Marietta faculty, students headed to 54th annual MBAA International Conference

duong le teaching

When the 54th annual MBAA International Conference opens in Chicago on April 18th, Marietta College will be well represented.

Four faculty members and three students will attend the three-day conference at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, and all of them are making presentations or serving as panelists during discussions.

Marietta faculty who are attending will be John Fazio, Julie Harding, Grace Johnson and Duong Le.

Fazio is making two joint presentations — one with Harding and another with students Brianna Finck ’18 (New Lexington, Ohio), Gregory Peffley ’19 (Englewood, Ohio) and Yuan Sun ’21 (Xi’an City, China).

MBAA International is an umbrella organization for 12 discipline specific academic groups.

Fazio and Harding will be speaking about “Extending the Eggdrop Challenge: An Experiential Enhancement to Work Team Learning Outcomes” at the North American Management Society Annual Meeting. Their work is a quantitative, longitudinal, comparative study of work team learning objectives for a Principles of Management course. The research study employed an extended interactive version of the classic experiential teambuilding exercise, The Eggdrop Challenge. The study compared actual recorded scores on assessed learning objectives from extant material presented on work teams and team building such as; team cohesion, groupthink, maintenance functions, task functions, stages of team development, and characteristics of a mature group.

Fazio and the students will be speaking about their submission, titled “Performance and the Human Equation: A Comparative Study of the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.” In their research, they took a look at the 2017 Fortune 100 Companies, analyzed their mission statements, vision statements, and strategic plans, to consider the emphasis placed on their employees. The results of this study are still being compiled, using three factors for a point value, and comparing them to businesses that didn’t make the 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

“It’s really all about the students,” Fazio said. “I had the concept, but they’ve taken the research above and beyond, putting in the hours, really dedicating themselves to this study. It has been great working alongside and mentoring them, but even better watching their hard work yield such great results.”

The students and Fazio are confident their study has a chance at being published in the Journal of the North American Management Society.

“The study has taught me how to utilize many different programs and sources, but above all, it has shown me the importance that should be placed on an organization’s people,” Finck said. “Companies that put employees at the forefront of their mission seem to do much better than others and I think that can be important to utilize moving forward not only in my professional career but personal as well.”

Johnson is presenting her paper, “A More Clear and Present Danger? Cybersecurity Risk Reporting in Form 10-K,” which examines trends in corporate disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission about cyber threats in 2011, and compares them to the disclosures made in 2016.

Le’s paper presentation titled, “Seasonality in the Crude Oil and Natural Gas Markets,” examines the characteristics and determinants of seasonality in the energy markets.

“There is a time of the year pattern in that natural gas volatility tends to be higher for options expiring in the winter and crude oil volatility tends to be lower for the options expiring in the summer,” Le said. “Oil and gas volatilities tend to decrease from Friday to Monday. Natural gas volatility tends to decrease following the release of the Natural gas storage report.”

Harding and Johnson also have other professional roles at the conference. Harding is on a panel for “Advising Student Projects and Competitions: Successes and Challenges.” Johnson is facilitating a “teaching circles” workshop for accounting faculty. Dr. Walter Smith ’92 will serve as a co-facilitator with Johnson. He is on the accounting faculty of Auburn University at Montgomery.