Faculty Research Opportunities
UF-CIBER offers a wide range of research opportunities for faculty. In addition to the programs outlined below, the center is always interested in possible collaborations in any of our program areas. We fund various projects and always invite discussion and explorations of cooperation between CIBER and other programs and departments that can support our mission. Contact CIBER for more information.
Research Tutorial Abroad
Each fall, CIBER invites faculty from all academic disciplines to submit proposals for a Research Tutorial Abroad, a new African International Business Research Program. Proposals must support CIBER's mission—to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. firms abroad—and include a few students who spend two to four weeks in Africa working with faculty researching and collecting data. Winning projects receive funding to cover faculty and student costs.
The RTA initiative grew out of two needs: 1) to provide research opportunities for students interested in Africa but not sufficiently comfortable with the continent to plan and implement projects on their own and 2) the fact that Africa's vast size and underdeveloped transportation infrastructure have made traditional, multi-city tours, as well as trips like those CIBER has sponsored to Brazil and South Korea, extremely difficult.
Research that enhances the global competitiveness of U.S. firms abroad is not just the business of business schools. Projects from all academic disciplines are welcome, and the options are extremely diverse. Examples of permissible project proposals include:
- Studying mobile-phone usage in a particular country to identify potential openings for U.S. companies in the market.
- Examining market fundamentals in a particular country that may affect product usage, e.g., gender, generational, and other societal factors that influence consumption or ethnographic research on how people buy and use products.
- Interviewing local African exporters to determine how U.S. importers can better compete with European importers.
- Researching supply chains to examine environmental impacts, social responsibility, and economic sustainability.
- Studying local laws and regulations that may inhibit U.S. business or conflict with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Business Language and Research Teaching (BLRT) Grants
UF-CIBER is a member of a consortium that provides grants that allow faculty to add a business-language dimension to their research and teaching. Applicants who focus on U.S. government-designated priority languages are especially encouraged to apply, though all proposals are welcome. Two grants are available: $5,000 for tenured or tenure-track faculty, and $2,500 for business-language pedagogy. The winner of the $2,500 grant also receives funding to attend the CIBER Business Language Conference.
Previous grantees have developed materials using international business case studies to teach business Japanese; examined pedagogy and curricula in business Chinese to determine gaps in existing programs; and have researched methods to teach Chinese language and culture through Chinese commercials.
More information can be found on the Illinois CIBER BLRT website.
UF-CIBER Faculty Research Highlights
UF-CIBER has supported the research of several faculty members from various colleges and departments across the university.
Dr. W.R. Knechel, Frederick E. Fisher Eminent Scholar Chair, Full Professor, Director, International Center for Research in Accounting and Auditing
Empirical Evidence on the Implicit Determinants of Compensation in Big four Audit Partnerships, co-authored with Lasse Niemi and Mikko Zerni: This study investigates the financial incentives of individual Big 4 audit partners implied by the overall compensation arrangements within their firms. Using tax and financial data for individual audit partners and clients in Sweden, our empirical findings indicate that there is significant variation in the parameters of compensation contracts across the Big 4 with greater emphasis on performance-based incentives than equal sharing of profits. Empirical findings indicate that audit partners are more highly compensated if they have large or public clients representing revenue generating opportunities. We also find that some, but not all, firms reward partners for developing an industry specialization. Of particular interest are our findings that in some firms, gaining clients has a positive impact on compensation while losing clients or failing to issue a going concern opinion for clients that go bankrupt have a negative impact on compensation. Finally, we find that partners with higher levels of experience (i.e., closer to retirement) have more performance-based incentives than junior partners. Overall, our results indicate that differences in incentives influence the client portfolio management of individual auditors and firms.
Dr. Rob Emerson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Food & Resource Economics, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences
Homeland Security and Latin American Immigration Policy: Differential Impacts on State Agricultural Labor Markets: U.S. agriculture depends upon a flow of workers crossing the nation's southern border, an implied porousness not necessarily consistent with homeland security. Dr. Emerson has analyzed the National Agricultural Worker Survey (NAWS) to investigate how the U.S. agricultural labor supply market has changed in the post 9-11 era. Findings quantified altered workings of agricultural labor markets, identifying shifts in job duration and differential legal/illegal worker impacts. Unexpectedly, the study found a large statistically significant difference in impact on Florida vs. California and the rest of the United States, a phenomenon proposed for further investigation.
Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda, Associate Professor, Department of Public Relations, College of Journalism & Communications
Diffusing Anti-American, Anti-Capitalism and Anti-Globalization Sentiments in Major Latin American Markets: These growing "anti" sentiments raise risk and reduce opportunity for U.S. firms in Latin America. They challenge homeland security by fostering the emergence of radical population segments. Dr. Molleda's three-phase study has derived effective models for countering these anti-American images: (1) a content analysis of major media and public opinion polls to identify country-specific nuances in negative expressions; (2) consumer surveys to scale specific consumer attributes (ethnocentrism, group identification, etc.) and determine the transfer of issue saliencies (importance) as well as valences (positive-negative) to the United States and its transnational corporations; and (3) in-depth firm interviews and Delphi panels to determine actual amelioration policies that can be assessed in the context of country/consumer findings to identify best practices and/or modifications needed to create best-practices models.
Dr. Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, Professor, Department of Telecommunication, College of Journalism & Communication
Identifying Factors Contributing to the Successful Development of a Mobile Communications Industry: What are key characteristics of countries that have developed vibrant and innovative mobile communications industries? In collaboration with colleagues abroad, Dr. Chan-Olmsted has examined the issue using a comparative case-study approach based on six to 10 countries, including the United States and the countries with top mobile penetration rates and infrastructure, innovative mobile applications, fast growing mobile populations and/or leading mobile-phone manufacturers. The data collection for the comparative analysis is three-phased: (1) industry analysis—review of the mobile-phone market data and country-specific exogenous conditions (e.g., regulatory and economic) available from secondary sources; (2) case studies of mobile firms (service providers, application enablers, etc.) using secondary company data and interviews to assess strategic postures of mobile firms in different countries; and (3) survey of mobile consumers to gauge differences in consumer profiles and consumption patterns, as well as perceptual data that can be linked to the intrinsic and extrinsic attributes of mobile services as perceived by mobile professionals.