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"Barriers and Opportunities for Specialty Cultivated Mushroom Production in the United States"


Graham Austin · Professor of Marketing
Co-author: Alexandria Moxley
Co-author: Roland Ebel
Co-author: Cathy L. Cripps
Co-author: Mary Stein
Co-author: Meaghan Winder

Abstract: Producing and consuming specialty cultivated mushrooms (SCMs), cultivated mushrooms outside of the Agaricus genus, has the potential to positively impact sustainable food systems. Few studies have examined consumer perceptions of SCMs and industry-wide trends of SCM production in the United States (US), despite the USD 66.1 million in SCM sales in the US during 2020. This study looked at the barriers to and opportunities for cultivating, marketing, and consuming SCMs in the US by conducting a producer survey with SCM facilities in the US (n = 63). Survey results found diversification across products and practices within the SCM industry and on an individual business level. The most common place SCM growers sold their products was farmers’ markets (n = 63). The majority (53%) of growers (n = 60) used diverse (four or more) approaches to advertise their products. The majority of SCM growers (57%) indicated they had participated in a community outreach event in the past five years to help promote their SCM products (n = 63). Findings indicate there are opportunities for greater SCM business owner diversity. Our results indicate that production of SCMs may support economic, environmentally, and socio-culturally sustainable food systems and that there is further room for increased sustainability across the industry.

"Food Experience Design to Prevent Unintended Consequences and Improve Well-being"

Journal of Service Research

Graham Austin · Professor of Marketing
Co-author: Michael Addis; Roma Tre University
Co-author: Wided Batat; University of Lyon
Co-author: S. Sinem Atakan; Siena College
Co-author: Danae Manika; Brunel University
Co-author: Paula C. Peter; San Diego State University
Co-author: Lane Peterson; Georgia State University

Abstract: This article introduces a novel and comprehensive conceptual framework for designing innovative food experiences that enhance food well-being. We call this framework the novel food experience design. It supports managers in cocreating customer-centric food experiences to limit unintended detrimental consequences and enhance individual and societal food well-being. The novel food experience design (1) employs a systemic (vs. endemic) approach to the innovation process and (2) promotes prioritizing ethical decision-making alongside economic decision-making. Building on insights derived from ecosystem theory and the ethical principles literature, we develop four fundamental propositions to innovate food experiences: do no harm, do good, ensure autonomy, and ensure fairness. Our framework promotes higher levels of individual and societal food well-being than restricted food design innovations, preventing unintended consequences. Finally, we illuminate the implications for service research and practice.


"Pulling back the curtain of environmental accountability: How boundaries shape environmental identities in the SKI industry"

Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

Gary Caton · Professor of Finance
Co-author: Edward Gamble; University of Vermont

Abstract: This paper aims to explore the important role boundaries play in back-office framing of environmental engagement. This is of particular interest because it is not clear how organizations in an industry without standardized environmental reporting navigate their boundaries behind the scenes and why they engage with the environment the way they do. This element of their environmental identity offers important insights into the emergence of sustainability reporting.

Findings: The authors find three key boundaries – accountability structure, degree of regulatory burden and impact measurement approach – that shape the back-office economic and environmental framing of ski executives (Goffman, 1959, 1974). From these back-office frames the authors identify four front-office cultural performances – community ecosystem, quantitative ownership, approval seeking and advocacy platform – that represent the environmental engagement strategies at these resorts.

Practical Implications: Understanding the relationships between boundaries and environmental engagement is an important step in developing appropriate industry-wide environmental accountability and sustainability expectations. The study’s findings extend to other industries that are both highly dependent on the environment and are in the early stages of developing environmental reporting standards.

"Dodd–Frank's impact on community-bank investment models: A Bayesian structural time series analysis"

Accounting & Finance

Gary Caton · Professor of Finance
Frank Kerins · Associate Professor of Finance
Co-author: Edward Gamble; University of Vermont
Co-author: Yen Teik Lee; National University of Singapore

Abstract: We use Bayesian structural time series (BSTS) methodology to test whether the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (DF) caused changes in community bank business models. The BSTS methodology uses the pre-DF period to create synthetic counterfactuals for community-bank dependent variables of interest. In the post-DF period, the counterfactuals become predictions of the dependent variables had DF not been enacted. Comparing post-DF predicted versus actual dependent variables allows us to estimate the causal impact of DF on these variables of interest. We find that relative to assets, community banks significantly reduce their lending activities and significantly increase investment in securities and excess reserves.

Conclusion: The Dodd–Frank Act's 2200 pages spawned over 22,000 pages of rules and regulations intended to modernise banking regulation and help prevent a future financial crisis. Regulatory changes, however, do not happen in a static environment as those subject to the new rules interpret and react to them. Our BSTS analysis shows that community banks reduced their allocations to total lending and replaced these investments with allocations to tradeable securities and deposits in Federal Reserve banks.

"Clearance vs. sale: promotion keywords and their implications for retailers and public policy"

Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice

Brian Gillespie · Associate Dean
Co-author: Kenneth C. Manning; Colorado State University
Co-author: O.C. Ferrell; Auburn University
Co-author: Linda Ferrell; Auburn University

Abstract: Promotion keywords (e.g. sale, clearance) are a frequent component of retail advertising, store signage, and point-of-purchase displays. Despite retailers’ frequent use of promotion keywords, past research has not examined their meaning. To address this void, the authors conducted studies examining both consumers’ and retail managers’ perceptions of promotional keywords within the United States market. Using an experimental approach, the authors predict and find that clearance leads to relatively deep retail discount expectations compared to sale (across samples including consumers and retail managers) and that the attractiveness of price promotions is dependent upon associated promotional keywords.

The objectives of the current research are to gain an improved understanding of: (1) the meanings promotion keywords convey to consumers and the attractiveness of these keywords; (2) the meanings of promotional keywords to retailers; (3) the potential for keyword meanings to be inconsistent with pricing; and (4) consumer responses to mis/aligned promotion keywords and the depth of discounts reflected in retail pricing.

"The Corroboration Role of Management Earnings Forecasts in Private Loan Markets"

Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance

Nick Krupa · Assistant Professor of Accounting
Co-author: Xinghua Gao; Washington State University
Co-author: Yonghong Jia; Iowa State University
Co-author: Jennifer Wu Tucker; University of Florida

Abstract: Management earnings forecasts (MEFs) may reduce information risk by corroborating the inferences that lenders draw from their private communication with borrowers. Consistent with this idea, we find that among firms with a general policy of issuing MEFs, those providing MEFs in the 6 months before loan origination with a forecast horizon beyond the origination date enjoy lower loan spreads. The frequency and precision of MEFs are also negatively associated with loan spreads. The associations are stronger when lenders’ need for corroboration of their private information is expected to be greater. The associations are not driven by a firm’s general information environment, signaling of managerial ability, opportunistic disclosure, or competition between public and private debt markets. Moreover, the issuance, frequency, and precision of MEFs are associated with loan amounts more spread out among participating lenders, suggesting that MEFs also reduce information asymmetry within a loan syndicate. Our study provides insight into the corroboration role of publicly disseminated MEFs in private loan markets.

"Taking Root in Fertile Ground: Community Context and the Agglomeration of Hybrid Companies"

Journal of Business Venturing

Brooke Lahneman · Visiting Professor of Management

Abstract: Where do hybrid companies flourish and why? We draw on economic theories of agglomeration and sociocultural theories of community to examine the specific contexts in which hybrids flourish, and offer an understanding of why place matters to the unique business models they employ. We hypothesize that a community's collectivism, political orientation, and third sector munificence have distinct roles in promoting hybrid company agglomeration. We test these hypotheses with data drawn from a variety of sources, covering 260 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas across 17 years. Our results indicate that both economic and sociocultural theories offer explanatory power, and their union more completely explains hybrid agglomeration. Additional analyses enrich our understanding of how this agglomeration unfolds over time.

"Business as usual is not working for women in business schools: Student perceptions of business people and entrepreneurs"

Gender, Work & Organization

Amber Raile · Associate Professor of Management
Agnieszka Kwapisz · Professor of Management
Virginia K. Bratton · Associate Professor of Management
Myleen Leary · Associate Professor of Management
Kregg Aytes · Professor of Management
Laura J. Black · Professor of Management
Scott Bryant · Professor of Management

Abstract: Despite growth in the number of women pursuing business and entrepreneurship careers, dominance of masculine traits associated with these occupations persists. If business schools use language that subconsciously reinforces gendered stereotypes, students might perpetuate sexist expectations. Using a natural language text processing tool to analyze the written responses of 247 undergraduate students in a US-based university, we found that student perceptions of entrepreneurs are associated with more masculine characteristics compared to student perceptions of business people. To some degree, female students were more likely to make these associations than male students. Our findings suggest that business schools must do their part to break the cycles that elevate masculine characteristics of entrepreneurship. The negative effects of this manifest in the persistent gender pay gap, rising but still minority numbers of women entrepreneurs, continued practices of rewarding masculine traits in organizations, and ongoing underrepresentation of women students in schools of business.

Conclusion: Both business and entrepreneurship as fields of employment and fields of education seem to present multiple barriers to women. This study illustrates the embeddedness of gendered perceptions of students within the culture and pedagogy of business schools. Using a quantitative approach to assess perceptions of language, we provide valuable insights that point to the need for more holistic interventions to achieve gender equity in the learning environments of future business practitioners. By gaining an understanding of student interpretations of everyday talk used in the business school curriculum and marketing efforts, we can change the dialog to confront these understandings and reframe perceptions (Myers et al., 2011). Such proactive communication recognizes the central role that messages play in shaping perceptions of who “fits” in a business school. Shifting language and surfacing assumptions in business classrooms will shape perceptions of all students and address unconscious focus on traditional masculine traits associated with business and entrepreneurship. By acknowledging the role that entrepreneurship emphasis might have as the language of sexism in today's business schools, universities can proactively move toward a more equitable future for our students and for industry more broadly. To survive and thrive amid complex challenges, organizations need to create inclusive environments to reap the full benefits that diversity can provide (Page, 2019). Examining and explicitly reshaping assumptions embedded in the everyday language of business and entrepreneurship form an important step that business schools can take to advance gender equity in organizations.

"An empirical comparison of the Extended Parallel Process Model with the Terror Management Health Model"

Health Promotion International

Omar Shehryar · Professor of Marketing
Co-author: David M. Hunt; Boise State University

Summary: In this research, we compared two psychological models that explain how people respond to fear-based health promotion campaigns. The well-established Extended Parallel Process Model predicts that when faced with a fear-arousing message, audiences evaluate their self-efficacy in performing the recommended action, as well as the efficacy of the proposed action. Next, the efficacy appraisal is weighed against the perceived level of fear and the relevance of the threat to one’s personal situation to determine a response to the threat. The more recently developed Terror Management Health Model states that fear of death is a special case. When faced with a fear-arousing message that utilizes threat of death as a consequence, audiences can cling to worldviews that grant them self-esteem. As such, defensiveness evoked by the fear of death is not in response to the level of perceived threat, but the qualitative nature of the threat. This worldview defense can create undesirable responses to fear appeals containing the fear of death. Results from a laboratory experiment indicate that the established model explains audience behavior for health-related messages that utilize threats with nonfatal consequences but the Terror Management Health Model is better suited to predicting behavior for messages that utilize threat of death as a consequence.

Abstract: The Extended Parallel Process Model posits that fear-appeal messages are processed only when message recipients perceive a critical level of threat. The more recent Terror Management Health Model suggests that, in addition to level of perceived threat, the nature of the threat also influences how target audiences process fear appeals. Specifically, fear appeals that utilize the threat of death as a consequence trigger both conscious and nonconscious responses that influence message recipients’ health-related decisions. Accounting for the influence of consciousness of death helps explain maladaptive responses that extant theory has been unable to explain. Results from an experiment indicate that, when the level of perceived fear was the same across participants, the Extended Parallel Process Model successfully predicted persuasive outcomes for fear appeals that utilized the threat of arrest or serious injury as a consequence of noncompliance. However, for fear appeals that utilized the threat of death as a consequence of noncompliance, as predicted by the Terror Management Health Model, ego involvement in the health-related behavior predicted persuasive outcomes more accurately than the dual fear control and danger control processes. These findings suggest that incorporating consciousness of death and ego involvement can avoid conceptual problems with the level-of-fear construct, provide a meaningful way to predict fear-appeal responses across target audiences, and explain maladaptive responses that have eluded the explanations of extant fear-appeal theories.

"Escapism Motive on a Virtual Platform during the Pandemic"

Celebrating the Past and Future of Marketing and Discovery with Social Impact

Christine Sung · Associate Professor of Marketingt

Abstract: Currently, the world is experiencing considerable unpredictability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and retailers have been struggling to adjust to the new consumption environment, which embodies online/virtual platforms. During this global upheaval, many activities that used to occur primarily in the physical environment (e.g., shopping; attending movies, musicals, and concerts; taking classes; participating in meetings; working) have already shifted to the virtual environment throughout the world.

The current study investigates (a) the use intention of a virtual platform (virtual reality fitness) as a form of disease prevention behavior, and (b) consumers’ applied technology ad experience on a virtual platform during the pandemic among young people who are described as being tech-savvy (Lee et al. 2020; Smith 2017) during the pandemic.

In the study, data came from 46 undergraduate students at a U.S. university who were majoring in business. For the U.S. sample, among the elements of experience economy, only esthetics, entertainment, and escapism were measured based on the context of the current study (VR fitness). Among these elements, esthetic influences escapism; escapism positively influences VR fitness advertising satisfaction during the pandemic. Stress during the pandemic influences escapism experience. Perceived virtual platform benefit also influences VR fitness advertising satisfaction during the pandemic. In addition, VR fitness advertising satisfaction influences the use intention of virtual platforms during the pandemic and after the pandemic.

The findings reveal that managers should improve users’ online experiences by implementing applied technology marketing strategies to impress consumers in the consumption environment, in line with the escapism motive. Therefore, in the main study, the effectiveness of applied technology marketing on the online/virtual format with a chosen VR stimulus will be conducted and compared across cultures (individualism vs. collectivism), in line with the escapism motive during the pandemic.


"The online for offline mobile retail business strategy: sustainable multichannel services"

International Journal of Mobile Communications

Christine Sung · Associate Professor of Marketing

Co-author: Kwonsang Sohn; Inha University
Co-author: Qingxuan Zhang; KyungHee University
Co-author: Ohbyung Kwon; KyungHee University

Abstract: Online for offline (O4O) e-commerce is a new multichannel strategy that is being adopted worldwide, whereby successful online companies launch offline retail stores. Despite this new retail trend, it is unclear whether this new business model is sustainable. Therefore, the purpose of this empirical study is to identify factors affecting consumers' intention to continue using online and offline channels established by successful online brands using an O4O strategy, and to test the halo effect of online stores going offline. The findings of this study confirm that utilitarian value, hedonic value, and parasocial relationships have significant effects on intention to continue visiting online and offline stores. Also, consumers' intention to continue to visit online stores strongly influences the perceived utilitarian and perceived hedonic value of the offline store. These results suggest that the perceived utilitarian and hedonic value of the online store can expand and sustain enterprises adopting the multichannel strategy.

"What Drives Technology-Enhanced Storytelling Immersion? The Role of Digital Humans"

Computers in Human Behavior

Christine Sung · Associate Professor of Marketing

Co-author: Dai-In Danny Han; Breda University of Applied Sciences
Co-author: Sujin Bae; KyungHee University
Co-author: Ohbyung Kwon; KyungHee University

Abstract: In this research, we investigate consumer responses to technology-enhanced storytelling marketing via augmented digital humans in two different contexts. We test the role of an augmented digital human stimulus as a moderator for storytelling satisfaction in a technology-enhanced retail complex. Building on visual perception theory and information processing theory, the findings from our study reveal sequential links between the four realms of experience economy theory in a mixed reality environment and subsequent effects on storytelling satisfaction, which in turn are boosted by digital human storytelling. Overall, our findings reveal that digital human storytelling is an effective long-term marketing strategy in technology-enhanced environments.

"The New World of Philanthropy: How Changing Financial Behavior, Public Policies, and COVID-19 Affect Nonprofit Fundraising and Marketing"

Journal of Consumer Affairs

Eric Van Steenburg · Associate Professor of Marketing

Co-author: Nwamaka A. Anaza; Southern Illinois University
Co-author: Ahmed Ashhar; Indian Institute of Management
Co-author: Andres Barrios; Universidad de Los Andes
Co-author: Ashley R. Deutsch; Marquette University
Co-author: Meryl P. Gardner; University of Delaware
Co-author: Preeti Priya; Institute of Rural Management Anand
Co-author: Abhijit Roy; Unviersity of Scanton
Co-author: Anu Sivaraman; University of Delaware
Co-author: Kimberly A. Taylor; Florida International University

Abstract: Evolving financial behavior, an unpredictable public policy atmosphere, and an unparalleled global pandemic have collaborated to disrupt nonprofit fundraising. The COVID-19 pandemic alone exacerbated consumer demands for nonprofit services while curtailing nonprofit organizations' ability to fundraise. Without fundraising, nonprofit organizations cannot achieve their mission or support their causes, leading to a precarious situation for societal well-being. Meanwhile, consumers are changing their financial behaviors, with younger generations often going cashless. At the same time, governments continue to change policies that affect nonprofit organizations. In keeping with the transformative consumer research movement, the present study provides a conceptual framework for the state of nonprofit fundraising amid the challenges associated with changes in financial behavior and public policy, coupled with the effects of the global pandemic. Marketing strategies for fundraising success are presented to aid nonprofits going forward and serve societal interests.

"Trust, regulation, and market efficiency"

Public Choice

Haoyang Xiong · Assistant Professor of Finance
Co-author: Brandon N. Cline; Mississippi State University
Co-author: Claudia R. Williamson; University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Abstract: Building from the interest-group theory of regulation, we posit that trust alters the payoff from regulatory rent-seeking relative to profit-seeking. Trust reduces the costs of productive economic exchange by lowering transaction costs, thus raising the cost of rent-seeking behavior. In addition, trust increases political accountability, discouraging politicians from creating regulatory rents. We therefore hypothesize that trust reduces the extent of business regulation while simultaneously facilitating market efficiency. To test that hypothesis, we construct an overall business regulation index measuring procedures, time, and cost along eight dimensions of doing business in a country. The empirical results reveal that trust negatively relates to business regulation but positively relates to market efficiency. Interaction and split-sample results further indicate that trust and business regulation are substitutes. Collectively, the findings reported herein suggest that business regulation itself is not the root cause of market inefficiency, but rather lack of trust is the dominant factor.




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