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Ilona Pezenka and David Bourdin present their research at the EMAC Regional Conference in Saint Petersburg

October 3, 2019

Ilona Pezenka and David Bourdin from the Department of Communication at FHWien der WKW presented their empirical research findings at Saint Petersburg State University of Economics.

The 10th Regional Conference of the European Marketing Academy (EMAC) was hosted by the reputable Saint Petersburg State University of Economics in Russia from September 25 to 27, 2019. Approximately 100 international academics were invited to present the results of their research after their submissions passed a rigorous peer-review selection process. The Department of Communication at FHWien der WKW was represented with contributions by Ilona Pezenka and David Bourdin.

FH-Prof. Dr. Ilona Pezenka (Senior Researcher) and David Bourdin, MSc (Teaching & Research Associate) held a joint presentation entitled “The Relationship between Seller Personality and Buyer Evaluations: Facial Expressions as Moderators”. By analyzing sales conversations with automated facial recognition technology, they were able to show that the personality traits of openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness among sellers lead to more negative evaluations by buyers, whereas emotional stability and extraversion are positively related to buyer evaluations. Furthermore, results indicate that joy and surprise are emotions that significantly moderate the relationship between the seller’s conscientiousness and agreeableness and buyers’ perceptions of some aspects of the sales situation. These findings have important implications for employee recruitment and training.

In addition, David Bourdin presented a second paper entitled “The Influence of Employee Accent on Customer Participation in Services”. Together with Dr. Christina Sichtmann (Associate Professor at the Chair of International Marketing, University of Vienna), he found that the perceived strength and familiarity of a service employee’s accent do not directly affect customer participation. Rather, a particular type of accent reduces customer participation due to negative stereotypes, whereas a positively connoted accent does not affect customer participation. This implies that service providers should invest resources in employee training that increases their ability to instill trust in customers and to consistently deliver superior performance. The reason is that customers rate employees with a negatively connoted accent lower than local employees only when the service outcome is unfavorable.

By participating at the EMAC Regional Conference in Russia, Ilona Pezenka and David Bourdin were able to gain innovative ideas for future research projects, to network with researchers from universities across the globe, and to strengthen the reputation of FHWien der WKW within the international academic community.