New Isenberg Lecture Series Highlights Innovative Faculty Research
March 19, 2019
In February, the first installment of the IsenbergFaculty Speakers Series featured two assistant professors, Matt Katz from Sport Management and Andrew Kitto from Accounting, offering “30-000-foot overviews” of their research for an audience of their colleagues. Conceived by Isenberg Associate Dean for Research George Milne, the monthly gatherings foster boundary-spanning networking among the faculty.
We typically view fans as isolated “actors,” but fandom is inherently a “communal activity,” observed Katz during his lecture. Like-minded fans create informal networks, complete with psychological affiliations and group norms that stem largely from interpersonal interactions. A cluster of interacting fans may look like a “tailgate” but you can view them as a network, with key individuals serving as nodes. The latter galvanize the group through, among other things, their strong centripetal pull that secures members from family, work, church, and other sources. Recently, Katz’s focus has turned more “egocentric,” dissecting an individual’s attributes and behaviors in the network and in relationships with its other individuals. Katz cited a longitudinal study of NFL fans that revealed, “You’re not just with similar people.”
Andrew Kitto’s research focuses on competition among public accounting firms: “The Big 4 accounting firms handle audits for two-thirds of all publicly traded companies and account for 97 percent of U.S. market cap,” he observed during his talk. Has consolidation of accounting firms into those four giants hampered competition? he asked. And what influences have Sarbanes-Oxley and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)—both established in 2002 in response to the corporate and accounting scandals including the Enron debacle—had on competition in public accounting? To answer aspects of those questions, Kitto walked his audience through three of his recent research papers—all employing PCAOB proprietary data. Among other issues, the papers examined the consolidation question and competitive and regulatory forces on smaller accounting firms entering and exiting the market. For the industry, the first study’s principal findings must surely have proved heartening: mergers in public accounting generate efficiencies and increase competition in the audit market.
At the March event Assistant Professor of Management Joanna Lin will discuss how leaders who engage in good management practices can pay an emotional price, and Assistant Professor of Marketing Francisco Villarroel Ordenes will share details of his research into how big data methods are used to analyze online conversations among consumers, brands, and employees.
Lin and Villarroel Ordenes will speak in Isenberg 112 from 12pm to 1pm on Wednesday, March 20.