OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of business

Annual spring fashion show held May 31

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The annual spring fashion show at Oregon State University will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at CH2M Hill Alumni Center, 725 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The event is a showcase of OSU’s finest designers, which this year has the theme “Floralia.” The show is organized by students in the School of Design and Human Environment.

The work of 15 students, majoring in apparel design and merchandising management, will be featured at the show.

The fashion show is open to the public. Tickets range in price from $7 for standing room to $100 for front row seats. Tickets must be purchased at Milam Hall Room 228 on campus.

For more information on the show, go to www.OregonStateFashionShow.com

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Entrepreneurs need to balance risk of persisting with payoff of succeeding

CORVALLIS, Ore. – In a new business, sometimes the better part of wisdom is knowing when to quit, a new study concludes.

Even though persistence is a key to business success, entrepreneurs might be more successful if they not only knew when to start a business and take risks, but also knew when to abandon it and find something that provides a greater opportunity, researchers said.

It may be human nature to want to make an idea work, but it can also be a poor business decision to stay wedded to an idea if the evidence suggests it’s not working as well as another potential opportunity.

“Entrepreneurs need to balance that desire to persist, which is in fact what often makes someone a successful entrepreneur, with the ability to sense when it is time to walk away,” said Bobby Garrett Jr., an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Oregon State University and co-author of the study.

The results are published online in the International Small Business Journal. Garrett and lead author Daniel Holland of Utah State University analyzed the decision-making process of 135 entrepreneurs in high-tech industries. They found that even when confronted with another business opportunity that could yield successful results, many entrepreneurs resisted quitting their current venture.

“It’s escalation of commitment,” Garrett said. “When an entrepreneur has invested resources into a new business, they have difficulty letting go even when things go south or another opportunity arises.”

Garrett likens this psychology to a casino mentality.

“Someone who has spent one hour at the roulette table may think, ‘If I just stick with it, I can win,’” he said. “An entrepreneur’s thought process is not dissimilar to this.”

However, that same doggedness is also what makes entrepreneurs successful. In the field of entrepreneurship, Garrett said this is called “entrepreneurial resilience.”

“Everyone knows that entrepreneurs often fail,” he said. “That same persistence, and ability to keep trying against the odds, is also an admirable trait, especially when that persistence pays off.”

In their study, the researchers recommend that any potential entrepreneur keep the risk versus reward of any venture in mind, and evaluate the chances that their start-up may succeed.

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Bobby Garrett Jr., 541-737-6049

OSU to celebrate Austin Hall construction on April 19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will celebrate the construction launch of Austin Hall, the new home for the university’s College of Business, on Friday, April 19.

A public ceremony and reception will begin at 4 p.m. on Jefferson Way between S.W. 26th and S.W. 30th streets.

The building, named in honor of Joan and Ken Austin, of Newberg, Ore., for their $10-million commitment, is a $55-million project. Longtime donors to the university, the Austins are co-founders and owners of A-dec, Inc., a world-renowned dental equipment manufacturer. Joan Austin also is president of Springbrook Properties, developer of the acclaimed The Allison Inn & Spa. Ken Austin, graduated from OSU in 1954 with a degree in industrial and manufacturing engineering.

The late Al Reser, his wife Pat and their family, committed an additional $6 million to the project. The Austin and Reser lead gifts have been combined with gifts from additional donors and $25 million in matching state bonds.

“Austin Hall is an incredible milestone in the history of the College of Business. It will allow us to better meet the changing needs for business education and better prepare profession-ready students for the workplace,” said Ilene Kleinsorge, dean and Sara Hart Kimball Chair of the College of Business. “We are forever grateful to the Austins and Resers for their leadership, and for inspiring so many more to generously support the building.”

The 100,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in fall 2014, will include 10 classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, a Career Success Center, an MBA suite, a research lab, collaborative team rooms, more than 70 faculty offices, staff and program offices, a café and event space.

Founded in 1908 as one of the nation’s first 12 schools of commerce, the college offers 10 undergraduate degrees and graduate programs that include an MBA degree with eight different track options including an executive leadership track offered in a hybrid format, an accountancy-MBA, and graduate design degrees. Today, more than 5,000 students—nearly 25 percent of all OSU students—major, minor, or seek specialized coursework within the college.

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Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695

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Austin Hall at OSU
Artist rendering of Austin Hall at OSU

CEO Summit to be held May 7 in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Six Oregon leaders in business, technology and education will gather to discuss how to turn innovations into companies and jobs at the fourth annual CEO Summit, held Tuesday, May 7, at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

Presented by Oregon State University Advantage and the OSU College of Business, the event — “Taking Innovation to Market: Cultivating Ideas and Community” — begins at 7:30 a.m. with a keynote address by Dennis E. Hruby, chief scientific officer and vice president of SIGA Technologies Inc.

Following the keynote, a panel featuring entrepreneurs, industry leaders and Oregon State Venture Accelerator co-directors will discuss industry forming partnerships with universities to turn ideas into profitable companies, create jobs and have an impact on Oregon’s economy.

Panelists include:

  • Ryan Kirkpatrick, chief executive officer, Shwood, Ltd.
  • Mark Lieberman, chief startup officer and co-director, Office of Commercialization and Development and Oregon State Venture Accelerator
  • John Turner, co-director, Oregon State Venture Accelerator
  • Tim Weber, vice president and general manager, Printing Technology Development Operation, Hewlett-Packard

Mary Coucher, vice president of IP engineering, operations and geography licensing for IBM Corporation, will serve as the moderator for the discussion.

The Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront is located at 1401 S.W. Naito Parkway. For more information and to register, go to http://business.oregonstate.edu/CEOSummit

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Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695

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Dennis Hruby

College of Business

About the OSU College of Business: The College of Business educates students for success in managing and developing sustainable, innovative enterprises in a dynamic economy. With strong graduate and undergraduate programs, internationally recognized scholarly research, and an emphasis on experiential learning, the college helps students and businesses succeed.

CH2M HILL chairman and CEO to speak at OSU April 15

Lee McIntire, chairman and CEO of CH2M HILL, will give a free, public lecture on Monday, April 15, at Oregon State University, discussing the opportunities and risks of running a global business.

Part of the OSU Division of Business and Engineering Lecture Series, the talk begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Austin Auditorium of LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

McIntire’s talk, “Working on the Frontier: The Changing Nature of Global Business,” focuses on the increased globalization of business, the reasons companies have for expanding internationally and how they can best accomplish it.

McIntire took over as CEO at CH2M HILL in 2009 and has more than 30 years of international engineering and construction experience. The firm serves clients on six continents, with 30,000 employees and annual revenue of $6.4 billion.

This will be McIntire’s first visit to the Oregon State campus. CH2M HILL was founded in 1946 by an OSU professor and his three students, and Corvallis remains home to one of more than 160 global offices.

Prior to joining CH2M HILL, McIntire was a partner and board director of the Bechtel Group. He is a non-executive director of BAE Systems, PLC and lends his leadership to forums such as the Business Roundtable and World Economic Forum. He was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award in 2011.

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Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695

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Lee McIntire

OSU’s College of Business celebrates outstanding alumni and businesses on May 7 in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Six alumni of Oregon State University and one business partner will be honored for their achievements at the OSU College of Business’ Celebration of Excellence on Tuesday, May 7, at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

The 12th annual Alumni and Business Partner Awards will recognize outstanding professional achievements and services to the college by alumni and business partners. This year individuals from four different states and an alumnus working in the United Arab of Emirates will be honored.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and the awards presentation at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to register, go to http://business.oregonstate.edu/awards or contact Rachelle Nickerson at rachelle.nickerson@oregonstate.edu.

The 2013 award winners representing alumni from around the globe include:

Hall of Fame: Robert G. Zahary ’65, higher education consultant (United Arab Emirates);

Distinguished Service Award: Frank Morse ’70, Oregon State senator and businessman (Albany, Ore.);

Distinguished Business Professional: Gordon Clemons ’65, chairman and CEO, CorVel Corporation (North Carolina); and Don Atkinson, senior executive in sales management, marketing and business development (Federal Way, Wash.);

Distinguished Early Career Business Professional: Meadow Clendenin Stahlnecker ‘99, attorney, Patton Boggs LLP (Dallas, Texas);

Distinguished Young Business Professional: Alicia Miller ‘05, senior financial analyst, Nike, Inc. (Beaverton, Ore.)

Distinguished Business Partner: Oregon Department of Transportation

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Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695

Putting a human face on a product: when brand humanization goes wrong

CORVALLIS, Ore. – When companies put a human face on their brand, the public usually responds positively. This advertising approach has brought us alarm clocks with sleepy faces and color-coated chocolate candies with legs and arms.

But a new study, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Marketing, finds there is a greater backlash by the public when a product branded with human characteristics fails.

Lead author Marina Puzakova, an assistant professor of marketing at Oregon State University, said even though consumers can tell a camera designed with human characteristics such as little eyes and legs isn’t a person, the very act of humanizing a product can be a powerful tool.

“Somehow, now the product seems alive and mindful, and therefore can be perceived as having intentions and its own motivations to act in a certain way,” Puzakova said. “This perception of intentions can be extremely strong – consumers now see the brand as performing bad intentionally and therefore consumers develop more negative sentiments toward the brand.”

Puzakova conducted five experiments with products that had experienced negative publicity. As a general procedure, participants saw advertisements of both existing and fictitious products, where “human” characteristics, such as arms, legs, or facial-like features were manipulated. Then Puzakova showed participants news reports about how the product had failed in some way, not lived up to its advertising claim, or did not function based on consumer expectations.

In every instance, participants reported that they had stronger negative reactions to the products that were given human characteristics, also known as “brand anthropomorphization.”

“Brand anthropomorphization can be a very powerful advertising tool, so I am definitely not saying that companies shouldn’t use it,” Puzakova said. “However, they need to be aware that when they imbue their products with human-like characteristics, any backlash when something goes wrong could be stronger.”

Puzakova’s study found that the strength of negative reactions depended on consumer personality differences as well. Based on a personality test she gave participants, she found that people who believe in “personality stability,” or that personality traits are always the same and don’t change over time, tended to have stronger negative feelings towards anthropomorphized brands.

“Broadly speaking, men tend to believe in personality stability more than women, and seniors as well,” Puzakova said. “Also, some cultures tend to believe in this more than others. This can be important for advertisers to know, depending on who their target market is.

Having a deeper knowledge about their target markets, companies can also design their advertising communications tailored for different types of consumers. For example, marketers may want to emphasize flexibility and change in an ad campaign in order to reverse negative attitudes by male consumers, who tend to believe in personality stability.

Puzakova’s research also has a lesson for companies whose brands fail because of a product malfunction.

“As consumers who believe in stability of personality traits react to product failures more negatively, our research finds that companies need to provide either monetary compensation or give away coupons,” Puzakova said. “Offering a public apology is not enough. For instance, companies that have a humanized brand marketed heavily towards seniors may need to be prepared to generously compensate those consumers if something goes wrong.”

The bottom line, Puzakova said, is companies need to know their audience and the possible dangers of humanizing a brand when a product malfunctions. It can be a powerful advertising tool, but if the product fails in some way, the damage control could be costly and timely.

Hyokjin Kwak of Drexel University and Joseph Rocereto of Monmouth University contributed to this study.

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Marina Puzakova, 541-737-4297

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An image showing a humanized versus non-humanized product.

 

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Marina Puzakova

OSU’s Weatherford Awards, celebrating entrepreneurs and innovation, held Feb. 21

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s first woman governor, a groundbreaking heart surgeon, a dynamic chief executive and innovative tech startup founders are among the recipients of this year’s Weatherford Awards, Oregon State University’s annual celebration of entrepreneurs and innovators.

The awards will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower.

Hosted by OSU’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program, the event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by a dinner and the award presentations. Tickets are $95, available until sold out, and can be obtained at http://business.oregonstate.edu/programs/aep or by contacting Mary McKillop, 541-713-8044 or mary.mckillop@bus.oregonstate.edu.

The awards are named for OSU's Weatherford Hall, where entrepreneurship and business students can explore their innovations and new venture ideas in a unique, living-learning residence hall. Traditionally, the awards have been given to entrepreneurs and innovators later in their career. This year, for the first time, a trio of young entrepreneurs and Oregon State alumni are being honored as well. 

The recipients of the 2013 Weatherford Awards are:

  • Don Robert, an Oregon State alumnus and the chief executive officer with worldwide responsibility for global information services company Experian. Previously CEO of Experian North America, Robert started his career at US Bank, and joined Experian from The First American Corporation in 2001. From 1995 to 2001, he held positions with First American and before that served as president at Credco, Inc.
  • Gov. Barbara Roberts, a fourth-generation Oregonian and the first woman elected as governor of Oregon. In 1985 she was elected Oregon’s Secretary of State and in 1991 she became governor. After her term she served as director of the State and Local Government Executive Programs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, held a senior fellowship at the Harvard Women and Public Policy Program, and served on the Metro Council in Portland.
  • Dr. Albert Starr, co-inventor of the world’s first successful artificial heart valve. Dr. Starr joined Oregon Health and Science University in 1957 and led OHSU’s heart surgery program from then until 1964. In 1960, he and engineer M. Lowell Edwards invented the Starr-Edwards heart valve. He now serves as the Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine in the School of Medicine. Last fall, he was appointed to co-lead the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Center.
  • Alex Polvi, Dan Di Spaltro, Logan Welliver, the trio of Oregon State alumni who co-founded Cloudkick. The group was part of the 2009 Y Combinator startup incubator, which provided the support needed to launch Cloudkick. The company, which provides cloud server monitoring and management tools, was acquired by Rackspace Hosting in December 2010.
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Don Robert

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Gov. Barbara Roberts

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Cloudkick

In sports, the story - not the victor - makes the difference in enjoyment

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study has concluded that sports fans love to root for a hero and against a villain, but if the game is exciting, they’ll enjoy it no matter who wins.

The research, recently published in the Journal of Media Psychology, examines emotional experiences, outcome satisfaction, and enjoyment of athletic events, particularly ones featuring individual athletes rather than team sports.

Lead author Colleen Bee, an assistant professor of marketing at Oregon State University, said the Olympics are a good example of an event where fans often cheer for little-known athletes competing in little-watched sports. The allure for these casual fans is not necessarily the sport itself. The spectacle and inherent drama associated with an athletic event is enough to make fans watch.

“Knowing something about the personal lives and personalities of these athletes gives the casual fan a reason to root for or against someone,” Bee said. “The stories matter here. It magnifies the experience of watching the game, and gives people a reason to watch.”

In the study, Bee had participants watch speed skating competitions. She confirmed that none of the participants were familiar with the athletes before watching the event. Then she provided participants with one of two fictitious scenarios. In one scenario, an athlete was given heroic qualities such as working with ill children, a commitment to the cause of cancer prevention, dedicating his performance to his mother, and being gracious and considerate. In the second scenario, the athlete was imbued with unfavorable qualities, such as testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, being arrested for public intoxication, and being ungracious and inconsiderate.

She found that viewers of the game rooted for the heroic athlete and of course hoped that the “villain” would lose. Yet, she found that all the study participants reported enjoying the game regardless of the moral qualities of the winning athlete.

“There are people who enjoy watching famous athletes compete even though they may not like them personally, or feel like they aren’t good people,” Bee said. “Yet, because they are exciting to watch, and in many cases because they have an exciting story, sports fans still enjoy watching them compete.”

While the participants felt disappointed when the “villainous” athlete won, and similarly relieved when the heroic athlete won, they all reported enjoying the game despite the outcome.

“Casual sport fans often enjoy the experience of a highly competitive event even when the outcome is not desirable, due to the entertaining and exciting nature of suspense,” Bee said, pointing to her last study which found that winning or losing games did not matter so much as whether or not the game was close.

Bee is an expert on sports marketing, particularly in the areas of sports and emotions and gender/consumer responses.

Robert Madrigal, associate professor of marketing at the University of Oregon, is co-author of the study.

 

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Colleen Bee, 541-737-6059

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Colleen Bee

Colleen Bee