Thanks to the support Amanda P. Cowen and Nicole V. Montgomery received in 2016 from the Walker Fund for Academic Excellence and the Davis R. Ledford Faculty Fellowship Fund, respectively, the Cowen and Montgomery created an experimental study exploring how the gender of a CEO affects people’s perceptions of that CEO when the organization he or she leads suffers product failure. The study investigates how those opinions then influence consumers’ willingness to purchase products from those companies in the future. Cowen and Montgomery collected responses from focus groups presented with fictional articles about corporate missteps. The stories were identical except for the name of the CEO, who was identified as either Adam Clayton or Abigail Clayton. The resulting data revealed noticeably different reactions to and judgment of the corporate leaders.
“It turns out that gender does matter, but it depends on what caused the failure,” said Cowen. The male CEO in the article suffered a stronger backlash than his female counterpart for an unintentional error—or what is sometimes called “honest incompetence.” Apologizing elicited a more severe response, and the male CEO received less criticism when denying a failure. Interestingly, the female CEO was more readily blamed when the event concerned a moral error, and consumer reaction was harsh if she denied any wrongdoing. In contrast to her male counterpart, participants tended to be more lenient if she offered an apology. The study exposes the pitfalls of stereotypes and some of the important challenges women leaders face.
“Our research is now headed toward trying to understand these different stakeholder groups and the role that gender may play in shaping their perceptions,” Montgomery said. “We hope to identify recommendations that can benefit organizations and their leaders.”
Carrie Heilman was presented with the 11th annual Faculty Recognition Award on behalf of The Order of the Claw & Dagger during the McIntire graduation ceremony May 21, 2017. The award recognized Heilman for "her strong commitment to McIntire students, her unbridled enthusiasm in the classroom, and the unparalleled amount of time that she devotes to her students outside of it."
Journal of Financial Economics, the top journal in finance and one of the top journals across all fields of economics in terms of citation impact, has awarded David C. Smith and his co-authors "Second Prize" for best corporate paper for their 2016 paper "The Ownership and Trading of Debt Claims in Chapter 11 Restructurings.” (View the citations ranking for the journal.)
Gary Ballinger discusses the impact of leadership change on businesses and the importance of being prepared for it in a May 27, 2017, Daily Progress article titled “Small Businesses Should Not Overlook Succession Planning, Locals Say.”
This year’s “Last Lecture” Series featured Peter Maillet and UVA Art Professor Carmenita Higginbotham, who spoke April 27, 2017, at the O’Hill Forum. UVA’s Resident Staff program organizes the event, now its 25th year, inviting distinguished professors each year to give a lecture as if it were their last chance to pass on knowledge and wisdom to students. The content of the lectures ranges from emotional to entertaining, but they are often moving and inspiring.
Kisha Lashley is a co-organizer of a symposium titled "Negotiating Status and Stigma: A Rhetorical Approach” that has been accepted for inclusion as a Showcase Symposium at the 2017 AOM Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Lashley also co-organized another symposium titled "Evaluating Social Evaluations: All Different, But Similar, Or Maybe It Just Depends?” sponsored by the OMT, MOC, and OB divisions.
Dorothy Kelly reveals commonly held misperceptions about how credit scores are calculated, common mistakes people make when trying to improve their credit score, and the best way for young people to build credit in an April 2017 WalletHub study titled “2017's Cities with the Highest & Lowest Credit Scores.”
Steven L. Johnson, along with colleagues Sri Kudaravalli of HEC Paris and Samer Faraj of McGill University, describes how to get experts to work together effectively in a May 10, 2017, Harvard Business Review article. Studying 71 software development teams in a large U.S. technology company, the three found that the highest-performing teams used a different configuration of expertise depending on the needs of the project phase, decentralizing expertise during design and centralizing expertise during implementation.
Amanda Cowen is one of nine professors across Grounds to receive a 2017 All-University Teaching Award. The honorees were officially recognized at an April 27, 2017, banquet, held in Alumni Hall. Read the newsletter story.
Carl Zeithaml has been reappointed Dean of the McIntire School for a three-year term effective July 1, 2017. “Carl has worked for nearly 20 years to achieve significant advances at the McIntire School, including a visionary integrative core curriculum, the recently initiated M.S. in Global Commerce, the transition to a research-oriented faculty culture, and best practices in peer faculty mentoring that are a model for the University. McIntire consistently ranks as one of the top undergraduate and graduate business schools in the nation, garnering numerous accolades as a flagship in business education,” says UVA Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas C. Katsouleas. “I am thrilled to have his continued leadership and partnership in accelerating the ascent of the McIntire School and UVA.”