The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the UB School of Management

Insights...News about faculty and their research

Talukdar awarded research fellowship



Debabrata Talukdar, associate professor in the Department of Marketing, was awarded one of four research fellowships for 2010-11 through the University at Buffalo Civic Engagement and Public Policy Strategic Initiative (CEPP). He will receive an award of $3,500 to help carry out his work.

Civic engagement and public policy was one of eight areas identified in the UB 2020 plan as the embodiment of a particular tradition of excellence at the university. The fellowships are offered to support community-based research projects that address pressing social issues and involve partnerships between university scholars and collaborators outside the academy.

In partnership with the World Bank's African division, Talukdar will conduct a systematic empirical study of slum dwellers in several cities across sub-Saharan Africa.

The study's data sources include personal interviews with those dwelling in slum and nonslum households in several sub-Saharan African cities-including Nairobi, Kenya, site of one of the largest and poorest slums in Africa-in an effort to come up with the first reliable estimates on adverse circumstances in which people produce and consume products, and the role of several relevant policy factors in mitigating such circumstances.

Of particular interest to the researchers are the roles and impacts of "self-help" organizing programs like those offered by micro-enterprise and community-based initiatives, along with more external institutions, such as for-profit businesses and not-for-profit civil society organizations or nongovernmental organizations.

Huefner retires after 42 years of service



Friends, relatives, former students, members of the business community and School of Management colleagues (past and present) bid a fond farewell at an April reception to Ronald J. Huefner, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Accounting and Law, who retired following a long and distinguished career in the School of Management.

A member of the faculty for 42 years, Huefner mentored doctoral students since the early 1970s and served as chair and as a member of the School of Management's MBA program committee for 10 years. He authored or co-authored 22 books on accounting and taxation and is a national speaker on these issues. Huefner has been a reviewer for 17 accounting and financial journals and is currently a member of the editorial board of The CPA Journal and the Journal of Theoretical Accounting Research.

Huefner received the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1977 for demonstrating outstanding teaching ability through superb classroom performance. He joined the elite ranks of the SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professoriate in 1993, an honor granted to faculty members whose pedagogical accomplishments are extraordinary.

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) honored Huefner with the Distinguished Service Award in May, recognizing his outstanding leadership services to the profession through publications, public service and other activities.

Huefner served the NYSSCPA as a vice president, member of its board of directors and executive committee and has shown high commitment to CPA education through his service as chair, vice chair and current member of its Higher Education Committee, chair and vice chair of its Scholarship Awards Committee and as a trustee of its Foundation for Accounting Education.

A member of NYSSCPA since 1971, Huefner was president, president-elect, vice president and secretary of its Buffalo chapter, and the 1994 recipient of the NYSSCPA Emanuel Saxe Outstanding CPA in Education Award.

Study explores relation between online and offline identities



Researchers in the School of Management are studying why certain people display anti-social behavior in online forums. Known as "trolls," these individuals try to incite and anger other users.

A study about this behavior by G. Lawrence Sanders, professor of management science and systems, Natalie C. Simpson, associate professor of operations management and strategy, and Cheul Rhee, PhD '10, appeared in the June issue of Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery).

The researchers discovered that people with less-developed egos in real life tend to have more-developed online personas. Sanders believes trolls' comments may be a way to express aggression that is suppressed in real life.

"Certainly the anonymity of the Internet can explain some of these negative behaviors, but not all," Sanders says.



Users of online media, such as blogs or social networking sites, often create online identities that are distinct from their real-life (offline) identities. The creation of an online identity establishes a "virtual ego" that functions only online and can be distinct from a person's real-life ego.

The researchers studied several hundred college students to determine the correlation between users' online and offline egos. They found that individuals with mature egos in real life have relatively less mature virtual egos, while the individuals with immature egos in real life have more mature virtual egos with regards to their online identities.

In the long term, Sanders says the researchers hope to continue investigating why people engage in trolling activity by further analyzing the psychology of the troll personality.

Rao named SUNY Distinguished Service Professor



H. Raghavendra Rao, professor of management science and systems, is one of three University at Buffalo faculty members who have joined the ranks of distinguished professors appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

Rao was appointed a Distinguished Service Professor in recognition of his outstanding academic career that includes a particular focus on serving the university and its larger constituencies.

A School of Management faculty member since 1987, Rao is an expert in management information systems, decision support systems, e-business, emergency response management systems and information assurance. He focuses his work on computer system and network security, the outsourcing and management of information technology, and the integration of information technology in health care and electronic commerce.

He is co-director of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems Assurance Research and Education (CEISARE), which oversees coordinated UB research and graduate education in computer security and information assurance.

Among his numerous awards are prestigious Fulbright and University Lilly Teaching fellowships and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Rao is the author or co-author of more than 150 technical papers, and his work has received best-paper and best-paper runner-up awards from professional organizations in his field. He also recently was ranked No. 11 on a list of researchers for the number of articles published in the top nine information systems journals.

Chung receives Fulbright Award



Kee H. Chung, Louis M. Jacobs Professor of Financial Planning and Control, and chair of the Department of Finance and Managerial Economics in the School of Management, has received a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship Award.

The Fulbright award will fund Chung's academic activities at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, next year. He will spend the spring 2011 semester teaching and conducting research on the subject of market microstructure, as well as conducting public lectures and other outreach activities.

This is Chung's second Fulbright award; he received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award for Lecture and Research in the 1995-96 academic year as a faculty member at the University of Memphis.

A native of Korea, Chung has served as the president of the Korea-America Finance Association and arranged a joint academic session for U.S. and Korean scholars at the 2009 Financial Management Association conference in Reno, Nevada.

Venture capital across borders


Iriyama and Li

Venture capital (VC) investment across borders tends to follow immigration patterns, according to research in a forthcoming issue of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.

Akie Iriyama and Yong Li, both assistant professors in the Department of Operations Management and Strategy, and Ravi Madhavan, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, studied why, in the increasingly "flat world" of globalization, cross-border VC investment is unevenly distributed.

The researchers found that certain foreign nations display particularly intense linkages with selected U.S. regions when it comes to VC investment. These linkages are directly tied to the immigration patterns from the home nations to those areas in the U.S.

Because it is fairly common for immigrants to settle in regions where there are already people from their home country who share their interests and values, human networks are formed within the immigrant community and with the country of origin.

In their study of pairs of U.S. regions and foreign nations, the researchers found that the VC flow follows the pattern established by these prior human networks, resulting in a spiky, rather than flat, pattern of investment. They concluded that the relationships and cultural understanding already established in these paired regions make investment easier.

This research bolsters the "spiky-world" (rather than "flat-world") view that, even with globalization, business activities are still far from being completely integrated. With certain global VC investment being concentrated in a few U.S. regions, entrepreneurial relationships have become more, rather than less, localized.

The researchers hope that an understanding of the patterns of global VC flow may lead to greater understanding of the economic geography of international entrepreneurship.

Ampadu honored with Plesur Award



Alex B. Ampadu, associate professor of accounting and law, received the Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching Award from the undergraduate Student Association for his commitment to students and the quality of his teaching. Ampadu is the first three-time winner of the Plesur award, having also received it in 1998 and 2006.

A faculty member since 1986, Ampadu teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate accounting courses. He is the founder and faculty advisor to the Minority Management Society, served on the board of directors for Beta Alpha Psi, the national accounting fraternity and chaired the Accounting Scholar Leadership Task Force of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Ampadu is a recipient of the statewide Dr. Emanuel Saxe Outstanding CPA in Education Award from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a two-time recipient of Beta Alpha Psi Faculty Advisor of the Year.

Singapore EMBA launches open lecture series



The School of Management Executive MBA program in Singapore kicked off an open lecture series last spring with a talk on financial literacy from Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics.

The Knowledge in Practice series is an opportunity for School of Management professors to share their research on relevant business topics with the general public while allowing prospective students to learn more about the Singapore EMBA program.

Mandell, one of the world's leading experts on financial literacy, explained that as financial products become more and more complex, the average person is less likely to understand them and thus more likely to make mistakes. These mistakes can be devastating, such as when homeowners do not understand the structure of their mortgages and end up in foreclosure. Cumulatively, these individual mistakes can be devastating to banks, countries and entire economies as in the recent housing crisis.

To safeguard critical investments such as retirement, Mandell suggests a financial product that guarantees the full return of worker contribution adjusted for inflation. "It is an example of how modern financial theory and financial engineering can be used for the betterment of all mankind," he said.

Mandell teaches "Economics for Managers" in the Singapore EMBA program. Professors Ramaswamy Ramesh, Isaac Ehrlich and Michelle Bligh will lecture in the Knowledge in Practice series later this year.