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2023 USC Marshall Research Fair

2023 USC Marshall Research Fair

Scholars present their latest research on the impacts of new technology — March 10 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the USC Hotel Ballroom.

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Five scholars from across USC Marshall departments will present their recent research at the 2023 Research Fair, to be held March 10, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the USC Hotel Ballroom across the street from USC’s University Park campus. REGISTER

The Research Fair originated in 2016 and has been a well-attended event since then, even during the pandemic when the fair was held remotely. This year’s fair will also be streamed live.

This year’s participants share research that takes a deep dive into how technological innovation is impacting everything from market demand to information sharing, digital platforms, and business education.

“From its inception, the Marshall Research Fair has been an opportunity to showcase the exciting research done by our faculty and make it available to a wider community,” said PEER FISS, associate vice dean for research at Marshall and the Jill and Frank Fertitta Chair of Business Administration and professor of management and organization. “It has quickly become a key event for our research community, and this year we again have a terrific lineup of first-class scholars who will share their cutting edge work.”

Following are titles and summaries of the research each faculty member will discuss, in order of their scheduled appearance:

“Real-Time Management in Digital Platform Ecosystems: Probing the Next Frontier”

OMAR EL SAWY, Kenneth King Stonier Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Data Sciences and Operations

El Sawy’s research interests are in digital business strategy in messy and dynamic environments, IT-enabled capabilities, real-time management, digital platform ecosystems and digital business models, and orchestrating AI applications in real-time contexts.

“The key question I am currently exploring is understanding real-time management in digital platform ecosystems,” El Sawy writes. “My interest is from both a theory development perspective as well as a practical implementation perspective with managers.

“We are also moving toward a physical environment where the digital and physical are increasingly fused. We propose understanding this new environment through the lens of a rhythmic fabric, and we derive concepts for such a perspective.”

El Sawy holds a PhD from Stanford Business School, an MBA from the American University in Cairo, and a BSEE from Cairo University. In 2021, he received both the University-wide and USC Marshall Faculty Mentoring & Leadership Award. In 2022, he received the USC Marshall Dean’s Award for Research Impact.

“Experimenting With Information Sharing”

SHELLEY XIN LI, Assistant Professor of Accounting

“In today’s workplace, we see trends toward continuous tracking of employee activities, deeper quantification of work, and the rise of enterprise social networks,” Li writes. “How should organizations use these information-sharing technologies to drive performance?”

Li summarizes three field experiments conducted with collaborating companies.

“Technology-enabled information-sharing holds the power for improving performance without changing explicit incentives. But various pre-existing conditions need to be considered in evaluating the effect of such interventions, such as prior performance, natural exposure to relevant knowledge, perceived information overload, and work motivation types.”

Li received her PhD in business administration (accounting and management) from Harvard Business School. She has published in top accounting journals, including the Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting Research, and Contemporary Accounting Research. She won the AAA/Grant Thornton Doctoral Dissertation Award.

“The Social Imaginaries of Entrepreneurship Education”

R. DANIEL WADHWANI, Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

How do business educators make sense of concepts such as Web 3, decentralized finance, and circular economies that promise fundamental reconfigurations in the organization of business?

“In this presentation, I examine major shifts in entrepreneurship education since the early 19th century and the role of new social imaginaries of business in driving them,” Wadhwani writes. “I find that such shifts were based in political and moral critiques of extant business practice and business education, in addition to changes in technology and organization. I use those findings to draw out implications for business education today.”

A historian by training, Wadhwani’s research takes a macro view of entrepreneurship, examining the relationship between entrepreneurial action and industrial and societal change. He has published on entrepreneurial dynamics in the transformation of financial markets, art markets, higher education, and international business, among other areas.

Wadhwani holds a BA from Yale and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and he held the Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard Business School. He has previously taught at HBS, University of the Pacific, Copenhagen Business School, and Kyoto University.

“Business Communication Technology and Our Attitudes Toward It”

STEPHEN LIND, Associate Professor of Clinical Business Communication

Business professionals are now living, working, and competing amidst an unprecedented glut of communication technologies, Lind writes. “From AI copywriters to badge-system Slack integrations to ballpoint pen handwriting printers, the consumer-accessible communication technology floodgates are wide open.

“In this presentation, I will share an overview of some of my recent research which explores a range of communication technology attitude questions — from persistent attitudes toward analog greeting cards to the potential competitiveness of AI-generated video to a study on predictive workplace attitudes on what business communication technologies will be most important in five years.”

Lind earned his PhD with distinction from Clemson University’s transdisciplinary Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design program. He is an active member of the Association for Business Communication where he has served on the technology committee.

“The Power of Images: Whether and How Consumer-Uploaded Images Can Impact Market Demand and Predict Business Survival”

LAN LUO, Professor of Marketing

“My talk will focus on whether and how consumer-uploaded images can impact market demand and predict long-term business survival,” Luo writes. “In recent years, our society has witnessed the rapid growth of social technologies (e.g., the Internet and smartphones) and digital platforms. These technologies and platforms have created paradigm shifts in the volume and the types of data that are available to both consumers and firms.”

Luo is among the pioneers in marketing to use computer vision techniques to explore how images shared by consumers can not only alter demand in the short term but also forecast long-term business prosperity. Her research shows that although marketers may aim to leverage the power of images, there can also be unintended consequences of using images as a key component of their platform design choices.

Luo earned her PhD in business (marketing) from the University of Maryland. Her primary research interests are applications of artificial intelligence in digital platforms and new product design. Luo led the Amazon Studios Science team from 2021 to 2022, and she currently serves as an Amazon Scholar to its Global Media Entertainment Business.