(Photo: MBA students meet with Wrightsville Beach Brewery for their Learning Alliance course)
UNCW’s Professional MBA (PMBA)program, offered by the Cameron School of Business, provides a valuable asset to Wilmington employers in business, government and not-for-profit sectors.
As with most successful enterprises, the key ingredient to the program’s success begins with the people who participate in the program – both faculty and students.
Cameron faculty are active researchers who maintain their expertise by publishing in academic and practitioner journals. This expertise helps the PMBA program develop leaders that can complement their professional experience with a sound knowledge base built on research and best practice.
Below are three examples of this type of faculty engagement.
Information Systems, Mergers And AcquisitionsDr. Elizabeth Baker, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, brings to the classroom her research examining the importance of aligning business and information technology strategies after a merger or acquisition event.
In her study, “Integrating the IS functions after mergers and acquisitions: Strategies and success factors," she and her research partner identify the challenges of strategic misalignment and under-alignment that occur when CIOs are not involved early during organizational change. Misalignment occurs when, for example, the firms’ IT systems remain separate after the merger. Under-alignment occurs when data from the acquired firm is lost post-acquisition because insufficient value was placed on maintenance and integration.
Many of our students and readers of GWBJ have been part of or are familiar with M&As. Given the increasing need for businesses to convert data into revenue streams at larger scale, understanding how to enhance data management after the M&A can, if done properly, become a strategic advantage of the “new” organization.
“Mad Money” And Investor BehaviorDr. Nivine Richie, Professor of Finance, brings her research in cost of capital, banking and derivatives to the classroom. While not all PMBA students will seek careers on Wall Street, they are or will be investors.
Many students and readers of GWBJ are familiar with Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money.” In the article, “The impact of Mad Money recommendations during bull and bear markets” co-authored with MBA graduate Adam Roszkowski, Dr. Richie discusses their finding that, contrary to what traditional finance would suggest, investors react to news differently in bull and bear markets.
According to traditional finance and the “Efficient Market Hypothesis,” all public information, such as earnings, announcements and analyst recommendations, should be immediately and fully reflected in a stock’s price, and that shouldn’t be influenced by market sentiment. However, when Jim Cramer issued “buy” recommendations, stock prices experienced stronger positive responses during bear markets than they did during bull markets. Investors are therefore not always as rational as theory indicates but, rather, experience behavioral biases that influence how they trade.
Operating Teams In Extreme Environments
Dr. Jessica M. Magnus, Professor of Management, brings to the classroom her research on team cognition and information sharing, team conflict and virtual teams. Dr. Magnus is currently working on two $1.3-million-dollar grants with NASA to help them develop skills to successfully operate teams within extreme contexts as they prepare for a crewed mission to Mars by the 2030s.
One project focuses on identifying when breakdowns in shared cognition among astronauts are likely and then developing countermeasures to improve them. The other project focuses on how requiring astronauts to switch tasks, sub-teams and technologies affect individual and team performance, then developing countermeasures to mitigate the negative process losses that results. While not all our students will become astronauts, many of the takeaways associated with research on extreme teams are also relevant for traditional teams.
While this is only a brief highlight of some of our star faculty, it is this type of academic experience that, when combined with the quality of our students, makes our PMBA program a valuable asset for Wilmington employers.