DSEF launched the Fellows Program to support educational and research efforts to foster a deeper understanding of the direct selling channel and its impact. We now have more than 130 Fellows around the world from a wide range of disciplines – management, marketing, economics, entrepreneurship, sales, consumer studies – and provide them a rich offering of benefits and opportunities.
DSEF warmly welcomes our newest Fellows:
Dr. Jessica Hurst Iowa State University Associate Professor in the Apparel, Events, & Hospitality Management Department
Dr. Liang “Rebecca” Tang Iowa State University Associate Professor in the Department of Apparel, Events, & Hospitality Management
Dr. Jennifer Zarzosa Henderson State University Assistant Professor of Marketing
Mr. Zachary Moore The University of Louisiana-Monroe Doctoral Candidate and Instructor of Agricultural Business Agricultural Business Program Coordinator
Ms. April Kemp Southeastern Louisiana University Doctoral Candidate and Instructor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management Marketing Internship Coordinator
Dr. Scot Squires Central Michigan University Professor and President of the Union of Teaching Faculty
Dr. Ellen Bolman Pullins The University of Toledo Professor of Marketing and International Business
Dr. Ying Liao East Carolina University Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Dr. Anne Balazs Eastern Michigan University Interim Dean
Dr. Mohammed Shaki Saint Leo University Assistant Professor of Management in the Donald R. Tapia School of Business
In celebration of National Consumer Protection Week’s 20th Anniversary, the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) asks anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding of their rights as a consumer, so that they can make even better-informed decisions, to download the DSEF Consumer Protection 101 toolkit.
The toolkit – developed in concert with the Direct Selling Association – provides consumers with a one-stop-shop of information to help them avoid fraud and scams in the marketplace.
For more information, visit consumer.ftc.gov to learn more about National Consumer Protection Week 2018 and the Federal Trade Commission. #ConsumerProtection #NCPW2018
DSEF’s academic partnerships serve to inform and educate students – highlighting direct selling as a go-to-market strategy and pathway to entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurship.
DSEF warmly welcomes our newest Fellows:
Dr. Can “John” Uslay Associate Professor of Marketing Director of Special Projects Co-Director for the Center for Market Advantage Chair, Entrepreneurial Marketing SIG, AMA Rutgers Business School at Newark and New Brunswick Rutgers University
Dr. Fabian Eggers Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Menlo College
Dr. Abdul Ali Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Faculty Director, Division of Marketing Babson College
Dr. William “Bill” Johnson Student Success Navigator Life Design Catalyst Coach and Facilitator Instructor and Coleman Fellow of Entrepreneurship School of Health and Human Sciences The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Dr. Olivier Rubel Associate Professor of Marketing, Graduate School of Management University of California – Davis
Dr. Dustin Bluhm Assistant Professor of Management College of Business University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
Dr. Mark Peterson Professor of Marketing College of Business Department of Management & Marketing University of Wyoming
Dr. Lisa Spiller Distinguished Professor of Marketing Joseph W. Luter, III School of Business Christopher Newport University
Dr. Chris Hopkins McLain Family Professor Raymond J. Harbert College of Business Auburn University
Dr. Karen Flaherty William S. Spears Chair in Business Administration Professor of Marketing Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University
Karen Hopkins William S. Spears Chair in Business Administration Professor of Marketing Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University
Dr. Theresa Clarke Professor of Marketing Wampler-Longacre Eminent Scholar College of Business James Madison University
Dr. Rajesh Srivastava Associate Professor of Marketing Jennings A. Jones College of Business Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Bo Dai Assistant Professor of Marketing College of Business Georgia Southern University
Dr. Lori Long Baldwin Wallace University Associate Professor Chair, Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Dr. Chen Liu Assistant Professor of Finance Assistant Professor of Business Trinity Western University
Dr. Nathalie Duval-Couetil Associate Professor of Technology Leadership, and Innovation Director for Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Associate Director, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship Purdue University
Dr. Sara Cochran Entrepreneurial Programs Manager for the University of Missouri System University of Missouri
Dr. Siri Terjesen Dean’s Research Fellow in Entrepreneurship Director of the Center for Innovation American University
Dr. John Bennett Assistant Professor of Management Donald R. Tapia School of Business Saint Leo University
Dr. Adam Bock Lecturer in Management University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Art Sherwood David Cole Professor of Entrepreneurship Director of the IDEA Institute Western Washington University
Ms. Joanne Cao Assistant Professor of Marketing The University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Mark T. Schenkel Jack C. Massey College of Business Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship Belmont University
DSEF, in partnership with the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s (USASBE’s) Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group (SIG), sponsored a paper competition on the direct selling channel of distribution and micro-entrepreneurship opportunity.
One of DSEF’s key priorities is to fund and develop research and case studies that advance understanding of the direct selling channel. We achieve this goal through our partnerships with Fellows and academic organizations and are gratified that seven out the eight authors of these winning papers are DSEF Fellows.
It is with great honor that we announce the 2018 winners of the DSEF/MWE SIG Best Paper Awards:You can view these working papers through the links below:
Direct Selling in the Classroom by Dr. Victoria Crittenden:
To me, there is nothing quite so great as leaving class on a high because students really seemed to engage with the class topic. I had such a euphoric feeling after leaving my Marketing Management class in the Master of Science in Entrepreneurial Leadership program at Babson College in mid-September. The topic for the day was “Go-to-Market Strategies.”
With approximately three-fourths of the students in this master’s program from outside of the USA, there was considerable interest in the direct selling business model as a go-to-market strategy. Several students remained after the class ended to discuss the pros and cons of direct selling as a go-to-market strategy and how the direct selling business model might be implemented in entrepreneurial endeavors in various parts of the world.
I left class wishing that I had planned in advance for a way to capture the amazing classroom interactions. Since I had not done that. however, I emailed students and asked them to contribute some thoughts that I could include in a blog post. Here are comments from two students (one from each section of the class):
Nomah Javed (MSEL ’18) said: “I feel direct selling is an amazing way to reach your end customer down to the grass roots level. Especially for burgeoning entrepreneurs who don’t have seed money to set up this network on their own or reach customers. Again, it would work best for smaller, fast-moving goods which would benefit from the interpersonal interaction and persuasion involved in the process of direct selling. I think it’s a tremendous resource for third world countries, where women are the more subjugated gender and don’t necessarily have access to the same education and job opportunities. I feel direct selling gives people a chance to create something of their own despite their limiting circumstances. It can be used as an amazing empowerment tool for women. I would definitely think of it as a very strong proponent business model for my future venture.”
Philip Cobbinah (MSEL ’18) offered these comments: (1) Partnering with consumers is the best way of becoming a household name (#cobbyquotes). (2) It is entrepreneurship at your doorstep (#cobbyquotes).
Given that I taught two sections of the course and both sections were equally great. I think it is fair to say that the topic was well-received by all. The discussions were clearly the best I had with my MSEL students during our seven-week module on marketing management. I found that direct selling as a go-to-market strategy incites interest and engagement among students who have an entrepreneurial orientation and that this is particularly true in a cross-cultural classroom environment.
DSEF’s academic partnerships serve to inform and educate students – highlighting direct selling as a go-to-market strategy and pathway to entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurship. DSEF has partnered with more than 75 professors over the past year, and is making significant process toward mainstreaming the channel on college campuses across the country.
DSEF will continue creating partnerships within the academic community by reaching 200 DSEF Fellows by 2019 and expanding student reach to promote deeper knowledge of direct selling as a legitimate channel of distribution and path to entrepreneurship. We are excited to welcome our newest Fellows:
Dr. Mark Bergen Associate Dean, James D. Watkins Chair in Marketing University of Minnesota
Dr. Nawar N. Chaker Assistant Professor of Marketing Elon University
Dr. Angeline Close Scheinbaum Associate Professor University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Honghui Deng Professor of Business Administration, IC2 Fellow University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Dr. Ramarao Desuraju Professor of Marketing University of Central Florida
Mary Hunt (PhD candidate) Assistant Professor of Business & Psychology, Internship Coordinator Ave Maria University
Dr. Kacy Kim Assistant Professor of Marketing Elon University
Dr. Annie Liu Associate Professor of Marketing Texas State University
Dr. James Lynch Associate Professor of Management and Law Brooklyn College
Dr. Ronald Michaels Professor of Marketing University of Central Florida
U. N. Umesh Professor of Marketing Washington State University Vancouver
DSEF recently released its newest video teaching tool, The Direct Selling Business Model: Cutting Out the Middle Man.
The new video was filmed live at the University of Texas at Arlington during DSEF’s Business Ethics Forum Campus Event. Al Bala, President and CEO of Mannatech, explains the direct selling business model in a way that business students and entrepreneurs can understand. “Eighty percent of the cost of a product in normal retail channel is in distribution. A large percentage of that is spent on advertising. Direct selling cuts out the middle man by redistributing the costs of advertising and distribution to pay independent contractors.” says Al.
The video was distributed to DSEF Fellows and is designed to be used both by direct selling companies and easily incorporated into a variety of university and community college courses, such as:
distribution channels courses
management, communications and ethics/reputation courses
DSEF’s growing bank of video content also includes the Ask the Experts series, which may be viewed on our Vimeo channel.
At the 2017 Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI) Conference held in Mauritius in June, Julian Allendorf (Ph.D. Candidate, Institute of Marketing, University of Muenster, Germany) received the GSSI 2017 Best Doctoral Student Paper Award for his paper on “Direct Selling Distributors – Why Do They Stay or Leave!”, developed through a grant and data provided by DSEF. The prize-winning paper is based on Allendorf’s joint work with DSEF Fellows Dr. Anne T. Coughlan, PhD (Northwestern University) and Dr. Manfred Krafft (University of Muenster, Germany), and demonstrates how DSEF ‘s academic partners are producing data-driven research that validates the channel. The award was presented to Manfred Krafft by the President of the island nation of Mauritius, Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim, during a conference reception on June 8.
“Being awarded the GSSI Best Doctoral Student Paper Award for the work we have done so far feels like a great honor to us and provides the motivation for future endeavors,” said Allendorf.
In their joint research, the authors highlight similarities and differences between traditional sales and direct selling, and build on Agency Theory to develop predictions about the ways in which individuals stay in the direct selling distributorship, and what explains their intention to leave.
The authors analyzed a unique dataset of over 13,000 individual direct-selling distributors from 68 firms and asked the the “nature vs. nurture” question: does a “stayer” retain the same motivations as a “joiner,” or do distributors develop and change their motivations over time? Nurture doesn’t refer only to environment. Joiner-Stayers do indeed receive support and training from their companies and uplines, but they also learn about themselves (personal development).
The Stay-Leave decision is represented by the question, “How likely are you to continue representing the company for the next year?” Dr. Coughlan and Dr. Krafft used regression analysis to determine which factors are most likely to have a positive or negative impact on the decision to stay versus the decision to leave.
The drivers of income identified in the study, also called predictor variables, are consistent with those used in academic research and the long history of research on selling. The incremental effect, in dollars, of a change in a predicted variable – either positive or negative – is explained in the study. All effects assume that other drivers are held constant and should be interpreted for changes on the margin.
The results are consistent with the authors’ modified Agency Theory model and suggest academic, managerial and policy implications regarding direct selling investments and assessments.
The 2016 formation of the DSEF Fellows program is an important step in deepening the Foundation’s connection to academic leaders who advance knowledge of the direct selling channel in their field of study. To support and sustain these important partnerships, DSEF created Fellows Learning Journeys – a pathway for exploration and discovery through immersive experiences with executive leadership and staff – for Fellows participating in DSA’s Annual Meeting.
“I appreciated the opportunity to attend the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting as a DSEF Fellow,” says Dr. Andy Gold, Business Administration and Entrepreneurship Professor, Hillsborough Community College. “It was a unique opportunity to learn about this complex and growing marketing channel. The insights from the Annual Meeting and keynote speakers will certainly help inform my students about this channel.”
The Fellows Learning Journey began with the Direct Selling Boot Camp, which provided academics with a comprehensive understanding of the business challenges that new direct selling companies face, and continued with a DSEF Fellows Workshop, in which Fellows shared their direct selling white papers and teaching successes with incoming Fellows.
Fellows also participated in networking and education tracks throughout the conference. “Throughout the Boot Camp and Annual Meeting, I saw countless examples of leaders doing the right thing, both for their companies and for their representatives,” says Dr. Bonnie Canziani, Associate Professor, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism Department; Coleman Fellow in Entrepreneurship at University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).
DSEF invests in dynamic partnerships with leading academics, who bring short-term impact through research and data-driven third-party validation for the channel. Seven Fellows highlighted recent and upcoming research during three business intelligence panels for executive attendees.
“It was wonderful to receive instant validation of our research from people who are living the reality of direct selling and entrepreneurship every day,” says Dr. Canziani, who co-presented with Dr. Dianne Welsh (UNCG) research comparing satisfaction rates among franchisees and direct sellers. “Our findings suggest that being aware of the field’s needs for flexibility and recognition is an important step in keeping sellers interested and motivated to maintain connections with their companies.”