What has your published research uncovered thus far?
One recent research area examines various aspects of corporate social responsibility. One important finding relates to the relationship between corporate giving and firm size. The primary finding is that very large and very small firms tend to give a greater proportion of profit than medium-sized firms. This finding applies Michael Porter’s “stuck in the middle” concept to CSR. Other important findings are a theoretical result suggesting that incentives favor firms making unsubstantiated corporate social responsibility claims in the absence of external monitoring. Empirical evidence suggests consumers understand these incentives and respond more favorably to substantiated claims.
What research do you have in progress?
I am currently working on a new line of research with Denis Arnold and Jennifer Troyer regarding various aspects of pharmaceutical company conduct.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels?
At the undergraduate level, the most rewarding experience is helping students learn to appreciate the economic way of thinking and to apply those concepts to their personal lives and to business. Most of my teaching at the graduate level is in the MBA program. Many of the students have been out of school for some time. Helping these students reorient to the academic world, especially in sharpening their quantitative skills is very gratifying.
What are some opportunities you have taken to utilize your expertise in the Charlotte community?
I have worked with consulting clients to bring econometric skills to business decision making. I have been a regular presenter at Ardrey Kell High School and will lead a discussion group on Freakonomics at Davidson Learns, an adult/senior education group in Davidson.