Downside of exceeding expectations

“When employees go above and beyond their regular job tasks to please customers or take care of sick patients, we know that customers and patients are more satisfied, and organizational effectiveness tends to improve,” says Jeffrey Arthur, associate professor of management. But can there be too much of a good thing? To find out, Arthur is studying the impact of recognizing employees’ organizational citizenship behaviors on hospitals’ performance and patient satisfaction over time. The goal is to determine how organizations can benefit from encouraging such citizenship behavior by employees without incurring potential costs.

Data security

“Phone apps, medical devices, smart cars, internet tracking, and many other devices collect data about consumers on an intimate level,” says business law professor Janine Hiller, “and that data has the potential to be intentionally shared or criminally hacked.” Hiller will study the legal limits and ethical uses of products and services that are part of the internet of things. She will examine how laws and ethics can most effectively achieve the personal security that can be threatened by data that is collected by large numbers of personal devices.

Privacy decisions

How individuals and groups make privacy decisions is the focus of a study by Tabitha James, associate professor of business information technology. “To test our theory of multilevel information privacy management, we examine how individuals and groups develop rule sets (i.e., norms) that guide what information is released and to whom; under what circumstances a particular rule set is used to guide a privacy decision where multiple stakeholders may perceive some ownership of the information being considered for release; and what risk-benefit considerations may cause the individual or group to make a privacy decision that is counter to the one the applicable rule set suggests.”

Shopping-life balance

Marketing professor Joe Sirgy is studying shopping-life balance. Consumers experience opposing psychological forces, Sirgy says — the satisfaction gained from shopping and the stress resulting from the time and money spent and the negative effects on relationships. “We will test the notion that balance between the forces does play a significant role in consumer life satisfaction. We propose to develop a metric of shopping-life balance and test its validity by showing that shopping-life balance is a significant predictor of life satisfaction.” If the concept is empirically supported, he says, programs can be developed to help consumers maximize the plusses of shopping while minimizing its minuses.