Marketing Prof Named Finalist for Prestigious Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award

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Jessica Hoppner
Jessica Hoppner

A paper co-authored by Jessica Hoppner, associate marketing professor at Mason, has been named a finalist for the American Marketing Association’s prestigious Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award.

The annual award recognizes “an article in the Journal of Marketing Research that has made the most significant long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology and/or practice” and eligibility begins five years post-publication.

Hoppner says, “I am grateful to have our article selected as a finalist for the Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award. With each article you hope to make an impact. To have the JMR community consider our article on inequity and interdependence as one that makes a long-term contribution to the field is an absolute honor.”

 The paper being recognized, “The Influence of the Structure of Interdependence on the Response to Inequity in Buyer-Supplier Relationships,” appeared in JMR in February 2017.  To date, “The Influence of the Structure of Interdependence on the Response to Inequity in Buyer-Supplier Relationships” has been cited within marketing, operations and B2B journals—attesting to its interdisciplinary impact.

Saurabh Mishra, chair of the marketing research area at the business school, says, “At Mason we have some of the brightest minds in marketing working on topics of high relevance to scholars and managers. Selection of Professor Hoppner’s work as a finalist for this award is a testament of the quality of her work and an honor for the marketing area and the School of Business.”

Hoppner and her collaborators, David A. Griffith of Texas A&M, Hanna S. Lee of Miami University, and Tobias Schoenherr of Michigan State University, looked into how power differences between buyers and suppliers, in addition to their relative level of dependence upon one another, affected the suppliers’ willingness to share valuable resources. Hoppner and her co-authors sent questionnaires to 1,000 Japan-based suppliers about their relationships with U.S. buyers. Their analysis identified a complicated three-way interaction between inequity, interdependence, and relative dependence that, in some cases, sharply deviated from received wisdom on resource-sharing. For example, suppliers who had the upper hand in a highly interdependent relationship did not take steps to equalize the dynamic by increasing resource-sharing, even though they could easily afford to do so. The researchers suggest a working culture that stresses competitive achievement over cooperation may have had something to do with this.

Therefore, Hoppner and her co-authors recommend that managers “consider both the limitations of magnitude of interdependence and the cultural orientation of the manager in determining managerial action.” For other academics, the paper offers novel frameworks for understanding business relationships, which, unlike standard frameworks based on equity theory, do not presume fairness as a primary motivation in workplace interactions.

Finalists for the Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award are selected by the editorial review board, associate editors, and advisory board members of JMR. A smaller group of selectors drawn from the same pool will meet in the coming weeks to choose the winner, which will be announced at the upcoming Summer AMA Academic Conference.