January 30, 2023

MBA Professors

A Quick Study of Successful Business Models

Jeff Zbar | 2/27/2018

Narcissism and Success

Professor Steven Whiting | UCF

Corporate employees are a lot like professional athletes — both have a set of skills and talents they bring to their field of work or play.

Steven Whiting explores behavior — ranging from negative, divergent conduct or selfishness to positive, “citizenship behaviors,” like a worker’s or player’s willingness to step up and help others — and how those affect the team and advance careers.

In separate studies, Whiting and his team analyzed draft choices, newspaper coverage and tweet activity among NFL and NBA players. Those with off-field behavior problems or whose twitter streams lacked images of spouses, family or pets were drafted lower, paid less or played less.

Managers should consider the “narcissism rating,” or what he calls the “selfie per hour rate,” in choosing or building teams in the locker room or workplace. Narcissists tend to be bad teammates, says Whiting, an associate professor in the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida.

While he enjoys sports, he never played organized athletics before earning his doctorate and teaching organizational behavior at Indiana University. After a stint at Georgia State University, Whiting arrived in Orlando in 2014.

“So much advice is written and given in business about how to do things. One of my main jobs is to bring evidence-based solutions to students,” says Whiting, who teaches a doctoral class on sports data and management research. “As opposed to just talking about ideas, it’s my job to read the literature and condense it so the students can understand it so they can have an evidence-based approach.”

Spotting Pitfalls

Professor Miriam Weismann | FIU

Miriam Weismann practiced law for 30 years. For the first half of her career, she was a white-collar criminal defense and tax lawyer. Then, she switched sides, becoming an assistant U.S. Attorney, first in Brooklyn, then New Jersey. Later, she was named the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Illinois.

Weissmann also did doctoral coursework in legal history from Northwestern University and held adjunct law professorships there and at Washington University in St. Louis. Those credentials and her experience as an entrepreneur have bolstered her role as a professor and the academic director of the health care MBA program at Florida International University. Weismann is a clinical professor of business law and tax in the school of accounting, and teaches in the MBA and master’s of accounting programs, with a specialty in tax policy and fraud investigation in the forensics track.

The health care MBA concentration holds tremendous promise in a changing regulatory landscape, she says. Though hospitals today are driven by data analytics, fraud, abuse and a lack of regulatory compliance are common

Weismann also teaches courses that involve dealing with fraud, waste and abuse, legislation, regulation and reimbursement. A voluntary program she started will take students around the world to study comparative health care systems. They’ll emerge with an advanced certificate in global health care administration.

“Nobody’s doing this,” she says, “Our program is really getting to the heart of what our health care MBA students need to be doing.”

Race, Gender and the Workplace

Professor Atira Charles | FAMU

FAMU grad Atira Charles returned to her alma mater as an assistant professor of management. “I can literally say to the students that I sat in these same seats.”

Atira Charles graduated from high school at 16. She turned down scholarships offered by Ivy League schools to attend her dream school, FAMU. She earned her master’s by 21. “I’ve always been super-accelerated,” she says.

After internships with IBM, GE Capital and Johnson Controls, Charles followed the advice of her mentor, Shawnta Friday- Stroud, FAMU’s interim vice president for advancement, who suggested that Charles pursue her doctorate. Earning a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in organizational behavior, Charles pursued the study of race, gender “and the experience of being ‘other’ in the workplace,” she says.

“Everything I did always had that lens,” she says. “It was very clear to me that I wanted a career and impact to be as a public intellectual, rather than in the office.”

Charles returned to FAMU in 2013 and developed dual profiles as an assistant professor of management and a consultant and public speaker. Her national “Mask Project” helps professionals who “wear the mask” of race and gender in their personal and professional lives.

“Dr. C,” as she’s known by her students, says she seeks to elevate people’s self-awareness and workplace identity and improve corporate diversity and inclusion.

“I really connect with the students. I can literally say to the students that I sat in these same seats,” she says. “I’m so glad I found my space. I do cool research, but I’m doing important work that impacts people’s lives, and that matters.”

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