Taos Institute’s Worldshare Book Series

By Vladimir RozovskiyComments Off

Dr. Jacqueline Stavros published a short story in her experiences regarding Appreciative Inquiry with kindergarteners in the Taos Institute’s Worldshare Book Series.

Faculty and Doctoral Notables

Cultural Adaptation Mediates the Relationship Between Reflective Leadership and Organization Performance for Multinational Organizations.

By Vladimir RozovskiyComments Off

Dr. Patricia Castelli, Dr. Thomas Marx, and Dr. David Egleston have published an article in the spring 2014 issue of the Journal of Scholastic Inquiry: Business titled “Cultural Adaptation Mediates the Relationship Between Reflective Leadership and Organization Performance for Multinational Organizations.”

Faculty and Doctoral Notables

Novatis Group Case Study Comes to Life for LTU MBA Students

By Sheila ThomasComments Off



On Monday, February 10th, 2014, under the professorship of Dr. Shahram Taj, several  Lawrence Technological University  (LTU) students presented the Novatis Group,  A Moroccan diaper and hygienic paper products manufacturer, for a case study assignment [Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, 2012] for their Global Strategic Management Class (MBA 6073).  A welcome addition to their case study, was the presence of the Novatis Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Souheil  Badaa, who listened and watched, via videoconferencing, as two groups of students presented their findings and recommendations.

The students were assigned to read a case study on the Novatis Group, which honed in on their Dalaa brand of disposable baby diapers.  The case study had students applying what they learned in the class and using their critical thinking skills to analyze the case, in order to present their findings and recommendations for the Novatis Group’s diaper products.

Dr. Taj, Professor of Business Administration at LTU crossed paths with Badaa when Badaa was an MBA student at the University of St. Thomas, where Taj was teaching.  In 2011, they both facilitated a group of students to go to Badaa’s native Morocco in order to conduct the live case study.

Badaa, who was a welcome guest during the February 10th presentations, provided the class with an overview of his background, some information on the Novatis Group, and his thoughts about studying business in the United States.   After he talked, students delved right into their presentations.   Students then had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from someone who is an integral part of the company that they studied, as Badaa gave positive and constructive feedback to their presentations.

One student, Daphne Joachim, was on a team of students who suggested that the company take part in the disposal of the diapers in an effort to become more sustainable.   Joachim thought that the opportunity to make recommendations to the Chief Marketing Officer of the company that she and her team studied, was an amazing one.  “This case presentation to a company’s executive – it was like having my first consulting job,” said Joachim.  “Making the presentation to Mr. Souheil  Badaa made me feel  heard and valued,”  she continued.   “I’m proud of the recommendations we made regarding managing the disposal of diapers in Morocco.  Even if it can’t be implemented right away, we’ve planted a seed.”

The Global Strategic Management class is the last class that MBA candidates have to take in order to receive their degree.   Dr. Taj teaches two different sessions of the class, on Mondays and Tuesdays, at LTU.

Courses/Teaching

Teaching Leadership and Strategy

By Vladimir RozovskiyComments Off

Dr. Thomas G. Marx published the article “Teaching Leadership and Strategy” in the Business Education Innovation Journal’s December 201issue.  Also in this issue, Volume 5 Number 2, is an article entitled “Social Media: A Viable Source for Collecting Research Data”, coauthored by Dr. Marx, Dr. Patricia Castelli and Dr. David Egleston.

Faculty and Doctoral Notables

Advanced Statistics Using Mplus: CFA, Mediation and Structural Equation Modeling

By Matthew ColeComments Off

Assistant Professor Dr. Matthew Cole from the Department of Management and Marketing presented an overview of advanced statistical analyses using Mplus software during two lectures this summer: Mplus lecture #1 and Mplus lecture #2. Dr. Cole will be reviewing CFA, mediation and moderation analyses using Mplus and Minitab in the Spring 2014 RES7033 class with DBA students.

Students are encouraged to install the demo version of Mplus and begin learning how to conduct advanced analyses for their research.

 

 

Courses/Teaching

A Feasibility Study of Platform-as-a-Service Using Cloud Computing for a Global Service Industry

By Vladimir RozovskiyComments Off

Keke Gai, a DMIT student, and Dr. Annette Lerine Steenkamp have published the article “A Feasibility Study of Platform-as-a-Service Using Cloud Computing for a Global Service Industry” in the Journal of Information Systems Applied Research’s seventh volume.

Faculty and Doctoral Notables

The Science Behind the Obama Campaign E-Mails

By Matthew ColeComments Off

As reported by Joshua Greene on November 29, 2012 in Bloomberg Businessweek, Obama raised a large amount of the $690 million donated online via fundraising e-mails. The success of the fundraising e-mails may be related to the rigorous experimentation and testing by Obama’s in-house team of digital analytics. As reported in the Greene article, the team of analysts did extensive A-B testing on such components of an e-mail as the subject line, the message and the formatting. Their approach to the science of marketing involved testing as many as 18 e-mail drafts, with the most effective subject lines being those with a casual tone that you might actually receive from a friend. Other outcomes of the A-B testing were somewhat counterintuitive: plain-text links vs. pretty ‘Donate’ buttons, ugly yellow highlighting, and mild profanity were the most effective in raising money.

Courses/Teaching

How to Interpret Polls–Do Not Forget the Margin of Error and the Sample Size

By Matthew ColeComments Off

With the U.S. presidential election on November 6, we are presented with an ever increasing onslaught of political polls and their results. To make a proper interpretation of a poll’s results, three additional variables should be specified in addition to the proportion results: the poll’s margin of error, the desired level of confidence, and the sample size. In this brief essay, I will review the math behind the margin of error in polls to help you with interpretation of polls.

Background Information
The purpose of a poll is to estimate the opinion or behavior of a population from a sample. We work with a sample since contacting the entire population is too time consuming, often too expensive, and can be physically impossible. Several methods of sampling are used, and simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling, and cluster sampling are the most widely used methods.

After the sample is selected from the population, a statistic computed from sample information estimates a population parameter.  The statistic computed from the sample that estimates the population parameter is called a point estimate. As an example, the sample mean, , is the point estimate of the population parameter, μ, the population mean. For polls, the sample proportion, ρ, is the point estimate of the population parameter, π, the population proportion.

How Close is the Point Estimate to the Population Parameter?
We now come to the essence of this essay–the confidence interval estimate (CI). A confidence interval estimate is a range of values constructed from sample data so that the population parameter is likely to occur within that range at a specified probability. The specified probability is called the level of confidence, and in most cases of poll results, the level of confidence is set at .95 (i.e., a pollster has a 95% confidence that the true measurement lies within the margin of error). Putting all of this together gives us the following equation:  CI = point estimate ± margin of error

Accordingly, the CI is determined from the margin of error. You’ve seen the margin of error in some poll results, e.g., “The poll has a margin of error plus-minus 3.1 percentage points for the sample.” If the poll determined that ρ = .5, then the CI would be 50% ± 3.1% = 46.9-53.1, i.e., a pollster has a 95% confidence that the true poll results are 46.9% to 53.1%

I will now show how the margin of error is used to determine a poll’s CI and sample size.

How Is the CI Determined in a Poll?
To determine the CI in a poll, we will use the following formula to compute the margin of error: z * standard error. Mathematically, this formula is expressed as:

In this formula, z defines the level of confidence. In polls, the 95% level of confidence gives us a z score of 1.96. Also in polls, we determine the standard error as the maximum standard error by setting the proportion at 50% (ρ = .5).

We plug in these numbers to determine the margin of error at the 95% level of confidence:


Polls that we see in the media use the 95% level of confidence in determining the margin of error. However, statisticians also determine the margin of error using the 90% and 99% levels of confidence, although the 95% l.98evel of confidence is the most common. The margin of error for the 90% confidence level is calculated using a z score of 1.65:

For the 99% confidence level, the margin of error is calculated using a z score of 2.58:

How Is the Sample Size of a Poll Determined?
I noted above that the purpose of a poll is to estimate the opinion of a population from a sample. As researchers, we are interested in the generality of the data in terms of the number of subjects in the population to which the results apply. If a poll has a margin of error of 3.1%, we can use the formula for the margin of error to estimate the size of the sample:

A recent poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal reported the following poll results:

Obama is ahead of Romney by five points, 49 percent to 44 percent. The full poll was conducted Oct. 17-20 among 1,000 registered voters. The poll has a margin of error plus-minus 3.1 percentage points for the sample of registered voters.

According to the formula above, we can see how the margin of error was calculated from the sample size of n = 1,000 registered voters.

Putting it All Together
A new TIME Poll has Obama holding a 49% to 44% lead over Romney in Ohio. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. How do we interpret the results of this poll?

First, we estimate the sample size: n = (.98/.03)² = 1,067.

Second, we estimate the CI around each point estimate at the 95% level of confidence. Obama: 46-52     Romney: 41-47.

Finally, we decide that according to the results of this particular poll, a sample of 1,067 people in Ohio are equally likely to vote for Obama or Romney 95 times out of 100 (because the CIs overlap).

Conclusion
I wrote this essay to provide some clarity and perspective on election polls by reviewing the statistics behind polls. I emphasized that the result of a poll must be interpreted along with the poll’s margin of error so that the sample size and CI can be determined.

For more information on the science of polls, check out Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don’t, and Nate Silver’s blog FiveThiryEight

Courses/Teaching

US nonprofit sector is a job creator

By College of Management2,841 Comments

October 24, 2012
Jerry Lindman, JD

This article in CNN.com (Look to nonprofit sector to create jobs, CNN Oct 19, 2012) makes the case for the resilient job creating ability of the US nonprofit sector over the last decade, even in this slow-growth economy. Though not a surprise to some (including our LTU graduate nonprofit students), many are still unaware of the dramatic growth in the nonprofit sector and the employment opportunities that exist.  Here are some key points the author makes:

  • “the nonprofit sector employs about one in 10 American workers…..the third largest labor force behind retail trade and manufacturing.”
  • “According to a recent study the U.S. nonprofit sector posted a remarkable 10 year record of job growth despite
  • two recessions, achieving an annual growth rate of 2.1% from 2000 to 2010…..for-profit jobs declined by 0.6% per year during the same period.”
  • The same study showed that “even during the recession from 2007 to 2009, nonprofit jobs increased by an average of 1.9% per year. At the same time, businesses averaged jobs losses of 3.7% per year.”
  • “While nonprofits are known for employing social workers, they also need managers, human resource professionals, educators, artists, computer programmers, marketers, accountants…researchers…and many skilled workers.”

This author closes by calling of the next President (and Congress?) to do five things to support nonprofit job growth: (1) maintain tax deductions for donations and on estate tax; (2) incentivize nonprofit education and careers; (3) expand national service via the proposed ‘Serve America Act’ (4) Invest in social entrepreneurship to promote innovation in the nonprofit sector and (5) expand tax incentives for financing of small business to nonprofits.

From my work with nonprofit organizations and their leaders, growth is just one of the major forces causing transformation of how charitable organizations operate. Because of these dynamic times, what is most needed are newly educated and trained nonprofit managers who can blend the unique nonprofit management competencies with new business-influenced strategies that support diversification of their revenue sources to include more earned income. Coincidentally, that is the topic my students are addressing this week in my graduate course in nonprofit management.

Nonprofit Management

DBA Student, Lihua Dishman, Presenting her Research at the Great Lakes Conference on Teaching & Learning

By Anne Kohnke3,436 Comments

Lihua Dishman, a DBA student in Cohort 8, presented the conceptual part of her qualitative inquiry on exemplary online adult learners at 2012 Great Lakes Conference on Teaching & Learning in May at Mt. Pleasant, MI.  This study utilizes the existential phenomenological inquiry method, which focuses on reporting lived experiences that are grounded in existence. Data collection relies on the perceptions of the participants–the 30 university instructors.  The findings of this study thus may reflect the personal biases of these participants.  The concept of an Exemplary Online Adult Learner needs to be further explored and refined.  The effect of key characteristic factors of an Exemplary Online Adult Learner on achieving learning outcomes of individual courses and the entire degree program warrants further research through larger samples.

Lihua Dishman, DBA Student in Cohort 8

The Global Leadership course, one of her first classes in the DBA program, inspired her research interest.  Both the Introduction to Doctoral Research and Qualitative Research courses empowered her with the necessary tools to complete the conceptual part of this exploratory inquiry.  Lihua’s presentation is a powerful testimonial for LTU and COM’s education philosophy of linking theory to practice.

Conferences, DBA Program
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