School of Business Administration

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Business Research

Business has no boundaries, it is cross-disciplinary. Expert faculty from Oakland’s School of Business Administration have long recognized the importance of examining cross-disciplinary and societal issues through the business lens. Oakland business faculty members consistently publish their research in high-level academic journals on topics that advance the understanding of critical issues. In addition to providing insight to fellow academics, their research offers actionable data for professionals and influences classroom discussions.

Featured Research

Fighting workplace aggression

Caitlin Demsky, Ph.D. in a red jacket in an office

Oakland University assistant professor of management Caitlin Demsky, Ph.D., is studying how workplace aggression, whether physical or psychological, is making employees stressed, sick and unhappy. It’s also spilling over into personal lives, creating work-family conflicts. She offers actions to help to help individuals and organizations address this. View the full story here.

The cost of lower taxes

Timothy Hodge standing on a downtown Detroit street

In his research paper, Timothy Hodge, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics, observes that Neighborhood Enterprise Zone homebuyers do not often reap the financial benefits associated with the program. View the full story here.

Featured Summaries

Oakland University School of Business Administration faculty regular publish articles in high-quality journals in their areas of expertise. Following is a selection of summaries from articles published in top-tier journals.


Ruihua (Joy) Jiang
Associate Professor of Management
Too Slow or Too Fast? Speed of FDI Expansions, Industry Globalization, and Firm Performance
Firms become multinational through conducting serial foreign direct investments (FDIs). In this publication, we draw on an organizational learning perspective to examine how the speed of FDIs affects firm performance. We argue that firms in general suffer from being either too slow or too fast in their FDI expansions and that the relationship between the speed of FDI expansions (SFEs) and firm performance is best captured by an inverse U-shape. Moreover, the inverse U-shaped relationship varies with the level of globalization pressure in such a way that the inverse U-shaped curve will have a steeper upward and steeper downward curvature for firms operating in global industries than for those in multidomestic industries. Using a panel data set of 1263 Japanese firms’ FDIs from 1986 to 1997, we find strong support for the arguments.

Long Range Planning, Vol. 50, February 2017, pg. 74-92.
Full paper:
Jane Lu, Professor of Management, University of Melbourne
Jing Yu (Gracy) Yang, Senior Lecturer in International Business, University of Sydney Business School

Kasaundra Tomlin
Associate Professor of Economics
World Trade Organization Sanctions, Implementation, and Retaliation
This is the first empirical paper to investigate the response of shareholders to the application of WTO-authorized trade retaliation. We compare shareholder gains stemming from illegal trade subsidies with the losses generated by subsequent WTO-authorized retaliatory measures. Results indicate that the increase in share returns of U.S. firms receiving subsidies provided by the “Byrd Amendment” far eclipsed the share declines experienced by firms targeted with associated retaliatory tariffs. We believe this lack of response towards retaliation by U.S. firms diminished pressure on U.S. policymakers to strike down the Byrd Amendment, as was mandated by the WTO. Apathy towards retaliation along with associated delays in WTO-compliance by the U.S., may reflect a potential weakness on the part of WTO-authorized retaliation in serving as an effective political counterweight to pro-antidumping forces in the U.S.

Empirical Economics, Vol. 48, March 2015, pg. 715-745.
Full paper:
Benjamin H. Liebman, Professor of Economics, St. Joseph’s University

Janell D. Townsend
Professor of Marketing
Global Brand Architecture Position and Market-Based Performance: The Moderating Role of Culture
Companies expend vast resources to create product and brand portfolios in the global marketplace. Yet knowledge of the market-based performance implications of various positions in a firm’s portfolio architecture is lacking in the literature. To further the understanding of managing brands in the global marketplace, the authors develop a conceptual framework based on the tenets of signaling theory, explore the relationship between global brand architecture and market-based performance, and consider how culture moderates this relationship. The results of the analyses, from a panel data set of 165 automotive brands operating in 65 countries from 2002 to 2008, reveal that global brands perform better in the marketplace than their non-global counterparts. Cultural values indeed provide boundary conditions for this relationship, suggesting that alternative strategies for some markets may be advisable.

Journal of International Marketing, Vol, 23(2), June 2015, pg. 53-72.
Full paper:
Mehmet Berk Talay, Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Sengun Yeniyurt, Associate Professor of Marketing, Rutgers University


Zeina AlSalman
Assistant Professor of Economics
Oil Price Uncertainty and the U.S. Stock Market: Analysis Based on a GARCH-in-Mean VAR Model
This paper uses a bivariate GARCH–inmean VAR model to examine the effect of oil price uncertainty on the U.S. real stock returns at the aggregate and sectoral levels. Estimation results suggest that there is no statistically significant effect of oil price volatility on the U.S. stock returns. The absence of an uncertainty effect might be explained by the fact that companies are likely to hedge against fluctuations in oil prices. It could also stem from the ability of most companies to transfer the higher cost of oil to customers. Moreover, the impulse responses indicate that, accounting for oil price uncertainty, oil price increases and decreases have symmetric effects on the U.S. aggregate stock returns, in that energy price increases and decreases are estimated to have equal and opposite effects on the U.S. financial market. However, this symmetric effect doesn’t hold across all the sectors studied in this paper.

Energy Economics, Vol. 59, September 2016, pg. 251-260.
Full paper:

Zeina AlSalman
Assistant Professor of Economics
Oil Price Shocks and the U.S. Stock Market: Do Sign and Size Matter?
This paper investigates the effect of oil price innovations on the U.S. stock market using a model that nests symmetric and asymmetric responses to positive and negative oil price innovations. It finds no evidence of asymmetry for aggregate stock returns, and only limited evidence for 49 industry-level portfolios. These asymmetries do not match up with conventional views of energy-dependent sectors of the economy. Asymmetries are more likely driven by the effect of oil price innovations on expected and/or realized demand. We ask whether the size of the shock matters, in that doubling the size of the shock more (or less) than doubles the size of the response, finding that the effect of a 2.s.d innovation is about double the magnitude of the impact of a 1.s.d innovation. We find no support for the conjecture that shocks that exceed a threshold have an asymmetric effect on stock returns.

The Energy Journal, Vol. 36(3), 2015.
Full paper:
Ana María Herrera, Professor of Economics, University of Kentucky

Ram Orzach
Associate Professor of Economics
Common-Value All-Pay Auctions with Asymmetric Information and Bid Caps
This paper studies a class of two-player common-value all-pay auctions (contests) with asymmetric information under the assumption that one of the players has an information advantage over his opponent and both players are budget-constrained. We extend the results for all-pay auctions with complete information, and show that in this class of all-pay auctions with asymmetric information, sufficiently high (but still binding) bid caps do not change the players’ expected total effort compared to the benchmark auction without any bid cap. Furthermore, it shows that there are bid caps that increase the players’ expected total effort compared to the benchmark. Finally, it demonstrates that there are bid caps which may have an unanticipated effect on the players’ expected payoffs — one player’s information advantage may turn into a disadvantage as far as his equilibrium payoff is concerned.

International Journal of Game Theory, Vol. 45 (Special Issue: In honor of Abraham Neyman), March 2016, pg. 63-88.
Full paper:
Ezra Einy, Professor of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ori Haimanko, Lecturer of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Aner Sela, Professor of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ram Orzach
Associate Professor of Economics
Common-Value All-Pay Auctions with Asymmetric Information
All-pay auctions are used in diverse areas of economics, such as lobbying in organizations, R&D races, political contests, promotions in labor markets, trade wars, and biological wars of attrition. This paper studies two-player common-value all-pay auctions (contests) in which the players have ex-ante asymmetric information represented by finite partitions of the set of possible values of winning. The study considers a family of such auctions in which no player has an information advantage over his opponent. We find sufficient conditions for the existence of equilibrium in monotonic strategies for auctions without an information advantage. We further show that the ex-ante distribution of equilibrium effort is the same for every player (and hence the players’ expected efforts are equal), although their expected payoffs are different and they do not have the same ex-ante probability of winning.

International Journal of Game Theory, Vol. 46, March 2017, pg. 79-102.
Full paper:
Ezra Einy, Professor of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Mridu Goswami, Economic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute
Ori Haimanko, Lecturer of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Aner Sela, Professor of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Venugopal Balijepally
Associate Professor of Management Information Systems
Task Mental Model and Software Developer’s Performance: An Experimental Investigation
Our understanding of factors influencing the effectiveness of software-development processes has evolved in recent times. However, few research studies have furthered our understanding of the cognitive factors underlying software development activities and their impact on performance and affective outcomes. In this study, we fill this gap by developing a measurement approach to capture and evaluate the quality of mental models. We investigate the efficacy of mental models in software development using the said approach. We assessed mental model quality by statistically comparing the software developer’s mental model with a referent model derived from multiple experts. Results suggest that a software developer’s mental model quality is a determinant of software quality. Further, we found this effect to be consistent across software development tasks of varying complexities. These results shed light on the impact of mental models in software development, and their significant implications for stimulating future research on cognitive factors influencing software development practices.

Communications of the AIS, Vol. 36(1), 2015, pg. 53-76.
Full paper:
Sridhar Nerur, Professor of Information Systems, University of Texas at Arlington
RadhaKanta Mahapatra, Professor of Information Systems, University of Texas at Arlington

Kim Serota
Visiting Professor of Marketing
The Effects of Truth-Lie Base-Rate on Interactive Deception Detection Accuracy
The truth-lie base rate is a critical yet underappreciated factor in deception detection. It refers to the proportion of truthful and deceptive messages judged in a deception detection task. Consistent with Park and Levine’s (PL) probability model of deception detection accuracy, previous research has shown that as the proportion of honest messages increases, there is a corresponding linear increase in correct truth–lie discrimination.

Three experiments (N=120, 205, and 243, respectively) varied the truth–lie base rate in an interactive deception detection task. Linear base-rate effects were observed in all 3 experiments (average effect r=.61) regardless of whether the judges were interactive participants or passive observers, previously acquainted or strangers, or previously exposed to truths or lies. The predictive power of the PL probability model appears robust and extends to interactive deception despite PL’s logical incompatibility with interpersonal deception theory.

Human Communication Research, Vol. 40(3), July 2014, pg. 350-372.
Full paper:
Timothy Levine, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Communication Studies, Korea University
David D. Clare, Department of Communication, Michigan State University
Tracie Green, Department of Communication, Michigan State University
Hee Sun Park, Professor of Communication, Korea University

Steven Stanton II
Associate Professor of Marketing
Neuromarketing: Ethical Implications of Its Use and Potential Misuse
Neuromarketing is an emerging field in which academic and industry research scientists employ neuroscience techniques to study marketing practices and consumer behavior.

Herein, we will articulate common ethical concerns with neuromarketing as currently practiced, focusing on the potential risks to consumers and the ethical decisions faced by companies.

We argue that the most frequently raised concerns — threats to consumer autonomy, privacy, and control — do not rise to meaningful ethical issues given the current capabilities and implementation of neuromarketing research. But, we identify how potentially serious ethical issues may emerge from neuromarketing research practices in industry, which are largely proprietary and opaque. We identify steps that can mitigate associated ethical risks and thus reduce the threats to consumers. We conclude that neuromarketing has clear potential for positive impact on society and consumers, a fact rarely considered in the discussion on the ethics of neuromarketing.

Journal of Business Ethics, Published online, February 2016, pg. 1-13.
Full paper:
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics, Duke University
Scott A. Huettel, Jerry G. and Patricia Crawford Hubbard Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University

Research Centers

This center focuses on advancing interdisciplinary collaborative research and technology solutions by leveraging the partnerships and resources of the university. With strong research and scholarly direction, the center provides opportunities for student research and internships. Integration with the University’s incubators and their business connections serves as a strong nexus in engaging the community. Through community partnerships, the Center assists in providing solutions, training and talent.

Co-Director: Xiaodong Deng, Ph.D., MIS professor

Data Science and Big Data Analytics

Through its collaborative approach, this center facilitates multidisciplinary data science research. The center combines the expertise of scientists from biological and biomedical sciences, and researchers in mathematics/statistics, engineering, business and finance. These experts use cutting-edge analytics, informatics and computing methodologies to conduct research and develop innovative solutions to address high-impact problems across disciplines. Experts are also available to consult with external industries and businesses. The research focus is on healthcare operations analytics, industrial and financial analytics, genome and evolutionary biology research, sensor networks and the internet of things. The center also partners closely with industry and other institutions to address current and trending issues.

Co-Director: Vijayan Sugumaran, Ph.D., MIS professor and chair, Decision Information Systems

Southeastern Michigan Economic Data Center

Oakland’s Southeastern Michigan Economic Data Center (SEMEDC) uses cutting-edge technology to deliver up-to-date analysis and statistics on the local economy, including labor market, employment and earnings, real estate, consumer prices and key industries. Data compiled from a wealth of sources is available all in one convenient site. As the real-world data changes, the data and displays are updated automatically, so the information provided is always current.

Director: Jonathan Silberman, Ph.D., professor, economics
Senior Research Associate: Timothy Hodge, Ph.D., assistant professor, economics