Research Seminars

The CSR Surprise Effect: When Unexpected CSR Activity Enhances Brand Evaluations


Speaker: H. ONUR BODUR
Professor of Marketing , John Molson School of Business Concordia University

22 May 2014 - Room T022 - From 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

The CSR Surprise Effect: When Unexpected CSR Activity Enhances Brand Evaluations


This research examines the influence of the expectancy of corporate social responsibility
(CSR) activities on brand evaluations. We define expectancy of a CSR activity as the extent to
which a specific brand’s CSR activity deviates from consumers’ mental schema regarding
brands’ CSR activities. A deviation from a mental schema (i.e., unexpected information)
increases elaboration and influences evaluations. Exposed to unexpected CSR activities,
consumers scrutinize CSR information. Earlier research on CSR activities documents negative
effects of elaboration. Building on earlier work, we investigate to what extent expectancy of the
CSR activity prompts elaborations and whether the nature of elaborations positively influences
subsequent brand evaluations.

In three experiments, we examine the role of CSR expectancy and show a positive effect
of unexpected CSR activities when CSR fit is high. We also consider the underlying mechanism
of the positive influence of the unexpected CSR: When CSR fit is high, greater elaboration due
to unexpected CSR activity makes perceived sincerity of the brand’s motivation for CSR
involvement more salient, which enhances brand evaluations. The amount of elaboration does
not increase when the CSR activity is expected and consumers use simple heuristics. Finally, we
provide a boundary condition: Consumers who are generally involved in brands’ CSR activities
are not differentially affected by varying levels of CSR expectancy. However, a positive effect
of the unexpected CSR activity emerged for consumers with low levels of CSR involvement,
suggesting unexpected CSR can especially help attract those consumers who are less involved.

*Ali Tezer is doctoral student, Marketing Department, Concordia University. H. Onur Bodur is
Associate Professor, Marketing Department, Concordia University. Bianca Grohmann is
Associate Professor, Marketing Department, John Molson School of Business, 1455 De
Maisonneuve Blv. W., Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8 (Canada). The authors acknowledge the support
of Centre for Multidisciplinary Behavioural Business Research (CMBBR) and David O’Brien
Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (DOCSE) at Concordia University.

Building Social Media Intelligence


Speaker: David A. Schweidel
Professor of Marketing , Emory University

20 May 2014 - Room T027 - From 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Building Social Media Intelligence

In the world of Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, water-cooler conversations with co-workers and backyard small talk with neighbors have moved from the physical world to the digital arena. In this new landscape, organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to government agencies to political campaigns continuously monitor online opinions in an effort to guide their actions. Are consumers satisfied with our product? How are our policies perceived? Do voters agree with our platform?

But measuring online opinion is more complex than just reading a few posted reviews. Social media is replete with its share of noise and chatter that can contaminate monitoring efforts. But by knowing what shapes online opinions, we can better uncover the valuable insights hidden in the social media chatter – insights that can inform our organization’s strategy. In this workshop, we discuss how organizations can move beyond the current practice of social media monitoring to develop social media intelligence that can drive marketing decisions.

Skill Archetypes of Successful IT Project Managers: A Repertory Grid Investigation

Operations Management & Information Technology

Speaker: Dr Felix B TAN
Professor of Information Systems and Head - Department of Business Information Systems - Faculty of Business and Law , Université de Technology Auckland Nouvelle Zélande

7 May 2014 - Salle du Conseil bâtiment V - From 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Both the academic and practitioner literature agree that competent Information Technology (IT) project management plays an important role in IT project success. Although effective project management is critical to better project outcomes, little empirical research has investigated skill requirements for IT Project Managers (PMs). This study addresses this gap by asking nineteen practicing IT PMs to describe the characteristics of both competent and incompetent IT PMs. A semi-structured interview method known as the repertory grid technique is used to elicit these skills. These skills are further sorted into nine skill categories: client management, communication, general management, leadership, personal integrity, planning and control, problem solving, systems development, and team development. This study complements existing research by providing a richer understanding of several skills which were narrowly defined (e.g., client management, planning and control, and problem solving) and by introducing two new skill categories which had not been previously discussed (e.g., personal integrity and team development). Analysis of the individual repertory grids reveals four distinct ways in which study participants combined skill categories to form skill archetypes for effective IT PMs. We describe these four skill archetypes -- general manager, problem solver, client representative, and balanced – and discuss how this knowledge can be useful for practitioners, researchers, and educators. The presentation concludes with suggestions for future research

Dr Felix B Tan is Professor of Information Systems and Head of the Business Information Systems department in the Faculty of Business and Law at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Global Information Management from 1998-2012. He was on the Council of the Association for Information Systems between 2003 and 2005.

Dr. Tan is internationally known for his work in the global IT field. His research interests fall broadly in 2 categories: IT user behavior and the management of IS. Dr Tan has published in MIS Quarterly, Information & Management, Information Systems Journal, Journal of Information Technology, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Communications of the AIS, Communications of the ACM as well as other journals and refereed conference proceedings.

Operational Advantages and Optimal Design of Threshold Discounting Offers

Operations Management & Information Technology

Speaker: Simone MARINESI

11 April 2014 - HEC Paris - Jouy en Josas Campus - Building T - Room T022 - From 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

We study the use of threshold discounting, the practice of offering a discounted price service only if at least a given number of customers show interest in it. In recent years, firms like Groupon and others in the newly created multi-billion-dollar online deals industry have popularized this approach. We model a capacity-constrained firm servicing a random-sized population of strategic customers in two representative time periods, a desirable hot period and a less desirable slow period. A comparison with the more traditional approaches typically employed in these circumstances (slow period discounting and closure) reveals that threshold discounting boosts the firm's operational performance on account of two advantages. First, the contingent discount incentivizes slow period consumption when the market for the service is large and reduces supply of the service when the market is small, in effect allowing the firm to respond to the service's unobserved market potential. Second, activation of the threshold discount signals the market state to strategic customers, supplying them with additional information on service availability, and inducing them into self-selecting the consumption period to one that improves the firm's capacity utilization and profit. Unlike in a typical setting with strategic customers, strategic behavior in our setting helps the firm, and a higher fraction of strategic customers in the population increases the firm's profits. When threshold discounts are offered through an intermediary, we find that the arrangements most used in practice distort the incentives of the intermediary, which can diminish the advantages of threshold discounting. We consider alternate deal designs, and we find that the best designs compromise the service provider's flexibility in order to provide strategic customers with clear offer terms.


Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Anna GRANDORI
Professor of Business Organization , Bocconi University , Italy

9 April 2014 - T022 - From 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm


This paper explores alternative configurations of right sharing in economic organization in terms of the types of right shared (decision, reward, asset ownership) and the mode of sharing (via contracts or not). First, it is argued that what contracts can do in terms of right sharing is generally under-appraised, partly due to a narrow notion of contract prevailing in economics and in the Common Law contexts in which it has been elaborated. That notion is criticized, and a revised and extended typology of possible contracts proposed, infusing insights and juridical foundations from Civil Law and European traditions – in particular the possibility of right sharing (including property rights) and constitutional contracts establishing various forms of ‘societas’. Next, the different types of contracts are connected to the sharing of decision rights allowed by different organizational architectures. As a result, a typology of right sharing configurations is developed, and filled with examples of arrangements that recent empirical research reports as actually adopted in economic organization. The various forms of right sharing are not just described as possible or as prescribed by law, but reconstructed and comparatively assessed as efficient, effective and equitable modes of governing cooperation and exchange under increasing levels of uncertainty, knowledge distribution and interdependence.

A Meaningful Embrace: Contingent Effects of Embodied Cues of Affection


Speaker: Ana Valenzuela
Associate Professor at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, CUNY and Visiting Associate Professor at Universidad Pompeu Fabra.

7 April 2014 - Room T022 - From 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

A Meaningful Embrace: Contingent Effects of Embodied Cues of Affection

Rhonda Hadi, Oxford University
Ana Valenzuela, Baruch College & Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Can a mere gesture lead to intimate product bonding? In this research, we find that affectionate gestures (e.g. hugging, stroking) can serve as routes to object attachment. We suggest that the mere execution of an affectionate gesture can generate emotional attachment, which translates into enhanced product attitudes. However, this effect is contingent on the existence of facilitating conditions via the presence of humanlike characteristics in the target object of the affectionate gesture.

Accounting and Taxation: Conjoined Twins or Separate Siblings?

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Prem SIKKA
Accounting and Taxation: Conjoined Twins or Separate Siblings? , University of Essex

28 March 2014 - Room T004 - From 2:00 am to 4:00 am

Accounting technologies play a key role in the estimation of taxable corporate profits. In the neoliberal world marked by mobility of capital and competition, they are also mobilised by transnational corporations to shift profits to low/no tax jurisdictions and erode the tax base of a country. Transnational corporations use transfer pricing, royalty and management fees to shift profits and avoid taxes. The loss of tax revenues is a source of crisis for governments as without this they cannot meet social mandates. The efforts to check erosion of tax base and shifting of profits have become a major issue in international politics. Historically, accounting and taxation had a closer relationship as both shared elements of historical costs and realisation principle. However, in recent years the trajectories of the two have diverged. With their emphasis on economic values, valuation models and the assumed needs of capital markets, international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) have diluted the usefulness of conventional accounting numbers for taxation purposes. The pressures to arrest profit shifting have resulted in two broad proposals for reform. The first advanced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) proposes to primarily tweak transfer pricing practices. This paper argues that this cannot address the fault lines of corporate tax avoidance. The second approach under the general heading of ‘unitary taxation’ advocates a fundamental reform of the way taxable profits are ascertained. It holds out possibilities of negating arbitrary shifting of profits. However, it too relies on accounting logics. As traditional accounting logics have been contaminated by IFRSs, basic elements of accounting for the purposes of calculating taxable profits and tax liabilities will probably need to be redefined.

How Health-Related Appeals Backfire among Dieters


Speaker: Naomi Mandel
Arizona State

25 March 2014 - Room T022 - From 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

This research explores consumer attitudes toward one-sided messages that present only the negative aspects of consuming unhealthy foods. Building on the psychological reactance and dietary restraint literatures, we propose that dieters view these messages as limiting their freedom to choose, thereby leading to a feeling of reactance. This reactance, in turn, activates an eating goal and behavior that runs opposite to that intended by the message, such as increasing consumption of unhealthy food. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that dieters (but not nondieters) who view the one-sided message exhibit a higher level of reactance, have more positive thoughts about unhealthy foods, and subsequently consume more unhealthy foods. Study 3 sheds light on the mediating role of reactance. In study 4, we explore a boundary condition in which a one-sided message that presents negative aspects of healthy food creates reactance among both dieters and nondieters.

Manufacturing Morals

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Michel ANTEBY
Associate professor of Business Administration , Harvard Business School, USA

21 March 2014 - T020 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

How are morals manufactured? To start answering this question, I will present my most recent book project titled “Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education" (University of Chicago Press). With an initial goal of promoting "better” business standards, few organizations have aimed to produce higher morals as deliberately as the Harvard Business School (HBS). Moreover, few have tried doing so for such a long period. The project looks at faculty socialization at HBS as a window into this pursuit. In doing so, the project revisits the apparent contradiction between routines and morals, and uncovers the possible role of silence in shaping morals. The implications of such a model of socialization for studying corporate morals will also be discussed.

Geographic Proximity and Analyst Coverage Decisions: Evidence from IPOs

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Patricia O'BRIEN
Geographic Proximity and Analyst Coverage Decisions: Evidence from IPOs , University of Waterloo

7 March 2014 - Room at HEC Champerret - From 2:30 am to 4:00 am

We study how geographic proximity influences analysts’ decisions to cover firms, and how
local analyst coverage influences firm visibility, using hand-collected data on locations of 4,986 analysts covering 3,108 U.S. firms that went public during 1996 – 2009. We find analysts 80% more likely to cover local firms than non-local ones. Local non-underwriter analysts initiate coverage one to three weeks earlier than distant ones. These effects are more prominent for smaller, less visible firms. Because early analyst coverage helps attract other analysts and new institutions to newly public firms, less visible firms may use local coverage as a stepping-stone to increased visibility