Experimenting with team norms in a marketing simulation, S Mottner

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Content: EXPERIMENTING WITH TEAM NORMS IN A MARKETING SIMULATION
Sandra Mottner, Western Washington University ABSTRACT The dynamics of functional groups are well understood and rely partly on a foundation of communally held norms formed and supported by group members. Given time constraints for classroom teams to develop group norms, this research seeks to understand the role, if any, that a tool used effectively in the business environment aids the development of norms, and hence students' perception, of team functionality and learning. Results measured after groups used the tool to build norms and then played a marketing simulation, indicate strong perceptions of learning and group functionality, but the norm-building tool made no significant positive difference in outcomes leading to the implication that group norm building tools designed for business use are not necessarily effective in the educational environment without modification. Key Words: educational research, marketing pedagogy, team dynamics, team norms, simulations.
INTRODUCTION Competitive computerized marketing simulations have been widely used as teaching and learning tool ­ particularly in Marketing Strategy and Management courses ­ and continue to be a meaningful pedagogical tool (Brooks, Burson, and Rudd 2006; Drea, Tripp, and Stuenkel 2005; Karns 2005). Students are usually grouped into teams in order to compete in these simulations. Pedagogical expectations are that students using these simulations will learn more about marketing strategy concepts through the application of marketing knowledge as well as gain marketing application skills (Maher and Hughner 2005). Teamwork skills should be enhanced in such an environment and conversely, problems with group dynamics should adversely affect administration of the simulation game and presumably the student's ability to learn from the simulation (Gentry, Burns, and Fritzsche 1993). Positive teamwork skills, such as development of strong group norms for knowledge sharing, for example, affect positive performance goals (Quigley, Tesluk, Locke, and Bartol 2007). Additionally, team learning tends to emphasize a deeper level of learning and a higher level of thinking (Hernandez 2002). Negative teamwork scenarios (dysfunctional team experiences) abound in anecdotal form and in literature and the dysfunctional team is linked to a sub-optimal learning experience (Pfaff and Huddleston 2003; Connerly and Mael 2001; Feichtner and Davis 1985). Research also asserts that cohesive teams that work well together realize better performance (DeeterSchmelz, Kennedy, and Ramsey 2002). Marketing educators have a responsibility to their students to not only facilitate their learning about marketing concepts and application, but also to help the students develop and use tools that will assist them in establishing more functional
teams, both in the college setting and in their professional careers (Lamont 2001). Increased team functionality should result when a team establishes clear behavior standards, or norms, for collaborating and working together (Duimering 2009; Patterson, Carron, and Loughead 2005; Burke and McLendon 2003; Corbin 2002). In a business setting the normal stages of group formation, including the establishment of group norms, takes time and the group may be together for many years and through many tasks and assignments rather than just for a school quarter or semester. Classroom team projects are very time-constrained compared with most business settings. Therefore, an intervention (or tool) that helps establish behavioral norms more quickly than in an unassisted business setting should result in increased group functionality and subsequently, increased group performance. Group interventions or team-building tools, can take different forms such as team-contracting devices (Bailey, Sass, Swiercz, Seal, and Kayes 2005), group self-selection or constrained selfselection (Bacon, Stewart, and Anderson 2001), "Collective Effort Classroom Assessment Technique" (Corbin 2002; Angelo and Cross 1993) or a group norm structuring tool (Spich and Keleman 1985), among others. Some of these tools are based on college-level pedagogical practice and theory, while others are based on business models. The purpose of this research is to serve as a discussion platform and an experimental setting for further exploring the use of simulations, class teams, and the business tool for accelerating team functionality. This research brings together a marketing simulation as a pedagogical tool for learning through application, or experiential learning in a team setting with one specific team- (norm-) building tool. The norm-building tool (Explicit Norm Intervention
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by Spich and Keleman 1985) was designed to increase the speed with which teams develop group norms in the business world. If the pedagogical tool for establishing team norms is useful in the classroom then student team perceptions of functional group behavior should increase, and theoretically, a greater perception of learning should result as well. The general literature regarding simulations as pedagogical tools is briefly reviewed and then, since simulations are normally used in team settings, the literature regarding the antecedents and attributes of functional teams and then the link between functional teams and performance and learning outcomes is also reviewed. An experiment that was used to test the effects of a tool for norm building, perceptions of group functionality and perceived performance over a 5-year period is detailed. Results indicate an overall perception of above average learning and above average group functionality. However, in an experimental design, results demonstrate the student's perception that the tool designed to foster norm development in business is not effective. Implications for the classroom are offered. SIMULATIONS ­ EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Experiential, or active learning, is generally accepted as an effective pedagogical tool (Brooks, Burson, and Rudd 2006; Maher and Hughner 2005; Drea, Tripp, and Stuenkel 2005; Daly 2001; Gillentine and Schulz 2001; Gremler, Hoffman, Keaveney, and Wright 2000). In fact, "active learning" as a pedagogical technique has been shown to be more effective than "passive learning" (Li, Greenberg, and Nicholls 2007; Karns 2006). Experiential learning practices are often preferred by students to more traditional pedagogical tools (Bobbitt, Inks, Kemp, and Mayo 2000; Chapman and Sorge 1999). Computerized simulations are one of the primary means for providing experiential opportunities for learning in business schools and particularly in capstone strategy classes (Stephen, Parante, and Brown 2002). Simulations provide a venue for integrating learning from prior coursework and experiences, as well as reinforcing specific course material. Students gain functional skills and learn through applying theoretical constructs to simulated environments. Retention of knowledge is gained through the experience of making decisions and seeing the results of those decisions. Simulations have been positively associated with learning performance (Young, Klemz, and Murphy 2003) and higher level cognitive skills (Smith and Van Doren 2004). There are even some correlations reported between students who performed well on simulations and had positive interpersonal group relationships, and the student's later career mobility, satisfaction and salary levels (Wolfe and Roberts 1993). Based on the prior literature results, therefore, we hypothesized that:
H1: Student perception of learning will be attributed to a marketing simulation. TEAMS, TEAM FUNCTIONALITY, AND TEAM LEARNING PERFORMANCE Literature and anecdotal evidence indicate that experiential learning simulation projects generally happen in student teams (Stephen, Parente, and Brown 2002; Lamont 2001; Lant and Hurley 1999). However, while not all students learn well in the team or group environment (Razzouk, Seitz, and Rizkallah 2003), there appears to be a relationship between learning performance or outcomes and team behaviors (Pfaff and Huddleston 2003). Wellington, Faria, and Hutchinson (2009), in a study of competitiveness in marketing simulation game performance, extensively reviewed the variables that have been studied with respect to student performance in simulations. Included in those variables are, "personality characteristics, locus of team control, achievement motivation, previous academic performance, time pressure, ethnic origin of team members, gender, team size, previous business experience, team organizational structure, method of team formation, and grade weighting," (Wellington, Faria, and Hutchinson 2009). Determining ways to increase team functionality should be important ­ especially if the means for improving functionality can be transferred to other team settings and particularly to the business environment. Indeed, an often cited reason for students working in groups is that it helps the students acquire teamwork skills that will translate well to the team experiences students will find in the business world (Chapman, Meuter, Toy, and Wright 2006). What are the antecedents and characteristics of functional teams in a classroom environment? Two major antecedents that have been evaluated include team size and team selection method. Optimal team size in marketing simulations varies. However, teams of 3 to 4 students appear to be positively related to team performance and satisfaction in the same simulation used in this research (Cosse, Ashworth, and Weisenberger 1999). Teams smaller than seven were used successfully in a group collaboration study (Corbin 2002). Keeping team size the same for each group within a simulated industry or class also is important in team satisfaction and performance (Cosse et al. 1999). There is conflictive evidence with respect to gender makeup of teams; however, Deeter-Schmelz et al. (2002) found that there was no significant difference with respect to single sex or gender diverse teams. Deeter-Schmelz et al. (2002) found that group cohesion was an important factor that is characteristic of functional teams. One of the keys to cohesion is a sense of group membership which leads to the question of group self-selection versus random assignment. In general, teams that are self-selected have an advantage in functionality or
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group dynamics, attitude toward the group as well as outcomes (Chapman, Meuter, Toy, and Wright 2006). While optimal team selection methods vary depending upon circumstances, generally self-selection and/or constrained self-selection offer fair balance of skills, good initial cohesion, and ease of meeting times (Bacon, Stewart and Anderson 2001) although they may have less diversity and players may get left out. In Chapman et al.'s (2006) study it was found that self-selected teams had significantly better communication, enthusiasm and resolved conflicts more effectively than randomly selected groups. However, randomly assigned groups tended to use time in meetings more efficiently and felt they were more task oriented. Overall, outcome measures in the Chapman et al. (2006) study were significantly better for the self-selected groups. Similarly, Connerly (2001) found that student team members who selected their own group were more satisfied with the performance of the group in terms of achievements as well as group dynamics. Attributes of functional teams include the presence of a strong normative "layer" of team rules, goals, and standards (Eppler and Sukowski 2000). The norms, or "standards of behavior agreed to by all members," are frequently established early in the life of a group and remain relatively stable unless or until something dramatic occurs (Hackman and Walton 1986). Such norms can be particularly important when they are formed around performance issues (Hackman 1987). It is likely that norms are easier for groups to agree upon when the groups self-select and therefore have a higher propensity to have shared standards of behaviors. Therefore, we hypothesized: H2: Student perception of learning performance will be significantly better in teams that were formed using constrained self-selection. H3: Student perception of group functionality will be significantly better in teams that were formed using constrained self-selection. The amount and type of feedback provided to groups during a simulation and the group's ability to analyze the information and make substantive changes often play a role in how well a group functions and the outcomes of the group (Lant and Hurley 1999), including learning (Druskat and Kayes 2000). As Lant and Hurley (1999) demonstrate in their study of students in a business simulation, feedback about performance was particularly meaningful to future group decisions, and evidence of commitment to the simulation and future performance. Since different group members may respond differently to feedback and consequently have differing levels of commitment, decision-making by a group may become strained and even dysfunctional as group members deal with these differences. However, other types of feedback, including how positive and negative feedback are provided by an instructor, could play a role in the functionality of groups.
In Corbin's (2002) study of the use of a three-phase group assessment technique, the student teams in a marketing capstone class had better performances with respect to enhanced concepts and implementations of teamwork (functional and effective behavior) than any other method tried previously. Student learning and performance in groups depends upon prior information and how fully that information is disseminated to the group (Bruttel 2009). However, in Bruttel's (2009) experiments, the direction of past performance information affects the learning and the subsequent behavior of groups. Using learning direction theory, Bruttel (2009) demonstrates how prior experience that yielded poor results information leads to more substandard group behavior. The emergence of team leaders who take charge of the team or work independently is usually contrary to established group norms and can negatively affect team functionality ­ although the findings in this area are contradictory in some cases and generally not significant (Pfaff and Huddleston 2003) in the classroom. However, in non-classroom experiments, a team leader had a positive effect on perceived functionality in small groups (3 members or fewer) and a negative effect in larger groups (Weber, Camerer, Rottenstreich, and Knez 2001). Strong team leaders have been observed to be more efficient than effective in group economic experiments (Bruttel 2009). Efficient rather than effective group leaders could stifle innovative thought, consensus building and a robust learning environment for some team members. Social loafing, the problem of the non-contributing team member, is also a source of team dysfunction (Pfaff and Hudleston 2003). Management of the social-loafing problem is critical in aiding group functionality (Bailey et al. 2005) especially when multiple learning objectives are sought, as in the capstone simulation situation. When Deeter-Schmelz et al. (2002) examined the combination of attributes including team size, gender diversity and level of cohesion, only the level of cohesion had a significant effect on "teamwork," A cohesive team is characterized as having a common goal and sharing a commitment to that goal. The process of teamwork as measured by Deeter-Schmelz et al. (2002) included working toward common goals, tension-free environments, high morale and enthusiasm, pride, follow-through, feedback, sensitivity to others and the ability to resolve conflict, among other characteristics (see Deeter-Schmelz et al. 2002, p. 119, for a complete description of measures). The role of the instructor also influences the attitude students have toward group work (Chapman and Van Auken 2001). Instructors who discuss group dynamic issues, the value of group work and seek to ameliorate the grade effects of social loafing, through peer evaluations for example, tend to have a positive effect on the student's
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attitude and perceived benefits of group work (Chapman and Van Auken 2001). These findings dovetail nicely with the Bruttel (2009) findings noted above. It seems logical to assume that a positive attitude toward the group, in part based on prior group outcomes, should be associated with more effective and functional group work. Obviously, a large number of internal and contextual factors impact team functionality or teamwork (Sundstrom, DeMeuse, and Futrell 1990). Indeed, the process of teamwork positively affects team performance and goal achievement (Deeter-Schmelz et al. 2002; Stewart and Barrick 2000). Therefore, it was expected that this research would confirm that team functionality has a positive effect on team performance. H4: Student perception of learning performance will be significantly linked to student perception of team functionality. Groups that have been experimentally manipulated to emphasize cooperative, task-oriented norms tend to have more effective interactions within the group in a business setting (Chatman and Flynn 2001). As Hare (1976) points out, there is no basis for organized interaction in a group until some agreement is reached about both goals and norms. Sundstrom, DeMeuse, and Futrell (1990) suggest that "charters" created by team members may be a tool for influencing group norms and establishing goals. While a "charter" or "team contract" might deal with any number of team issues, similar tools (or interventions) can be limited to just the development of group norms. Spich and Keleman (1985) proposed an "Explicit Norm Structuring Process" to force the early and direct development of group norms in business teams. Since the process of building and establishing norms under a standard time scenario often disrupts group performance and takes considerable time away from tasks, Spich and Keleman (1985) argue that in order to reduce "process loss" in groups, early norm development (or norm building) that is very explicit in nature is worth the initial start-up time, as opposed to trying to reset norms in midstream. Spich and Keleman (1985) proposed a set of norm issue behaviors that discriminated between effective and ineffective group performers. This was subsequently developed into a group/team intervention tool for establishing group norms by Keleman (1994). The basic process is for group members to discuss and agree about the relative importance of a set of individual behaviors (norms) which are important to group functioning, given the task they face. The process, or norm-building tool, has been used successfully in business settings (Keleman 2001). As noted above, it is expected that the use of a normbuilding tool should be positively associated with more functional teams. There are two reasons for this expected outcome. First, norm development has been shown to improve group functionality and the "explicit norm structuring intervention" specifically addresses this need. Sec-
ond, in those groups that are permitted to self-select members, achieving norms is easier and quicker (Chatman and Flynn 2001) because it is likely that the groups are more heterogeneous and less diverse in terms of norms. By having the intervention (the norm-building tool) occur in class this demonstrates the importance the instructor places on the group norms and hence, students will have more positive attitudes toward the group work (Chapman and Van Auken 2001). In a pilot study for this exploratory research, a positive relationship was found between the norm-building tool and student perception of group functionality, as well as a positive relationship between functional teams and the perception of learning. A very tiny relationship was found in the pilot study between the norm-building tool and the perception of learning. The larger study undertaken in this research seeks to determine whether there is a significant difference in student's perception of team functionality with respect to the norm-building tool. Similarly, it is expected that there will be a significant difference in the perception of learning with respect to the norm-building tool. When teams function well together they cooperate in the learning. Indeed, as Druskat and Kayes (2000, p. 331) state, "we define team learning as team members acquiring and sharing unique knowledge and information and examining what is helping and hurting team performance to continually improve as a unit," Therefore: H5: Student perception of learning performance will be significantly better when the "team normbuilding" tool is used. H6: Student perception of team functionality will be significantly better when the "team normbuilding" tool is used. METHODOLOGY The Marketing Game! (Mason and Perreault 2002) simulation was used in this research over a 5-year period (14 academic quarters) in a medium-sized West Coast university as part of a capstone marketing strategy course. The simulation was played at the most complex level which involved the option to make the maximum amount of marketing decisions. The simulation was played for eight "years" or moves per term, which were submitted to the instructor under "normal economic conditions," The simulation began after a few weeks of class discussion, lectures, cases analyses and a comprehensive marketing strategy examination. The simulation was organized so that there were four competing companies (teams of students) within a given industry. Team size was controlled as best as possible within the constraints of four competing companies and class size. Students were assigned using a totally random method for seven academic quarters and then a constrained team self-selection technique was used for an additional seven quarters. Students in the constrained
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self-selection groups could request their fellow teammates as well as state with whom they preferred not to work. The instructor then made the matches honoring the student's requests to the greatest degree while trying to maintain balance of abilities and minimizing "outcasts." Students received annual feedback prior to making the next set of decisions through simulation generated reports as well as class, group, and individual meetings with the professor. Feedback topics included how to analyze competitive positions, how to predict future competitive moves, how to predict a unit volume to manufacture based on marketing variables, how to generate a marketing plan for future moves, the development of a SWOT analysis and the development of future financial information based on simulation experiences. A written marketing plan was also generated for two years beyond the simulation after the eight-year cycle had been completed. Student performance was measured by student "perception of performance" for the purposes of this research. However, each team received a grade based on their actual financial performance in the simulation. As noted by Bamberger and Levi (2009) team outcomes are best measured for the entire group and not for individual if maximum team performance is to be achieved. Team Norm-Building Tool In order to test for the effects of the team normbuilding tool, the intervention based on Jumpstarting Your New Team (Keleman 1994) was administered during the same class period as the simulation introduction and shortly after team membership had been announced. The teams had a brief introduction as to what "norms" meant and how one builds "consensus," Each team was then given "Behavior List One" (Appendix A) and the team members were instructed to individually rate the behaviors as to whether they believed: (a) the behavior was critical for team success, or (b) the behavior was important but not critical, or (c) that the critical behavior inhibited team success. After the individual team members had rated each behavior, they were then instructed to reach a consensus for their team for each behavior. When they had finished their work on "Behavior List One," they were then given "Behavior List Two" (Appendix B). The team as a whole worked through the second behavior list coming to consensus about which behaviors merited an A, B, or C designation. Controls employed to ensure uniformity between sections included the instructor, team size, simulation instructions and settings, and intervention administration. Team leaders were not designated or requested. Peer evaluations were completed at the end of the entire simulation which allowed students to evaluate their team members, which helped control for "social loafing."
Experimental Design Data was collected from students over 14 quarters. A post-test was administered at the conclusion of the simulation in each quarter after the students were given the results of the simulation in terms of profit, relative rankings and grade. The 24 statements on the post-test were evaluated by the students using a 5-point Likert scale in which "1" meant they disagreed strongly and "5" meant they agreed strongly and are shown in Table 1. The norm building intervention was employed for 10 quarters; allowing four quarters without an intervention. The experiment was also manipulated by allowing selfselection of teams for seven quarters and assigning teams for seven quarters (see Table 2). This provided 161 data points for norm intervention/assigned teams (henceforth Group A), 130 data points for no intervention/self-selected teams (henceforth Group B), and 69 data points for norm intervention/self-selected teams (henceforth Group C). This allowed us to establish a three-group after treatment measurement experimental design with Group C (receiving the norm building intervention and self-selecting team membership) being the control group. Since we were assessing the impact of two different manipulations, i.e., assigning groups and not introducing the intervention tool, we employed two different experimental groups. Group B was allowed to self-select group membership but was not exposed to the norm building intervention and Group A was exposed to the norm intervention but had group membership assigned. RESULTS The post-simulation survey was completed by 358 out of 372 students involved in the experiment (96.2%). Students were primarily traditional college-age seniors and fairly evenly divided by females and males. An analysis of questions designed to assess student perception of learning performance, group functionality, and intervention effectiveness were subjected to factor analysis utilizing SPSS 17.0. PCA with vaimax rotation employing a conservative loading cut-off of .500, and communality extraction of approximately .500 resulted in three factors containing a total of 17 items (see Table 1). The results exhibited significant measures for both KMO (.862) and Bartlett's Test (p = .000) with a total of 57 percent of the total variance extracted. The first factor, Learning performance, contains five items exhibiting an alpha of .743 while the second factor, Functionality, contains six items and exhibits an alpha of .880, and the final factor, Intervention, contains six items with an alpha of .856. With each factor, the internal consistency exceeds minimal acceptable levels of .700 (Smith and Albaum 2005).
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TABLE 1 MEANS, standard deviationS, AND RESPONSE SIZE
Standard Mean Deviation N
Team Learning Performance
A. Our group performed well in the marketing simulation
4.01 1.124 353
F. Our group took the marketing simulation seriously
4.44
.693 353
J. The marketing simulation game helped our group learn more about marketing
concepts
4.14
.859 353
L. Our group took the course very seriously
4.36
.741 353
W. The marketing simulation game helped our group learn more about the
application of marketing concepts to actual situations
4.17
.813 353
Team Functioning
B. Our group divided tasks amongst itself very well G. It was very easy to divide up the work given the size of our group H. The group was the best group I have ever been in O. The group had the most problems of any group I have ever been in S. When our group did not function well it was because of problems within our group V. When our group did not function well it was because of certain individuals in the group
4.24
.896 355
4.15
.943 355
3.45 1.137 355
4.39 1.036 355
3.70 1.202 355
3.70 1.338 355
Norm Intervention
C. Our group took the norm building exercise seriously
3.59
K. I would recommend using the norm building exercise again
3.37
M. Our team used the norm building tools frequently while we completed the
marketing simulation
2.53
N. When our group ran into problems we used the established norms to help
overcome the problems
2.40
R. The norm building exercise helped our group play the marketing simulation well 2.61
X. The norm building exercise helped our group function effectively
2.84
.968 225 1.036 225 1.126 225 .982 225 .949 225 .978 225
Data collected using a Likert-type scale anchored by strongly disagree (1) and strongly agree (5). Statements were reverse-coded. The following items did not represent nor were included in any of the factors: D. A fairly strong dominant leader emerged in our group , E. Naming our team helped us to be a more effective group, I. Our group had very few scheduling problems, P. If we could have re-negotiated the norms half way through the marketing simulation it would have been helpful to our group Q. Our team was too large, T. It was very easy to establish norms given the size of our group, U. The norm building exercise helped our group learn more about marketing concepts
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Group A B C
TABLE 2 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN OF TREATMENTS
Norm Intervention
Self-Selected Teams
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Quarters 7 4 3
In order to test Hypothesis 1, determining if students found the marketing simulation a positive learning experience, a one sample t-test was employed with the midpoint (three) as the testing value. The mean value, 4.2, for Team Learning Performance was found to be significantly different from the test value at the .000 level. Therefore, H1 is supported. In order to test H2 and H3, analyzing the impact of constrained self-selection on learning performance and group functionality, independent samples t-tests were employed. Results from the control group, Group C, were compared to those of the experimental group ­ in this case Group A. In order to assess if the treatment (normbuilding tool/intervention) the Scheffe post-hoc test for ANOVA, considered conservative (Edwards 1993) along with confidence intervals [95% level] were assessed for determining significant differences among groups. Confidence intervals provide a detailed method for studying the magnitude of differences in population means (Iversen and Norpoth 1987). ANOVA results (p= .586) indicate no significant differences between groups with regard to perceived learning, with post hoc results failing to show a difference between pair groups. The means for each group are Group A, 4.12; Group B, 4.14; and Group C, 4.23 ­ indicating that each group, regardless of norm intervention or selfselection of teams perceived the simulation to be well above "average" in terms of being educational. Thus, Hypothesis 1 continued to be supported but Hypothesis 2 was not supported. Team functionality was evaluated based on indicators "B", "D", "F", "H", "I", "L", "O", "S", and "V" as shown in Table 1 and indicated by Spich and Keleman (1985). Upon assessment of the internal reliability, it was determined that item "D", which exhibited an inter-item correlation of .050, was eliminated resulting in a Cronbach Alpha of .795. The ANOVA with respect to team functionality indicate that significant differences exist between groups with respect to perceived team functionality. Post hoc results indicate a significant difference (p = .023) between Group A (0 = 3.86) and Group B (0 = 4.09)
but no significant difference (p = .961) between Group A and Group C (0 = 3.83) with the difference between Group B and Group C directionally supported (p = .052) and worthy of further investigation. Even though each sample perceived their groups to function better than average, Group B, the group that did not receive the intervention, believed that they functioned statistically significantly better than the other groups. Therefore Hypothesis 3 was not supported and the test found the results completely opposite of the hypothesis. This led us to examine the students' perception of the norm intervention. Students' perception of the normbuilding exercise/tool was evaluated using statements "C", "K", "M", "N", "P", "R", and "X" in Table 1 and indicated by Spich and Keleman (1985). This construct exhibited a Cronbach Alpha of .846 indicating high internal reliability. The mean for the norm intervention construct for Group A was 2.82 and for Group C, 2.76. A t-test indicates that there are no significant differences (p = .567) between the two groups. This indicates that students do not perceive the norm intervention as helpful. Thus, hypotheses H5 and H6 were not supported. IMPLICATIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH The results with respect to overall learning related to the simulation and as perceived by the students was as expected except that functionality and self-selection of teams made no apparent difference in the perception of learning. However, the finding that students perceived that they functioned significantly better without the norm intervention was contrary to predictions. Why is this the case and what are the implications of these findings? One possible explanation comes from the comments that teachers often hear from students. At the beginning of the quarter or semester ­ especially the fall term ­ students believe that they will read every chapter before class, they will start their term paper well before the end of the term and they will attend every class. They make these commitments to themselves and thereby raise unreasonable expectations of themselves. All too often the end of the
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term comes and students realize that their commitments were wishful thoughts vaguely remembered and most often dispensed somewhere during the term. The norm exercise may build up the same expectations and the posttest simply serves to remind the student that they didn't quite do everything they agreed to at the start of the simulation. For example, one of the norms from Appendix A states that each group member will, "prepare thoroughly before meetings." When asked to think about that again at the end of the quarter many students might have to admit that they didn't live up to the norm. The norm exercise therefore is setting up an ideal that without constant reinforcement and work is doomed to failure. Student perception of the effectiveness of agreeing to something they don't manage to live up to is likely to be negative. This leads to the speculation as to whether a normbuilding tool that is designed for industrial or corporate teams that are brought together for the long-term, and whose members' livelihoods depend upon the successful functioning of the team, are the right type of tool for the classroom setting. Indeed, can we really compare the student groups, organized for a short-term project during a quarter for which they earn a grade, to the corporate teams brought together for either short- or long-term projects? Indeed, Connerley and Mael (2001) state that student teams differ in many respects from industry teams. Comparisons of tools for improving team functionality and improving learning would be helpful. In particular, it would also be helpful to examine more closely the teamskills that are being taught in the classroom to the teamwork skills necessary in business. An indicator of student perceptions can be found in a sample of comments that were included in the postsimulation surveys. A sample of the frequent comments is shown in Appendix C. While there was positive feedback, many students indicated that the tool needed reinforcement and merely serviced as an "ice-breaker." Many found the length of the tool cumbersome and the statements a little too generic. The assessment tool used by Corbin (2002) was successful in increasing group functionality. One of the characteristics of that tool is that it is used several times over the length of a course. Hence, the behaviors that were assessed using that tool were also reinforced repeatedly. Many of the behaviors listed in the tool used by Corbin (2002) are also used in the norm-building tool used in this experiment. Therefore, it is likely that repeated use of the norm-building tool in some fashion might change the outcomes experienced in this study. Interestingly, the number of student comments markedly decreased as the 14 quarters progressed. This may indicate that while the externals of the experiment were maintained, the instructor was making small corrections or changes that were affecting how the classes and groups perceived their functionality and their learning. Overall,
as noted in Table 1, items J and W's mean are high indicating better than average perceived learning, Similarly, items that were indicators of group functionality were also above average. Consequently, the norm intervention itself may have reinforced some ideals but no attribution to the intervention was made on the part of the students. Rather, the students focused on the simulation itself, which makes sense as that is the graded part of the coursework. For future use, the studies by Bisen and Laverie (2009) and Corbin (2002) show that periodic feedback during a team learning environment can show a modifying and positive effect on team functionality and/or learning. This more continuous feedback format appears to have overall benefits that the experiment performed for this research did not experience. As noted earlier, the continuous assessment technique (Bicen and Lavarie 2009; Corbin 2002) is strongly recommended for future research as well as practice. Finally, the Fullagar and Egleston (2008) study has reexamined the entire group cohesion and performance linkage in a computerized "microworld" controlled experiment. In their analysis it was found that, "group performance (predicted) group cohesiveness and not vice versa," (p. 2574). This is contrary to the traditional concept of group cohesion or group functionality being the result of the norming phase of the "forming, storming, norming and performing" model based on Tuckman's (1965) work, The Fullagar and Egleston (2008) findings plus the indications of the research outlined in this experiment indicates that while a relationship between group cohesion or group functionality and performance definitely exists, the exact nature of the relationship is not well understood. While certain issues such as social loafing, group size, and self-selection versus random selection, have been addressed, the nature of the relationship between group cohesion and performance is still far from well understood. CONCLUSION It is reassuring to know that despite the fact that there is much more work to be done in the aforementioned areas, the link between the computerized marketing simulation and the perception of learning remains stable and strong. Understanding of teamwork, and in particular functional teamwork, in the classroom continues to need further study. The relationship between student perception of learning and team functionality is still not completely understood. Further, the relationship between team skills learned experientially in various college courses and the team skills needed in the business industry may need further assessment. Overall, this experiment has raised more questions than it has answered. A tool used to build group norms in industry did not work as it would
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have in the business environment when it was used in the classroom. The pedagogical need for repetition, such as the multiple use of the assessment tool used by Corbin
(2002) to modify behavior and/or increase learning performance is indicated by this research.
ENDNOTE Acknowledgments: The author would like to express her gratitude to Shawn Thelan, Ph.D. of Hofstra University and Ken Keleman, Ph.D., Emeritus of Western Washington University for their advice and assistance with this project. REFERENCES Angelo, Thomas A. and K. Patricia Cross (1993), Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: JosseyBass Publishers. Bailey, James, Mary Sass, Paul M. Swiercz, Craig Seal, and D. Christopher Kayes (2005), "Teaching With and Through Teams: Student-Written, InstructorFacilitated Case Writing and the Signatory Code," Journal of Management Education, 29 (1), 39­60. Bamberger, Peter A. and Racheli Levi (2008), "TeamBased Reward Allocation Structures and the Helping Behavior of Outcome-Interdependent Team Members," Journal of Managerial Psychology, 24 (4), 27.3 Bicen, Pelin and Debra A. Lavarie (2009), Group-Based Assessment as a Dynamic Approach to Marketing Education, 31 (2), 96­108. Bobbitt, L. Michelle, Scott A. Inks, Katie J. Kemp, and Donna T. Mayo (2000), "Integrating Marketing Courses to Enhance Team-Based Experiential Learning," Journal of Marketing Education, 22 (1), 15­24. Brooks, Bradley W., Timothy E. Burson, and David V. Rudd (2006), "Addressing Current Research Gaps and Directions in Educational Marketing Simulations," Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education, 9 (Winter), 43­49. Bruttel, Lisa V. (2009), "Group Dynamics in Experimental Studies ­ The Bertrand Parado Revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 69, 51­ 63. Chapman, Kenneth J. and Christine L. Sorge (1999), "Can a Simulation Help Achieve Course Objectives? An Exploratory Study Investigating Differences Among Instructional Tools," Journal of Education for Business, 74 (4), 225­31. ____________ and Stuart Van Auken (2001), "Creating Positive Group Project Experiences: An examination of the Role of the Instructor on Students' Perceptions
of Group Projects," Journal of Marketing Education, 23 (2), 117­27. ____________, Matthew Meuter, Dan Toy, and Lauren Wright (2006), "Can't We Pick Our Own Groups? The Influence of Group Selection Method on Group Dynamics and Outcomes," Journal of Management Education, 30 (4), 557­69. Chatman, Jennifer A. and Francis J. Flynn (2001), "The Influence of Demographic Heterogeneity on the Emergence and Consequences of Cooperative Norms in Team Work," Academy of Management Journal, 44 (5), 956­74. Connerley, Mary L. and Fred A. Mael (2001), "The Importance and Invasiveness of Student Team Selection Criteria," Journal of Management Education, 25 (5), 471­94. Corbin, Steve (2002), "Improving Group Collaboration and Student Teams' Understanding of Responsibility Through a Three-Phased Classroom Assessment Technique," Journal for the Advancement of Marketing Education, 2, 37­49. Cosse, Thomas J., D. Neil Ashworth, and Terry M. Weisenberger (1999), "The Effects of Team Size in a Marketing Simulation," Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 7 (3), 98­106. Daly, Shawn P. (2001), "Student-Operated Internet Business: True Experiential Learning in Entrepreneurship and Retail Management," Journal of Marketing Education, 23 (3), 204­15. Deeter-Schmelz, Dawn R., Karen Norman Kennedy, and Rosemary P. Ramsey (2002), "Enriching our Understanding of Student Team Effectiveness," Journal of Marketing Education, 24 (2), 114­24. Drea, John T., Carolyn Tripp, and Kathleen Stuenkel (2005), "An Assessment of the Effectiveness of an In-Class Game on Marketing Students' Perceptions and Learning Outcomes," Marketing Education Review, 15 (1), 25­33. Druskat, Vanessa Urch and D. Christopher Kayes (2000), "Learning Versus Performance in Short-Term Project Teams," Small Group Research, 31 (3), 328­53. Edwards, L.K., Editor (1993), Applied Analysis of Variance in Behavioral Science. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. Eppler, Martin J. and Oliver Sukowski (2000), "Managing Team Knowledge: Core Processes, Tools and Enabling Factors," European Management Journal, 18 (3), 334­41. Feichtner, S. and E. Davis (1985), "Why Some Groups
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Fail: A Survey of Students' Experiences with Learning Groups," Organizational Behavior Teaching Review, 9 (4), 58­73. Fullagar, Clive J. and David O. Egleston (2008), "Norming and Performing: Using Microworlds to Understand the Relationship Between Team Cohesiveness and Performance," Applied Social Psychology, 38 (10), 2574­93. Gentry, James W., Alvin C. Burns, and David J. Fritzsche (1993), "Administrative Issues in the Use of Computer Simulation Games," Marketing Education Review, 3 (Spring), 25­33. Gillentine, Andy and Jeff Schulz (2001), "Marketing the Fantasy Football League: Utilization of Simulations to Enhance Sport Marketing Concepts," Journal of Marketing Education, 23 (3), 178­86. Gremler, Dwayne D., K. Douglas Hoffman, Susan M. Keaveney, and Lauren K. Wright (2000), "Experiential Learning Exercises in Services Marketing Courses," Journal of Marketing Education, 22 (1), 35­44. Hackman, J.R. and R.E. Walton (1986), "Leading Groups in Organizations," in Designing Effective Work Groups, P.S. Goodman, ed. San Francisco: JosseyBass. Hare, A.P. (1976), The Handbook of Small Group Research, 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan. Hernandez, Sigfredo A. (2002), "Team Learning in a Marketing Principles Course: Cooperative Structures that Facilitate Active Learning and Higher Level Thinking," Journal of Marketing Education, 24 (1), 73­85. Iversen G.R. and H. Norpoth (1987), Analysis of Variance, 2nd ed. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications ­ Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences. Karns, Gary (2005), "An Update of Marketing Student Perceptions of Learning Activities: Structure, Preferences, and Effectiveness," Journal of Marketing Education, 27 (2), 163­71. ____________ (2006), "Learning Style Differences in the Perceived Effectiveness of Learning Activities," Journal of Marketing Education, 28 (1), 56­63. Keleman, Ken S. (1994), Jumpstarting Your New Team: Establishing Norms. San Diego: Pfeiffer & Company. ____________ (2001), Interview with Ken Keleman, Professor of Management, Western Washington University. Lamont, Lawrence M. (2001), "Enhancing Student and Team Learning with Interactive Marketing Simulations," Marketing Education Review, 11 (1), 45­55. Lant, Theresa K. and Amy E. Hurley (1999), "A Contingency Model of Response to Performance Feedback," Group & Organizational Management, 24 (4), 421­37. Li, Tiger, Barnett A. Greenberg, and J.A.F. Nicholls (2007), "Teaching Experiential Learning: Adoption
of an Innovative Course in an MBA Marketing Curriculum," Journal of Marketing Education, 29 (1), 25­33. Maher, Jill K. and Renee Shaw Hughner (2005), "Experiential Marketing Projects: Student Perceptions of Live Case and Simulation Methods," Journal for Advancement in Marketing Education, 7 (Winter), 1­10. Mason, Charlotte H. and William D. Perreault, Jr. (2002), The Marketing Game! New York: McGraw-Hill/ Irwin. Pfaff, Elizabeth and Patricia Huddleston (2003), "Does it Matter if I Hate Teamwork? What Impacts Student Attitudes Towards Teamwork," Journal of Marketing Education, 25 (1), 37­46. Quigley, Narda R., Paul E. Tesluk, Edwin A. Locke, and Kathryn M. Bartol (2007), "A Multilevel Investigation of the Motivational Mechanisms Underlying Knowledge Sharing and Performance," Organization Science, 18 (1), 71­88. Razzouk, Nabil Y., Victoria Seitz, and Elias Rizkallah (2003), "Learning by Doing: Using Experiential Projects in the Undergraduate Marketing Strategy Course," Marketing Education Review, 13 (2), 35­ 41. Smith, Louise W. and Doris C. Van Doren (2004), "The Reality-Based Learning Method: A Simple Method for Keeping Teaching Activities Relevant and Effective," Journal of Marketing Education, 26 (1), 66­ 74. Smith, Scott M. and Gerald S. Albaum (2005), Fundamentals of Marketing Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Spich, R.S. and K.S. Keleman (1985), "Explicit Norm Structuring Process: A Strategy for Increasing TaskGroup Effectiveness," Group & Organizational Studies, 10 (1), 37­59. Stewart, Greg L. and Murray R. Barrick (2000), "Team Structure and Performance: Assessing the Mediating Role of Intrateam Process and the Moderating Role of Task Type," Academy of Management Journal, 43 (2), 135­48. Sundstrom, E., K.P. De Meuse, and D.Futrell (1990), "Work Teams," American Psychologist, 45 (2), 120­ 33. Tuckman, B.W. (1965), "Developmental Sequence in Small Groups," Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384­99. Weber, Roberto, Colin Camerer, Yuval Rottenstreich, and Marc Knez (2001), "The Illusion of Leadership: Misattribution of Cause in Coordination Games," Organization Science, 12 (5), 582­98. Wellington, William J., A.J. Faria, and David Hutchinson (2009), "The Trait of Competitiveness and its Relationship to Marketing Simulation Game Performance in an Introductory Marketing Class," MMA Fall Educators' Conference, 79­89.
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Wolfe, Joseph and C. Richard Roberts (1993), "A Further Study of the External Validity of Business Games: Five-Year Peer Group Indicators," Simulations & Gaming, 24 (1), 21­33. Young, Mark R., Bruce R. Klemz, and J. William Murphy
(2003), "Enhancing Learning Outcomes: The Effects of Instructional Technology, Learning Styles, Instructional Methods, and Student Behavior," Journal of Marketing Education, 25 (2), 130­42.
APPENDIX A BEHAVIOR LIST 1 While working in our team, individuals should . . . 1. Do their fair share of the work? 2. Check to ensure that everyone clearly understands what is to be done. 3. Be clear and concise in their communication. 4. Encourage planning, including short-range agendas as well as long-range goals. 5. Encourage open and candid opinions about issues. 6. Listen willingly and carefully to other people's ideas, even if those people have a different viewpoint. 7. Prepare thoroughly before meetings. 8. Help the team organize work, for example, delegate assignments. 9. Make team members feel at ease in discussions. 10. Involve others by asking questions. 11. Ask questions when they do not clearly understand tasks or procedures. 12. Propose specific analyses of pros and cons of decisions faced by the team. 13. Follow through on task assignments. 14. Be grouchy and grumpy, complaining about tasks, working conditions, etc. 15. Help other members when assistance is requested. 16. Restate or clarify the team's objectives if the team seems to drift off target. 17. Treat all team members as equals. 18. Paraphrase or restate what someone else says in order to check meaning. 19. Let personal differences with other members interfere with team activity. 20. Continue to look for different ways to solve a problem. 21. Openly voice opinions and share ideas. 22. Request a response from each team member before making a decision about a team issue. 23. Be flexible in arranging meeting schedules. 24. Ask about other people's feelings. 25. Be stubborn and unwilling to listen to the ideas of others. 26. Compliment others for things they have said or done. 27. Openly enjoy working in the team. 28. Be willing to meet whenever it is necessary to discuss a problem. 29. Respond to suggestions. 30. Make rude remarks. Note: Some items in the list of behaviors or reverse stated to catch respondents attention. APPENDIX B BEHAVIOR LIST 2 While working in our team, individuals should. . . 1. Deal with conflict directly, bringing it to the attention of the team 2. Express enthusiasm about what the team is doing. 3. Promote personal agendas over the team's concerns. 4. Promote brainstorming sessions before choosing a solution. 5. Criticize other members' ideas without offering alternatives. 6. Be sarcastic or make fun of ideas presented.
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APPENDIX B (CONTINUED) BEHAVIOR LIST 2 7. Encourage budgeting of the team's time. 8. At the end of a meeting, restate their own responsibilities to check for agreement. 9. Meet agreed-on deadlines. 10. Be serious about the team's work. 11. Watch the clock. 12. Deliver poor-quality work. 13. Make critical comments about other team members in their absence. 14. Interrupt other members while they are speaking. 15. Make negative comments about ideas presented ("That's dumb!"). 16. Arrive on time for regularly scheduled meetings. 17. Do little things to make it pleasant to be a member of the team. 18. Talk about topics that do not relate to the subject at hand. 19. Be willing to listen to other team members' ideas. 20. Put off work until a later time (procrastinate). 21. Encourage the team to review its accomplishments to date. 22. Constantly pick fights and bicker with other members. 23. Say, "Let's not adjourn the meeting until we have a firm grasp of the problem." 24. Disagree in a nice way. 25. Get the team's approval on important matters before proceeding. 26. Say "thank you" and offer compliments. 27. Play around and joke when the team is trying to get something done. 28. Be direct and accurate in expressing their own feelings, say what they feel. 29. Encourage the assignment of specific members to do particular jobs. 30. Agree just for the sake of putting an end to an issue. Note: Some items in the list of behaviors or reverse stated to catch respondents attention. APPENDIX C STUDENT COMMENT SAMPLES FROM POST-SIMULATION FEEDBACK QUESTION 1: If the norm-building exercise were to be used again, what changes (if any) would you make? Repeat the exercise halfway through the simulation. Creating our own norms. Lists were too long and too stereotyped. Do the exercise later in the simulation to address group problems. Make the norms more specific to the simulation. Just do one list ­ not two. Make the importance of it clearer. Make no changes ­ it worked perfectly. Don't use it again. Adapt it more to group work for class. Make sure we look at the exercise more than once in the term. Have us choose the most important norms for our group. Just use it to resolve team conflicts. Make the lists shorter and more concise. We didn't need it ­ we've all been in groups before.
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APPENDIX C (CONTINUED) STUDENT COMMENT SAMPLES FROM POST-SIMULATION FEEDBACK QUESTION 2: What were the three most important things you learned from the norm-building exercise? Similarities and differences, how I differ from others. Group member personalities. People chose norms they might not actually do. Getting acquainted with my group members ­ learning how my group thought. Talking things out makes things run smoother. People have different needs, groups are diverse in thinking and can't always agree. I wished we'd stuck to the norms. We didn't always do what we said we would do. Open communications are important. Coming prepared for meetings was really important. People read the statements differently. We learned to establish norms early and creating expectations for group members was easier. It's good to have everyone on the same page. Give up some personal norms for the sake of the team. I learned how my group operated and how I worked with them before we got started. QUESTION 3: What parts about the norm-building exercise would you recommend be used again? The sharing and agreeing is a great ice breaker. Doing it as a group. The whole thing should be used again. It shouldn't be used again. Use less norms on the lists ­ keep the ones that have the most to do with the simulation. A good introduction tactic for the group. Being able to agree to disagree and have respect.
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A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: HOW CROSSFUNCTIONAL PROJECTS MOTIVATE MBA STUDENTS, BRING THE UNIVERSITY AND LOCAL COMMUNITY CLOSER, AND KEEP THE AACSB HAPPY
Tanja Steigner, Emporia State University Kevin R. Coulson, Emporia State University Bhanu Balasubramnian, Emporia State University ABSTRACT In recent years business programs have been using cross-functional projects to teach a multi-disciplinary curriculum. The authors provide a unique approach to implementing cross-functional projects that overcome current shortcomings. Specifically, students are required to integrate their knowledge across disciplines, provide solutions based on client needs, work effectively with teammates to accomplish set goals, build trust-based business relationships with the business community, and strengthen ethical behavior. Adaptable instructional methods that benefit students, faculty, the institution, the client, and exceed AACSB requirements are provided.
ISSUES IN THE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY BUSINESS CURRICULUM In today's increasingly competitive business environment, business programs must meet student and industry demand for holistic skill sets. State-of-the-art business programs must overcome the tendency of teaching disciplines in silos (McNeilly and Barr 2001). The additional challenge is to teach a multi-disciplinary curriculum to students with a diverse background, where many students have no prior business experience or business education at the undergraduate level. Porter and McKibbin (1988) argue that "what universities do with- and to-students is in large measure a function of the curriculum." Navarro (2008) highlights six elements that should be the focus in an ideal MBA core curriculum. Chief among them is multi-disciplinary integration of the functional silos, followed by experiential learning, soft-skill learning, global perspective and information technology, as well as a background in ethics and corporate social responsibility. It becomes paramount for MBA programs to help students embrace the idea of multi-disciplinary integration because lack of a broader understanding of business impedes students' success post-graduation. Graduates who understand how their field of specialization interfaces with other functional areas make better managers and business leaders. Arain and Tipu (2007) and Navarro (2008) criticize the use of traditional curriculum based on functional silos, including those of several topranked MBA programs.
This paper describes a unique cross functional approach, using experiential learning from a "real-world" consulting project. This approach not only facilitates a multi-disciplinary curriculum but also promotes soft-skill development such as communication, leadership, negotiation, and team building. Besides using technology for information gathering and data analysis, this approach makes students aware of the ethical and legal responsibilities. Any business program can implement this course design. The cross functional approach also enhances the multi-disciplinary expertise of faculty involved in overseeing integrated projects, as their skill set naturally remains up-to-date due to their interaction with real-world businesses. Faculty members become much more effective instructors when they "have extensive knowledge about re engineered organizations" (Walker and Black 2000). TRADITIONAL CROSS-FUNCTIONAL PROJECTS IN AN MBA CURRICULUM ­ SHORTCOMINGS In the past, cross-functional projects have been employed to prepare MBA students to become an integral part of local, national, and international business development while perfecting their leadership skills and entrepreneurial expertise (Ammons and Mills 2005; Crittenden and Wilson 2006; McNeilly and Barr 2001; Walker and Black 2000). As Bovinet (2000) points out, students
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might initially not possess the ability to connect theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. While the traditional, oftentimes case-based (Evans 2008; Weinstein and Barrett 2007), cross-functional projects increase multidisciplinary integration, it is inadequate in providing true experiential learning and limits soft-skills development. CROSS-FUNCTIONAL CONSULTING PROJECTS IN AN MBA CURRICULUM ­ A SOLUTION The proposed cross-functional project goes beyond typical core courses of MBA programs and crossdisciplinary capstone courses that include paper-based case studies and analyses for companies where information is publicly available (Evans 2008; Weinstein and Barrett 2007). Although case studies on publicly traded companies provide important evaluation opportunities for students, the direct personal contact with a real company's leadership and the students' felt responsibility toward the client are missing. Finney and Pyke (2008) show that student interest in case studies increases if students are familiar with the business. To nurture the students' interest, the crossfunctional project accommodates a client-consultant relationship between MBA students and the leadership of a regional business. The authors expand the traditional cross-functional approach to a student consulting project for a real life company (Ammons and Mills 2005; Crittenden and Wilson 2006) and experiential learning (Razzouk, Seitz, and Rizhallah 2003). By drawing students, faculty, and regional employers together to solve real business problems, student skill sets are improved, faculty skill sets are polished, and employers are more likely to hire graduates of the MBA program. The authors implement additional innovations in the cross-functional approach. Careful integration of materials taught in functional silos, e.g., finance and marketing, utilizing a team-based consulting project for an outside client can address each issue by "engage(ing)...students in meaningful learning activity" (Tomkovick 2004). The possible exception would be the global aspect, which can be more challenging to address completely in some instances. However, given the increasing number of international students, a level of cultural interaction will occur if teams are selected for this. Additionally, the true experiential learning and softskills improvement provided are readily adaptable to the global environment. BENEFITS OF THE CROSS-FUNCTIONAL CONSULTING PROJECT The cross-functional consulting project has wideranging benefits for students, the institution, faculty, and the community.
For the Students Students are demonstrably more enthusiastically involved in this project format and exhibit greater initiative for self-directed learning. This is because they consult for a real-world business and face real consequences and rewards. Among these consequences are the potential for bad grades (pay-for-performance) and because the individuals are (can be) ranked, the loss of stature afforded to the poorer players. Invariably, the teams work harder and achieve rewards instead of negative consequences. The mastering of fast-changing group dynamics and the satisfaction of gaining new insight into the business world are key benefits that enhance the students' learning experience and outcome. The more deeply involved students are more confident in presenting their findings and are more successful in convincing the client, faculty, and any outside jurors who assess students. The ill-prepared peers become aware of the consequences of lack of involvement and often alter their approach in future classes. The interaction between text-based knowledge and the clients' personally held beliefs and practices (true or not), forces a more rapid, more complete, and more beneficial change in student learning. This improved interpersonal behavior is validated in the transition to business upon graduation. Students also learn to develop a trust-based business relationship with the client in part by appropriately handling their confidential information and in part by learning to address sensitive issues with the client in a non-aggressive, sensitive manner. In reality, an MBA program is often the first instance where students really have to deal with people who are as bright (or brighter) than they are. Some find that they were not as prepared (or as bright) as they believed. The crossfunctional project provides students with ample opportunities to polish their leadership skills, entrepreneurial skills, team negotiation tactics, and cross-gender/crosscultural tolerance levels. Students aspire to produce the best consulting results. Therefore, teams develop successful working relationships. In the process, students establish pecking orders and learn to work with national and international teammates by rising above the cultural, gender and language barriers. To actively promote awareness and acceptance of team members with different backgrounds, faculty construct each team with both genders, as well as a balance of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and to the degree possible, include diverse work experience. Because of project complexity, individual team members take leadership of various focal points in the project. Students obtain access to and work closely with the School's Small Business Development Center, local banks, and other professional institutions, depending on the specifics of the project. These interactions, along with the
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client business and with the jury panel, provide priceless networking opportunities for students. The cross-functional project allows students to impress potential future employers, to prepare items for their portfolio, and to secure invaluable career advice and job recommendations. For the Institution The depth and breadth of the cross-functional project allows the institution to incorporate previously identified assessment goals into the syllabi of the participating courses. The written report, oral presentation, and team experience offer multiple avenues to directly assess these program goals such as expanding comprehensive understanding of business, applying critical thinking skills and social responsibility, excelling in a team environment, using technology, and depending upon the nature of client's business, acting on global issues. For the Faculty The regular interaction between institution and client keeps faculty up to date on the most current business developments and local needs. This also serves, through client word-of-mouth, to generate continuing desire within the community for this service from the institution. The ongoing community service improves an already favorable public opinion and increases positive relations with the community. In those instances where the confidentiality of the client would not be violated, there is opportunity for increased publicity for the MBA program and its benefits to the state. Because the institution's graduates exit well-prepared for the business world and receive attractive placement offers, this reflects positively on the institution's reputation. For the Community The cross-functional project offers, particularly in a small-to-medium sized town, professional consulting service free of charge to small businesses as well as to nationally and internationally oriented local and regional companies. This service, which is often too expensive for smaller businesses to afford, can increase the success of users thus increasing local tax revenues and providing new jobs. Further, the client can pick and choose among individual components of several alternative business plans from the competing teams rather than having the often canned opinion of a single consulting firm. Since businesses interact with a group of students for an entire semester, they can pick from the cream of the crop and thereby obtain early access to graduating students before the students officially enter the job market.
CROSS-FUNCTIONAL EXPERIENTIAL CONSULTING: PROCESS OVERVIEW Project Identification Faculty who are assigned to a cross-functional project must meet prior to the start of the semester and plan the details so as to provide a relatively seamless process for the class. Often the program's reputation for results provides one or more ready clients from which to select a consulting project. When clients are not readily available, faculty use their network of business connections to seek a viable project for the semester. Team Formation Oftentimes students are allowed to choose their teammates themselves (Marshall, Bolton, and Solomon 2000). This process of team formation is convenient for the students, but it is far removed from real-world business settings where employees cannot simply pick and chose the colleagues they want to work with. To maximize the benefits from the team experience, faculty must exercise great care in the formation of student consulting teams. Teams are balanced for ethnicity, gender, undergraduate background, and work experience. It is extremely worthwhile to match American women with men from those international cultures which have strong viewpoints on gender issues. Of greater difficulty is dealing with team membership for women from cultures which have less aggressive lifestyles. To the extent possible, no team should have more than two members from any particular culture. Initial Client Meeting The owners/managers of the business share their general business concerns, needs, and prospects with the combined classes in a joint session at the beginning of the semester. Student teams must then visit the business site and meet with management and establish a working relationship with the client. Throughout the course of the project teams also meet with local bankers, representatives of the Small Business Development Center, current and potential customers and suppliers, and regional development officials, all the while maintaining discrete control of confidential information. Problem Assessment After the initial client meeting, student teams begin their independent analyses and assessments of the company's needs. While researching the economy, industry, and business, teams conduct in-depth analyses using tech-
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niques learned in class and in other aspects of the program or from their own experience(s). They apply critical thinking to formulate alternative strategies and develop arguments within teams to produce the most desirable solution. Teams receive confidential feedback from the faculty in an on-going basis during this phase. Project Deliverables The final product of the cross-functional project is a written business plan for the client business, with specific
questions focusing on the client's need and the expertise of the supervising faculty discipline. The progress of each team's business plan is monitored by the involved faculty throughout the semester. Faculty assign a series of due dates for the project, staggering key components particular to each class so that they do not fall on the same date. Shared components are due for both classes on the same dates. Assignments are spread across the entire semester to ensure an even work pace. Table 1 shows a sample schedule of deliverables and Table 2 offers writing guidelines for the client report to the students.
TABLE 1 SAMPLE SCHEDULE OF DELIVERABLES Marketing Deliverables Situation Analysis ­ visit the business, examine operations for current factors which contribute to and/or reduce success. Due: Week 4 SWOT Analysis ­ pay attention to the differences between factors which are firm specific vs. those which affect the industry. Due: Week 6 Suggested alterations in Marketing/Promotional mix ­ what will the new potential owner need to do to make this a going concern? Due: Week 7 Sales Forecast ­ provide sales estimates for the firm with and without suggested marketing changes (3 years, by month). Due: Week 8 Bibliography ­ cite all sources, including conversations. Due with the written report Finance Deliverables Profit & Loss Statement (Income Statement) ­ establish monthly projections for first 36 months of operations. Due: Week 10 Cash Flow Statement ­ develop monthly projections for first 36 months of operations. Due: Week 12 balance sheet ­ annually; begin at the starting date of the business and update on an annual basis. Due: Week 12 Three sets of financial projections: pessimistic, expected, and optimistic. Sales forecasts have to be substantiated. Due: Week 12 Business valuation ­ what is the appropriate Purchase Price for the business? Due: Week 13 Note: The focus of the students' attention can be adjusted for any functional area and business need. A business plan however is the core deliverable. This sample schedule of deliverables shows sequential due dates for the individual deliverables. It is important to point out, though, that this is a dynamic process. Students must input their marketing results into the financial analysis, and then re-evaluate and possibly adjust the marketing plan based on the financial results.
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TABLE 2 SAMPLE WRITING GUIDELINES 1. There is no page limit. Your topic should be selected so as to be easily and completely addressable. What is the topic, why is it important to marketing (and to you), what is the current state of affairs, what are the major problems, how will the topic evolve, what are some of the solutions to the problems, how can marketers make use of this information, what future research is needed? 2. Format: (20 pts) a. Cover page with paper title, your name, the school, class, instructor, date (2) b. Table of contents (2) c. Executive summary (5) d. Text of the paper i. Headings (2) (If you are submitting a marketing plan, you should use the appropriate marketing plan headings and subheads!) ii. Subheads as appropriate (2) iii. Citations as per American Marketing Association (AMA) (2) e. Tables and appendices f. References (use AMA format) (3) g. Index of major topics/key words/important elements of the paper (2) 3. Spelling and Grammar (5 pts) 4. Sources a. Internet (ALL below, cited properly) i. Wikipedia is NOT to be used ii. Wikipedia should not be cited b. Major Journals c. Trade magazines d. Personal experience (Do not use just the internet, do not rely upon less than 6 sources [more is better]) 5. Content (75 pts) 6. Caveats: a. Deadlines are crucial . . . SEE THE CALENDAR FOR THE CLASS! b. Plagiarism will result in an F for the course and appropriate academic sanctions i. Cite properly ii. Rephrase rather than quote and then cite the source iii. Avoid long quotations (cite any quotations you do use) iv. If you lift something and don't cite it that is plagiarism v. If you have ANY questions as to what plagiarism is, clear them up before you e-mail your paper to me. When it hits my e-mail you've claimed each and every word that is not cited as your own and you've cited every idea that isn't yours. If it's not cited and it's not yours . . .
Approximately one week after delivery of the written business plan to the client and the faculty members, each team presents their recommendations to a panel consisting of the faculty, the client, and other, outside, business professionals. While one team presents, the other teams wait in a separate area. Physical separation simulates the real-world environment, where one consultant does not know what strategies their competitor(s) are advising. In addition, physical separation during the presentations
avoids the unfair advantage of learning from the mistakes of earlier presentations. Each team's presentation is video-recorded. Videorecording of each presentation is later reviewed in a joint session with all students. In the joint session, each team receives diagnostic feedback from anyone who has comments. The ensuing discussion allows students to expand their strengths and overcome any weaknesses. It does so by allowing the individuals to "protest their innocence" or
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explain their thought processes in a less defensive manner. Faculty and often student observers can then clarify why a particular strategy was or was not suited to the situation. Learning takes place! The written business plan becomes a vital artifact in the student's portfolio. The reallife professional business experience, and a relatively pain free feedback, significantly improves the student's marketability. Grade Assignment Grades for the project should have significant weight for each of the functional areas (e.g., Finance and Marketing) so that students give due diligence to both courses. While the weight assignment for the project grade can be modified to best meet a paired faculty's needs, typically 20 percent of total point value in each class achieves high quality student output. Both faculty members grade the business plan according to their individual rubric. They
also view the presentation with the client and jury. Table 3 provides a sample evaluation rubric to evaluate the oral presentation. Faculty may choose to average the points they assign, or to also include the evaluation by client and jurors into the grade computation. LEGAL DOCUMENTS To increase the students' awareness for legal and fiduciary responsibilities, legal documents should be signed between the students, the client, and the University. Binding documents convey professionalism to the MBA students and the client(s), and also protect the University from potential harm. Specifically, it is recommended that all participating students sign a confidentiality agreement, which should be copied and provided to the client. A sample confidentiality agreement is presented in Table 4. The confidentiality agreement helps the client to overcome any hesitation of sharing sensitive information with
TABLE 3 SAMPLE ORAL PRESENTATION EVALUATION RUBRIC
Rating Categories
4 7 8 10 Comments
1 Appearance of the presenters: Business Dress?
2 Quality of the oral presentation. Were points made clearly, concisely and in a timely fashion?
3 Quality of the visual aids used. Were they clear and easy to understand? (0 aids, 0 pts)
4 How interesting was the Presentation?
5 Marketing Strategies & Tactics: Were they viable given firm capabilities?
6 Marketing Implementation: Likelihood the client can enact these tactical changes?
7 Quality of the financial analysis. Were financial strengths and weaknesses pointed out and appropriate recommendations offered to improve weaknesses?
8 Quality of the "bottom line" presentation. Is the project feasible, and why is that so?
9 Quality of the support for the recommendations to the Client?
10 Overall value to the firm's future? How thoroughly do you think this project was researched and prepared?
4 = Poor 10 = Excellent
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TABLE 4 SAMPLE CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT
I, _____________________________________, the undersigned student currently enrolled in Course ___ and Course ___, MBA Program, School of Business, ___ (Name of University), hereby acknowledge, understand, and agree: 1. That, as a part of my participation in a Cross-Functional Project that is a part of my course curriculum, I will or may have access to information that is privileged and confidential. I will only use this information as necessary to fulfill the necessary requirements of my course work. 2. That if I use or disclose this information in any unauthorized manner, regardless of the nature of the unauthorized use or disclosure, I must immediately report any such unauthorized use or disclosure to the MBA Program, School of Business, ___ (Name of University). Further, I will comply fully with any and all instructions I receive from the MBA Program on how to handle any such unauthorized use or disclosure. 3. That I must comply fully with this statement as part of my course requirements and that any failure on my part to so comply may result in disciplinary action being taken against me. 4. That I understand my legal obligation to preserve the confidentiality of all privileged and confidential information will continue even after my education at ___ (Name of University) ends, regardless of the circumstances under which my education may end (i.e., graduation; my voluntary withdrawal without graduation; my involuntary removal; or, any other termination of education).
_________________________________________________________ ________________________
Student
Date
a group of students. At the same time, students feel more responsibility and respect toward the business and their hands-on project. A waiver of claims, indemnification and release of liability, which is provided in Table 5, protects the University from potential lawsuits. Similar to indemnity agreements between clients and professional consultants, waivers should be signed by the client business to fully release and forever waive any and all claims against the University. Great pains should be taken to advise the client that she/he is working with student consultants who have amateur status. If desired, participating faculty can also require students to sign statements of ethical conduct. This statement reminds the students to act in an ethical manner in class and in connection with the class. Students should have a complete understanding of the consequences of unethical conduct (e.g., withdrawal from class, grade impact, etc.). The signed originals of all documents must be maintained with the faculty copies of the deliverables. This serves to provide on-going protection and can be used for reference when engaging new faculty in a project. UNIQUENESS OF THE EXPERIENTIAL CONSULTING PROJECT The cross-functional, experiential project stands out for its unique ability to combine high quality business
education, hands-on entrepreneurial experience, leadership and networking opportunities, as well as service to the community into the umbrella of the MBA curriculum. Students have the unique opportunity for experiential learning and to integrate textbook knowledge across disciplines in real-world application with lasting benefits to the community. Using this approach, students far surpass the commonly tested lower level cognitive domains of Bloom's taxonomy such as comprehension and analysis and become equipped to succeed at the synthesis and evaluation level (Bloom 1956). Students now have the ability to transcend functional silos, a skill highly demanded by today's employers. This value creation is "the raison d'кtre for business" (Weinstein and Barrett 2007) and business schools. MBA students learn to be self-driven and motivated to obtain information even if it has not yet been taught in a classroom setting. Rather than waiting until the end of their graduate education before starting to work hands-on with businesses (Marshall, Bolton, and Solomon 2000), MBA students start this process early on. MBA students experience the cross-functional project as part of their regular course work without signing up for additional six required credit hours of application classes (Marshall, Bolton, and Solomon 2000). This allows universities with limited resources to offer an integrated course in a oneyear general management MBA program. The one semester approach also provides more flexibility. In the event
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TABLE 5 SAMPLE WAIVER OF CLAIMS, INDEMNIFICATION, AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY
This Agreement is entered into this ____ day of _______________, 20___ by and between The MBA Program, School of Business, ___ (Name of University), including faculty teaching in this program and students enrolled in this program; and the undersigned and identified individual, business or other organization participating in the Cross-Functional Project with ___ (Name of University). The Cross-Functional Project referred to herein is a project in the MBA Program courses: ___ and ___ in the School of Business, ___ (Name of University). IN CONSIDERATION of their mutual agreements and obligations, set out below, and in further consideration of each parties participation with the other in the Cross-Functional Project, the Firm and ___ (Name of University) hereby agree to the following as their agreement: The Firm and ___ (Name of University) will work together as necessary to result in the Cross Functional Project being a meaningful part of the courses identified above. Further, the Firm specifically acknowledges that all information, opinions, advice, recommendations and other communications and content it receives from ___ (Name of University) and students in said courses are the product of student efforts, and that the Firm shall have and shall exercise sole and full discretion in any decision to use all or any portion or none of the information, opinions, advice, recommendations and other communications and content it receives, at its own risk. There is no condition of this agreement that requires or suggests that the Firm must actually use any such information for any purpose. To the extent permitted by law, the Firm does hereby fully release and forever waive any and all claims against ___ (Name of University), collectively and separately, for any loss or damage of any type or description that the Firm may suffer or incur as a result of its participation in the Cross-Functional Project. Further, the Firm agrees to indemnify and hold harmless ___ (Name of University), collectively and separately, from any and all liens, claims, demands, costs, expenses, attorneys fees, court costs, losses, and/or damages at law and in equity, of every kind and nature without limitation, that arise or inure to it as a result of its participation in the Cross-Functional Project.
__________________________________________________ _____________________
For (Name of the Client)
Date
__________________________________________________ _____________________
For (Name of University)
Date
that a student is not able to participate, they can continue with the program at another semester and restart in a new project with minimal difficulties. Additional differences between a programmed approach at large and resource intense AACSB programs (Marshall et al. 2000) and a more flexible approach at smaller and more resource pinched AACSB programs exist. This approach allows a real-world competitive approach wherein each team goes head-to-head with the other teams. One further difference from the Marshall et al. (2000) approach exists with respect to required student counseling by faculty. Faculty members should normally be available to the students on an as-neededbasis. While it is up to the individual teams to seek faculty advice (both within the college and across the community), this is in keeping with most corporate manager/team practices within industry. Managers and faculty examine teams' periodic reports and intervene only if necessary. Faculty require each team member to self-rate and to rate his/her individual team members' abilities/contributions,
thereby providing grade adjustments for underperforming students. Table 6 provides a sample peer evaluation rubric. AACSB OBJECTIVES AND LEARNING ASSESSMENT It is also worth noting that the cross-functional project offers multiple opportunities to directly evaluate student learning, which is highly valued by the AACSB. Most learning goals of any business program can be evaluated with the cross-functional project. According to AACSB (Eligibility Procedures and Accreditation Standards for Business Accreditation 2010, p. 76), MBA students are expected to develop a: 1. Capacity to lead in organizational situations. 2. Capacity to apply knowledge in new and unfamiliar circumstances through a conceptual understanding of relevant disciplines. 3. Capacity to adapt and innovate to solve prob-
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TABLE 6 SAMPLE TEAM EVALUATION FORM STUDENT NAME______________________________ Managers have to learn how to effectively evaluate personnel including peers. A good place to start is to realistically evaluate your peers on team presentations. Many times, less able team members will approach you and request or suggest that everyone should give equal evaluations to all team members. While this may appear on the surface to be equitable, it is not, and it violates the spirit of fair play. These members are using you as a dupe to do their work. At best, they are covering for a weak friend in a misguided attempt to bypass the competitive system. To perform effective evaluation you must have a series of reasonable criteria that are under the control of those who are evaluated. These may include either or both objective (quantifiable) and subjective (feelings based or non-quantifiable) measures. You may treat the criteria that you choose to be equal in value or you may weight them according to your own method. At a minimum, you must allocate 100 points among your team members, including yourself (You are #1). For example, if Jane organized the team, provided snacks, and attended all of the meetings with valuable contributions, she might earn more points than someone who just attended the meetings and had little to say. So in a 5 person group, one might consider her worth to the overall work-product to be worth 30 points (or more) while the other person might earn less than 20 pts. Other criteria that you may wish to consider: 1. Quality of the ideas presented by each person in the group. Quantity alone is not sufficient. 2. Willingness to attend meetings at convenient times for others. 3. Willingness to take on less pleasant but still crucial tasks for the presentation (writing, presenting, prepare slides, etc.). 4. Ability to work constructively with other members, to reduce conflict. 5. Ability to effectively present and to answer questions from the floor. You may wish to reduce the point value for those who: a. Pressure others to adopt "standardized scores for everyone" ("Let's all rate each of our 5 group members at 20 pts!"). b. Fail to provide appropriate outputs that they've agreed to do in a timely fashion, if at all. c. Refuse to take on any responsibility/refuse to perform work. d. Skip meetings or refuse to agree to meet at all. e. Hog the floor during presentations, use um, er, ahh, etc., dress poorly for the presentation. Team Member...............................Pts. awarded................Strengths/Weaknesses
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TABLE 6 (CONTINUED) SAMPLE TEAM EVALUATION FORM (Out of 100) 1. _________________________________________________________________________________ 2. _________________________________________________________________________________ 3. _________________________________________________________________________________ 4. _________________________________________________________________________________ 5. _________________________________________________________________________________ 6. _________________________________________________________________________________ Total Points Awarded ___________ (this must add up to 100 points!)
lems, to cope with unforeseen events, and to manage in unpredictable environments. 4. Capacity to understand management issues from a global perspective. Written exams, team work projects, written business reports, recommendations for a local business and the impact on its community, and oral presentations are prime opportunities to evaluate all stated program goals with one cross-functional course setup. In short, Navarro's (2008) goals are well achieved by this pedagogical endeavor. TRANSFERABILITY TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS The cross-functional project can be transferred across institutional boundaries. Schools which desire successful implementation must be willing to catalog and consistently offer paired classes so that students become aware of the added value to the program and their career potential. Faculty who enjoy the interaction with local businesses and who are open to minor adjustment of their course content to address the current demands of business in today's economy provide the most successful models for students in the program. In this professional environment, students eagerly distinguish themselves by stepping outside the traditional classroom experience into the real world and make a lasting impact on their local community. General guidelines for presentation evaluation are included in Table 3. STUDENT FEEDBACK Students who have previously participated in the cross-functional project at the authors' university have
provided positive feedback on the process. Sample comments include: "I was very motivated to provide a quality report for our real life investors. A text book case would have not provided me with the same motivation." "The greatest thing was the reality of the situation; the investors are going to rely on our report to make a decision." "I really liked the fact that the project was dealing with an actual business and clients." "Since we were presenting to our actual clients, I think it made people work harder." "The videotaping was helpful because students don't often get to go back and see themselves presenting. We all noticed bad habits we may have during presenting (i.e., posture, twitches, and fillers) and learned what we each do well. I would try not to use as many fillers in my next speech." "Real World Applications make the class!" "I really learned a lot from the project." "Groups were difficult due to culture and language differences. Feel like knowing English (sic) put me at a disadvantage as far as workload. Possibly my fault for allowing this to happen." (From one of the US students who struggled.) CONCLUSION Several MBA programs offer cross-functional projects. However, the cross-functional project described in this paper is unique in several ways. It brings together faculty, students, regional businesses, and resources providers in a way that provides benefits to all. Local businesses that need professional consultations to improve, or
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sometimes to survive, benefit the most. This preserves and improves the local economy and employment opportunities. The process creates a competitive environment for the student consulting teams because multiple teams consult for the same client confidentially. In turn, this motivates the teams to develop the most beneficial solutions for the clients' business. Faculty and students can potentially involve financiers, such as local banks and the Small Business Development Center in the process by seeking information. Doing so will assist the client in obtaining financing more rapidly should (s)he reveal the project. In addition to offering new business strategies, student teams help the client to identify new sources of suppliers and potential new customers. Students not only transcend the functional silos to offer business solutions to an existing business, but they also improve their entre-
preneurial skills and leadership skills because they offer holistic solutions to the client. The team composition enables students to overcome cultural and gender biases. The six criteria for successful MBA programs noted by Navarro (2008) are satisfied. The subsequent screening of the video recording of the confidential presentation by individual teams to the whole class and the following discussions provide an excellent opportunity to learn from peers and competitors. Students learn firsthand about ethical behavior, trustbased business relationships, and how to handle the client's confidential information. The authors believe that the cross-functional experiential consulting project goes beyond the requirements of AACSB standards to create a win-win situation for everyone involved including the community at large.
REFERENCES AACSB, Eligibility Procedures and Accreditation Standards for Business Accreditation (2010). Ammons, Janice L. and Sherry K. Mills (2005), "CourseEmbedded Assessments for Evaluating CrossFunctional Integration and Improving the TeachingLearning Process," Issues in accounting education, 20 (1), 1­19. Arain, Faisal Manzoor and Syed Awais Ahmad Tipu (2007), "Emerging Trends in Management Education in International Business Schools," Educational Research and Review, 2 (12), 325­31. Bloom B.S. (1956), Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc. Bovinet, James W. (2000), "Interdisciplinary Teaching Combined with Computer-Based Simulation: A Descriptive Model," Marketing Education Review, 10 (3), 53­62. Crittenden, Victoria L. and Elizabeth J. Wilson (2006), "An Exploratory Study of Cross-Functional Education in the Undergraduate Marketing Curriculum," Journal of Marketing Education, 28 (April), 81­86. Evans, Jocelyn D. (2008), "A Cross Disciplinary Approach to Undergraduate Corporate Valuation Instruction," Journal of Financial Education, 34, 111­27. Finney, Sherry and Joanne Pyke (2008), "Content Relevance in Case-Study Teaching: The Alumni Connection and Its Effect on student motivation," Journal of Education for Business, 83 (5), 251­58. Marshall, Greg W., Steven E. Bolten, and Paul J. Solomon (2000), "The Capstone `Integrated Business Appli-
cations' Course: Addressing the Need for CrossFunctional MBA Education," Marketing Education Review, 10 (3), 63­75. McNeilly, Kevin M. and Terri Feldman Barr (2001), "Tailoring a Marketing Course for a Non-Marketing Audience: A Professional Services Marketing Course," Journal of Marketing Education, 23 (2), 152­60. Navarro, Peter (2008), "The MBA Core Curricula of TopRanked U.S. Business Schools: A Study in Failure?" Academy of Management Learning & Education, 7 (1), 108­23. Porter, L. and L. McKibbin (1988), Management Education and Development: Drift or Thrust into the 21st Century? New York: McGraw-Hill. Razzouk, Nabil Y., Victoria Seitz, and Elias Rizkallah (2003), "Learning by Doing: Using Experiential Projects in the Undergraduate Marketing Strategy Course," Marketing Education Review, 13 (2), 35­ 41. Tomkovick, Chuck (2004), "Ten Anchor Points for Teaching Principles of Marketing," Journal of Marketing Education, 26 (2), 109­15. Walker, Kenton B. and Ervin L. Black (2000), "Reengineering the Undergraduate Business Core Curriculum: Aligning Business Schools with Business for Improved Performance," Business Process Management Journal, 6 (3), 194­213. Weinstein, Art and Hilton Barrett (2007), "Value Creation in the Business Curriculum: A Tale of Two Courses," Journal of Education for Business, 82 (6), 329­36.
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Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education ­ Volume 15, Winter 2009
AN EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS OF SALES EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES AND SALES SKILLS, ATTITUDES, AND BEHAVIORS IN MBA PROGRAMS: THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
Charles E. Pettijohn, Nova Southeastern University Linda S. Pettijohn, Nova Southeastern University
ABSTRACT
In the United States (U.S.) recruiters have recognized that a promising source of sales recruits can be found on university campuses. Students graduating with degrees in marketing and numerous other subjects are sought by these recruiters due to their knowledge, ability to learn, and their potential for professional development. In fact, the requirements for new salespeople are increasing to the extent that firms are increasingly looking to MBAs as potential sources of new sales representatives. While the demand for salespeople continues to expand in the U.S., the demand for sales personnel is also increasing internationally. However, little is known about MBA student experiences, skills, attitudes and behaviors as they pertain to sales either nationally or internationally. The purpose of this research is to assess MBA student classroom exposure to sales and explore student attitudes and perceptions regarding specific skills, attitudes, and behaviors as they pertain to sales using an international perspective. Each of these purposes is addressed in a comparative fashion contrasting the experiences of MBA students in the United Kingdom with those in the U.S.
INTRODUCTION In the United States (U.S.) sales has come to be recognized as an important component of marketing education programs (Michaels and Marshall 2002). However, sales careers are less frequently perceived as careers warranting a college degree in European nations (Honeycutt et al. 1999; Lysonski and Durvasula 1998). While sales educational experiences have been examined at the undergraduate level in the U.S., research addressing educational backgrounds as they pertain to sales at the MBA level in either the U.S. or the United Kingdom (U.K.) has not been discovered. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the degree to which topical matter related to sales is included in marketing courses in MBA programs in the U.S. and U.K. Additionally, the study will examine specific topics included in the instruction of sales, graduate student experiences in sales, and graduate students' skills, attitudes, and behaviors (SABs) in their practice of sales. Employers have identified sales positions as being among the most difficult positions to fill with qualified applicants (Galea 2006). Correspondingly, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has identified sales as one of the top 10 jobs for college graduates (National Association of Colleges and Employers 2006). To acquire qualified applicants for sales positions, many
firms have looked to colleges and universities (Bristow, Gulati, and Amyx 2006; Nachnani 2007). However, employers recognize that they require a specialized type of college graduate to succeed in sales. These firms are seeking graduates with an understanding of sales and those who recognize the importance of sales (Sales and Marketing Management 2002). Exploring these issues from an international perspective may be important for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons might be attributable to the fact that different countries perceive the relative importance and prestige of sales positions in different ways (Honeycutt, Ford, and Kurtzman 1996). For example, the sales profession is held in comparatively low esteem in Europe. According to Rogers (2009), approximately 66 percent of U.K. employers contend that they have challenges recruiting for senior sales positions. As a result of these challenges, these employers are increasingly seeking sales material in universities. However, it has been argued that recruiters in the U.K. have difficulties recruiting good sales personnel due to attitudes toward sales (Ellis 2000). Nevertheless, recruiting salespeople for international business is a major concern (Ford, Honeycutt, and Joseph 1995). In an analysis of the importance of specific skills, attitudes, and behaviors, a multinational perspective may be important because in some nations (include European
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nations) skills, attitudes, and behaviors that relate to closing are regarded as being offensive (Honeycutt, Ford, and Kurtzman 1996). Further, international students often regard selling as a profession that is low in status, requires manipulation, and does not contribute to societal goals (Lysonski and Durvasula 1998). A determination of the degree to which sales and sales-related topics are included in MBA courses related to marketing, the experiences of graduate students as they pertain to sales, and these students SABs is relevant for a number of reasons. Foremost among these reasons is the fact that college campuses are a major source of new salespeople for a wide range of prospective employers (Michaels and Marshall 2002). Seeking college graduates for sales positions is not a new concept, as it has long been advanced as a major concern for U.S. businesses (Amin, Hayajneh, and Nwakanma 1995). College students are attractive recruits largely because they are perceived as being trainable and talented (Dubinsky 1980; Gurvis 2000; Lysonski and Druvasula 1998; Stevens and MacIntosh 2002­2003). Questions have arisen regarding the skills desired by employers of graduates who had obtained their MBAs. It has been suggested "that the MBA is wholly out-of-touch with the `real world' and the needs of practicing managers" (Rubin and Dierdorff 2009, p. 209). Research has generally indicated that employers interviewing MBA students feel that both oral and written communication skills should be included in MBA classes. In fact, research has indicated that a disparity exists between MBA student perceptions of the importance of communication skills and employers' perceptions of the importance of these skills, with employers rating communications skills as being significantly more important than MBA students (Ulinski and O'Callaghan 2002). These findings are consistent with other research which indicates communication skills were rated as being highly important for MBA students and thus should be emphasized heavily in these classes (Kane 1993; Peterson 1997). Research conducted by Rubin and Dierdorff (2009) identified employer ratings of six different behavioral competencies which were desired of MBA graduates. The managers included in the research stated that the two most important competencies were in the areas of managing decision-making processes and managing human capital. The area of managing human capital was described as including leadership dynamics and negotiation (a term that seems descriptive of a major sales-related activity). However, the research notes that while these are regarded by managers as the two most important skills for MBA graduates, they receive the lowest emphasis levels in MBA programs. Rubin and Dierdorff (2009) conclude by contending that MBA programs should focus more emphasis on the `people-focused' portion of the curricula. It is important that MBA students' exposure to sales, sales experience, and SABs be analyzed because MBA
students are increasingly being recruited for sales positions. One reason for the focus on recruiting at higher levels is based on the fact that firms are no longer seeking product pushers, but are instead seeking solution developers (Nachnani 2007). As Pullins and Buehrer (2008, p. 15) state, "In today's competitive business environment, selling requires high levels of professionalism, business acumen, and consultative service." Such an attitude is reflected in other sentiments such as the one expressed by Ellis (2000) who contends that salespeople are increasingly required to have in-depth knowledge about their customers' businesses; company services; buyer behavior; information gathering; marketing analysis; sales forecasting; new technologies; and more. It has been suggested that given the new environmental complexities that "salespeople need to raise their level of salesmanship to a consultant level" (Aronauer 2006). Rackham (2009) contends that employers and customers are both demanding salespeople who have "expertise, competence, and problems solving ability" to create value. Thus, selling is often referred to as being the equivalent of other professions and as such, individuals should recognize that those entering sales careers require educational qualifications similar to other professions (Cohen 2009). Others agree that the skill levels required for sales positions continue to increase and the requirements for new salespeople are showing corresponding increases as salespeople become more "solution oriented" rather than "sales oriented" (Chang 2007; DelVecchio and Honeycutt 2002; Ellis 2000). These requirements lead recruiters to focus on MBA students, who have been exposed to a wider and more in-depth array of these concepts (Simon 2006). However, Pullins and Buehrer (2008) also point out that sales education is largely absent from the graduate curricula at most Business Schools. Nevertheless, other firms are discovering that the knowledge gained from MBA programs is considerable enough that they reimburse salespeople for their expenditures as they pursue their MBAs (Butler 1996). A challenge for many students and recruiters has been described as finding adequate resources for salesrelated courses. As Michaels and Marshall (2002) note, business schools do not seem to offer adequate courses in personal selling. In fact, the disparity has been noted as: "There are roughly 120 university marketing courses for every course in sales. It's roughly 60 sales jobs for every marketing job" (Cohen 2009, p. 10). Consequently, sales is often relegated to a secondary role in the classroom due to perceptions of being outside the traditional liberal arts mode, and due to challenges in finding qualified academicians to teach sales-related courses. Yet businesses are interested in discovering student knowledge and sales exposure/attitudes because college graduates are often a very important source of sales candidates (Stevens and MacIntosh 2002­2003).
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RESEARCH ISSUES It seems that the research indicates colleges and universities are increasingly becoming critical sources for new sales recruits. This situation may be largely attributable to the fact that graduates of these institutions have the aptitude and knowledge bases necessary to succeed in the world of sales. The literature also seems to support the sentiment that sales positions are becoming increasingly complex and customer-oriented. As the complexity and consultative nature of the sales position increases, sales recruits and salespeople require broader and more complete knowledge bases in many areas. This enhanced complexity and professionalism has created a situation in which graduate, or MBA students, are increasingly sought as potential sales recruits. Additionally, companies are increasingly engaged in international sales activities. This internationalization of sales creates its own complexities. Based on these factors, the primary purpose of this study is to examine four major research issues. First, the research is designed to determine the extent to which sales, as a topic, is included as a portion of marketing courses taught in the U.S. and the U.K. An evaluation of this issue will help identify the extent to which sales is a topic included in the curricula of students, which may help identify opportunities/challenges facing academicians and practitioners alike as they attempt to examine the degree to which MBA students are exposed to sales concepts and evaluate courses for the 21st century. The second research issue assessed is an evaluation of the specific subtopics included under the auspices of the sales topic in MBA marketing courses. An evaluation of the subtopics should provide more of a micro-perspective into the emphases MBA professors are placing on salesrelated subjects and the corresponding academic exposure of the students. This information can provide insight to MBA faculty and sales recruiters regarding the degree to which students have been exposed to sales-related subtopics. The third research issue is one which should provide insights into the sales experience students possess upon entering an MBA program. An examination of research issue three should provide information pertaining to the "real-world" sales experience MBA students possess while in their MBA programs. The final issue relates to the third to the degree that issue four assesses students' skills, attitudes, and behaviors (SABs) regarding sales and provides cross-cultural comparisons of these issues. Thus, issues three and four provide both sales recruiters and marketing professors with information regarding the experience base of MBA students as well as knowledge regarding their perceptions of critical SABs as they pertain to sales. Evaluation of these two issues should provide insight into the base experiential levels of MBA students and thus lead to a determination of training and development requirements necessary for these indivi-
duals as they are considered for sales positions. Thus, the four research issues are designed to provide a direction for the research process and to provide information that may be used to examine levels of exposure to sales and salesrelated subtopics as well as the extent of sales-related experience and actions (SABs) of MBA students. METHOD OF ANALYSIS Accomplishment of the research process required a sample of MBA students enrolled in the U.S. and in the U.K. Based on this requirement, two universities were selected as participants in the study, one in the U.S. and the other in the U.K. Both universities were accredited at all levels by the AACSB and both universities have enrollments of approximately 20,000 students. Survey instruments were delivered to professors teaching marketing classes in the MBA programs of these universities. Both professors (one U.S. and one U.K.) agreed to assist in the data-gathering process and surveyed students in their classes. The surveys were administered to 335 students (178 U.S. students and 157 U.K. students). Students were not told the purpose of the study, were not required to complete the survey, but they were given class time to complete the survey. The questionnaires consisted of questions to determine first whether personal selling concepts were included as a part of the MBA students' marketing classes. Responses to the first question then provided direction into subsequent sections of the study. If students indicated personal selling concepts were included in their marketing classes, they were then asked to specify the topics included in these classes. These topics included subjects such as product knowledge, company/industry knowledge, sales skills, customer knowledge/CRM, and customer satisfaction. If sales skills were included as a segment of the marketing classes, the focus then shifted to the specific skills included in the class. The specific skills selected for analysis were identified by reviewing the skills included in two popular personal selling textbooks (Manning and Reece 2007; Weitz, Castleberry, and Tanner 2004). Using these two textbooks as a guide, twelve skills were identified for analysis. Students were then asked to indicate whether a particular skill had been included in their marketing classes. The next segment of the research was designed to assess students' sales experience in the workplace. Those having experience were then asked to provide an evaluation of their perceptions of the degree to which they possessed/engaged in specific skills, attitudes and behaviors (SABs). A list of specific SABs possessed and/or engaged in by a salesperson was developed using previous research which had examined salesperson perceptions of their attitudes toward specific SABs (Chonko, Caballero, and Lumpkin 1990; Pettijohn, Pettijohn, and
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Taylor 2007). Based on previous research, twenty-five SABs were identified. Students were requested to indicate their perceptions of the degree to which they engage in a SAB or their perceptions of the importance of a SAB using a seven-point Likert-type scale (7 = most important and 1 = not important at all). Thus, MBA students with sales experience were asked to identify their perceptions of the relative importance of possessing/engaging in each of the identified SABs. FINDINGS Usable responses were obtained from 141 U.K. students and from 169 U.S. students, resulting in response rates of 90 percent and 95 percent respectively. Table 1 provides the results of analyses comparing the inclusion of personal selling as a marketing topic in MBA courses in the U.K. with that occurring in the U.S. As shown, MBA students in the U.K. are significantly more likely to be exposed to personal selling concepts in their classes. This seems somewhat surprising, given the previously discussed lack of emphasis on sales in the U.K. The findings also show MBA students' ratings of whether specific sales topics were included in their classes (assuming the subject of sales was included in their graduate marketing classes). As indicated, the topic most likely to be included in a discussion of sales was customer satisfaction (U.K. 90%; U.S. 82%). For the U.K. students, the topic which was the second most popular was one concerned with customer knowledge (U.K. 82%; U.S. 80%) and for U.S. students the second most popular topic was concerned with product knowledge (U.K. 79%; U.S. 81%). Students in both countries perceived the topics related to sales skills to be the fourth ranked topic (U.K. 75%; U.S. 79%); and company knowledge as the fifthranked topic (U.K. 62%; U.S. 65%). The next step of the analysis focused on a comparison of the specific skills included in the sales segment (assuming sales skills were included in the sales coverage section). Table 1 indicates specific skills were in some cases given different degrees of emphasis in the two countries. For example, the skill most likely to be discussed in the U.S. was questioning (66%), but for the U.K. students, this skill was the fifth most important (36%). Conversely, the follow-up was the skill rated as tied for most important by the U.K. students (66%), yet it was rated as the fifth most included skill (42%) for the U.S. students. One additional difference focused on the inclusion of adaptive selling as a sales skill. The results show that adaptive selling is the fourth rated skill for the U.S. students (45%), but it was rated as the least included skill by the U.K. students (16%). The other skills seemed to be included in a similar manner in the sales courses in both of the countries. The second table provides the results obtained from the questions concerned with the sales experience of the
two groups of students. As shown, U.K. students are more likely to state that they have experience in sales. The table also shows the type of experience held by the students. The findings reveal retail and service sales seem to be the predominant areas of sales for both groups. Relatively few students possess business-to-business sales experience. Students with sales experience were asked to rate themselves on specific sales skills/attitudes/ behaviors (SABs). The results to their self-ratings are shown in Table 3. As indicated in the table, comparisons of the two groups of students yielded no significant differences in their self-ratings of specific SABs. Students seemed to be consistent in their identification of specific SABs as being more (or, perhaps less) important. These SABs included being courteous, not being snobbish/condescending, being available, listening, asking questions, regarding what the customer has to say as being important, and knowing their products. Not surprisingly, given their retail backgrounds, they did not regard SABs concerned with prospecting to be important. However, they also did not feel that they made clear complete presentations, nor did they contend that they rarely wasted time (which means they often wasted time). IMPLICATIONS The results indicate personal selling is a subject included in marketing classes taught in MBA classes in the U.K. for approximately 87 percent of the students. However, a different situation arises with regard to course coverage for MBA students in the U.S., as personal selling is a subject included in the marketing classes of only 57 percent of the students. This finding, which is contrary to expectations, indicates that personal selling is a topic that may be more appreciated in the U.K. The implication is that sales is recognized as being an important business skill in the U.K. As such, students in the U.K. might be better prepared to engage in sales activities after completing their graduate degrees. Further, this finding suggests U.K. professors might be more cognizant of the necessity of providing knowledge of professional selling to those receiving advanced degrees. While sales were significantly more likely to be included as a topic for U.K. students, no differences were found with regard to general topic coverage in the courses themselves between U.S. and U.K. classes. In fact, the general rankings were approximately the same, implying that the focus on specific sales topics is generally consistent. With regard to specific topics included in classroom discussions of sales skills, a rather different picture emerges. As noted in the results, U.S. students were significantly more likely to have questioning skills included in their discussions of sales. This finding suggests U.S. students might be more focused on learning customer needs through questioning. The implication is that U.S. students may be taught that questioning might be necessary
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TABLE 1 MBA STUDENT CLASSROOM EXPOSURE TO PERSONAL SELLING
Topic:
Included ­ N (%) Not Included ­ N (%)
Personal selling was included in marketing class(es): United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 33.2 (.0001)
123 (87.2%) 97 (57.4%)
18 (12.8%) 72 (42.6%)
If personal selling was included:
Product knowledge was included as a portion of this topic United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .2 (.64)
96 (78.7%) 78 (81.3%)
26 (21.3%) 18 (18.7%)
Company knowledge was included as a portion of this topic United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .2 (.64)
75 (61.5%) 62 (64.6%)
47 (38.5%) 34 (35.4%)
Customer knowledge was included as a portion of this topic United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .1 (.74)
100 (82.0%) 77 (80.2%)
22 (18.0%) 19 (19.8%)
Customer Satisfaction was included as a portion of this topic United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 2.9 (.09)
110 (90.2%) 78 (82.2%)
12 ( 9.7%) 17 (17.7%)
Sales skills were included as a portion of this topic United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .4 (.51)
92 (75.4%) 76 (79.2%)
30 (24.6%) 20 (20.8%)
If sales skills were included:
Approach was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .003 (.96)
34 (53.1%) 39 (52.7%)
30 (46.9%) 35 (47.3%)
Questioning skills were a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 12.6 (.0004)
23 (35.9%) 49 (66.2%)
41 (64.1%) 25 (33.8%)
Prospecting was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .88 (.35)
21 (32.8%) 30 (40.5%)
43 (67.2%) 44 (59.5%)
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TABLE 1 (CONTINUED) MBA STUDENT CLASSROOM EXPOSURE TO PERSONAL SELLING
Topic:
Included ­ N (%) Not Included ­ N (%)
Qualifying was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .03 (.86)
25 (39.1%) 30 (40.5%)
39 (60.9%) 44 (59.5%)
Need Identification was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .75 (.39)
29 (45.3%) 39 (52.7%)
35 (54.7%) 35 (47.3%)
Presentation was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .18 (.67)
42 (65.6%) 46 (62.2%)
22 (34.4%) 28 (37.8%)
Demonstration was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .43 (.51)
15 (23.4%) 21 (28.4%)
49 (75.6%) 53 (71.6%)
Dealing with sales resistance was a portion of the sales skill segment
United Kingdom Students
21 (32.8%)
United States Students
33 (44.6%)
Chi-Square (p): 2.0 (.16)
43 (67.2%) 41 (55.4%)
Adaptive Selling was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 13.4 (.0002)
10 (15.6%) 33 (44.6%)
54 (84.4%) 41 (55.4%)
The close was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .002 (.97)
24 (37.5%) 28 (37.8%)
40 (62.5%) 46 (62.2%)
Negotiating was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .71 (.40)
24 (37.5%) 33 (44.6%)
40 (62.5%) 41 (55.4%)
Follow-up was a portion of the sales skill segment United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 7.76 (.005)
42 (65.6%) 31 (41.9%)
22 (34.4%) 43 (58.1%)
to help customers better state their requirements. Support for this position is also shown in terms of the segment of the sales skills portion indicating that U.S. students were
exposed more frequently (albeit insignificantly) to need identification than were U.K. students. This could suggest that in the U.K., the culture is not attuned to identifying
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TABLE 2 MBA STUDENT SALES EXPERIENCE
Experience in Sales
Have Experience ­ N (%) Do NOT Have Experience ­ N (%)
Have Experience in sales: United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 2.72 (.10)
70 (52.6%) 71 (43.0%)
63 (47.4%) 94 (57.0%)
IF experienced in sales, type of sales experience:
Retail Experience: United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 1.55 (.21)
53 (75.7) 47 (66.2)
17 (24.3%) 24 (33.8%)
Retail Service Experience: United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 1.90 (.17)
12 (17.1) 19 (26.8)
58 (82.9%) 53 (73.2%)
Wholesale Experience: United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .46 (.49)
6 ( 8.6) 4 ( 5.6)
64 (91.4%) 67 (94.4%)
Manufacturer Experience: United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): 2.89 (.09)
2 ( 2.9) 7 ( 9.9)
68 (97.1%) 64 (90.1%)
Service Experience: United Kingdom Students United States Students Chi-Square (p): .06 (.81)
24 (34.3) 23 (32.4)
46 (65.7%) 48 (67.6%)
Years of Experience Less than 1 year 1­2 years 2­3 years 3­4 years More than 4 years
U.S. Students: 19 (26.8) 19 (26.8) 21 (29.6) 8 (11.3) 4 ( 5.6)
U.K. Students: 17 (24.6) 9 (13.0) 41 (59.4) 1 ( 1.5) 1 ( 1.5)
needs, but that customers are expected to have knowledge of their needs and the salesperson's role is one of service. Adaptive selling is significantly less likely to be a portion of the sales skill segment in the U.K. than it is in the U.S. This finding suggests that perhaps in the U.K. salespeople are not as attuned to the interpersonal discussions and the enhancement of the customer's comfort as exists in the U.S.
CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH For years, companies have recognized that an excellent source of potential salespeople could be found on university campuses. These employers have been seeking educated individuals who have the capacity to solve business-related problems and establish suitable relation-
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TABLE 3 MBA STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF SKILLS, ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS
Skill, Attitude, Behavior:
U.S.
U.K.
Mean (sd) Mean (sd) t (p)
I always approach customers using the proper approach techniques Prospecting is a regular portion of activities Most of my prospects are gained thru referrals I am capable of resolving most customer's needs I try to figure out what a customer's needs are *Price should be used as a primary method of sales I rarely waste time I am always courteous toward my customers *What I say is more important than what the customer has to say I know about the products that I sell I am available when customers need assistance I listen to what the customer has to say *I don't really enjoy assisting customers *I only react and respond to customer requests I know the answers to customers' questions I ask questions to get them to talk I try to learn as much as possible about needs I use leading statements to get customers to talk I help my customers understand and visualize I make clear and complete presentations I demonstrate products/services to the customer I learn about needs prior to suggesting products I often suggest complementary products I work to make customers feel appreciated *I am often snobbish and condescending
4.8 (1.5) 4.1 (1.6) 4.1 (1.7) 5.1 (1.6) 5.4 (1.5) 3.7 (1.6) 4.3 (1.4) 5.6 (1.6) 3.0 (1.7) 5.7 (1.6) 5.7 (1.5) 5.7 (1.6) 3.1 (1.9) 3.5 (1.4) 5.2 (1.4) 5.3 (1.4) 5.4 (1.4) 5.0 (1.6) 5.2 (1.5) 4.8 (1.5) 5.0 (1.6) 5.3 (1.6) 4.9 (1.7) 5.5 (1.5) 2.7 (1.7)
5.2 (4.6) 3.9 (1.6) 3.5 (1.6) 5.3 (1.2) 5.4 (1.5) 4.0 (1.6) 4.4 (1.5) 5.9 (1.5) 3.1 (1.9) 5.4 (1.5) 5.5 (1.7) 5.7 (1.5) 3.1 (1.8) 3.8 (1.5) 4.9 (1.3) 5.7 (1.4) 5.4 (1.4) 5.3 (1.5) 5.1 (1.5) 4.5 (1.8) 5.0 (1.5) 5.0 (1.5) 5.2 (1.5) 5.0 (1.6) 2.6 (1.7)
.6 (.52) .7 (.47) 1.9 (.06) .5 (.60) .1 (.94) .9 (.38) .5 (.63) 1.1 (.30) .3 (.74) 1.0 (.31) 1.0 (.30) .1 (.91) .0 (.97) 1.4 (.17) 1.0 (.32) .5 (.60) .1 (.90) 1.2 (.24) .6 (.56) 1.2 (.25) .2 (.86) .9 (.39) 1.0 (.32) 1.6 (.12) .4 (.67)
* reverse scored
ships with customers that will enhance corporate profitability. In recent years, it seems more firms have recognized the advantages of on-campus recruiting for their sales forces. This recognition seems to be correlated with an increase in both the knowledge levels and professionalism levels required of salespeople. In fact, as requirements for professional salespeople increase, it appears that firms are looking for individuals with an even greater understanding of business and business relationships. This search has led firms to consider students with graduate degrees, more specifically MBAs, as potential salespeople. To some degree, this effort has been thwarted due to what has been described as a paucity of formal sales education in universities in the U.S. (Cohen 2009). However, little is known about the skills, attitudes and behaviors of MBA students as they relate to sales positions. Further, no research was uncovered which discussed any aspects of MBA student sales education and/or sales experience. Corresponding with the increas-
es in requirements for professional/skilled individuals to fill sales positions is the fact that sales is increasingly an internationally based occupation. With this international focus, it seems important to obtain an understanding of the perceptions and experiences of students in other countries with regard to sales. Thus, this research was designed to address issues as they relate to an international comparative analysis of MBA student academic exposure to sales, sales experience and perceptions of specific SABs that have resulted from these experiences. The findings of this analysis indicate personal selling is a topic more likely to be included in the marketing courses for MBA students in the U.K. than for students in the U.S. This finding was surprising and an explanation of the finding would involve considerable conjecture. For example, one might argue that the focus on sales in the U.K. is the result of the fact that Marketing professors in the U.K. have a greater appreciation of the importance of sales than do their U.S. counterparts. Alternatively, this
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finding could be a reflection of the fact that MBA students in the U.S. are exposed to greater information regarding sales in their undergraduate curricula and thus require less sales exposure than do their U.K. counterparts. Regardless of one's position pertaining to this finding, it does suggest that future research should be designed to evaluate the accuracy of this finding and to determine why differences exist in the degree of exposure to sales in MBA classes in the two countries. With regard to the specific topical exposure to sales, it seems that students in both countries have similar experiences, thus indicating some level of consistency. However, some differences do exist in the inclusion of sales skill subtopics. The findings indicate questioning is the most important subtopic included in the U.S., but it was rated as far less important in the U.K. Similarly, adaptive selling was a skill which was included significantly more in the U.S. than in the U.K. Are these ratings reflective of cultural differences? One might surmise that the U.K. culture is one which would expect that customers disclose their needs/desires to their salespeople without
overt salesperson questions. Thus, questioning may be relatively less important in the U.K. for a successful engagement than it is in the U.S. Correspondingly, in the U.K. authenticity may be the norm and thus adaptive selling would be counter to this norm. Again, these issues could be the focus of future research to determine whether differences in classroom focus reflect cultural differences and whether these differences are attributable to some underlying business factor. While many avenues for future research exist, this study does provide a starting point for research regarding MBA students, their classroom exposure to sales, their perceptions of specific SABs, and their sales experiences. Future research endeavors should be designed to further explore issues as they relate to MBA students, their attitudes, and their experiences. Such research should also assess other cultures as they pertain to these research topics. Additionally, issues such as adaptive selling, questioning and others could be explored more deeply in subsequent studies.
REFERENCES Amin, Sammy G., Abdalla F. Hayajneh, and Hudson Nwakanma (1995), "College Students' Views of Sales Jobs as a Career: An Empirical Investigation," American Business Review, (June), 54­60. Aronauer, Rebecca (2006), "The Hottest Industries for Sales Jobs," Sales and Marketing Management, (October 27), 3­5. Bristow, Dennis, Rajesh Gulati, and Douglas Amyx (2006), "A Look at Personal Selling from the Students' Perspective: A Replication and Extension," Marketing Management Journal, 16 (Issue 1, Spring), 88­ 103. Butler, Charles (1996), "Why the Bad Rap," Sales & Marketing Management, 148 (June, Issue 6), 58­67. Chang, Julia (2007), "Sales 2.0," Sales & Marketing Management, 159 (April), (3), 31­34. Chonko, Lawrence B., Marjorie J. Caballero, and James R. Lumpkin (1990), "Do Retail Salespeople Use Selling Skills?" Review of Business and Economic Research, (Spring), 36­46. Cohen, Jeremy (2009), "The Schooling of Sales," Sales and Marketing Management, (January/February), 9­ 11. DelVecchio, Susan and Earl D. Honeycutt, Jr. (2002), "Explaining the Appeal of Sales Careers: A Comparison of Black and White College Students," Journal of Marketing Education, 24 (1), (April), 56­63. Dubinsky, Alan J. (1980), "Recruiting College Students for the Salesforce," Industrial Marketing Management, 9 (1), (February), 37­45.
Ellis, Nick (2000), "Developing Graduate Sales Professionals Through Co-Operative Education and Work Placements: A Relationship Marketing Approach," Journal of European Industrial Training, 24 (1), 34­ 42. Ford, John B., Earl D. Honeycutt, Jr., and Mathew Joseph (1995), "New Zealand Students' Preferences for Careers in Sales: Implications for Marketing Educators," Developments in Marketing Science, 18, 312­ 17. Galea, Christine (2006), "The Right Hire," Sales and Marketing Management, 158 (3), 11. Gurvis, Sandra (2000), "Sales Degree," Selling Power, (May), 108­14. Honeycutt, Jr., Earl D., John B. Ford and C.P. Rao (1995), "Sales Training: Executives' Research Needs," Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 15 (Fall), 67­72. ____________, ____________, and Lew Kurtzman (1996), "Potential Problems and Solutions When Hiring and Training a Worldwide Sales Team," Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 11 (1), 42­ 55. ____________, Kiran Karande, Ashraf Attia, and Seven D. Maurer (2001), "A Utility Based Framework for Evaluating the Financial Impact of Sales Force Training Programs," Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 21 (Summer), (3), 229­39. Lysonski, Steven and Srinivas Durvasula (1998), "A Cross-National Investigation of Student Attitudes Toward Personal Selling: Implications for Marketing Education," Journal of Marketing Education, 20 (2),
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(August), 161­73. Manning, Gerald L. and Barry L. Reece (2007), Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Michaels, Ronald E. and Greg W. Marshall (2002), "Perspectives on Selling and Sales Management Education," Marketing Education Review, 12 (Summer), 1­11. Nachnani, Ashok G. (2007), "Throw Out the Old Playbook: Adjusting to the New Realities of the Sales Talent Game," Top University Sales Education Programs 2007: A Special Supplement to Selling Power Magazine, (April), 15, 17. National Association of Colleges and Employers, NACEWeb (2006), Summer 2006 Salary Survey. Peterson, M.S. (1997), "Personal Interviewers' Perceptions of the Importance and Adequacy of Applicants' Communication Skills," Communication Education, 46 (4), 287­91. Pettijohn, Charles E., Linda S. Pettijohn, and A.J. Taylor (2007), "Does Salesperson Perception of the Importance of Sales Skills Improve Sales Performance, Customer Orientation, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment and Reduce Turnover?" Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 27 (1), (Winter), 75­88. Pullins, Ellen Bolman and Richard E. Buehrer (2008), "Professional Selling Gets an MBA," Top University Sales Education Programs 2008, (April), 15, 19.
Rackham, Neil (2009), "The Certified Sales Professional: Has the Time Finally Arrived?" Top University Sales Education Programs 2009, (April), 4­5. Rogers, Beth (2009), "Theory + Practice = Excellence," Top University Sales Education Programs 2009, (April), 18. Rubin, Robert S. and Erich C. Dierdorff (2009), "How Relevant is the MBA? Assessing the Alignment of Required Curricula and Required Managerial Competencies," Academy of Management Learning and Education, 9 (2), 208­24. Sales and Marketing Management (2002), "Majoring in Sales," 154 (December), 55. Simon, Baylee (2006), "The Paper (Money) Chase," Sales and Marketing Management, (July/August), 38­43. Stevens, Charles D. and Gerrard MacIntosh (2002­2003), "Personality and Attractiveness of Activities within Sales Jobs," Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 23 (1), (Winter), 23­32. Ulinski, Michael and Susanne O'Callaghan (2002), "A Comparison of MBA Students' and Employers' Perceptions of the Value of Oral Communication Skills for Employment," Journal of Education for Business, (March/April), 193­97. Weitz, Barton A., Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner (2004), Selling: Building Partnerships, 4th ed. Boston MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
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STUDENT COURSE PERCEPTIONS: A PERCEIVED-EASE-OF-USE ­ PERCEIVED-USEFULNESS FRAMEWORK
Somjit Barat, Pennsylvania State University Mont Alto Rajasree K. Rajamma, Fairfield University Mohammad Ali Zolfagharian, The University of Texas ­ Pan American Gopala Ganesh, University of North Texas ABSTRACT This study focuses on students' perceptions about a hybrid marketing course, delivered in independent face-toface and online formats, at a southwestern U.S. university. Based on the Perceived-Ease-of-Use (PEOU) ­ Perceived Usefulness (PU) framework, it examines the associations of PEOU and PU with each of two constructs viz., Comparative Evaluation and Communication with the Instructor. The research throws light on hitherto unexplored dimensions of students' course and teacher perceptions. In addition, from a marketing perspective, educators can utilize the findings to make their instruction more effective for their "customers." Finally, data analyses supporting the hypotheses, academic and research implications as well as ideas for future directions are presented.
INTRODUCTION This study focuses on undergraduate students' perception of a hybrid marketing math course that was delivered both face-to-face and online. While students of both formats had access to all materials and tools, those in the face-to-face format were able to access the online resource materials for each topic only after it had been covered in class. Specifically, this research was designed to investigate (i) how easy it was for students to use the tools provided by the instructor in this course and (ii) if and how the tools benefitted them. There is substantial research on student performance; tools for measuring teaching effectiveness in the classroom and how students evaluate teacher instruction. Nonetheless, opinions regarding the efficacy and usability of such evaluation methods are equivocal. The first disagreement among academics appears to stem from a concern about whether students have the capability to "judge" instructors. For example, it has been reported that different students have different expectations from classroom instruction (Davis et al. 2000) and from the course itself (Redish et al. 1996). If a student lacks the motivation to attend classes, there remains serious concern about the student's ability and/or desire to evaluate the course and its effectiveness. More confusion results from the myriad of models and/or tools that deal with teaching effectiveness, both at the theoretical and at the implementation levels. In the
past, for example, academics have used the Social Learning Theory (Bandura 1976), the "four-level" evaluation theory (Kirkpatrick 1976), trainee behavior theory (Alliger and Janak 1989), and Bloom=s taxonomy of self-evaluation and learning (1956) to anchor their research on student perception. This study resulted from a desire to untangle some of this confusion, as there is considerable scope for further contribution and/or clarification in this field. In the process, those dimensions of student perception of the teacher and his/her teaching that have been hitherto overlooked are explored. Hence, the current research has good potential to contribute to knowledge in this area. Four hypotheses are presented herein, based on the Perceived Ease of Use-Perceived Usefulness framework. These are subsequently tested for feasibility and robustness. The primary beneficiaries of the findings of this study would be teachers/administrators who can incorporate these into designing a more effective instructional methodology for their customers, i.e., the students. On a less likely note, students can also utilize the findings of this study to make better course selections. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES There appears to be considerable variation in research perspectives as gleaned from a brief historical review of pertinent literature. The perceived ease of use (PEOU) ­ perceived usefulness (PU) framework appears to be best suited for measuring student perception in such a context.
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Justification of the Hypotheses Learning is an integral part of the consumer decisionmaking process. It is defined as any change in the content or organization of long-term memory or behavior (Mitchell 1983) that results from information processing. Perception, on the other hand, has three components according to Hawkins et al. (2007, p. 282): exposure (which "occurs when a stimulus comes within a range of a person's sensory receptor nerves"), attention (which occurs when the stimulus is "seen") and interpretation ("assignment of meaning to the received sensations"). In the present context, students are subject to incremental levels of information which they need to process within a limited period of time, and then apply to case studies that they are regularly tested on. As a result of this process, students form opinions about the course itself, its components, the teacher, and method of instruction. In other words, students develop their own perceptions of the course. Naturally, it can be argued that learning and perception are strongly related. It may be noted that the relationship between learning and perception has been used as a theoretical framework in past research, such as for measuring faculty teaching attitudes and their association with student classroom learning perceptions (Angulo et al. 2007). This framework has also been applied in personality profiling, such as by using the Myers-Briggs Personality test to check whether job candidates were compatible with certain profiles (Amato et al. 2005). In fact, it is quite common for organizations to subject their current employees and potential recruits to various learning environments and [email protected] their perception of the organization in the hope of reducing potential personality clashes. This logic is extended to lay the framework for the present research. The ease with which a tool can be used is considered the perceived ease of use (PEOU), while the benefit that the individual derives by using the product is regarded as its perceived usefulness (PU). Typically, students are enrolled in multiple courses, enabling them to compare the focal course objectively against the backdrop of other courses, a feature referred to as "comparative evaluation" in this research. It is believed that comparative evaluation plays a role in influencing the PEOU of the focal course. Moreover, the ability of the student to compare the focal course against several other courses stimulates the individual's performance goals (Barron et al. 2003), leading to a healthy "learning environment" (Leveson 2004) for the student. As such, it is also proposed that comparative evaluation is associated with the PU of the course. Past research (Sinickas 2007) suggests that "communication" is not only a tool to exchange messages between individuals but also helps in establishing social networks, leads to questioning and consensus-building. The ability of the teacher to deliver his/her message to students through effective communication puts the students at ease
and better equips them to navigate the course. Therefore, it is surmised that communication with the instructor has a bearing on the PEOU of the course. Students perceive teachers with better communication capabilities to deliver better value in course design and/or interaction, in web-based courses (Oliver et al. 2009) and hence, typically rate such teachers higher than those who lack such abilities. In an extensive crosscultural study on student perception of importance of teacher traits, Alshare et al. (2009) found that communication abilities ranked very high, more so for American students than their Chilean and Jordanian counterparts. In fact, Smart et al. (2003) reported similar results when they surveyed marketing professors who were considered superior to their colleagues by their respective departmental chairs. Referring to this study, Alshare et al. (2009) note: "These professors associated success with characteristics reported by outstanding professors in several earlier studies, some dating from the 1980s. Valued characteristics included excellent communication skills, interactive teaching styles, a real-world focus, empathy for others, and both organizations as well as presentation skills" (p. 108). Therefore, it is proposed that communication with the instructor is associated with the PU of the course as well. Background for Theoretical Framework Several models deal with the perceived quality of learning experience (Peltier et al. 2007), reflective learning (Peltier et al. 2005, 2006), structured case analysis augmenting critical thinking skills (Klebba and Hamilton 2007) and learning style differences (Morrison et al. 2006; Karns 2006a). There have also been attempts to use certain instruments for measuring student perception, such as the one based on the "Job Diagnostic Survey" (Jackson et al. 2006). While acknowledging such diverse research streams through a brief historical review of pertinent literature, we believe that the perceived ease of use (PEOU) ­ perceived usefulness (PU) framework appears to be the most appropriate in the context of student perception research. Introduced by Schultz and Slevin (1975) and Robey (1979) and later refined by Davis (1989), the PEOU-PU framework proposes that if an instrument is easy to use, it is also perceived to be beneficial by the user of the instrument. These two constructs were found to be relevant in and evolved from diverse research streams, such as self-efficacy (Bandura 1982), behavioral decision theory (Jarvenpaa 1989), and adoption of innovations (Tornatzky and Klein 1982). While there appears to be remarkable similarity in past research findings (Davis 1989), it must be noted that there is lack of robust evidence regarding the directional relationship between PEOU and PU and hence, it was decided to leave that question out of the purview of the current research.
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Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education ­ Volume 15, Winter 2009
In more recent research, Peltier et al. (2003) suggest a model based on "virtual communities." The authors include six dimensions of perceived effectiveness/usefulness in an online context namely instructor support and mentoring, instructor-to-student interaction, information delivery technology, course content, course structure, and student-to-student interaction. In addition, Karns (2006b) suggests how learning style differences impact perceived effectiveness of twenty-one different learning activities. Specifically, his study investigates whether customizing courses according to student's perceived learning styles is worth the effort. These studies indicate that academics have used the concepts of PEOU and PU from different perspectives in the field of teaching as well. The remainder of the paper is laid out as follows: the next section is devoted to a discussion of the theory based on a review of the literature, which leads to model development. Following that is a description of the data collection method, analysis, and the results of hypotheses testing. The concluding section is devoted to discussing the academic implications and limitations of the study and to providing ideas for further research. LITERATURE REVIEW AND MODEL DEVELOPMENT Ease is defined as "freedom from difficulty or great effort" (www.dictionary.reference.com). In the present scenario, different factors influence the student's perception of how easy it is to use the tools (of the course), which is referred to as PEOU. "On the other hand, from an economic standpoint, students evaluate the usefulness of a course using a benefit-cost approach, (i.e., how the benefit derived from a course compares with the cost incurred for the course). If the benefits outweigh the costs associated with the course, the student's PU of that course is positive. For the purpose of this study, therefore, we refer to the benefit-cost as the PU of the course." Since PEOU measures how user-friendly a particular tool or method of instruction is, if a tool is perceived relatively user-friendly, the user will be more inclined to utilize the tool. Conversely, the harder a tool is to use, the more likely the user is to reject it. At the same time, the degree of acceptance or rejection of a tool by the subject depends on the level to which the user feels it will be of any benefit at present and/or in the future (Shim and Viswanathan 2007). Research suggests that both PEOU and PU bear a positive relationship with the user=s self-reported level of current and future usage. The focal course (one of the four or five courses that undergraduate students take in a typical semester at a four-year program at any U.S. university) is designed such that students are exposed to incrementally more challenging materials. At each stage, students use the skills acquired previously, and are tested for their mastery over the topics. Since the degree to which
students feel that they can utilize the tools of this course for present and future purposes is of critical interest, research on perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and self-reported current and future usages by students are reviewed next. From a behavioral perspective, consumers make decisions based on bounded rationality (Arthur 1994), i.e., their ability to compare among different products is limited by their information-processing capability. Consequently, customers often apply several surrogate indicators (price, etc.) and evaluative criteria (attribute-byattribute, conjunctive rule, disjunctive rule, eliminationby-aspects etc.) in helping them select the "best" alternative. Such evaluative rules and criteria are widely used in consumer decision-making because they reduce the time required in arriving at a decision and post-purchase dissonance (Lamb, Hair, and McDaniel 2008; Hawkins, Mothersbaugh, and Best 2007). The net result is often a positive opinion about the product of interest. Drawing an analogy to the present scenario, the students (customers) apply surrogate indicators (number of hours studied per week, number of assignments, number of exams, etc.) and evaluative criteria to judge the focal product (course) against others (courses). Such student behavior is typical of undergraduate introductory and/or basic courses (as the focal course is), which ". . . are taught as large lectures, use multiple choice exams to evaluate students' learning, and assign grades based on normative curves. Competence is clearly defined in terms of relative ability and normative comparisons" (Barron and Harackiewicz 2003, p. 359). Consequently, is argued that the benefit of comparative evaluation of the focal course positively influences its perceived ease of use by students (see Figure 1 for the theoretical model). H1: The comparative evaluation of the course will bear a positive association with the PEOU of the course. Undergraduate students typically need to maintain a passing grade in each of their courses. This has been referred to as the multiple goal perspective in extant literature (Barron and Harackiewicz 2001). It has been argued that when students are required to prove their ability in a "comparative scenario" (be it relative to other students or to other courses), they achieve additional benefits in their mastery of academics. Several researchers (Barron and Harackiewicz 2001; Harackiewicz et al. 2002; Pintrich 2000) have argued that an attempt to achieve multiple goals leads to "optimal motivation" (Barron and Harackiewicz 2003). In other words, when the student is able to compare the focal course with other courses, the PU of that course also increases, which motivates the second hypothesis as follows: H2: The comparative evaluation of the course will bear a positive association with the PU of the course.
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FIGURE 1 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESIZED RELATIONSHIPS
In reviewing extant literature, no evidence was found that the relationship between comparative evaluation and PU and PEOU of a course were moderated by (1) number of courses the student was enrolled in, (2) how many courses the student had already completed and (3) how many of those courses the student took at other institutions. Hence, these associations are not explored in this research. Teaching involves "communication" from the "source" (i.e., instructor) to the "recipient" (i.e., the student), using a "medium" (i.e., the tools and technology). Previous research has clearly established that people tend to seek different goals in their communications (e.g., task vs. social) and utilize different patterns of communication (e.g., information sharing vs. questioning and consensus building) in order to accomplish those goals (Sinickas 2007). In a face-to-face (F2F) setting, it is the teacher who controls the source, medium and "noise" (i.e., distraction) in the communication environment. Students by contrast (especially in large classes), play the role of passive participants as the recipients of the communications (Orlich et al. 1998). Consequently, when access to online resources either supplement (as in a hybrid class) or supplant (as in an online class) the traditional classroom, students are likely to derive significant benefits. They have the freedom, flexibility, and ability to interact with the instructor and fellow students anytime and anywhere they choose, in several ways such as audio, visual, text,
video, electronic mail, and chat. In other words, in an online setting, the onus of making maximum use of the instructor's communications resides relatively more with the student instead of with the instructor. Therefore, the communication aspect plays a critical role in the students' perception of the focal course in an online environment. Consequently, the more effectively the instructor can support and synchronize traditional tools with online tools in the focal course, the easier it will be for the students to utilize the knowledge and tools. Therefore, it is argued that the student's PEOU of the knowledge and tools gained from a course depend on interaction and communication characteristics, which motivates the next hypothesis: H3: The perceived effectiveness of communication with the instructor will bear a positive association with the PEOU of the course. In a hybrid course, consequently, students get a more holistic and realistic experience, have a better chance to ". . . think critically, use the information and communicate effectively and work in a team" (Mat 2000; Neo and Neo 2004; Tway 1995; Hua, Sher, and Pheng 2005), leading to an enhanced perception of PU of the course and the next hypothesis: H4: The perceived effectiveness of communication with the instructor will bear a positive association with the PU of the course.
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Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education ­ Volume 15, Winter 2009
METHOD AND RESULTS Data was collected from about 920 students enrolled in a junior-level marketing math course, representing more than 90 percent of final enrollment over a 4-year period, at a south-western university. However, only 30 percent were in their junior year, while the majority (68.2%) reported senior status, perhaps reflecting a tendency to put off "math-intensive" courses as much as they can! The course was offered by the instructor in two modes, i.e., face-to-face and online. A voluntary and anonymous online survey was administered to all students during the last week of class. About 60 percent of the responses came from the online classes. The high level of participation was undoubtedly helped by a half a percent "bonus point" boost to the student's semester percent. Nearly 53.2 percent of the respondents were female, 93.7 percent were in-state residents, and 22.9 percent had never taken an online class before. Their average age was 22.8 years (with the median at 22). The students were asked how they perceive the focal course in terms of (1) how easy it was for them to use critical course components, and, (2) whether and how the students benefitted from (the knowledge gained by) using such tools. An Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was performed on the scales using principal component extraction and varimax rotation to observe their underlying structure. Five factors emerged including: communication with the instructor (COMM), comparative evaluation with other courses (COMP), perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived usefulness (PU), and comfort level. It was decided to exclude the comfort level factor because it lacks support in extant literature and therefore does not justify its inclusion in the backdrop of the theoretical model. The other four factors have a strong presence in past research and showed adequate levels of reliability (Cronbach's > 0.70) in the analysis. For each of these factors, items with main loading of 0.50 or higher were retained (9 items for COMM, 4 items for COMP, 13 items for PEOU, and 9 items for PU) and averaged to form these four key constructs. Since data were collected over 10 semesters and across two different instructional formats, the four key constructs were naturally examined as dependent variables in a MANOVA, with semester and format as the independent variables. While the main effects for semester and format were significant, so too was their interaction, meaning that the main effects cannot be uniformly interpreted. However, per Table 1, the mean and median for the four constructs across semesters and formats were pretty similar. There was no dramatic shift in the scale location of the mean and median across semester, across format, compared to the aggregate. Next, these results were treated as constituting an a priori model and a confirmatory factor analysis was
carried out using AMOS 15.0 to (a) confirm the underlying structure observed in EFA and (b) to determine the convergent and discriminant validities of the four constructs. The results of the first attempt suggested an opportunity to improve the model fit by eliminating one of the PU items. The results of the second and final attempt reported in Table 2 confirm the hypothesized underlying structure of the scales and provide support for the convergent and discriminant validities of each construct (Bagozzi and Heatherton 1994). Specifically, the standard loadings range from .64 to .89, the average variance extracted in each factor range from .60 to .66, and indexes indicating the model fit show acceptable values; the comparative-fit index (CFI) = .933; incremental fit index (IFI) = .931; root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = .066. The convergent validity of each construct is evident from the fact that the loadings and the average variances extracted are all above recommended thresholds (McDonald and Ho 2002). To determine discriminant validity, squared inter-factor correlations were compared against the average variances extracted per factor (Fornell and Larcker 1981). Since the range of the squared inter-factor correlations (from .04 to .48) falls below that of the average variances extracted (from .60 to .66), the factors are considered to possess adequate discriminant validity. To test the hypotheses, the pertinent data were subjected to structural equation modeling in AMOS 15.0. As reported in Table 3, the resultant indexes suggest that the tested model has a decent fit. Specifically, the model is acceptable because those indices are above their respective thresholds: CFI = .930; IFI = .928; and RMSEA = .068. The resultant coefficients weights reported in Table 3 provide the results of direct testing of the hypotheses. H1 posits a positive association between comparative evaluation of the course and the perceived ease of use of the course. This hypothesis is supported ( = .378; P < .001). The model does not find support for H2, which assumes a positive association between comparative evaluation of the course and the perceived usefulness of the course ( = -.004; P = .931). H3 held a positive association between communication with instructor and the perceived ease of use of the course. This hypothesis is also supported ( = .551; P < .001). Finally, H4 was supported ( = .333; < .001), which suggests a positive association between communication with instructor and the perceived usefulness of the course. DISCUSSION It was predicted that when students find it easier to compare the focal course with other courses that he/she is enrolled in, such ability will have a bearing on the PEOU of the focal course (H1). It is not surprising that this association turns out to be positive, strong and significant (standardized beta coefficients 0.5 and 0.6), and it has marketing implications. It is a challenge for consumers of
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TABLE 1 MEANS AND MEDIANS OF THE KEY CONSTRUCTS BY SEMESTER AND MODE OF DELIVERY
Semester Mode of Delivery
[email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
[email protected]
f04
0 f2f
Mean
Median
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
F05
0 f2f
Mean
Median
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
F06
0 f2f
Mean
Median
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
r04
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
R05
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
R07
0 f2f
Mean
Median
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
s04
0 f2f
Mean
Median
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
s05
0 f2f
Mean
Median
1 inet
Mean
Median
Total
Mean
Median
S06
0 f2f
Mean
Median
1 inet
Mean
Median
7.8607 8.0714 7.4018 7.7857 7.6695 7.9286 6.8917 7.7143 6.1671 6.5714 6.5043 7.1429 7.6033 7.9286 5.9229 5.9286 6.6783 7.0000 7.7889 7.9615 7.7889 7.9615 6.8300 7.0000 6.8300 7.0000 7.3852 7.6429 7.0327 7.3571 7.1643 7.4286 7.7153 8.0769 7.2384 7.3846 7.5406 7.8462 7.5451 7.9643 7.0038 7.1071 7.2536 7.6429 6.8415 7.2500 6.8414 6.7857
7.9363 8.0000 7.5910 7.5556 7.7924 7.8889 7.8333 8.2222 6.8780 7.2778 7.3175 7.9444 8.1015 8.7143 6.2692 6.6349 7.0929 7.3750 7.5371 7.5556 7.5371 7.5556 7.4676 7.7778 7.4676 7.7778 7.5898 8.0625 7.6481 8.1111 7.6263 8.1111 7.8850 8.3333 7.4895 7.5556 7.7416 8.0556 8.2862 8.5000 7.9583 8.2222 8.1097 8.3889 8.0055 8.5000 7.5531 7.6667
7.6277 8.0000 7.2970 7.6667 7.4899 7.6667 7.4722 7.7500 6.4583 6.6250 6.9192 7.2500 7.0255 7.0000 6.8644 7.0000 6.9375 7.0000 6.4402 7.0000 6.4402 7.0000 6.2083 6.5000 6.2083 6.5000 6.8214 6.7500 7.0160 7.0000 6.9433 7.0000 7.7070 8.0000 7.5135 8.0000 7.6361 8.0000 7.6330 8.0000 7.0759 7.2500 7.3301 7.7500 7.2969 7.3750 7.2677 7.5000
3.3080 3.4286 3.1845 3.1429 3.2560 3.2857 2.9376 3.0000 2.6317 2.7778 2.7724 2.8889 3.1477 3.2222 2.5038 2.6667 2.7959 2.8889 3.1809 3.1429 3.1809 3.1429 2.8843 2.8889 2.8843 2.8889 2.9266 3.1111 2.9338 2.8889 2.9311 3.0000 3.1388 3.1429 3.0315 3.0000 3.0999 3.1429 3.2196 3.3333 3.0404 3.1111 3.1239 3.2222 2.8466 2.8889 2.8112 2.8889
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Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education ­ Volume 15, Winter 2009
TABLE 1 (CONTINUED) MEANS AND MEDIANS OF THE KEY CONSTRUCTS BY SEMESTER AND MODE OF DELIVERY
Semester Mode of Delivery
[email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
[email protected]
S07 Total
Total 0 f2f 1 inet Total 0 f2f 1 inet Total
Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median
6.8414 7.0000 6.9286 7.2857 6.5147 6.7857 6.5411 6.8571 7.4508 7.8462 6.8163 7.0714 7.0753 7.4286
7.7436 8.0000 7.6481 7.6111 7.5032 7.7778 7.5124 7.7222 7.9600 8.2222 7.3772 7.6250 7.6148 7.8889
7.2800 7.5000 6.8333 7.0000 7.1761 7.5000 7.1543 7.5000 7.4233 7.7500 6.9840 7.2500 7.1625 7.5000
2.8256 2.8889 2.4259 2.4444 2.7404 2.6667 2.7203 2.6667 3.0955 3.1429 2.8712 2.8889 2.9623 3.0000
@ COMM, COMP and PEOU are measured on 1 = 10 scales with 10 = most positive. PU is measured on a 1 = 5 scale with 5 = most positive
services to rate service quality, mainly because it is subjective. The service provider, therefore, should attempt to provide some sort of comparative tool, so that the customer finds it easy to compare the focal service with other services. Such an effort potentially leads to higher service quality ratings by the service recipient (Lamb, Hair, and McDaniel 2008). No support was found for the contention in the literature that when students attempt to achieve multiple goals, they derive additional benefits from the exercise, leading to higher PU of the focal course (H2). Earlier, it was argued in the literature review that effective communication is at the heart of successful knowledge transfer. Communication is one of the components of immediacy behavior, which refers to communication behaviors aimed at reducing social and psychological distances among people (Mehrabian 1971; Myers, Zhong, and Guan 1998). Findings from several studies suggest that immediacy behavior encourages student learning and satisfaction with the course (Gorham 1988; Menzel and Carrell 1999; Arbaugh 2001). Therefore, the finding that the communication component of the focal course is indeed positively and significantly associated with its PEOU and PU vindicates the last two hypotheses (H3 and H4.) Communication with the instructor has been pointed out as the most important predictor of perceptions about all aspects of a course (Dolen, Dabholkar, and Ruyter 2007). In this research, communication with the instructor emerged as a significant indicator of perceived ease of
use, and of perceived usefulness. This would imply that by establishing open communication channels with the students, an instructor can actually manage student perceptions of the course and thereby his/her evaluations by the students. Future research is encouraged to augment the conceptual model presented here by incorporating constructs that capture student participation. Lack of a robust instrument for measuring the students' course perceptions was an impediment to this research. Even though the study is anchored in the PEOUPU framework, the relationship between PEOU and PU is suspect. While an attempt was made to tighten as many loose ends as possible in the development of the hypotheses, there still remains an opportunity for further research, especially in crafting a stronger instrument for the "comparative evaluation" construct of this study. Perhaps test results from multiple samples in a single semester or from samples spread out over a larger span of time will open new windows for research. When the responses of the face-to-face and online sections were separately analyzed, they revealed a factor structure different from the overall sample. Given that both sections were exposed to similar teaching materials and the fact that the face-to-face and the online students took exactly the same in-class exam concurrently in-class, such findings warrant further investigation. Teaching face-to-face is just not the same as an online class, given the total absence of dynamic student-professor interaction in the latter. Hence, exploring the factor structure for the two teaching formats and their relationships to various
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TABLE 2 CONFIRMATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS (MEASUREMENT MODEL)
Latent Item Variable
Standardized Ave Variance
Loading
Extracted
COMM satisfactory email communication with professor in WebCT
.66
.61
content in WebCT are easy to access and review
.72
professor responded to messages in timely fashion
.74
WebCT Discussion Area effective for clarifications
.76
course content and materials on WebCT easy to follow
.77
requirements for graded assignments explained well
.78
instructor maintained good rapport
.82
opportunity for clarification of exams, assignments adequate
.85
metal drop-off box and alpha drawers for pick up effective
.88
COMP more challenging than other business classes
.64
.65
more work than other Marketing classes
.85
more work than other business classes
.88
anxious about class
.83
PEOU
more confident "working case numbers"
.87
.66
skills would be useful for life
.85
improved ability to approach methodically
.87
more confident using math in Marketing
.86
taught tools for Marketing decisions
.76
more confident using presentation software
.78
more confident using spreadsheets
.82
use of mini-cases appropriate
.84
useful overall
.89
more confident in job interviews
.66
understood accounting and finance concepts better
.74
by-hand mini-case analysis useful
.68
good value for TIME that invested
.87
PU
M&M learning value vs. other university classes
.87
.60
M&M pushed me to peak performance comp to other classes
.82
Absolute: M&M pushed me to peak performance
.80
M&M experience vs. expectations, regardless of grade
.70
receptiveness of other U.S. undergrads to web M&M
.77
take M&M if not elective
.76
$paid to university for M&M vs. benefit
.79
receptiveness of entrepreneurs to web M&M
.70
Correlations and Squared Correlations between Variables *
COMM COMP
PEOU PU
COMM
1.00
.42
COMP
.65
1.00
PEOU
.69
.64
PU
.20
.31
.48
.04
.48
.04
1.00
.09
.30 1.00
Model Fit Indexes
CFI
.933
IFI
.931
RMSEA
.066
* Correlations between latent variables appear below the diagonal line and the square of these correlations appear above the diagonal line.
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Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education ­ Volume 15, Winter 2009
TABLE 3 HYPOTHESIS TESTING WITH SEM (STRUCTURAL MODEL)
Path
Coefficient SE
P
Hypothesis
Comparative Evaluation PEOU Comparative Evaluation PU Communication with Instructor PEOU Communication with Instructor PU
.378 -.004 .551 .333
.034 < .001
.173
.931
.170 < .001
.049 < .001
H1 supported H2 not supported H3 supported H4 supported
Model fit: CFI = .930 IFI = .928 RMSEA = .068
dependent constructs, while not a focus of this paper, would indeed be a very worthwhile idea. Finally, this study can also be extended to account for potential perceptual differences between students in the traditional and online sections. Over the last few years, more and more non-traditional, returning and working students have altered the demographics of the U.S. stu-
dent population. Such groups might consider the perceived usefulness of courses differently than their "traditional" counterparts, as pointed out by several studies (Chen, Shang, and Harris 2006; Liu and Burn 2007; Mackay and Stockport 2006; Fortune, Shifflett, and Sibley 2006).
REFERENCES Alliger, G.M. and E.A. Janak (1989), "Kirkpatrick's Levels of Training Criteria: Thirty Years Later," Personnel Psychology, 42, 331­42. Alshare, K.A. and D.S. Miller (2009), "Student Perceptions of the Importance of Instructor Traits: A Crosscultural Study," Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 13 (2), 107­34. Amato, C.H. and L.H. Amato (2005), "Enhancing Student Team Effectiveness: Application of Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment in Business Courses," Journal of Marketing Education, 27 (1), 41­51. Angulo, L.M.V. and O.M.A. de la Rosa (2007), "Online Faculty Development and Assessment System (OFDAS): A Study of Academic Learning," Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 20 (1/2), 21­ 41. Arbaugh, J.B. (2001), "How Instructor Immediacy Behaviors Affect Student Satisfaction and Learning in Web-Based Courses," Business Communication Quarterly, 64 (4), 42­54. Arthur, W.B. (1994), "Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality," The American Economic Review, 84 (2), 406­11. Bagozzi, Richard P. and T.F. Heatherton (1994), "A General Approach to Representing Multifaceted Personality Constructs: Application to State SelfEsteem," Structural Equation Modeling, 1 (1), 35­ 67. Bandura, A. (1976), Social Learning Theory. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. ____________ (1982), "Self-Efficacy Mechanism in Hu- man Agency," American Psychologist, 37 (2), 122­ 47. Barron, K.E. and J.M. Harackiewicz (2001), "Achievement Goals and Optimal Motivation: Testing Multiple Goal Models," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 706­22. ____________ and ____________ (2003), "Revisiting the Benefits of Performance ­ Approach Goals in the College Classroom: Exploring the Role of Goals in Advanced College Courses," International Journal of Educational Research, 39, 357­74. Bloom, B. (1956), Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Cognitive Domain. New York. Chen, C.C., R. Shang, and A. Harris (2006), "The Efficacy of Case Method Teaching in an Online Asynchronous Learning Environment," International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 4 (2), 72­ 87. Davis, F.D. (1989), "Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology," MIS Quarterly, (September, 13), (3), 318­40. Davis, R., S. Misra, and S. Van Auken (2000), "Relating Pedagogical Preference of Marketing Seniors and Alumni to Attitude Towards the Major," Journal of Marketing Education, 22, 147­54. Dolen, W.M., P.A. Dabholkar, and K. de Ruyter (2007), "Satisfaction with Online Commercial Group Chat: The Influence of Perceived Technology Attributes,
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Chat Group Characteristics, and Advisor Communication Style," Journal of Retailing, 83 (3), 339­58. Fornell, C. and D. Larcker (1981), "Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error," Journal of Marketing Research, 18 (1), 39­50. Fortune, M.F., B. Shifflett, and R.E. Sibley (2006), "A Comparison of Online (High Tech) and Traditional (High Touch) Learning in Business Communication Courses in Silicon Valley," Journal of Education for Business, 81 (4), 210­15. Gorham, J. (1988), "The Relationship Between Verbal Teacher Immediacy Behaviors and Student Learning," Communication Education, 37 (1), 40­53. [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ease], (accessed May 26, 2010). Harackiewicz, J.M., K.E. Barron, P.R. Pintrich, A.J. Elliot, and T.M. Thrash (2002), "Revision of Achievement Goal Theory: Necessary and Illuminating," Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 562­75 Hawkins, D., D. Mothersbaugh, and R. Best (2007), Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, 10th ed. McGraw Hill Companies, Inc. Hua, G.C., W. Sher, and L.S. Pheng (2005), "Factors Affecting Effective Communication Between Building Clients And Maintenance Contractors," Corporate Communications, 10 (3), 240­51. Jackson, W.T., M.J. Jackson, C.F Gaulden, Jr. (2006), "Curricula Assessment Using the Course Diagnostic Survey: A Proposal," Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 10 (3), 37­48. Jarvenpaa, S.L. (1989), "The Effect of Task Demands and Graphical Format on Information Processing Strategies," Management Science, 35 (3), 285­303. Karns, G.L. (2006), "An Update of Marketing Student Perceptions of Learning Activities: Structure. Preferences, Ad Effectiveness," Journal of Marketing Education, 27 (2), 163­71. ____________ (2006), "Learning Style Differences in the Perceived Effectiveness of Learning Activities," Journal of Marketing Education, 28 (1), 56­63. Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1976), "Evaluation of Training," in Training and Development Handbook: A Guide to Human Resource Development, 2nd ed., R.L. Craig, ed. 18­1, 18­27, New York. Klebba, J.M and J.G. Hamilton (2007), "Structured Case Analysis: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in a Marketing Case Course," Journal of Marketing Education, 29 (2), 132­39. Lamb, C.W., J.F. Hair, and C. McDaniel (2008), Marketing. South-Western College Publishers. Leveson, L. (2004), "The Things That Count: Negative Perceptions of the Teaching Environment Among University Academics," The International Journal of Educational Management, 18, (6/7), 368­73. Liu, Y.C. and J.M. Burn (2007), "Improving the Perfor-
mance of Online Learning Teams ­ A Discourse Analysis," Journal of Information Systems Education, 18 (3), 369­80. Mackay, S. and G.J. Stockport (2006), "Blended Learning, Classroom, and E-Learning," The Business Review, 5 (1), 82­89. Mat, J. (2000), "Technology in the Malaysian Education System," Proceedings of e-Learning 2000: Accelerating e-Learning Towards Higher Education Value: Malaysian International conference & Exhibition on Electronic Learning, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 25 (May), 1­9. McDonald, R.P. and M-H Ringo Ho (2002), "Principles and Practice in Reporting Structural Equation Analyses," Psychological Methods, 7 (1), 64­82. Mehrabian, A. (1971), Silent Messages. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. Menzel, K.E. and L.J. Carrell (1999), "The Impact of Gender and Immediacy of Willingness to Talk and Perceived Learning," Communication Education, 48, 31­40. Mitchell, A.A. (1983), "Cognitive Processes Initiated by Exposure to Advertising," in Information Processing Research in Advertising, R. Harris, ed. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 13­42. Morrison, M., A. Sweeney, and T. Heffernan (2006), "Karns's Learning Styles and Learning Effectiveness: A Rejoinder," Journal of Marketing Education, 28 (1), 64­68. Myers, S.A., M. Zhong, and S. Guan (1998), "Instructor Immediacy in the Chinese College Classroom," Communication Studies, 49, 240­53. Neo, T. and M. Neo (2004), "Classroom Innovation: Engaging Students in Interactive multimedia learning," Campus ­ Wide Information Systems, Bradford, 21 (3), 118. Oliver, K., J. Osborne, and K. Brady (2009), "What Are Secondary Students' Expectations for Teachers in Virtual School Environments?" Distance Education, 30 (1), 23­45. Orlich, D.C., R.J.Harder, R.C.Callahan, and H.W.Gibson (1998), Teaching Strategies, a Guide to Better Instruction. New York: Houghton-Mifflin. Peltier, J.W., W. Drago, and J.A. Schibrowsky (2003), "Virtual Communities and the Assessment of Online Marketing Education," Journal of Marketing Education, 25 (3), 260­76. ____________, A. Hay, and W. Drago (2005), "The Reflective Learning Continuum: Reflecting on Reflection," Journal of Marketing Education, 27 (3), 250­63. ____________, ____________ and ____________ (2006), "Reflecting on Reflection: Scale Extension and a Comparison of Undergraduate Business Students in the United States and United Kingdom," Journal of Marketing Education, 28 (1), 5­16.
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____________, J.A. Schibrowsky, and W. Drago (2007), "The Interdependence of the Factors Influencing the Perceived Quality of the Online Learning Experience: A Causal Model," Journal of Marketing Education, 29 (2), 140­53. Pintrich, P.R. (2000), "Multiple Goals Multiple Pathways: The Role of Goal Orientation in Learning and Achievement," Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 544­55. Redish, E.F., R.N. Steinberg, and J.M. Saul (1996), "The Distribution and Change of Student Expectations in Introductory Physics," Proceedings of the American Institute of Physics, E. Redish and J. Rigden, eds. Robey, D. (1979), "User Attitudes and management information System Use," Academy of Management Journal, 22 (3), (September), 527­38. Schultz, R.L. and D.P. Slevin (1975), "Implementation and Organizational Validity: An Empirical Investigation" in Implementing Operations Research/
Management Science, New York, 153­82. Shim, S.J. and V.Viswanathan (2007), "User Assessment of Personal Digital Assistants Used in Pharmaceutical Detailing: System Features, Usefulness and Ease of Use," Journal of Computer Information Systems, 48 (1), 14­21. Sinickas, A. (2007), "Breaking Down Departmental Barriers," Strategic Communication Management, Chicago, 12 (1), 11. Smart, D., C. Kelley, and J. Conant (2003), "Mastering the Art of Teaching: Pursuing Excellence in a New Millennium," Journal of Marketing Education, 25, 71­ 78. Tornatzky, L.G. and K.J. Klein (1982), "Innovation Characteristics and Innovation Adoption-Implementation: A Meta-Analysis of Findings," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 29 (1), 28­45. Tway, L. (1995), "Multimedia in Action," AP Professional, Cambridge, MA.
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DEEPENING MULTICULTURAL MARKETING INSTRUCTION: THE UNIVERSAL AND TEMPORAL DIMENSIONS OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY
E. Vincent Carter, California State University, Bakersfield
ABSTRACT
The rise of diverse ethnic consumer segments in the United States has made multicultural marketing a mainstay in the American university curriculum. Although multicultural topics contribute to marketing courses, textbooks, and learning objectives are often limited to examining the breadth of ethnic diversity. This study draws upon 10 years of teaching a multicultural marketing course module to propose a depth of diversity method which augments conventional profiles of ethnic breadth. Course findings suggest that allowing students to explore the deeper universal and temporal dimension of ethnicity imparts a more holistic appreciation of different cultural versions, as well as an ability to chronologically envision the multicultural experience of historical and pre-historical periods. As a result, students reported a more authentic and original ethnic brand project experience. However, the depth of diversity method addresses the narrow managerial instruction goal of improving multicultural marketing competences that create brand value relationships with ethnic American customers. Neither the multicultural education literature nor global/cross-cultural ethnic marketing studies are explicitly advanced, although regarded as complementary research veins. Consequently, a timely and tenable multicultural marketing course module is offered to marketing educators engaging an increasingly diverse ethnic market.
INTRODUCTION: FRESH MULTICULTURAL MARKETING TRENDS Marketing educators understand that the trend is your friend for continuous improvement of course pedagogy. A case in point is the trend toward increased ethnic diversity in the United States (Yankelovich, Inc. 2009; Humphreys 2008), which has spawned more widespread application of multicultural marketing strategies. Once avoided, ethnic minority consumers now represent demographically vibrant and economically valuable Market Segments. Equally important has been the expanded spectrum of ethic media channels and content for capturing multicultural consumers (Garmer 2006; Rodriguez and Ofori 2001). Moreover, ethnicity has evolved from an exclusive racial classification of attributes into a more inclusive cultural connotation of ancestry (U.S. Census Bureau 2004; Petersen et al. 1982; Thernstrom et al. 1980). Paraphrasing the venerable African American social scholar W.E.B. DuBois (1903), a universal ethnic "doubleconsciousness" enables multicultural marketing to reflect every human tradition and reference historical times. This transformation from remote ethnic content to required marketing competency makes multicultural marketing an essential strategic skill set. Future strategists and scholars will not only cast wide ethnic diversity nets but also cultivate deep multicultural nature, in search of authentic and original brand relationships (Jamal 2003; Palumbo and Herbig 2000).
Ethnic diversity trends are blending marketing education curricula as well. The strategic relevance of ethnic customer segments in the United States mirrors the scholastic prevalence of multicultural marketing course offerings at the undergraduate and graduate level (McCormick 1984). Multicultural marketing has become a credible barometer, a course relevance, because it enables educators to "mind the gap" between market reckoning and market reality (Stringfellow et al. 2006). Although academic materials accurately depict the variety of ethnic customer markets (Blackwell et al. 2006), the deep value of ethnic cultural modes is commonly avoided (Petersen et al. 1982). As Americans transition toward a more inclusive definition of ethnic identity (Freese 2008), academic courses will require a deeper appreciation for the universality of multicultural marketing to embrace mainstream as well as minority consumers (Dinnerstein and Reimers 2008; Doane 1997; Alba 1990; Alba and Chamlin 1963). Similarly, by accessing the temporal depth of multicultural traditions, academic courses can reap rich insights from ethnic history. Essentially, the proposed module responds to the research call by Burton (2005, 2002) for "new course development in multicultural marketing" and "critical multicultural marketing theory," while heading the real world "challenge of cultural diversity" (Pires and Stanton 2005). Distinctively, the proposed depth of diversity course module is narrowly focused on the managerial instruction objective of improving multicultural marketing compe-
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tency (Rossman 1994), and not the more fundamental cultural diversity issues addressed by multicultural education scholars. In addition, the multicultural marketing competency for this study is explicitly related to "ethnic Americans" (Dinnerstein and Reimers 2008), notwithstanding implicit associations with global ethnic culture and cross-cultural market analysis (Cayla and Arnould 2009; Belk and Sherry 2007; Arnould et al. 2006; Costa and Bamossy 1997). Yet, as a pedagogical matter, international students are encouraged to explore their global ethnic ancestry as a resource for targeting ethnic American customers with shared ancestry (e.g., Swedish and Swedish Americans, Japanese and Japanese Americans, Nigerian or Jamaican and African American, as well as Brazilian or Mexican and Hispanic Americans). Likewise, students from transnational countries like Canada or Australia may trace their original ethnicity and use home country markets to apply multicultural marketing strategy lessons. For all of these instances, a practicum learning approach imparts ethnic brand strategy aptitude with insights from students' personal ethnic ancestry. Depth of diversity instruction draws upon ten years of consumer behavior course experience to contribute a more holistic and historic method for teaching multicultural marketing competency. The premise for examining ethnic depth is the fact that merely broadening the spectrum of ethnic segments targeted by brand marketers is neither economically sustainable nor strategically sound. Cui and Choudhury (2002) stress the inherent cost inefficiency of current market diversity strategies. The logic of planning "multiple diffusion" of ethnic brands aimed at "multicultural aggregate social systems" (Parthasarathy et al. 1997) is untenable in an American market environment where the number of ethnic groups is continuously expanding. There are more than 100 official race and ancestry categories in the U.S. Census, with nearly 30 regularly included in the American Community Survey (U.S. Bureau of the Census 2006). Therefore, this study introduces a deeper ethnic schema for capturing the anthropological roots as well as the analytical fruits of multicultural marketing. FROM MICRO-ETHNIC ATTRIBUTES TO MULTI-CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY The marketing literature chronicles the growth of multicultural opportunity over time. Cui (2001) distills this ethnic journey over the duration of the discipline to provide a historical perspective on multicultural marketing acumen. This review focuses on ethnic diversity in the American market which is a dominant literature theme (Forehand and Deshpande 2001; Halter 2000; Rossman 1994). Many significant attributes and advantages of market diversity were gleaned from an analysis of the "ethnic minority consumer" (Cui 2001) that can be extended to culturally diverse markets in general (Pires
and Stanton 2005, 2000). The evolving global customer culture research thrust (Cayla and Arnould 2009; Belk and Sherry 2007; Rao 2006) is, therefore, regarded as a source of American market ethnic intelligence, but not the pri-mary scope of this survey of market diversity. American multicultural marketing studies have validated the strategic practice of targeting ethnic groups and customizing advertising messages to fit diverse cultures, values, identities, and expressions (Williams et al. 2008, 2004; Pires and Stanton 2005; Dimofte et al. 2003; Herche and Balasubramanian 1994; Webster 1991). For marketing practitioners, ethnicity is vital mediating construct between multicultural consumers and brand strategy (Jamal 2003; Halter 2000). Following Glazer and Moynihan's (1975) use of the phrase for social analysis, and subsequent historical cataloguing (Petersen et al. 1982; Thernstrom 1980), cultural ethnicity was rapidly infused into multicultural marketing practices. Most recently, ethnicity has universalized multicultural thought beyond the earlier black and White boundaries to embrace the entire human family. Ogden et al. (2004) contribute to this holistic consideration of human ethnicity with the notion that American "microculture" consumers in all racial categories identify more strongly with their international cultural origins. Similarly, for historical American ethnic groups like blacks and Whites, Grier et al. (2006) assert that ethnicity is a malleable cons0truct embedded in properties besides consumer characteristics. Some multicultural marketing trend watchers have dubbed this universal ethnic family, "the new mainstream" (Garcia 2004). Keenly, these practitioner-oriented researchers envision a post-racial reality (Vence 2007), wherein the richness of ethnicity reaches all customers and multicultural brand strategies are more deeply rooted. By overcoming the prior segregation of multicultural diversity, marketing strategists, and scholars move from recording racial characteristics to revealing ethnic "content of character" (Steele 1991; King 1963). This inclusive and innovative practitioner research horizon is highlighted by recent professional venues offering "multi-faceted strategies for multicultural marketing" (AMA, Chicago 2009). Perhaps future marketing, to paraphrase Shaw (1916), will become multicultural "matter in motion" ­ endowing consumers with "ethnic identity" (Halter 2000), embedding commodities with "ethnic orientation" (Grier et al. 2006), and enhancing conditions with "situational ethnicity" (Stayman and Deshpande 1989). Forward looking ethnic marketing research reflects a more universal scope and richer cultural scheme than the stream of literature that initially carved out ethnic marketing boundaries between the 1960s and 1980s. This more inclusive and anthropological approach (Swaiden et al. 2006; Moeran 2005; Sherry 1995) is seen by some as distinguishing "multicultural" from purely "ethnic" marketing (Pires and Stanton 2002), although in a complementary manner. Reviewing the early ethnic marketing classics
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reveals just how culturally holistic the trend in multicultural marketing aptitude has become, even when focusing exclusively on the American market. Ethnic marketing research paralleled the awareness of racial disparity in American society during the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, ethnic consumer studies were narrowly framed in terms of black and White markets to highlight the comparatively scarce resources and scant research of "Negro" consumers (Andreasen 1975, 1978; Sexton 1972; Bauer and Cunningham 1970; Kassarjian 1965; Bauer et al. 1965; Caplovitz 1963; Alexis 1962; Bullock 1961). Eventually, marketing studies reflected the influence of ethnic cultural patterns on the market behaviors of African American consumers, beneath the surface level of racial traits (Whittler 1991; Williams and Qualls 1989; Williams et al. 1989). Observing ethnicity instead of race, marketing scholars discovered a more multicultural American kaleidoscope (Fuchs 1995). This diversified ethnic range encompassed the mores of Hispanic American consumers (Utelschy and Krampf 1997; Kara and Kara 1996; Minor 1992; Valencia 1989, 1985; Saegert et al. 1985; Segal and Sosa 1983), as well as the cultural heterogeneity of Asian American markets (KauffmanScarborough 2000; Taylor and Stern 1997; Ownbey and Horridge 1987) ­ including Asian Indian immigrant customs (Mehta and Belk 1991), and even extended to European American customer ancestry (Alba 1983; Hirschman 1981). The rise of an inclusive multicultural marketing mindset increased the volume and variety of studies through the 1990s, including Webster's (1991) analysis of ethnic identification, Herche and Balasubramanian's (1994) specification of ethnic shopping preferences, and comparative ethnic brand strategy (Rossman 1994; Costa and Bamossy 1997). Although the volume of ethnic marketing literature has waned since the 1980s and 1990s, the new millennium witnessed advances in analytical marketing techniques for ethnic consumer segments (Dimofte et al. 2003; Forehand and Deshpande 2001), as well as a growing body of research aimed at tailoring brand strategy to ethnic market factors (Palumbo and Herbig 2000). Accordingly, coupling ethnic affinity and brand preference (Russell et al. 2000) is now regarded as a strategic marketing competency, not merely a social marketing responsibility to minority communities as in prior decades. Therefore, marketing scholars have begun honing multicultural marketing competency for diverse American ethnic customer segments. African Americans were once marketed to as "white consumers with black skin" (Whittler 1991; Williams et al. 1989). Now, however, cultural meaning garners higher ethnic marketing credibility than merely color matching. Both Swaiden et al. (2008) and Lamont and Molnar (2001) bring a heightened cultural specificity to the diagnosis of African American markets which highlights how shared ideological beliefs and collective iden-
tity informs ethnic consumption. Likewise, Podoshen (2008) finds that ethnic brands signify a deeper and more discerning multicultural mirror of the "the black experience." Similarly, marketing studies are beginning to reveal how the Latino motif compatibly blends native cultures with modern Hispanic American communities (Korzenny 2005; Davilla 2001). The "in-culture approach" (Valdes 2000) affirms an inclusive Latino ethnicity, wide enough to literally encompass every ancestral branch of the human tree and deep enough to envision ancient Incan, Mayan, and Aztec civilizations through the eyes of their Spanish and indigenous descendants. Cova and Cova (2002) contend that this inclusive "Latin vision of society" manifests universal ethnicity through "communal embeddedness." Examining prevalent media practices, Rodriguez (1997) regards this "panethnic conceptualization of the Hispanic audience" as culturally universal but commercially ulterior. Ethnic precision for the Asian American markets is provided by Taylor et al.'s (2005) examination of the "model minority" portrayal of ethnic identity, Kim and Chung's (2005) deconstruction of "Orientalism" in multicultural marketing images, Xu et al.'s (2004) rigorous analysis of culture-specific behaviors across Asian American youth communities, and Cayla and Eckhardt's (2008) conception Asian brands as anchoring "traditional community." Holistically, these more intricate ethnic research insights also encompass European American markets, such as Jewish and Irish cultural communities (Podoshen 2006; Demirdijian 2002; Friedman 2001). In the contemporary marketplace, consumers openly engage in market interactions for ethnic identity awareness, affirmation, and artifacts both within and across traditional racial boundaries (Cova et al. 2007; Grier et al. 2006; Burton 2002; Halter 2000). Therefore, multicultural marketing skills have grown beyond race recognition to realize the anthropological roots of customer ethnicity. Although the study of consumer motivation, imagery, and symbolism garnered the interest of marketing scholars (Levy 1959; Dichter 1964), a clear anthropological case is first championed by Winick (1961). "The anthropologist is specifically trained to study the national character, or the differences which distinguish our national group from another. He should be able to provide measures for distinguishing the subtle differences among a Swede, a Dane, and a Norwegian; or between a Frenchman and an Englishman; or a Brazilian and an Argentinean; or between a typical resident of Montreal and one of Toronto. The anthropologist is also a specialist in the study of subcultures. He would be able, in a city like New York, to differentiate the patterns of living of such disparate but rapidly homogenizing groups as Puerto Ricans, Negroes, Italo-Americans, Jews, PolishAmericans, and Irish-Americans" (Winick 1961,
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p. 55). Twenty-five years would pass before Sherry (1986) firmly established the congeniality of marketing and anthropology in a comprehensive and detailed fashion. He later developed a sourcebook for the anthropological treatment cultural market phenomena (Sherry 1995), which foresaw the ethnic cultural properties posited here. The opening of anthropological avenues in consumer behavior adds texture to ethnic brands with global cross-cultural techniques (Palumbo and Herbig 2000), recasts market segments as cultural communities known as "consumer tribes" (Cova et al. 2007), and retraces historical origins of human civilization to authentically brand global cultures (Cayla and Arnould 2009). Belk and Sherry (2007) develop the "Consumer Culture Theory (CCT)" to build upon the strong marketing literature stream wedded to anthropology (Arnould et al. 2006; Tian 2005; Moeran 2005; Sherry 1995) and interpretive consumer research (Hirschman 1989), to signal the arrival of a conceptually deeper ethnic diversity aptitude. Paralleling this study's depth of diversity module, the anthropological treatment of multicultural marketing adopts a holistic and historical analysis of ethnicity. To date, the marketing education literature has followed the anthropological direction of research for marketing executives. Unlike the multicultural depth depicted in current practitioner-oriented studies, the majority of pedagogy-oriented articles present a breadth of diversity perspective which treats ethnic market segments as isolated, abstract and often superficial customer profiles. However, Tian's (2005) non-ethnic anthropological approach to consumer behavior case learning is aligned with the intent of this study. Considering the extreme dearth of marketing education articles addressing ethnic marketing issues (less than 1%), the prevailing breadth of diversity studies make a significant contribution. Academic marketing textbooks, which are instrumental to course delivery, have also taken a broad view of multicultural marketing that serves up a menu of diverse customer flavors without exploring the meanings of ethnic tastes and textures. Consequently, marketing education research reinforces the parochial pedagogical mode of comparing ethnic attributes versus comprehending ethnic anthropology. Penaloza and Gilly (1991) are among the earliest marketing education scholars to appreciate the salience of ethnic dimensions. Since then, others have addressed ethnicity as an important construct for informing marketing educators about the cultural values of student learners (Yoo and Donthu 2002) and a source of multicultural marketing competency (Jones 2003) ­ not simply course content. Burton (2005) has also mapped the multicultural terrain and helped marketing education scholars navigate the transition from racial (e.g., melting pot) to ethnic acculturation (e.g., salad bowl), as well as by applying
cross-cultural techniques from global marketing studies. Most recently, Borna et al.'s (2007) examination of "subculture" meanings in marketing education complement ethnic subculture instruction. Still, given the fact that multicultural education principles were fully established in the 1980s (McCormick 1984), the marketing education literature has come woefully late to the ethnic diversity table. Besides a few anomalies (Pires and Stanton 2005) marketing education scholars recycle prevailing breadth of diversity views, unwilling to realize the promising depth of diversity vision. FRAMING MULTICULTURAL MARKETING BREADTH AND DEPTH In keeping with emerging trends in multicultural marketing practice (Rao 2006; Swaiden et al. 2006; Ogden et al. 2004) the proposed depth of diversity instructional method embraces the anthropological dimensions of ethnicity (Cohen 1978). Ethnic depth is conceptualized as a universal and temporal consumer behavior property. Accordingly, depth of diversity instruction explores a holistic range of human ethnic cultures and traces the historical roots of human ethnic cultures from ancient and pre-historical periods. Relying on classical anthropology, the depth of diversity construct grounds ethnic understanding in the survival and cultural development factors related to global ecology and historical events. Because these common time and place dimensions frame a shared human experience, ethnic depth is developed as an inclusive universal diversity pattern, whereas the contemporary notion of ethnic breadth emphasizes exclusive marginal diversity profiles. In particular, universal ethnic properties are addressed by a holistic place dimension which includes cultural origins everywhere on earth. Holistic versions of ethnic culture encompass the inclusive diversity of minority as well as mainstream American consumers. The corresponding temporal ethnic properties are addressed by a historical time dimension which chronicles ancestral environments, events and experiences. Historical vision contributes authenticity and originality to students' ethnic brand strategy aptitude. Therefore, in the tradition of qualitative methods like ethnographic and interpretive consumer research (Cova and Elliott 2008; Belk 2006), the proposed module deepens marketing educators' discovery of multicultural marketing competency (see Figure 1). Given this definition of terms, conceptual foundations for the proposed module are laid by the two ethnic depth dimensions of universality (holistic) and temporality (historic). Knowing which concepts support the depth of diversity perspective helps marketing educators' shape pedagogical outcomes and improve students' multicultural marketing competency. Recognizing that the theoretical
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FIGURE 1 CONTRASTING DEPTH OF DIVERSITY AND BREADTH OF DIVERSITY INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS
Instructional Emphasis a. Pedagogical Scope b. Ethnic Focus c. Conceptual Foundation d. Brand Strategy
Depth of Diversity Holistic and Historic Universal/Inclusive Cultural Anthropology Authentic and Original
Breadth of Diversity Parsed and Present Marginal/Exclusive Market Economics Appropriated and Opportunistic
underpinning for depth of diversity dimensions is applicable to global cross-cultural situations, this study's emphasis on extracting only domestic sub-cultural ethnic insights should be kept in mind. Universal Dimension Foundations Beginning with the universal dimension, Hofstede's (1980) "cultural values framework" is a suitable method for conveying the holistic nature of ethnicity among all peoples of the world. The simplicity and adaptability of Hofstede's four cultural axes help to demonstrate the universal dimension of ethnicity using a reliable source of global businesses insight (Kirkman et al. 2006). Additional support for the universal depth of ethnicity can be presented using Hall's (1959) cultural map. The anthropological classification can be used to chart diverse ethnic cultural patterns and distinct chronological periods. Hall's (1976) subsequent research demonstrates the efficacy of cultural aptitude in interpersonal and global business relations. This anthropological premise is translated into historical descriptions of the entire American
ethnic spectrum (Dinnerstein and Reimers 2008; Petersen et al. 1982; Thernstrom 1980), thereby combining temporal and universal dimensions. A nice way of anchoring the holistic cultural scope and inclusive ethnic composition of multicultural marketing is to have students collaboratively examine societal transformation metaphors. These "root metaphors" (Sheffield 2007) reflect prevailing ethnic diversity norms and guide societal mores, including market customs. In a similar manner as described by Burton (2005), the "melting pot" assimilation view (Gordon 1964) can be presented as an exclusive ethnic identity norm and the "salad bowl" acculturation view (Glazer and Moynihan 1975) can be presented as an inclusive ethnic identity norm. The classical writings of Randolph Bourne (1916) and others (Newman 1973) regarding American pluralism can further enrich critical thinking about how ethnic universalism is manifested in the U.S. marketplace by posing "tapestry" as an alternative diversity metaphor. Cultural schemas outside the marketing literature further bolster the universal dimension of ethnicity. Cultural intelligence (CQ) is a pedagogical resource drawn
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from organizational research (Ang and Van Dyne 2008; Bucher et al. 2008), which assesses multicultural aptitude based on the awareness of all ethnic traditions and instills diversity appreciation in everyone. The comparative and individualized insights derived from comparative cultural awareness are invaluable for getting students to take ownership for diversifying their ethnic intelligence (Early and Mosakowski 2004; Early and Ang 2003). Accordingly, marketing educators are encouraged to benchmark the universal ethnic dimension against inclusive CQ ethnic diversity principles. Cultural capital (Bourdieu 1986; Bourdieu and Passeron 1973) affords marketing educators another angle for delivering multicultural competency because it affirms intergenerational ethnic meanings. Initially conceived to explain disparity in educational achievement across ethnic groups and social classes (Harker 1990), cultural capital reinforces the logic of envisioning ethnicity chronologically as well as comparatively. Instead of tracing ethnic values for a couple of generations, as cultural capital does, the depth of diversity module frees students to probe any ancestral period on the historical time line. In certain respects, ethnic brand strategy is designed to encode the cultural capital of diverse markets. Consequently, learning to link cultural capital from historical ethnic traditions with the cultural capital encoded in contemporary ethnic brands strengthens students' multicultural competency. Moreover, analytical methods are emerging in the cultural marketing literature which can cluster the universal range of ethnic orientations based on a value consensus among individual customers. This "cultural consensus analysis" procedure (Horowitz 2009; Dressler et al. 2005; Handwerker 2002, 2001; Romney et al. 1986) reveals the universal ethnic ecology capable of being experienced and exchanged. Temporal Dimension Foundations Priming the ethnic depth dimension of temporality can begin with an awareness of history as central to the development of marketing theory and practice (Bartels 1988; Hunt 1976). The vital role of what Shaw and Jones (2005) refer to as the "marketing history" school is often overlooked in favor of appropriating current multicultural branding trends and ethnic data profiles into course instruction. However, market traditions throughout time prove that "new and improved" is often derived from prior periods ranging from American centuries (Fox and Lears 1983) to pre-historical commodity trading (Wengrow 2008). This temporal hunt for ethnic consumer treasure is undertaken by Witkowski (1998) to authenticate "early American style": "This article recounts the marketing history of this style and some clusters of consumer values ­ the search for authenticity, status presentation and eth-
nic identifi0cation, nostalgia and tradition making, domesticity and femininity, and aesthetic conservatism ­ with which early American objects and architecture have been associated" (Witkowski 1998, p. 125). Marketing educators will find McClelland's (1976) classic analysis of America's "achieving society" to be a fitting retrospective on the evolution of ethnic cultural aspirations and brand identity. Among consumer behavior scholars, Tan and Sheth (1985) are among the first to compile a diverse historical perspective ­ including Williams' (1985) examination of multicultural marketing by culling the African and European ancestry of black American consumers. Although rare, the marketing education literature occasionally asserts the merit of "historical perspectives" (Petkus 2010). However, since the temporal dimension of multicultural depth encompasses preAmerican old country traditions, ancient civilization and even native creation myths, an much older historical record will better facilitate students' exploration of ethnic origins. Boyd and Richerson (2005) convey this chronological vision of human culture as a dynamic interplay between ecological habitat, biological traits, and anthropological adaptation. Geertz (2005, 1974) is especially skilled at orienting students toward "the native's point of view" to interpret ethnic ethos, ideology, customs, and events with an unbiased intellect. For contemporary consumer markets, Belk and Sherry (2007) demonstrate the strategic viability of temporally accessed cultural insights. Likewise, Cayla and Arnould (2009) purposefully revisit historical time periods to authenticate and attenuate cultural brand meanings. Augmenting multicultural course instruction with these cultural history resources helps to validate the temporal dimension of ethnic depth. Having prefaced the universal and temporal dimensions employed to instill anthropological depth, the remainder of the paper presents the pedagogical methods and findings from the proposed multicultural marketing module. By incorporating an anthropological perspective to enhance prevailing instructional approaches, the proposed module helps to fill the void in ethnic diversity research among marketing education scholars. FORMULATING MULTICULTURAL MARKETING PEDAGOGY Structurally, the pedagogical exploration of ethnic depth is guided by the Sheth and Mittal (2004) "Matrix of Personal and Environmental Characteristics." That matrix directs the pedagogical task of combining ethnicity's anthropological origins (environmental/human traits) and consumption outcomes (market/personal context). Methodologically, the course modules presented to students as an "Ethnic Value Matching Project, performs exploratory ethnographic content discovery within the qualitative and
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interpretive research traditions (Cova and Elliott 2008; Belk 2006; Hirschman 1989). Following in the footsteps of Sherry (1986), the depth of diversity module opens up marketing and consumer behavior learning to the "windows of opportunity for anthropology." Anthropology guides both the educational process and experiential practice of exploring multicultural depth. The educational foundation provided by anthropology theory is addressed in the prior literature review and the experiential function of probing ethnic culture is an inherently anthropological task. For course preparation, therefore, the depth of diversity module is compatible with consumer culture theory (CCT) principles and practice (Belk and Sherry 2007; Arnould and Thompson 2005). Consistent with "Culture" chapters in current Consumer Behavior textbooks (Blackwell et al. 2006), multicultural competency is derived from learning about abstract meanings and values as well as material artifacts and vehicles. Cultural orientation contributes a holistic and historic scope to conventional ethic consumer research and current multicultural marketing practices. For instance, ethnic diversity in the United States is primarily regarded as a minority consumer issue. Typically, ethnic consumer patterns are taught based on narrowly defined demographic and psychographic patterns. These existing bases of multicultural marketing pedagogy are built from an analytical economic, psychology, and marketing premise. Unlike culturally-oriented depth of diversity instruction, which traces the anthropological evolution of collective ethnic values, the current approach casts ethnicity as a modern market-oriented individual trait. As discussed in the literature review, contemporary multicultural marketing strategies validate this universal and inclusive embrace of ethnicity, which may also encompass multi-ethnic and post-racial cultural identities. Three pedagogical vectors align the depth of diversity method's holistic and historic scope ­ people, product, and process. These three intersecting vectors plot the path toward matching ethnic values among customers (people), commodities (products), and commerce (process). Accordingly, in instructional materials, the depth of diversity module is referred to as the "Ethnic Value Matching Project." Depth of diversity remains the anthropological purpose of exploratory learning objectives. However, the strategic practice of ethnic brand design
creates experiential learning outcomes. When combined anthropological exploration and strategic experimentation contribute synergistically to multicultural marketing competency. For anthropological purposes, the people vector pertains to the ethnic group explored. Yet, strategically, the people vector maps customer demand requirements (e.g., ecology, culture, identity/values, behavior). Product vector anthropology explores the ethnic artifact, activity, and aesthetic. Strategic product vector aspects mold company supply resources (e.g., material, human, informational, financial). The process vector anthropology explores the cultural narrative that pairs ethnic identity representations with artifact interaction rituals. Strategically, process vector experimentation matches multicultural market customers with companies through shared ethnic brand architecture experiences. Integral marketing mix elements cultivate deep brand loyalty and lasting customer relationships (see Figure 2). A practical way to introduce the universal and temporal dimensions of ethnicity is to have students plot randomly selected ethnic cultures/civilizations using global place and time period coordinates. This depth of diversity technique, called "place and time awareness," is aided by online links that provide visual history timelines for diverse ethnic traditions, as well as by contemporary online calendars that include multicultural holidays and events. The module's "place" awareness is initially illustrated by a brief ethnic history visual montage of the University's location, including indigenous, American, and immigrant culture. Likewise, "time" awareness is quickly demonstrated when the module opens by scrolling through an online monthly calendar with multicultural dates and events. Therefore, the depth of diversity module traces the place and time origin of a human culture to learn the collective ethos and logos that defines ethnic identity (see Figure 3). The pedagogical framework outlined in Figure 3 guides "Ethnic Value Matching" with anthropologically valid and strategically viable principles. Still, many alternative processes exist for exploring ethnic cultural values, within the anthropology, qualitative marketing research, and consumer behavior literature. The literature review explains how many of those multidisciplinary sources are incorporated into depth of diversity instruction. However, the "tribal marketing" premise advanced by Cova and
FIGURE 2 DEPTH OF DIVERSITY PEDAGOGICAL VECTORS
Instructional Levels
People
Product
a. Anthropological Purpose
Ethnic group culture
Ethnic artifact capacity
b. Strategic Practice
Customer/Demand
Company/Supply
Process Ethnic codes/crafts Brand/Matching
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FIGURE 3 DEPTH OF DIVERSITY INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRESSION A. PEOPLE ­ Charts Evolution of Ethnic Identity 1. EARTH (Place) ­ "Mother Earth" Land Origin Documents "Old Country" ecological environment shaping ethnic identity 2. HISTORY (Time) ­ "Father Time" Diaspora Travels Documents "Old Country" defining events for ethnic identity 3. CULTURE (Ethos) ­ "Destiny's Child" Collective Customs Documents folkways and rituals that distinguish ethnic identity 4. VALUES (Logos) ­ "Identity's Name" and Cultural Conveyors Documents articulated beliefs and norms of intergenerational ethnic identity B. PRODUCT ­ Charts Evolution of Ethnic Artifacts/Crafts 1. FORM ­ Describes artifact/craft materials, ingredients, processes, tools 2. FUNCTION ­ Describes how artifacts ensure survival and embody values 3. FACILITATION ­ Describes why artifacts/crafts are endowed with ethnic meanings that are manifested in contemporary institutions and social modes C. PROCESS ­ Charts Execution of Ethnic Brand Strategy 1. TASTE ­ Describes physical and aesthetic ethnic cultural preferences 2. TAILOR ­ Describes how contemporary ethnic segment patterns are targeted 3. TRIANGULATION ­ Completes ethnic brand architecture by matching "People" and "Product" values with brand merchandising "Processes"
Cova (2001) specifically validates framing ethnic culture with "mother earth" place and "father time" period coordinates. Using a diagram for "the tribal clover" the researchers chart place properties along an "axis of visibility" to capture cultural "gatherings" and "places," whereas an "axis of invisibility" plots contemporary "dayto-day practices" as well as the longer term "trend." This anthropological justification of the "Ethnic Value Matching Project" parameters shown in Figure 3 confers structural credibility from leading multicultural marketing scholars. Holistic Ethnic Template The holistic depth of diversity scope introduces a universal angle for pedagogical comparisons of ethnic cultural ancestry and attributes. Holistic instruction conveys a universal ethnic narrative for the multiple ethnic cultural versions in the human family. Teaching a univer-
sal ethnic narrative imparts multicultural aptitude on two levels. First, the inclusive property of holistic multicultural marketing eliminates ethnic myopia by seating every ethnic version at a common human family round table. Like turning a kaleidoscope, students learn to value particular ethnic cultures through comparison across an inclusive human spectrum. So, the holistic universal narrative exposes students to human unity by exploring ethnic diversity. Second, the holistic approach toward ethnic culture enables students to appraise the coherence and congruity of ethnic cultural meanings, in contrast to the prevailing emphasis on quantitative ethnic market evaluation. The anthropological synthesis found in indigenous creation myths and ecological allegories provide a fuller understanding of the ethnic cultural narrative than statistical analysis. The common earthly origin of all ethnic groups serves as a holistic anthropological root for exploring diverse ethnic culture branches. Students are shown how
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ecological conditions in the locations where ethic groups trace their origin vividly impact early ethnic meanings and vicariously inform existing ethnic markets. Factors are specified within each people, product, and process vector to articulate the ecological properties that bind early and existing ethnic knowledge. So, whereas earth/place factors describe the ecological environment of ethnic people locations, form/function/facilitation factors explain the ecologically derived purposes of ethnic products. Even symbolic representations and sharing rituals related to the process vector are embedded with seeds of ecological taste and tailoring. Cursorily, these branding process representations are found in the Celtic three leaf clover in Irish American branding, the good fortune signified by fish in Asian American branding, the affinity for lime hues among Latino Americans, and prevalence of sun and Baobab tree images within certain African American brand logos. Even textile fabric patterns, such as English herringbone, Scottish paisley, Irish plaid, Indian silk sari, African kente cloth, and Japanese kimono styles encode ethnic ecology intelligence. Ratneshwar and Mick (2005) describe this ecological property reflected in consumer motives as brand "landscapes." Ultimately, the holistic understanding of ethnicity culminates by specifying collective culture as the core ethos and shared values as the cultural logos. An authentic ethnic culture is discovered from the cohering identity patterns and community practices that typify the people's collective character. As an ethos, collective character sets the boundaries for whether observed behavior affirms or disaffirms ethnic identity. For instance, the universal cultural ethos element of family might be broadly explained for African ethnic groups as affirming ancestors, for Asian ethnic groups as affirming elders, for Latin ethnic groups as affirming extended relatives, and for European ethnic groups as affirming offspring. Of course, these ethnic identity affirmations are only intended to illustrate the nuances of ethos and suggest aspects of cultural emphasis ­ not exclusivity or stereotypes. Ethnic values indicate the meanings and modes through which cultural identity is conveyed. As a cultural conveyer, the logos of ethnic values encompass language, rituals, as well as orientations toward nature and intentions toward others. Typically, ethnic values are presented as a hierarchical structure that reflects the collective best practices for a certain place and period. Although most ethnic group value structures share common planks, the order and prominence may vary. For instance, although ecological balance is espoused by all cultures, the Asian ethnic "yin/yang" tradition reveals a distinctive harmony between man and nature that is woven into philosophical, cultural, economic, and social themes. In comparison, many African and Latino (Native American) traditions affirm ecological balance by personifying the natural environment. Certain trees are communed with and are
believed to possess ancestral spirits, while the feathers of particular birds are worn to access animating energy. Likewise, all ethnic traditions celebrate cultural value through harvest festivals and attribute symbolic significance to particular foods. Traditional ethnic beliefs and modes of expression can be discerned from meanings associated with rice for Asian culture, sushi for Japanese culture, kimchi for Korean culture, yams for African culture, calaloo for Afro-Caribbean culture, potatoes for Irish culture, wheat for Germanic culture, crepes for French culture, and corn (maze) tortillas for native Latino culture. Historic Ethnic Timeline In a complementary manner, the historic pedagogical span directs depth of diversity instruction toward ethnic beginnings and frames course progression. It gives students an ethnic values time machine. Conceptually, these rich ancestral accounts afford a retrospective view of traditional and ancient ethnic civilizations that cannot be learned from contemporary ethnic consumer analysis. The vividness of historic ethnic cultures transports students to a time when the absence of modern media made myths and material crafts more meaningful. The authenticity of these forgotten worlds cuts through the clutter of modern images to acquaint students with the brand marketing power of ethnic identity anew. Moreover, digital online media permit rapid and resourceful access to representative ethnic history content. Several of those online media resources are identified as instructional heuristics in the subsequent section. Yet, these temporal explorations are not intended to remain in the past. Rather, the historical search is a learning expedition to find ethnic brand validity and fortify ethnic brand value. Students are instructed to mark important historical eras with important heroes, events, and institutions that emerged during the ethnic group's evolution. The historical continuum is divided into "old country" ancient motherland existence and "new country" American homeland experiences. As part of this old country to new country transition, the migration paths and ports of entry are accorded special importance. Whether discussing Ellis Island for European Americans, Angel Island for Asian Americans, Senegal's Goree Island as a West African departure point for African American slaves, or Southwestern United States border towns as Latin American gateways, the coming to America narrative is punctuated by each ethnic group's "old country" to "new country" transition. Retracing these ethnic American rites of passage weaves historical continuity through the cultural coherence of holistic universal traditions. Otnes and Lowrey (2004) examine several of these multicultural marketing bridges connecting old country and new country consumption rituals.
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The temporality of depth of diversity instruction insures historical congruence across each of the three pedagogical vectors ­ people, product, process. Referring to terminology from the Figure 3 framework, "old country" ancient or traditional civilizations are associated with the "earth/place, history/time, and identity/ethos" factors of the people vector. Values, on the other hand depicts the ethnic group's "new country" transition and community. For the product factor, old country history is drawn upon to learn authentic artifact "forms" and traditional culture "functions." However, "facilitation" characterizes the collective modes and symbolic meanings of products or services by new country ethnic communities. Similarly, the process vector traces "taste" factors to old country roots but primarily teaches students to "tailor" new country ethnic tastes with a unique brand architecture that "triangulates" people and product vectors for contemporary brand marketing. Heuristic Instructional Tools Procedurally, the course module is planned for five weeks, or longer depending on the academic schedule and student enthusiasm. The first week is used for project orientation, ethnic group selection, and the formation of student teams. The subsequent three weeks are used for students to discover and document insights for the three module vectors of people, product, and process. The final week is slated for student presentations to share ethnic brand architecture strategies. To optimize effort, students are given access to a rich archive of electronic links containing ethnic cultural research and content for modern and historical eras. An extracted list of those extensive online resources is presented in Figure 4, with subheadings for multicultural place and time awareness, ethnic cultural identity, ethnic commodity orientation, and ethnic brand architecture. By providing these ready references for multimedia ethnic exploration, students devote less time to academic research procedures and more attention to recognizing anthropological patterns. From this formative online archive, students are expected to cultivate fresh ethnic content that fits their unique multicultural marketing adventure. FINDING DEEPER MULTICULTURAL MARKETING LEARNING OUTCOMES The depth of diversity module is introduced as an opportunity for students to freely pursue their interest in any United States ethnic customer segment. This premise of free selection is an important impetus for generating inclusive and innovative ethnic brand project outcomes. Often, ethnic consumer diversity and multicultural marketing instruction is limited to American minority populations, or bounded by authoritative text content. Instead the project atmosphere encourages ethnic cultural explo-
ration and ethnic brand experimentation. Students are oriented to the holistic nature of ethnic identity as a universal cultural anthropology profile for both minority and mainstream American markets. As a universal construct, depth of diversity encompasses all ethnic tribes and traditions from which minority and mainstream customers originate. Students are also instructed to affirm the cultural strengths and successes of their selected ethnic segment, rather than allocate attention to ethnic group challenges and controversy. The module imparts the historic nature of ethnic identity by presenting students with the task of exploring the ancient origins of contemporary multicultural market segments. Temporal exploration is emphasized as the distinction between the depth of diversity module and conventional breadth of diversity course instruction. These types of multicultural marketing competences are described as "cultural branding" (Holt, et al. 2004), because anthropological meanings transform offerings into "icons." The course module findings are distilled into two pedagogically parallel categories, universal validation and chronic visioning. However, these findings are intended to enhance and not eliminate prevailing breadth of diversity conventions. Cultural Versioning ­ Ethnic Identity Inclusion The depth of diversity module was found to provide a multicultural marketing approach with more universal appeal than the traditional breadth of diversity methods which focus primarily on American ethnic minority consumers. This outcome is described as cultural versioning because a more inclusive set of ethnic traditions was represented than is typically evoked for multicultural markets. The root term "verse" expresses the etymological connection between the anthropological purpose of universal ethnic depth and the strategic practice of cultural versioning for ethnic brand architecture. Specifically, students were more willing to explore value patterns for ethnic groups different than their own and students who are not classified as belonging to a minority group demonstrated greater interest in ethnic cultural discovery. Figure 5 presents excerpts from a student project focused on German American ethnicity. The content depicts this expanded cultural versioning because a non-minority European American ancestry was explored to create a valid ethnic brand targeted toward contemporary German American households during the holidays. In this manner, students are free to acquire multicultural marketing competency from the universal spectrum of human ethnic narratives. Chronic Visioning of Ethnic Brand Innovation The depth of diversity module was also found to provide temporal dimension insights that are largely unat-
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FIGURE 4 HEURISTIC INSTRUCTIONAL TOOLS ­ ETHNIC VALUE MATCHING ORIENTATION & PROJECT LINKS OVERVIEW of THE ETHNIC VALUE MATCHING PROJECT: Capturing Cultural Diversity Old & New A. OUR VIEW of ETHNICITY is: 1. UNIVERSAL (Collective, Inclusive, Integral, Holistic, Plural) vs. only "diverse" & "minority" [http://www.pluralism.org/index.php]. * Conventional View >> Race + Ethnicity = Minority ........................ >>Marginal/Few * Collective View >> Ethnicity = EarTH (origin) + NeCessITY (objective) >> Universal/All 2. "TIME/PLACE AWARENESS" ­ Diversity Calendars & Maps tell When, Where, What, Who B. OUR PROJECT ETHNIC LINK SOURCES are INDEXED as: 1. ETHNIC IDENTITY ["Fixed"] & ETHNIC ORIENTATION OVERVIEW ["Fluid"] 2. PEOPLE ­ Specific Ethnic Cultural Content 3. PRODUCT ­ Specific Ethnic Commodity Content 4. PORTRAITS ­ Individual Ethnic PEOPLE Links I. ETHNIC IDENTITY & ETHNIC ORIENTATION OVERVIEW A. Ethnic Identity ­ "Fixed Criteria Characteristics" [Chances] U.S. Ethnicity Brief [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_demographics_of_the_United_States]. Multicultural Economy [http://www.terry.uga.edu/selig/buying_power.html]. Ethnic Identity Marketing * [http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0805241566/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-7602843-7873448#readerlink]. * [http://print.google.com/print?id=DuJDiYJ7SVMC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&sig=3DcnrHUbQ-iYP SY-gLwN3LxdkU4]. B. Ethnic Orientation ­ "Fluid Content of Character" [Choices] Time & Place Awareness ­ Ethnic Holidays [http://www3.kumc.edu/diversity/ethnic_relig/ ethnic.html]. Maps ­ Geography/Ecology for Old & New Country * [http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine#s=r&c=21.28937435586042,%200&z=1]. * [http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/world.htm]. Etymology ­ word origins of ethnic names, places, artifacts, commodities [http://www.etymonline. com]. II. "PEOPLE" ­ Specific Ethnic Culture Links Broad Cultural Reference Links * Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page]. * Every Culture [http://www.everyculture.com/]. Birth Origin, Ancestry, & Demographics * Old Country [http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0900547.html]. [http://www.census.gov/population/www/ancestry.html. * New Country [http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0193688.html]. [http://www.census.gov/population/www/index.html].
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FIGURE 4 (CONTINUED) HEURISTIC INSTRUCTIONAL TOOLS ­ ETHNIC VALUE MATCHING ORIENTATION & PROJECT LINKS
III. "PRODUCT" ­ Specific Ethnic Commodity Links Fashion & Cultural Identity * [http://www.costumes.org/ethnic/1PAGES/ETHNOLNK.HTM]. * [http://books.google.com/books?id=p-KvoXTYtVoC&pg=PR7&lpg=PR7&dq=Fashion+and+ World+Culture&sig=01T8J8Cc0muly6TLADP8_7UWIOU#v=onepage&q=Fashion%20and%20 World%20Culture&f=false]. * [http://books.google.com/books?id=8m2FwzNSUl8C&pg=PP1&lpg=RA3PA1&dq=Fashion+and+ World+Culture&sig=4szIJZD437YkWzgyczRlzV5aOQM].
IV. "PORTRAITS" ­ Individual Ethnic PEOPLE Links (a sample set)
Ancient & Native Americans http://www.museo.org/ancient.html African Americans http://www.africaguide.com/culture/ [African Culture] http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~du_bois/ Arab Americans http://www.theaanm.org/ Asian Americans http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/9472394 [Graph and data by nationality] http://www.pbs.org/ancestorsintheamericas/aahistory sites.html European Americans English: Ancient, Old, and Traditional http://www.battle1066.com/saxons.shtml http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/EnglandHistory/index.htm Dutch http://www.usahistory.info/colonial/customs.html http://www.rapidimmigration.com/usa/1_eng_ immigration_history.html French http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_France http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franks German http://www.germany-info.org/relaunch/culture/ger_ americans/paper.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_culture Greek http://www.ancientgreece.com/ (Ancient) http://www.gogreece.com/ (Modern Greece) http://webs.csu.edu/~amakedon/articles/GreekAmerican. html Irish http://witcombe.sbc.edu/earthmysteries/EMDruids.html http://www.irishamhc.com/ [Irish American Culture] Italian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po_River http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italic_people
European Americans (continued) Jewish http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_jewish_history/ v089/89.4heinze.html http://www.jewishhistory.org.il/ http://www.torah.org/ Norwegian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway http://www.sofn.com/about_us/showPage.jsp?document= index.html Polish http://www.pgsa.org/traditions.htm http://www.polishamericancenter.org/Customs& Traditions.htm Russian http://www.geographia.com/russia/rushis02.htm http://www.friesian.com/russia.htm http://www.russianamericanculture.com/ Scottish http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/scottishhistory/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots-Irish_American Spanish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_culture http://www.bookrags.com/history/multiculturalism/ spanish-americans-gema-03/ Swedish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden#Prehistory http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/FactSheet____15600. aspx Latino/Hispanic Americans http://www.ancientmexico.com/ [Ancient Mexico] http://evans.amedd.army.mil/eo/observances/nhhm.htm Pacific Islander Americans http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0425/is_4_60/ai_ 82360170 http://www.pacificislandtravel.com/fr_polynesia/about_ destin/culture.html
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FIGURE 5 STUDENT PROJECT EXCEPTS VALIDATING INCLUSIVE "CULTURAL VERSIONING" TRADITIONAL GERMAN ETHNIC CULTURAL VALUES · "Volk" ­ symbolized 19th century unified German people (English translation: folk) · Sharing of common culture and language ­ goes beyond citizenship · "Volkish mysticism" ­ connection of land and people · Concepts of romantic love and cruelty, struggle and war, giants and fairies Grimm Brothers attempted to capture spoken village tales in their fairy tales. Their stories included these elements as well as themes from Norse mythology · "Volk" is part of the people, arts, beliefs, and soul · Traditions: wealth of German holidays, festivals and rituals CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ETHNIC BRAND STRATEGY · A very special occasion is the Christmas Market ­ Chriskindlemarkt or Weinachtsmarkt · Dates to Middle Ages as opportunity for friends to gather on cold winter evenings · In Germany, beer is an every day drink but wine is reserved for special occasions · Gluhwein ("Glow Wine") is traditionally served during the holiday season Hot, spiced red wine with calming and medicinal properties · Enhances the traditional experience for modern German American holidays
A AHHoOlLidIDaAyY FFEeAaSsTt FoFOrRtThHeESSeEnNSsEeSs Packaging: Bottle cap in shape of traditional copper kettle Add one kettle (cap) to hot red wine or grape juice, stir and enjoy
tainably with conventional breadth of diversity methods. These advantages are described as chronic visioning because the temporal view gives students a glimpse of historical ethnic rituals and symbols with contemporary
multicultural marketing potential. The Greek etymology root "chronikos" captures the temporal significance of ethnic traditions, while the corollary root "chronika" establishes the relevance of historical ethnic records for
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metering the meanings derived from cultural narratives. By engaging in vicarious time-travel, students experienced a discontinuous break with their present ethnic identity which allowed them to mine historical periods for multicultural branding ideas. Brand ideas retrieved through chronic visioning were shown to be viable for the present American market ethnic group whose ancestors originated them, as well as for other non-ancestral multicultural market segments. Paramount among the multicultural competences acquired from chronic visioning is the discovery of authentic ethnic mores and meanings. This quest for authentic brand qualities is regarded by consumer behavior scholars as a primary influence on customer motivation and loyalty (Beverland and Farrelly 2010). The innovative ethnic brand strategy angle provided by the authenticity of chronic visioning is illustrated in Figure 6 for a student project that explored the ancient Yoruba beauty ritual of "scarification." Students used chronic visioning to probe beneath current cosmetic styles and practices by revisiting an African tradition originating many centuries ago. The resulting brand strategy innovation ("Skinned") targets contemporary urban youth from diverse multicultural backgrounds with an authentic ethnic tradition. Using a taxonomical analysis, the depth of diversity module was shown to improve historic attribution of ethnic identifiers and events, as well as strengthen the association between current ethnic consumer tendencies and their authentic roots. In particular, the depth dimension enables pre-historical time periods to decouple genuine ethnic properties from the shallower modern archetypes that combine of race and ethnicity. Cultural anthropology (Geertz 2005) reveals the present value of learning primordial period customs and qualitative marketing research (Belk 2006) espouses "critical imagination" to harness "historical research" for endowing brand personality through "projective methods." Moreover, for students completing the Ethnic Value Matching Project, traveling from the present temporal setting to a pre-history context enables ethnic attributes to be examined in a less subjective manner. Depth of diversity insights are amplified because the ethnic focus is on them and not us, or me. Removing subjectivity also expands the spectrum of ethnic customer targets served by marketing managers. Domestic cross-cultural marketing competencies increase when consumer brand managers are less inhibited about "crossing over." This decoupling imparts a strong chronic visioning tendency among students to vicariously time travel for authentic ethnic meanings that fit modern brand architecture modes. Beneath the surface of contemporary ethnic American norms and demographic numbers lies a largely untapped pool of historic ideas for innovative multicultural marketing. Interestingly, this underlying depth of diversity resource pool prefigures the emerging digital emphasis on ethnic content and collaboration versus characteristics and catego-
ries. Consequently, everything old is new, because what worked then and there illumes ethnic consumer opportunities for here and now. CONCLUSION: FOCUSING ON MULTICULTURAL MARKETING DEPTH This paper proposes a fresh and insightful method for teaching ethnic consumer diversity and multicultural marketing topics. The prevalence of ethnic consumer growth trends in the United States combined with the increased acceptance of ethnic branding strategies requires marketing educators to prepare students for future multicultural marketing opportunities. Unlike the prevailing methods for teaching ethnic consumer diversity as a broad spectrum of minority demographic archetypes, the proposed depth of diversity module adopts a holistic and historic pedagogical scope. Holistically, the depth of diversity module equips future students with a more inclusive and universal view of ethnic consumer behavior. Historically, the depth of diversity module transports students into ancient and traditional time periods to learn the richer and more authentic reasons underlying contemporary ethnic markets. In practice, the depth of diversity module has been found to strengthen marketing students' ability to regard ethnicity as a universal and anthropologically rich consumer aspect. Likewise, students' ethnic branding ideas are found to be more authentic and original because of the chronic visioning induced by the depth of diversity module's historic scope. Therefore, the depth of diversity module is a tenable and timely instructional tool for the future development and delivery of multicultural marketing aptitude. Considering the contributions of the depth of diversity module to marketing education, suggestions can also be made to optimize its pedagogical value. Like most anthropological approaches, the depth of diversity methods are subjective interpreted based on students experience and interest in the ethnicity concept. As a result, there are many right answers without predetermined outcomes for gauging correctness. This subjective tendency requires a high level of motivation and involvement to discover the intended ethnic depth insights. Imposing control and scripting the sequence for uncovering ethnic cultural evidence compromises the module's probative design. On the other hand, eliminating all expectations can lead to a diluted course experience and disrespect the honor of ethnic cultural traditions. The suggested remedy is the use of best practices sessions which use students/groups with unique ethnic cultural discoveries as exemplars. Bonus points and prizes might also be applicable for groups that reach certain project benchmarks in a commendable manner. Above all, positive reinforcement must remain the rule of thumb, because students have learned all too well the negative sanctions associated with incorrect ideas regarding ethnicity.
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FIGURE 6 STUDENT PROJECT EXCEPTS DEPICTING "CHRONIC VISUALIZATION" OF ETHNIC BRANDING
Form Scarification Triangulation
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In line with ensuring a collaborative student-led climate during the depth of diversity module comes the need for firm boundaries regarding intolerable ethnic attitudes. Cultural discoveries are only presented in a positive light, based on the contribution of values and historical events to ethnic group advancement. The traditions and practices of every ethnic group are approached with a sacred reverence for their unique contribution to human civilization, and not judged from a retrospective viewpoint. Invariably, cultural histories reveal conflicts among different ethnic groups. These
instances are treated as episodes for discerning ethnic cultural values and not an explanation of ethnic group virtues or vexations. Clearly this cultural exploration requires an empathetic and nuanced treatment of ethnic history that is acquired through the collective ethical commitment of the class. Remembering that learning to balance cultural discoveries and dilemmas in a historical context prepares students for the complex process of managing multicultural markets will guide marketing educators toward deeper richer ethnic diversity instruction.
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MANAGING THE SERVICE COMPONENT IN ACADEMICS: PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR SCHOLARS Nancy D. Albers-Miller, Berry College ABSTRACT If you have never felt overburdened or underappreciated for your service, do not bother to read this. If you are still reading, then I will assume, at some point, you have felt stretched too thin or felt out of control of your service obligations. Managing teaching, research and service is tricky and even painful if you find you keep dropping one or more of your obligations. The goal of this paper is to share experiences and observations from experienced scholars, to help you manage the process better and to give you the opportunity to learn from others' mistakes.
INTRODUCTION An unknown author once said, "Make service your first priority, not success and success will follow." There is little doubt that the author never worked in a modern academic institution. An academician in the college and university system in the United States is faced daily with the task of balancing obligations of research, teaching and service. Few would argue the opportunities to engage in service activities are virtually endless and the service component is typically undervalued in the reward and recognition system. Truth be told, my colleagues would probably tell you that I still take on too much service. I probably do, but as a full professor, I think that I have an obligation pick up slack and to protect junior faculty as much as possible. My service experiences have taught me a great deal and helped me improve my scholarship and my teaching. Unfortunately, when service obligations get out of hand, a scholar can be diverted from other things that also matter (teaching, research, and family ­ not necessarily in that order). Very early in my career, I found myself placed in the middle of controversial assessment issues at a time in my career when I should not have been embroiled in controversy. I found that newly minted scholars are often uncertain how to balance the many demands placed upon them ­ teaching, research and service (Spooner, Spooner, and Karvonen 2002; Zurer 2001). I hope that sharing my experiences would be beneficial to young (and not so young) scholars. When I talk about service, I am not talking about paid administrative jobs ­ although I have great sympathy for the number of meetings and amount of paper shuffled by administrators. Faculty service load is often an unexpected surprise for new scholars. Many of us emerged from our doctoral programs naively unaware of the service component of our careers.
It has been my observation (only an observation, collected casually), that service obligations at many institutions are not equally or equitably distributed (some carrying a stronger burden than others). Sometimes, that lion's share of the burden falls to the senior faculty. This is not a bad thing, but it can still get excessive. More unfortunate is when the newest and most junior faculty members end up carrying an excessive burden because they are unprotected and/or afraid to appear uncooperative. Researchers have empirically examined the tendency of inequitable assignment and unequal reward (Baez 2000; Bellas 1999; Daufin 2001; Whitman, Hendrickson, and Townsend 1999). This discussion, however, is less about pointing fingers and more about understanding how it happens. The goal of this paper is to help you to understand what to do when the service radar has locked on you. I want to strongly state, up front, that this paper is not about avoiding service. In many cases, there are members of the team who will avoid service obligations. Research should not be an excuse to avoid service opportunities completely. Many believe that quality service supports quality research (Kiewra and Creswell 2000). This paper is not intended to be a "how to" manual for avoiding service obligations altogether. The target audience for this paper those who have difficulty understanding how to manage service obligations and those who find that more often than not, they have more service obligations than they can adequately fulfill. Service is a double-edged weapon of war. Avoiding all service is as damaging as having too much. Junior scholars sometimes discover too late that the "protection" they received from all service obligations was detrimental to their careers. Service opportunities can be rewarding, educational, uplifting and can give you a voice in critical decisions being made that directly affect your welfare and livelihood. On the other hand, service obligations include a wide range of activities that can slowly drain the life from even the most vibrant of individuals.
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OBLIGATIONS TEND TO CREEP UP ON YOU There is more service to be done than there are willing workers. Quality-of-output depends on not being stretched too thin and not being forced (coerced) in taking the wrong assignments (too many, too controversial, too time-consuming or too difficult and outside of your skill set). Quality-of-life depends on understanding how much is too much, servicing where it matters most, and avoiding landmines. The best way to deal with an excessive service burden is to contain it before it overflows. We end up with service obligations a number of ways: we get elected to them, we get appointed to them, we inherit them, and we volunteer for them. Service obligations should be approached from the strategic perspective of "getting the most bang for the bucks." Sometimes, we end up with too much service, which could have been avoided with better management of the process. (This will not always work. There are plenty of examples of faculty who carry heavy service burdens who have tried, but, failed ­ though no fault of their own ­ to manage the process.) Early in your career it may be difficult to know how many and which assignments you should take. A close senior faculty mentor may help you be more successful (Angelique, Kyle, and Taylor 2002). Choose wisely and form bonds early ­ just because someone is more senior does not mean that he or she is wiser. Select a mentor who has achieved the kind of success that you plan for yourself. While the best mentor advice will probably come from within your organization, do not overlook the bonds you have forged at other schools. Elections Many service obligations come our way through elections. If possible take your name off the ballot if the position is not right for you (you do not have the time, the expertise or the training for a particular task). If you are not allowed to remove you name, engage in anticampaigning (offer support for others on the ballot; explain to voters why feel you are not best suited AND request being considered for an assignment for which you are better suited). You will seem to be more sincere if do not appear to be avoiding all service. Appointments When an individual has specific characteristics or skills that would enhance many different service assignments, that individual often ends up with too many
appointments. Those same skills and characteristics often make that person look appealing on a ballot as well and this may compound the issue. If you have the right kind of relationship with the person/people who are making the appointments, discuss your service desires before appointments are made. Giving decision makers the right kind of information earlier, rather than later, may help to reduce assignments with a poor fit. When there is a good fit between skills, availability and desires, the service obligation is a lesser burden. Again, this is not about avoiding, but managing service. Tell decision makers which service assignments you are eager to embrace and why you are best suit for a particular assignment. It may be helpful to ask your mentor for assistance. Inheriting Inherited service obligations may be assigned to you because of policies and practices (which sometimes single out the most junior faculty ­ e.g., assignments delegated to the most recent hire). This case may not be an issue when new hires are joining regularly, but in uncertain time, this practice might place a service burden on an individual indefinitely. When a assignment policy is no longer reasonable, request a change of policy. Furthermore, policies or traditions may favor a senior member for leadership positions (e.g., committee chair). While not uncommon, nor unreasonable, they may change the shape of an individual's service portfolio. Leadership roles typically demand more time and effort than other obligations. If leadership obligations change the nature of your service portfolio, it may be reasonable to request a replacement on other obligations. Finally, we inherit service obligations out of inertia. This occurs when you are assigned the service obligations fulfilled by the person who held the position before you, even if the assignments are not directly part of the job position. These can be problematic if they do not correlate with your skill sets. Volunteering Volunteering is a "wonderful, awful idea" (apologies to Dr. Suess). I have a weakness for service obligations that seem particularly worthy or important. I often want to be involved in critical decision making which will affect my livelihood or students' success. Sometimes our decision to volunteer is intentional and rational; in other cases we unintentionally volunteer. One case that stands out in my mind occurred when I volunteered to do a small piece of a university-wide project. Quickly, a vast majority of the project was redirected to me. By the time I resigned, I was responsible for the entire project. Another way a person may unintentionally volunteer occurs when he/she is the only one who
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does not specifically refuse to do the task. The people who are responsible for getting the job accomplished may view that lack of refusal as acceptance and direct the responsibilities accordingly. It is important to watch this tendency carefully, because this approach often leaves the individual with the work, but without the authority, the title or the ability to claim the service assignment during evaluation. External Service Service can be broadly divided into two categories ­ internal service and external service. Scholars really have a critical need to stay connected to the outside. It is particularly important for untenured faculty to maintain external contacts and relationships. If you are tenured, you may believe that you will never leave your current employment. Keep in mind, that unforeseen circumstances may drive you to make a change. Too much internal service may slowly cut you off from the outside world. This is a dangerous position to wake up in ­ it may make it difficult or impossible to move. Huge quantities of internal service do not really add much to the vitae bottom line on the job market. Isolation may be the actual intention ­ how can you leave if you have no where to go? Service to the discipline is extremely valuable and it keeps you connected and involved. Balance your service portfolio, and if you are contemplating a change or if you are not tenured, you are better to err on the side of too much external than on too much internal service. External service may come in a variety of forms (e.g., reviewing, editing, track chair at a conference, serving as a session chair or discussant, and officer positions in academic organizations). TEN IMPORTANT LESSONS Looking back, I found that I have learned ten lessons. Some of these lessons seem pretty obvious, but they are easy to forget when we are in the middle of the process. Lesson 1: If No One Else Wants the Job ­ There is Probably a Good Reason The easy assumption is that no one wants a service assignment because it is a particularly nasty, unappreciated, controversial, and/or time-consuming assignment. Sometimes that is true, but then again, not always. That is a dilemma. Most would not have to think too long or too hard to imagine a faculty member who does not fulfill an equal share of service responsibilities. Even your students can tell you that if one member of the team does not do his or her fair share then other members must pick up the slack or everyone suffers.
Lesson 2: Service Assignments Vary in Their Worth There is no question that "worthy" jobs must get done. Part of the problem, especially for younger scholars, is having the information and skills to determine which are really worthy. The problem is compounded because the person in the position to assign or requesting that you volunteer for the task has a need to fill the job. Intentionally, or unintentionally, that person may misrepresent the importance of the assignment. Mentors are useful to help you decide the true value of a task, including the reward value compared to time commitment. Consider all the advice and input from your mentors and the people asking for your commitment, then subject the assignment to a couple of acid tests. Will this assignment grow my career (e.g., how much does it count toward my promotion and/or tenure, is this a high profile assignment that will show important people my skills)? Will this assignment give me networking opportunities (e.g., will I get to meet important decision makers that otherwise might overlook my efforts)? Will this assignment give me access to potential new co-authors and research topics? Will this assignment teach me new skills (e.g., cutting edge research techniques)? The more acid tests the assignment passes, the better the task should appear, assuming a reasonable time commitment. If the assignment does not pass any acid tests, try to let that assignment pass. Lesson 3: Service Assignments Vary in the Amount of Time Required Before taking on a new service commitment, diligently try to determine the amount of time you are being asked to commit. In a perfect world, you would be given a written commitment, especially if the task seems to be very large and time consuming. Since administrators may be reluctant to give a formal commitment in all but the most specific cases (e.g., you are the new Director of a center and that constitutes 50 percent of your obligation), you may be able to establish some control by stating upfront how much time you are willing to assign to a particular task (e.g., That assignment sounds like a wonderful opportunity and I am very excited about starting, but I want to make sure that we are in agreement. Based on my current research productivity and teaching loading, as well as my other service obligations, I believe that I can dedicate two hours per week to this assignment. Do you believe that two hours per week will be sufficient to fulfill my obligations?). It is critically important, especially if you are not tenured, to keep in mind your institution's evaluative weights given to teaching, research and service. It is not uncommon, particularly for tenure-track faculty, to have a very small portion of their promotion and tenure decision based on service. An institution that assigns a weight
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of as much 25 percent is rare. Frequently, service weights range from 10 to 20 percent, sometimes even lower for untenured faculty. If service accounts for only a small portion, or none, of your overall evaluation, you need to avoid assignments that will require more time than the proportional weight. In other words, do not spend 50 percent of your time on service if it only counts for 10 percent of your performance. Lesson 4: Service Assignments Vary in Their Reward Value Just as service assignment vary in their true importance and in their time obligations, service assignments vary in their reward value. Some service assignments earn more points than others. Before you take on a new service assignment, try to ask about the relative value of that particular assignment, compared to other assignments, in your merit and/or promotion and tenure evaluation. For example, some committee assignments may be considered to be "major" committees where others might be considered "minor." Major assignments are typically evaluated more highly than minor assignments. My observation has been that there may be no correlation, or even a negative correlation, between the amount of time a person must expend and the reward value obtained. Prestigious assignments might be considered major, even when the time obligations are minimal. On the other hand, unglamorous assignments, even when the work load is extreme, may be considered to be minor. The required input may not be equal to the reward value (Agrell and Steuer 2000). Institution history and personal opinions may impact what is considered to be valuable. If your institution has a written policy or a "point" system, ask what value will be awarded for this service activity. Obtaining a copy of the written policy is even better than asking. Here again, it is important to keep in mind your institution's weight given to teaching, research and service. It serves little purpose to exceed the maximum value of a category. If a service project will add very few points to your evaluation bottom line, but effectively stops you from improving your teaching and/or research evaluations (which are typically of greater value), think carefully before accepting it. Lesson 5: If the Job is REALLY Important, Administration Should be Willing to Support it Recruiters always try to make the job seem appealing. When a task needs to be assigned, the person responsible for finding a warm body to fill it is going to say that the job is important. Importance is a relative thing. Every task is important if it is not getting done. Keep in mind, the job may not be all that important in the eyes of administrators, regardless of what they SAY, if they will not commit to its importance in writing and/or with resources. This is particularly burdensome to a faculty member placed in the
position where central administration has a different perception of the value of an assignment compared to "local" administration. It is not unreasonable to ask administration to support a project they are asking you to accomplish. Less tactfully stated, administration needs to "put their money where their mouth is." A true commitment of resources speaks with greater volume than a verbal statement that the assignment is really important. Large assignment need more support than small ones. New assignments may require additional training. Will administration support your training? If you are asked to take on a large, time consuming project, ask if additional staff or student assistant support will be made available. You may want to ask for teaching release time. Verify that it will be "real" release, not merely combining the two sections of a course that you are scheduled to teach into one section, thereby giving you twice as many students as normal for the section but credit for half as much work. Depending on the characteristics of the assignment, you may be reasonable to request additional resources, such as computers, software, formal training and/or travel. If this assignment represents a major change in the characteristics of your job description, make sure that everyone is in agreement on how this will be treated in your evaluation. For example, if you have taken an administrative task that constitutes 50 percent of your time, will the committee evaluating your tenure packet consider half as much research productivity to be acceptable? Lesson 6: If the Job is REALLY Important, No Single, Solitary Faculty Member Should be Required to Carry the Burden of Seeing it Accomplished Critical, time-consuming tasks should be assigned to a team of individuals instead of just one. Amazingly, this is not always the case. Really important tasks tend to carry inherit risks. Risky jobs are often difficult to fill, especially when the rewards for completing the task are not equitable. Early in the process of working on large, risky and or high profile assignments, attempt to verify or put in place a procedure for succession. A committee, not a person, should be responsible. The committee chair should be rotated on a scheduled basis. A current member should be rotated into the chair position. The chair-elect should be trained by the current chair, so that there is an overlap and a smooth transition of leadership. Institution history, risk sharing and continued success can be improved with strategic planning. Lesson 7: Someone Has to Do It, But it Does Not Have to Be You "No" may be the responsible answer.
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Lesson 8: If it Has to Be You, Then You Should Be Afforded a Reduction in Service or Other Obligations Elsewhere Sometimes you may find that decision makers will not take no as an answer. If the answer cannot be no, then it may need to be "how?" If you attempted to reject an assignment and you are not given that option, consider some of the tactics discussed in Lesson 5. Carefully prepare your response and clearly state why you are concerned about your ability to accomplish the task (e.g., your teaching load is heavy, tenure expectations demand a high level of research productivity, you do not have access to appropriate technology). Prepare a written proposal of what you need to be successful, which clearly states your desires and concerns. Some examples might include: (1) You would like a written reduction in the research expectation needed for tenure. (2) You would like a change of weights associated with your merit review. (3) Since 50 percent of your time is going to be spent on this service activity, you would like your service weight to be increased from only 10 percent of your evaluation. Lesson 9: If it Has to Be You, but You Are Not Skilled, Administration Should Provide You with Proper Training Just as in Lesson 8, you may not get what you need unless you ask for it. When it comes to skill development, you may have to be brave enough to ask for (and/or demand) help! Every day faculty are asked to take on jobs for which they were never properly trained, such as assessment, accreditation, distance education initiatives, teaching courses outside of their educational base. It is reasonable to ask decision makers to support your training needs. You may wish to ask for paid travel to conferences and workshops. You may need to ask for support in covering other obligations during your absence. You may need to ask for time and direct interaction between you and the administrator responsible for the completion of the task. When you are working on a new task of a significant magnitude always keep open lines of communication. Lesson 10: Resigning IS an Option, Especially if Commitments have Not Been Kept Resigning from an assignment may not be as easy as it seems. Under the best of circumstances, you ask for a replacement before you resign and you are quickly replaced. You and your successor work out the terms of transfer of authority and you go on with your life. It is helpful if there is an overlap between your leaving and your replacement going solo. If you are replaced, do not punish your replacement for your treatment. Remember
this replacement is freeing you to return to your other commitments. Within reason, do whatever you can to help your replacement to succeed. Tell your replacement what you wish you had known and how to avoid landmines. Do not take this opportunity to burden your replacement with all the woes of the past. Sometimes decision makers will refuse, directly or indirectly, to accept your resignation. A decision maker may directly state that no suitable replacement could be found. More commonly, the decision maker acknowledges your desire to be replaced and simply never does it. Keep in mind, you may not be allowed to resign from duties that were part of your employment contract without negotiating a new contract. Assuming that you are not legally obligated to continue in the duties, if your informal request to be replaced is unsuccessful, submit a formal, written letter of resignation from the assignment, set a specific date as your last and request a replacement be located as soon as possible. Reality necessitates the consideration of what to do if you are not replaced after you have resigned. When the date arrives, stop performing the duties. Regardless of how smoothly you are replaced, once you are no longer receiving credit for doing the assignment, establish a fixed and reasonable amount of time to help your successor. So, you should offer reasonable help, but not indefinite help. After that time has past, consider assisting your replacement as your lowest, rather than highest priority. Remember, once you no longer have the job, you are not best served by continuing to perform it. Finally, do not be surprised if they hire one or more additional staff members and/or administrators to do the job that you were expected to do as part of your faculty assignment. Furthermore, do not be surprised if this critical, time-consuming task simply stops be preformed once you resign. Remember, simply because someone says it is important, does not really make it important. FINAL THOUGHTS The purpose of this paper is to provide tools and insight for a process of managing faculty service obligations. Keep in mind, I am one of those who tends toward too much, rather than too little service. The thoughts provided here are not intended to frighten or to discourage service. The goal is to manage service so that you can perform at your best in the obligations that you do perform. I strongly encourage involvement and even some risk taking with regard to service. You will learn a lot when you do something new. The skills you learn and the knowledge you gain have other applications. You will meet new people when you do something new. The new contacts are typically helpful throughout your entire career. Evidence suggests that service opportunities often make you a better teacher and or researcher.
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REFERENCES Agrell, Per J. and Ralph E. Steuer (2000), "ACADEA­A Decision Support System for Faculty Performance Reviews," Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making, 9 (5), 191­204. Angelique, Holly, Ken Kyle, and Ed Taylor (2002), "Mentors and Muses' New Strategies for Academic Success," Innovative Higher Education, 26 (3), 195­ 209. Baez, Benjamin (2000), "Race-Related Service and Faculty of Color, Conceptualizing Critical Agency Academe," Higher Education, 39 (3), 363­91. Bellas, Marcia L. (1999), "Emotional Labor in Academia: The Case of Professors," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 561 (January), 96­110. Daufin, E-K (2001), "Minority Faculty Job Experience, Expectations, and Satisfactions," Journalism and
Mass Communication Educator, 56 (1), 18­30. Kiewra, Kenneth A. and John W. Creswell (2000), "Con- versations with Three Highly Productive Educational Psychologists: Richard Anderson, Richard Mayer, and Michael Pressley," Educational Psychology Review, 12 (1), 135­61. Spooner, Melba, Fred Spooner, and Meagan Karvonen (2002), "Contributing to the Profession in Meaningful Ways," Action in Teacher Education, 24 (3), 10­ 19 Suess, Dr. (19XX), "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Whitman, Michael E., Anthony R. Hendrickson, and Anthony M. Townsend (1999), "Research Commentary: Academic Rewards for Teaching, Research, and Service: Data and Discourse," Information Systems Research, 10 (2), 99­110. Zurer, Pamela S. (2001), "Survival 101 for New Instructors," Chemical and Engineering News, 79 (37), 37­ 41.
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