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March 25, 2013

Business students to present research findings at National Conference for Undergraduate Research

NCURFive students from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Business will present their research at the 27th Annual National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 11-13, 2013 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Students from 397 colleges and universities located throughout the United States will present 2,900 research posters and presentations at the conference.

UW-Eau Claire business students will present the following research projects:

  • Abigail E. Habeck, a freshman accounting major from Appleton, WI, and Adam J. Revak, a freshman accounting major from Lonsdale, MN, will present, “Perceptions that drive cloud-based application adoption decisions by students and faculty” during a poster session. Dr. Dawna Drum, assistant professor, Department of Accounting and Finance, is the students’ faculty research mentor.
  • April E. Heder, a senior management major from Elm Grove, WI and Devin Mantha, senior management major from Ann Arbor, MI, present their paper, “The America’s Cup: A study of multi-team systems.” Dr. Rhetta Standifer, associate professor, Department of Management and Marketing, is the students’ faculty research mentor.
  • Stephen Fisher, a senior business economics major from Maple Grove, MN and his colleagues Tiffany Christner, Casey Gabrhel, Lydia Harrer, Lainee Hoffman, Laurelyn Wieseman, and Mitchell Fischer, will present, “Comparing children’s self-reported fruit and vegetable behavioral intent to observed fruit and vegetable consumption for snack and dinner in an afterschool program.” Dr. Eric Jamelske, associate professor, Department of Economics, is the students’ faculty mentor.

An overview of these projects is listed below.

Established in 1987, NCUR is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study done in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of high education. For more information, visit the NCUR website at www.ncur.org.

UW-Eau Claire College of Business research

Perceptions that drive cloud-based application adoption decisions by students and faculty

Cloud computing is an emerging technology with infinite applications in the future classroom setting. As this technology gets further intertwined into our society, it has the potential to positively change the way students learn, work with peers and instructors, and even accomplish work in their future careers. 

The purpose of this research is to explore the effects of cloud computing from an educational perspective to determine what aspects of cloud create a desirable and adoption-worthy product to students. In order to do so, this research will examine different factors such as how students use cloud products in and out of the classroom, how group projects will be altered due to new forms of collaboration, and how teachers incorporate cloud products into lessons and assignments. 

The findings will be based on previous research on cloud computing and the methodology used for similar studies conducted on various technologies, such as diffusion of technology in the classroom and the integration of cloud computing in other aspects of life. We will conduct student and faculty surveys, providing specific examples on the level of knowledge students and faculty have on the technology and how they may already be using cloud computing, and supplement these results with qualitative data through interviews. 

The conclusions will offer a better understanding of the decision processes behind the adoption of cloud computing by students and faculty, and propose an idea of what factors of cloud computing are involved in the decision to adopt. Based on these factors, this research will provide information for instructors on the importance of integrating cloud into students’ education because of the rapid pace of integration in the business world and other future careers.

The America’s Cup: A study of multi-team systems

Multi-team systems (“MTS”) consist of two or more component teams working collaboratively toward a common goal (Mathieu, Marks, & Zaccaro, 2001). Organizations as far ranging as FEMA, NASA, the US Army, and Eli Lilly have begun to utilize multi-team systems to accomplish strategic goals which require more knowledge and resources than are typically available within one organization.

There are two types of MTSs: 1) cross-boundary MTSs, which include component teams from more than one organization, and 2) internal MTSs, which are contained within one organization. This case describes the concept, purpose, and key elements of multi-team systems and outlines the challenges and opportunities inherent in their use. It also profiles MTS leadership: the various approaches used, the issues involved, and the ways in which MTS leaders work with team members to accomplish goals.

We use the America’s Cup yachting organization and its member teams to illustrate both cross-boundary and internal MTSs based on qualitative data obtained from members of America’s Cup teams. Casual observation of an America’s Cup yachting team might lead to the assumption that it is one “team” (comprised of sailors and support staff). In reality, America’s Cup yachting teams represent a multi-team system or “team of teams”.  Cup teams like Oracle and Alinghi are comprised of sub-teams or “component” teams, each of which has their own leadership challenges, requirements, and goals. However, they must work together as a unified, single entity with one common MTS-level goal – namely, to win the Cup. To accomplish this goal, they must work together, recognize how various component teams are dependent on one another, and effectively coordinate their efforts. In short, an America’s Cup yachting team is an internal multi-team system. 

Our case highlights the use of MTSs in an interesting context and provides real-world examples of such systems, their successes and failures, and the challenges related to leading them.

Comparing children’s self-reported fruit and vegetable behavioral intent to observed fruit and vegetable consumption for snack and dinner in an afterschool program

Given the relatively low fruit and vegetable intake among children in the United States, understanding the successes of interventions designed to increase children’s fruit and vegetable intake is important. Tracking observed behavior, our previous research reveals that elementary school students eat fruit (> 80% of the time) and vegetables (> 60% of the time) served free for school snack through the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). Children participating in the FFVP also report increased willingness to try new fruit and vegetables served at home and at school, but these positive changes in behavioral intent are self-reported with no corroboration that they are actually occurring. Thus, more research is needed to investigate the relationships and interactions between observed and self-reported positive impacts of such interventions.

In our current research we observe the consumption of fruit and vegetables served for snack and dinner to elementary and middle school children attending an afterschool program. In addition, we use questionnaires to collect data about these children’s willingness to eat familiar fruit and vegetables and try unfamiliar fruit and vegetables. We also ask the children to identify items they like, don’t like and have not tried from a list of 26 fruits and 23 vegetables.

Our data analysis will examine the degree to which children’s observed behavior in consuming familiar and unfamiliar fruit and vegetables served for snack and dinner matches their self-reported behavioral intent in terms of willingness to eat/try familiar/unfamiliar fruit and vegetables. We have completed questionnaires for about 100 students and we are collecting fruit and vegetable intake data every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from September 17–April 1, 2012.

No results are given here because our data collection is ongoing, but a preliminary analysis suggests that there is some deviation in children’s observed behavior from their self-reported behavioral intent.

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