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Research and Publications

Faculty ethics research

Congratulations to three Manning colleagues awarded Small Research Grants (Summer-Fall 2018) by the Donahue Center for Business Ethics & Social Responsibility – Jose Godinez, Ann Kronrod, and Spencer Ross.

Their empirical projects in areas of ethical operations, financial planning, and philanthropy are detailed below.

A priority of the Donahue Center is to support faculty research related to business ethics and social responsibility. Proposals are evaluated by an Awards Committee based on strength of alignment with the mission and areas of organizational research connected with the Center, potential to generate a high quality scholarly outcome, and potential to enhance teaching and learning in meaningful ways.

The next call for Faculty Small Research Grant Proposals will be in December 2018 for research to be conducted in Winter-Spring 2019.

emptyJose Godinez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Management

Godinez's research covers the private sector strategies to operate ethically in a location characterized by high corruption.

This study analyzes the effectiveness of enacting strategies to operate ethically in a highly corrupt location. Corruption, its causes, and effects have been widely documented in professional and academic outlets. However, most studies have focused on the demand side of corruption (corrupt government officials) instead of the supply side (firms). This study takes a different view of corruption by acknowledging that businesses are not passive actors when facing corruption, and as such, they can enact strategies to operate ethically. To gain insight into this issue, this study assesses the effects of generating internal and external legitimacy to create and enact strategies to operate ethically and responsibly in a highly corrupt location. The study relies on data obtained from a unique survey co-created by PRME Latin American Chapter. The survey will be administered to all the members of the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry that includes the banking, commerce, agriculture, exports, and construction sectors.

emptyAnn Kronrod, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Imagine you are retired … The use of mental imagery to encourage financial planning among younger adults.

People tend to procrastinate and neglect financial planning. Only 8% of households approaching retirement have the sum in their 401(k) plans that would be needed to generate a reasonable yearly income in their retirement. Young adults are an especially crucial population, because this group is the least concerned about retirement, while financially your age is by far the most cost-effective time to start a retirement plan. The current project intends to address this problem by investigating the effectiveness of employing mental imagery (mental simulation of future events) to encourage financial planning for retirement among young adults. The researchers will test the hypothesis that mental imagery can bring perceptions of the far future closer in time and more realistic in people’s minds, which, in turn, should influence the persuasiveness of the message leading to a potential change in behavior or attitudes towards future savings. Results of this study

will help educators and financial institutions to adopt a socially responsible approach to financial and retirement planning, echoing the Donahue Center’s mission “to enhance our collective understanding and application of the value of doing good while doing well”.

emptySpencer M. Ross, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Pain of philanthropy: The effect of a cashless society on consumer donations

In an increasingly cashless society, consumers are less likely to have spare change in their pockets or wallets to donate. Younger consumers increasingly using mobile proximity payments and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal or Zelle are more than twice as likely to use these apps than older generations. While "going cashless" in traditional retail contexts is often associated with increased consumer spending levels, we question if altruistic motives change consumers' cashless behaviors in donation contexts. Indeed, there is evidence decreases in consumers’ available cash-on-hand have coincided with a decrease in panhandlers’ take home pay, implying consumers are less forthcoming with their cashless donations than research would otherwise indicate. Our research falls squarely in line with the Donahue Center’s mission for business ethics and social responsibility as it deals with the prosocial decisions consumers make in donation contexts. Furthermore, this research has broad applicability to philanthropic organizations seeking guidance on how to solicit consumer donations in an increasingly cashless society.