AKSOB Research Papers Highlight – September 2020

This report aims at underlining our faculty’s constant success in the world of academic papers.

Sep 24, 2020

By Chirine El-Mchantaf

Following the first report published in March 2020 that aims at underlining AKSOB’s faculty constant success in the world of academic papers, we are issuing the second report for the year to include the latest publications and research initiatives published in the best international journals in each field.

Noting that the papers are listed starting with the most recent and per department.

Department of Marketing

Dr. Omar Itani - Assistant Professor of Marketing

Traci H. Freling, Zhiyong Yang, Ritesh Saini, Omar S. Itani and Ryan Rashad Abualsamhd. When poignant stories outweigh cold hard facts: A meta-analysis of the anecdotal bias. Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, 160, 51-67.  (A*, Q1, Financial Times List)

September 2020 

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to resolve mixed findings about which type of evidence is more persuasive—statistical or anecdotal information. In a meta-analysis of 61 papers exploring the persuasive impact of evidence type, we establish that, in situations where emotional engagement is high (e.g., an issue associated with a severe threat, involving a health issue, or affecting oneself), statistical evidence is less influential than anecdotal evidence. However, in situations where emotional engagement is relatively low (e.g., an issue associated with low threat severity, involving a non-health issue, or affecting others), statistical evidence is more persuasive than anecdotal evidence. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings, and how to improve persuasive messaging by considering the contextual effectiveness of both anecdotes and statistics.

 

Department of Finance and Accounting

Dr. Elie El-Bouri – Associate Professor

Xu, Y., Bouri, E., Saeed T., and Wen, Z. (2020). Intraday return predictability: Evidence from commodity ETFs and related volatility indices. Resources Policy. (Q1)

August 2020

Abstract

Using high-frequency data of crude oil, gold, and silver exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and their related volatility indices, we analyse patterns of intraday return predictability, also called intraday momentum, in each market. We find that intraday return predictability exists in all the markets, but the patterns of predictability differ for each market, with different half-hour returns, not necessarily the first half-hour returns of the trading day, exhibiting significant predictability for their last half-hour counterparts, depending on the specific market. The intraday return predictability is stronger on days of higher volatility and larger jumps. Substantial economic value can be generated by a market timing strategy which is constructed upon the intraday momentum, in all the markets under study. Possible theoretical explanations for the intraday return predictability are infrequent portfolio rebalancing investors and late-informed investors.

 

Dawar I., Dutta A., Bouri, E., and Saeed T. (2021). Crude oil prices and clean energy stock indices: lagged and asymmetric effects with quantile regression. Renewable Energy, Vol 163, pp. 288-299. (Q1)

August 2020

Abstract

Unlike previous studies examining the association between crude oil and renewable energy stock prices under average conditions, we employ a quantile-based regression approach offering a more comprehensive dependence structure under diverse market conditions. Using weekly data covering crude oil prices (WTI market) and three clean energy stock indices (the Wilderhill Energy Index, MAC Global Solar Energy Index, and S&P Global Clean Energy Index), quantile regression analyses provide solid evidence of the decreasing dependence of clean energy stock returns on crude oil returns. The lagged effect of WTI oil returns on clean energy stock returns is generally significant, which indicates that clean energy stock returns react differently to new information on oil returns under different market conditions. We further check for asymmetrical effects of oil returns on clean energy stock returns in various market conditions and find a strong effect of negative oil returns during bearish periods and an insignificant effect during bullish episodes.

 

Department of Economics

Dr. Ali Fakih – Associate Professor and Associate Chair

Ali Fakih, Nathir Haimoun and Mohamad Kassem. Youth Unemployment, Gender and Institutions During Transition: Evidence from the Arab Spring. Social Indicators Research, volume 150, 2020, pp. 311-336. (A, Q1)

July 2020

Abstract

Youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the highest in the world surpassing all geopolitical regions. The MENA region witnessed sweeping changes negatively affecting the labor market and markedly increasing unemployment rates following the so-called Arab Spring that began in 2011. This paper meticulously examines the microeconomic determinants of youth unemployment in the MENA region using a unique and novel data on young people aged 15–29 from the year 2016. The results show that being a male and graduated from a public school increase the probability of being unemployed. Moreover, job concerns, corruption, and unequal rights in the society are also found to have a positive incidence on unemployment. However, we find that enhancing gender equality in the labor market, education, family codes, and political participation decreases the probability of employment. Similarly, the results indicate that improving economic inclusion in the post-Arab Spring decreases the probability of unemployment.

 

Department of Marketing

Dr. Joelle Majdalani Hachem – Assistant Professor of Marketing

Mona Mrad, Joelle Majdalani, Charles Chi Cui, and Zeinab El Khansa. Brand addiction in the contexts of luxury and fast-fashion brands. Journal of retailing and consumer services. (A, Q1)

July 2020

Abstract

Although research on consumer-brand relationship has gained increasing interest among scholars, little is known to date about its most intense form – brand addiction. In our days, brand addiction has become one of the most essential means in which consumers become involved with brands. However, there is little research on consumer’s intense relationship such as addiction to fast-fashion and luxury brands. Brands are nowadays shifting their focus from attracting new customers to focusing on strengthening relationships with existing ones. This research explores the main motives and outcomes of this phenomenon in the two brand categories: luxury and fast-fashion brands. The authors conducted 21 in-depth interviews in the U.S. to tap into the respondents’ addictive experiences with luxury and fast-fashion brands. An exploratory qualitative study was conducted which helps with generating rich and deeper insights of consumers’ experiences that are generally hard to investigate. Results have shown that consumers engage in luxury and fast-fashion brands for different psychological motives. Different themes emerged regarding the motivations for luxury and fast-fashion brand addiction. Self-expressiveness, status consumption and perceived quality are motivators for luxury fashion brand addiction while continuous update of fashion-led items, perceived value, and product assortments are motivators for fast-fashion brand addiction. As for the consequences, interpersonal relationships and financial issues emerged as common themes for addiction to certain luxury and fast-fashion brands while selectivity of style and motivation to work harder surfaced as themes for addiction to particular luxury brands. The results also show that brand addiction may cause both positive and negative effects on consumers’ well-being. This research provides important implications for consumer-brand relationships and ethical considerations for brand managers. Moreover, this research is highly valuable because it gives a deeper understanding of how consumers feel, think, and act with their addictive luxury and fast-fashion brands, which could provide valuable guidance for marketers to address difficult issues about branding and brands in the complex marketing world.

 

Department of Information and Operations Management

Dr. Jordan Srour - Associate Professor of Operations Management

Daoud Kiomjian, Issam Srour, A.M. ASCE, and F. Jordan Srour. Knowledge Sharing and Productivity Improvement: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management (A*)

July 2020

Abstract

Labor productivity is a major determinant of project performance in construction. Models of labor productivity in construction tend to focus on learning curve theories that assume learning is an individual process with no transfer of knowledge among crew members. This paper seeks to extend theories of individual learning to capture the crew dynamics present on construction sites. Accordingly, this paper presents an agent-based model aimed at deriving the impacts of crew composition and project schedule on knowledge sharing and, thus, on task duration. The proposed model was calibrated using field observations of 201 interactions among 12 construction workers at a construction project in Beirut, Lebanon. The results indicate that more diverse crews witness higher levels of knowledge sharing and greater productivity gains. The results also suggest that schedules keeping all the workers busy eliminate the potential for knowledge sharing and thus only benefit from the baseline gains seen in individual learning. This work contributes to the literature by developing an agent-based model that simulates knowledge sharing in the construction industry at the worker level. The study is limited by its exclusion of multiskilled workers.

 

Dr. Abbas Tarhini - Assistant Professor of Information Technology

Tarhini, A., Danach, K. & Harfouche, A. Swarm intelligence-based hyper-heuristic for the vehicle routing problem with prioritized customers. Annals of Operations Research (2020). (A,Q1)

May 2020 

Abstract

The vehicle routing problem (VRP) is a combinatorial optimization management problem that seeks the optimal set of routes traversed by a vehicle to deliver products to customers. A recognized problem in this domain is to serve ‘prioritized’ customers in the shortest possible time where customers with known demands are supplied by one or several depots. This problem is known as the Vehicle Routing with Prioritized Customers (VRPC). The purpose of this work is to present and compare two artificial intelligence-based novel methods that minimize the traveling distance of vehicles when moving cargo to prioritized customers. Various studies have been conducted regarding this topic; nevertheless, up to now, few studies used the Cuckoo Search-based hyper-heuristic. This paper modifies a classical mathematical model that represents the VRPC, implements and tests an evolutionary Cuckoo Search-based hyper-heuristic, and then compares the results with those of our proposed modified version of the Clarke Wright (CW) algorithm. In this modified version, the CW algorithm serves all customers per their preassigned priorities while covering the needed working hours. The results indicate that the solution selected by the Cuckoo Search-based hyper-heuristic outperformed the modified Clarke Wright algorithm while taking into consideration the customers’ priority and demands and the vehicle capacity.

 

Department of Marketing

Dr. Omar Itani - Assistant Professor of Marketing

Hayam Alnakhli, Raj Agnihotri, Omar S. Itani and Rakesh Kumar Singh. From cognition to action: the effect of thought self-leadership strategies and self-monitoring on adaptive selling behavior. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing. (A, Q1)

April 2020

Abstract 

Purpose – This study aims to investigate salespersons’ self-monitoring and its effect on adaptive selling behavior. As salespeople are constantly facing different customers with various needs and want and engaging in a different sales situation, salespeople must deploy their inner capabilities in practicing adaptive selling behavior during and across sales interactions. This study also investigates the impact of salesperson’s intrapersonal leadership – where leadership stems from the individuals with the purpose to influence oneself.

Findings – The results support the role of self-monitoring and thought self-leadership as antecedents to adaptive selling. Further, the results suggest that self-monitoring positively moderates the relationship between thought self-leadership and adaptive selling behavior. In light of these results, we explore implications and limitations and conclude by suggesting directions for further research.

Originality/value – This study makes an important and original contribution to sales literature by demonstrating the direct and interaction effects of self-monitoring mechanism on a critical component of a business-to-business sales process, adaptive selling behavior. Results from this study highlight the critical importance of cognitive processes that drives positive selling behavior.

 

Dr. Maya Farah and Dr. Zahy Ramadan - Associate Professor of Marketing and Assistant Professor of Marketing (respectively)

Viability of Amazon’s driven innovations targeting shoppers’ impulsiveness. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. (A, Q1)

March 2020

Abstract

The growth of new technological innovations has given rise to a highly digitized retailing world that is re-defining the consumer purchase journey. Innovations, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Dash-buttons (physical and virtual), and Spark, have indeed led to the creation of an Omni-channel journey that reshaped the shopping experience. Such tech-disruptions are likely to have a significant bearing on shoppers, brands and retailers, which is expected to vary between the short and the long-term. A quantitative research based on 600 U.S. Amazon customers studied the long-term incremental sales effect of e-retailers’ tech innovations when driven by impulsive shopping behavior. The findings show that while retailers’ tech-driven solutions would increase shoppers’ impulsiveness, and hence sales, their continued interaction with such purchasing solutions would decline over time, making the overall innovation cycle much shorter.

 

Dr. Omar Itani - Assistant Professor of Marketing

Omar S. Itani, Rania El Haddad and Ashish Kalra. Exploring the role of extrovert-introvert customers’ personality prototype as a driver of customer engagement: Does relationship duration matter? Journal of Retailing & Consumer Services, 53, 101980. (A, Q1)

March 2020

Abstract 

Drawing on social exchange theory, the current study examines new drivers and their associated processes of customer engagement. In spirit, the study tests the direct and indirect impacts of the extraversion–introversion personality trait on customer engagement. The study takes into consideration the contingency role of time by testing the moderating role of relationship duration. Results demonstrate that the more extraverted customers are, the more they are likely to engage with service firms. Further, extraversion is positively related to customer–employee interaction, which in turn leads to more utilitarian and hedonic values perceived by customers. Both types of value, then, induce higher customer engagement behaviors in terms of customer referrals, knowledge sharing, and social-influence. Findings demonstrate that relationship duration moderates some of the examined relationships. The current study contributes to the literature by extending the knowledge on customer engagement’s predisposition and social causes.

 

Omar S. Itani, Fernando Jaramill and Bert Paesbrugghec. Between a rock and a hard place: Seizing the opportunity of demanding customers by means of frontline service behaviors. Journal of Retailing & Consumer Services, 53, 101978. (A, Q1)

March 2020

Abstract 

Service businesses are increasingly facing more demanding customers as a result of a shift in power from the service providers’ side to the customers’ side. Related literature predominantly examines the negative side of this ongoing trend, while overlooking the positive side. The major aim of this paper is to examine how frontline employees — investment account managers — deal with the ongoing increase in customer demandingness. To address this, we draw on adaptability performance theory to test the facilitating effect of frontline employees’ post-transaction service behaviors (SBs) — diligence, inducements, information communication, sportsmanship, and empathy — as a means of adaptation to higher levels of customer demand. Findings indicate that frontline employees adapt most of their SBs’ intensities to match customers’ demands. The results show that some SBs actually increase the effectiveness and efficiency of frontline employees’ service performance, leading to an increase in customer value and satisfaction. Customer value is found as a mediator in some of the relationships between SBs and customer satisfaction. Contrary to the conception of the negative outcomes of customer demandingness, service firms need to consider taking advantage of customer demandingness by stressing the role of frontline employees in adapting to customers’ demands.

 

Department of Information and Operations Management

Dr. Abbas Tarhini - Assistant Professor of Information Technology

Amal Dabbous and Abbas Tarhini. Assessing the impact of knowledge and perceived economic benefits on sustainable consumption through the sharing economy: A sociotechnical approach. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. (A, Q1)

December 2019

Abstract 

Today’s advanced technologies are promoting the rise of the sharing economy. This emerging trend has shaped modern society and transformed the way businesses operate, encouraging better future growth. However, these benefits will materialize only if users engage in the sharing economy in a continuous or sustainable manner. This study aims to depict the key factors that ensure the intention of sustainable consumption through the sharing economy. Towards this end, a sociotechnical framework is adopted to analyze and assess the impact of knowledge and the perceived economic benefits on the intention toward sustainable consumption through sharing, taking into consideration the mediating roles of trust and attitude. The structural equation modelling technique is used to test the statistical significance of the relationships between the various constructs of the proposed model. The results show that knowledge and technology have indirect and significant effects on the intention to engage in sustainable consumption through trust. Furthermore, attitude mediates the relation between the social aspect and the intention to engage in sustainable consumption, and the perceived economic benefits directly influence the intention to engage in sustainable consumption through the sharing economy.