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College of Business team receives Academy of Management award

Recipients of the Academy of Management’s Benedictine University Award are (from left) Alana Pierce, Christine Madonna, Wendy Cagle and Yue Hillon.

A team of educators in the College of Business at Western Carolina University have won the Academy of Management’s Benedictine University Award for outstanding scholar-practitioner collaboration research.

WCU’s Yue Cai Hillon, associate professor of management, and Wendy Cagle, assistant professor of entrepreneurship and former regional director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center, collaborated with Christine Madonna and Alana Pierce of Madonna and Pierce Small Business Consulting of Arden and received the recognition for the paper “Narrative Interplay in the Discovery of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ Fundamental Constraints to Growth.”

Madonna and Pierce received their master’s of business administration degrees from WCU and currently are participants in WCU’s Center for the Study of Free Enterprise’s post-baccalaureate program to strengthen their doctoral candidacy in strategic management.

“To be recognized for our scholar-practitioner research by the management consulting division of the Academy of Management, a distinguished international association devoted to management and organization research, was truly an honor,” said Hillon. “This research kicked off a stream of collaborative projects, which we hope will add value to Western North Carolina and national efforts for small and medium-sized business development.”

The paper reported on team research that showed that too often strategic innovation, staffing, access to capital and leadership traits are used as to identify readiness for business growth, while in actuality these indicators are in fact symptomatic reflections of deeper behavioral and psychological story dialectics and multiplicity within a company. The paper also was selected as one of the best ― among the top 10 percent of all accepted ― at the Academy of Management conference, held this year in Chicago.

The Academy of Management was founded in 1936 and now has some 20,000 members from 120 countries. The annual conference provides a forum for sharing research and expertise in all management disciplines through invited and competitive paper sessions, panels, workshops and speakers.

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