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Publications

"Understanding and Developing Risk Management Strategies for Small Business," Katie Insurance School, Illinois State University (2006). Mark L. Hoelscher and Michael A. Humphreys.

This paper provides an overview of contemporary risk exposures for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) and develops a model with which both insurance agents and small business owners can identify, quantify, and deal with their unique insurance needs.

"Business Student Preferences: Exploring the Relative Importance of Web Management in Course Design," Journal of Marketing Education, 26/1 (2004), 42-49. Steven A. Taylor, Michael A. Humphreys, Rodger B. Singley, and Gary L. Hunter.

The study investigates the relative importance of web management practices in business curricular pedagogy from an undergraduate student perspective. Utilizing conjoint methodology, the results suggest that students early in their program of studies tend to most value (more) tests in terms of course attributes, while students later in their program of studies tend to value Web management practices. Taken together these results suggest that undergraduate course design can be effectively implemented, consistent with the marketing concept, based on a sensitivity to diverse student learning styles and needs.

"Ethical Decision Making by Insurance Agents: A Survey of Attitudes and Antecedents," in Proceedings of the Eighth Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics, 2001, 103. Marsha Rinetti, Timothy A. Longfellow, Michael A. Humphreys, and Charles R. McGuire.

This paper examines the relationships between personal values, organizational factors, environmental factors, ethical intent, and the ethical behavior of insurance sales agents. The study population was the 2000 membership roster of the Agent-Broker Section of the CPCU Society. The results suggest that ethical dilemmas are complex and depending on the circumstances, agents look to different resources for guidance when faced with an ethical decision. The primary resources for agents in determining their ethical intent are personal values and the behavior of other agents.

Personal values are related to ethical intent in decisions about how to act when a mistake has been made. An agent with more ethical personal values is more likely to admit an error and to take appropriate steps to correct it. An agent with less ethical personal values is more likely to cover up an error through unethical actions. However, when faced with a highly competitive situation, agents tend to consider the behavior of their peers when deciding how to behave. The study revealed that in a situation where agents are competing for a customer's business, there was a significant positive relationship between the behavior of other agents in the agency and ethical intent.

"Atmospheric Affect as a Tool for Creating Value and Gaining Share of Customer," Journal of Business Research, 49/2(2000), 91-99. , Barry J. Babin and Jill S. Attaway.

Can the retail atmosphere be useful in developing long-lasting relationships with consumers? This research addresses this question by investigating the impact of positive and negative affect associated with ambient environmental conditions. A key dependent variable is conceptualized and validated and captures the proportion of business a customer spends in one location relative to a store's direct competitors. Structural equation results suggest that both positive affect and negative affect impact this measure, but the impact is facilitated through both feelings' relationship with hedonic and utilitarian shopping value.

"Refocusing Our Efforts: Assessing Non-Technical Competency Gaps," Journal of Engineering Education, 89 (July 2000), 377-385. Ronald L. Meier, Michael R. Williams, and Michael A. Humphreys.

The study reports the findings of a National Science Foundation-funded study focused on providing solutions to the identified needs for curricular change in Advanced Technological Education programs. The purpose of the study was to explore the extent of competency gaps in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) education graduates as perceived by business and industry leaders. The study found that SMET programs must extend the boundaries of the their traditional curricula to include competencies such as: customer expectations and satisfaction, commitment to doing one's best, listening skills, sharing information and cooperating with co-workers, team working skills, adapting to changing work environments, customer orientation and focus, and ethical decision making and behavior.

"An Exploratory Study to Assess Competency Gaps in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technological (SMET) Education," Journal of Industrial Technology, 15/3 (1999), 25-34. Ronald L. Meier, Michael R. Williams, Michael A. Humphreys, and John Centko.

While business and industry are adopting new competitive strategies in response to changing environmental conditions, technological training programs remain narrowly focused and very specialized. To close the gap between what is needed and what is being delivered, the competencies required of the 21st century workforce must be identified, understood, and incorporated into reformed technological curricula. This article reports the results of a study that gathered input from business and industry practitioners regarding what competencies are needed, what competencies are actually being delivered, and where the gaps are in the training of technological education and training programs.

"Getting One's Own Way: An Investigation of Influence Attempts by Marketers on Nonmarketing Members of the Firm," Journal of Business Research, (forthcoming). Daniel J. Goebel, Greg W. Marshall, and William B. Locander.

This study examines the relationship between a marketer's use of various attempts to influence a nonmarketing coworker and the coworker's perception of marketing as a credible source of high quality communications. Research on this topic is important because both the distribution of market intelligence to other firm members and the organization's response to that intelligence depend on marketing's interactions with members of other organizational functions. Results provide general support for the effect of organizational environment and interfunctional dynamics antecedents on marketing's use of various influence strategies and on the outcomes of using those strategies. Implications and future research opportunities are discussed.

"A Model of Sales Manager Communication Effectiveness from the Sales Manager's Perspective," 2005 American Marketing Association Summer Educators' Conference Proceedings, Beth A. Walker and Mark B. Houston (eds.), Chicago, IL pp. 242-243. Dawn R. Deeter-Schmelz, Daniel J. Goebel, and Karen Norman Kennedy.

This study reports the results of an empirical examination of antecedents and consequences of communication quality from the viewpoint of sales managers. In the current study survey data were collected from sales managers and findings indicate mixed support for the hypotheses. Specifically, B support was found for the positive impact of organization and time management skills on communication quality which subsequently influenced the outcome variables of sales manager job satisfaction, goal achievement, and satisfaction with sales representatives. Support was not found for the antecedents of human relations skills, willingness to empower, participative leadership, and honesty leading to increases in communication quality. The managerial and research implications of the findings are discussed as are limitations and ideas for future research.

"Coping With Information Overload in a Sales Environment," 2005 American Marketing Association Summer Educators' Conference Proceedings, Beth A. Walker and Mark B. Houston (eds.), Chicago, IL pp. 240-241. Gary L. Hunter and Daniel J. Goebel.

The sales process is changing due to environmental pressures, and these changes are requiring salespeople to learn to cope with increasing amounts of information. Creating partnering relationships with customers and the expansion of product lines have both caused an increase in the information requirements of a sales career. As salespeople deal with increasing amounts of information, they may experience the effects of information overload. Effects include increasing errors and feelings of confusion or frustration. An important question is how can this impact be attenuated? The results of a mail survey offers evidence that a certain general coping style can attenuate the effects of information overload.

"An Organizational Communication-Based Model of Individual Customer Orientation of Nonmarketing Members of a Firm," Journal of Strategic Marketing, 12 (March, 2004), 29-56. Daniel J. Goebel, Greg W. Marshall, and William B. Locander.

A model of individual customer orientation is proposed and tested. Building on past research from the organizational communication and marketing literatures, the model (which incorporates facets of the organizational environment, interfunctional dynamics, and communication practices) is tested in order to examine the impact of these antecedent variables on customer-oriented outcomes of nonmarketing members of the firm. Results indicate that highly valued interfunctional communications by marketing results in nonmarketing members being more customer-oriented and more willing to engage in behaviors designed to satisfy internal customers. Managerial implications are discussed along with directions for further research.

"The Influence of Salesperson's Customer Orientation on Buyer-Seller Relationship Development," Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 13/3 (1998), 271-287. [Awarded Journal's Best Manuscript for the Year 1998] Michael R. Williams.

This study investigates the potential antecedent influences of salespersons' customer oriented behavior on the development of buyer-seller relationships. First, interrelated concepts from social exchange theory and relational communications theory are delineated in developing a theoretical justification for salespersons' customer-oriented behavior predicting buyer-seller relationship development. Second, the development and validation of a measure of buyer-seller relationship development is detailed. Additionally, the study's findings contribute empirically-based evidence in support of the posited relationship between customer orientation and the development of buyer-seller relationships. Finally, a discussion of the managerial implications of these findings is provided to assist selling professionals in the generation and application of customer-oriented strategies.

"Supply Chain Management: Strategic Factors from the Buyer's Perspective,"  Journal of Industrial Technology, 20/2 (February-April, 2004), 2-8. Ronald L. Meier, Michael R. Williams, and Rodger B. Singley.

The purpose of this study was to expand the knowledge base regarding planning, implementation, and ongoing operation of Supply Chain Management (SCM) initiatives toward the goal of improving existing SCM practices. In addition to an exhaustive review of related research and in-depth interviews with supplier and purchasing managers, three focus groups were utilized to identify and validate the criteria for successful SCM relationships as perceived by both buyers and suppliers.

Focus group responses were analyzed using Q-sort and Hoshin analysis techniques. Findings identify the key intra-organizational characteristics that enable and/or impede the formation and operation of supply chain partnerships and the organizational characteristics that constrain the choice of supply chain partners. The managerial and research implications of the findings are discussed as are limitations and ideas for future research in this area.

"Perceived Salesperson Self-efficacy: Implications for Supervisory Feedback, Salesperson Motivation, Job Satisfaction, and Performance," Proceedings of the American Marketing Association 2002 Summer Educator's Conference. [Received Best Paper Award for Sales and Sales Management]. Kevin G. Celuch, Michael R. Williams, and Douglas W. Vorhies.

This paper extends work in the salesperson motivation area through a conceptual integration and empirical examination of a potentially significant intervening cognition - perceived salesperson self-efficacy. Hypothesized relationships were largely supported with self-efficacy found to mediate relationships among supervisory informational feedback and salesperson motivation, satisfaction and performance. Findings hold important implications for the exploration and management of sales force performance.

"The Effects of Perceived Supervisory Information Feedback on Salesperson Role Ambiguity Facets and Self Efficacy," Professional Sales and Sales Management Practices Leading Toward the 21st Century: Proceedings of the 2001 National Conference on Sales Management, 5/17 (2001). Kevin G. Celuch and Michael R. Williams.

This paper extends work in the salesperson supervisory control, role ambiguity, and self-efficacy domains through an examination of the effects of two dimensions of supervisory informational feedback and several facets of role ambiguity on perceived self-efficacy - a potentially significant intervening cognition between salesperson knowledge and role perceptions and salesperson motivation, performance and satisfaction.

Consistent with predictions, role ambiguity facets were found to mediate relationships between output information feedback and salesperson self-efficacy. Contrary to expectations role ambiguity facets were not found to mediate relationships between capability information feedback and self-efficacy. Findings hold potentially significant implications for the management of salesperson performance.

"The Role of Purchasing in the Agile Enterprise?" International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management (now Journal of Supply Chain Management),(Fall 1998), 39-45. [was awarded the ANBAR International Citation of Excellence]. Ronald Meier, Michael A. Humphreys, and Michael R. Williams.

The article examines purchasing's role in achieving agility and competitive advantage. Using a Delphi study, this research investigated and identified buying behaviors that optimize a firm's relationship with key suppliers (Supplier-Oriented Purchasing Behaviors). Implications for managing agile purchasing strategies are discussed.>

"Leveraging the Total Market Offering in the Agile Enterprise," Quality Management Journal, 5/1 (1997), 60-74. Michael A. Humphreys, Michael R. Williams, and Ronald L. Meier.

This manuscript addresses the growing importance of interpersonal process attributes as a determinant of enterprise performance. An exploratory investigation into the nature of the influence stemming from technical/functional product and interpersonal process attributes on customer satisfaction is described. Rather than creating new concepts or providing new terms for old concepts, the study argues that enhanced understanding and managerial action can be achieved by reconceptualizing the total market offering from the buyer's perspective as comprising technical/functional attributes and interpersonal process attributes.

Using the perceptions of buyers, the findings from this study provide relevant confirmation that that interpersonal processes can be significant determinants of customer satisfaction in industries characterized by stable market conditions, highly similar products, and production-oriented, cost-based strategies. Discussion includes implications for managers and researchers.

"Exploring Salespersons' Customer Orientation as a Mediator of Organizational Culture's Influence on Buyer-Seller Relationships,"  Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 16/4 (1996), 33-52. Michael R Williams and Jill S. Attaway.

This manuscript reports the results of a theoretically-based study which incorporates the paradigm of relationship marketing. The study specifically examines the relationships among three major variables: organizational culture, customer orientation, and buyer-seller relationship development. Both organizational culture and customer orientation are expected to directly effect relationship development.

However, customer orientation is hypothesized to mediate the relationship between organizational culture and relationship development. Thus, the influence of organizational culture on relationship development would be through the customer-oriented behavior of a firm's salespeople. The results from a study of 459 buyer-seller combinations confirm the mediational effect of customer orientation between the selling firm's culture and relationship development. Managerial implications and ideas for future research are also developed.

"Exploring Relationships Among Student Learning Styles, Course Delivery Method, and Student Outcomes," 2004 American Marketing Association Summer Educators' Conference Proceedings, Kenneth L. Bernhardt, James S. Boles, and Pam Scholder Ellen (eds.), Chicago, IL pp. 40-41. Daniel J. Goebel and Michael A. Humphreys.

This study examines the relationship between student learning style and course outcomes within the context of courses that use case method versus other course delivery techniques. First, the paper examines the relationship between the case method of course delivery and course outcomes in the marketing strategy course compared to the outcomes of courses using alternative course designs.

Second, the paper investigates the relationship between student-learning style and student performance in a course that relies on the case method as the principle means of delivering the course content. The results of an empirical study at a large mid-western university are provided, followed by a discussion of implications for teaching and future research.

"Exploring the Relative Effects of Salesperson Interpersonal Process Attributes and Technical Product Attributes on Customer Satisfaction," Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 16/3 (1996), 47-57. Michael A. Humphreys and Michael R. Williams.

As a significant theme in contemporary marketing, customer orientation focuses not only on what buyers receive (technical product attributes) but also on how buyers and sellers interact (interpersonal process attributes). This underscores the significant role played by salesperson behavior in optimizing customer value and satisfaction. Yet, support for the use of customer-oriented interaction processes has not been consistent across industries.

Accordingly, this study examines the relative effects of interpersonal process attributes and technical product attributes on buyer satisfaction in a commodity environment. Results extend recent research and support that interpersonal process attributes of the total market offering can be significant determinants of customer satisfaction. Managerial implications and applications are discussed relevant to sales force issues.

"The Role of Purchasing in the Agile Enterprise," International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management (now Journal of Supply Chain Management), (Fall 1998), 39-45. [was awarded the ANBAR International Citation of Excellence]. Ronald Meier, Michael A. Humphreys, and Michael R. Williams.

The article examines purchasing's role in achieving agility and competitive advantage. Using a Delphi study, this research investigated and identified buying behaviors that optimize a firm's relationship with key suppliers (Supplier-Oriented Purchasing Behaviors). Implications for managing agile purchasing strategies are discussed.

"Enhancing Purchasing's Strategic Reputation: Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research,"  Journal of Supply Chain Management, 39 (Spring, 2003), 4-14. Daniel J. Goebel, Greg W. Marshall, and William B. Locander.

Past research in the supply chain management literature has rightfully claimed that purchasing is a strategic function of the business. In contrast, other research has found that the level of involvement by members of the supply function in strategic activities is rather low. In this article a model predicting purchasing's strategic reputation within the firm is proposed and tested.

The results, which are obtained from a survey of purchasing executives, indicate a role for back-and-forth communications and a cooperative relational history to enhance purchasing's reputation within the firm. Implications are discussed for reputation enhancement of purchasing as a strategic, value-adding function and recommendations are made for future research.

"Hiring for Success at the Buyer-Seller Interface: What Salesperson Selection Criteria are Most Important?" Journal of Business Research, 56 (April, 2003), 247-255. Greg W. Marshall, Daniel J. Goebel, and William C. Moncrief, III.

A number of trends, or forces, have been identified as drivers of the changing nature of selling, including a shift toward relational and consultative sales approaches, emerging technologies, and changes in expectations by buying organizations. A key question becomes how have these changes impacted sales managers' perceptions of the factors that are important to the success of the salespeople they hire?

This article investigates the importance placed on a variety of factors related to salesperson success including skills, content knowledge, attributes, and historical indicants of performance. Respondents are 215 sales managers representing a variety of industries, goods and services, and markets. The findings are discussed in terms of potential benefits to sales educators and researchers, sales job candidates, and sales organizations and their sales managers.

"Understanding Sales Manager Effectiveness: Linking Attributes to Sales Force Values," 2001 American Marketing Association Summer Educators' Conference Proceedings, Greg W. Marshall and Stephen J. Grove (eds.), Chicago, IL, pp. 230-231. Dawn R. Deeter-Schmelz, Daniel J. Goebel, and Karen Norman Kennedy.

This study builds on previous research concerning sales manager selection by examining the characteristics of effective sales managers from the perspectives of sales managers and sales representatives using a value laddering approach. This approach permits the identification of the key attributes of effective sales managers, as perceived by these two groups, as well as the consequences and values resulting from these attributes. Through the construction and interpretation of hierarchical value maps, derived from the laddering methodology, a key theme emerges: sales managers view their role in the sales process as more participative, while sales representatives view the sales manager's role as more supportive.

"Comparing Manager and Representative Perceptions of Effective Sales Managers: A Value Laddering Approach," 2001 American Marketing Association Summer Educators' Conference Proceedings, Greg W. Marshall and Stephen J. Grove (eds.), Chicago, IL, pp. 230-231. Dawn R. Deeter-Schmelz, Daniel J. Goebel, and Karen Norman Kennedy.

This study builds on previous research concerning sales manager selection by examining the characteristics of effective sales managers from the perspectives of sales managers and sales representatives using a value laddering approach. This approach permits the identification of the key attributes of effective sales managers, as perceived by these two groups, as well as the consequences and values resulting from these attributes. Through the construction and interpretation of hierarchical value maps, derived from the laddering methodology, a key theme emerges: sales managers view their role in the sales process as more participative, while sales representatives view the sales manager's role as more supportive.

"Activity-Based Costing: Accounting for a Market Orientation,"  Industrial Marketing Management, 27 (November, 1998), 497-510. Daniel J. Goebel, Greg W. Marshall, and William B. Locander.

Market- and customer-oriented activities represent a major resource investment for a firm. Activity-based costing (ABC) provides an enhanced means for marketers to assess the cost-versus-benefits of such activities. This article describes the usefulness of ABC to marketers at various levels of decision making: unit level, product level, channel level, and segment/customer level. Examples are provided to illustrate the potential for improved marketing decision making when ABC is utilized versus traditional accounting systems.

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