Tag Archives: Maria Schutte

And the Survey Says . . . Or Does It?

MBA student, Tao Guo

As part of our modern culture, people are inundated with questions regarding their personal opinions and experiences. College students, in particular, often experience the brunt of these inquiries. During their college careers, students may fill out countless surveys regarding their personal interests, classes, professors, and even some for their educational institution.

What if the information collected during these surveys isn’t always reliable? Should college students be surveyed in the same manner as non-students?

As a Michigan Tech MBA student, Tao Guo asked these questions while working as a research assistant. This inquiry led to a research project and a refereed paper presentation at the 2010 Marketing Management Association Fall Educators’ Conference in Indianapolis.

The paper, “The Effect of Rating Scales on Systematic Differences Between Students and Nonstudents in Survey Research,” was written with help from Junhong Min, assistant professor of marketing, and the late Bob Mark, professor of practice.

“Tao came to me with a question about using surveys in consumer research that kept leading to more questions. His enthusiasm and dedication to this project led to the honor of presenting at the conference. We’re very pleased with his work,” notes Min.

Guo’s initial research found two divergent views exist about the usefulness of college students as subjects. One stream of research questions the use of student samples, while the other shows no difference between student samples and nonstudent samples. Guo tried to fill this gap by examining when the differences between student samples and nonstudent samples occur.

Tackling a common practice found in consumer research studies that survey college students, Guo took a closer look at the use of scales. When examining data from student assessment surveys, he found that either a five-point scale or a seven-point scale was typically used. Both of these scales are employed to measure how strongly the subject agrees with a survey statement. His results empirically illustrate how the five-point scale is more effective at capturing the differences between student and nonstudent samples. In addition, Guo discovered that behavior-related questions (e.g., frequency, the number of purchases) are more sensitive to differences between students and nonstudents than attitude questions (e.g., willingness to purchase, perceived importance).

“The research suggests to the practitioners that they should interpret their results with caution when student samples are involved,” says Guo.

Guo researched the subject for five months. The opportunity to present his paper was a notable achievement for a student, since most presenters at the conference were professional business educators from universities across the nation.

“The professor hosting my section was very excited about my findings and gave me a lot of suggestions for further research,” he said. “I learned a lot by listening to others’ presentations and established several new connections with MBA students and faculty from other universities.”

Guo is from Zhoukou, a small town in Henan Province in central China. He attended Northeastern University in Shenyang, China, where he majored in English and minored in finance. Before coming to the US, he worked for four years at Northeastern University, including a position as deputy director of the Engineer Training Center.

“I came to realize the value of higher education and overseas experience after I interacted with several very successful scholars and corporate executives,” says Guo. “That’s why I made up my mind to switch my career and pursue an MBA degree in America.”

Support from faculty was important to Guo. “I have really appreciated the broad range and depth of interests of the faculty in the School of Business and Economics. Other than professors Min and Mark, I also worked on an independent study with Assistant Professor Maria Schutte. Every time you feel like you have a question or you want to learn something, you can always find the right professor. And they are all willing to help.”

Because of Guo’s research and his successful student career at Tech, he has been accepted into the PhD program in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. “I am very grateful to Michigan Tech for the opportunity to do research as an MBA student and for my educational experience in general. It was an overall great learning experience and will be very beneficial to me in my future endeavors.”

This article was originally published in Impact, the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics magazine.


Michigan Tech Scholarship and Creativity Grants Announced

The Vice President for Research has announced this year’s recipients of the Research Excellence Fund Awards, which total $502,378 among 27 people. Three recipients from the School of Business and Economics had funds awarded in the area of Scholarship and Creativity Grants.

Congratulations to:


Maria Schutte Honored with Graham and Dodd Scroll Award

Maria Schutte
Maria Schutte

The School of Business and Economics is proud to announce that assistant professor of finance, Maria Schutte, has been awarded the 2009 Graham and Dodd Scroll Award for an article she coauthored with Emre Unlu, assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In the article “Do Security Analysts Reduce Noise?,” Schutte and Unlu hypothesize that security analysts fulfill an important market function by helping investors differentiate between information related to firm fundamentals and outdated or false information. As a result, the noise component of stock return volatility declines significantly during the first year a stock is followed by analysts. In addition, the authors find that the noise reduction in stocks is related to the number of analysts assigned to follow the stock during that first year. The larger the number of analysts, the larger the noise decline. According to the CFA Institute website the work by Schutte and Unlu “suggest that analyst coverage makes stock prices less noisy,” and that “Analysts’ noise-reducing ability can have positive consequences for the performance of corporate and portfolio managers who rely on forecasting to make long-term financial decisions.”

“I am honored to receive this award because it is the result of many years of work and study and of a very fruitful coauthoring relation with Emre (Unlu), who is not only a great scholar but also a wonderful friend. Emre and I began work on this project as graduate students at the University of Missouri in 2005, this was our first independent scholarly activity. I am happy that while working on this project I gained a better understanding of how informed agents affect price formation and that my colleagues in the profession found this new information useful. This award has special significance to me because it recognizes excellence in financial writing, a skill that I have worked very hard to develop and that I try to cultivate in all my students.”

The Graham and Dodd Award was created in 1960 to honor excellence in research and financial writing and the enduring contributions of Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd to the investment analysis field. Graham and Dodd wrote Security Analysis in 1934, a hallmark investments text. The award is the Financial Analysts Journal’s (FAJ) highest honor, placing Professor Schutte’s work among the best that has been published by the FAJ over the past year.

The Financial Analysts Journal is published six times yearly by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute, a worldwide association of securities analysts, portfolio managers, strategists, and consultants. The FAJ is aimed at advancing understanding of investment management through the publication of high quality research. Past winners have included Nobel laureate William Sharpe, and Morningstar Inc. VP of quantitative research, Paul Kaplan. The CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals and has nearly 100,000 members, in 133 countries and territories, as well as 137 affiliated professional societies in 57 countries and territories. More information may be found at www.cfainstitute.org .

View the full press release from the CFA Institute.


Faculty member interviewed for Investor’s Daily Journal

Maria Schutte
Maria Schutte

Maria Schutte, assistant professor of finance in the School of Business and Economics was quoted in an article titled: “Buy, Sell, Hold Stock Ratings Being Replaced By New Terms That Stand For…Buy, Sell, Hold” by J. Bansia. This article is featured on the Investor’s Daily Journal website.

Schutte was also featured in Tech Today regarding this article.