The Ironic Benefits of Organizational Misconduct, Reducing Costs of Chronic Illness among Topics in Johns Hopkins Business Research Magazine

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The fall 2016 issue of Changing Business, the twice-yearly magazine featuring research by the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, is now available online and in print. Six recent research projects by Carey faculty members are highlighted in the new Changing Business.

The fall 2016 issue of Changing Business, the twice-yearly magazine featuring research by the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, is now available online and in print.

Six recent research projects by Carey faculty members are highlighted in the new Changing Business.
The cover story, “The Silver Lining of Shady Behavior,” reveals an ironic benefit of organizational misconduct: That is, the “non-deviant” group members may work harder in order to alleviate their own discomfort with the organization’s tarnished image. The urge to increase effort in the wake of group deviance is particularly strong among non-deviants who identify closely with their organizations and thus may perceive “an internal identity threat” because of the misconduct. The study is by Associate Professor Brian Gunia.

In “Cutting the Costs of Chronic Illness,” Associate Professor Jian Ni shows that significant savings could result from an effort by medical professionals and insurers to guide chronic-illness patients toward a more appropriate level of health care. Ni and his colleagues found that about 14 percent of the people who would have been a good match for a medium plan and preventive care nonetheless chose a more costly comprehensive plan and curative care.

Of Bulls, Bears, and Tweets” looks at a study by Assistant Professor Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, which suggests that a correlation exists between Twitter sentiment about a stock and how that stock performs. The study shows that tweet-like posts on the StockTwits financial micro-blogging platform are strongly related over a given day to the behavior of the stock being tweeted about during that day. Liew states that this use of social media to determine stock performance should be added as a “sixth factor” to the Fama-French five-factor model well known in financial circles as a method for explaining market behavior.

Other featured research in the new Changing Business:
“Commitment Issues.” Some social media users will hit the “delete” button after pledging charitable donations online. The findings are consistent with a phenomenon that previous researchers have referred to as “slacktivism” or “illusion of activism. One of the study’s authors explains, “It’s actually quite hard for lesser-known charities to raise funds online. What our findings indicate is that many people may regard online social networks as basically free platforms for personal exchange and much less as vehicles for an activity that comes at some cost to them, whether that cost is of money or time.” Research by Assistant Professor Angelo Mele and Associate Professor Mario Macis.

“How Cool Is That?” A new computational model offers a method for measuring the appeal of commercial products. “The model described in this paper computes data in a way that shows the extent of the network effects, and it can accurately predict the future sales of a product based on how strong or weak its network effect is, in addition to its features or price promotion,” says the researcher, Assistant Professor Ruxian Wang.

“Making Something from Almost Nothing.” The perception of scarcity is revealed to be not a hindrance but rather a spur to creativity. Abundant resources, in fact, may have a negative effect on creativity. The study indicates that scarcity forces consumers to think beyond the traditional function of a given product, thus enhancing creativity. Research by Associate Professor Meng Zhu.

“Briefs,” a section of short items about additional Carey research projects, honors, and other news, is also included in this issue.

Dean Bernard T. Ferrari notes in his regular “Letter from the Dean,” at the front of the magazine, that collaborations between Carey researchers and professors from other divisions of Johns Hopkins University have been increasing.

“Producing interesting research that happens to have a Carey professor’s name on it isn’t enough. Carey … must – and does – seek out projects in which our faculty members can join with researchers from other JHU schools and find even broader, deeper perspectives on society’s most pressing challenges.”

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