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The Power of Compliments: Generating Positive Behavior Changes in Freshmen Students


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This study examined how giving compliments affected freshmen students in an “Intro to Business” course at a four-year public university. A review of the literature was completed in the areas of positive psychology, compliments, and retention. Primary data was collected from reflective essays that freshmen business students wrote after giving three objective compliments per day for twenty days. Grounded theory was used to analyze the data and determine appropriate categories. The author utilized double coding in order for the data to be placed into the determined categories. The findings included less stressful environments, increased self-confidence, and improved communication as a result of the experiment. Additionally, suggestions for future research linking positive psychology to increased retention were presented.
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Recognizing Excellence
in Business Education
Volume 3
ISSN 2151-6022
Edited by Annette E. Craven, Ph.D. & Laura S. Mays, Ed.D.
11520 West 119th Street Overland Park, Kansas 66213
913-339-9356 Fax 913-339-6226
January 12, 2013
Dear ACBSP Members:
Volume 3 of the ACBSP Annual Edition: Recognizing Excellence in Business Education
represents ACBSP’s continuous commitment to support the scholarly efforts of its members. The
fundamental objective of the ACBSP Annual Edition is to provide a venue for ACBSP members
to present their research and findings, engage in scholarly research and inquiry, and support and
improve classroom teaching. The articles in Volume 3 went through a rigorous peer review
process prior to final acceptance for publication.
We are extremely grateful for the efforts of the authors who contributed to the ACBSP Annual
Edition, Volume 3 and the reviewers who found the time to provide professional and courteous
feedback to the authors.
We have worked diligently this year to refine the processes leading up to the publication of the
Annual Edition. Please visit the Annual Edition webpage at the ACBSP website under the
Special Initiatives link. There you will find an Open Call for Papers, applications for reviewers
and special topics editors, and instructions for submitting your research.
Finally, the Committee for Scholar-Practitioner Publications wants to thank you, the reader, for
investing the time and effort to read the Annual Edition, Volume 3. We hope you will find the
contents to be a rich source of relevant research, tools, and techniques which can be applied in
your academic environments. We also invite you to submit your scholarly research and activities
for publication in future ACBSP scholarly publications.
Annette E. Craven Laura S. Mays
Annette E. Craven, PhD Laura S. Mays, EdD
Peter S. Horn Anthony Negbenebor
Peter S. Horn, PhD, LLM Anthony Negbenebor, Ph.D.
Bringing Together Those Dedicated to Teaching Excellence
ANNUAL EDITION, Volume 3, ISSN 2151-6022
Disclaimer: Neither the Editor nor the Reviewers provided any corrections to authors' final
content. Authors were responsible for choosing an acceptable publication style and applying it
consistently throughout their articles. Authors were also responsible for providing correct,
working URLs and website links within articles, footnotes, endnotes, and references. Articles
were formatted with a consistent typeface and heading style, preserving graphics to the extent
Annette E. Craven, PhD, Past President, ACBSP, DBA Program Director & Professor of
Management, University of the Incarnate Word
Laura S. Mays, EdD, Chair of Romanian Academic Programs, Professor of Management,
Tiffin University
Diane Bandow, PhD, Troy University
Sara Cook, PhD, Viterbo University
Charlene Connor, DBA, Dallas Baptist University
Ruth Seibert-Couch, PhD, Owens Community College
Thomas Debbink, PhD, Tiffin University
Henry 'Rod' Elrod, PhD, University of the Incarnate Word
Nancy A. Floyd, PhD, North Carolina Wesleyan College
Doug Gilbert, DBA, University of Phoenix
Perry Haan, PhD, Tiffin University
Jose F. Moreno, PhD, University of the Incarnate Word
Cynthia Busin Nicola, EdD, Carlow University
Osman Ozturgut, PhD, University of the Incarnate Word
Scott D. Roberts, PhD, University of the Incarnate Word
Nicole Cornell Sadowski, PhD, York College of Pennsylvania
Kimberly Scruton, EdD, Methodist University
Barbara Vallera, DM, Sacred Heart University
11520 West 119th Street Overland Park, Kansas 66213
913-339-9356 Fax 913-339-6226
The ACBSP Option for Implementing an AACSB Global Accreditation Strategy
Doug Viehland & Annette E. Craven, PhD
What Determines Student Performance in Principles of Economics Courses? A Case Study of
Principles of Economics Students at a US 2-Year College
Michael Machiorlatti & Germain Pichop
The Relationship Between Leadership Style and Team Dynamics
Charlene Connor, DBA, David Notgrass, PhD, & W. Ross O'Brien, PhD
Valuing Adult Development and Readiness through Potent and Relevant On-Line Learning
Diane Bandow, PhD, Victoria L. Figiel, DBA & Mike Whitlock, DBA
IFRS: A Catalyst for Change in US Accounting Education
Robert A. Singer, PhD, Zane L. Swanson, PhD, & Jennifer M. Mack, PhD
The Power of Compliments: Generating Positive Behavior Changes in Freshmen Students
Ralf Wilhelms, DBA
The Harmonization of Accounting Standards
Seth Sikkema, CPA
Proven Practices for Authentic Instruction and Online Delivery in Higher Education
Kurt D. Kirstein, EdD & Kelly A. Flores, EdD
Trends in Bringing Sustainability and Climate Change Content into the Curriculum
Terri Friel & Josetta McLaughlin
Factors Influencing Student Use of Online Homework Management Systems
Anita R. Morgan, DBA, CPA
Thriving in a Down Economy: Using Sound Business Principles to Increase Revenue and
Focus on Quality in a Poor Economy
William S. Lightfoot, PhD & Suzanne Erickson, PhD
Cybercheating: A Research Study on the Detection and Prevention of Plagiarism in an
Online Graduate Business Program from the Faculty Members' Perspective
Kevin J. Davies, PhD & Susan K. Fan, DM
Balance Score Card and the role of National Culture
Angela D. McCaskill, PhD & Steve Roussas, PhD
The ACBSP Option for
Implementing an AACSB Global
Accreditation Strategy
Douglas Viehland, Executive Director, ACBSP
Annette E. Craven, PhD, Past President, ACBSP
Abstract. This paper was submitted to the
AACSB Board of Directors on December 30,
2010 and offered a discussion of an alternative
approach to fulfilling the AACSB
International—The Association to Advance
Collegiate Schools of Business International
objectives of the Special Committee on Global
Accreditation Strategy via partnership with the
Accreditation Council for Business Schools &
Programs by utilization of the existing ACBSP
Baldrige-based standards and criteria, which
focus on quality and continuous improvement in
business education. All data included in this
paper was extracted from documentation made
available at ACBSP and/or AACSB conferences
and in public documentation dated on or before
December, 2010. This partnership would have
created an alternative to the Quality Business
School Certification proposed in the AACSB
presentation, Quality Management Education
Matters presented at various AACSB meetings,
conferences and a Web forum in mid- and late-
2010. Adoption of this partnership would have
created opportunities for more of the
approximately 12,600 institutions offering
business degrees globally that are not currently
accredited to enhance their business programs
through quality processes and continuous
improvement practices.
Brief History and Introduction. The
Accreditation Council for Business Schools &
Programs (herein after referred to as ACBSP)
was created at a time when Association to
Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
International (herein after referred to as
AACSB) maintained a focus on the
advancement of knowledge through research and
faculty involvement in scholarly activity. As an
alternative for schools with limited budgets and
endowments and fulfilling a teaching mission,
ACBSP developed and offered access to a
quality based accreditation product without a
requirement to change to a research mission.
The ACBSP alternative offered schools with a
teaching mission to utilize standards and criteria
to continuously improve their educational
systems and processes and earn accreditation for
their business programs. 1 Since 1988, ACBSP
has evolved and expanded its market to include
members in the following countries:
Asia: Bangladesh, China, India,
Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia,
Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Middle East and Africa: Afghanistan,
Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar,
Republic of Benin, Saudi Arabia, and the
United Arab Emirates.
Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy,
Macedonia, Netherlands, Russia,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland,
and the United Kingdom.
Latin America: Argentina, Colombia,
Dominican Republic, Panama, Paraguay,
Peru, and Trinidad.
North America: Canada, Mexico, and
United States of America.
AACSB has provided leadership and guidance
to institutions of higher education to further their
continuous and quality improvement goals since
1907. A part of this history is the creation
within AACSB institutions the quality education
that has produced the overwhelming majority of
faculty that currently teach at ACBSP business
schools, especially in the United States. This is
for both the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree
members and the Associate Degree members.
Because of the predominance of doctoral
programs at AACSB institutions these faculty
members have benefited from and been a
witness to the value of accreditation. It was the
1 ACBSP was formed in 1988; in 1989 the initial
accreditation standards and criteria were finalized; the
standards were revised in 1998 at which time more
emphasis on the Baldrige standards for excellence were
incorporated. In 2004, the standards were again reviewed
and revised, and in 2010 there was a major revision to the
underlying criteria.
desire to create for their business schools an
accreditation process to meet the needs of their
schools that provided the strong motivation for
ACBSP to be created and to join AACSB in
meeting the needs of two very distinctive and
different markets.
However, the socio-economic and political
changes in the global landscape and the
emergence of movements such as the Bologna
Accord2 in the past two decades have made it
imperative that both organizations refine their
products to meet the needs of an evolving post-
secondary environment. For these and other
reasons, AACSB has broadened the language of
its standards to allow schools and programs to
become more mission-based, and ACBSP has
merged its dual option standards into one set,
which is completely grounded in quality
improvement principles.
A collaboration or partnership between the two
organizations, until now, has not been necessary
or feasible. However, the standards of the two
organizations have grown more similar and both
now focus on learning outcomes, continuous
improvement, and evidence of quality business
education supported by resources (financial and
human) relevant to each program’s mission
statement. A comparison of the standards of
both organizations (Table 1), demonstrates that
the priorities for quality business education are
fairly consistent.
Since 2003, with the hiring of the current
Executive Director, ACBSP has made concerted
efforts to better understand the needs of its
current and potential member schools, enhance
the quality practices and faculty qualifications of
its accredited members, and learn from peer
2 The Bologna Accord aims to harmonize 40 different
European higher education systems by creating a single
system of degrees (Bachelor and Master qualifications)
within an agreed framework and with a consistent credit
and grading system. A key objective is to create a more
competitive Europe by establishing a higher education
system compatible with global standards. Retrieved
December 17, 2010 from The Association of Business
associations like AACSB. The current Board of
Directors has made a commitment to the
availability of scholarly opportunities for its
members, including publication of a double-
blind, peer-reviewed annual journal,
appointment of a Committee for Scholar-
Practitioner Publications, and a highly qualified
Board of Reviewers whose members must meet
the highest scholarly activity criteria.
These activities are part of the new strategic
planning efforts and ACBSP's desire to build
cooperative relationships with other accrediting
bodies and with associations of business schools
and individuals affiliated with business schools
both in the United States and in areas outside of
the United States, and with government
ministries in certain developing countries. To
begin movement in that direction with AACSB,
ACBSP made the decision to recognize and
support member schools in their efforts to obtain
AACSB accreditation. ACBSP staff and Board
members attend a variety of AACSB seminars
and conferences and make every effort to engage
in positive discourse with AACSB staff and
A New Vision. A key focus for the future is
collaboration. ACBSP leadership has
recognized there is an opportunity with the
recommendations of the Special Committee on
Global Accreditation Strategy (hereafter referred
to as SCOGAS) to move toward a collaborative
relationship with AACSB. The new vision
statement adopted by the ACBSP Board of
Directors at its September, 2010 board meeting
is that every quality business program
worldwide is accredited, and the new mission
statement is that ACBSP promotes continuous
improvement and recognizes excellence in the
accreditation of business education programs
around the world. These statements are not
dramatically different from that of the Mission
statement of AACSB, which states that AACSB
International advances quality management
education worldwide through accreditation,
thought leadership, and value-added services.
Much like AACSB, the ACBSP membership is
concerned about the proliferation of business
schools appearing around the globe and the
potential impact on business environments of
graduates from schools that do not engage in quality assurance practices.
Table 1: Comparison of Accreditation Standards
Standard 1: Mission Statement
Institutional Overview: Statement of Mission
Standard 2: Intellectual Contributions
Standard 5: (5.8) Scholarly & Professional Activities based on the
Boyer Model of Scholarship (1997; see attached table)
Standard 3: Student Mission
Standard #3 Student and Stakeholder Focus
Standard 4: Continuous Improvement
Standard 1: Leadership
Standard 2: Strategic Planning
Standard 3: Student & Stakeholder Focus
Standard #4: Measurement & Analysis of Student Learning &
Standard 5: Financial Strategies
Standard 1: Leadership
Standard 2: Strategic Planning
Standard 6: Educational & Business Process Management
Standard 6: Student Admission
Standard 6: Educational & Business Process Management (6.3.1
Admissions Policies & Procedures)
Standard 7: Student Retention
Standard 6: Educational & Business Process Management (6.3.6
Enrollment Management)
Standard 8: Staff Sufficiency-Student
Standard 6: Educational & Business Process Management (6.2.1
Educational Support Processes)
Standard 9: Faculty Sufficiency
Standard 5: Faculty & Staff Focus (5.5 Faculty Size & Load)
Standard 10: Faculty Qualifications
Standard 5: Faculty & Staff Focus (5.3 Faculty Qualifications,
Workload & Coverage)
Standard 11: Faculty Management &
Standard 5: Faculty & Staff Focus (5.7 Faculty and Staff
Operational Procedures, Policies and
Practices, and Development)
Standard 12: Aggregate Faculty & Staff
Educational Responsibility
Standard 5: Faculty & Staff Focus (5.7 Faculty and Staff
Operational Procedures, Policies and
Practices, and Development)
Standard 13: Individual Faculty
Educational Responsibility
Standard 5: Faculty & Staff Focus (5.7 Faculty and Staff
Operational Procedures, Policies and
Practices, and Development)
Standard 14: Student Educational
Standard 3: Student & Stakeholder Focus
Standard 15: Management of Curricula
Standard 6: Education Design & Delivery
Standard 16: UG Learning Goals
Standard 4: Measurement & Analysis of Student Learning &
Standard 17: UG Educational Level
Standard 6: (6.1.3) Undergraduate Common Professional
Component (CPC)
Standard 18: Master’s Level General
Management Learning Goals
Standard 4: Measurement & Analysis of Student Learning &
Standard 19: Specialized Master’s Degree
Learning Goals
Standard 4: Measurement & Analysis of Student Learning &
Standard 20: Master’s Educational Level
Standard 6: (6.1.6) Curriculum Design in Graduate Programs
Standard 21: Doctoral Learning Goals
Standard 6: (6.1.6) Curriculum Design in Graduate Programs
The Opportunity. While acknowledging the
name of the new product is a placeholder, a
review of the proposed Quality Business School
Certification (hereafter referred to as QBSC)
product reveals a close fit with the qualities of
ACBSP accreditation as outlined below. The
Preliminary Guiding Principles identified by
SCOGAS and included in the Quality
Management Education Matters presentation
were that the QBSC would be mission-driven;
focus on quality and continuous improvement;
have maximum distinction from AACSB
Accreditation; provide quality assurance of
multiple programs in a business school format;
and serve the needs of schools that are not
designed to meet AACSB's academic faculty
and intellectual contribution standards. The
following commentary illustrates how ACBSP
accreditation standards and processes satisfy
these guiding principles.
1. Mission-driven: The ACBSP process is
mission driven. It not only requires links to
fulfillment of the business unit mission, but
also to the institution as well. A great
number of Historically Black Colleges and
Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions,
faith-based institutions, and private for-
profit colleges find value in what is offered
through ACSBP accreditation. Institutions
which place heavier emphasis on teaching
than research historically have been and
remain the primary candidates for ACBSP
accreditation. The 2003 revisions to the
AACSB standards clearly reveal intent on
the part of AACSB to enable its member and
accredited institutions to articulate the
manifestation of their missions. The
evolution of the AQ/PQ Bridge programs
demonstrates AACSB's commitment to
faculty credentials and quality both as
researchers and as teachers. At the same
time, ACBSP has formalized its Faculty
Credential Review Committee and has been
very intentional in its requirement of a
qualified faculty in its accredited business
schools and programs.
2. Quality and continuous improvement: The
ACBSP standards for accreditation are
based on the Baldrige Education Criteria for
Performance Excellence. Similar systemic
processes exist in other parts of the world,
many supported by government or industry,
as a way to promote performance
excellence, data collection, systematic
processes, and continuous improvement
(ISO 9000, Six Sigma, Kaizen, Lean Sigma,
etc.). Several members of the ACBSP
headquarters staff, Boards of Directors and
Commissioners, mentors, evaluators, and
member institution faculty and staff are
national and/or state Baldrige Examiners.
The ACBSP standards and criteria contain
specific reference to continuous
improvement in several key areas, and
Baldrige experts have been instrumental in
the training of Commissioners, evaluators,
and mentors.
3. Maximum distinction from AACSB
Accreditation: A review of current ACBSP
and AACSB practices reveal some clear
areas of distinction--an issue the SWOT
Taskforce believes is important to AACSB’s
current accredited members. We are not
AACSB experts and the following
statements represent only our perceptions
and understanding of AACSB.
Geographic distinctions: The AACSB
headquarters office is located in Tampa,
Florida and the ACBSP headquarters
office is located in Overland Park,
Forum distinctions: AACSB and
ACBSP each offer a variety of
educational seminars and annual
conferences on different dates and with
different content emphasis.
Organizational distinctions: AACSB
accredits baccalaureate, graduate, and
accounting programs at the institutional
level. ACBSP accredits associate
degree programs in addition to
baccalaureate, graduate and accounting
programs at the business school level.
Brand/Name Recognition: Both
AACSB and ACBSP have recently
undergone branding initiatives with the
name recognition continuing to carry the
distinction between research vs.
teaching focused missions. Both
organizations have made efforts to
emphasize mission, quality, and
continuous improvement in their
accreditation standards.
Accreditation Governance: Each
organization has an established
governance structure that is similar. The
key difference is that AACSB has a
series of committees which engage in
the process with a final ratification by
the AACSB Board of Directors, whereas
ACBSP has two Boards of
Commissioners (Associate Degree and
Baccalaureate/ Graduate Degree) which
receive recommendations and make the
final accreditation decisions.
Maintenance of Accreditation: AACSB
institutions, once accredited, are
required to prepare maintenance reports
every year and undergo maintenance of
accreditation every five (5) years.
ACBSP institutions, once accredited, are
required to file Quality Assurance
Reports every two (2) years with
reaffirmation of accreditation every ten
(10) years.
4. Quality assurance of multiple programs in a
'business school' format: In the U.S., the
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
(CHEA) designates both AACSB and
ACBSP as programmatic accreditors.
Currently ACBSP, because of its focus at
the program level, has the structure to
facilitate quality assurance of multiple
programs in a business school format (4,862
programs in 47 countries).
5. Serves the needs of schools that are not
designed to meet AACSB's academic faculty
and intellectual contributions standards.
ACBSP was created shortly after one of the
most severe periods of retrenchment in
higher education history (1980-1990).
Many faculty had retired and the U.S. was
beginning to see a severe shortage in the
production of academically qualified faculty
in a variety of disciplines, including
business. As a result, there was an influx of
professionally qualified faculty into the
academy. ACBSP recognized this trend in
the creation of its standards and criteria in
1988 and 1989. Secondly, in 1990, Ernest
Boyer published his work titled Scholarship
Reconsidered: Priorities of the
Professoriate, in which he argued for a
broader definition of scholarship in light of
the overwhelming workloads and demands
on faculty time. The ACBSP founders made
a conscious decision to adopt the widely
accepted Boyer model of scholarship which
allows academics to expand their scholarly
activity to include public dissemination of
research in the areas of intellectual
contributions (discovery), pedagogy
(teaching), professional activity
(application), and engagement (integration).
This more flexible framework for scholarly
activity has been very attractive for ACBSP
member schools and has enabled faculty
members to maintain a practitioner focus
and schools to live within their limited
salary budgets.
The following table at the top of the next page is
excerpted from the presentation, Quality
Management Education Matters, presented at
the September 2010 AACSB Accreditation
Conference in Houston, Texas, in regional
meetings of business deans, and in a Web
Forum. It outlines the key differences presented
by SCOGAS members between the proposed
QBSC and the existing AACSB accreditation.
Table 2: SCOGAS Proposal
Quality Business School Certification
AACSB Accreditation
Excellence in teaching and faculty development
Advancement of knowledge
Qualified business faculty
AQ/PQ faculty
Business unit
Teaching focus
Research & teaching
The following table adds ACBSP accreditation
(for baccalaureate and graduate business degree
programs) and identifies differences and
similarities to the proposed QBSC and existing
AACSB Accreditation.
Table 3: ACBSP/QBSC/AACSB Comparison
ACBSP Accreditation Standards for
Baccalaureate & Graduate Business
Quality Business School
AACSB Accreditation
Excellence in teaching, scholarly activity,
& professional development
Excellence in teaching and
faculty development
Advancement of knowledge
AQ/PQ Faculty
Qualified business faculty
AQ/PQ faculty
Business Programs
Business unit
Practitioner focus
Teaching focus
Research & teaching
This table demonstrates that the ACBSP
accreditation standards for baccalaureate and
graduate business programs not only incorporate
the QBSC elements, but elevate each area to a
slightly higher level of quality. ACBSP
leadership believes an accreditation product
would be more attractive to current and potential
members in the global marketplace than a
certification which might be perceived as a lower
quality product that implies a less reputable
business degree program.
The Proposal. The ACBSP leadership would
like the opportunity to explore, in collaboration
with AACSB, an alternative to the proposed
QBSC. Currently, there are approximately
12,600 business schools and programs globally.
The following table demonstrates the number
and percentage of schools which are accredited
by eight business education associations3 that
offer accreditation:
3CHEA recognized organizations include only
AACSB International and ACBSP as of December,
Table 4: Accredited Business Programs
% of Total
% of
If the current proliferation of non-accredited
business schools continues, there is an increased
risk of poor quality business education and the
production of graduates ill-equipped to make the
critical business decisions that impact our
society on a global scale.
Therefore, collaboration between the two
leading business accreditation associations based
in the United States becomes imperative as a
4 As of December, 2010
viable option to be considered if the goals of the
SCOGAS are to be met. The ACBSP leadership
suggests collaboration between ACBSP and
AACSB and proposes the following three
options and the relative advantages of each.
1. Each association's endorsement of the
other's accreditation product. This option
would be most easily attained and strengthen
the goal of both ACBSP and AACSB to
improve quality in business education in the
global arena. The public statement of
endorsement would emphasize that each
provides a quality product which meets the
needs of specific markets. This option will
encourage schools which have
unsuccessfully attempted to obtain AACSB
accreditation to consider ACBSP
accreditation as a way to better prepare for
and make the necessary improvements in
order to become AACSB accredited.
2. Joint creation of a new accreditation
product that would address the needs of
institutions which currently meet ACBSP
standards but not AACSB standards. This
option would require the greatest
expenditure of time, expense and
preparation but would preserve the
autonomy that currently exists between the
two associations. There would be a need,
however, to create a communication
structure and process to facilitate an ongoing
collaboration between the two associations
in order to guarantee the distinctive nature
of this accreditation product from the
existing accreditation products. Mentors,
examiners and directors/commissioners
would either need to be cross-trained, or a
new cadre of qualified individuals would
have to be developed. This option would
seemingly have the greatest impact on the
current governing structures of the two
3. A fee structure that would enable schools
the flexibility to obtain dual membership in
AACSB and ACBSP and select the
accreditation best suited to the institution's
mission, faculty demographic, and financial
strength. This option is perceived to be
most attractive and would likely produce the
highest revenue stream for the two
associations (increased memberships and
attendance at conferences and seminars).
Each association would preserve its
accreditation product while offering choices
for current and potential members and
accredited schools. Like option #1, this
option might encourage schools which do
not have AACSB accreditation or have
unsuccessfully attempted to obtain AACSB
accreditation to consider ACBSP
accreditation as a way to better prepare for
and make the necessary improvements in
order to become AACSB accredited.
The Benefits to AACSB. In addition to the
benefits outlined in this section, ACBSP
leadership believes the main benefit from
collaboration is that AACSB would be able to
document that it is now supporting quality
assurance for business education for schools that
currently are unable to obtain AACSB
accreditation. That is the goal of SCOGAS.
While all the other alternatives to QBSC being
considered by AACSB are not fully known to
ACBSP, this paper speculates that the accredited
membership will find collaboration between
ACBSP and AACSB appealing for the following
additional reasons, primarily option #1.
1. An Existing Infrastructure versus a New
Infrastructure for Accreditation. The proposed
QBSC product or any similar process will
require a substantial investment in time, effort,
and funds to create standards and criteria, a
process, committees, mentors and evaluators.
Some proposed restructuring options will require
extensive staff time to implement and substantial
legal expense. There is expense and time to
develop new accreditation/certification
documents, marketing plans, and alterations in
existing materials.
If the product is truly distinct and separate from
the AACSB brand, there is a risk the product
will not be considered viable and, therefore, not
widely adopted. Candidates for this new
product may find the cost to obtain this new
product unreasonable since it is a certification
rather than full accreditation. If the product is
offered only outside the U.S., then the overall
market seeking the product is reduced and the
costs to travel, promote, and maintain the
product are increased. Additionally, existing
non-U.S. members may take offense to the
availability of a product that is perceived as
lower quality and harmful to their reputation in
their geographic region.
Collaboration between AACSB and ACBSP
would not require the creation of a new
infrastructure or organizational structure as
illustrated in the presentation, Quality
Management Education Matters. The
collaboration proposal has high potential for
positive revenue to both organizations in
addition to the expanded use of quality
assurance practices in post-secondary business
2. A Pathway to AACSB Accreditation. Each
year a small number of institutions with ACBSP
accreditation obtain AACSB accreditation. Six
currently have both ACBSP and AACSB
Drury University, Missouri
Queens University of Charlotte, North
Southeastern Oklahoma State
University, Oklahoma
Southern Utah University, Utah
North Carolina Central University,
North Carolina
Midwestern State University, Texas
All of these schools achieved their AACSB
accreditation in recent years and, typically, each
school found that first obtaining ACBSP
accreditation helped in the process to secure
AACSB accreditation. Several reasons these
and other schools have shared with ACBSP
Although the school's administration
was initially unwilling to make the
substantial investment in AACSB
accreditation and chose to make the
investment in ACBSP accreditation at a
reduced cost, once they recognized the
value of accreditation, a decision was
made to begin pursuit of AACSB
Using the continuous improvement,
learning outcomes, human resource
planning, strategic planning, and
scholarly activity guidelines included in
the ACBSP accreditation standards, the
business unit was then able to make a
deliberate effort to convert itself from a
business unit with a primary teaching
mission to one which included an
emphasis on research. Using the
AACSB criteria as a guideline, changes
were made and AACSB accreditation
was ultimately achieved.
The AACSB accreditation often requires
seven or more years. The ACBSP
accreditation process takes less time
assuming outcomes assessment of
student learning is in place, from two
years to five years. Many business unit
or academic services administrators
recognize even if they begin the long
and difficult process for AACSB
accreditation, they may not be in their
position of responsibility when the
business unit obtains accreditation. This
is even more relevant to many schools
outside the U.S.. A focus on short term
achievement as a means to making long-
term change may be seen as an
opportunity to create a legacy of quality.
With collaboration, ACBSP could work in
tandem with AACSB to conduct seminars
and activities to support schools that obtain
ACBSP accreditation to learn and
experience how other schools have used
ACBSP accreditation as a pathway to
AACSB accreditation. There would also be
opportunities for AACSB members to
mentor ACBSP members in a variety of
ways including the creation of research
agendas which contribute to the
development of new knowledge and the
3. Valued Added to Fulfillment of the
Mission Statement of AACSB. The opening
paragraphs of this white paper noted the
AACSB mission statement as follows:
AACSB International advances quality
management education worldwide through
accreditation, thought leadership, and
value-added services. The certification
option is being considered, but it is not
accreditation. This option does not result in
fulfillment of the mission statement as
clearly and accurately as would
collaboration with ACBSP. The offering of
a collaborative accreditation process is more
in line with this mission statement than a
certification product.
Adding a new scope of membership that
includes ACBSP membership would add a
value to the current AACSB thought
leadership and service products. ACBSP
accredited members include more faith-
based institutions, more HBCU schools,
more Hispanic-Serving Institutions and
more for-profit institutions than the current
AACSB membership. This will create
additional avenues for sale of thought
leadership and service related products and
valued input into surveys and processes to
create more diversity and a wider reflection
of management education worldwide.
4. CHEA Recognition. An important
criterion for both organizations is to assure
recognition by CHEA is not endangered by
any action undertaken. The proposed due
diligence timetable takes these discussions
into account.
It is speculated at this early date that the
adoption of a collaboration between two
existing CHEA accreditation agencies is a
more friendly option for preserving AACSB
recognition with CHEA than the creation of
a new certification or other similar product.
The offering of certification will certainly
require a change in CHEA scope of
recognition for AACSB. The offering of a
different accreditation product for non-U.S.
institutions might only create further
complications for a U.S. based accrediting
5. The Alternative Option for Certain
Schools. There are currently business
school deans and others who understand the
creation of a new product in addition to
AACSB's existing accreditation product
offers an alternative for schools that
currently have accreditation to be moved or
recommended for movement to the new
accreditation product. This is especially the
case for schools that have not been able to
maintain their AQ and PQ levels since the
time of previous accreditation and the
maintenance of accreditation is underway.
This recommendation may come from (a)
academic administrators unwilling to
commit financially during this time of
budget constraints, (b) senior leadership
trying to balance multiple programmatic
accreditations in institutions where business
is only one of many academic disciplines, or
(c) site teams or staff members who are
unwilling to recommend maintenance of
accreditation but are willing to recommend a
change to this certification option.
Currently the options are accreditation or no
accreditation; this may lead to difficult
budgetary decisions being made and a strong
measure to reinforce the maintenance of the
current standards. If an ultimatum is
delivered, decision makers may choose the
alternative of QSBC in order to maintain
affiliation with AACSB.
The use of an alternative which does not
create the financial impact exists as well for
schools that are currently in the AACSB
accreditation process or seeking to enter the
process. Again the same sources may
recommend not the pursuit of accreditation
but rather the switch to certification or
similar options to the disappointment and
frustration of those leading the effort to
achieve AACSB accreditation.
The offering of a collaborative product does
not eliminate the use of an alternative
product for currently accredited AACSB
members or those in the process. However,
there will be less incentive to forfeit
membership and progress toward AACSB
accreditation when the accreditation is
maintained and operated by a distinct and
different accreditation body.
Essential Requirements for Collaboration.
Collaboration between associations usually
requires the conduct of due diligence regarding
the product being offered, a revenue stream from
the collaboration, and a binding agreement of
some type between the organizations.
1. Conduct of Due Diligence. ACBSP offers to
present to AACSB staff and leadership the
various documents they require for due diligence
including audited financial statements, bylaws,
and copies of the standards and criteria. Other
material may be released only on the assurance
of confidentially. The latter includes minutes of
meetings of any of the governing boards.
While only the membership of the
Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Commission can
make changes in the standards and the Board of
Commissioners can make changes in the criteria,
ACBSP invites comments for changes suggested
by the Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation
Quality or AACSB staff. There can be a
dialogue on rationale and importance of the
content to both groups. In the spirit of
continuous improvement and the pursuit of
excellence, ACBSP would welcome the
AACSB staff or leadership may elect to attend
all or part of the meeting of an upcoming Board
of Commissioners to better understand the
dynamics of the decision making that occurs for
a report back to an established body with the
understanding that these are confidential
2. Binding Agreement of Some Type between the
Organizations. It is proposed the ACBSP
bylaws be changed to reflect an agreed upon
collaboration between the two associations.
This bylaw change would not be applicable to
accredited members of the Associate Degree
Commission. There is no endorsement of the
accreditation being proposed at this time nor is it
possible for community colleges to become
AACSB members. However, these changes can
be reviewed and discussed as part of the
discussions that occur.
It is important to note in this document that the
collaboration being considered will offer
benefits to AACSB institutions at a time when
enrollments in many of these schools are flat.
There are greater opportunities for articulation in
collaboration between these two accrediting
bodies, one that offers associate degree
accreditation and one that does not. This will
provide benefits for students attending ACBSP
associate degree business schools and programs.
It is envisioned that business schools will be
able to maintain accreditation with both AACSB
and ACBSP as there is no conflict with this
As part of the due diligence, it is anticipated that
work could begin on a binding agreement which
will define the relationship between AACSB and
ACBSP. The contents would provide for the
terms of such an agreement including periodic
review, reporting relationships, requirements
imposed on the respective parties, and
termination clauses with penalties.
3. Revenue Stream from the Collaboration. As
noted above, it is proposed that the key binding
mechanism between ACBSP and AACSB be
opportunities for dual membership, participation
in a wider variety of conferences and seminars,
and collaborative training activities. A number
of ACBSP accredited members already have this
membership status. Each new AACSB member
would provide membership revenues for
AACSB, and it is anticipated that this will
continue for years in the future as more
members seek and obtain ACBSP accredited
status and maintain AACSB membership.
The membership will also provide access to a
larger number of people attending AACSB
seminars and conferences, and participation and
purchase of survey products enhancing the value
for AACSB from a financial position as well as
the richness and diversity of business schools
that participate in the member only activities.
Draft Timeline. Similar to all other portions of
this white paper, the following timeline is open
to discussion and change.
December 30, 2010: The contents of this white
paper with a one page summary are transmitted
to Mr. John Fernandes, Dr. Jerry Trapnell and
Dr. Andrew Policano.
January 10, 2011: As part of the discussion on
the agenda item related to a recommendation to
the membership on creating a new quality
assurance product, consideration is given by the
AACSB Board of Directors during their board
meeting or planning session to opening a
dialogue with ACBSP on what can be offered to
determine if this is a viable option.
February: During the first meeting of the Blue
Ribbon Committee on Accreditation Quality, the
Committee or an appointed sub-committee
agrees to review the ACBSP Standards and
Criteria for comment back to ACBSP on a
timeline that is mutually agreed upon.
February 25-26: An update and considerable
time is devoted at the February meeting of the
ACBSP Board of Directors, including specific
action items and motions prepared in
cooperation with AACSB.
April: The Report of the Executive Director in
the Spring issue of ACBSP Update and possibly
other officer columns mention and describe this
work underway.
April 17-19: An update and considerable time is
devoted at the April meeting of the ACBSP
Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of
Commissioners, including specific action items
and motions prepared in cooperation with
April 28-30: ACBSP is willing to make staff
and leadership available during the International
Conference and Business Meeting in New York
City for questions and discussion from the
membership and leadership.
June 25: A presentation is scheduled with
opportunities for discussion during meetings of
the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Commission
in Indianapolis. Additional items may be
presented, including changes in the ACBSP
bylaws. AACSB representatives are invited to
be in attendance.
July and August: Based on discussions and
action items, work is begun in earnest on the
legal agreement required to implement the
endorsement. Informal discussions occur with
the Council on Higher Education Accreditation
to ensure the recognition status by CHEA is
preserved for both organizations.
September through November: The details of
what is being proposed are provided to ACBSP
members during regional meetings of business
deans associations affiliated with AACSB and at
regional meetings of the ACBSP membership.
January and February 2012: The legal
agreement is accepted by the respective Boards
of Directors during regular or special called
meetings, subject to membership approval of
selected provisions. Membership approval
actions are scheduled for April and June.
Conclusion. Endorsement of ACBSP
accreditation is one of several options that
should be explored during 2011 for AACSB to
implement a global business accreditation
strategy. This paper presents that compelling
Outcome. This white paper was presented to
the AACSB Board of Directors for discussion at
the January, 2011 Board meeting. In a letter
from Dr. Andrew Policano, Chair, AACSB
Board of Directed dated January 19, 2011 the
response was “While we appreciate the thought
and effort that you have put into the proposal,
the Board believes that it is in AACSB’s best
interest to proceed separately in developing a
strategy to advance quality management
education worldwide. Governance, strategy and
control are a few of the many challenges that
cause the Board to decline ACBSP’s offer.”
Subsequently Mr. Viehland and Dr. Craven
traveled to Tampa, FL in July, 2011 to discuss
opportunities for alliance and/or partnership on a
variety of other areas with John Fernandes,
AACSB President, and Jerry Trapnell, AACSB
Executive Vice President and Chief
Accreditation Officer. Neither Mr. Fernandes or
Dr. Trapnell felt the time was right for an
alliance or partnership. ACBSP continues to
explore ways to partner toward high quality
business program accreditation through its
strategic planning efforts.
What Determines Student
Performance in Principles of
Economics Courses? A Case Study
of Principles of Economics Students
at a U.S. 2-Year College
Michael Machiorlatti, Oklahoma City Community
Germain Pichop, Oklahoma City Community College
Correspondence concerning this paper should be
addressed to Michael Machiorlatti,, School of Business,
Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S. May
Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73159
Abstract. This paper investigates the determinants
of student success in introductory economics courses
at 2-year colleges. A sample of 146 students enrolled
in introductory macroeconomics and microeconomics
courses were surveyed at Oklahoma City Community
College (OCCC) in the Fall of 2008. Background as
well as performance data were collected on the
students in order to identify the most important
contributing factors to student success on these
courses. The research focused not only on the
traditional variables found through prior research to
influence student success, but also on unexplored
variables such as class meeting arrangements and the
type of students enrolled in these courses. Results
show that math background and physical activity had
no impact on student’s performance, and neither did
the class meeting time arrangement. However, the
testing location and the total amount of study hours
influenced student performance, and foreign/non-
native English speaking students performed better
than their domestic counterparts.
Keywords: Business education, principles of
economics, student success, 2-year colleges
One of the main issues faced in higher education is
how to assist students in their classroom
performance. Students enrolled in introductory
economics courses often struggle in those course.
This struggle, sometimes attributed to the difficulty
level of the subject matter, has always intrigued both
faculty members and school administrators. Other
factors such as the amount of study time allocated to
these courses and aptitude have also been used to
explain student success or lack thereof in these
courses. While study time and aptitude are largely
considered important and readily identifiable
contributing factors to student classroom
performance, it may be useful to investigate other
variables that may influence student success. This
study aims to identify the factors that may explain
student success or lack thereof in principles of
economics at a 2-year higher education institution.
Community colleges serve as a meeting ground for
students with a wide array of interests, educational,
and socioeconomic backgrounds. Open enrollment
policies in these institutions mean that the variability
in the quality of students enrolled in the principle of
economics course will be high. The determinants of
success should therefore be expected to differ
between 2-year and 4-year higher education
Although it could be argued that for the most part
more study time may always be beneficial (until the
point of negative returns is reached), there is no
consensus regarding the other factors that may impact
student performance in the classroom. This study
focuses not only on the traditional variables found to
influence classroom success, but also on unexplored
variables such as class meeting arrangements (once,
twice or three times a week) and the type of students
(day-time versus evening students). It was not
possible to collect information on students GPAs.
Because our institution does not use the standardized
tests as entrance exam requirement, this variable will
be omitted from our study and math skills will be
used as an indicator of students’ natural ability.
Numerous authors have studied the factors that
influence student success in principles of economics
courses. Becker (1997) studied the difference in
student performance in regards to their gender. In
this study, it was found that grades are often lower in
economics classes compared to grades in other
college departments, and women have consistently
performed worse than men. Some authors have
researched the causes of low performances by women
(Anderson, Benjamin and Fuss, 1994; Ballard and
Johnson, 2005; Becker, 1997; Dynan and Rouse,
1997; Greene, 1997; Ziegert, 2000). McCarty,
Pagdgham and Bennett (2006) found that gender was
in fact a factor in student performance, a result that
Borg and Shapiro disagreed with. In a study
conducted in 1996, they found that gender was not a
significant factor affecting student performance.
They reached this conclusion by applying the Myers-
Briggs Personality Type Indicator to assess students’
performance, and found that students performed
better when matched with professors with the same
personality types.
Maloney & McCormick (1992) studied the impact of
physical activity on students’ performance and found
that students who competed in intercollegiate
athletics were more successful than students who did
not. Other authors have focused their efforts on the
impact of class size on student performance. While
research by Arias and Walker (2004) found a
significant negative influence of class size on student
performance, other authors (Akerhielm, 1995;
Siegfried & Kennedy, 1997; Raimondo, Esposito &
Gershenberd, 1990; and Kirby & McElroy, 2003)
determined that class size has no significant effect on
student performance and learning. Studying the
relationship between classroom attendance and grade,
Kirby and McElroy (2003) found that attendance had
a positive but diminishing marginal effect on
students’ grade. Similarly, Romer, 1993; Schmidt,
1983; Park and Kerr, 1990; Marburger, 2001; and
McCarty, Pagdgham & Bennett, 2006 confirmed this
positive and significant effect. Kirby and McElroy
(2003) also studied the effect of concurrent
employment on classroom performance and found
that hours worked and travel time had a negative
effect on student performance.
An additional set of researchers focused their
attention on the effects of students’ natural ability on
their performance in introductory economics courses.
Research results by Park and Kerr (1990) suggest that
students’ abilities have an influence on their
performance, which may be stronger than attendance.
Several others authors (Ballard and Johnson, 2005;
Anderson et al., 1994; Jensen and Owen, 2001) found
that math skills are important determinants of student
performance in economics.
In summary, even though there is no consensus as to
which factors definitely impact student performance,
the review of the existing literature suggest that the
following variables can be considered the most
important determinants of student performance:
student ability, gender, physical activity, attendance,
concurrent employment and commute distance (also
known as travel time).
Methods. Data were collected from a convenience
sample of students in macroeconomics and
microeconomics course sections at Oklahoma City
Community College (OCCC) in the Fall semester of
2008, using a self-administered questionnaire. OCCC
enrollment nears 15,000 students of which 9,000 are
full-time students. OCCC offers over fifty degree
programs leading associate of art (AA), associate in
Science (AS) and Associate in Applied Sciences
(AAS). In addition, the college offers a number of
certificate programs. The targeted classes sections
covered the complete spectrum of courses offered.
The targeted course sections offered a wide variety in
terms of meeting times, section and student types,
which represented the typical students’ population at
OCCC. For completeness, t-tests and chi-square tests
were conducted on the sample relative to the OCCC
population at-large and no significant differences
were found. Tables 1, 2 and 3 provide demographic
information on the students surveyed.
Table 1: Descriptive Statistics on the Quantitative Variables Collected in the Study (N=146)
Std. Dev
Age (Years)
Total Credit Hours Enrolled
Total Credit Hours Enrolled at OCCC
Total Credit Hours Completed
Business Credit Hours
Hours of Study (per week)
Test preparation hours/ test
Commuting Distance (miles)
Hours Worked per week
Exercise Hours per week
Attendance (%)
Overall Grade (%)
Table 2: Descriptive Statistics on the Categorical Variables Collected in the Study (n=146)
Class Time (Day Time)
Meeting Frequency per week
Three times
American Indian/ Alaskan
Black/ African American
Hawaiian/ Pacific Highlander
No Children
Domestic Student
Native English Speaker
Business Major
Classroom Testing
Proctor Testing (Test center)
Math Background
Extracurricular activities*
Degree Seeking*
* Non-responses (2-4 n=142-144)
Table 3: Descriptive Statistics of the Variable Race
American Indian or Alaska Native
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander
Students were informed of the study at the beginning
of class. The questionnaire was administered in the
last 30 minutes of the class. Information related to
the purpose of the study and directions as to how to
complete the questionnaire were given. Participation
was voluntary, but all the students solicited agreed to
participate. A total of 146 completed surveys were
returned, and while no surveys were rejected because
of incomplete answers, there were some instances of
non-responses to specific questions.
The survey instrument used investigated many
variables that are either believed to contribute to
classroom success or were thought to do so. Some of
the variables that were considered included age, sex,
commuting distance, whether or not the students
were business majors; math background (based on
math classes completed), the number of credit hours
completed, the number credit hours completed in the
field of business, the number of hours worked per
week and other such variables. During the
preliminary analysis, some variables were excluded
because there was insufficient variation in the
responses to warrant any further consideration. Table
4 contains the definition of the variables used in the
Table 4: Description of Variables and Definition of Measurement
Definition of Measurement
Math Background
= 1 If completed College Algebra or Calculus; = 0 otherwise
Measured in years
M = 1; F = 0
1 = yes; 0 = no
Total Credit Hours Enrolled
Measures the number of credit hours enrolled for the semester
Whether or not they have a registered disability with student support services
= 1 yes; = 0 no
= 1 if Domestic; = 0 if not
Business Major
= 1 if major; = 0 if not
English First Language
= 1 if English is first language; = 0 if not
Total Credit ours Completed
Measures the total hours a student has finished overall
Bus Credit Hours Completed
Measures the total business credit hours completed
Hours of Study Week
Number of hours studied each week
Commute Distance
Distance student commutes to school
Hours Worked/ Week
Number of hours they work each week
Exercise Hours Per Week
Number of hours they exercise each week
= 1 if participate in extracurriculars; = 0 otherwise
Degree Seeking
= 1 if seeking AAS/AA or have received degree previously; = 0 otherwise
Attendance (%)
The percentage of time a student attended classes
Race (White vs. Non-White)
= 1 if white; = 0 if non-white (all other groups combined)
Test Location
= 1 if in test center; = 0 if in class
Note: all quantitative variables were measured in whole numbers
In accordance with previous studies, the following
seven hypotheses were made.
(1) Students with a larger quantitative reasoning
background will perform better in
economics/business courses. Jensen and Owen
(2001) found out that students that exhibited math
skills performed better in introductory economics
courses. This has been a long held idea since
economics is essentially a hybrid class which strives
to use mathematical and statistical tools in order to
analyze societal behavior. We defined math
reasoning as having completed at least college
algebra. We also suspected that math reasoning and
study time jointly influenced overall course grade. It
should be the case that a student with more math
reasoning should be able to study less in a principles
(2) Total credit hours completed will have a positive
effect on student success. It was postulated that the
more college courses a student completes the higher
his/her reasoning skills. The same applies to math
background. The more math background the student
has, the better his/her performance in principles of
economics. We also thought that there should be an
interaction between credit hours completed and study
time with respect to student success in the same way
as math background might also affect study time.
(3) ‘Evening’ or non-traditional students will perform
worse in economics/business classes. Given the fact
that many night students or non-traditional age
students are working-class individuals, have family
constraints, or are choosing to go back to school after
a brief time away they should have less time to study.
It is a common notion that they are more motivated
inside the classroom and might therefore perform
better, but this study intends to test this idea.
(4) There is no ‘optimal’ meeting time arrangement
and structure for classes. Time arrangement here
refers to the time of the day classes meet, whereas
structure refers to the numbers of meeting days per
week and weekends versus traditional weekday
classes (i.e. fast-track/2-day versus. 3-day meetings
etc.) Classes that are at different time or have
different structures should have an equal rate of
success when it comes to classroom performance.
Although students might clamor for earlier class
times, it is a common notion that students don’t do as
well in these earlier classes.
(5) Students who perform some physical activity or
actively participate in extracurricular activities should
perform better in the classroom. This hypothesis will
allow us to compare our finding with that of another
study (Maloney & McCormick 1992), which found
that students who competed in intercollegiate
athletics were more successful than students who did
(6) The amount of study time and the overall number
of credit hours completed by the student within the
business curriculum is positively related to success in
the course, although the earlier is a self-reported
value. A different than expected result may indicate
a lack of truthfulness from the students in their report
of the amount of study time they allocated to the
course. If some students indicated a large amount of
study time, which was not supported by their final
course grade, these students could be overestimating
or exaggerating study time.
(7) Testing location may have an impact on student
performance. A number of instructors at our
institution use the college’s testing center as a proctor
location to administer tests. While we believe using
the testing center contributes to the learning process
by giving students more latitude and flexibility in
their assessment, many students have claimed that the
testing center environment is not a convenient
location for test taking. It would be interesting to
compare the grades for students that are tested
through the testing center to those that do not.
The survey participants were nearly all business
majors (68.5%). However, there were enough non-
business majors in our sample majors to warrant a
valid comparison. Most of the variables were skewed
in some fashion, but not enough to render the
comparison difficult. Namely, the variable
“participation in intramurals” was heavily skewed
towards one direction. Only 4.8% of the surveyed
students participated in intramurals.
In this study, the impact of the variables of interest on
student performance in introductory economics was
assessed in two ways. First, how certain
characteristics and background variables affected
student performance was analyzed, and second, two
types of models were investigated in order to assess
how the variables collected influenced student
performance. Studying the effect of characteristics
and background variables on course performance, t-
tests were performed on course grade (in percentage
form) with respect to each grouping variable when
the variable was categorical. Some continuous
variables were converted into dichotomous outcomes
for the purposes of testing the difference between
groups. In the case of credit hours enrolled, a cut
point of 9 credit hours was used. Students enrolled in
9 credit hours or more were considered full-time
students. Conversely, those students enrolled in less
than 9 credit hours were considered part-time
students. With regard to the total credit hours,
students who had completed 60 credit hours or more
(≥60) were considered upperclassman and
underclassmen otherwise (< 60).
In analyzing the hours of study (per week), the cut
point of 4 hours was used. Students studying less
than 4 hours a week were considered ‘low’ for the
course and values above 4 constituted ‘high’.
Although this might seem like a loose value, the idea
was that for each hour spent in class you should
spend roughly 1.5-2 times more time out of class
studying. In analyzing working hours, if a student
worked 20 or more hours per week, the student was
considered as working half-time. This value was a
natural cut point for hypothesis testing purposes. In
analyzing physical exercise, students were divided in
two groups: those that were highly active versus
those that were moderately to not active. The
Healthier US definition of activity was adopted to
define students that are highly active. According to
this definition, an active individual is someone who
exercises 30-60 minutes per day.1 Finally, in
analyzing attendance, a student with classroom
attendance greater than 89.4% or more was
considered a student with ‘high’ attendance rate.
Given that our sample average classroom attendance
was 89.4%, this figure seemed like a logical cut-point
for measuring classroom attendance because the
difference in class averages for students with above
or below average attendance could be tested. This
same notion was used with commuting distance with
a cut point of 15 miles.
The same procedure was used when comparing class
grades with categorical variables of different classes.
When dealing with multi-level variables, a single-
factor CRD ANOVA was performed. No post hoc
multiple comparisons were needed since no
differences in our treatments with race and number of
class meetings per week were found. The test was
run for number of class meetings per week which had
values of 1, 2, and 3 as well as race, which had 6
designations. The results are listed below in the
appendix. It should be noted that only “white” versus
“non-white” variables were used a in the regression
analysis. Because of the high percentage of
Caucasian students in our sample and the small
number for each of the other races/ethnicities, it was
more convenient to group the non-whites into one
single group.
Two types of models were investigated in order to
assess how the variables collected influenced student
performance. A simple OLS regression analysis was
performed on the grade each student received on the
courses and called this model 1. We then included
both interaction and higher order terms involving
study hours per week, as it was hypothesized that
study hours should not be linearly associated with
1 Executive Office of the President and the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services.
HealtheirUS.Gov: Physical Activity. Accessed April
22, 2009.
course grade (i.e. we would expect diminishing
returns) and ‘hours of study’ should not be constant
across students. ‘Hours of study’ was interacted with
variables we assumed were associated with increased
higher reasoning skills, which were ‘math
background’ and total credit hours completed. An
interaction between with hours of study and exercise
was also performed in order to determine whether
similar results could be obtained.
Results. Tables 5 and 6 show the summary statistics
of the variables that were collected for this study.
There were non-responses for some of the
quantitative variables. Those are noted in the number
of variables collected. Results show that Oklahoma
City Community College does get an eclectic array of
students with an average age falling into the ‘typical’
college ages range. Among the students surveyed,
the average enrollment was 11.8 credit hours per
semester. This result is in alignment with the average
course load for traditional full-time students, and
indicates that while many students work roughly 25
hours a week, they still seek degrees as full-time
students. This fact, along with the commute distance
to and from school could be the reasons why the
study time per week appears to be lower than what
might be expected from students in a typical
sophomore level college course. Some other items of
note are the categorical variables that were heavily
skewed. Most of the students were single with no
children and native English speakers.
The results also showed a lack of participation in
intramurals or extracurricular activities. This result
was somewhat expected, since it is a characteristic of
a typical commuter college environment. It should
also be noted that the higher class average of 85.1%
could be attributed to three things. First, the data was
collected only on students who completed the
courses. Generally there is a high attrition rate in our
courses, which was not included in our study.
Secondly, many students who take the economics
courses at the community college are doing so in
order to obtain a certain grade that would allow them
to transfer the course or get admitted into the
program of their choice at their host institutions. The
sample is certainly subject to a natural selection bias,
since most students who complete the course are
confident of the fact that their self-assigned
performance objectives will be met at the end of the
semester. Finally, given the highest score in the data
is 103.5, there is extra credit that is being offered in
the class, which skews the data upward.
Tables 5 and 6 below show the results of t-tests on
variables. The number hours of study per week, total
number of credit hours completed, total number of
credit hours completed at OCCC, the number of
hours worked per week, and attendance had
significant p-values. The signs in front of the test
statistics for the total number of credit hours
completed at OCCC and class attendance were
opposite of what one might expect for those
For the variable ‘attendance’, the negative sign
indicates that most students with greater attendance
actually achieved lower performances. It appears
that students who performed well tended to decrease
their attendance in the courses. This result also
supports that reached by Park and Kerr (1990), who
suggested that the effect of student ability on their
performance may be stronger than the effect of
attendance on the same. The results were not exactly
unexpected for an open enrollment institution such as
OCCC, where many students often focus on fewer
classes because of work and consequently might miss
more class meetings.
The number of hours worked per week produced the
expected effect on the student performance. The less
the students worked, the higher their performances.
Evidence from previous studies supports this result
(Kirby and McElroy, 2003). While one may think
that a more stable schedule leads to the students
being more focused, it could be postulated that most
students study less as time becomes more and more
scarce. This probably translates into decreased
classroom performance. The positive sign for the
variable “part-time students” would suggest that
students who took fewer classes may have had more
time to focus on those classes, and thus performed
Table 6 shows that only one categorical variable,
“being married”, is close to producing a statistically
significant result with respect to its impact on student
classroom performance. With a p-value of 0.123, and
given the relatively small sample size of 146
students, this variable may turn out to be influential if
a study is conducted on a larger population sample.
Students with math background did not seem to
perform any better than those without this
background, as breaking students up into groups with
higher and lower math background did not show any
significant impact of this variable on the student
performance. For the purpose of this study, students
that had completed college algebra were considered
proficient in math. Even when business calculus was
used as math cut off proficiency level, the test
statistic of -0.564 with a p-value of 0.574 was still
statistically insignificant. Because of this, and since
we normally expect the students entering our course
to have completed college algebra (as per the official
college suggested course sequence), we used this
criteria consistently throughout the study.
Table 5: t-test Statistics (p-values) for Continuous Variables
Age (<24 vs. > 24)
Total CH Enrolled (p/t vs. f/t); *p/t [ < 9hrs] & f/t [ ≥9hrs]
Total CH Enrolled at OCCC ( p/t vs. f/t); **p/t [ < 9hrs] & f/t [ ≥9hrs]
Total Credit Hours Completed (< 60 vs. ≥ 60)
Business CH(< 9 vs. ≥ 9)
Hrs of Study/Wk (< 4 vs. ≥ 4)
Hrs of Study Before Test ( < 4 vs. ≥ 4 )
Commuting Distance (< 15 vs. ≥ 15)
Hours Worked (< 25 vs. ≥ 25)
Exercise Hours Wk (< 3 vs. ≥ 3)
Attendance (%) (< 89.4 vs. ≥ 89.4)
*significant at < 0.10 ** significant at < 0.05 ***<0.001
Table 6: t-test Statistics (p-values) for Categorical Variables
Class (Macro vs. Micro)
Class Time (Day vs. Evening)
Sex (Male vs. Female)
Married (Y/N)
Children (Y/N)
Domestic Student (Y/N)
English First Language (Y/N)
Business Major (Y/N)
Test Location (In-Class / Test Center)
Math Background (Y/N)
Notes on Test (Y/N)
Race (White vs. Non-White)
Extracurricular (Y/N)
Intramurals (Y/N)
Degree Seeking (Y/N)
*significant at < 0.10 ** significant at < 0.05
The result of our regression analysis (Appendix,
Tables 9 and 10) shows an incongruent pattern
between credit hours completed and total credit hours
of business courses completed. According to these
results the total number of credit hours of business
courses completed negatively impacts students’
grades. This could be explained by the fact that
students enrolled in these principle courses may have
had to repeat other courses due to lack of success in
them. Because data was not collected on this
variable this explanation cannot be confirmed.
Other variables such as disability, test location, and
whether or not the students were a native English
speaker were significant. Having a disability seemed
to contribute to a low classroom performance.
However, when a simple t-test was performed on
‘disability’ while excluding all other variables, it
turned out not to be significant. The same could be
said for test location. It could be possible that an
interaction between these variables and others lead to
the reported result. However, this hypothesis was not
tested. Being a native English speaker also seemed to
hinder student performance. So did being a domestic
student. The regression coefficient for this variable
was negative. Native English speakers and domestic
students could be spending less time reading their
textbooks than non-domestics and non-native
speakers. The latter group may be spending more
time reading their textbook, which ultimately pays
off in terms of their performance on the course.
The stability of a married life seems to positively
correlate with student’s performance, since our
results showed that this variable was significant.
Other variables such as total credit hours completed,
commuting distance, and work hours per week were
negatively correlated with students’ performance as
expected. Students’ performance rises as they
complete more credit hours. This result confirms that
higher reasoning skills or better study skills are
developed as the students accumulate more college
credits, which ultimately translate into better
performance. It also adds credibility to the notion
that student’s ability positively impacts classroom
performance. In contrast, the longer the commute
distance and the higher the number of hours worked
per week, the lower the student’s performance. The
notion that working adults might be better students is
not supported by our results.
Another interesting result of our study was the impact
of the testing location on students’ performance. In
our sample, students that used the testing center
produced a lower performance than those that did
not. While the sample size was too small to draw any
meaningful conclusion from this result, students have
often reported suffering more from test anxiety when
using the test center, compared to testing in the
classroom. The non-linear version of the variable
“study time” turned out to be significant while the
original variable’s coefficient in the linear model did
not. The non-linear model seemed to confirm two
facts one might expect with study time. The positive,
but less than 1 value indicated that students surveyed
had not reached the optimal amount of study time,
and were still experiencing increasing returns to the
amount they invested in studying. This fact coupled
with our below average study time a week, only 3.9
hrs on average, sheds light on the fact that the student
understanding of the material would increase if they
studied more.
Conclusion. This study was an attempt to identify
the factors that may influence student success or lack
thereof in principles of economics at a 2-year higher
education institution. No specific model as to how
these variables may translate into greater or lesser
success is proposed. The study merely focused on co-
relationship between proposed influential variables
and student performance. The research focused not
only on the traditional variables found to influence
student success, but also on unexplored variables
such as class meeting arrangements and the type of
students enrolled in these courses.
The results show that with respect to hypothesis 1
and 2, the total amount of credit hours completed by
the student prior to enrolling in an introductory
economics course seemed to affect student’s
performance positively, while increased work hours
tended to decrease classroom performance. Testing
environment (or location) also turned out to be
significant. As mentioned previously, no absolute
model is proposed as to how these variables may
affect student success on the courses. Students who
have been in college longer seemed to do better and
those that had greater obligations from work outside
of class performed at lower level compared to
students that had no such obligations.
In regard to our other hypotheses, the results did not
support the notion that the variable “math
background” influences classroom performance, as
past studies from several others authors (Ballard and
Johnson, 2005; Anderson et al., 1994; Jensen and
Owen, 2001) had suggested. This would lend
credibility to the idea that students’ overall ability is
more important than math skills alone. Although
math ability (or reasoning) might be considered a
proxy for student natural ability, it seems clear that it
is possible for students to develop this capability in
other subjects. The number of class sessions per
week and physical exercise did not seem to influence
student performance, which means that there are no
significant differences between the performances of
students in classes that meet one night per week
versus that of students in classes that meet more
frequently. The result on physical exercise
contradicts Maloney and McCormick (1992) who
found that students competing in intercollegiate
athletics were more successful. This result may not
be very meaningful as OCCC does not compete in
collegiate athletics and the student data on exercise
were self-reported.
Increased number of credit hours in business courses
completed negatively impacted students’
performances. This unexpected result possibly
indicates that either the completed courses might
have been repeated or that most students completed
relatively easy courses prior to enrolling in principles
of economics, and were generally shocked by their
level of difficulty.
This study was a preliminary attempt to investigate
the determinant of success in principles of economics
at 2-year colleges. Overall, the study was helpful in
providing answers to some institutional questions
regarding areas needing improvement in order to
increase students’ measured aptitude and reduced
classroom success rates. The specific model as to
how our dependent variables influenced student
performance was not the purpose of the study.
The study was focused on finding variables with the
greatest co-relationship with a measured student
outcome, namely actual student grade achieved on
the course. By using arguably the single most
important measure of student performance, we were
able to achieve a greater understanding of the
variables that might directly influence student
performance in our classrooms, or might approximate
this influence. To achieve a deeper understanding of
the factors that were uncovered in this paper, more
research needs to be conducted to identify specific
mechanisms as to how these variables might
influence student performance of economics courses.
Replication studies at other community colleges may
help validate that such studies are warranted.
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Table 7: ANOVA Table for Classroom Success by Race
Sum of Squares
Mean Square
Between Groups 570.597 5 114.119 1.375 0.237
Within Groups
Table 7 shows that there is no significant mean
difference between students of different races.
Although we found different results when grouping
the variable dichotomously in the regression, we
performed a follow up in an ANOVA treating each
group separately, and found no significant difference
based on race. Larger samples from non-white groups
could have helped produce more accurate results, as
it is difficult to make an accurate comparison when
our data does not represent a good cross section of all
different students’ ethnic groups. This would
amplify any differences that may be present in the
student population surveyed if there was a difference
in any of our other measured variables such as a
disparate level in total credit hours completed.
Below, we also see that the number of class meetings
per week turned out to be insignificant.
Table 8: ANOVA Table for Classroom Success by Number of Class Meetings per week
Sum of Squares
Mean Square
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total 12188.018 145 -- -- --
Table 10: Regression Results on Overall Grade (%)
Model 1 Coefficients
Model 2 Coefficients
Extracurricular Activities
Degree Seeking
Attendance (%)
Race (White vs. Non-White)
Test Location
(Hours of Study per Week)2
Math background* Hours of Study
Total Credit Hours* Hours of
Exercise* Hours of Study
*significant at < 0.10 ** significant at < 0.05 *** < 0.01
Table 9: Regression Results on Overall Grade (%)
Variable Model 1 Coefficients (p-value) Model 2 Coefficients (p-value)
(Constant) 12.634 *** (0.001) 13.146*** (0.002)
Math Background -0.322 (0.333) -0.030 (0.970)
Age -.010 (0.596) 0.005 (0.804)
Sex -0.265 (0.229) -0.276 (0.219)
Married 0.658* (0.062) 0.670* (0.057)
Total Credit Hours Enrolled 0.020 (0.586) 0.004 (0.928)
Total Credit Hours Enrolled at OCCC -0.433 (0.287) -0.207 (0.616)
Disability -3.251*** (0.003) -3.563*** (0.005)
Domestic -1.04* (0.066) -0.871 (0.219)
Business Major 0.555* (0.094) 0.760** (0.033)
English First Language -1.227*** (0.012) -1.206** (0.026)
Total Credit hours Completed 0.014*** (0.013) 0.018** (0.037)
Business Credit Hours Completed -.0019** (0.031)
Hours of Study per Week -0.018 (0.663) -0.004 (0.988)
Commute Distance -0.023* (0.052) -0.021* (0.075)
Hours Worked per Week -0.022** (0.016) -0.028*** (0.003)
Exercise Hours per Week -0.034 (0.311) -0.051 (0.316)
-Adj 0.318 0.363
*significant at < 0.10 ** significant at < 0.05 *** < 0.01
The Relationship Between
Leadership Style and Team
Charlene Conner, DBA, Dallas Baptist
David Notgrass, PhD, Tarleton State University
W. Ross O'Brien, PhD, Dallas Baptist
Charlene Conner ( earned
her DBA from the University of Sarasota, and
currently serves as Dean, College of
Business/Graduate School of Business at Dallas
Baptist University. Research interests include
human resources, organizational behavior with
emphasis in team dynamics, generational
influences within the workplace, as well as
organizational development and change. She
serves her community as an active member of
various boards; serves as site evaluator and
mentor. Prior to entering academia, she gained
valuable knowledge and experience in both
government and corporate entities.
David Notgrass ( earned
his PhD from Dallas Baptist University and is
currently an Assistant Professor of Management
in the College of Business Administration at
Tarleton State University. He has previously
served as Assistant Professor of Management
and Associate Dean for the College of Business
at Dallas Baptist University. His research
interests include leadership studies from the
perspective of the follower. Teaching specialties
include Leadership Studies, Organizational
Development and Change, and Organizational
Behavior. Prior to entering Academia, he spent
24 years with TXU including various
management capacities in customer care and
information technology.
Ross O'Brien ( earned his PhD
from University of Texas at Arlington and is
currently a Professor of Management in the
College of Business at Dallas Baptist
University. Research interests include
entrepreneurship, international management,
and service learning opportunities. Prior to his
career in academia, he was a missionary to
Indonesia and owned and operated a web-based
small business.
Abstract. Organizations use many variants of
teams in their pursuit of achieving
organizational goals. Some teams reflect
traditional team-structure models as reflected in
functional work-unit teams that help to provide
the ongoing, day-to-day work of the
organization. Other team models, designed to
respond to immediate, specific needs of the
organization, have different team characteristics
in that they are often small in size, are fast
forming, and are short-duration in their life span.
These teams include committees, task forces,
and project or problem-solving teams. This
quantitative study, using small, fast forming,
short-duration teams, examined the relationship
between leadership behaviors and level of group
cohesion and team dynamics including
follower’s level of extra effort, level of
satisfaction, and perception of leadership
effectiveness among 85 university
administration and faculty members that
performed onsite evaluations on behalf of an
accrediting body (ACBSP) as part of the
accreditation process. This study used the MLQ
(Form-5x short) questionnaire to measure
transformational and transactional leadership
styles, perception of leadership effectiveness,
and member satisfaction with leader; the ten
item Classroom Cohesion Questionnaire to
measure levels of perceived group cohesion; and
the five item Group Satisfaction Questionnaire
to measure levels of satisfaction with the group.
Spearman’s correlation and t-tests determined
positive, significant levels of relationship
between the level of leader’s transformational
and contingent reward behaviors and the group
dynamic elements of group cohesion, member
satisfaction, levels of member’s extra effort, and
member’s perception of leader’s effectiveness.
Key words: leadership, team dynamics, group