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Huntsman Alumni Magazine - Fall 2018

Teaching and Research

Message in the Madness: Debunking Common Myths of Workplace Anger

Published in Academy of Management Perspectives
Ronda Callister, Professor, Management departments, and others

Myths about anger are common in organizations. The authors outline three myths, which include equating anger with aggression, viewing employees who express anger as insubordinate or believing that anger is an effective motivational tool. This article examines previous work to dispel these myths and provoke new thinking about emotion expressions at work. By examining scholarship on positive and negative outcomes of anger expressions and clearly differentiating between aggression (which is more damaging) and anger - the authors identify positive outcomes. This article examines a positive perspective on workplace anger suggesting anger expressions can promote valued dialogue and facilitate the airing of differences. These can result in improved working relationships and movement toward organizational goals and beneficial change.

Ronda Callister

Why Sabotage Customers Who Mistreat You? Activated Hostility and Subsequent Devaluation of Targets as a Moral Disengagement Mechanism

Published in Journal of Applied Psychology
Julena Bonner, Assistant Professor, Marketing & Strategy department, and others

When people are mistreated they often experience an impulse to retaliate against the perpetrator. This is a common occurrence in the workplace and a natural reaction to this is to lash out in retaliation toward the perpetrator. In recently published research my colleagues and I find that when customers mistreat (e.g., yell at, belittle, demean) employees, employees experience an intuitive emotional reaction in the form of hostility. Hostility then triggers a rationalization process, which allows the employee to justify mistreating the customer in return (retaliation). However, while the process from mistreatment to retaliation happens fairly intuitively and quickly, we also find that this process can be disrupted in organizations that foster an ethical climate, thereby reducing instances of employee retaliation.

Julena Bonner

Culture Matters

Scott Hammond, Professional Practice Professor, Management Department

From the markets of Bandung, Indonesia, to Paris and London or the Uintah Basin in Utah, USU Professor Scott C. Hammond has spent 60 years immerse in different cultures. “When today’s teams collaborate across continents they come face-to-face with cultural difference. But what has been a barrier can be an advantage,” according to authors Scott C. Hammond, Danny Damron and Christopher Liechty. Hammond, who is a Professor of Practice in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, says, “No one lives in cultural isolation any more. Yet we often bang our heads against other cultures in frustration.” Hammond says they wrote the book to teach specific skills to help people find common ground using the simple “peach and coconut” metaphor. “Peach cultures, like the United States, are generally easy to penetrate but hard to fully integrate,” he says. “We have a soft outer shell and a hard core. Coconut cultures, like Russia, are hard to penetrate. But once you do you are a friend for life.”
The book contains examples of rules based cultures (peach) and relationship based cultures (coconut) and teaches skills to create cross cultural teams.

Scott Hammond

Passive Institutional Ownership, R2 Trends, and Price Informativeness

Published in The Financial Review
Jared DeLisle, Assistant Professor, Economics & Finance Department, and others
Financial market efficiency depends on investors actively trading stocks based on information acquired about the firms. However, passive investing (e.g. index mutual funds and index exchange traded funds) is becoming increasing popular to individual investors due to its low transaction and monitoring costs. Passive investing is not information-based investing. Its trades are based on maintaining a benchmark index and passive institutions buy and sell stocks in lockstep. Although retail investors clearly benefit from the diversification provided by passively managed portfolios, it comes at a cost of reduced market efficiency. We show increased passive investing is associated with increased stock return correlations (which decreases diversification benefits and increases crash risk) and less informative stock prices (e.g. stock prices are less reflective of the firms’ underlying value).

Winner of the 2017 Readers' Choice Best Paper Award in the The Financial Review.

Jared DeLisle

Teaching By Using Real World Example

Mike Dixon, Assistant Professor, Management department

After receiving a request to complete a survey about his experience at a local branch, Assistant Professor Mike Dixon reached out to senior executives at America First Credit Union to see if they’d be interested in designing a teaching case study about the quality of service interactions. With the help of two graduate students Justin Canova (MBA 2018) and Luis Armenta (MHR/MBA 2019), Dr. Dixon worked with executives to create a case study that could be used in his MBA Strategic Supply Chain Management course to give students closer access to real problems faced by a leading community organization. The case challenges students to generate solutions to customer service issues in a call-center environment. The case was recently nominated as a finalist for a Best Teaching Case Award to be decided in the Decision Sciences Institute annual conference in late November in Chicago.

Nominated as a finalist for Decision Sciences Institute's Best Teaching Case Award.

Mike Dixon