UCA Marketing Professor Publishes Business Research & Releases Nature Conservation Documentary

Dr. Benjamin Garner, Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Marketing & Management, has been busy this year as a professor, researcher, and a feature filmmaker. Find out more about his advice for students, his research published last fall, and his nature conservation documentary to be released in April 2024.

Why did you choose the subject you teach?
I enjoy marketing and sharing my passion for this area with students. I love doing research and film projects that allow me to meet people in the community and help solve real-world challenges.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
One of the best pieces of advice I can give students is to be curious and learn as much as possible about different career fields to find the best fit for you. This includes job shadowing, interviewing potential employers, and doing internships.

Share about your research.
Recently I published a paper in the Journal of Business Research with Dr. Candice Hollenbeck at UGA on how the concepts of authenticity and scarcity work at a local farmers’ market. Our goal was to develop a theoretical understanding of how factors like natural scarcity influences consumers’ behavioral shopping patterns and attitudes. I have done research on farmers’ markets and consumer behavior for many years, and I also find the concept of authenticity very interesting.

What have you learned from doing this research?
We found that when people go shopping in a place like a farmers’ market, consumers tend to trust vendors when they talk about products being scarce. This is because fruits, vegetables, and agricultural products are influenced by the weather and growing conditions. In other words, the products may be limited that year because of a drought. This is different from, say, Gucci handbags or limited edition Pokemon cards that are artificially limited because the company wants to increase the value of each product.

What do you hope others will learn or gain from your research?
We hope through this project, businesses can understand the relationship between authenticity and scarcity, and then amplify scarcity messages that are true and trustworthy.

Related Article: Garner Leads Marketing Students to Learn & Serve Community During Project for Arkansas PBS

Last fall, Dr. Garner’s class got some hands-on experience with sales cold-calling, a project that also served the community. This spring, Dr. Garner is teaching two web classes on Principles of Marketing and an in-person class on Content Marketing. During the summer he will teach Basic Marketing online and Content Marketing in person. Next fall, he will teach two in-person Principles of Marketing courses and an in-person Advanced Selling course.

In his personal life, Dr. Garner also recently released his documentary “Arkansas Wild: The Story of Trout Tourism on the Little Red,” which will air on Arkansas PBS on April 11. Based on his childhood experiences and using his professional skills, he created a piece that he hopes will inspire others to conserve natural resources like the Little Red River.

Accounting Professor Dr. Ryan Cating Impacts Through Teaching and Research

In this interview, Dr. Ryan Cating, the UCA Assistant Professor of Accounting known for his love of bow ties, shares why he chose to teach accounting for his life’s work and his research on the effects of local newspapers on firms’ information environments.

Why did you choose the subject you teach?
I grew up in a family of CPAs as my father and two uncles all worked as accountants at one time or another. Being surrounded by conversation that centered on different types of businesses intrigued me and led me to the college of business. Initially not wanting to follow in my family’s footsteps, I began my academic career studying finance. However, I realized that I wanted a deeper understanding of the source material that I was employing to evaluate the performance and valuation of companies. I switched my major to accounting and have never looked back.

After earning his BS and MPAcc in Louisiana, Dr. Cating likes to celebrate LA traditions such as Mardi Gras with the UCA Accounting department.

What about your job brings you the most joy?
I get the most joy interacting with students in the classroom to get them excited about accounting and succeeding on the CPA exam as a direct result of my course as they begin their careers.

What tips or advice do you have for students?
Always seek to have an open dialogue with professors outside of class, regardless of your major (but especially in your major). The more interaction and knowledge that professors have with and about you, the more they can help you connect with potential employers both before and after graduation.

Share about your recent research and its importance.
I collaborated with Kristian D. Allee and Caleb Rawson, both from the University of Arkansas, on an article published in Review of Accounting Studies in October 2023. In our article, “No news is bad news: local news intensity and firms’ information environments,” we examine the effects of local newspapers on firms’ information environments. With newspaper employment dropping precipitously in the last few decades, we posit that these changes will harm local firms’ information environments. In this study, we ask whether the intensity of local newspapers relative to the local economy (i.e., local news intensity) influences the information available about local publicly traded firms in the capital markets.

[Added note for context: Public companies are required to disclose information to help potential investors and other outside entities analyze the health of the company and understand risks to the company’s financial performance or other issues, such as the impact of the company’s business on communities.]

Consistent with local news improving information environments, we find that volatility, spreads, and illiquidity increase as local newspaper intensity declines and that this is associated with firms’ importance in their local economy. We further find that for firms that are more important in their community, or have busy analysts, less local newspaper intensity is associated with significantly lower analyst accuracy and higher forecast dispersion. This is consistent with local newspapers improving information environments, even for sophisticated and likely remote information intermediaries. We also investigate how stakeholders respond to declines in local news and find that managers increase the amount of forward-looking disclosures while analysts increase coverage.

These results provide insights into the methods by which stakeholders attempt to improve firms’ information environments when local news coverage fades.

In Spring 2024, Dr. Cating can be found teaching undergraduate Auditing in person and online and the graduate Seminar in Case Studies in Accounting.

Dr. Cating welcomes guest speakers such as the Arkansas Legislative Audit (ALA), a group that works to prevent fraud and other crimes, to help students understand the many opportunities available and to help them network with potential employers.

Economics Professor Kalulu Impacts Through Teaching & Research

Dr. Mavuto Kalulu, Assistant Professor of Economics in the UCA EFIRM Department, shares why he chose to study economics, why he chooses to teach, and details about his research in Sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world. Dr. Kalulu is also a Scholar affiliated with the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE).

Why did you choose economics?
A teacher in high school explained to me that studying economics would equip me with skills to be able to understand the complex world. Life is full of choices because we have scarce resources. Economics provides the principles and tools to be able to understand why individuals, governments and businesses make the choices they make.

Teaching economics affords me the opportunity to contribute to other peoples lives by instilling in them some real-life skills that they need in their day-to-day lives.

What about your job brings you the most joy?
The joy comes from seeing my students perform to the best of their ability. It takes discipline to be successful in class. Discipline to show up in class and engage. Discipline to do all the homework on time and discipline to study for the exams. I am happy when my students realize that sooner than later.

With regards to research, I enjoy being able to work with other faculty from various disciplines. For the research I am presenting on the 27th, I am working in collaboration with Dr. Rania Al-Bawwab from the EFIRM Department and Dr. Yeil Know from the department of Mathematics.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
My advice to all students includes:
1. Engage your professors more in class as well as during office hours. Ask questions when you don’t understand. It shouldn’t take extra points for you to schedule a meeting for office hours.
2. Engage your fellow students more. There are students from different backgrounds and cultures and engaging them will enrich your experience of different cultures. I deliberately assign group activities to facilitate peer to peer engagement. You can also form study groups to discuss the materials.
3. It is important not to procrastinate on your homework and assignments. I try to make the homework and assignments due the same day and time all throughout the semester to make it easier to remember the deadlines.

Your research: Describe what you studied or what problem you wanted to solve.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the poorest region in the world. Despite being rich in natural resources including mineral reserves, the exploitation of the resources has not resulted in improved living standards in the region. Research shows that weak economic, political and legal institutions are a major contributor to why Sub Saharan Africa remains poor. Weak institutions encourage corruption and vice versa. When democracy swept through Africa in the early 1990s, people were hopeful that democracy would foster stronger institutions which would in turn encourage economic growth in the region. Three decades later, Sub Saharan Africa remains poor and is the most corrupt region in the word according to the 2022 Transparency International Report. Did democracy help or it did not?

Why did you choose this research topic?
In my conversations with some of my friends from other African countries, it is apparent that there is a perception that democracy has not yet yielded the economic benefits people were expecting. One of the possible reasons is that public corruption persists, in some cases worse than it was under autocratic rule. To my knowledge, no one has formally investigated whether the problem stems from the type of transition from autocratic regimes to democratic regimes can explain the difference in the corruption experiences in the different Sub-Saharan African countries after the switch to democratic regimes. Answering the question will help inform on how to improve governance in sub-Saharan Africa and hence improve the well-being of the people living in the area. In addition, some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have experienced military coups. This research can also inform on the process of returning to democracy.

What have you learned from doing this research?
Our initial analysis revealed no significant pattern on the experience of Sub-Saharan African countries with regards to corruption before and after transitioning from autocracy to democracy. Further analysis that considers that there are many other factors that can influence the level of corruption reveals that democracy and institutions matter. Improving the institutions, especially the economic institutions can help Sub-Saharan African countries curb corruption and hence improve the livelihood of the residents in this region. Our next step in the process is to select some of the countries and investigate further to establish causation rather than just an association.

What do you hope others will learn or gain from your research?
The hope is that through this research others will gain a better understanding of the experience of Sub-Saharan African countries before and after transitioning from autocratic rule to democratic rule. We hope that others will get a deeper insight into the level of corruption in Sub-Saharan African countries and hopefully interest them into wanting to contribute to research on ways to reduce the level of corruption in the region to better the livelihood of the residents in the region.

Dr. Kalulu is presenting his research on October 27 at 12:30pm in COB Room 206 for any who want to see him speak about his research in person. He can also be found in the classroom this fall teaching Global Environment of Business and Intermediate Macroeconomics. Students can register for his as the professor teaching those same classes in spring 2024, and in summer 2024, he is set to teach Modern Political Economy and Global Environment of Business.

Dr. Kalulu has been researching this topic for years. See Dr. Kalulu speak about “Economic Freedom of the World” to a group of Arkansas educators at a Teaching Free Enterprise in Arkansas workshop in fall 2018.

Dr. Joe Cangelosi Shares His 35+ Years of Experience Through Teaching & Research

 Dr. Joe Cangelosi, Professor of Marketing, shares about his research, advice for students, and what brings him the most enjoyment as a Professor.

Why did you choose marketing?
I am a market researcher by trade, being in the MR industry for 5 years before going back to get a doctorate in marketing, so I could be a university professor.

What have you studied in your research?
I have studied the Marketing & Distribution of Preventive Health Care (PHC) information. I have been publishing in the area for 20+ years, finding new niches to focus my efforts. I have learned the demographics, activities, behaviors, social media tendencies of PHC consumers, across generational cohorts. I’m always looking for another publication opportunity in a good health care marketing journal.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
1. Work hard in school so you can determine what your special gifts are.
2. Don’t be overburdened with hours on a job while in school; work the hours necessary to survive; don’t be buying new cell phones or a new car or buying too much of anything; just get through school with some good grades so you have the skills and grades to be competitive in the job market once you graduate. Students should heed my advice based on my 35+ years of teaching, research and consulting; I have a good feel for what it takes for students to succeed.

What about your job brings you the most joy?
1. engaging students and seeing their success after graduation
2. getting manuscripts published in health care journals
3. teaching market research
4. the collegiality in the department of marketing and management; it is the best; good dept chair too!

This fall, Dr. Cangelosi is teaching Principles of Marketing and Marketing Research & Data Management. Students can plan to take these classes taught by Dr. Cangelosi in the spring. He also will be presenting an abstract at the 2023 Atlantic Marketing Association Conference in September 2023.

Drs. Voss & Cangelosi Release Survey Showing Hair Testing Is More Effective in Detecting Hard Drug Use by USDOT Truck Drivers

UCA Management Professor Dr. Doug Voss and Marketing Professor Dr. Joe Cangelosi recently released their findings from a new survey entitled, “Comparing Hair V. Urine Test Effectiveness: Trucking Alliance 2021 Pre-Employment Data,” which examines the differences between hair and urine drug test results, using a sample of 172,632 pre-employment hair and urine drug screens that were administered in 2021.

See the report |  Read the News Release

The results showed that hair testing is a more effective method to detect the regular use of hard drugs and drug users than the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

The US Department of Transportation classifies truck driving as a safety-sensitive occupation. For this reason, federally regulated operators of commercial vehicles are required to pass a pre-employment drug test. Urine testing is the primary, federally accepted method. Trucking Alliance carriers supplement DOT urinalysis by requiring drivers to also pass a hair drug test. Hair testing is reliable and accurate due to its longer look-back period to identify regular drug use.

In 2021, 88,021 licensed truck drivers applied for jobs at seven Trucking Alliance member trucking companies. The USDOT required drivers to take both urinalysis and a hair drug test. Here were the results:

  • Four-thousand three-hundred sixty-two (4,362) applicants failed hair tests whereas four-hundred three (403) failed urine.
  • If participating carriers did not use hair testing, they likely would have hired three-thousand four-hundred four (3,959) drivers that failed hair tests. It is likely these individuals are now driving for another carrier, given hair testing results cannot be submitted to the drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
  • Hair testing delivered 11x (5.16%/0.46%) higher overall positivity rate, more frequently detected every drug class, and better detected hard drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines/methamphetamines, and opioids.

“Hair tests uncover 11 times more drug users than a urinalysis but the marked difference in positive cocaine, amphetamine/methamphetamine, and opioid tests is most troubling,” observes Dr. Doug Voss at the University of Central Arkansas, who conducted the survey. “These results underscore the inability of urinalysis alone to remove hard drug users from the truck driver population.”

Because USDOT’s Clearinghouse doesn’t accept hair test results, those four-thousand three-hundred sixty-two (4,362) drivers are likely still driving 80,000-pound tractor trailers for other companies, even though the Trucking Alliance companies disqualified them.

The news release announcing these results stated that “the Trucking Alliance has formally requested USDOT’s trucking agency – the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – to include positive hair tests on the agency’s list of ‘actual knowledge’ of a truck driver’s drug use. If granted, these positive hair test results will be submitted to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and the names of those drivers will be known by other employers.” Read more about the pros and cons of this application.

The data was independently provided by J.B. Hunt Transport, Knight-Swift Transportation, Schneider, Maverick USA, KLLM/FFE Transportation Services, US Xpress, and Cargo Transporters. All 50 states+DC are represented in the sample.

COB Students Awarded Scholarships from Participation in ACRE Reading Groups

Just before Thanksgiving, around 20 College of Business students were awarded scholarships from the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics for their weekly participation this semester in two reading group programs.

In “The Role of Government in a Free Society” group led by UCA Economics Professor, Dr. Collin Hodges, and Department Chair, Dr. Tom Snyder, ten participants read and discussed works by scholars such as Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, John Locke, and Karl Marx, as well as more contemporary works by Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Robert Nozick, and John Rawls to examine what a variety of economists, political philosophers, and public policy experts have contributed to this topic. The group also traveled to Dallas in September to participate in a group summit with other universities that completed the same readings. Students were awarded $500 on November 14 for their participation this semester.

A second reading group also met this semester and awarded $500 scholarships to students who participated in the philosophy and law reading group called “Landmark Supreme Court Cases” led by Business Law Professor Dr. Anthony McMullen and Philosophy Professor Dr. Jacob Held. Over the course of ten weeks, students in this reading group studied major Supreme Court opinions covering topics such as economic freedom, federalism, equal protection, privacy, and intellectual property rights. Working through these decisions helped students understand the rule of law, Constitutionalism, and the role the judicial branch plays in our government.

All students were required to gain acceptance into the program and actively participate in the program throughout the semester.

For questions about reading groups and the application process continuing reading, or contact Suzanne Massey at smassey@uca.edu.

COB Faculty & Students Present Papers at International Academy of Business Disciplines Conference

Several UCA business faculty and students presented papers at the International Academy of Business Disciplines (IABD) 2022 Virtual Conference on April 7-8.

The following UCA faculty served as Track/Session Chairs:

On Thursday, April 7, the following faculty and students presented papers:

On Friday, April 8, the following faculty and students presented their papers:

  • “Covid-19, Vaccine and Brazilian E-Payment Adoption Behavior” – Dr. Alexander Chen, Dr. David McCalman (Associate Professor of Management), Matheus Tupinambe August de Brito (COB undergraduate student)
  • “Covid-19, Vaccine and Mexican E-Payment Adoption Behavior” – Dr. Alexander Chen, Adrian Juarez Castellanos (undergrad student), Tracy Suter (Chair of Marketing and Management, Associate Professor of Marketing)