“An equal world is an enabled world.”
It’s a powerful theme for this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020. In keeping with celebrating women’s achievements globally, the Wisconsin School of Business shines a spotlight on research by female faculty members. Several works are excerpted below:
Maria Triana: On Corporate Board Diversity
Why don’t more women sit on corporate boards? Maria Triana, associate professor of management and human resources, pulls together cross-disciplinary research to answer this critical question. The good news: when women are on boards, they excel. “Women directors tend to be very diligent, very conscientious about their board roles, and are associated with better governance on those boards,” Triana says.
Xiaoyang Long: On How Project Managers Make Decisions
Project managers often feel that the fate of their projects lies solely on their choices—halt, reverse course, pour in more resources? Xiaoyang Long, assistant professor of operations and information management, looks at such “continue or abandon decisions” in relation to project reviews, finding that project managers delay abandoning a project the more often they review it.
Briana Chang: On Regulating Financial Advisors
Does your financial advisor have your back? Fee regulation for financial advisors is a hot topic in recent years, and Chang, an associate professor of finance, investment, and banking, explores whether there’s a connection between fee restriction and the quality of financial advice clients receive. The verdict: regulation doesn’t improve client welfare. Advisors simply increased their fees or provided lower quality information to clients in response to regulatory demands.
Sarada: On Early American Inventor Demographics
Throughout history, women have been innovators; they just haven’t always been recognized for it. Sarada, an assistant professor of management and human resources, delves into an early period of American history to examine how women and minorities fared as patented inventors. Her work is also helping to shape policy: her team’s research is included in a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) report given to Congress as it votes on the SUCCESS Act, a bill that advocates for greater study of and legislation for increased numbers of women, minority, and veteran patent holders.
Amber Epp: On Family Decision-Making and Outsourcing Parenthood
“The idea for my research came from watching a news story about outsourcing parenthood,” says Epp, an associate professor of marketing. “It was a sensationalized account about all of these new parenting services that were available, things like having a nanny in the clouds that can sit with your kids during a flight, or in bigger cities, having a kiddie cab that picks your kids up from school and drives them to the various activities that they do.” Epp’s study finds that there are tensions and trade-offs for parents that go beyond just the financial realm.
Emily Griffith: On Audit Firms and Valuation Specialists
An assistant professor of accounting and information systems, Griffith’s experience as a former auditor sparked her interest in examining how audit firms use valuation specialists. Her study looked at how audit teams respond to “relational cues” from the hired specialist, such as whether they paid attention when the specialist flagged an issue for further consideration. The audit teams did—once the situation was high-risk enough. “The fact that the cue was helpful to the auditor when he or she paid attention to it implies that we can help auditors get better at evaluating these very complex estimates that include so many assumptions and moving pieces,” Griffith says.
Anita Mukherjee: On Creating Pension Plans for Grey Sector Workers
A study on micropensions by Mukherjee, an assistant professor of risk and insurance, looks at employees working in what’s known as the grey or informal sector—workers who are performing legal activities but are considered off the radar in official government counts such as taxes and census and therefore lack the formal identification documents necessary to access federal programs or resources. Micropensions offer those struggling financially a means to save, and nearly 80 percent of the study’s 700+ respondents from households in rural Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s poorest states, indicated they would contribute if such an option were made available.
Alina Arefeva: On Maximizing Your Home’s Selling Price
Arefeva, an assistant professor of real estate and urban land economics, found herself living out her own research study when she sold her house through a real estate agent. Her research makes the case that using an auction mechanism—a bidding war that produces greater competition among buyers—works in both boom and bust housing markets.