PhD Awarded

Commencement 2011 (from left to right): Kim Westermann, Guangying Hua, and Guillaume Weisang

*listed chronologically by date of defense

Denise Hanes

"Changes in Auditing: A Three Part Investigation"
Defended March 2013
Committee Chair: Jean C. Bedard and Jay C. Thibodeau (Bentley University) 
Committee Member: Ganesh Krishnamoorthy (Northeastern University)
Position Fall 2013: Tenure-track, Accounting Dept., Villanova University, Villanova, PA

My dissertation examines changes in auditing, with a specific focus on geographically distributed work arrangements as well as auditors' judgment and decision making in a context where they lack experiential knowledge. The research highlights that geographically distributed work is likely to be very different from work performed in more traditional work arrangements, explicitly emphasizing the need for audit firms to attend to changes in auditors' work design as a result of distributing work across geographic boundaries. In addition, the research suggests that in contexts where auditors lack experiential knowledge a "story" intervention is more likely to improve auditors' judgment and decision making as compared to checklists, which are often relied on in audit practice.

Patrick McHugh

"Ties that Bind: A Network Perspective on University Spinouts"
Defended December 2012
Committee Chair: Susan Newell (Bentley University)
Committee Member: Aaron Jackson and Dominique Haughton (Bentley University), Ashley Stevens (Boston University), Markus Fitza (Texas A&M University)
Position Fall 2013: Director IE Brown MBA Program & Lecturer, School of Engineering, Brown University

Utilizing a network lens, my dissertation examines the ties between university inventors and spinout licensees and the impact of various inter-organizational relationships on a spinout’s success.  The research findings suggest that “outcome equivalence” is a critical construct for comparison of tie impact in heterogeneous networks; effective tie strength is found to be contingent upon the nature of the networks being bridged.  Beyond their initial university ties, early-stage spinout networks were found to display highly constrained network dynamics with change occurring sporadically during periods of punctuated equilibrium driven by node fitness improvements.  Finally, the ties between the university inventor and spinouts were not found to significantly impact traditional measures of faculty productivity although simultaneous involvement with numerous spinouts and spinout physical proximity were observed as moderators on academic productivity outcomes.

Chris Nolder

“The Role of Professional Skepticism, Attitudes, and Emotions on Auditors’ Judgments and Decisions
Defended May 2012
Committee Chair: James Hunton (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Benson Wier (Virginia Commonwealth University), Dorothy Feldmann (Bentley University)
Position Fall 2012: Tenure-track, Accounting Dept., Suffolk University, Boston, Mass.

My dissertation examines psychological factors, such as attitudes and emotions, that potentially compromise the quality of auditors' judgments and decision.  The research suggests that much of auditors' beliefs, feelings and action tendencies towards the audit evidence stem from the collective beliefs and emotional cultures of their firms or engagement teams.  The research highlights the importance of educating firms about the importance of aligning their collective attitudes with auditing standards which emphasize the importance of professional skepticism in field.

Rita Wang

“The Impact of Cultural Time Orientation on Managerial and Financial Accounting Practices
Defended May 2012
Committee Chair: James Hunton (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Mohammad J Abdolmohammadi (Bentley University), William E Shafer (Lingnan University, Hong Kong)
Position Fall 2012: Tenure-track, Accounting Dept., Clark University, Worcester, Mass.

My dissertation investigates the influences of cultural values, specifically cultural time orientation, on internal corporate decision-making with regard to managerial and financial accounting practices. I examined employees satisfaction with participative budgeting when participants’ cultural time orientation and budget planning horizon are congruent, relative to incongruent. I have also investigated the impact of cultural time orientation on segment profitability disclosure decisions and found that participants with a short-term orientation are more likely to adjust abnormally low segment profitability upward, relative to participants with a long-term orientation.

Sonia Gantman (Vilvosky)

“Three interdisciplinary studies on IT Outsourcing[abstract]
Defended May 2012
Committee Chair: Jane Fedorowicz (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Samuel Woolford (Bentley University), Balaji Sankaranarayanan (Bentley University), Diane Strong (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Position Fall 2012: Tenure-track, Accounting Dept., Providence College, Providence, R.I.

My research is focused on communication and control practices in complex outsourced IS development projects. The findings support my theoretical premise that pre-project communication matters for the project. The specifics of the client organization, the project’s complexity and variety of objectives at different phases of the project should be taken into account when selecting communication practices for the project. It is also very important that selected communication tools and practices are consciously enacted. My findings have immediate relevance for variety of practitioners, from public officers to IT auditors.

Ekin Pehlivan

“Ironic Advertising: theory, evidence and practice[abstract]
Defended May 2012
Committee Chair: Pierre Berthon (Bentley University)
Committee Members: John Deighton (Harvard Business School), Leyland Pitt (University of British Columbia, Canada), Dipayan Biswas (Bentley University).

Position Fall 2012: Woodbury College, Burbank, Calif.

This dissertation comprises of three papers that look at ironic advertising from different, but complimentary, perspectives. The first paper proposes a definition of ironic advertising and develops a theoretical model of ironic communications. In the second paper the model empirically tested in a series of experiments. The third paper seeks to look at the relationship between perceived brand value and ironic advertising.

Elise Perrault

“Refining the Firm-Stakeholder Engagement Model: An expanded theory of salience and firms’ responses to stakeholder influence [abstract]
Defended May 2012
Committee Chair: Cynthia Clark(Bentley University), Anthony Buono (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Cynthia Clark(Bentley University), Anthony Buono(Bentley University), Shawn Berman (University of New Mexico)
Position Fall 2012: Tenure-track, Management Dept., College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C.

My dissertation recreates a model of stakeholder salience, that is, a framework to identify who and what gets managerial attention. The new model goes beyond original conceptions of salience by suggesting that it is the status of stakeholder groups that determines their priority on managers' agenda. The new model also extends considerations to secondary stakeholders by proposing that the legitimacy of the request made by the stakeholder, the tactic used to make the request known to the firm, as well as the prominence of the issue can afford salience to stakeholders otherwise less important to managers. The new model is tested in a large sample covering five years (2004-2008) of shareholder resolutions, highlighting the significance of these concepts to the explanation of who and what obtains managerial attention.

Dax Jacobson

“Successful IT-Intensive Interorganizational Relationships: The Role of Governance
Defended May 2012
Committee Chair: Lynne Markus (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Jane Fedorowicz (Bentley University), Christina Soh (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Position Fall 2012: Tenure-track, California State University - Channel Islands, Camarillo, Calif.

My dissertation is an exploration of the relationship between technology and organizational design in information technology-intensive interorganizational relationships (IT-IORs) for public safety. In three essays I focus on a different piece of the technology-organizational design relationship, with different conceptualizations of “fit” between technology and organizational design and different methods. In general, I find that “fit” is achieved, and organizational success realized, when the potential of IT and the design of an organization are aligned.

Craig Randall

“An Unstable balance; exploration, exploitation and innovation decline during development [abstract]
Defended May 2012
Committee Chair: Robert Galliers (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Linda Edelman (Bentley University), Scott Latham (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Michael Hitt (Texas A&M University)
Position Fall 2012: Full-time (no tenure system), Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Fla.

My study, which included qualitative interviews and a population survey of all U.S.-based software firms, found that software companies develop an average of 45% less innovation  (new product for new markets) than they originally planned for. The decline results from innovation projects being “crowded out” during the development phase. Firms re-allocate developers to work on projects demanded by customers (17% of the decline), and sales people manipulate management to make adverse decisions, in order to move engineers onto projects that will bring them more commission (50% of the decline). The significance of the result indicate that this may be a wide-spread issue across industries.

Martin Dias

“Public safety networks – examining mimetic, complexity, and legacy effects on interorganizational collaborations"
Defended November 2011
Committee Chair: Jane Fedorowicz (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Christine B Williams (Bentley University), Steve Sawyer (Penn State University)
Position January 2012: Tenure-track, Management Dept., Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

My research focuses on public safety networks (PSNs)- interagency collaborations enabled by information systems, comprised of law enforcement and other agencies, and established to combat large-scale crime, terror threats, or natural disasters. My dissertation examined public safety network proliferation, configuration, and modernization. The proliferation study found a "following the money" pattern for PSN prevalence in U.S. states; the configuration study found common features (e.g., use of in-car software apps) and differentiators (e.g., software application development approach); and the modernization study found that replacing legacy systems requires balancing the tensions of flexibility/stability, internal/external legitimacy, and governance efficiency/inclusion.

Guangying Hua

“An Analysis of the Structure and Evolution of Networks” [abstract]
Defended April 29, 2011
Committee Chair: Dominique Haughton (Bentley University)
Committee Members: Richard J. Cleary (Bentley University); Greta Pangborn (Saint Michael's College); Jennifer Jie Xu (Bentley University)
Position February 2013: Lead Knowledge Analyst at The Boston Consulting Group

Guangying’s research interests include social network analysis, business analytics, and data mining. She has published in the journal of Online Information Review and Annals of Information Systems. While at Bentley, she interned at Epsilon, providing predictive modeling and applying advanced statistical methods to resolve business issues for a range of industries, including: retail, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. Prior to joining Bentley, she was a software engineer and data analyst in the airline industry in China. Guangying holds MS (2004) and BS (2001) degrees from Tianjin University in China.

Guillaume Weisang

“Essays on Hedge Fund Replication: Methodological Assessment and Development of the Factor Approach, Nonlinear Modeling and Policy Perspectives” [abstract]
Defended March 29, 2011
Dissertation Committee: Dominique M. Haughton (Chair), Victoria R. Steblovskaya, Thierry Roncalli, José M. Marìn Vigueras
Position Fall 2011: Assistant Professor in Finance at the Graduate School of Management (GSOM), Clark University, Worcester, Mass.

Guillaume’s research employs data mining, particularly techniques and applications to corporate and market-oriented finance. His research interests include: Bayesian statistics and Bayesian econometrics, times series, Hedge fund performance evaluation and replication, Hedge Fund systemic risk. While at Bentley, Guillaume received the Best PhD student in Business Award, 2007-2008. He holds an MSc (2005) in computer science and applied mathematics from the National Polytechnic Institute of Engineering (ENSEEIHT) in France, as well as an MS (2005) in Financial Engineering and Modeling from Toulouse Business School (ESCT).

Kim Westermann

"Learning the 'Craft of Auditing': Applications of the Cognitive Apprenticeship Framework" [abstract]
Defended March 23, 2011
Dissertation Committee: Christin Early, Jay Thibodeau, Jean Bedard, Karla Johnstone
Position Fall 2011: Florida International University, Miami, FL

Kim was selected as the 2006 Henry E. Rauch Doctoral Fellow. Her research centers on auditor judgment and decision making, as well as implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.  As a CPA she worked as a manager for the Learning and Education division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she was responsible for delivering and developing audit training programs for associates. She also worked as a senior auditor at Ernst & Young.

As a Doctoral student, Kim spent six months teaching at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Her teaching interests include financial statement auditing for both undergraduate and master's students. She has also been awarded the PwC INQuires Grant for proposals in 2007 and 2008. Kim holds a BS in Accounting from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo.

Kwadwo (Kojo) Asare

"Essays on the Influence of Corporate Governance on Financial Analysts' Forecast-related Judgments"
Defended May 2009
Dissertation Committee: Jim Hunton (Chair), Mohammad Abdolmohammadi, and Bill Read
Position Fall 2009: Bryant University, Smithfield, RI

At Bentley, Kwadwo’s research interests included managerial accounting issues such as incentives and compensation, as well as the role of corporate governance in firm performance and investment decision-making. Prior to the doctoral degree, he was a CPA with experience at companies such as Coopers & Lybrand, Intel Corporation, and Merck & Co. He also gained teaching experience at the University of Iowa, where he assisted with research on the application of concepts such as total quality management (TQM), transfer pricing, variance analysis, and Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Kwadwo was awarded the Bentley Doctoral Prize for Best Accountancy Student in 2007. Kojo holds and MBA from Cornell University, an MS CIS from Bentley University and a BS Accounting from St. Francis College, NY.

Nate Cannon

Texas State University. Tenure-track, Accounting Dept. 
"Fair Value Measurements"
One of the most critical issues currently facing the accounting profession is the increasing prevalence, complexity, and importance of issues surrounding fair value measurements. This dissertation consists of two empirical studies that investigate these issues—one from the perspective of the auditor, and the other from the perspective of the financial statement user. 

Denise Hanes

Villanova University.  Accounting Department. Tenure- track. 
"Changes in Auditing: A Three Part Investigation"
My dissertation examines changes in auditing, with a specific focus on geographically distributed work arrangements as well as auditors' judgment and decision making in a context where they lack experiential knowledge. The research highlights that geographically distributed work is likely to be very different from work performed in more traditional work arrangements, explicitly emphasizing the need for audit firms to attend to changes in auditors' work design as a result of distributing work across geographic boundaries. In addition, the research suggests that in contexts where auditors lack experiential knowledge a "story" intervention is more likely to improve auditors' judgment and decision making as compared to checklists, which are often relied on in audit practice.

Kip Holderness

West Virginia University. Tenure-track, Accounting Dept.
“Detecting Deception in Client Inquiries”
My dissertation examines how to improve the detection of deception during the interactions between auditors and their clients. My results show that when a second auditor is present during these interactions, clients use different deception techniques, and auditors are less susceptible to deception.

Tien-Shih Hsieh

University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Tenure Track, Accounting and Finance Department
“The Impact of Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) on Corporate Accounting Practice”
My dissertation investigates the impact of XBRL on corporate accounting practice. The results suggest that the adoption of XBRL could help companies improve the financial reporting quality and generate impact to companies’ narrative disclosures. This research highlights the importance of XBRL and explains how it impacts corporate accounting practice.

Patrick McHugh

Brown University.  Director IE Brown MBA Program & Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, School of Engineering 
“Ties that bind: a network perspective on university spinouts”
Utilizing a network lens my thesis investigates how the nature of a spinout’s ties to both the university inventor and to the new firm’s broader inter-organizational network impacts performance.  The findings suggest the concept of “outcome equivalence” as a critical construct for comparison of tie impact in heterogeneous networks.  It determines that effective tie strength is contingent upon the nature of the networks being bridged and that in complex networks scale and proximity can change the impact of moderating elements on outcomes.   

Dirk Primus

Bryant University.  Tenure-Track. 
“Exploring the Development Chain – An Inquiry into the Linkages between New Product Development and Supply Chain Management”

Maria Skaletsky

Research Consultant, Bentley University
Essays on the Digital Divide - Explorations through global, national and individual lenses
This study includes four essays in which we apply advanced analytic techniques to study the digital divide at the global level and also at the regional and individual levels in Russia.

Mayokun Soremekun

d50media. Senior Quantitative Researcher
Essays on Rethinking African Development: Contextual and Methodological Advances
My main research interest is to examine the concept of development in Africa. We examine various aspects of development from the issue of inequality among African countries to unravelling the synergies among the millennium development goals (MDGs) and finally to investigating the progress if any that African countries have made towards attaining the MDG goals. 

Mari-Klara Stein

Copenhagen Business School. Tenure-track. Information Technology Management department
Use and Non-Use of IT in the Workplace: Studies on Emotions, Identity and Technology
My dissertation examines how user emotions and identity influence how and why certain IT systems and specific features of IT systems are used in the workplace, while others are not. The research contributes to the development of a novel theoretical framework for the study of IT use from a personalized perspective. From the practical point of view, the research provides insights into how to deal with managerially undesirable patterns of use and non-use of IT at work.

Arthur Tomasino

Bentley University. Visiting Assistant Professor
The Use of Complexity Theory and Strange Attractors to Understand and Explain Information System Development
This research derives and validates a detailed Information System change model and method enabling developers to understand the unpredictable and unanticipated outcomes of information systems and avoid failures.  The model uses Complex Adaptive Systems concepts, the Chaos Theory strange attractor, and state space analysis to identify when Information system states are susceptible to failure rather than trying to identify the myriad causes that may or may not contribute to failure.
Research was performed in the domain of Public Safety Networks and was the first to model such networks. This research should spur further studies utilizing Complexity Theory for both public and private sector information systems and lead to improvements and better understanding of the development and evolution of Public Safety Networks, an increasingly common and important component of homeland security and emergency management.

Wilson Wong

Bentley University.  Senior Lecturer, Computer Information Systems Dept
User Resistance and Trust in a Clinical RFID Employee Location Tracking Information System
This study measured technology adoption behavioral beliefs and user resistance intentions of hospital employees working in medical clinics that had implemented an information system to tag and track employee movements and their co-location with patients throughout the day.  The study found that employees’ perceived benevolence and integrity of the RFID information system had the only significant direct effect on employees’ resistance to the system and also fully mediated the effects of employees’ trust in the vendor on user resistance.

Yukika Awazu