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UWF business professors win Best Paper awards at conference

Two professors in the University of West Florida College of Business were recently awarded “Best Paper” for their respective research by the Society for Marketing Advances.

Dr. James Mead and Dr. Katrina Savitskie, assistant professors in the University’s Department of Marketing, Supply Chain Logistics, and Economics, were recognized during the Society for Marketing Advances annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mead’s paper, which he co-authored with Kevin Chase, a postgraduate student at the University of Kentucky, compared a consumer’s willingness to purchase a product advertised on their smartphone to that same product advertised on their computer.

“That research was based on studies that show how consumers have emotional attachments to their cell phones, viewing it almost as a trusted companion,” Mead said. “We find that when consumers view an advertisement on their phone, if they are attached to their phone, they actually will report increased purchase intention and willingness to pay for that advertised product above a baseline of their computer.”

The research by Mead and Chase won “Best Paper in Social Media and Marketing Technology.”

The paper by Savitskie, which she co-authored with Dr. Sandipan Sen, an associate professor at

Southeastern Missouri State University, and Dr. Feisal Murshed, an associate professor at Kutztown University, won “Best Paper in Ethical Decisions in Lifestyle Choices Track.” The paper focused on the effect a company’s corporate social responsibility has on its employees.

Savitskie said most of the prior research that’s been done on corporate social responsibility, which encompasses a company’s philanthropic, ethical or environmental efforts, has focused solely on how it affects consumers.

“Our argument was companies that do good have these good outcomes,” Savitskie said. “So if the employee sees that the company is doing good, they then feel better about their job and perceive the company to be doing better.”

Savitskie and her research partners surveyed 94 people who were an average age of 42 and had spent at least six years employed at their companies.

“What we found was employees do appreciate this, and we’ve seen the ability to take it potentially to the next step for us,” Savitskie said. “Can companies use their (corporate social responsibility) objectives as a recruitment tool?”

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