating elsewhere – the logic of board empowerment as a tool for increasing motivation of directors could be of value for companies in mature markets as well. Emerging markets are not only about hostile business environment – they are (potentially) about managerial innovations with broader relevance

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Examining Experience Portfolios of Subsidiary Executives in Multinational Firms

[We’re pleased to welcome author Dr. Marketa Rickley of the University of Iowa. Dr. Rickley recently published an article in Journal of Management entitled “Cultural Generalists and Cultural Specialists: Examining Experience Portfolios of Subsidiary Executives in Multinational Firms,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Rickley reveals the inspiration for conducting this research:]

JOM_44.1_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

How multinational companies (MNCs) allocate executives to manage foreign subsidiaries located in diverse and challenging markets has long fascinated researchers. However, the emphasis of this research stream has largely been on the antecedents and consequences of selecting expatriates versus local managers. Based on the observations that both expatriate and local managers often have substantial international experiences to draw on to manage a foreign subsidiary, this study sought to move away from placing foreign subsidiary executives into just two distinct categories, which are often insufficient and may be potentially misleading in characterizing these individuals’ experiential backgrounds. This study instead analyzed the depth and breadth of foreign subsidiary executives’ previous international experiences relative to the institutional distance between the MNC headquarters country and the foreign subsidiary country.

In some cases, the MNC headquarters country and the foreign subsidiary country are quite similar. In other cases, the foreign country is quite different along economic, political, and cultural dimensions, making the market presumably more difficult to manage from the perspective of MNC headquarters. The main focus of this research was to determine whether in these more “institutionally distant” foreign subsidiary markets MNCs select executives with (i) a broader or (ii) a more relevant set of previous international experiences. In other words, do they select cultural generalists or cultural specialists to manage more distant foreign markets

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?

The answers provided by this study to the research questions above were quite surprising to me personally. I expected that MNCs would select executives whose previous international experiences matched the specific challenge at hand. But instead, the results showed that MNCs reach for cultural generalists – that is, for individuals with a broad set of previous cultural experiences that are not necessarily relevant to the headquarters—subsidiary country pair. Interestingly, this finding is true in both the expatriate and local manager sub-sample.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

Apart from digging deeper into the experiential backgrounds of expatriates and local managers, this study is innovative in the way that it measures generality and specificity of previous international experience. Generality is measured as the cultural distance between the country where the experience was earned, and the executive’s country of origin. Specificity is measured as the cultural distance between the country where the experience was earned, and the “other” country in the headquarters—subsidiary country pair. That is, for a French-owned foreign subsidiary in Romania, its Romanian executive’s specificity international experience would be measured against France – which is the “other” country in the headquarters—subsidiary country pair. The same Romanian executive’s generality of international experience would be measured against Romania – his/her country of origin. Particularly novel about this approach is the fact that each international experience is time-weighted by the number of years the individual spent abroad. Few other studies have been able to analyze international experience at this fine-grained level of detail.

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The Effect of Linguistic Style in an MD&A on Stock Market Reaction

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Mohamed M. Tailab and Dr. Marshall J. Burak of Lincoln University. They recently published an article in International Journal of Business Communication entitled “Examining the Effect of Linguistic Style in an MD&A on Stock Market Reaction,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they discuss this research:]


Language as the currency of most human social processes can be converted to words. Investors and market participants attach very different connotations to the words, rely more on intuition than hard data, and react more to the verbal tone. Quantitative information contained in financial annual reports in general and in an MD&A in particular does not provide a complete picture to the investors about the expected firm value. So, the need arises to analyze the effect of narrative disclosures on market reaction as well. In addition, analyzing narrative disclosures is more easily understood than quantitative data, but at the same time it offers a different perspective. This initiated our research interests and concerns to explore in depth the impact of linguistic style in narrative disclosures on decision makers.Therefore, we decided to investigate the effect of language used in the MD&A between the speaker (management) and the listeners (investors), which in turn influences market reaction. We had hypothesized that the stock market (return and risk) has a significant response to the linguistic tone contained in the MD&A. Even though the initial hypotheses have never been proven, this study proves principles about the usefulness of an MD&A to investors.

This work expands on the understanding of the business communication literature by using an interdisciplinary approach. This approach has emerged the narrative disclosures with applied linguistic and market reaction. To this end, this paper is the first to use the partial least squares – structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) approach and contributes to the existing body of knowledge in several ways including (a) a new approach to strengths, (b) evaluation of MD&A content, (c) proof that MD&A length does not play a strong role in market reaction, and (d) findings that capital assets pricing model (CAPM) or Farm-French models are more reliable than the realized volatility.

The study indicates that the average of negative tone is greater than the average of positive words in the MD&A. This may be because the study period started in 2010, there is a possibility that the financial crisis still has an effect on the verbal tone of MD&A reports, and allows the management writers to be more conservative. One interesting observation is that the linguistic content in an MD&A was not consistent with financial performance. It can be concluded that that management most likely does not use its financial performance as a guide for writing the MD&A, or maybe it has another criterion for delivering its message to the investors.
A challenging aspect of this work is that using dictionaries built by researchers in other fields (e.g., psychology) may not be appropriate for a content analysis of financial reports. We have limited our research by neglecting the investors’ types and their preferences. So, it would be better if future researches studied the investors’ preferences, what information investors need to find in the MD&A before making their decisions.The study recommends conducting a more efficient analysis of the narrative disclosures to investigate whether management writers communicate truthful information to investors by offering relevant data about financial performance.

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Does Collective Pay for Performance Work?

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Anthony J. Nyberg, Mark A. Maltarich, Dhuha “Dee” Abdulsalam, Spenser M. Essman, and Ormonde Cragun of the University of South Carolina. They recently published an article in Journal of Management entitled “Collective Pay-For-Performance (PFP): A Cross-Disciplinary Review and Meta-Analysis,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Watch the video abstract the authors have created!

Below, they reveal the inspiration for conducting this research:]

JOM_44.1_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

We investigated collective pay for performance (PFP) – pay that is contingent on collective outcomes – for two reasons: First, collective pay is becoming increasingly important and common among organizations. Second, there appear to be discrepancies between the empirical evidence and theoretical explanations for some of these widely used compensation practices.
Organizations are increasingly using collective PFP to motivate interdependent units; however, research on the topic is dispersed across multiple literature streams, and even findings within literature streams, are often contradictory. For instance, some theoretical perspectives suggest that collective PFP should decrease motivation, particularly among higher performers, resulting in lower unit performance; however, collective PFP is generally positively associated with unit performance. Consequently, we integrated multi-disciplinary research fields to try to reconcile disparate findings and improve our understanding of the relationship between collective PFP and unit performance, and to direct future research towards unanswered collective PFP questions.
In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

In conducting this review, we were able to consolidate research from multiple fields (i.e. organizational behavior/psychology, strategic management, economics, and human resources) and multiple pay types (e.g. profit sharing, stock options, team pay), which allowed us to identify where our knowledge was well developed and where research is still needed. We were able to empirically confirm, through the use of meta-analytic techniques, that collective PFP is positively associated with unit performance. Theoretically, we identified inconsistencies across fields and developed an agenda for future research. It is our hope that other researchers can use this review as a guide to help address important unanswered questions regarding collective PFP.

What did not make it into your published manuscript that you would like to share with us?

The large body of research on collective PFP required substantial time and space to summarize key lessons. Because of this, our manuscript was able to identify but not answer many suggestions for future research. This means that that there remains a need for additional theoretical insights about how collective PFP functions. Specifically, explicating the sorting versus incentive effects and the temporal aspects of collective PFP remain important future topics to be addressed. Additionally, future research should consider examining the effects of collective PFP on alternative outcomes (e.g. competitive advantage) and how collective PFP operates in the context of larger compensation and HR systems.

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Do Gen X and Millennials Learn Differently?

visa_22_1_cover.pngResearch has shown that the current generation in higher education has significantly different learning characteristics than its predecessors.

It is essential to understand this generation’s learning attributes so that educators have useful guidance in designing teaching pedagogies for this generation. It has been found that Millennials do not prefer traditional lecture mode of teaching, traditional communication standards and have zero tolerance to delays.

Findings also suggest that Millennials have a collaborative learning style and enjoy working and learning in groups and teams. They like the use of technology, entertainment and excitement. They prefer structure and experimental activities and learn immediately from their mistakes.

The research in this article published in the journal ‘Vision’ also suggests that there are certain issues of concern with this generation that are particularly worrying such as Millennials demonstrating a lack of drive, motivation and accountability. This generation likes to choose what they learn, how they learn it and when they learn it. Researchers have also pointed out laxity towards their research sources, predisposition to believe peer opinion and public consensus and the absence of original ideas.

The findings also indicate that this generation significantly differs from the previous generation on the attributes of trust and competition. Millennials are found to be more competitive and less trusting than Gen X. This article ‘Gen Y Attributes—Antecedents to Teaching Pedagogy’ addresses various other learning characteristics exhibited by this generation that are significantly different than those of its predecessor generations.

Click here to read Gen Y Attributes—Antecedents to Teaching Pedagogy for free from Vision.

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