KU School of Business research highlights of 2017–18 academic year
With engaging teaching styles and progressive research agendas, KU business faculty drive the school’s academic reputation.
Below is a selection of some of the prominent research by KU School of Business faculty from the 2017–18 academic year:
Research led by Ahreum Maeng, assistant professor of marketing, showed people are typically averse to wider human faces because they elicit fears of being dominated. However, consumers might like wider faces on some products they buy, such as watches or cars, when they want to be seen in a position of power in certain situations. “Facing Dominance: Anthropomorphism and the Effect of Product Face Ratio on Consumer Preference” was published the Journal of Consumer Research.
A study led by Niki den Nieuwenboer, assistant professor of organizational behavior and business ethics, sheds new light on how and why middle managers can coerce their employees into deceiving upper management. This type of research could be useful in trying to understand and prevent several recent scandals that have centered around deceptive practices in trying to reach performance targets or goals. The paper, “Middle Managers and Corruptive Routine Translation: The Social Production of Deceptive Performance,” was published in the journal Organization Science.
Mazhar Arikan, associate professor of supply chain management, co-authored a study that found broadening the geographic range that a number of deceased-donor kidneys would be available would increase the number of transplants and improve the lives of patients unlikely to receive one based on where they live. Changing how so-called lower-quality kidneys are allocated geographically could result in anywhere from 58 to 174 additional kidney transplants per year. “Enhancing Kidney Supply Through Geographic Sharing in the United States” was published in the journal Production and Operations Management.
Clint Chadwick, professor of strategy and human resources management, co-authored a white paper looking at how investors examine the potential of people and human capital in data they use. In the paper, which was published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, researchers suggest ways that paying more consideration to human capital could be useful for senior HR leaders, investors and academics, especially in knowledge-based organizations such as in technology-based and financial service industries.
A study co-authored by Michael Ettredge, the Crown/Sherr Distinguished Professor of Business, documented differential audit fee shocks that accompanied the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. He found that the legislation increased the cost of audits even for firms not subject to regulation. “Effects of SOX 404(b) implementation on audit fees by SEC filer size category” was published in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy.
In another study, Ettredge and his fellow researchers found firms that use accounting practices that require more verification for good news than bad news can more easily avoid securities class-action lawsuits and improve the outcomes of litigation. The study, “Conservative Reporting and Securities Class Action Lawsuits,” was published in the journal Accounting Horizons.
Ettredge also led a study that found U.S. firms that disclosed the existence of trade secrets have a significantly higher probability of becoming targets of hackers. The findings also indicate that younger firms, firms with fewer employees and firms operating in less-concentrated industries are more vulnerable to breaches. “Trade Secrets and Cybersecurity Breaches” was accepted by the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy.
A more positive workplace environment at large companies can likely reduce the cost and length of an audit, according to a study from Felix Meschke, associate professor of finance, Adi Masli, associate professor of accounting, James Guthrie, William and Judy Docking Professor in Business, and KU alumnus Minjie Huang. The findings imply that corporate culture matters, especially because in a negative workplace environment, employees might be less productive, less effective and more likely to misappropriate assets. The paper, “Clients’ Workplace Environment and Corporate Audits,” was published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory.
Meschke and Masli also collaborated with KU graduate Lijing Du on a study that found reduced monitoring incentives among bondholders lead to increased monitoring efforts by auditors. Researchers found evidence that auditors increase their professional scrutiny of companies when it becomes easier for the debtholders of those firms to insure against loss via credit default swaps, or CDS. “Credit Default Swaps on Corporate Debt and the Pricing of Audit Services” was published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory.
Masli co-authored another study that suggests audit quality matters to mutual fund investors. The researchers found the positive association between a bond mutual fund’s reported performance and investment flows was stronger for funds with auditors who are viewed as industry specialists and have long tenures in the field. “Do Mutual Fund Investors Care About Auditor Quality?” was published in the journal Contemporary Accounting Research.
Wei Chen, assistant professor of decision sciences and supply chain management, led a team of researchers that found integrating the qualification process into the auction process may be in the buying firm’s best interest when soliciting bids. The multistage reverse auction would be most beneficial to large firms, according to “Optimal Procurement Auctions Under Multistage Supplier Qualification,” which was published in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.
Tom Kubick, associate professor of accounting, and Jide Wintoki, associate professor of finance, co-authored a study finding U.S. companies with board directors who have connections to well-known island tax havens of the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands exhibit significantly greater tax avoidance than other companies. “Offshore Expertise for Onshore Companies: Director Connections to Island Tax Havens and Corporate Tax Policy” was published in Management Science.