Winter 2020 Volume 2 Issue 2
BREWING UP BUSINESS SUCCESS New faculty bring fresh perspectives
CPA invests in Goodman
Double Degree celebrates milestone
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PUBLICATION MANAGER Susan LeBlanc
PUBLISHER Goodman School of Business
COPY EDITOR Tiffany Mayer
CONTRIBUTORS Michael Armstrong, Jaquelyn Bezaire, Dan Dakin, Daniela Gatti, Kaitlyn Little, Tiffany Mayer, Cathy Majtenyi, Darien Temprile
DESIGNER Kev Greene
Goodman news: new and notable
Mixing business with beer
Top business researchers join Goodman faculty
Distinguished Leader inspires with message of social responsibility
Professor’s research doesn’t whitewash corporate greenwashing
Goodman facts and figures
Dispatches from abroad: Student reflects on exchange experience
Distinguished Grad encourages students to never stop learning
Double degree reaches double-digit milestone
Scholarship turns new grad into full-time entrepreneur
Older workers impacted by ageist stereotypes
Goodman advisory council
Alumni Retreat helps Goodman chart course forward
Label images influence wine quality perception
Prof's perspective: Canada's legal cannabis industry takes root
PHOTOGRAPHY Kaitlyn Daw, Delan Perera, Fab Formisano, Maryanne Firth, Kaitlyn Little, Martin Schwalbe
Cover: Colton Proveau (BBA '19) used the knowledge gained through Goodman’s Entrepreneurship program to launch Brothers Brewing Co. in Guelph, Ont. with his brother Asa.
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PRODUCTION Brock University St. Catharines, Ontario ISSN 2561-6706 (Print) ISSN 2561-6714 (Online) email@example.com
DEAN'S MESSAGE In this issue of Goodman: The Magazine we share the latest news stories you may have missed over the past six months and showcase how our students, faculty and alumni are demonstrating our values of passion, perseverance and professionalism. At Goodman, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential. Over the past semester, we were able to honour two leaders on campus who exemplify this in their careers. Corporate leaders Michael Lee-Chin and Rita Middleton inspired our students by sharing their pathway to success, challenges and perspectives, and we are pleased to share their stories in this edition. This issue also introduces two new features that allow you to hear from our students and professors in their own voice. Our student column will give you first-hand insight into the value our students receive through an international experience. We will also provide you with our new Profâ€™s Perspective op-ed column, allowing you to read the perspectives of our researchers on topics generating water cooler conversations. We also profile three of our researchers who are doing leading work in their respective fields, including tackling the challenges of exposing corporate greenwashing; looking at how older workers still have a valuable role to play in the corporate world; and examining how packaging influences the consumersâ€™ assessment of product quality. As we move forward into a new year, Goodman will continue to provide resources for building sustainable change in our classrooms, community and world. I hope this winter issue finds you well, and as always, I welcome your comments and feedback.
Andrew Gaudes, PhD, ICD.D Dean Goodman School of Business
NEW AND NOTABLE Left: Goodman School of Business Dean Andrew Gaudes, CPA Ontario Director, Student Recruitment Vicki Liederman and Brock University President Gervan Fearon are pictured in front of the new CPA Ontario Gallery unveiled Thursday, Aug. 29. Next page: International Partnership of Business Schools deans and program directors, including President Andrew Gaudes, at the semiannual general assembly meeting at NEOMA Business School in Reims, France.
CPA ONTARIO INVESTS IN THE SUCCESS OF BROCK’S GOODMAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
significant investment from CPA Ontario will enable the Goodman School of Business to strengthen its position as a leader in accounting research and education. Announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, the donation includes the appointment of three CPA Ontario Research Scholars within the School; the establishment of the CPA Ontario Centre for Public Policy and Innovation in Accounting (CPA-CPPIA) at Goodman; and a capital gift that will give naming rights to an expansive gallery within Goodman’s new building. “This gift is an investment in the success of the Goodman School of Business,” said Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes. “This is recognition of our Faculty’s high-quality research activity and it enhances the longtime relationship between the Goodman School of Business and CPA Ontario.” The funding for three CPA Research Scholars is a five-year commitment, which will be used to assist Goodman faculty in
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their research activity. The CPA Ontario Centre for Public Policy and Innovation in Accounting will work at advancing the profession by bringing together academia, industry, government, public accounting and CPA Ontario members to develop and promote relevant and timely thought leadership. The newly unveiled CPA Ontario Gallery features a variety of research papers completed by Goodman School of Business faculty. For CPA Ontario, this funding supports the organization’s commitment to advancing the profession through education and providing pathways to aspiring CPAs. “Brock has a long history of providing Ontario with innovative thinkers that positively contribute to the accounting profession,” said Craig Smith, Executive Vice-President of Member and Student Services, CPA Ontario. “We are proud to further invest in the future of our profession and support the important work done at the Goodman School of Business.”
GOODMAN PROFS RECOGNIZED AMONG MOST CITED AUTHORS IN THE WORLD
F GOODMAN DEAN APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL NETWORK
ndrew Gaudes plans to bring a Canadian perspective and Goodman’s values to a worldwide network. On Friday, Oct. 11, Goodman’s Dean, International Partnership of Business Schools deans and program directors, including President Andrew Gaudes, met at the semiannual general assembly meeting at NEOMA Business School in Reims, France. IPBS is a consortium of 13 globally oriented, leading business schools in Europe, North America and South America. This network of business schools grants double degrees that require study in two countries and promote language and cultural fluency along with business aptitude. Gaudes said he hopes that within his new role, he is able to leverage the network for more opportunities for students, as well as grow the network to include regions currently not represented. “I also hope to bring a Canadian perspective to IPBS along with Goodman’s values of passion, perseverance and professionalism,” Gaudes said. “It’s important there is alignment with the values of Goodman and IPBS and to apply this in governing the network.” Executive Dean Anne Sinnott of Dublin City University Business School said she has no doubt Gaudes will bring huge value and commitment to Brock’s membership in IPBS ensures Brock students will have excellent international experiences. “We welcome the fresh perspectives that he will bring in his capacity as President,” she said.
rom Facebook likes to profit margins, numbers are a key component of metrics. In academia, one common metric is the number of citations. But measuring and interpreting citations in a standardized and accurate way has been fraught with difficulties. To address this, a research team lead by Stanford University health researcher John P. A. Ioannidis created a database published in PLOS Biology that provides standardized information for the 100,000 most cited authors around the world. The researchers divided the 100,000 most cited authors into five supplementary tables, with Supplementary Tables 1 and 2 being of particular interest to Brock. Dirk De Clercq, Professor of Organizational Behaviour, HR Management, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship is mentioned on Supplementary Table 1. This table tracks citations of the Top 100,000 authors from 1996 to 2017, which “provides a measure of long-term performance, and for most living, active scientists, this also reflects their career-long impact,” said the paper. Lianxi Zhou, Professor of Marketing, International Business and Strategy, and Princely Ifinedo, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, are mentioned on Table 2, which captures a moment in time: citations in 2017. “Brock’s representation in the 100,000 most cited authors database speaks volumes about our research intensiveness and impact,” said Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon. “This is a list that takes the complications of citation far more seriously than most such exercises. We are very proud of our researchers’ hard work and dedication to increase knowledge and innovation in their fields of study.”
BURGUNDY PARTNERSHIP YIELDS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BROCK MBA STUDENTS
raduate students at Goodman now have expanded program choices with the launch of a new partnership with France’s Burgundy School of Business. The double degree program allows students to earn two degrees in about the same amount of time and cost as Goodman’s traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Students who begin the program in Burgundy will complete a one-year Master in Management (MIM) program, which will provide the foundational business courses before they enter the second year of Goodman’s MBA program. At Burgundy, Goodman students will earn a Master of Science (MSc) and can specialize in wine management, international business development, corporate finance and investment banking, global marketing and negotiation, arts and cultural management, digital leadership, and data science and organizational behaviour. With the addition of the Burgundy MSc in wine management partnership, ranked among the best in the world, Goodman is now able to offer wine education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional development levels.
GOODMAN EXPANDS CPA ONTARIO ACCREDITATION TO MASTER’S PROGRAM
rock University’s Goodman School of Business has expanded its CPA accreditation to the Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) program. Goodman’s MPAcc is designed for international students who are looking to pursue the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in Ontario. The program offers tailored content that provides pathways to the designation and sets international students up for success as they pursue their accounting careers in Ontario. “The Goodman School of Business continues to strengthen relationships with CPA Ontario, as well as other partners in our community,” said Dean Andrew Gaudes. “This expansion of our existing accreditation is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to provide students from around the world access to the highest standard of business education.” Going forward, students who are admitted and successfully complete the MPAcc program will be exempt from CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) Core 1 and Core 2 modules and will receive advanced standing to enter at the CPA PEP elective modules. Brock now has four CPA Ontario-designated programs.
Colton Proveau is applying his knowledge from his entrepreneurship degree by opening Brothers Brewing in Guelph.
MIXING BUSINESS WITH BEER By Tiffany Mayer
It’s said it takes a lot of beer to make good wine. When it comes to making stellar suds, you could argue it takes a degree from The Goodman School of Business. In the past few years, some Goodman alumni have used their business degrees to forge their path in Ontario’s booming craft beer industry, trading corporate offices and business suits for a brew house and work boots. The secret to their success goes beyond their abilities to brew some of the best beer in the province. They have the skills to write and execute a sound business plan, manage staff, sell a product in a competitive marketplace, balance books and satisfy their entrepreneurial spirit. All in, they’re proving that it’s not just water, malt, hops and yeast that make tall, cold ones. A Goodman degree is an essential ingredient, too.
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COLTON PROVEAU (BBA '19) BROTHERS BREWING, GUELPH, ONT.
olton Proveau spent much of his youth planning to pursue a career in music. But a class project in Grade 12 left him singing a different tune about his future. The Niagara native and his twin brother Asa looked into the corporate social responsibility of the brewing industry in U.S. where craft beer had become a soughtafter commodity. They compared the scales and attitudes toward being a good corporate citizen with the three mega brewers who dominated the Canadian beer market at time, and where craft beer was still a foreign concept. “That’s when we were like, ‘Oh, wow, there’s a whole culture around beer,” Proveau recalled. That's when he and Asa also likely became the most popular kids in school. The brothers started brewing their own beer and bringing it to parties. Come time to apply for post-secondary education, they knew they wanted to open their own brewery instead of chasing their original career ambitions. Proveau applied to Brock for business while Asa went to Niagara College for its highly competitive brewmaster program. When school began for Proveau in September 2011, it didn’t take long to realize his career goals were different than his classmates’. “A lot of people just kind of thought it was a joke,” he recalled. “Being that craft beer hadn’t really exploded
here yet, it was, ‘Oh yeah, cool, go for it,’ but they didn’t think it would materialize.” Every project Proveau did at Brock was about the brewing industry. Class was his chance to perfect his business plan and learn the intricacies of entrepreneurship. In 2014, with two years left before graduating from the entrepreneurship stream, he and Asa launched Brothers Brewing Co., making beer at Niagara College and slowly but steadily building their brand. Simultaneously launching a business and attending university meant finishing his schooling later than those Proveau started with in 2011. But two years ago, he and Asa opened the watering hole of their dreams in Guelph, creating a place where people could have a pint and a bite while seated alongside the brewing equipment. The brothers tapped into resources, including the Goodman Group’s Kickstarting Entrepreneurship program, for a small grant and advisory help when launching. Now Brothers Brewing is a known entity in Ontario’s vibrant craft beer scene — a perk of which has been collaborating with other Goodman grads in the business, including Scott Pautler (BAcc '11) at Wave Maker Craft Brewing & Distillery in Cambridge. “It was a long, involved dream. To finish university and not have it all go to waste is pretty cool,” Proveau said. “I had no business experience before, so the obvious business classes with financial statements and business planning helped.”
CONRAD DAVIES (BBA '14) BREAKWALL BREWING COMPANY, PORT COLBORNE, ONT.
here’s a good chance you’ll find Conrad Davies mopping floors on a Monday afternoon. “It’s not very glamorous but it’s part of the business,” Davies said. It is, at least, if you run your own brewpub, Breakwall Brewing Company, with family. Sure, there’s beer to sell and menus to create. But there are also finances to monitor, marketing plans to carry out, and a brand to manage — all of which he can do thanks to his business degree with a marketing specialization from Goodman — alongside those no less important details like ensuring the floors are clean. Davies wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s very creative and I get my hands dirty. If you’re working for another brand, when you’re not in love with that brand you’re working for, it’s harder to feel passionate about it, whereas when you make a decision here, it’s way more fun and rewarding,” Davies said. “Anyone who works in their own business will tell you how satisfying it can be.” Still, it took time for him to reach that level of job satisfaction. Davies wanted to be in business for himself but the path to get there wasn’t clear when he graduated in 2014. His first job was working in sales for a brewery. It seemed like a good fit; Davies was into craft beer and dabbling in home brewing. He also appreciated that the industry, for all its growth, was collaborative. Co-workers were like family rather than “a little more disconnected,” which could be the case in a corporate office, he said. Meanwhile, on the home front, Davies’ father Fred (BA '84) and his stepmother Monica Carusetta were keen to open a bar in their hometown of Port Colborne. Those plans morphed into owning a brewpub where they would make beer and food with fresh ingredients on site. The family opened Breakwall Brewing in February 2018. As general manager, Davies handles marketing and brand identity, and other duties as assigned. He taps into the skills he learned at Goodman every day. He knows how to price a product and establish a successful brand. He also understands project management and the essentials of entrepreneurship. All of it has set him and Breakwall up for success that hasn’t gone unnoticed by his alma mater. Davies has been tapped to share his experiences at Goodman community and student events. “Anyone going into business for themselves, I would say (a Goodman degree) is very useful,” Davies said. “In choosing a concentration, marketing was beneficial because I can teach myself numbers, whereas marketing is a little less intuitive sometimes. I’m happy with what I learned.”
After working in craft beer sales, Conrad Davies went into business with his family, opening Breakwall Brewing Company in Port Colborne.
MARK MURPHY (BAcc '05) LEFT FIELD BREWERY, TORONTO, ONT.
career in craft beer wasn’t an option for Mark Murphy when he graduated with his accounting degree from Brock nearly 15 years ago. The industry that’s now more than 300 breweries strong simply didn’t exist. So he did what many accounting graduates do. He got a job with a large firm and earned his CA designation. Five years in, he realized the work wasn’t for him. Meanwhile, Canada’s emerging craft brewing industry was poised to become a force and the thought of co-founding a brewery with his wife and fellow Brock graduate, Mandie (BA '05), held serious appeal. “I didn’t want to be behind a desk forever. I didn’t enjoy that lifestyle,” Murphy said. “I wanted to work with my hands. At the same time, craft beer was exploding, and I wanted to get into it. I thought it would be a good opportunity to combine a previous skill set with a new passion.” He enrolled in Niagara College’s brewmaster program and started building Left Field Brewery in Toronto with himself as the only employee. “Being small, manageable and nimble helped us be successful,” Murphy said. But so did his accounting degree, despite Murphy trading ledgers for lagers. “It all relates to my CA designation, which Brock allowed me to get,” Murphy said. “Being a startup company, getting loans from the bank are not always easy to get. Being able to put (my accounting background) on a business plan helped us with financing and being able to put together projections.” Having gone to school for both accounting and brewing gives him a broad view of the entire business of making beer. In addition to making Left Field’s lineup of beers amounting to 5,500 hectolitres a year, Murphy oversees the accounting and brewing side of the business while Mandie handles marketing and sales for the brewery. He wears work pants and brewer’s shirts to his office these days. Even better, his commute is a fiveminute walk, despite taking a more scenic route to reach his goal of brewery owner and beer maker. “Not having to put dress clothes on in the morning and sit on the subway is a real perk of self-employment,” he said. “It’s been fulfilling to see the business grow from the ground up and continue to grow. I wouldn’t have chosen otherwise, looking back on it."
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Mark Murphy at Left Field Brewery in Toronto, which he co-founded with his wife Mandie.
TOP BUSINESS RESEARCHERS JOIN GOODMAN FACULTY By Daniela Gatti
his fall, five new faculty members joined the Goodman School of Business. With research interests that range from augmented reality to climate change and the organizational dynamics of Canada’s social service sector, the new faculty will bring fresh perspectives to the School. The combined strengths of these new hires reflects Goodman’s commitment to fostering an active research culture, advancing global opportunities and driving exceptional student experiences.
SABRINA GONG, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ACCOUNTING
Gong recently graduated from the University of Alberta with a PhD in Accounting. Prior to pursuing her career in academia, she worked in both financial institutions and the non-financial sector in Canada and abroad. Interested in the Canadian accounting and financial industries, Gong is currently researching accounting standards and disclosure. She shares that the strong empirical research in the accounting department gives her the opportunity to continue her own research while teaching financial accounting courses in the CPA-accredited accounting programs Goodman offers. In 2018, Gong was the recipient of the CPA Education Foundation PhD Fellowship and the AAA/Deloitte/J. Michael Cook Doctoral Consortium Fellowship.
SYLVIA GREWATSCH, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGY
Driven to tackle the societal and environmental grand challenges of the 21st century, Grewatsch focuses her research on innovations for sustainability. This emerging area of study addresses the intersection of innovation, sustainability, and strategy in order to find solutions and to initiate systemic changes in businesses and society. Prior to joining Goodman, Grewatsch pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at Ivey School of Business, Western University. Her research has been published in leading journals and awarded numerous accolades, including the UN Sponsored Green Gown Award for Benefitting Society and the EDAMBA Dissertation Award for the Best European Dissertation in the area of Business Administration.
PAULO PALOMBO, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MARKETING
Palombo holds a PhD in Marketing and Strategy from the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He brings over a decade of experience as a researcher and professor, including being a part-time lecturer at Goodman since 2015. Palombo’s international experience inspired him to research business education from an international perspective and look at how business schools position themselves in a global landscape. Goodman’s unique international partnerships and global perspective on business research allows him to continue researching marketing innovation and pursue his lifelong passion for teaching the marketing innovation courses at Goodman.
JOACHIM SCHOLZ, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MARKETING
Scholz joins Goodman’s marketing department from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, where he was an Assistant Professor in Marketing. As a leading digital tech researcher, Scholz recognizes that the business marketing landscape is changing rapidly due to social media and emerging augmented reality use in the marketplace. With Brock University’s recent investment in augmented reality research, Scholz integrates his own research into business curriculum in the Internet and Social Media Marketing course. His work has been published in the Journal of Business Research, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Journal of Marketing Management, and Business Horizons.
ASMA ZAFAR, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MARKETING
After gaining work experience in banking and higher education sectors in Pakistan, Zafar was inspired to pursue research and teaching as an outlet for her creativity and innovation. Interested in studying how place informs organizational identity, she recently explored organizational identity dynamics within the Canadian social services sector. She holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Organization from the University of Alberta, as well as an MSc in Management from Goodman. Zafar’s research has been published in the Journal of Business Ethics and Research in Sociology of Organizations.
GOODMAN DISTINGUISHED LEADER INSPIRES WITH MESSAGE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY By Tiffany Mayer
walk to the marina in Michael Lee-Chin’s birth city of Port Antonio, Jamaica, put much into perspective for the business magnate and entrepreneur. It was 20 years ago, and Lee-Chin, chairman of Portland Holdings and chairman and CEO of Mandeville Private Client Inc., was visiting his birth nation when he woke early one morning with energy to burn. He came upon a 30-year-old landscaper named John Shaw on his walk, and the two men struck up a conversation. Lee-Chin, who had built a successful career in investing, learned that Shaw worked only intermittently and didn’t have much to show for it. On the surface, Lee-Chin, the Goodman School of Business 2019 Distinguished Leader, and Shaw didn’t appear to have many differences. But upon reflection, Lee-Chin realized the one edge he had over the young man: his upbringing. “John Shaw is from Port Antonio. I’m from Port Antonio. John Shaw doesn’t have much. My mother was an orphan who had me at 18,” Lee-Chin told a crowd of about 80 people during his closing statements at a fireside chat on campus on Oct. 24. “What’s the difference between John Shaw and Michael Lee-Chin? I was blessed. I was blessed to have a mother who had absolute values and who led by example. She had high aspirations and expected a lot of me. “I was blessed. Therefore, do I have responsibilities to people (like John Shaw)? I do,” he continued. “You cannot be an island of prosperity in a sea of poverty.” That story was one of many Lee-Chin shared with the audience about his accomplishments and philosophies during the public discussion facilitated by Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes. The event was supported by the Wilmot Foundation and is part of the D.G. Wilmot leader series.
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Experiences including his encounter with Shaw have guided Lee-Chin’s philanthropic initiatives, rooted in the idea of "doing well and doing good,” as much as his prosperity in business. Under Portland Holdings, for example, companies must seek to improve the social well-being of the communities in which they operate. Lee-Chin, who once earned $2.50 an hour as a bouncer at a McMaster University student pub, stressed to the audience the importance of "giving back to their community, their province and their country.” That message highlighted why Lee-Chin was chosen as this year’s distinguished leader, Gaudes said afterward. Goodman’s mandate is to teach students to be both globally minded and connected to their local communities, he explained. “The closing statements that were made really galvanized why he was here and why he is our distinguished leader,” Gaudes said. “It underscored why Michael Lee-Chin is an excellent representative of what leaders should be.” Earlier in his visit, Lee-Chin took part in a roundtable with Goodman student leaders, including MBA students Puneet Rastogi and Feranmi Ogundeko. The international students, from India and Nigeria respectively, said Lee-Chin’s story as an immigrant who built a storybook career in Canada resonated with them. Both intend to stay in Canada when they finish their studies. Having the chance to sit down with Lee-Chin and discuss the mistakes he made, his concept of the “inflection point,” the turning point at which success begets more success, and the importance of perseverance was a rare but critical opportunity, they noted. “The opportunity is very useful,” Ogundeko said. “You learn the concepts in class but to see someone who embodies them is really important. I feel like we should have more of this.”
Michael Lee-Chin, Goodman School of Business 2019 Distinguished Leader, in conversation with Dean Andrew Gaudes Oct. 24.
You cannot be an island of prosperity in a sea of poverty.
Michael Lee-Chin, Goodman School of Business 2019 Distinguished Leader
PROFESSOR’S RESEARCH DOESN’T WHITEWASH CORPORATE GREENWASHING By Tiffany Mayer
Goodman professor Samir Trabelsi examines the extent to which companies hide their true environmental and social performance.
he amount of greenwashing by corporations has one Goodman professor seeing red. And the practice of pretending to be socially responsible for the sake of the environment will only get worse as firms clamour for consumer dollars, says Samir Trabelsi, Accounting and Governance Professor, and founding Director of the CPA Ontario Research Excellence Centre. “It comes from the pressure on companies to have good performance when growth is slow, and growth opportunities are not very good right now, so companies are going to keep engaging in this because customers are looking for it,” he said. Greenwashing is the selective disclosure of positive information about a company's environmental or social performance to create an overly positive corporate impression. Greenwashing is so widespread that Trabelsi found all of the 700 firms he studied between 2005 and 2015 made misleading claims about their environmental performance and benefits. His research, made possible by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, was inspired by his time as a visiting scholar at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Trabelsi noticed people were most likely to determine a company’s level of corporate social responsibility simply by taking their word for it. “I was puzzled by the way we were measuring social responsibility,” Trabelsi said. “The way we measure it is, if you say more about it, you’re more socially responsible, without anyone checking whether it’s true or not. Many companies are polluting the environment yet they claim social responsibility. This is the puzzle — how do we capture this? What are the costs and benefits?” The answer was there for anyone to find with a little digging, he explained. Trabelsi and his research partners from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Alberta measured greenwashing by computing the absolute disclosure ratio for each company. They tallied the number of polluting lines a business has, then determined how many of those were actually being reported. They calculated the damage caused by the reported polluting lines and
divided that by the destruction created by all lines, including those that weren’t reported, to get a dollar value for the damage caused. In most cases, companies did not report the value of the business arm creating the most pollution. “The information is out there,” Trabelsi said about the numbers used. “But the individual investor like me and you, we don’t pay attention.” All that lip service about being good stewards of the environment isn’t just bad for the planet, he added. It’s terrible for companies who get caught. Businesses can face hefty fines, he said. The cost of financing for firms who engage in greenwashing will also be exorbitantly high. In addition, Trabelsi and his fellow researchers found that the more optimistic a CEO is, the more likely his or her company is to engage in greenwashing. “We also saw that media coverage and competition on the market reduce greenwashing,” he explained. “So when there is media coverage and the market is so competitive, it’s unlikely firms will engage in greenwashing.” This is first of three studies Trabelsi has planned to examine the phenomenon of firms faking their environmental benefits. He also wants to look at the relationship between greenwashing and insider trading, and whether companies that fudge their ecofriendly ways are “cooking their books.” Ultimately, he hopes the findings will inspire activists to strengthen their role in the fight against greenwashing. Tougher rules around social and environmental disclosure, similar to what’s happening in Europe and Australia, are also essential to limit the practice, he added. “The market should sort out the lemons from the good cars,” Trabelsi said. “For that to happen, in terms of greenwashing, we need more regulations, tighter regulations.” As discouraging as his findings are about the state of corporate social responsibility, Trabelsi is optimistic there are businesses doing right by the planet. “There are good companies out there,” he said. “But who they are, we don’t know yet.”
FACTS AND FIGURES UNDER GRAD
NEW STUDENT REGISTRATIONS 750 2015
TOTAL UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE ENROLMENTS 4,000
3,361 3,358 2016
NUMBER OF INCOMING UNDERGRADUATE EXCHANGE STUDENTS*
45 2016 / 2017 50 2017 / 2018 54
2015 / 2016
STUDENTS CAME FROM
2018 / 2019 2019 / 2020
NUMBER OF OUTGOING UNDERGRADUATE EXCHANGE STUDENTS*
70 2016 / 2017 65 2017 / 2018 72 2018 / 2019 58 2019 / 2020 49 2015/ 2016
STUDENTS WENT TO
Peer-reviewed journal articles
Books and book chapters
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*Excludes Double Degree students
GOODMAN FACULTY DEMOGRAPHICS
INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM SCORES FOR GRADUATE PROGRAMS ADMITTANCE
Educated within Canada
6.75 6.71 2015 / 16 6
2016 / 17
7.01 7.08 2018 / 19
2019 / 20
2017 / 18
Average IELTS score of new registered graduate students (9 being the highest test score). Educated outside of Canada
69% PhD from outside of Canada
NUMBER OF COUNTRIES REPRESENTED IN CLASSROOM
2015 / 16
2016 / 17
2017 / 18
2018 / 19
2019 / 20
PhD within Canada
2015 / 16
2016 / 17
2017 / 18
2018 / 19
2019 / 20
MSc GRAD PUBLISHES IN TOP JOURNAL
GRACE YU (MSc '16) is currently a PhD candidate
at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and recently published a paper in the European Journal of Marketing. The paper titled “Social eating patterns, identity and the subjective well-being of Chinese teenagers” appeared in Vol. 52 No 12.
Jaquelyn Bezaire is currently completing an exchange at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.
DISPATCHES FROM ABROAD:
FOURTH-YEAR STUDENT REFLECTS ON EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE By Jaquelyn Bezaire
eople say university helps you get out of your comfort zone. In my case that included changing time zones as I started a semester abroad at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, in September. Applying to the Goodman exchange program was something I had been considering since accepting my offer to Brock University. I had previously participated in a study abroad program while in high school, so I knew I had to apply to go on exchange at least once before graduation. Leading up to my departure, I was constantly told what a great experience I was going to have and how quickly the next four months were going to pass, but it is hard to truly understand until you are living it. Having been in Scotland for more than three months already, I know that I will never forget my time here or the people I have met. I applied to Strathclyde because it seemed to be a welcoming community that reminded me of Brock. The international department seemed as though it helped its students with any issues and truly cared about their well-being. And although adjusting to life in Scotland took a couple weeks, I knew I made the right decision. Strathclyde is home to over 2,000 international students, so I have had the opportunity to meet not only students from across Scotland but also around the world. The people I’ve met have added so much to my experience and made Glasgow feel like home. This exchange has given me connections I never thought possible and for that, I am entirely grateful.
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The courses offered at Strathclyde vary compared to the courses at Brock. So do the perspectives on certain theories and concepts. I am in International Business, which has been very interesting because I am being taught familiar concepts but from an entirely different point of view. I am also in a course titled ‘The Reflective Manager,’ which aims to develop our understanding of different management theories and how they apply to different cultures and contexts. We speak a lot about the work environment in Scotland and different businesses in the area. However, the skills I am developing in this course can directly transfer to my life after graduation and are something I can take with me when I leave Strathclyde. No two study abroad experiences are the same as it is all about the people you meet and the chances you take. My experience in Scotland has taught me so many different things that I could never have expected, including building my confidence and forcing me to constantly step out of my comfort zone. As a fourth-year student, I have to start seriously thinking about life after graduation. This experience has taught me that I can do whatever I set my mind to and to not worry about trivial details. I have gained skills that can easily transfer to the workplace and help me in my future employment. I have had many great experiences while at Brock, but this exchange has taught me invaluable lessons that I can take with me after graduation. I am often asked whether or not I would encourage others to apply for the Goodman exchange program and my answer is, and always will be, to definitely apply because it’s an experience they won’t ever regret.
This is the first in a series of student voice columns. Jaquelyn Bezaire is currently completing her BBA specializing in marketing.
DISTINGUISHED GRAD ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO NEVER STOP LEARNING
Rita Middleton shared her career insights with staff and students at the Distinguished Graduate reception in the Goodman Atrium on Oct. 2.
By Darien Temprile
f there was one piece of advice Rita Middleton could pass on to the next generation of student leaders, it would be to challenge yourself and never stop learning. After graduating from Brock in 1987 with a Bachelor of Administration (Honours) degree with an Accounting Co-op specialization, Middleton spent close to 20 years in the broadcasting and communications industry before finding her place in the renewable energy sector. Middleton’s experience in these two vastly different industries equipped her with the skills to overcome challenges and adjust to constant change. She brought this wisdom to Goodman on October 1, where she encouraged students to never stop listening and learning from those around them. Middleton was on campus to share her insights into leadership and tackling challenges with students and the Brock community as she received the Goodman School of Business 2019 Distinguished Graduate Award. “Do not enter into a company after graduation with a sense of entitlement. Bring a real openness to learning and don’t assume you know everything,” she shared with students. The Distinguished Graduate award is presented each year to celebrate alumni who have earned prominence as a result of their exceptional professional achievements and service to society. “Rita has been a true leader in each sector she has worked in,” Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes said.
“We’re so proud to have her as a representative of our School.” As CEO of International Solar Solutions, a privately held Canadian company that designs and manufactures cost-effective, energy-saving solutions focusing on the environment, Middleton has dedicated her life to making significant change. She is currently leading a team to gain profile and deployment of its primary product, the iSOLAR ATTIC FAN, throughout North America. In addition to being International Solar Solutions’ CEO, Middleton is also the Interim CFO and board member. She previously held the position of Senior Vice-President of Finance and Information Technology Services with Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. (AAC) where she provided many years of strategic and executive oversight for the newly formed broadcast business unit, and then eventually the entire consolidated company, including broadcast, movie and television production, and distribution. Middleton carved her career path through AAC and left her mark before she eventually realized she needed to move on and find another up-and-coming industry. “I can’t imagine life without learning and overcoming new and interesting challenges,” Middleton said. “If you truly believe in something, don’t second guess. If you’re taking the leap, don’t half measure it.” Student leaders met with Middleton during the afternoon of her visit in a roundtable discussion where
she shared experiences and insights of working in diverse industries. Middleton attributes taking the co-op program to kick-starting her experience and broadening her horizons to eventually lead her to become an experienced business executive. “I knew the public accounting sector wasn’t for me after graduation,” Middleton admitted. “You need to find a sector and company that is going to meet your personality.” “The co-op program provided me with the opportunity to see all kinds of different industries and companies,” she said. “Co-op is your window to the world.” Ryan Toully, a third-year BBA Finance student said he’ll take Middleton’s advice with him throughout his last year of university. “It’s something you can take with you no matter what stream of business you’re in,” he said. “There’s always something to learn.” Aside from sharing her career advice and aspirations, Middleton urged people to find causes they’re passionate about and make a difference. Her passion for animal welfare and finding a cure for blood cancer led her to be actively involved with charitable organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.
Mary Lefebvre during her time in France studying at NEOMA Business School.
DOUBLE DEGREE REACHES DOUBLE-DIGIT MILESTONE By Tiffany Mayer
hen Kevin Rose applied to university to study business, Brock was far enough from his family home in Courtice Ontario to feel like he was getting away. At the start of his second year, though, he was ready to go farther. The proverbial stars seemed to align when Rose noticed a poster for an information session about a new program being launched for business students. It held the promise of living and working abroad, and eventually graduating with two degrees — one from Brock, the other from EBS Business School in Germany. Rose was ready to sign up and get packing. “That was a huge positive right there — I was coming out of it with two degrees,” Rose said. Living overseas was another plus. Rose, whose father worked for GM, had spent part of his childhood abroad while his dad worked for the auto giant’s subsidiaries in England and Germany. He was undaunted to return to the other side of the Atlantic, this time on his own. “Honestly, I don’t think they were expecting people to be
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interested right away. I was the only one at the time who wanted to go,” Rose recalled. “After a couple of years at Brock, it was a great program and I was happy to be there, but the change was just at the right time.” In January 2008, Rose boarded a plane for Germany and became the first student to enrol in what would become Brock’s flagship double degree program. Ten years after Rose graduated from the program that nets students two bachelor degrees for the price of one, the double degree continues to offer some of the brightest, most adventurous students the opportunity to study at top international business schools and at Brock, and complete a co-op placement abroad. Students also learn about a new culture and way of life, and come out of university with a competitive edge in the job market. Since Rose enrolled, the program has expanded to accept 50 students a year. Goodman has also forged partnerships with Dublin City University Business School in Ireland, NEOMA Business School in France, and Reutlingen University’s ESB Business School in Germany to provide more international education offerings. As of December 2019, a new partnership with Lancaster University
I gained so much knowledge and grew so much as a person that I came out feeling like I could take on the world.
Management School in the United Kingdom was approved by Brock University's Senate. As part of the program, Goodman also welcomes the top students from the European partner schools each year, which adds a diverse international perspective into the School’s classrooms. The program is growing at the graduate level, too, said Abbas Sumar, Goodman’s manager of international programs and exchange partnerships. In 2019, Goodman launched an MBA double degree with France’s KEDGE Business School and the Burgundy School of Business. It was the additional European connections that convinced Mary Lefebvre to apply to the program after high school in 2015. She was one of the first two students to participate in the French track at NEOMA when it launched that year. The Buffalo, NY, resident could have gone to business schools stateside, but the opportunity to study intensively for two years abroad and do an international work term convinced her to take a chance on being part of that original French cohort. “If it was just the regular business program, I probably would have chosen a school in the U.S…, but it was definitely that program that made the decision for me,” Lefebvre said. “People might hesitate to apply because it is a big step and a big change, but I gained so much knowledge and grew so much as a person that I came out feeling like I could take on the world. I feel like I will be OK — not OK but I will excel.” For all the program’s growth over the years, however, the focus is still on recruiting students like Rose and Lefebvre who are up for both the academic and personal challenges of studying and working overseas. Recruitment efforts are also being ramped up in different cultural communities, including in centres with large Francophone populations across Canada. “We’re looking for the cream of the crop in terms of academic capability and developed extracurricular involvement. That’s our starting point,” Sumar said. “You can have a lot of students like that but only a select few possess the sense of adventure and tolerance for ambiguity required to excel.” Despite Rose being the only person to sign up for the double degree all those years ago, the program isn’t a hard sell, Sumar noted. “More and more students from across Canada are looking for a globally immersive, experiential-focused and academically rigorous degree,” he said. “When prospective
students learn that they’re going to walk away with a global perspective, backed by two degrees and global work experience, the decision to apply to Goodman is simple. No other school in Canada offers the range of programming or depth of global and cultural engagement that we do.” That's experience that will help them in job markets around the world after graduation. Mike Fortaleza capitalized on the connections he made during his co-op term with hotel booking website Trivago when he graduated from the EBS German track in 2017. The St. Catharines native applied for a job with the tech company based in Düsseldorf and has been working “in a place that’s pretty special” ever since. He knows he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do search engine marketing for Trivago without Goodman’s double degree program. “When I got the interview, I knew the face that was interviewing me. We met when I was at Trivago (as an intern) and that helped,” Fortaleza said. “I didn’t have the exact background experience but they liked what they heard and the case study I presented, and they trusted I was a quick learner.” The work has come with enviable benefits, including flexible hours, access to the gym, company sports programs and library on the Trivago campus, and a subsidized canteen. There’s also opportunity for career advancement. Fortaleza has held two positions in two and a half years because the company nurtures talent, he explained. “Trivago’s really good with career progression,” he said. “They post a lot of jobs internally and encourage employees to explore their interests.” The international co-op is the one opportunity that eluded Rose during his time abroad because of the newness of the double degree at the time. Still, the team lead for commercial banking at National Bank knows the chance he took all those years ago set him up for career success in Canada — and will do the same for others who graduate from the program. “It shows employers you have the confidence to make the jump and do something different. There’s lots of BBA programs out there but not a lot of dual degree ones, so something like that on your resume will help you stand out,” Rose said. “The program itself, regardless of country or school, is something I would definitely do again.”
SCHOLARSHIP TURNS NEW GRAD INTO FULL-TIME ENTREPRENEUR
Miriam Zine meets with Deborah Rosati for a mentorship session while building her business Curly Lifestyles.
By Kaitlyn Little
ost students aim to have a job lined up when they graduate, but Miriam Zine (BRLS ’19) took a chance and created her own. With the support she received from the Deborah E. Rosati Award, Zine was able to take a natural hair community she had built on Instagram and turn it into an online retail shop. Zine started the Instagram page Curly Lifestyles in 2017 when she started embracing her natural hair and realized there was a lack of education and resources easily available to people looking to do the same. The page quickly gained traction and now has more than 32,000 followers. “Natural hair shouldn’t be as complicated as it is,” Zine said. “A lot of people don’t like their natural hair because they don’t know how to manage it. Curly Lifestyles is about loving your hair and being comfortable enough to wear it out confidently.” The online shop she launched pairs knowledge and resources to help simplify the natural hair world and provides easy access to a variety of products based on hair type. Customers unsure about their needs have access to assistance in choosing the right product. The $10,000 award provided Zine funding to work through the summer in Goodman Group’s Venture Development office and provided her access to a mentor team to help move her business forward. She credits the time and support with being able to take her business from an idea to a reality.
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“Launching a business was one of the scariest things that I’ve ever done,” Zine said. “It took me the full summer to make sure I was ready. This award opened new doors and possibilities for me.” Since 2014, the scholarship has supported nine entrepreneurs over 10 terms with Zine being the final recipient. Generously provided by Goodman alumna Deborah Rosati (BAdmin ’84), the funding gave recipients the opportunity to launch a business idea as part of their academic studies. They each received guidance, access to mentors and the ability to easily network with other student entrepreneurs to share best practices and resources with. “We are deeply appreciative of Deborah’s commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial development of our students,” Dean Andrew Gaudes said. “With Deborah’s generosity we have nine students who are making a difference and setting their own path forward.” The scholarship recipients launched a number of diverse businesses and Rosati said all the recipients are very keen, motivated and committed individuals, and she was very impressed with their business ideas that all meet a need in the market. “I wanted to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs and create an opportunity for them to launch a business idea as part of their academic studies,” she said. Her advice to students looking to take an entrepreneurial approach to their career? Be passionate, resourceful and persistent.
Recipients of the Deborah E. Rosati Award Ian Farr Founder of Incounter Ethan Foy Founder of LifePoints Maddie Fuller Founder of Campus Brainiac Dan Giddings Founder of Complete Grab Johnathan Holland Founder of Curexe (received the award twice) Matthew Kowald Founder of Caulies Olivia Poulin Founder of Pupadise Cole Ritchie Founder of North American Yacht Sales Miriam Zine Founder of Curly Lifestyles
OLDER WORKERS IMPACTED BY AGEIST STEREOTYPES By Cathy Majtenyi
hey are among employers’ most valuable assets. They have experience, skills and a deepseated commitment to a job well done. Yet, employees 55 and older are finding that age is more than just a number when it comes to entering or advancing in the workplace. “It’s really important that we understand that older workers still have capabilities,” said Deborah McPhee, Associate Professor of Human Resources Management at Goodman. McPhee studies aging workers, particularly in the areas of career transitioning and health and safety. Her research on the so-called ‘grey ceiling’ has uncovered a range of ageist stereotypes among managers and younger employees. A big one is sick days. “There’s this myth that older workers take more sick days and that’s not true,” McPhee said. “In fact, older workers will probably be at their desks earlier in the day, they might stay a little later at night; they’re very committed to their jobs.” A 2015 study by the U.K. insurance company RIAS bears this out. The study found that half of workers in their 20s took time off for ill health compared to one quarter of workers over the age of 50. Also, it found younger workers were more likely to feign illness and were slower to return to work after taking sick days than their older counterparts. McPhee said, when it comes to worker health, young and old alike need to take care of themselves by exercising, eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep and having a healthy work-life balance. Employers can mitigate physical challenges faced by older workers – hearing loss, muscle strain, arthritis, changing eyesight – by providing assistive technologies, gym memberships, exercise programs and strategic breaktimes that allow them to walk around, McPhee said. Another area is technology. Older workers may initially express fears or reluctance when being confronted with new computer programs and other equipment, “but it doesn’t mean they can’t learn it or don’t want to learn it.”
“It’s just that the way they learn might be different than a young person because for young people, technology is second nature to them. Older workers just need a little more time; it’s all about attitude and wanting to do it,” she said. That myth of older workers not catching onto technology is one of the factors that sees them being frequently bypassed for training. There are also underlying assumptions that older workers won’t be on the job for a long time and that they should clear the way for younger workers. “The older generation doesn’t have to retire at 65; they can retire at 80 if they want and if they’re capable, why not?” McPhee said. Millennials entering the workforce also face their share of stereotypes and challenges. A big area is in workplace interactions. Because many young people communicate largely through electronic means, they might find face-to-face discussions difficult or awkward, McPhee said. “Younger workers are being judged for not being quick or not caring when, in fact, they’re just trying to figure out the social graces and what to do.” Older workers could mentor their younger counterparts in workplace communications as well as passing along organizational knowledge, networks, skills, and experience, enabling younger workers to build on those assets. But it should be a two-way street, McPhee said. “The young generation can also mentor older workers, because they have things they can teach the older people. The employer can set up the organization to allow for this two meeting of the minds, so to speak, because each worker has a lot to offer the other.” In addition to mentorship, McPhee’s research uncovered other reasons why older workers should be retained. These include: reducing turnover, which cuts down on hiring; training and orientation costs for new hires; remaining competitive in times of a reduced workforce or skills shortage; and increasing productivity because of older workers’ strong work ethic and ability to work as a team with minimal supervision.
It’s really important that we understand that older workers still have capabilities.
Deborah McPhee, Associate Professor of Human Resources Management
GOODMAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS DEAN'S ADVISORY COUNCIL
Goodman alumni returned to campus Sept. 21 to share their perspectives with the School.
DECEMBER 2019 Mark Arthur
President, Industrial Alliance
President & CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce
Corporate and Non-Profit Director
Past President, First Nations University of Canada
Dean, Goodman School of Business
Owner, GFI Investment Counsel
President & CEO, Fortis Ontario
Auditor General of Ontario
Chair, Goodman Alumni Network (ex officio)
President & CEO, LCBO
ALUMNI RETREAT HELPS GOODMAN CHART COURSE FORWARD
TORONTO ADVISORY GROUP
President & CEO (Retired), Canada Post
Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
COO, Cineplex Entertainment LLP
INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY GROUP
Vice-President Global Markets & Industry Relations, Andrew Peller Ltd.
Chief Experience Officer, MGM Resorts
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By Kaitlyn Little
o plan for the future, Goodman looked to the past in September. The School welcomed back active alumni to campus for the sixth annual Homecoming Retreat to hear their ideas and insights. The feedback gained from grads at this event becomes a valuable planning tool as the School continues to enhance its student experience and build its reputation both locally and globally. For alumnus Aqib Zia (BBA ’15) the retreat offered him an opportunity to hear and share experiences with alumni from different classes and contribute to the continued growth of the School. “I think it’s so important for the School to actually interact with alumni, to gain their perspectives in order to continuously help build the Goodman School of Business,” he said. “Beyond the monetary value, it’s the educational value that our alumni can provide our current students that are looking for ways to expand and grow as they begin their careers.” Direct feedback from the 2018 retreat resulted in a number of changes and new programs. Goodman created a Student Programming Co-ordinator role to help create a strong first-year experience for students and to work on building Goodman culture from year one, as well as develop programming to help prepare students more effectively for competitions. Responses also helped create a direct link between alumni and the Business Students Association, the creation of the 'A Day in the Life of a Goodman Grad' program and an increased focus on sharing both student success and alumni stories in print. Following the retreat, attendees had the opportunity to tour Goodman’s building and catch up with former professors and classmates at a reception.
Professor Antonia Mantonakis studies how wine label images influence consumers' perception of wine quality.
LABEL IMAGES INFLUENCE WINE QUALITY PERCEPTION By Darien Temprile
hile winemakers say it’s what’s in the bottle that counts, one Goodman researcher has found that consumers may be judging the quality of the wine before they even pick up a bottle from the shelf. Antonia Mantonakis, Professor of Marketing, studies the psychological factors in consumer decision-making and consumer behaviour. She, along with her team, examined how photos that increase feelings of learning promote positive evaluations on how consumers evaluate wines based on names and pictures, even if this information has nothing to do with the quality of the wine. “Not all consumers are experts in wine,” Mantonakis said. “They often look for cues such as price, region, and grape varietal to make an informed decision when purchasing wine.” People don’t go searching for information to make decisions; they use what is directly in front of them. The more information they have to judge a wine, the more confident they are in their decision, she said. The goal for wineries is to use their labels to sway the decision of the consumer in their favour directly from the shelves of the LCBO. “Think of a game of trivia,” Mantonakis said. “Some answers come to mind very easily. That’s fluency. Other times it takes a little longer to process, and it’s
more difficult to put together. We call that a disfluent experience.” That feeling a person gets when they figure out the answer to a difficult trivia question is the same feeling they would get when making sense of a complex or uncommon name. Mantonakis advises wineries to include a simple picture on their label if the name contains a noun that’s uncommon in everyday language. This may benefit the consumers’ decision-making process. When the consumer is able to make sense of the name of the winery, this shortens the amount of time they’re left evaluating the wine; therefore, they’re in a fluent state. Mantonakis said the bigger question surrounding her research was, “Why do pictures help people think something is true?” The project first confirmed, through a series of experiments, that consumers believe the name and image on a wine label has little influence over how wines tasted. She then administered a blind taste test by serving each participant the exact same wine in six black glasses. Participants were unaware that each glass held the same wine. Participants were then asked to decide whether the claim ‘This wine tastes of high quality’ was true or false. These results showed that participants believed the claim was true more often when names appeared with photos compared
to alone. This contradicts what consumers believe, as it’s proven they’re subconsciously making decisions about the quality of a wine based on the name and picture on a label. The overall results of Mantonakis’s research implies that when a consumer can make sense of the unfamiliar name of a wine and learn from it by associating a picture with it, the consumer will evaluate the taste of the wine more positively. The implications of her research can also benefit consumers. Instead of browsing the shelves at the LCBO to find a familiar favourite, consumers might think twice about why they are interested in a new wine. Mantonakis strongly suggests consumers taste wine before purchasing it, and encourages them to make choices based on grape varietal or region rather than their first impressions of what is on the label. Mantonakis’s research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Her research team included Brittany Cardwell, Eryn Newman and Maryanne Garry of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand as well as Randi Beckett (BA ’12), recipient of the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award.
CANADA'S LEGAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY TAKES ROOT By Michael J. Armstrong, Associate Professor of Operations Research
n its first year of existence, Canada’s legal recreational cannabis industry has made much progress. And it’s providing many novel challenges for business professionals. But it still has far to go to overtake the country’s established black markets. Retail sales provide one measure of legalization’s progress. From October 2018 to September 2019, combined recreational and medical sales volumes totaled roughly 102,000 litres of cannabis oil and 108,000 kilograms of dry cannabis. That’s twice as much oil and four times as much dry product as were legally sold the year before when only medical use was allowed. But it still represents less than a quarter of Canada’s total consumption; black markets supply the rest. Product shortages constituted one drag on legal sales. Producers simply couldn’t process enough dry cannabis to meet demand last fall and winter. Fortunately, output began climbing in spring. And now, more than 240 companies hold licences to grow and/or process cannabis. Shortages of retailers also limited sales. Canada had only about 100 open in October 2018. Shops were especially scarce in the largest markets: Quebec had just 12, British Columbia had one, and Ontario had none. By contrast, there are now at least 550 cannabis stores across Canada, making legal products increasingly accessible. Ontario remains the glaring exception with just 75 shops open or underway for 14 million people. Thanks to this rapid growth, the legal industry has provided interesting opportunities for business professionals across disciplines. For example, financiers and entrepreneurs captured much attention in the months preceding legalization. CEOs pitched visions to investors as they gathered funds for their new ventures. Post-legalization, attention turned increasingly toward operations. Product shortages prompted politicians to speak (often inaccurately) about inventories. Journalists investigated quality and production problems while analysts looked for supply chain bottlenecks.
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Concerns about corporate governance and ethics also arose. Two producers had their licences suspended after cutting corners on cannabis growing. Executives elsewhere were accused of profiting personally from corporate acquisitions. Human resources specialists have also been busy. Those in the industry had to hire frantically to support its rapid expansion. Those elsewhere had to develop policies to handle employees’ potential cannabis impairment. Marketers similarly face their own challenges. For producers and retailers building product reputations from scratch, distinctive branding is important. But it’s hard to achieve when federal law restricts promotional activity and each province regulates retailing differently. Accountants, too, are dealing with tricky issues. Under mark-tomarket rules, producers must assign asset values to cannabis plants even before harvest. That requires assumptions that are difficult to make accurately and objectively. Some critics consequently describe producers’ balance sheets as "audited hallucinations." The coming year will bring more challenges to the industry and its professionals. The biggest task will be to compete directly with black markets on price and quality. The legal industry currently lags on both those product dimensions. That means legal prices must drop, at least for value-priced products. Other provinces should follow Quebec’s lead on that. Meanwhile, producers should continuously improve their product quality. They must offer aromas, potencies, and effects comparable to the best black market weed. The impending appearance of cannabis-infused foods, drinks, vapes, and lotions should help. Those value-added products also provide opportunities for producers to differentiate themselves. Cannabis drinks could prove particularly interesting. Will they partly replace alcohol as social beverages, as many producers hope? Or will they remain a niche product? Overall, Canada’s cannabis legalization has been at least a limited success, despite its many glitches and compromises. But it will take years for the industry to grow and develop. That will make it an interesting industry in which to work, and to research, for the foreseeable future.
Prof’s Perspective is a new feature to Goodman: The Magazine. It will highlight the opinions of our researchers on timely topics.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2020
brocku.ca/goodman WINTER 2020
THE LAST WORD
â€œGoodman allowed me to belong to something greater than myself. My courses gave me a solid understanding of finance fundamentals, co-op gave me practical work experience and extracurriculars helped me build problem-solving and leadership skills." â€“ Anthony Marotta (BBA '15), Director, Mergers and Acquisitions and Integration, Spark Power Corp.
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