Dean Geoffrey Garrett
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Teaching + Innovation
Experiential Learning Center
Open Expression Statement
BS Business Administration (BUAD)
BS Accounting (ACCT)
World Bachelor in Business (WBB)
BS Business of Cinematic Arts (BCA)
BS Artificial Intelligence for Business (BUAI)
Full-Time MBA (FTMBA)
Executive MBA (EMBA)
Part-Time MBA (MBA.PM)
International MBA (IBEAR)
Online MBA (OMBA)
MS Business Administration (MSBUSAD)
MS Business Analytics (MSBA)
MS Entrepreneurship + Innovation (MSEI)
MS Finance (MSF)
MS Global Supply Chain Management (MSGSCM)
MS Marketing (MSMKT)
MS Social Entrepreneurship (MSSE)
Master of Business for Veterans (MBV)
Master of Management Studies (MMS)
Master of Accounting (MAcc)
Master of Business Taxation (MBT)
Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals (MBT.WP)
Data Sciences + Operations
Management + Organization
GC in Business Analytics
GC in Financial Analysis + Valuation
GC in Management Studies
GC in Marketing
GC in Optimization + Supply Chain Management
GC in Strategy + Management Consulting
GC in Sustainability + Business
GC in Technology Commercialization
GC in Library and Information Management – Online
Business Communication (BUCO)
Data Sciences and Operations (DSO)
Finance + Business Economics (FBE)
Leventhal School of Accounting (ACCT)
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (BAEP)
Management and Organization (MOR)
Institutes + Centers
Randall R. Kendrick Global Supply Chain Institute
Peter Arkley Institute for Risk Management
VanEck Digital Assets Initiative
Institute for Outlier Research in Business
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
USC Marshall Venture Fund
Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab
Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making
Center for Effective Organizations
Center for Global Innovation
Center for Investment Studies
Initiative on Digital Competition
Giving + Support
Alumni Engagement + Resources
What's in a Name?
A new series of studies to be published by Psychological Science show that White Americans associate the label “Blacks” with being targets of racial bias more than the label “African Americans.” The findings have implications for outcomes as varied as image search results, the tone of media coverage, and non-profit fundraising.
In one particularly stark finding, White Americans wanting to eradicate racial injustice will donate more to non-profit organizations describing themselves as Black compared to African American.
The paper, titled “What’s in a Name? The Hidden Historical Ideologies Embedded in the Black and African American Racial Labels,” is co-authored by professors Erika V. Hall of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Sarah S. M. Townsend of the USC Marshall School of Business, and doctoral student James T. Carter of Columbia Business School.
Hall is an assistant professor of management and organization at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Townsend is an associate professor of management and organization, and interim assistant vice dean of Marshall’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
“Americans of African descent have long fought for equality. But White Americans often misunderstand or misrepresent their advocacy,” said Hall. “We show the use of the Black versus African American label may fundamentally alter White Americans’ perceptions of their intentions.”
The studies explore the association between the African American and Black labels and the ideologies of the historical movements within which they gained prominence.
“Specifically, because the Black label became prominent amidst the Black Power Movement in the 1960s and the African American label gained popularity amidst the late Civil Rights Movement in the 1980s, people and organizations that use each term are perceived to embody the ideologies of those movements,” explains Townsend.
The authors argue that this means that African American label is associated with voting rights and political participation and the Black label is associated with racial victimization and degradation. The authors find that the use of one or other label skews the results of Google image searches and the content of editorials in media. Use of the Black label leads to more racially victimized imagery, while use of the African American label leads to more civil rights and inequality imagery.
Critically, this research also shows that use of these labels in any media can substantially influence White audiences’ financial support of the causes they advocate.
“It is possible that our findings may only generalize to groups that are not of African descent. Americans of African descent may be unlikely to apply ideological stereotypes to people and organizations labeled by these terms,” said Mr. Carter.
“Thus, seemingly small changes in labels can make a big difference,” said Hall. “Although activists and journalists may not be aware of the ideologies embedded in these labels, they must carefully choose which one to use: either Black or African American.”
The authors’ best advice is to allow a person or organization to self-label in the way that most closely reflects their identity.
“Of course, our studies also represent a snapshot of a particular time,” said Townsend. “The meaning of these words may shift with highly visible race-based events.”
Quoted: Shon Hiatt on Food Dive
HIATT, associate professor of business administration, cautions that companies relying on carbon offset credits may be setting themselves up for threats to reputation and brand integrity.
An Early Network
USC Marshall was the first West Coast business school to join the Consortium. It still plays a role in creating a diverse full-time MBA cohort.
Cited: Shon Hiatt in the New York Times
HIATT, Associate Professor of Business Administration, confirms findings in research surrounding the exploitation of the Amazon for crude oil later.
Research Informing Policy
Professor Hyo Kang’s research cited in FTC-recommended policy change.
Quoted: Shon Hiatt in The Orange County Register
Hiatt, Associate Professor of Business Administration, offers "The goals are just too far-fetched and unrealistic — unless you want to inflict major economic pain," for a piece on the state and future of gas bills in California. [paywall]