All posts by Business School

Understanding the impact of test validity and bias on selection errors and adverse impact in human resource selection

Aguinis, Herman and Smith, Marlene A.
Personnel Psychology Vol. 60 Issue 1, p. 165-199

We propose an integrative framework for understanding the relationship among 4 closely related issues in human resource (HR) selection: test validity, test bias, selection errors, and adverse impact. One byproduct of our integrative approach is the concept of a previously undocumented source of selection errors we call bias-based selection errors (i.e., errors that arise from using a biased test as if it were unbiased). Our integrative framework provides researchers and practitioners with a unique tool that generates numerical answers to questions such as the following: What are the anticipated consequences for bias-based selection errors of various degrees of test validity and test bias? What are the anticipated consequences for adverse impact of various degrees of test validity and test bias? From a theory point of view, our framework provides a more complete picture of the selection process by integrating 4 key concepts that have not been examined simultaneously thus far. From a practical point of view, our framework provides test developers, employers, and policy makers a broader perspective and new insights regarding practical consequences associated with various selection systems that vary on their degree of validity and bias. We present a computer program available online to perform all needed calculations.

Mobility, Business Process Management, Software Sourcing, and Maturity Model Trends: Propositions for the IS Organization of the Future

Scott, Judy E.
Information Systems Management Vol. 24 Issue 2, p. 139-145

In this article, I argue that increased mobility, a continued emphasis on business process management, expanded options for the sourcing of enterprise system software, and IS maturity models are trends that will require new capabilities and skills for tomorrow’s IS organization.

Exploiting the Information Web

Gregg, Dawn G. and Walczak, Steven

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part C. Vol. 37 Issue 1 pp. 109-125

The World Wide Web is an increasingly important data source for business decision making; however, extracting information from the Web remains one of the challenging issues related to Web business intelligence applications. To use heterogeneous Web data for decision making, documents containing relevant data must be located and the data of interest within the documents must be identified and extracted. Currently most automatic information extraction systems can only cope with a limited set of document formats or do not adapt well to changes in document structure, as a result, many real-world data sources with complex document structures cannot be consistently interpreted using a single information extraction system. This paper presents an adaptive information extraction system prototype that combines multiple information extraction approaches to allow more accurate and resilient data extraction for a wide variety of Web sources. The Amorphic Web information extraction system prototype can locate data of interest based on domain-knowledge or page structure, can automatically generate a wrapper for a data source, and can detect when the structure of a Web-based resource has changed and act on this to search the updated resource to locate the desired data. The prototype Amorphic information extraction system demonstrated improved information extraction accuracy when compared with traditional data extraction approaches.

Retail price concentration, transaction costs, and price flexibility circa 1900

Eckard, E. Woodrow
Explorations in Economic History Vol. 44 Issue 1, p. 131-153

This paper studies a unique 1901 data set containing prices of three products obtained from grocery stores in over 1400 cities nationwide. A striking characteristic is a high concentration of retail prices at relatively few “even” numbers. I propose a novel transactions cost explanation for this phenomenon on which existing theory is silent. In particular, grocers selected prices that simplified the task of toting up customer bills by hand and reduced related costs. As stores independently adopted this strategy across the country, prices converged to a few even numbers. Several empirical regularities for all three products are consistent with this explanation. An important implication is that preferences for computationally convenient prices would have made prices “sticky.” An independent study of price flexibility circa 1890 supports this hypothesis. The underlying data show price concentration patterns similar to the 1901 data, suggesting that the phenomenon covered a wide range of products.

Effective Knowledge Management Systems for a Clinical Nursing Setting

Ghosh, Biswadip and Scott, Judy E.

Information Systems Management Vol. 24, Issue 1, p. 73-84

Given the critical role of nurses as knowledge workers in a hospital environment, this study investigates the knowledge management processes and organizational enablers associated with effective knowledge management systems (KMS) for a clinical nursing setting. The interview and survey findings shed light on how to effectively design and deploy a clinical KMS in a hospital nursing environment.

Economics of first-contact email advertising

Gopala, Ram D., Tripathib, Arvind K. & Walter, Zhiping D.
Decision Support Systems Vol. 42 Issue 3, p. 1366-1382

Since the advent of the Internet, email has emerged as an important new form of personal communication. The focus of this research is on commercial advertising through the email channel. We analyze the underlying economics of a business model termed admediation that facilitates effective first-contact email advertising. Admediary is a trusted third party that facilitates a mutually desirable communication between buyers and sellers via email, and operates under the ‘opt-in’ mode widely supported by the consumer advocacy groups. Our analytical model examines the incentive structures for all participating entities, and derives pricing strategies, profit implications and characteristics of the email lists. We develop and model a form of price discrimination we term sequential elimination price discrimination that can be practiced via email. Our results indicate that the transactions facilitated by the admediary can create significant value whereby every participating entity realizes increased benefits. These findings underscore the potential of admediation to restore email as an effective communication media for online advertising.


International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making Vol. 5 Issue 4, p. 605-609

In recent years modern methods of optimization have contributed greatly to the advances in data mining and related areas. These contributions continue today and promise to further advance the state of the art both in terms of modeling innovations and new solution methodologies. In this paper, we present a new modeling and solution methodology for unsupervised clustering. Preliminary computational experience is given to illustrate the approach. This methodology is part of our current research and offers considerable opportunity for additional investigation to be conducted by other researchers.

The High Cost of Low Wages

Cascio, Wayne F.
Harvard Business Review Vol. 84 Issue 12, p. 23

This article compares Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club and Costco in terms of employee benefits and wages. The author claims that managing labor costs isn’t a bad idea, but stingy pay and benefits don’t necessarily translate to lower costs in the long run. With 338 stores and 67,600 full-time employees, Costco is the number one wholesaler, while Sam’s Club has 551 stores and 110,200 employees and is the number two wholesaler. Wages at Costco are much higher than those at Sam’s, and it is also more generous with its benefits. The difference, even though Costco’s practices are more expensive, is that Costco has a very low turnover and Sam’s Club a high one. Therefore, the annual cost of replacing employees is nearly three times more for Sam’s Club. Costco’s strategy for cost containment is employee loyalty.

I Bonds versus TIPS: should individual investors prefer one to the other?

Arak, Marcelle and Rosenstein, Stuart
Financial Services Review Vol. 15 Issue 4, p. 265-280

Both TIPS and Series I Bonds are adjusted for inflation, offering a real rate and an inflation adjustment. The inflation adjustment is the same on both securities, but the real portion of the interest rate on TIPS is generally much higher. Despite I Bonds’ less attractive real rate, they have several features that add to their value. They may be redeemed before maturity, at par value plus accrued interest, eliminating price risk. In addition, taxes may be deferred until redemption. We estimate the value of these two features, and find that they are substantial and could potentially offset the lower real rate of I Bonds.

Handling Emotional Reactions to Change

O’Connor, Edward J. and Fiol, C. Marlena
Physician Executive Vol. 32 Issue 6, p. 78-80

The article presents the authors’ views on handling individual emotional reactions to change. Individual emotional reactions to change go through several phases including naive confidence, denial, depression and informed hopefulness. It is important to understand and manage the transitions of people through these phases. After diagnosing a particular phase of emotional transition, specific actions can be taken toward the next phase of emotional transition.

Reclaiming Physician Power: Your Role as a Physician Executive

O’Connor, Edward J. and Fiol, C. Marlena
Physician Executive Vol. 32 Issue 6, p. 46-50

The article discusses various issues related to physician morale. According to a survey, physicians have tried to regain their autonomy in several ways. Physician attitudes and behaviors affect the cost, and quality of health services in many ways. Several clinical quality improvement initiatives launched by accreditation bodies, and government agencies are designed to address the identified quality problem.

Market Decision Making for Online Auction Sellers: Profit Maximization versus Socialization Perspective, A Modified TAM Approach

Walczak, Steven, Gregg, Dawn G. and Berrinberg, Joy

Journal of Electronic Commerce Research Vol. 7, Issue 4, p. 199-220

The purpose of this investigation is to identify factors in the decision making processes used by online auction sellers to select their online auction sales channel. Examining these decision factors will aid in creating a model of online auction seller channel evaluation mechanisms including economic and social factors and may be used by online auction services and intermediaries to maximize their market potential by increasing the perceived value of the various economic or social factors influencing seller outlet selection. An exploratory survey analysis is used to identify the components that online seller’s use for online channel selection.

A framework for data warehouse refresh policies

Michael V. Mannino and Zhiping Walter
Decision Support Systems Vol. 42 Issue 1, p. 121-143

In a field study to explore influences on data warehouse refresh policies, we interviewed data warehouse administrators from 13 organizations about data warehouse details and organizational background. The dominant refresh strategy reported was daily refresh during nonbusiness hours with some deviations due to operational decision making and data source availability. As a result of the study, we developed a framework consisting of short-term and long-term influences of refresh policies along with traditional information system success variables influenced by refresh policies. The framework suggests the need for research about process design, data timeliness valuation, and optimal refresh policy design.

Computation of effect size for moderating effects of categorical variables in multiple regression

Aguinis, H., & Pierce, C. A.
Applied Psychological Measurement Vol. 30, Issue 3, p. 440-442
[available at ]

We provide a user-friendly description of a modified f 2 effect-size estimate for categorical moderator variables in multiple regression. We recommend that this modified f 2 statistic be used when the homogeneity of error variance assumption is violated. Many researchers in the social sciences may not report effect-size estimates because the tools needed to compute these estimates are not readily available. To increase researchers’ awareness of f 2 in general and to increase the accessibility of computing modified f 2 values, we also describe an on-line program that performs all computations needed and offer this program free-of-charge at the following URL: A benefit of using this program is that, once computed, researchers are able to compare the magnitude of their modified f 2 values to values commonly observed in the social sciences as determined by Aguinis, Beaty, Boik, and Pierce’s (2005) 30-year review of the size of moderating effects of categorical variables.

Decency Means More than "Always Low Prices": A Comparison of Costco to Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club

Cascio, Wayne F.
Academy of Management Perspectives Vol. 20 Issue 3, p. 26-37

Wal-Mart’s emphasis on “Always low prices. Always” has made it the largest retail operation in history. However, this unrelenting mission has also created a way of doing business that draws substantial criticism regarding the company’s employment practices, relationships with suppliers, and the company’s impact on local economies. This paper focuses on a company that delivers low prices to consumers, but in a fundamentally different way than its competitor, Wal-Mart. That company is warehouse-retailer Costco. In the following sections we will begin by providing some background on the company, including its history, its business model, its ethical principles, core beliefs, and values. Then we will consider some typical Wall Street analysts’ assessments of this approach, followed by a systematic comparison of the financial performance of Costco with that of Sam’s Club, a warehouse retailer that is part of Wal-Mart.

Teaching the concept of the sampling distribution of the mean

Aguinis, H., & Branstetter, S. A.
Journal of Management Education Vol 31, Issue 4, 2007

We use proven cognitive and learning principles and recent developments in the field of educational psychology to teach the concept of the sampling distribution of the mean, which is arguably one of the most central concepts in inferential statistics. The proposed pedagogical approach relies on cognitive load, contiguity, and experiential learning theories and on the integration of new knowledge within previously formed knowledge structures. Thus, the proposed approach stimulates both visual and auditory learning, engages students in the process of learning through problem solving, and presents information so that it builds on existing knowledge. Results of an experiment including introductory statistics undergraduate students indicate that students exposed to the proposed theory-based pedagogical approach enhanced their learning by approximately 60%.

The Economic Impact of Employee Behaviors on Organizational Performance

Cascio, Wayne
California Management Review Vol. 48 Issue 4, p. 41-59

The behavior of employees has important effects on the operating expenses of organizations in both the private and public sectors. While these effects are not widely known (or even, in some cases, appreciated by employers), they are, nonetheless, quite substantial. This article considers some key areas where the behavior of employees has a meaningful financial impact on their organizations. The areas it examines are: the effects of high- versus low-wage employment strategies on employee turnover and productivity; the importance of employee retention; absenteeism and presenteeism; healthcare costs associated with unhealthy lifestyles; employee attitudes; payoffs from training through development programs; and payoffs from the use of valid staffing procedures. While these areas are by no means exhaustive, they are representative of those that most employers encounter. This article also presents strategies for employers to improve the performance of their organizations by managing people wisely and illustrates its analysis through a comparison of the employment strategies of two well-known retailers, Costco and Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club.

Guiding Organizational Identity Through Aged Adolescence

Corley, Kevin G., Harquail, Celia V., Pratt, Michael G., Glynn, Mary Ann, Fiol, C. Marlene, & Hatch, Mary Jo
Journal of Management Inquiry Vol. 15, Issue 2, p. 85-99

In this article, the authors reflect on the past two decades of research on organizational identity, looking to its history and to its future. They do not provide a review of the literature, nor do they promote a particular perspective on the concept. Instead, they advocate pluralism in studying organizational identity while encouraging clarity and transparency in the articulation of definitions and core theoretical suppositions. Believing there is no one best approach to the study of organizational identity, their intent is to establish a reference point that can orient future work on organizational identity. They focus on three questions they feel are critical: What is the nomological net that embeds organizational identity? Is organizational identity “real” (or simply metaphorical)? and How do we define and conceptualize organizational identity? Last, they try to anticipate organizational identity issues on the horizon to suggest future directions for theory and research.

Examination Of Situational And Attitudinal Moderators Of The Hesitation And Performance Relation

Diefendorff, James M., Richard, Erin M., & Gosserand, Robin H.
Personnel Psychology Vol. 59, Issue 2, p. 365-393

The hesitation dimension of action-state orientation refers to the behavioral capacity to start action on tasks. In this study, job characteristics (autonomy and routineness) and job attitudes (satisfaction and involvement) were examined as moderators of the relation between hesitation and supervisor ratings of work behaviors (overall job performance and self-management performance) in 2 different samples. In both samples, routineness moderated the hesitation and self-management performance relation such that individuals low in hesitation performed better than individuals high in hesitation when routineness was low, but no differences in performance were observed when routineness was high. In addition, job satisfaction and job involvement were significant moderators of the relation between hesitation and self-management performance, with individuals low in hesitation performing better than individuals high in hesitation when satisfaction or involvement was low, but no differences in performance were observed when satisfaction or involvement was high.