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Faculty Research Report 2019

2019 FACULTY RESEARCH REPORT

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2019 Faculty Research Report

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

Message from the Dean...............................................................................3 Accounting: Christopher Agoglia ............................................................4 Finance: Fousseni Chabi-Yo........................................................................6 Hospitality & Tourism Management: Albert Assaf..............................8 Management: Szu-Han (Joanna) Lin......................................................10 Marketing: Francisco Villarroel Ordenes ...............................................12 Operations & Information Management: Anna Nagurney..............14 Sport Management: Matthew Katz......................................................16

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Message From the Dean As I step into my new role leading the Isenberg School of Management, one of my most exciting missions is to share and support the wonderful work of the faculty.

• Agha Iqbal Ali, Karen & Chuck Peters Family Endowed Professor of Operations & Information Management, received the 2018 Goodeve Medal for the best paper in the Journal of the Operational Research Society.

On top of their inspirational teaching and their close involvement with student projects and job searches, the school’s faculty members develop cutting-edge research across the spectrum of their specialty areas, with their work regularly appearing in top scholarly journals and winning academic awards. George Milne, Isenberg’s associate dean of research, has been working successfully to build and extend faculty members’ research competencies and to create new outlets for highlighting their thought leadership—we’re proud of this progress and excited for their future endeavors.

• Bing Liang, Charles P. McQuaid Endowed Professor of Finance, received the CFA Institute’s 2018 Scroll Award to recognize a paper published in the Financial Analysts Journal.

Here are a few of the plaudits Isenberg faculty members have recently earned: • Christopher Agoglia, Richard Simpson Endowed Professor of Accounting, received the Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature Award from the American Accounting Association.

• Anna Nagurney, John F. Smith Memorial Professor of Operations & Information Management, received the Constantin Caratheodory Prize from the International Society of Global Optimization. I’m so pleased to present this booklet, which highlights the innovative research of seven Isenberg faculty members over a wide range of business scholarship. Find more information about Isenberg’s outstanding faculty members at isenberg.umass.edu.

Anne P. Massey DEAN ISENBERG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

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ACCOUNTING

Christopher Agoglia RICHARD SIMPSON ENDOWED PROFESSOR

Maintaining Auditor Independence 4

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This increased trust and commitment could lead auditors to engage in future downstream residual reciprocation.” CHRISTOPHER AGOGLIA

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n order to certify a firm’s financial results each year, auditors need to be intimately knowledgeable about that firm while remaining independent and objective. It’s this balance that Isenberg Professor Christopher Agoglia explores in a recent paper, “Managing the Auditor-Client Relationship Through Partner Rotations: The Experience of Audit Firm Partners.” To maintain independence, lead audit partners are legally required to rotate off a client’s account after five years. Although regulators conceived of such rotations as clean breaks—“essentially handing over the keys,” Agoglia says—the reality is far more nuanced. “Firms try to bridge the transition and put a lot of work into creating continuity and making it run smoothly,” he notes. Do Partner Rotations Provide Fresh Perspective? In the early 2000s, the dangers of clientauditor coziness became clear: Enron collapsed and it emerged that auditing firm Arthur Andersen had been complicit in covering up financial irregularities. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other legislation passed in the wake of the scandals limited how long the same lead partner could serve a client, and created a five-year

“cooling-off” period where lead auditors could have no further involvement with former clients. But despite these stipulations, regulators allowed audit firms “a great degree of latitude to manage and implement rotations as they see fit,” Agoglia and colleagues write. In their research, Agoglia and coauthors Mary Kate Dodgson (Northeastern University), G. Bradley Bennett (Isenberg), and Jeffrey Cohen (Boston College) interviewed 20 U.S. audit firm partners and discovered that firms work hard to create continuity during audit leadership transitions. Common practices include assigning “relationship partners” (seniorlevel liaisons acting as intermediaries and helping mentor the new lead partner), designating a senior manager as successor and having that person shadow the lead auditor for months or even years before the official handoff, and seeking input from the client about what kind of audit partner they prefer. From a business perspective, these activities make sense: A mandatory rotation can be a natural “re-evaluation” point for clients, and accounting firms want to keep the business from being bid out to rivals. However, “bridging” activities could have implications for audit quality, notes Agoglia, who also oversees Auditing: A

Journal of Practice & Theory, one of the top publications in the field. On the one hand, transition activities help build trust with the client and ensure that important institutional knowledge is passed between audit teams. This “could be beneficial for the auditor-client relationship,” Agoglia writes. “A stronger relationship between auditors and their clients may help improve audit efficiency and effectiveness to the extent that there is timely sharing of important knowledge between parties.” On the other hand, too much emphasis on keeping clients happy could impact auditor objectivity. “This increased trust and commitment could lead auditors to engage in future downstream residual reciprocation in which they feel the need to respond more favorably to the client in subsequent discussions,” Agoglia writes. This dichotomy may be why studies on audit partner rotation have drawn contradictory conclusions: Some show that auditor rotation improves audit quality and others that it harms it. Agoglia speculates that part of the problem may be how researchers view rotation and advises that future studies “treat audit partner rotation as a process rather than a discrete event.”

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FINANCE

Fousseni Chabi-Yo ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

Bringing Predictability to Chaos R isk: The great x-factor in investments. If you’ve got the stomach for risk, which kinds of investments might yield the biggest upsides? Fousseni Chabi-Yo, associate professor of finance, is part of a field of scholars finding new ways to quantify and measure risk. His recent work focuses on entropy, a system’s tendency to gradually decline into disorder. Though entropy is more commonly known as a scientific principle, entropy in finance is a measure that provides a “summary of all moments of an asset’s return,”according to Chabi-Yo. Because entropy acknowledges uncertainty and encompasses more statistical probabilities, he adds, “You can think of it as a risk measure that goes beyond volatility, which has been a widely used measure of risk for decades.” In a recent working paper, “Never a Dull Moment: Entropy Risk in Commodity Markets,” Chabi-Yo and colleagues found that picking commodities based on entropy factors versus volatility (a commonly used risk factor that looks at how an asset’s returns are distributed compared to its average performance) resulted in far more productive portfolios.

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“You make more money when you follow a strategy based on entropy rather than just volatility,” Chabi-Yo notes. “We found a huge gain.” Using commodity data, his research found that a portfolio strategy that buys commodities with relatively high entropy and sells ones with relatively low entropy yielded a monthly return of 3.8 percent. The findings held, even after controlling for global and commodity-specific variables.

A New Lens on Investing In the research, Chabi-Yo and colleagues Hitesh Doshi from the University of Houston and Virgilio Zurita from Baylor University tested entropy as a risk premium by picking commodities. Commodities are contract-based purchasing commitments on raw goods such as wheat, corn, crude oil, etc. In recent decades, commodities have become increasingly interesting to investment firms and financial institutions. Chabi-Yo looked at futures and options, because both contain forward-looking data (pricing agreements tied to future dates).

To build an experimental portfolio, Chabi-Yo took six commodity groups (energy, grains, oilseeds, meats, dairy, and metals) and calculated each commodity’s entropy measure, then ranked them highest to lowest. The higher the “disorder”—or entropy—the greater the risk. He created a series of hypothetical long-shot portfolios picking such commodities and compared them with the performance of portfolios built using volatility. The high-entropy portfolio emerged as more profitable. In fact, Chabi-Yo predicts that entropy will become widely used. “Entropy has substantial information which is relevant and important for investors in the market,” he notes. It can be used to price assets and diversify portfolios, among other activities. “People really are going to use entropy in many areas—not only for portfolio managers, but for individual investors to measure risk.” And to forecast, too.“A measure of entropy computed using options is a better predictor of future returns,” he says, than if you make projections based on traditional tools such as volatility.


Entropy has substantial information which is relevant and important for investors in the market.” FOUSSENI CHABI-YO

Risk, in Work and Life What of his own approach to risk? As a boy growing up in Benin in West Africa, Chabi-Yo dreamed of being a pilot. But he could not get the visa to France that would have allowed him to get flight training, so he “fell back” on his other skills: an aptitude in mathematics and statistics. He went to Senegal and earned master’s degrees in applied mathematics and applied economics and statistics. Then on to a PhD in economics in Montreal, after which he worked for the Canadian Central Bank. Another country brought a new career in academia, first at Ohio State University and now at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management. The thrill of mathematical investigation has meant world traveling and plenty of adventure. “I don’t regret this career at all,” he says. “I even like it more than being a pilot.” And does he use his own research to invest? “Yes, but I am highly risk averse,” Chabi-Yo says, laughing.

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H O S P I TA L I T Y & T O U R I S M M A N A G E M E N T

Albert Assaf PROFESSOR

Hotels: Where to Go (and Grow) Next? H otel operators face a dilemma: They need to grow, but in a world increasingly saturated by Airbnb and other private rental options, opening in the wrong location can be a costly mistake. In the field’s first comprehensive empirical study of how destination characteristics affect hotel performance, Professor Albert Assaf and colleagues set out to identify and rank the factors that make or break a hotel investment. “Competition is intense, so hotels struggle to pick their next international destinations,” says Assaf, who studies the economics of the tourism industry and serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Tourism Economics. He and colleagues Alexander Josiassen (Copenhagen Business School), Linda Woo (Isenberg), and Frank Agbola (Newcastle Business School) analyzed five years of data encompassing 50 destinations and 560 hotels across 249 brands. Their conclusions? Operators should look for markets without a lot of existing competition, in countries where the government allocates spending appropriately on social fundamentals including infrastructure, education, healthcare, tourism, etc. Of all the factors studied, spending fairness—where funds

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were distributed across a lot of sectors— had the strongest correlation with high performance, according to the paper, “Destination Characteristics That Drive Hotel Performance: A State-of-the-Art Global Analysis,” which was published in Tourism Management in 2017. What Matters Most While government spending had the strongest correlation with high performance, local competition was actually the most influential factor in the study: “Airbnb is a problem,” Assaf says. “The number of accommodations was the biggest negative driver because of supply and demand. It outweighed the gains from fairness in government spending.” He adds, “Overall, hotels do not tend to look at the big picture. They look at their specific locations and they cluster together so any strategy that helps hotel operators think more broadly about performance is useful.” Clustering tends to depress hotel performance because it increases competition and flags the market’s potential to Airbnb hosts. No-Go for Hotels Besides taking a hard look at the number of competitors, what else

should operators be wary of? High tax rates, high fuel prices, and easy hiring of foreign workers—all three dragged down hotel performance in the study. Assaf and colleagues write, “Locations that were not performing well on these measures created the worst environment for hotels to grow or improve their performance.” Two of these factors— tax rates and fuel prices—place economic burdens on visitors. In some destinations, mandatory occupancy fees add significant surcharges to visitors’ bills. It’s not clear why low regulations on hiring foreign workers should impact performance, but it may be a service issue. “Relying on more local and highly qualified labor seems to be a better strategy for hotels,” Assaf and colleagues write. The Greenest Pastures In addition to fairness in government spending, Assaf identified three other market factors that helped hotels thrive. In order of importance they are: education system quality, international arrivals per capita, and disposable income. In an industry that’s labor intensive, a good education system creates a trained local workforce. “A workforce of employees with a variety


of skills, knowledge, and innovative abilities gives many hotels a competitive edge,” Assaf and colleagues write. International arrivals per capita correlates to strong foreign tourism, which was a critical performance booster for hotels. But not all revenues came from visitors. Assaf speculates that local disposable income helps hotels because it means “the destination has a steady and reliable source of affluent guests” even in the off-season.

In general, the study highlights the importance of macroeconomic due diligence because the most influential factors Assaf and colleagues identified (such as government spending, tax rates, and education system quality) are outside the hotel operator’s control. “Entering a new market is a big commitment,” Assaf observes. “Operators need to make the smartest decisions they can.”

Competition is intense, so hotels struggle to pick their next international destinations.” ALBERT ASSAF

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MANAGEMENT

Szu-Han (Joanna) Lin ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

Transformational Leadership:

Is the Price too High? T

ransformational leaders are organizational rock stars. They create meaning and purpose, getting ordinary teams to achieve remarkable results. But new research by Isenberg Assistant Professor Joanna Lin suggests that leaders who engage in “transformational” behaviors often pay a personal cost. In two studies looking at roughly 200 leader-follower groups, Lin and colleagues discovered that transformational leadership behaviors—which include exhibiting charisma, listening, and motivating workers to move beyond “selfinterest” to pursue “collective goals”— exact a toll. These energy-intensive behaviors put leaders at risk for emotional exhaustion and make them more likely to consider quitting their jobs, especially if they work with employees who aren’t conscientious or competent. “This study says, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We know there are a lot of beneficial outcomes in transformational leadership, but there may be some downsides to leaders as well,’” Lin says, adding that organizations pay high costs when talented managers leave. A Cautionary Tale Current literature is lopsided, Lin and

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colleagues Brent Scott (Michigan State University) and Fadel K. Matta (University of Georgia) argue. Most recent research has found that followers of transformational leaders reap big rewards, and such leaders gain influence and respect within their firms. But too few studies have investigated what these efforts cost those leaders. “Transformational leader behaviors have a dark side, and the extent to which this dark side appears depends on characteristics of followers,” Lin and coauthors write in “The Dark Side of Transformational Leader Behaviors for Leaders Themselves: A Conservation of Resources Perspective,” published online in the Academy of Management Journal this year. Conducting weekly surveys over six weeks, Lin and her coauthors found that engaging in transformational leader behaviors towards employees who rank low on conscientiousness and/ or competency (based on self-reported associations with words and phrases including “organized,” “systematic,”and “I come up with good solutions,”among others) increased a leader’s emotional exhaustion, and those feelings fueled a desire to leave the job.“These detrimental consequences occurred over and above

benefits to followers (Study 1) and benefits to leaders themselves (Study 2),” she writes. Lin argues that leaders have a finite amount of energy, focus, and enthusiasm in any given day. When leaders feel like those resources have been “squandered” on employees who don’t perform up to expectations, they experience a feeling of resource loss. (Lin notes that this loss is perceived by the leader; studies have generally validated that employees almost always gain from transformational leadership.) Lin frames it as a “conservation of resources”response—in feeling they’ve not gotten the desired results from their efforts, frustrated leaders instinctively move to conserve their remaining resources. Pick Your Battles So what’s the solution? It’s not for leaders to stop being engaged and charismatic in the workplace or to shun less competent employees who arguably need good leadership the most. Instead, Lin advises leaders to adopt a more self-aware, strategic use of their skills. If they feel energetic and positive in the morning, that’s a time to put forth the extra energy. When energy is at low ebb, they shouldn’t force themselves to mimic energy or enthusiasm they don’t feel.


Firms can contribute by making it okay for leaders to take breaks and recharge. Better hiring policies and performance management systems can increase employee competence. They can encourage candor, where leaders can acknowledge frustrations without having to feel “on” all the time. Other protective strategies may emerge with additional research. Lin is currently investigating whether everyday moments of family happiness and fulfillment, such as playing with children or sharing a meal with a partner, affect a leader’s ability to “give more”at work. Transformational leadership is an “important leader behavior,” Lin acknowledges.“We hope that our work not only challenges the way we think about transformational leader behaviors, but that it also stimulates future scholars to take a more balanced look at the pros and cons.”

Transformational leader behaviors have a dark side, and the extent to which this dark side appears depends on characteristics of followers.” SZU-HAN (JOANNA) LIN

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MARKETING

Francisco Villarroel Ordenes ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

People don’t like being told to do something on social media. They’re used to that in advertising. In social media, brands have to figure out how to join the conversation instead.” FRANCISCO VILLARROEL ORDENES

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How to Go Viral W hat makes people share brand content through their own Twitter and Facebook feeds? It’s incredibly difficult to create viral sensations such as last year’s #MyOreoCreation contest, which rallied hundreds of thousands of consumers to submit ideas for new cookie flavors, and then to buy and taste the finalists before voting on their favorite (Cherry Cola Oreos). “Consumer content sharing is key for the success of any online marketing campaign,” says Francisco Villarroel Ordenes, who studies the intersection of social media marketing, services, and machine learning for textual data. “But the high competition for consumer attention on social media sites is making content managers’ jobs extremely difficult. Brand content is much more likely to end up buried in big data than getting shared.” To address that challenge, his research focuses on developing strategies that use text-mining to harness brand-related consumer activity. For a recent study, “Cutting Through Content Clutter: How Speech and Image Acts Drive Consumer Sharing of Social Media Brand Messages,” which was published last year in the Journal of Consumer Research, Villarroel Ordenes and colleagues looked at 41,000 social media brand posts (on Facebook and Twitter) shared over two years by eight high-profile consumer brands, including Nike and Amazon. They used

machine learning to analyze the data, breaking down the factors that made posts more or less likely to be passed along by consumers. The authors, a group that also included Dhruv Grewal (Babson College), Stephan Ludwig (University of Melbourne), Ko De Ruyter (Kings College), Dominik Mahr (Maastricht University), and Martin Wetzels (Maastricht University), drew on speech act theory, the idea that using language is a way of taking action, rather than simply a way to share information. They assessed how brands’ use of language in posts (to make an assertion, express an emotion, or direct an action) affected consumers’ reactions, and particularly their likelihood of sharing a message. Inform, Don’t Direct The study’s first finding notes that consumers tune out content that tells them what to do. Directive messages (“Come on Friday for the final sale!”) get less traction than informative (“On Friday we launch our new product”) and emotional brand messages (“We love Fridays”). “Our findings, across both Facebook and Twitter, resonate with previous research that indicates that messages with socioemotional intentions are more likely to be exchanged,” the authors write. Interestingly, factual (or assertive) posts are more likely to be shared on Twitter than on Facebook, showing that each social

media platform has a slightly different audience with particular motivations. The study also looked at how messagesharing was influenced by the ways brands used rhetorical standbys like alliteration (“Functional, fashionable, formidable”) and repetition (“New year, new car”). The research found that, in general, such messages made more of an impact, especially on Facebook. On Twitter, rhetorical devices generally made users more likely to share posts, but explicit advertising cues—such as a directive message telling them to do something concrete that also has alliteration—really seem to turn them away. Images matter too. The research analyzed 9,215 brand posts containing images and found that a promotional tweet featuring a directive image (such as a photo of a person pointing toward a Toy Story character) accompanied by a directive message (“Check out the deal of the day”) is less likely to be shared than one with an emotional or informative message (“To infinity and beyond”). Too much direction appears to overburden consumers. “People don’t like being told to do something on social media,” Villarroel Ordenes says. “They’re used to that in advertising. In social media, brands have to figure out how to join the conversation instead.”

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O P E R AT I O N S & I N F O R M AT I O N M A N A G E M E N T

Anna Nagurney JOHN F. SMITH MEMORIAL PROFESSOR

Relief, by the Numbers A nna Nagurney’s fighting fires these days. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, cyber-hackings, and famines too. Everything in her email box may as well be marked “urgent.” Nagurney, the John F. Smith Memorial Professor of operations and information management and director of Isenberg’s Virtual Center for Supernetworks, studies how supply chains can be optimized to respond to global crises. There’s no shortage of events to study—and no time to waste. “The number of disasters is growing, as is the number of people affected,” Nagurney observes. “Disaster relief is becoming more complex now that half the population lives in urban centers.” Rebuilding takes months, even years. Nagurney, who has been studying disasters for the past decade, creates game theory models to figure out how humanitarian organizations and governments can best respond. Her recent paper, “An Integrated Financial and Logistical Game Theory Model for Humanitarian Organizations with Purchasing Costs, Multiple Freight Service Providers, and Budget, Capacity, and Demand Constraints” (International Journal of Production Economics, 2019) is loosely based on Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston in 2017, affecting 13 million people and causing about $125 billion in damage. The paper sheds new light on how humanitarian organizations inadvertently drive up the cost of goods by competing with each other. They want to buy and ship supplies to the same

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affected areas, competing for limited capacity on the same handful of freight service providers. Logistics represent about 80 percent of all disaster relief expenses, according to Nagurney and colleagues, so better understanding the dynamics could be powerful in stretching relief funds and reducing suffering.

Greater Realism Most supply chains are created based on predictable demand. But disasters require extraordinary, often improvised, supply chains. Massive amounts of goods need to move rapidly through damaged infrastructure. Often, the need is most acute in the least-accessible places. In a 2016 study focused on Hurricane Katrina, Nagurney found that areas that were easiest and cheapest to reach end up oversupplied, while people in other areas suffered and died. In last year’s Hurricane Harvey-inspired paper, Nagurney and coauthors Mojtaba Salarpour (Isenberg PhD student) and Patrizia Daniele (University of Catania, Italy), modeled out the complexity of buying goods during relief efforts. “This paper differs from previous work in that we include, among other features, purchasing and shipment from multiple locations, under budget constraints, and also objective functions that include benefit/altruism,” Nagurney and colleagues write. Though based on a hurricane in an urban setting, this model can be “applied to other problems and sets of circumstances where providers are

competing for resources and facing common constraints,” Nagurney notes. Based on the data, Nagurney et al. conclude that it’s useful for a “higher level authority”—a national government or central coordinating agency—to create guidelines for the amount of disaster relief supplies to be shipped to demand points. Such strategies will allow supplies to be distributed faster and more economically, making relief funds stretch further.

Mentoring and a Mission When Nagurney got her PhD at Brown University in 1983, she had one female professor—an expert in applied math and engineering who was counted twice to boost the numbers. Decades later, women are still hugely underrepresented in supply chain management, but Nagurney has built a powerful network. She has chaired dissertation committees for 21 PhD candidates (10 men and 11 women) and made sure those relationships prosper beyond graduation day. Several times a year, she hosts dinners and reunions while attending conferences around the world. Former students have hired more recent graduates, and/or have turned into collaborators and coauthors on research projects. This is what happens when your interest is more than “academic”—when you believe that supply chains optimized for delivering food, medicine, water, and fuel can ease suffering, help societies recover and, ultimately, protect global stability. “I am completely in love with this work,”she says.“The ideas don’t stop.”


The number of disasters is growing, as is the number of people affected. Disaster relief is becoming more complex now that half the population lives in urban centers.� ANNA NAGURNEY

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SPORT MANAGEMENT

Matthew Katz ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

The ‘good news’ is if we continue to look at networks and how they function, we can come up with strategies for women and other underrepresented groups to overcome barriers.” MATTHEW KATZ

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Network Failure?

Women’s Struggles in Sport Management

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or women, it’s notoriously hard to break into the top echelons of sport management. The common explanation is that an “old boys’ network” keeps insiders in power and women on the outskirts. But what does such a network actually look like? Assistant Professor Matthew Katz, Associate Professor (and Associate Dean for an Inclusive Organization) Nefertiti Walker, and PhD candidate Lauren Hindman of Isenberg’s NEFERTITI WALKER Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management have created the first data maps of “old boys’” and “old girls’” networks in sport management. Using publicly available information (LinkedIn profiles, professional biographies, press releases), they plotted affiliations among 341 athletic directors (ADs) at NCAA Division I colleges and universities and, separately, links among 333 of the highest-ranking women in the athletic departments of those same institutions. The results, published in “Gendered Leadership Networks in the NCAA: Analyzing Affiliation Networks of Senior Women Administrators and Athletic Directors” (Journal of Sport Management, 2018), are striking. As mapped for the project, the mostly male network of ADs is dense with links and so cohesive that the data points look like pinheads aligned by a magnet. By contrast, the network of senior women is looser and messier— and there are dramatically more women on the fringes. For a male-dominated profession where women’s representation shrank to 36 percent from 41 percent

between 2004 and 2014, Katz believes the data maps are a wake-up call. Out of the Loop In the 1970s, women held 90 percent of leadership positions in women’s athletics; today, they only hold about 40 percent. Conventional wisdom says that once Title IX made women’s athletics better funded, those jobs began attracting male applicants. But while men took positions women had historically held, women have failed to make inroads in leadership positions men have historically occupied. Today, according to NCAA data, men hold 80 percent of the Division I AD roles, the athletic department “CEO” position reporting to a university president. In 2006, concerned about the lack of female representation, the NCAA created the “senior woman administrator” (SWA) designation, allowing the highest-ranking female leader in an institution’s athletic department to participate in NCAA committees, eligibility hearings, and other matters. It’s these women—who hold a range of roles including finance executive, public relations officer, and program administrator—that Katz and colleagues used to create the all-women’s network. The SWA idea has “great intentions,” Katz notes, but significant limitations because it’s voluntary and because it signals only that a woman is higher on the org chart than other female colleagues, not that she wields influence relative to her male colleagues. “Just because you guarantee a woman a seat at the table doesn’t mean her voice will be heard,” Katz says. Opportunity for Change By mapping the SWA network, the Isenberg team has shown that it “simply

lacks the cohesiveness to allow for the type of information sharing and leadership emergence associated with the AD network,” Katz and colleagues write. “If the SWA network is to be the female version of the old boys’ club, it may not be very effective in combating the lack of women in sport leadership positions.” An overwhelming majority of male athletic directors have attended school or worked at the same places as other ADs. “It speaks to a somewhat ‘closed environment,’” Katz observes. In contrast, in the SWA network, “the volume of isolates was really surprising to us,” Katz says. Isolates (in this case, 35 out of 333 individuals) appear floating to the side, sharing no common connections with others. If you’re an isolate, you’re less likely to be looped in on opportunities, and are likely missing out on the support of professional peers. The more central an individual is in a network, studies show, the more likely that person will reach a leadership position and be successful. (Katz and colleagues identified “hub” institutions—places where the most people in the network overlapped. Only one made the top five in both the AD and SWA networks: UMass Amherst’s McCormack Department of Sport Management, which was the second most-connected institution on the women’s network and the fourth on the men’s.) The “good news,” Katz says, “is if we continue to look at networks and how they function, we can come up with strategies for women and other underrepresented groups to overcome barriers. I think of it a little like that movie, ‘Outbreak’—if we can map this bug, we can beat it.”

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2019 Faculty Research Report

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The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has New England’s topranked public business school undergraduate program, according to U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1947, Isenberg is AACSB accredited and has 3,800 undergraduates majoring in seven business disciplines, ranging from accounting and marketing to sport and hospitality and tourism management. More than 1,500 students are enrolled in nationally and internationally recognized on-campus and online graduate programs. The school’s 44,000 alumni live and work in 86 countries, and many of them serve as mentors, guest lecturers, and network connectors for Isenberg.

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Isenberg School of Management University of Massachusetts Amherst 121 Presidents Drive Amherst, MA 01003

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Isenberg School of Management | University of Massachussetts Amherst | isenberg.umass.edu

Profile for Isenberg School of Management

Faculty Research Report 2019  

Overview of research projects of seven Isenberg faculty members.

Faculty Research Report 2019  

Overview of research projects of seven Isenberg faculty members.