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Andrew Schnackenberg

Andrew Schnackenberg

CiBiC available for data collection for research studies

When Assistant Professor of Management Andrew Schnackenberg needed to do some research for a manuscript he was working on, he knew exactly where to go: the Consumer Insights and Business Innovation Center (CiBiC).

CiBiC, which opened in 2017 at the Daniels College of Business, features two research labs that support data collection and analysis for students, faculty and others, including organizations seeking to understand consumer insights.

It regularly runs experiments to collect data. Soon after it opened, Schnackenberg approached the co-directors to conduct a study on employees’ trust of managers. CiBiC recruited and managed participants – undergraduate students at Daniels – for Schnackenberg’s study.

Melissa Akaka, CiBiC co-director and associate professor of marketing, said Daniels’ students often help administer studies, but Schnackenberg’s study was “very intricate” so he supervised a lot of the data collection on his own with student lab techs, who ensured participants were checked in and knew where to go and what to do before and after the data collection.

Melissa Archpru Akaka

All the work paid off. This summer, Schnackenberg’s findings from the study were published in Human Relations, which the Financial Times lists as one of the top 50 business journals in the world, commonly referred to as an FT 50 publication. Schnackenberg said Human Relations is “well regarded” in interdisciplinary social psychology circles.

His research showed that individual perceptions of their manager’s transparency are significantly and positively related to the trust they place in their managers.

“CiBiC is a cornerstone of Daniels as far as I’m concerned. It offers advanced technologies that allow us to observe consumer behaviors and practices that are virtually impossible to isolate in conventional settings,” Schnackenberg said. “The center has both theoretical and practical relevance so researchers and organizations can better understand the underlying psychological factors influencing employee and consumer behavior.”

That’s exactly how the CiBiC is supposed operate, said Ali Besharat, associate professor of marketing and co-director of the CiBiC. Besharat knows firsthand how CiBiC can assist faculty members with their research. He published an article last year in another FT 50 publication, Journal of Business Ethics, on reducing consumer returns.

“One of CiBiC’s priorities is faculty research support,” Besharat said. “Knowing the challenges and costs associated with the data collection for academic publications, we’re delighted to be valuable and dependable service to our research community.” 

Ali Besharat

Akaka agrees and adds she’s excited to see CiBiC help support the publication of “interesting and impactful” research.

“In Andrew’s case, and for Ali’s recent publication, the behavioral lab allowed for some non-traditional data collection beyond online surveys and provides an additional layer of experimentation to their research design,” Akaka said. “Academic research takes a long time to publish and it’s exciting to see the fruits of our labor in supporting faculty research being published. Consumer and behavioral research are more important now than ever, as people are drastically changing how they live and work. We hope to expand our efforts by developing new ways to leverage technology to collect data, and support more research that provides important insights for developing innovative solutions for businesses and society.”

Both Akaka and Besharat said they expect the trend of CiBiC research landing in top journals to continue.

Akaka said the CiBiC is open to working with faculty across all of DU, as well as businesses, start-ups and nonprofits, who want to collect consumer, business, or innovation-related data through the labs and with the student research team.

Besharat adds that the CiBiC is collaborating with many faculty members from different areas across Daniels – accounting, management, business analytics and marketing – to facilitate data collection processes.

Schnackenberg is one of those faculty members. “I’m working on several other projects using data gathered from CiBiC,” he said.

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Please visit DU’s COVID-19 website and subscribe to @uofdenver Twitter for updates regarding COVID-19.