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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

NSU Research Spotlight: Andrew J. Felo, Ph.D.

Andrew J. Felo, Ph.D.

Andrew J. Felo, Ph.D.

Andrew J. Felo, Ph.D., CFE, CMA, CFM, worked with colleagues from the University of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania State University on a research study addressing what organizations can do to increase the likelihood that mid-level managers will choose to invest in projects that improve sustainability performance, such as one to reduce a firm’s carbon footprint. This two-and-half year project was funded by the Foundation for Applied Research of the Institute of Management Accountants.

Felo and his colleagues determined one important finding through their collaborative research. “We found that firms can increase the likelihood that managers will choose projects that improve sustainability performance simply by measuring and rewarding sustainability performance, even if the project offers similar rewards to a more traditional ‘financial project’,” Felo said. This is important as only about 25% of the respondents in the research sample reported that their firms measured and rewarded sustainability performance.

A second finding was that respondents in firms with a sustainability focus were no more likely to choose a sustainability investment. This means that firms need to do more than just “talk about” sustainability if they want to change employee behavior. This is consistent with the study’s first finding about including sustainability performance measures in a compensation structure.

Finally, the research team found evidence of a “staus quo bias” in favor of financial performance measures. This was not a surprising result given the historical focus on financial performance measures at most organizations. Taken together, this research indicates that framing sustainability objectives, such as reducing carbon footprints, to emphasizing financial benefits such as reducing packaging cost may maximize employee engagement in sustainability projects.