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BYU Marriott Professor, Colleagues Honored for Minority Entrepreneur Research, Named Finalist for First-Ever Award

Dr. Glenn Christensen, an associate professor of marketing and Garrett Research Fellow at the BYU Marriott School of Business, has been recognized, along with his colleagues, for their research on minority entrepreneurs and the challenges they face when trying to acquire funding. They received the AMA-EBSCO Annual Award for Responsible Research in Marketing from the American Marketing Association and were named finalists for the first-ever Bradford-Osborne award from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

Glenn Christensen
BYU Marriott associate professor of marketing Glenn Christensen.

Along with his colleagues Dr. Sterling Bone from the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University and Dr. Jerome Williams from Rutgers University, Christensen is grateful others have recognized their work as research that can improve society. “As researchers, my colleagues and I try to find answers to questions that shape the world around us,” says Christensen. “Seeing our work honored in this way reaffirms to us that we are tackling important issues and seeking answers that could potentially make a difference in the lives of vulnerable members of our community.”

The American Marketing Association presented the AMA-EBSCO annual award on 15 February 2020 at their winter academic conference in San Diego. According to the American Marketing Association the award honors reliable research that shows a commitment to “better marketing for a better world.”

Christensen and his colleagues completed their award-winning paper, “Rejected, Shackled, and Alone: The Experience of Systemic Restricted Consumer Choice among Minority Entrepreneur Consumers” by investigating the effects of restricted choice in financial decision making on minority entrepreneurs. Consumer choices guide many aspects of the process of financial decisions such as securing financing for a small business, but systemic strictures and obstacles often limit the choices available to individuals who are members of minority groups.

Christensen’s research looked at the effects of these restricted choices on the self-esteem of people in these groups and found a connection between restricted choices and negative self-image. This paper highlights the psychological effects of discrimination and the importance of removing discriminatory practices and obstacles in the financial sector.

In addition, the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington honored another one of Christensen and his colleagues’ papers as a finalist for the school’s first-ever Bradford-Osborne Award. The award was named in honor of Dean Emeritus William D. Bradford Sr. of the Foster School of Business and Associate Dean Al Osborne of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, who focused much of their research on entrepreneurs of color.

That finalist paper, "Shaping Small Business Lending Policy Through Matched-Pair Mystery Shopping,” examined access to credit among minority entrepreneurs. Because regulators and policy makers incorrectly assume that small-business borrowers know more about finance than the average consumer borrower, loan transactions with entrepreneur borrowers have fewer protections in place.

The study examines how this lack of regulation can negatively impact minority entrepreneurs and demonstrates the need for data-based regulation that will give minority entrepreneurs more access to these financial resources. The study shows some of the challenges that minority entrepreneurs face and the first steps that must be taken to remove those unnecessary challenges.

“Glenn’s recognition is well-deserved, as this stream of research is already making a difference,” says Tom Foster, department chair of the marketing and global supply chain department at BYU Marriott. “To the extent that this work can lead to positive changes in the ways many firms do business, Glenn and his co-authors should be congratulated.”

The BYU Marriott School of Business prepares men and women of faith, character, and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. BYU Marriott has four graduate and ten undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 students.


Writer: Kenna Pierce