This month, major international organizations recognized Fordham business faculty members Allen Schiff and Timothy Malefyt for excellence.
The publication Management Accounting Quarterly reviewed all of the articles it featured in 2012 and chose a submission from Professor Schiff as one of its “best articles of the year.” This accolade comes with a Lybrand Certificate of Merit, which will be awarded to him next month at the IMA’s annual conference in New Orleans.
Titled “Accounting for Contingencies: Disclosure of Future Business Risks,” Professor Schiff’s article examines the accounting and reporting treatment of contingent economic events — such as litigation, environmental liabilities and product warranties — and the effects on profitability. His work compares and contrasts how contingencies are accounted for under the two main regulatory standards: U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and International Financial Reporting Standards.
Meanwhile, Professor Malefyt traveled all the way to Shanghai, China, to pick up his award: second prize at the International Conference on Anthropological Applications in Management and Marketing for a paper titled “Sensory Marketing and Brand Rituals.”
The paper’s topic is more fascinating than the title might reveal. Professor Malefyt wrote about how marketers can benefit from anthropologists’ broad perspective on a customer’s experience with a product, which includes prompts and cues in a person’s environment or memory that can shape his or her reaction. When someone drinks coffee, for example, his or her response isn’t based only on how that coffee tastes. It’s affected by feelings of anticipation triggered by aromas released when the coffee brews; the weight and feel of the mug the coffee is served in; the time of day the coffee is being consumed; what the coffee drinker is doing at the time, and much more.
“Attending to sensory cues and marketing them can make a brand seem more authentic, the experience richer, and so develop a stronger bond with consumers,” Malefyt explained.
For companies, this can be a highly complex task that doesn’t necessarily transcend borders. “What tastes or smells good, what is considered beautiful or not, what sounds are aesthetically pleasing, varies by culture,” Malefyt said. “This information is valuable for marketing scholars across the globe.”
Congratulations to both Professor Schiff and Professor Malefyt for coming up with insights that benefit, respectively, the study of accounting and marketing!