September 2013


Niccol Leads Taco Bell to the Top

Business Advisory Council member Brian Niccol (MU '96), President of Taco Bell Corp., is credited by Ad Age as a driving force behind the chain's repositioning success.

Ad Age recently honored Taco Bell as its Marketer of the Year. Read the article here:

June 2013


Health care premiums likely to rise for most Ohio businesses under ACA

John Bowblis, Assistant Professor of Economics, was quoted in an Insurance News Net article about the likely impact of the Affordable Care Act on Ohio businesses.

"The reason rates might vary so widely are tied primarily to the health care law's new rules for underwriting health insurance policies, which require insurers to weigh potential health risks for an entire community rather than a particular workforce", said John Bowblis, a Miami University economics professor and health expert.

"If you were a business that had a relatively young, healthy workforce, you would pay a lower premium based on the relatively lower risk of your workforce," Bowblis said. "Now, with the community rating, everybody is required to get the same premium."

"The premium is going to be based on the average risk of everybody in that community, so if you had an older sicker workforce paying higher premiums they may actually end up paying lower premiums now because of the community rating."

Read the article here:


American Greetings shareholder objects to Weiss family's plans to go private

John Bowblis, Assistant Professor of Economics, was quoted in a article about American Greetings' intention to take the company private. TowerView, a 6.2% shareholder of American Greetings Corp., opposes the plan.

"John Bowblis, assistant professor of economics at Miami University's Farmer School of Business in Oxford, said that as much as TowerView might be looking to sway other investors' votes, "six percent of shares is not enough to move the needle in most of these cases."

He said that because the largest percentage of publicly traded companies are usually held by large institutional investors, mutual funds and pension funds, "their opinion matters more," both to other investors and to the company management itself. "They tend to have more sway than a single large shareholder," he said.

Read the article here:


From Tampa to Seattle, Ellram's Associated Press Interview is a Hit

As an expert in "reshoring," the process of bringing a business operation back to its country of origin, Rees Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management, Lisa Ellram is often called upon for comment. Such was the case when Joyce Rosenberg of the Associated Press was writing a story about small businesses "reversing the tide" and bringing manufacturing back to the US.

The resulting story, "Made in the USA Back in Style for Some Small Businesses as Reshoring Brings Manufacturing Home," has been picked up by print and online media across the country, and, two weeks after its original publishing date, it's still news.

Read the article here:

May 2013


Farmer School Recognizes Outstanding Educators and Researchers

This year, six faculty members were recognized at the Farmer School's Divisional Recognition Ceremony. Shown at right:

Dr. Jeff Smith is this year's recipient of the Farmer School of Business Senior Faculty Award for Research Excellence.

Dr. Tom Boulton is this year's recipient of the James Robeson Junior Faculty Award for Research Excellence.

Dr. David Shrider, an associate professor in the finance department, is this year's recipient of the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award as the Outstanding Professor for the 2012-13.

Dr. Chuck Moul, an assistant professor in the economics department, is this year's recipient of the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award as the Outstanding Junior Professor for the 2012-13.

Dr. Jim Friedman and Jan Taylor were recipients of the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award as the Outstanding Clinical Professors for the year.



















Jobless claims drop in Ohio, nation

Bill Even (Economics) was quoted in a May 2nd Dayton Daily News article about interpreting jobless claims data.

"We can have fewer layoffs going on in the economy, which could cause the jobless claims to drop, and simultaneously, other firms are just not increasing their hiring," said William Even, the Raymond E. Glos professor of business with the Farmer School of Business at Miami University. "I would be more excited about a big jobs number than a big drop in the number of new claims for jobless benefits."

Across the nation, new claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending on April 27 fell 18,000 from the prior week and 31,000 from the week before that, labor data show. Initial claims were down 13 percent from the same week the previous year.

In the Dayton region, the heavy concentration of jobs tied to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base explains why initial unemployment claims crept upward to 717 last week, said George Zeller, an economic research analyst in Cleveland. The data is for Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties. The number of jobless claims can be volatile week to week, and Zeller said he uses a four-week running average to "smooth out" the data.

Employers in March added only 88,000 jobs, the lowest level since June 2012, and less than half the gains some economists predicted. "You need about 150,000 new jobs each month just to absorb the new people coming into the labor market because of population growth and immigration," said Even, with Miami University. "The 90,000 jobs last month was bad."

February 2013


J.M. Smucker wants to churn out even more Jif and other peanut butters

Devon DelVecchio (Marketing) was quoted in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article about Smucker's decision to invest $99 million into its peanut butter brands.

"Devon DelVecchio, associate professor of marketing at Miami University's Farmer School of Business, said it makes sense for Smucker to increase sales of its well-known core brands among its current customers, who might decide to try Jif Hazelnut Spread instead of buying a jar of Nutella. The company is also appealing to time-strapped consumers willing to pay a premium for products like single-serve Jif to Go.

It's easier for Smucker to innovate and create new products with higher profit margins than to try and gain market share simply on price, DelVecchio said.

"And for retailers, there's a comfort level to putting Jif on the shelf, because if it says 'Jif' on it, it will probably sell."

To read the entire article, go to


Faculty Members Granted Promotion, Tenure

The Farmer School congratulates several of its faculty members, who were successful in the promotions and tenure process this year. Their new status, approved by Miami's Board of Trustees today, will take effect July 1, 2013.

Gillian Oakenfull, of the Marketing Department, was promoted to full professor. Thomas Boulton (Finance), Sanjay Puligadda (Marketing), Drew Reffett (Accountancy), Pete Salzarulo (Management), and Dale Stoel (Accountancy) were promoted to associate professor and granted tenure.

Additionally, Jan Eighme (Accountancy) and Janice Kinghorn (Economics) have been promoted to Senior Lecturer status.

"Please join me in extending congratulations to these colleagues and friends. Their performance in and outside the classroom has proven them to be high quality teachers and scholars," said Farmer School Interim Dean Raymond Gorman.


Dr. Geoff Kistruck Named to Editorial Board of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

Dr. Geoff Kistruck, Cintas Chair in Entrepreneurship, has been selected to join the Editorial Board of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Since joining the Farmer School last fall, Geoff has had articles accepted for publication in both the Journal of Management Studies and the Academy of Management Journal.

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice is a leading scholarly journal in the field of Entrepreneurship studies and the official journal of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). The journal's mission is to publish original conceptual and empirical papers that contribute to the advancement of the field of entrepreneurship.

Topics include, but are not limited to: National and International Studies of Enterprise Creation; Small Business Management; Family-owned Businesses; Minority Issues in Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Research Methodologies; Venture Financing; Corporate and Non-profit Entrepreneurship.

December 2012


Dr. Geoff Kistruck Named to Editorial Board of the Journal of Management

Dr. Geoff Kistruck, Cintas Chair in Entrepreneurship, has been selected to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Management. Since joining the Farmer School this fall, Geoff has had articles accepted for publication in both the Journal of Management Studies and the Academy of Management Journal.

The Journal of Management (JOM) is a highly regarded, peer-reviewed, bi-monthly publication. It is committed to publishing scholarly empirical and theoretical research articles that have a high impact on the management field as a whole. JOM encourages new ideas or new perspectives on existing research. Manuscripts that are suitable for publication in JOM cover domains such as business strategy and policy, entrepreneurship, human resource management, organizational behavior, organizational theory, and research methods.

The Journal of Management is one of the highest rated journals in the field with an impact factor of 4.95 and rankings of #1 in applied psychology and #4 in business.


Roger Jenkins Honored as Retiring Dean

The Miami University Board of Trustees today issued a formal resolution honoring Roger Jenkins, retiring dean of the Farmer School of Business, for his unprecedented accomplishments as Dean of the Farmer School.

Resolution R2013-xx, states: WHEREAS, Roger L. Jenkins has served as Dean of the Farmer School of Business since 2002; and

WHEREAS, during his term Dean Jenkins has demonstrated distinguished service and exceptional leadership in continuously moving the Business School from "Good to Great;" and

WHEREAS, this continuous transformation has resulted in national recognition of the Farmer School as a top tier business program, earning the rank of 23rd overall and 8th amongst public university business programs in the 2012 BusinessWeek survey of our nation's finest undergraduate business schools; and

WHEREAS, Dean Jenkins' tireless and stirring efforts to make his vision of a new home for the Farmer School a reality resulted in over $50 million in private gifts from caring and generous donors towards the construction of a state-of-the-art 220,000 square foot facility; and

WHEREAS, Dean Jenkins' efforts were instrumental in constructing a building which was the first on campus to be LEED certified, and which features innovative classroom design, the latest technology, and exceptional service facilities, to dramatically transform the way student learn, enhance the interactions between students and faculty, and provide the absolute highest level of student support; and

WHEREAS, Dean Jenkins' active engagement with the business community fostered client relationships for student teams to learn through action as consultants, allowed students to visit directly with top business leaders on campus, to experience the business world firsthand as interns, and upon graduation, to succeed as professionals through expanded career opportunities; and

WHEREAS, Dean Jenkins' inspiring and determined efforts also produced countless new opportunities for students by working with Miami's generous donors to create new scholarships, fund innovative programs, support international study, facilitate experiential learning, and enhance access to cutting-edge technology and the latest data; allowing Miami's students to flourish and to prepare them to become the leaders of tomorrow; and

WHEREAS, Dean Jenkins is also both a renowned businessman who led Goody's Family Clothing and a renowned scholar whose work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Marketing Research; and

WHEREAS Dean Jenkins has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Harold Maynard Award through the Journal of Marketing, and in being named Miami University's first ever Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the members of the Miami University Board of Trustees do hereby express to Dean Jenkins their sincere gratitude and warm regard for his service and leadership to Miami University; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the members of the Board offer their best wishes for his continued good health and success in all future endeavors.

Done, by the Miami University Board of Trustees, this Seventh Day of December, Two Thousand Twelve at Miami University, in the City of Oxford, County of Butler, State of Ohio, during the Two Hundred and Third year of the University's Charter.


Heitger named Deloitte Professor of Accountancy

Dan Heitger, Professor of Accountancy & Co-Director, Center for Business Excellence, has been named the Deloitte Professor of Accountancy.

The Deloitte Foundation Professorship was created to recognize and reward research and teaching excellence. The endowment was established with the contributions of partners, principals, and employees of Deloitte and its subsidiaries, together with matching gifts and grants from the Deloitte Foundation.

Professorships provide financial support to university faculty and assist institutions in attracting and retaining the most talented professors, and we congratulate Dan on being awarded this distinction.


Michelle Thomas Assumes Expanded Role

Effective immediately, Michelle Thomas, (MU '91) will assume the role of Director of Student Organizations & Diversity for the Farmer School of Business.

"Creating a more diverse educational climate has long been a strategic initiative of the Farmer School, and its importance is as critical today as ever. The School has an unquestionable interest in the creation of a more diverse community and I firmly believe excellence and diversity go hand-in-hand, and that to succeed in the contemporary workplace, our students must develop an appreciation for the distinctive contributions of people different from themselves. I am thrilled that Michelle will be using her many talents in helping us achieve this initiative." stated Roger L. Jenkins, Dean and Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership

Some of Michelle's new responsibilities include: • Partnering with recruiters on creating opportunities for engaging with diverse students and student organizations • Partnering with recruiters and alumni on developing scholarships for underrepresented students • Enlisting the support of multi-cultural alumni, FSB faculty, and administrators to welcome diverse students to the Farmer School • Advising students on how to navigate campus and utilize support systems • Building a bridge from the Dean's office to diverse FSB students, prospective students, recruiters and guest speakers • Partnering with the Dean and executive committee to ensure that FSB policies are considering potential diversity and inclusion issues • Partnering with campus offices and organizations to increase retention

November 2012


Daytonians making more money, report shows

Economics professor James Brock is quoted in a November 28th Dayton Daily News story exploring income growth in Dayton compared to nation wide trends.

"The growth in personal income, which was up last year 4.4 percent nationwide to $41,560 per capita, means many Americans have seen their buying power strengthen along with their incomes", said James Brock, a Miami University economics professor.

"You're seeing upturns in lots of different measures of economic health, and you're seeing the growth in personal incomes reflected in strong holiday sales," said Brock, referring to the record-breaking Thanksgiving weekend in which holiday sales topped an estimated $52 billion.

Underscoring the increase, personal incomes were up despite a sharp decline in the growth of government social benefits payments, including Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. Annual growth in government payments across all metro areas slowed to 1.5 percent in 2011, down from 7.1 percent in 2010, according to the bureau's report. Meanwhile, earnings grew 5.5 percent, and income from investments - including dividends, interest, and rent - grew 7.6 percent for all metros in 2011.

"This seems to corroborate the recovery of the economy, especially in the private sector, since it's private sector income that's grown more than government payments have grown," Brock said.


When Walmart, Target and other stores open for Black Friday

Marketing professor Mike McCarthy is quoted in a November 20th Philadelphia Business Journal story about retailers moving up the start time for "Black Friday."

"People accepted Black Friday, so the retailers think, ‘Why not move it back? If we're all open Thursday, then no one has the advantage," said Mike McCarthy, professor of marketing at Miami University.

The story looked at the Black Friday strategies of major retailers and shopping malls.


Gillian Oakenfull Selected as Ohio Professor of the Year

Gillian Oakenfull, associate professor of marketing and the director of Experiential Learning at the Farmer School of Business, has been selected as the 2012 Ohio Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). It is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

Oakenfull was selected from nearly 300 top professors in the United States. This year, a state Professor of the Year was recognized in just 30 states and the District of Columbia. Professors are being honored at a luncheon Thursday, Nov. 15, in Washington, D.C.

Oakenfull was nominated by colleagues and students.

"I have been engaged in business education for almost forty years, and I have not in all that time met a more innovative and dedicated instructor than Gillian Oakenfull," said Dennis Sullivan, senior director of international programs at the Farmer School of Business.

"As director of the Honors Program at Miami University, I have shepherded over 900 proposals for honors courses through the review process and observed hundreds of faculty teaching courses. When Dr. Oakenfull submitted her proposal for an honors marketing capstone course, "SocietyWise 360," I along with the other members of our review committee were, to put it bluntly, astonished. It was the most thoughtful, developed and rigorous proposal for an advanced honors course we had ever seen. When she taught the course, the results were nothing less than stupendous," said Carolyn Haynes, interim associate provost and professor of English. "Dr. Oakenfull is exactly the type of educator that higher education needs. She is highly reflective, thoughtful, rigorous and innovative - and she is willing to marshal vast amounts of courage, make herself vulnerable and take purposeful risks to develop her students into deep thinkers and serious professionals."

Oakenfull describes her teaching philosophy this way: "My teaching is designed to prepare and empower students to deal with complexity, diversity and change. I achieve this objective by creating a student-centered experiential learning environment that actively applies to four central tenets - thinking critically, understanding contexts, engaging with other learners and reflecting and acting. As such, I have devoted considerable effort to developing learning models that are inquiry-driven, call for active learning and place the student at the very center of his or her learning experience. In addition, I focus much of the class on developing my students' abilities to communicate effectively and deal with ambiguity - two skills that I believe are vital for long-term success in both their professional careers and personal lives … I believe that as a business professor I have a responsibility to instill in my students an understanding of their individual role as future members and leaders of organizations whose activities affect the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere."

Oakenfull, who started teaching at Miami in 1998, won the 2009 Richard T. Farmer Teaching Excellence Award. In early 2012, she received the Academy of Marketing Science's Outstanding Marketing Teacher Award and the Marketing Management Association's 2012 Hormel Meritorious Teaching Award.

"Dr. Oakenfull is probably best known as a world leader in developing and teaching experiential learning classes," said Farmer School Dean Roger Jenkins. "Moreover, her leadership on diversity-related issues is matched by no one. She is chair of the Farmer School's diversity committee, the chief faculty adviser to the Women in Business student organization and a member of the College of Arts and Sciences' ‘Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.' Recently, she coordinated GLBTQ "safe-zone training" for my entire executive committee and other members of the faculty. As a result of her tireless efforts, in 2011 Dr. Oakenfull received the Women Breaking Barriers Award from Miami's Women's Center."

CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center that supports needed transformations in American education. CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas.


'Lottery Win' Gas Boom Farmers Fear Obama

Economics professor, James Brock, is quoted in a Sky News (UK) story about farmers fearing they could be denied a multimillion-dollar windfall from oil and natural gas reserves beneath their feet in Ohio because of Barack Obama's desire for cleaner energy.

"Fracking," said Brock, "along with the revived car industry, was part of an "economic renaissance" in the state, where both candidates have days to win over crucial undecided voters."

He said Mr Obama had stayed out of the industry's way, which allows him to take credit for growth. Brock continued, "For Romney, that's not great because he's trying to paint the picture of the economy in this terrible position."

"It makes it hard to predict votes. It's what makes Ohio especially interesting as a swing state - there's so much optimism now and the only question is: Which candidate will benefit?"

October 2012


Will Auto Bailout and Uptick in Ohio Economy be a Boon to Obama's Re-election Chances?

James Brock, Economics professor at the Farmer School, was quoted in the Washington Post, commenting on what role the improving Ohio economy might play in the November elections.

"Each side is selling a portrait," says James Brock, an economics professor at Miami University in Ohio. "For Obama, it's, ‘Look, things are getting better, stick with me.' For Romney, it's, ‘Things will be a lot better if you switch to me.' Where does the electorate go? Will they stick with what seems to be working or jump to something that might work better?"

Read the full article.

September 2012


Federal Reserve Decides to Trigger Third Easing to Help Economy

Steve Wyatt, finance chair at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, commenting on the Federal Reserve's decision to buy $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities.

"They're trying to give a little bit of a boost to the resurgent housing market."

Wyatt was also quoted in a Friday afternoon wire story that ran in Dow Jones, and was picked up in various other subscription feeds, including the DJ Chinese Financial wire and DJ US Equities wire. The story also migrated over into a larger piece that ran in The Wall Street Journal online.

August 2012


Forthcoming Farmer School Faculty Publications

Congratulations to the following Farmer School of Business faculty members on their forthcoming publications:

Geoff Kistruck (Entrepreneurship) will publish "Social Intermediation in Base-of-the-Pyramid Markets" in the Journal of Management Studies. The paper was written with Paul Beamish, Israr Qureshi, and Christopher Sutter.

Geoff Kistruck and Brett Smith (Entrepreneurship) whose manuscript "Mitigating Principal-Agent Problems in Base-of-the-Pyramid Markets: An Identity Spillover Perspective" is accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Journal. The paper was written with Ohio State University professors Christopher Sutter and Robert Lount.

Bryan Ashenbaum (Management) whose paper, "Connecting Strategy-linked Outsourcing Approaches and Performance" is accepted for publication in the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.


Want Some Help Attracting New Customers? Try The Best Kept Secret In Town.

By Mark Lacker, John W. Altman Clinical Professor Entrepreneurship, Farmer School of Business

Quick - which metro area in the country has had more undergraduate entrepreneurship programs ranked in the Top 25 in the past five years? Thinking Bay Area, Boston, Chicago? Nope, Greater Cincinnati takes the prize and it's the best kept secret in town.

Entrepreneurship programs at Miami, NKU, Xavier and UC are either currently ranked among top 25 undergraduate programs nationally or have been within the past five years. If this were college hoops, we would be talking about four perennial tournament teams.

Like all winning teams, our local entrepreneurship programs have high quality players. Entrepreneurship students are learning the latest methods and ways of thinking that can help add value to your business. And, they employ the newest techniques to identify and develop new growth opportunities.

Students may be able to receive course credit for their experience. Some entrepreneurship programs like Miami's also offer a compensation reimbursement match to the employer depending on the nature of the internship. You can engage entrepreneurship students through class assignments, student consulting projects and both full-time and part-time internships.

If you really want to receive full value from your involvement with entrepreneurship students, turn them loose on the right assignments.

Doing The Work Or Creating New Opportunities?

Not long ago I attended a meet up of local entrepreneurs in an effort to place students as interns. Several business owners came up to me after the meeting to express interest in our internship program. When I asked when they might like an intern and for what purpose, often the response was, "as soon as we get the work, we'll hire someone." I've owned a business and I get it - keep expenses in line with revenues.

It's a deceptively logical way of thinking…except it misses the point of what an entrepreneurial college student can do for your business. It's not merely doing the work you already have; it's about creating new revenue opportunities for your business.

The fresh thinking, high energy, and innate understanding of the latest tools they bring to the table provide a recipe for creating irresistible marketing campaigns, understanding new markets, and finding ways to outflank entrenched competition. Bringing someone new in the door allows ‘fresh eyes' to see how the organization runs, and students are natural idea generators.

It Works

This past semester Miami entrepreneurship students worked on a project for a local early stage company, Blackbook HR, a firm that specializes in acclimating and engaging newly relocated employees to Cincinnati, to develop market entry strategies for a new service line. The team developed and tested new service offerings, marketing messages, price points and created business partnerships to promote the services.

"I have significant experience working with college students as interns but this was the first time I had worked with entrepreneurship students", said Myrita Craig, President of Blackbook HR. "Their perspective was very much that of a business owner and really considered how their recommendations impacted all aspects of our business. Their ideas and depth of execution really hit the project out of the park."

"We were especially excited about working with local students because we know from our work helping other businesses to acclimate and retain top talent that students who have internships are more likely to stay in the area where their internship is after graduation," Craig said.

After the project, Paul Baechtold, a Miami Senior, was retained as an intern to help implement the plan over the summer.

"Entrepreneurship students as a whole are extremely ambitious and driven and are looking for outlets to apply their creative thinking and new ideas", notes Baechtold. "This summer experience has completely opened my eyes to what Cincinnati has to offer. I'm from Bloomington, Indiana and would love to stay in Cincinnati after I graduate in December."


Working with entrepreneurship students from our nationally renowned programs can be a win-win-win arrangement. Students are able to apply the latest business ideas and create value for your organization, you receive actionable ideas you can use, and our region increases our young talent base. Think of it as a triple bottom line. Classes start later this month at each school so start thinking about inviting entrepreneurship students into your organization.

Originally published on August 19, 2012, in The Cincinnati Enquirer.


Euro Gains Ahead of Central Bank Decisions

Steve Wyatt, finance chair at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, commenting on what may impact Federal Reserve policy decisions this week.

"The real attention is in Europe. We're at a critical juncture with regard to ECB actions. In particular, with regard to whether they decide to support sovereign bond markets."

Read the full article.

March 2012


Supply Chain Education: Ask the Professors

Lisa Ellram, the James Evans Rees Distinguished Professor of Distribution and a supply chain expert, was featured in Inbound Logistics magazine.

Dr. Ellram was one of a handful of professors featured in a recent cover article designed to help students plan a career in supply chain management. Inbound Logistics is a leading industry magazine dedicated to promoting change and innovation in supply chain processes and overall business operations.

Read the full article.


Differentiate Your Supply Chain Management Using Logistics

Ken Kinlock, an e-commerce consultant and supply chain expert, mentions the Farmer School of Business in a recent blog post about how to differentiate a supply chain using logistics.

Read the blog post.


Share and Share Alike: How Marketers Can Exploit Infectious Sharing Behavior

Originally published on March 8, 2012, on EurekAlert! (

In the world of marketing, people who are thinking about sharing product information they find in online advertising are likely to first consider whether the information is relevant to friends and family in their social networks.

The notion of a piece of information, a video clip, amusing photo or informative email going "viral" was initially a purely organic concept where every consumers and users shared such an item to the point where few people would remain unaware of its existence. However, marketing and advertising executives quickly recognized the potential and now, it seems, spend a great deal of time and effort attempting to emulate the exponential awareness of this organic sharing. As such, there is a substantial body of research into what makes a natural digital entity "go viral" and how that process might be exploited by business for commercial gain. The not-for-profit and even government sectors are also keen to find success in this area.

James Coyle of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and colleagues point out that the old-school marketing techniques are not quite as sharp as they once were. "The effectiveness of the 'create once, run everywhere' traditional marketing method is blunted by the expansion of media options that now include consumer-controlled media online and on mobile devices," they explain in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing.

The researchers suggest that there are ways in which business and others can readily tap into "word-of-mouth" marketing and the so-called web 2.0 world of social networking and sharing.

Unfortunately, the team suggests, the reasons why some viral campaigns succeed where others fail remain a mystery. To gain new insights into the nature of online virality, the team conducted surveys of two audience types: high-tech business-to-business users and people seeking consumer health information.

The team was able to assess the degree to which people in each group was willing to share a given marketing item as well as looking at how much those people shared in general on the internet and offline. They also asked questions to gauge the degree of caution individuals revealed in choosing what to share with scant knowledge about its source or the validity of the content. The team also determined how much information filtering the users undertook as well as measuring their personal involvement in the item being shared.

"In our study, in two very different product categories increased product involvement was a significant predictor in increased likelihood of sharing information from an online ad," the team says. Similarly, they add, involvement was "how much an ad made participants think of others in their social network also contributed to higher intentions for sharing."


Mortgages Exceeding Home Values, Restraining Growth

David Marshall, assistant professor of finance at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Dayton Daily News, commenting on the impact that upside-down mortgages can have on consumer spending.

"Assuming you haven't lost your job, the fact that you owe more than your house is worth shouldn't have much impact on spending," Dr. Marshall said. "But people have this wealth concept. When you feel your house is appreciating, you just feel wealthier. You feel you can better afford that new house, better afford that car."

Read the full article.


Turning Passion Into Profits: Creating Buzz with Beeswax

Roger Jenkins, dean of the Farmer School of Business, was featured in a recent MSN "Business on Main" segment.

"Business on Main" is MSN's community for small business leaders. The site highlights small business successes and connects business owners with experts who can offer advice and coaching. In this feature, Dr. Jenkins comments on the importance of building a scalable and sustainable business plan.

Read the full article.


Ohio's Economic Extremes Complicate GOP Jobs Message

James Brock, Bill R. Moeckel Professor of Economics at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the National Journal, commenting on the Ohio economy in advance of Tuesday's GOP primary.

The National Journal is Washington, DC's premier source of nonpartisan insight on politics and policy.

Read the full article.


Mild Winter Hurting, Helping Local Businesses

Dennis Sullivan, professor of economics at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Middletown (OH) Journal News, commenting on whether the mild winter has helped or hurt Ohio businesses.

"Unseasonably warm temperatures should lead to a boost in overall retail spending," Dr. Sullivan said. "People can feel like they get out and shop in a variety of environments, whereas a severe winter may cause them to hole up at home. I would expect January sales were better this year than last year ... but it's hard to pull that apart from the fact that the overall economy is recovering and too early to quantify that very readily."

Read the full article.


More than 10 Area Nonprofit CEOs Making More Than $100k

Rocco Manzo, who teaches management at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Middletown (OH) Journal News, commenting on salary trends for Butler County nonprofit executives.

Read the full article.

February 2012


Home Prices Need to Fall to Fix Market

David Marshall, assistant professor of finance at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Hamilton (OH) Journal News, commenting on January home sales, which hit a 10-year high.

According to Dr. Marshall, "There's the conventional thought that if sales are increasing that's only going to happen because we're going to have more buyers who are interested. If you've got more buyers, that's more demand, that may keep the prices of houses falling further. It's starting to signal demand is coming back."

Read the full article.


Will American Airlines' Woes Affect Flights?

James Brock, Bill R. Moeckel Professor of Economics at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the "On the Spot" column of the LA Times, commenting on the economic outlook for the American Airlines.

According to Dr. Brock, "American's best bet may be to become smaller, not larger. They have the potential to be a very sleek, slimmed-down, competitive airline. American can be one of the last, best hopes for competition in the domestic [airline] market."

Read the full article.

Photo credit Mike Fuentes / Bloomberg


Recent Farmer School Faculty Publications

Congratulations to these Farmer School faculty members, whose papers were accepted for publication in these prestigious journals:

  • Mark Griffiths (Finance) will publish "An Interview with Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus" in the Academy of Management Learning and Education. Written with Jill R. Kickul, Siri Terejesen and Sophie Bacq. The Academy of Management Learning & Education (AMLE) is an academic journal published by the Academy of Management. Its mission is to advance the knowledge and practice of management learning and education.
  • John Bowblis (Economics) had his co-authored paper "The Impact of State Regulations on Nursing Home Care Practices" accepted for publication in the Journal of Regulatory Economics.
  • Jim Coyle and Glenn Platt (both in Interactive Media Studies) had their manuscript "‘I'm Here to Help': How Companies' Microblog Responses to Consumer Problems Influence Brand Perceptions" accepted for publication in the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.
  • John Bowblis (Economics) had his paper "Market Structure, Competition from Assisted Living Facilities and Quality in the Nursing Home Industry" accepted for publication in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy.

Thousands of Jobs for the Skilled and Educated

Marc Rubin, PricewaterhouseCoopers Professor & Chair of Accountancy at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Dayton Daily News, commenting that Ohio can expect jobs growth in the future for technical and skilled positions, especially in accounting and finance.

Read the full article.


Job Shift Slams Ohio Workers

Bill Even, Raymond E. Glos Professor of Business (Economics) at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Dayton Daily News, commenting that the shift from manufacturing and construction jobs to more knowledge-based jobs is an obstacle for jobs growth in Ohio.

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Investments in Health Care Benefit Local Economy

Steve Wyatt, professor and chair of finance at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Norwalk (OH) Reflector, commenting on the value to a local and regional economy of capital investments in hospitals and other health care systems.


Available Jobs Rise but Hiring Still Flat

Bill Even, Raymond E. Glos Professor of Business (Economics), was quoted in the Middletown (OH) Journal, commenting that structural changes in the economy are preventing hiring from keeping pace with job openings.

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Social Entrepreneurship: Value Creation through Different Models

By Brett Smith, professor and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship
Farmer School of Business
Miami University

Contrary to popular belief social entrepreneurship does not equal nonprofit organizations. While social entrepreneurship may occur within and through 501(c) 3 organizations, the legal entity is not the primary criterion for social entrepreneurial activity.  In social entrepreneurship, it is the explicit social mission that distinguishes social entrepreneurship from other start-ups. In this way, social entrepreneurship can occur along a continuum of for-profit to non-profit organizations where the social mission is central and explicit. Following are a few of the many examples in the Cincinnati area that use different models to deliver social value.

Nonprofit focused on social value creation: GCEA

Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA) is a nonprofit organization whose explicit social mission is to lower consumer, business and nonprofit use of energy. The Department of Energy provided early stage funding with goals of reducing energy / environmental costs and of creating jobs for Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. A recent study indicates that energy efficiency could save residents and nonprofits more than $60 million and create more than 300 jobs, adding another $13 million in economic benefit to the area. In this way, the founding of GCEA by Andy Holzhauser created a nonprofit organization focused on creating social value by reducing unnecessary energy consumption.

For-profit focused on social value creation: Nehemiah Manufacturing

Although GCEA started as a nonprofit organization, Nehemiah Manufacturing organized their business as a traditional for-profit manufacturing company with one primary difference: the goal to generate social value through the company. Launched by Dan Meyer and Richard Palmer, Nehemiah Manufacturing has an explicit purpose of building brands, creating jobs and changing lives. As brands are developed and grown, Nehemiah Manufacturing creates jobs for people who have challenges finding employment, including those with criminal records or gaps in employment. As a result, the for-profit organization, that manufactures licensed products such as Kandoo personal care products, creates the social value of providing jobs for those who may not have otherwise found employment.

Organizations that accelerate social value creation: Flywheel Cincinnati

While nonprofit organizations have often relied on grant and donation models to fund their operations, an increasing trend is occurring where nonprofit organizations create revenue generating strategies, commonly referred to as social enterprises. Flywheel Cincinnati is a social enterprise hub, where services range from initial training classes to one-on-one consulting, designed to meet organizations wherever they are in the process of considering or executing a social enterprise. Flywheel Cincinnati is working with nonprofit organizations in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to accelerate the development and execution of revenue generating strategies that improve financial sustainability and deliver their social mission. In this way, Flywheel Cincinnati helps nonprofit organizations take greater control over their destiny by integrating economic and social value creation.

Each of these entrepreneurial organizations launched within the last few years in Greater Cincinnati. More importantly, these organizations represent both the diversity and promise of the field of social entrepreneurship creating value in our region through the identification, development and execution of an explicit and central social mission.

Originally published in the Cincinnati Enquirer on February 5, 2012


State of the State: Vital Signs Improving for Ohio

James Brock, Bill R. Moeckel Professor of Economics at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch, commenting on improvements in economic indicators for Ohio.

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January 2012


Dean Roger Jenkins Featured on Bloomberg Radio

Roger L. Jenkins, dean of the Farmer School of Business and Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership, was featured on Bloomberg Radio's "The Hays Advantage," hosted by Kathleen Hays. Although the focus of the January 24 interview was a discussion of corporate entrepreneurship, Dean Jenkins provided a perspective on corporate confidence, the employment outlook for graduating seniors and the State of the Union address.

Listen to Dean Jenkins (segment 1, 5 minutes)

Listen to Dean Jenkins (segment 2, 7 minutes)


Indiana's "Right-to-Work" Law Will Be Felt in Ohio

Bill Even, Raymond E. Glos Professor of Business (Economics) at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch, commenting on the impact of Indiana's right-to-work law on Ohio's ability to attract new businesses.

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Farrell Comments on Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Annie Farrell, PricewaterhouseCoopers Assistant Professor of Accountancy at the Farmer School of Business, was quoted in Accounting Today magazine. She commented on the achievements of Robert Chenhall, winner of the American Institute of CPAs' 2012 Lifetime Contribution Award.

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The Longevity Conundrum

What happens if you outlive your assets? Farmer School health economics professor John Bowblis and other experts in the field offer advice in the Ticker Tape Monthly, an online newsletter published by TD Ameritrade.

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MBA Case Team Featured in Montreal Gazette

The MBA case competition team from the Farmer School of Business was featured in the Montreal (Canada) Gazette during the recent John Molson International Case Competition. Our team made it to the semi-finals but were bested by the eventual winner of the competition.

The Miami team was the only team from the United States to advance to the semi-finals.

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