Projects Align with Business Ethics and Social Responsibility Goals

Business dean Sandra Richtermeyer speaks in front of Donahue Center logo Image by Ed Brennen
The Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility has awarded research grants to three faculty teams.

By Ed Brennen

The Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility has awarded three new research grants to Manning School of Business faculty teams for summer-fall 2020. The projects explore social networks and well-being, negotiations and transparency, and suppliers' corporate social responsibility and financial market risk.

“A priority of the Donahue Center is to support faculty research related to business ethics and social responsibility,” says Asst. Prof. of Management Erica Steckler, the center’s co-director. “We proudly support these research collaborations and the impactful contributions they advance.”

Proposals were 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. 

“Congratulations to the grant recipients, and thank you to Donahue Center Co-Directors Erica Steckler and Elissa Magnant for their efforts in another successful grant initiative,” says Manning School Dean Sandra Richtermeyer.

Here’s a look at the projects:

Ann Kronrod, assistant professor of marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation: “How Can the Language on Social Networks Enhance Well-Being Before, During, and After COVID-19?” As more people turn to social networks and forums for self-help strategies, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, Konrod will explore and quantify linguistic aspects of online communication that have positive or negative influence on users’ well-being. Looking at online forum peer-advice content before, during and after the peak of COVID-19, Konrod will investigate empowering and depowering language, figurative language and humor, with a focus on the helpfulness of peer-advice. Results of the study will help educators and health institutions adopt a socially responsible approach to enhancing well-being in the context of COVID-19.

Tamara Montag-Smit and Karoline Evans, assistant professors of management: “The Effects of Transparency on Negotiation Initiation for Women and Men” Research shows that women do not negotiate for higher wages as often as men, in part because when it is not clear that negotiation is expected and accepted at a company, people tend to fall into gender-typical roles where men are socialized to ask for what the need and women avoid it because they expect a backlash. Montag-Smit and Evans will examine whether women and men are more likely to initiate negotiation when coworker performance and pay information is transparent — for both moderate and high performers. To test this question, they will collect data from a random adult population and have them respond to a hypothetical situation in which they are in a performance review meeting. 

Accounting Prof. Karim Khondkar, Asst. Prof. Amy Chen and Ph.D. candidate Anqi Tao: “The Effect of Suppliers’ Corporate Social Responsibility Concerns on Customers’ Stock Price Crash Risk” By following prior stock price crash risk studies, Khondkar, Chen and Tao will construct an empirical model to test the effect of suppliers’ corporate social responsibility concerns on customers’ stock price crash risk. According to their proposal, investors may interpret these concerns about supply chain as bad news and incorporate that into a company’s stock price evaluation. On the other hand, socially irresponsible firms may also behave irresponsibly at financial reporting and lack transparency. The team will look at whether customers choosing socially irresponsible suppliers may increase the risk of a stock price crash.