March 2021

Faculty Research

In a new study titled “Soft Information in the Financial Press and Analyst Revisions,” Professor and Chairperson of Accounting Mark Bradshaw and three co-authors discovered a significant correlation between media coverage and stronger market reactions to sell-side analysts’ research revisions. Their paper will be published in The Accounting Review.

Professor Mary Ellen Carter

Professor Mary Ellen Carter

Associate Professor of Accounting Mary Ellen Carter and co-authors demonstrate that higher competition in supplier industries is associated with more intense pay-for-performance incentives for CEOs in a paper forthcoming in the Journal of Accounting & Economics.

Professor of Accounting Jeffrey Cohen’s co-authored paper, “Audit Partners’ Judgments and Challenges in the Audit of Internal Control over Financial Reporting,” was published in the November 2020 issue of Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory. In March, it was announced as the winner of the Price College of Business’s 2019–2020 Glen McLaughlin Prize for Accounting Ethics

In March, Tingliang Huang, associate professor of business analytics, and two co-authors published their study, “A Theoretical Analysis of the Lean Start-up Method,” in Marketing Science. Another paper by Huang and a co-author, “Dynamic Probabilistic Selling When Customers Have Boundedly Rational Expectations,” is forthcoming in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and it is now available online through the journal’s “Articles in Advance” series.

Jerry Kane and Sam Ransbotham talk in an office

Professor Gerald Kane (left) and William S. McKiernan ’78 Faculty Fellow Sam Ransbotham

Professor of Information Systems Gerald C. Kane and William S. McKiernan ’78 Faculty Fellow Sam Ransbotham worked with two colleagues on the paper “Avoiding an Oppressive Future of Machine Learning: A Design Theory for Emancipatory Assistants,” which was published in an MIS Quarterly special issue on Next-Generation Information Systems Theories in March. The paper hypothesizes that machine learning could lead to an oppressive future they call “Informania,” and it proposes design principles for a code-based “emancipatory assistant” system that would help human users avoid such a fate.

In 2013, when Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Assistant Professor of Management and Organization Suntae Kim was in the midst of conducting a 22-month ethnography of a local alternative business incubator. This past January, his paper on how the incubator adapted to the ongoing crisis was accepted for publication at Administrative Science Quarterly.

In addition to his three recent papers on how COVID-19 has impacted the restaurant industry, Assistant Professor of Information Systems Zhuoxin (Allen) Li’s co-authored paper “Peer Effects in Competitive Environments: Field Experiments on Information Provision and Interventions” appeared in the March issue of MIS Quarterly. Touching on recent efforts to combat grade inflation, the paper explores the differing impacts of “competitive” grade deflation policies on male and female students.

Juan Montes climbing a mountain with gear strapped to his back

Assistant Professor of the Practice Juan Montes during the 1992 summit of Mt. Everest

What can climbing the world’s tallest mountain teach us about building organizational resilience? In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Management and Organization Juan Montes and a co-author shared broadly applicable insights gleaned from their expedition up Mount Everest’s little-used Kangshung Face route, which includes a 4,000-foot wall of rocks and ice. From his adventure, Montes derived lessons on how companies can meet crises like those brought on by COVID-19.

Under the direction of Alicia Munnell, Professor and Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management Sciences, researchers at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research (CRR) published new research on defined contributions assets (in the Journal of Risk and Insurance), homeownership patterns and home equity (in The Journal of the Economics of Ageing), and Social Security’s missing “trust fund” (in the Journal of Pension Economics & Finance). Munnell, the center’s director, also co-authored working papers on retirement income taxation and current benefit adjustments for people who claim Social Security benefits, as well as six new CRR briefs

If systems for internal reporting within government agencies are not reformed, external whistleblowing and First Amendment protections may continue to be necessary, according to a recent paper by Professor of Management and Organization Richard Nielsen, published in Administration & Society. Nielson and a co-author also published “Social Situational Business Ethics Framing for Engaging with Ethics Issues” in the Business and Professional Ethics Journal, which also just accepted another paper by Nielsen, “Ethical and Political-Economic Dimensions and Potential Reforms of the Hybrid, Leveraged, High-Frequency, Artificial Intelligence Trading Model,” for publication.

headshot of Nailya Ordabayeva smiling

Associate Professor of Marketing Nailya Ordabayeva

When a financially successful peer comes onto the scene, people react by highlighting their excellence in other domains, according to a new study by Associate Professor of Marketing Nailya Ordabayeva and two co-authors. The findings of their Journal of Consumer Research paper, “Status Pivoting,” show that comparisons with high-status individuals made consumers more likely to buy and display mugs and bumper stickers that celebrated parenthood, spirituality, or family. Ordabayeva also presented her research on how political polarization and financial vulnerability influence consumers at the 2020 Association for Consumer Research Conference in October.

Sam Ransbotham, professor and William S. McKiernan ’78 Family Faculty Fellow in the Information Systems department, published a co-authored paper in Management Science on how electronic medical records influence malpractice claims, as well as a paper titled “Capturing Value in Platform Business Models That Rely on User-Generated Content” in Organization Science. With three co-authors including Professor of Information Systems Gerald Kane, Ransbotham also wrote a paper titled “Avoiding an Oppressive Future of Machine Learning: A Design Theory for Emancipatory Assistants,” which was published in a special issue of MIS Quarterly on next-generation information systems.

Associate Professor of Management and Organization Metin Sengul’s co-authored paper, “Beyond Shareholder Value Maximization: Accounting for Financial/Social Tradeoffs in Dual-Purpose Companies,” was published last October in the Academy of Management Review.

headshot of Sandra Waddock smiling

Professor Sandra Waddock, Galligan Chair of Strategy and Carroll School Scholar of Corporate Responsibility

How can we reorient business practices around human life and sustainability? Professor Sandra Waddock, the Galligan Chair of Strategy and Carroll School Scholar of Corporate Responsibility, explores this question in her new book, Transforming Towards Life-Centered Economics: How Business, Government, and Civil Society Can Build a Better World, with Business Expert Press. She also co-authored the new book Management and the Sustainability Paradox: Reconnecting the Human Chain (Routledge) and the paper “Invoking Indigenous Wisdom for Management Learning,” which was published in Management Learning. In addition to leading three recent webinars through the International Humanistic Management Association, she she was the sole author on papers published in the journals Sustainability and Global Sustainability.

A recent change to U.S. patent law has introduced an elective program that allows firms and entrepreneurs to get their patents examined more quickly. Assistant Professor of Information Systems Mike Teodorescu and a co-author investigated the implications of this change in a recent paper, which was published in Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal alongside an animated video abstract. With his wife Debbie, a physician at Mass General Hospital, Teodorescu also co-authored a paper about SurgiBox, a new ultraportable operating room that she spearheaded and helped design. Their paper was published in Military Medicine in January.

headshot of Ben Yost smiling

Assistant Professor of Accounting Benjamin Yost

The personal capital gains tax liabilities of CEOs have an impact on their decisions about corporate mergers and acquisitions, according to a forthcoming study in The Accounting Review by Assistant Professor of Accounting Benjamin Yost and two co-authors. Yost and two colleagues also published a paper in the December 2020 issue of the Journal of Accounting Research that explores acquiring companies' disclosures during merger negotiations with the target firm. Their findings suggest that acquirers strategically disclose information intended to depress the target company's stock price in order to obtain more favorable terms, confirming their prediction that "acquirers deliberately disclose information intended to affect the target's stock price when doing so is beneficial."

Can presenting a product alongside another similar product improve consumer perceptions of both? Min Zhao, an associate professor of marketing, investigates this question with a co-author in “Joint or Separate? The Effect of Visual Presentation on Imagery and Product Evaluation,” forthcoming in the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

In the News

Assistant Professor of the Practice Lourdes Germán

Assistant Professor of the Practice Lourdes Germán

COVID-19 has dealt significant blows to the fiscal health of American cities, with particular impacts on small and rural municipalities and low-income communities, Assistant Professor of the Practice Lourdes Germán said in a Q&A with The Kresge Foundation’s Aaron Seybert. The philanthropic foundation also invited Germán to co-author a recently published white paper with Seybert on ways to leverage public finance tools to help cities recover.

How can working parents balance careers, job searches, and family demands during a global pandemic, while still taking care of themselves? The Harvard Business Review tapped Associate Research Professor Brad Harrington, executive director of the Boston College Center for Work and Family, to be part of a panel of experts who addressed parents’ pressing questions. In November, Harrington also discussed the pandemic’s disproportionate impacts on women in the workforce on WBUR’s Radio Boston, noting that many more women than men have left their jobs to take care of children who are now attending school virtually from home.

In a conversation with MarketWatch, Assistant Professor of Finance Rawley Heimer explained the findings of his working paper with Carroll School doctoral candidate Charlotte Haendler, which indicate that under the Trump administration’s Consumer Financial Protection Boards, complaints filed from low-income and predominantly African-American zip codes were 30 percent less likely to result in the consumer receiving financial restitution than claims filed from high-socioeconomic status zip codes. Their paper attributes this socioeconomic gap in outcomes, which was “scarcely present” under the Obama administration, to more “industry-friendly” CFPB leadership under the Trump administration.

Book cover for The Transformation Myth, featuring 4 overlapping targets in a green-blue gradient

The Wall Street Journal is publishing a series of excerpts from The Transformation Myth, Professor Gerald Kane’s forthcoming co-authored book about how COVID-19 is accelerating a digital transformation in business. The first excerpt, published in October, profiles health insurance company Anthem’s drive to go digital-first, while the second installment concerns Hilton’s digitally driven response to the crisis. A third excerpt, published in January, focuses on how Shell Polymers, a startup within Shell Chemicals, doubled down on customer service and employee support during the pandemic. The latest published section explains how CarMax reached customers in a crisis. 

As the socially-distanced holiday season ramped up, Associate Professor of Business Analytics Nan Liu spoke to Boston University’s The Daily Free Press about how the pandemic has changed holiday shopping. Buying holiday gifts early in the season or online “can help in reducing the peaks of customer arrivals to the stores,” he said.

Opportunity Zones (OZs) seem like a win-win: boosting growth in low-income communities by offering tax breaks to investors who channel capital into them. But the tax program has yet to fully deliver on that promise, according to a new study coauthored by Assistant Professor of Business Analytics Dmitry MitrofanovPropmodo, which covers commercial real estate trends, called the research “the most comprehensive analysis yet of opportunity zone property market dynamics.” The authors show that residential property values were no higher in designated OZs than in comparable areas—indicating that residents of OZs have yet to benefit—and suggest revisions to the policy.

Headshot of Alicia Munnell, an older white woman in glasses

Alicia Munnell, Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management Sciences and director of the Boston College Center for Retirement Research,

In a recent blog post for MarketWatch, Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management Sciences Alicia Munnell, who directs the Boston College Center for Retirement Research, wrote that “COVID-19 is Not a Retirement Story”—that is, the pandemic’s impact on employer retirement plans and Social Security has been minimal in comparison with its impacts on the country’s poorest citizens. Other recent posts in Munnell’s weekly MarketWatch blog have touched on COVID’s impact on life expectancy, the Retirement Income Security for Everyone proposal, and the implications of the pandemic for state and local pension finances. Munnell was also quoted by Newsweek, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC, among others.

As many New Englanders know, some Dunkin’ fans go so far as to think of the coffee chain’s brand as an extension of themselves. Associate Professor of Marketing Nailya Ordabayeva spoke to Refinery29 about how the Massachusetts-based company’s franchise location choices further their brand’s appeal to middle- and working-class Americans.

Why do only 11 percent of companies profit from AI? Professor and William S. McKiernan '78 Family Faculty Fellow Sam Ransbotham (Information Systems) explores this topic as a co-host of Me, Myself, and AI, a collaborative podcast created by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group. With support from both organizations, Ransbotham led a team of six researchers who surveyed 3,000 executives at companies that are working with AI technologies, and published their findings in a report in MIT Sloan Management Review. Their research was featured in Forbes, and Ransbotham was quoted in an IBM AI feature, also published on

Headshot of Ronnie Sadka, a smiling white man in a suit

Haub Family Professor and Finance Department Chair Ronnie Sadka

A March 11 Financial Times article cited a paper co-authored by Haub Family Professor and Finance Department Chair Ronnie Sadka, reporting that it establishes a link between 2020’s “trading frenzies” and “stocks with high COVID-19-related media coverage.” On February 18, the same paper (available online through the Social Sciences Research Network) was also cited twice during testimony at a congressional hearing about the GameStop squeeze. Sadka, the Carroll School’s senior associate dean for faculty, has been studying Robinhood’s role in COVID market disruption since early in the lockdown, and in a recent interview with Reuters, he said that the GameStop saga demonstrates why “retail investors are becoming a systemic risk.”

Associate Professor David Solomon, who is the Finance Department’s David J. Mastrocula Faculty Fellow, spoke to The Economist about his research with MIT’s Jordan Nickerson, which found a surprising correlation between the U.S.’s child car-seat laws and declining birth rates. Increasingly protective laws that extend how long young children must use large safety seats have created a space dilemma with unintended effects: Parents wanting a third child must either wait until their eldest outgrows the regulations in order to fit all three kids in the backseat, or else purchase a larger car—enough, the researchers say, to dissuade families from having three (or more) kids. 

Airline miles, discounts, and cash back—credit card rewards can make opening a new card tempting. In a Q&A with WalletHub, Associate Professor of Marketing Min Zhao shared insights into how credit card owners can take full advantage of rewards and avoid common mistakes.

In his capacity as a sports lawyer, Warren K. Zola, the executive director of the Boston College Chief Executives Club and a part-time Carroll School faculty member, spoke to the Irish Examiner in regard to recent lawsuits against the NFL about concussions and brain injury, and their implications for pro rugby players. 

Awards, Appointments, and Distinctions

Headshots of Simcha Barkai and Rawley Heimer

Assistant Professor of Finance Simcha Barkai (left) and Assistant Professor of Finance Rawley Heimer

For the second year in a row, two of the top awards in academic finance went to Carroll School faculty. Assistant Professor of Finance Simcha Barkai’s paper “Declining Labor and Capital Shares” took the number-one spot among three papers that received the American Finance Association’s coveted Dimensional Fund Advisors Prize. Barkai’s paper was selected from all articles in non-corporate finance published in the Association’s Journal of Finance in 2020. Assistant Professor of Finance Rawley Heimer’s co-authored paper “YOLO: Mortality Beliefs and Household Finance Puzzles” was chosen as one of two “Distinguished Papers” in the same category for 2020. According to Heimer’s study, young people undersave by 26 percent because they overestimate the likelihood of dying from a rare event like a car crash, while older people, expecting to live longer than actuarial data suggests, resist dipping into their savings. 

Associate Professor of Accounting Mary Ellen Carter and two co-investigators received a $14,500 grant from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) through its IMA Research Foundation 2020 Special COVID-19 Call for Research Proposals. Their proposed project, “COVID-19 Motivated Changes to Executive Compensation and Incentives,” was one of seven winners chosen from 36 proposals from around the world.

Curtis Chan, assistant professor of management and organization, was chosen from among nearly 900 nominations as one of Poets & Quants’ Top 50 Undergraduate Professors of 2020. A profile on the news outlet’s website highlighted his rapport with students and his unconventional path to teaching. This award comes on the heels of Chan’s recognition by the Carroll School as a “Teaching Star.” Chan was also appointed to the editorial review boards of two top-tier management journals, Organization Science and the Academy of Management Review.

Headshot of Jeffrey Cohen

Professor of Accounting Jeffrey Cohen

Professor of Accounting Jeffrey Cohen and two co-authors received the 2021 Notable Contributions to the Auditing Literature Award from the American Accounting Association’s Auditing Section for their paper “Corporate Governance in the Post-Sarbanes-Oxley Era: Auditors’ Experiences,” which was originally published in Contemporary Accounting Research in 2010.

Associate Professor of Finance and Hillenbrand Family Faculty Fellow Vyacheslav Fos and Professor of Finance Cliff Holderness won the 2021 John L. Weinberg/IRRCi Research Paper Award for their working paper “The Distribution of Voting Rights to Shareholders,” which is the first comprehensive study on shareholder voting rights distribution.

Headshot of Tingliang Huang

Associate Professor of Business Analytics Tingliang Huang

Associate Professor of Business Analytics Tingliang Huang was appointed associate editor of Decision Sciences Journal and senior editor of Production and Operations Management. He also won a 2020 Meritorious Service Award for his service as a peer reviewer for the journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management

Two faculty in the Informations Systems department, Assistant Professor Marios Kokkodis and Associate Professor Zhuoxin (Allen) Li, were among just five recipients of the 2020 INFORMS Information Systems Society Gordon B. Davis Young Scholar Award, which “recognizes and honors young scholars who are on a path towards making outstanding intellectual contributions to the information systems discipline.”

Associate Professor of Business Analytics Nan Liu was appointed associate editor of Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, one of the top three journals in the field of operations and business analytics.

Nailya Ordabayeva, an associate professor of marketing, was named at-large director of the Association for Consumer Research and chosen as the association’s 2020 Doctoral Symposium Faculty Fellow. She was also appointed associate editor of the Journal of Consumer Research, which awarded her 2020 article  “The Impostor Syndrome from Luxury Consumption” a Ferber Award Honorable Mention.