Dr. Chien-Chung Chen Connects the Dots and Publishes Findings
Dr. Chien-Chung Chen’s knack for connecting dots may help him to emerge as a salient new voice in the field of sales and marketing research. According to Dr. Chen, who serves as an assistant professor in Stillman’s Department of Business, there are over 450 variables related to sales. “Some examples of these variables are training, job performance, adaptive selling, emotional intelligence, job satisfaction, compensation, and ethics,” he states.
To conduct meaningful research and find viable solutions to sales and marketing problems, Dr. Chen is able to visualize these variables as small circles or bingo chips. “Job satisfaction” might be a red chip. “Compensation” might be a green chip. By mentally “laying out” the chips on an imaginary table, and determining where connecting lines have already been drawn through past research, he is able to discover “gaps” where potential connections have not been explored.
In a recent research paper titled The Double-Edged Effects of Emotional Intelligence on the Adaptive Selling-Consumer Loyalty Relationship, which he presented at the Annual National Conference in Sales Management (NCSM) in Indianapolis in the spring, he drew a fascinating connection between emotional intelligence and consumer loyalty.
“If there are two sales persons, and one has emotional intelligence and the other does not, the one with emotional intelligence will be better able to perceive a customer’s feelings and sense whether he is happy or sad or worried. The one without emotional intelligence will keep trying to sell to the customer. The salesperson with emotional intelligence will think, 'I’ll leave my customer alone today and sell to him later.' This second sales person may maintain better customer loyalty,” says Dr. Chen, whose study is under second review for publication by the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.
Dr. Chen recently had two articles published in the Journal of Management and Marketing Research. In Detecting Moderator Effects on Construct Relations in Empirical Sales Research: A Meta-Analysis, he explores the impact a moderator has on sales. “I research whether or not using an famous spokesperson to promote a major brand will impact price,” he states. In Determining Optimal Scales in Studies of JPSSM (Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management), which was published in July, he formally investigates the best length for a survey. “There are various scales to measure job performance. Some scales may have 100 items. Others may have just 10. Sometimes, you can save yourself time and save time for your customers by having a shorter survey. If your survey is too short, it might not ask the questions you need to ask to get the information you want. My goal is to provide readers with research about the optimal scale.”
Dr. Chen holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Texas at Arlington; an M.S. in Management and Administration Science from the University of Texas at Dallas; and an M.B.A. in Marketing from Chaoyang University of Technology in Taiwan. He believes that conducting fresh research is critical to his role as a professor, and he often discusses his findings in the classroom in order to demonstrate how to approach research.
He believes that his method of finding relationships between variables that have not been previously studied is fairly simple. “Because there are so many variables, it is not so difficult to find gaps in sets of knowledge. Finding the gap is easy. Unfortunately, the theory behind the gap is a problem. For example, how can you argue that ethics affects job performance? Turning on a television is easy. Understanding how the signal comes into your home is more complicated. By doing research and learning new things, the professor can teach well and continue to grow. Teach and grow are not separate,” he says, inadvertently demonstrating once again his knack for connecting dots.
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