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Fall 2014

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Diversity in the Checkout Lane

Study shows that businesses with employees who reflect the ethnic makeup of the community could produce more loyal customers 

Elten Briggs

Elten Briggs

In today’s market of online sales, early-bird specials, and door-buster giveaways, retailers look for every possible edge to cultivate a loyal customer base. But a UT Arlington study shows it may just boil down to who a buyer sees at the checkout counter.

Marketing Associate Professor Elten Briggs and co-investigator Detra Montoya, an associate professor at Arizona State University, found that hiring an employee force that mimics the diversity of the community could promote customer loyalty.

“The study shows that if I’m a service provider, I have to reflect the audience I’m seeking,” Dr. Briggs says. “When customers share the same ethnicity with their salesman or customer service agent, they generally have a more favorable perception of the business. Maybe because they feel they have some common ground with the employees.”

Though recent marketing research emphasizes the drawbacks of individual cultural differences—such as marketplace discrimination—it largely overlooks the potential positive effects of congruency between contact employees and customers. Briggs and Dr. Montoya’s study helps fill that gap. Using an experiment and a survey to analyze the influence of shared ethnicity on consumer behavior, they concluded that members of Asian and Hispanic cultures are more “collectivist” in the way they emphasize the social self and connectedness to others. For this reason, they may be more susceptible to the effects of shared ethnicity in the marketplace.

More articles from this issue

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