Congratulations to the BRING winners!
The Thurmond School of Professional Sales and Negotiations would like to congratulate the 2022 winners of the Broadening Research and Instruction in Negotiations Grant (BRING), August Immel, Veronica Thomas, and Rhett Epler! The BRING award offers Old Dominion University faculty and students the opportunity to be funded for their negotiations research and community outreach.
The project by August Immel is titled, "Applying the Rhetoric Tools of C. S. Peirce to Business Negotiations." Mr. Immel, a doctoral student in the English Department, will explore the shared meaning of language used when discussing values and ethical standards. Using a sample of real businesses, he will look at how different parties understand the same words in different ways and how shared meaning, or lack thereof, impacts negotiated agreement.
The proposal by Dr. Thomas from the Marketing Department is titled, "Wearing Your Success on Your Sleeve: How Salesperson Luxury Consumption Affects Consumers' Perceptions." Dr. Thomas will explore how a salesperson's display of personal luxury (e.g., wearing a Gucci belt) in non-luxury selling contexts influences consumers' perceptions of the salesperson and product pricing. The research will test whether wearing luxury items will cause customers to feel they are not getting a good deal. However, it is also possible that luxury items will alter stereotypes about salespeople from stigmatized groups, which might be advantageous.
Finally, Dr. Epler, from the Marketing Department, is working on a project titled, "Are sales competition videos a valid data source for negotiations research?" In a sales context, negotiations are ultimately a conversation between a salesperson and a customer. However, sales researchers tend to avoid studying how selling unfolds in real-time, probably because it is very difficult to obtain recordings of real sales conversations. To improve access to sales conversations, Dr. Epler's proposal is to investigate the conditions in which student sales competitions can be used as a proxy for real sales conversations. Student sales competitions are widely available and intended to be realistic simulations of selling encounters. In theory, sales competitions should be equivalent to studying salespeople who are early in their career, college educated, and selling professional products/services, and Dr. Epler will explore whether this is true in practice. We are excited to see the outcome of these projects over the coming years.
Congratulations again to Mr. Immel, Dr. Thomas, and Dr. Epler!