The Impact of Challenge and Hindrance Demands on Multi-faceted Salesperson Burnout

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The Impact of Challenge and Hindrance Demands on Multi-faceted Salesperson Burnout

Lucy Matthews, Faculty, Marketing; Brian Rutherford, Non-MTSU university faculty collaborator, Marketing

This study seeks to expand the existing body of knowledge as it relates to the antecedents of salesperson burnout rather than the extant research focus on the impact to sales job outcomes. Drawing on transactional theories of stress, employees can perceive job demands as either a challenge or a hindrance. This study examines how the demands associated with the stages of the customer relationship management (CRM) process (customer selection, prioritization, solution selling and termination) are interpreted by the salesperson as either challenge or hindrance demands on the job. Additionally, the variety and level of skills required to perform the job are considered.

The results indicate that the initial stages of the CRM process (not termination) are viewed as challenge demands and have a positive impact on salesperson personal accomplishment. Additionally, task variety and high levels of skill and creativity on the job (skill discrepancy) also play a positive role in increasing personal accomplishment and ultimately increase salesperson job satisfaction. On the other hand, the stages of the CRM process can be viewed as a hindrance which increases depersonalization and decreases personal accomplishment. Although depersonalization and personal accomplishments have a significant relationship with emotional exhaustion, the impact from depersonalization is much greater. Ultimately, the negative impact of emotional exhaustion on job satisfaction is comparable to the positive impact of personal accomplishment to job satisfaction. This study provides valuable insight about how the customer selection, prioritization and solution selling stages of the CRM process can be viewed as a challenge to the salesperson, ultimately having a positive impact. However, all the stages can be viewed as a hindrance demand. By adding creativity and variety to the job, managers can help alleviate the salesperson’s feeling of accomplishment and ultimately helping to offset the impact of emotional exhaustion on job satisfaction.


Inferred Paleozoic Reactivation of Precambrian Basement Faults within the Nashville Dome, central Tennessee

Mark Abolins, Faculty, Geosciences; Shaunna Young, High school teacher; Joe Camacho, Graduate student, Geosciences; Mark Trexler, Industry collaborator; Alex Ward, Graduate student, Geosciences; Amber Han, High school teacher; Jonathan Flores, Undergraduate student, Geosciences; Matt Cooley, Industry collaborator

The investigators examined a largely aseismic area on the Nashville dome where no macroscale faults appear on published geologic and geophysical maps. To search for folds related to inactive subsurface faults, they scanned and georeferenced 7.5 min. quadrangle maps, digitized contacts between Ordovician formations, and used the National Elevation Dataset (NED) to assign elevations to points on these contacts. Elevation variations and field investigations of mesoscale structures revealed six synclines interpreted by the investigators as having formed through the movement of subsurface normal faults. These inferred faults are approx. 1.0-16.3 km long and displace strata by 9-31 m down dip based on structural relief and assumed dips of 60º. As would be expected for faults, displacement (d) increases with length (L): d=10-2.5L with r2=0.86. The investigators think these faults are Precambrian basement structures which reactivated when the lithosphere flexed during Paleozoic orogenic loading of the Laurentian margin.


Are Bilateral and Multilateral Aid for Trade Complementary? Accounts from Africa

Bichaka Fayissa, Faculty, Economics and Finance; Bedassa Tadesse, Faculty, Department of Economics, University of Minnesota-Duluth; Elias Shukralla, Faculty, Department of Finance and Economics, Qatar University

We examine the impact of aid for trade (AFT) on bilateral trade costs of African Nations. Using a comprehensive bilateral trade cost data from Arvis et al. (2013) and focusing on AFT recipients in Africa spanning the years 2002-2010, we show that increased AFT reduces bilateral trading costs, more so for the recipient’s trade with each other than recipients’ trade with their donors. Despite differences in the magnitudes of the observed effects across recipients and the economic sectors considered, the trade costs reduction effect of AFT from bilateral and multilateral sources rises with increases in the amount of AFT from either sources, indicating complementarity in the effects.


Remote Sensing of Agricultural Crops in Argentina Using UAS Technology

Tony Johnston, Faculty, Agribusiness and Agriscience; Douglas Campbell, Faculty, Aerospace

Remote sensing of agricultural crops, prior to the development of UAS technologies, was limited to aircraft flying at altitudes above 500 feet and satellite systems. UAS systems provide opportunities to fly at significantly slower speeds and closer to the ground. Implementing UAS technologies in agriculture is at the cutting edge of agricultural development today and is revolutionizing how we approach crop assessment. US law and FAA regulations have lagged behind the development and availability of UAS systems, but the laws in certain other countries currently allow for the use of UAS systems. In the meantime the development of multispectral cameras and other specialized equipment designed to be flown on UAS systems has dramatically advanced. This poster discusses the pros and cons of UAS technology use in Agriculture and the educational value of exposing both Agriculture and Aerospace students to them, especially in a study abroad environment.


Energy Harvesting Materials and Devices Laboratories and Instructional Facility

Vishwas Bedekar, Faculty, Engineering Technology

Recent advancements in the field of wireless sensor networks have resulted in increasing demand for self-powering techniques that reduces the dependence on batteries. In order to address this problem, there has been significant effort on generating small electrical power locally by harvesting energy from freely available environmental sources such as mechanical vibrations, wind, and stray magnetic field. Further, there is need for inventing new sensing techniques to reduce the overall power consumption. The road for reaching the destination of self-powered sensor networks requires cooperative progress in reduction in sensor power consumption by developing new sensing mechanisms and local generation of power by developing high efficiency energy harvesters. In this talk, vibration energy harvesting using multiple mechanisms will be discussed along with magnetoelectric and piezoelectric sensors.


Civic Engagement as Experiential Learning in a General Education Course

Melicent Homan, Faculty, Communication Studies and Organizational Communication; Jennifer Jackson, Non-MTSU university faculty collaborator, Communication Studies and Organizational Communication

Strategies for capturing and sustaining student interest and intellectual growth is examined in this research study to address the problem of low student engagement. This IRB approved project explores whether or not significant differences in learning persist with student exposure to meaningful civic learning opportunities in a general education course. Learning improvement is expected in demographic categories of race and gender. The research employs a survey pretest that gauges student knowledge and engagement before exposure to a First Amendment student driven research project and presentation, and posttest upon completion of the presentation. Experimental and control groups are organized in a quasi-experimental setting where N=442.

Grounding the research concept is Saltmarsh, Janke, and Clayton’s (2015) definition of civic engagement as a process that encapsulates service and experiential learning in higher education toward institutional campus engagement with a democratic emphasis. A First Amendment news and policy application for students in the experimental group is intended to engage social and emotional needs and access cognitive structures. The research definition of social and emotional learning and its application to developing cognitive structures is guided by Elias et al (1997) in Promoting Social and Emotional Learning.


The Mendelian Monohybrid Cross: An Animated Film

Kevin McNulty, Faculty, Electronic Media Communication; Bruce Cahoon, Non-MTSU university faculty collaborator, Biology

Bruce Cahoon, formerly of the MTSU Biology Department, and Animation professor, Kevin McNulty, collaborated to create an animated short film explaining the basic patterns of inheritance collectively known as “Mendelian” or “Transmission” genetics. This is just the first of a potential series of animated shorts. This film focuses on and illustrates the Mendelian Monohybrid Cross.

The intent is to make this film and potentially other films freely accessible through the World Wide Web so they will be easily available to MTSU biology faculty and students as well as the greater community of scholars. The intended audience is college level students of genetics but some of the other potential films will cover basic patterns of inheritance that will be useful to college students in introductory biology or high school AP students and instructors. The film is designed so that more advanced students can review an individual topic to help them with a current class or review for standardized exams required for entrance to professional schools (e.g. MCAT, PCAT, GRE). This film could be used by instructors to augment textbook and lecture assignments and should help aid the pedagogical process known as classroom flipping.

Bruce Cahoon wrote and directed the film. Kevin McNulty created all the graphics and animation as well as edited the video and mixed the sound. Graduate student Xixi Lu recorded the narration provided by EMC faculty member, Roger Heinrich. This film was partially funded by an Instructional Technology Development Grant co-authored by Bruce Cahoon and Kevin McNulty.


How Color Affects Taste: Citrus Models

Katelyn Walls, High school student, Psychology; John Pennington (Faculty sponsor), Psychology

Our world is filled with foods of every color imaginable, but which colors are most appealing to our senses, and how do we judge if our food tastes good? One way industries manipulate taste is with colors. Do you have orange juice every morning? It may be that your brain has been conditioned to deduce an orange beverage as that same orange juice. Perhaps there is a difference between how subjects taste citrus compared to non-citrus. This experiment was designed to determine the individual's capability of discerning taste based on color. Participants in this investigation include Middle Tennessee State University’s subject pool. The experiment utilizes three store bought brands, which include: Simply Lemonade, Simply Limeade, and Welch’s White grape juice. Each of the beverages is artificially colored orange to mimic orange juice. I hypothesize the participants will interpret the artificially colored citrus juice’s identity as orange juice, while the non-citrus juice’s identity will remain the same.


Self-fulfilling Prophecy in Response to Horoscopes

Emma Kruse, High school student, Psychology; Nathan Smith, High school student, Psychology; Gene Cowart (Faculty sponsor), Central Magnet School

In social media today, horoscopes are growing in popularity, especially among high school students who are more likely to fall victim to the Barnum effect, a phenomenon in which vague and worthless information is readily accepted. These daily predictions dictate how one’s day will occur, according to birthdates. The advice in horoscopes can vary among topics such as love, money, and luck, and their specific connotation. In wake of their growing popularity and the substantial credibility that teenagers assume of them, this study tests the effect a horoscope’s connotation has on students’ standardized test scores as a reaction to self-fulfilling prophecy. Subjects were given vague horoscopes with defined connotations before taking a standardized test based on their level of schooling. The significance of these findings could not only reveal unexpected consequences or benefits in daily horoscopes, but also widen the perspective of self-fulfilling prophecy in one’s daily life. In doing so, this study more accurately defines potential relationships between daily events and the self- fulfilling prophecy originating from an average person’s positively or negatively connotated horoscope.


The Informational Conformity of Waiting Lines

Rebecca Halliburton, High school student, Psychology; Gene Cowart (Faculty sponsor), Central Magnet School

Informational conformity is a type of social conformity that occurs in peoples’ everyday lives. This conformity usually occurs in ambiguous social situations because one may assume that because a group is behaving in a certain manner, that manner must be “correct”. Sometimes people conform in this way unconsciously. This experiment was designed to test informational conformity rates to visibly established group norms in the form of a waiting line and the frequency of conscious thought on the matter. The test also sought to contribute to scientific literature on the subject of possible reasons for conformity in this situation as perceived and evaluated by the participants themselves. The testing occurred at a large business conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with approximately 70-80 adults ranging in age. A “false” line was formed at an arbitrary point in the hotel ballroom using confederates for a short period of time, and the number of people who joined the line or interacted with it was counted. At the end, some adults elected to take part in an additional survey that provided complementary information to the experiment. The data was then evaluated. The results obtained are important for the average person who interacts with groups of people on a daily basis. Even if peoples’ perceptions of their motives for conformity are inaccurate, their interpretations could provide valuable insight into the rationalization and acceptance of group norms.


The Effect of Parenting Style on Adolescent Self-Esteem

Claudia DiVincenzo, High school student, Psychology; Gene Cowart (Faculty sponsor), Central Magnet School

A teenager’s sense of responsibility, social skills, and academic motivation is often seen as a reflection of his or her upbringing. My research focuses on how self-esteem in adolescents is affected by his or her parent’s style of upbringing. Information about self-esteem and parenting style was gathered using an online self-assessment that included voluntary participants in grades 7-12. The questions were geared to assess the parenting style of both the mother and father separately in order to better understand what types of parenting each adolescent was exposed to. Psychologists studying child development and parent-child relationships would be interested in my research as well as parents wondering how their style of parenting may have affected their adolescents’ self-esteem levels.


The Association of Personality Traits to the Selection of Clothing through Color and Comfort

Margaret Stubblefield, High school student, Psychology; Gene Cowart (Faculty sponsor), Central Magnet School

Do people pick clothing with specific colors and comfort levels based on their personality type? Through personality typing, discovering more about people and how they relate to others can lead to better connections. For this study, the Myers-Briggs Personality Type was used in conjunction with surveys in order to determine its contribution to comfort and color choice in clothing. An experiment was conducted using the Myers Briggs Personality Type because it involves temperaments which include traits of introverts and extroverts. Through a survey, students at Central Magnet School were asked questions about their Myers-Briggs Personality Type and the colors they wear most often and how important comfort is in their clothing. The study wanted to identify if participants who are extroverted would wear warmer colors such as red, orange and yellow and rank comfort lower than introverts, while introverts of will favor cooler colors and rate comfort higher than extroverts.


Music Education and Reading Comprehension

Amelia Harrison, High school student, Psychology; Kirstin Taylor, High school student, Psychology; Gene Cowart (Faculty sponsor), Central Magnet School

As research has progressed, neuroscientists have discovered a similarity in the way music and language are processed; students who participate in musical activities may show greater fluency in linguistic comprehension because of this connection. To test this theory, we are looking for a positive correlation between ACT reading scores and musical aptitude in high school juniors and seniors. The ACT reading test evaluates reading comprehension skills, and the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) assesses the ability to distinguish between pitches, rhythms, and meter and recall melodies to determine musical aptitude. If significant, this research has the power to revolutionize elementary music education.


Rhonda Rousey: Why a Woman Who Wins Can Never Truly Win

John Westmoreland, Undergraduate student, Political Science; Patrick Richey (Faculty sponsor), Communication Studies and Organizational Communication

The octagon is only the beginning of Rhonda “Rowdy” Rousey’s fight in her path to success, but more importantly, her demand for respect. Respect from her peers and fellow fighters is as simple as a knockout in the ring, but garnering respect from a society heavily injected with heteronormativity has proven to be a much more complex fight than what she is usually matched up with. As recently mentioned, heteronormativity is an ideal historically thrust onto American citizens from the day they take their first breath, and even arguably on most people throughout the world. To praise a woman like Rhonda Rousey for her performances in the ring, who has actively acted against typical gender-normative roles of women, is to essentially refute an important aspect of heteronormativity. Some argue her presence in magazines and commercials replace the very barriers she is simultaneously breaking down. A woman known for such tenacity and ferocity posing for cameras seems to be somewhat of a “relapse” in the eyes of some. A mere embrace, regardless of how fleeting, of her femininity polarizes her fan base and arms critics with typical slander. While some praise her yet again for being multifaceted, both “fierce” and “beautiful”, others condemn her for blatant disregard of her cause through sexual objectification. The purpose of this paper is designed to critique the rhetoric, or power more appropriately so, of heteronormativity, through the examination of Rhonda Rousey.


Gun-Related Homicide in America: Why the Rates Differ From State-to-State

John Westmoreland, Undergraduate student, Political Science; Patrick Richey (Faculty sponsor), Communication Studies and Organizational Communication

Using quantitative data from all 50 states in the United States of America, this research project seeks to determine why the homicide rates differ state by state. Methods of regression are utilized with the factors of income, education, firearm availability, and firearm prevalence throughout the states in a quantitative analysis of the respective homicide rates. Correlation coefficients are noted by measures of significance, and discussed in terms of relevance to their effects on the homicide rates within the states.


Investigating the Ability of a Folate Biosynthesis Mutant to Affect Lifespan in Budding Yeast

Muhammad Osama Ali, Undergraduate student, Biology; Muhammad Fariz Ali, Undergraduate student, Biology; Rebecca Seipelt-Thiemann (Faculty sponsor), Biology

Folate levels have been shown to affect lifespan in the model organism, the nematode, C. elegans. Nematodes that were either fed folate-deficient bacteria or were chemically blocked from utilizing folate lived longer. Budding yeast, another eukaryotic model organism, has the ability to synthesize folate. Five genes are involved in the folate biosynthesis pathway, including the gene MIS1. The hypothesis of this study was that yeast carrying a mutant MIS1 gene will have a significant different lifespan compared to wildtype in growth in rich and folate deprived media. The null hypothesis was that the MIS1 mutant strain will not differ from the wildtype strain. To test this, yeast with the mutated gene and the wildtype yeast were aged for 6 weeks in static liquid cultures. Samples were analyzed each successive week for their ability to support new growth. There were significant differences when each strain was analyzed over time (i.e. as they aged), as would be expected. However, no significant difference was observed between the MIS1 mutant strain and wildtype grown in either folate-deficient or rich medium. Therefore, the null hypothesis was not rejected. Therefore, this study does not support that folate deficiency or reduction in folate levels is an appropriate mechanism for extending chronological lifespan in budding yeast. This also provides evidence that this life extension mechanism may not be true for all organisms, including humans.


Properties of an MTSU Blue Donor-pi-Acceptor Polyene Dye

John Lasseter, Undergraduate student, Chemistry; Mohammed Ali, Undergraduate student, Chemistry; Donnan Keith, Undergraduate student, Chemistry; Eric Reinheimer, Industry collaborator, Rigaku Americas; Andrienne Friedli, Faculty, Chemistry; Andrienne Friedli (Faculty sponsor), Chemistry

Donor-pi-acceptor (D-pi-A) polyene dyes are model compounds for the systematic study of nonlinear photophysical processes and are used in photoactive materials. Here we report the properties of a fluorescent and highly soluble dye (1). Synthesis of 1 required 1,5-dibromo-3-pentylpentane (2), which was synthesized in five classic synthetic steps requiring large-scale synthetic techniques (reported here). Intramolecular dialkylation of 4-bromoaniline with 2 resulted in 1-(4-bromophenyl)-4-pentylpiperidine (3). Lithium-halogen exchange in 3, followed by reaction with 5-(N,N-diethyl)pentadienal gave 4-pentyl-(4-piperidinylphenyl)-2,4-pentadienal (4). Knoevenagel condensation of 4 with 1,3-diethyl thiobarbituric acid gave 1. Compound 1 has UV and NMR solvatochromic properties, indicating polar ground and excited states. The crystal structure of 1 and related compounds showed close centrosymmetric packing that could template photoreactions in the solid state. UV irradiation at 254 nm was performed in air or in the absence of oxygen on a fine powder or dispersed on filter paper. Colorless photoproducts were analyzed using NMR spectroscopy.


A Synthetic Approach to a Series of Boron-Cluster Based Liquid Crystals

John Lasseter, Undergraduate student, Chemistry; Pawel Tokarz, Visiting scholar, Chemistry; Jacek Pecyna, Postdoctoral fellow, Chemistry; Piotr Kaszynski, Faculty, Chemistry; Andrienne Friedli, Faculty, Chemistry; Andrienne Friedli (Faculty sponsor), Chemistry

Sequential regioselective substitution of the [closo-B12H12]2- cluster with onium fragments yields highly quadrupolar 1,12-derivatives. This class of compounds may have applications in liquid crystal display technology because they exhibit nematic phases. Treatment of a previously reported sulfonium derivative of [closo-B12H12]2- with p-methoxyphenyliodonium diacetate led to a mixture of 1,7- and 1,12-substituted [closo-B12H12]2- iodonium intermediates. Reaction of this isomer mixture with p-methoxypyridine as a nucleophile gave the p-methoxypyridinium derivatives. The isomers were separated by column chromatography and the 1,12 isomer exhibited fluorescence. Subsequent dealkylation with LiCl/DMF gave the two corresponding pyridones, which were then O-alkylated with two different alkyl triflates, yielding four quadrupolar derivatives. In this presentation we will report further details about the synthesis and characterization of the new compounds.

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