Jamie Hyodo joins DAN Management

Jamie Hyodo, Assistant Professor, DAN Department of Management & Organizaitonal Studies

Jamie Hyodo is interested in moral and persuasive forces, and how they influence consumer behaviour.

Hyodo has joined the DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies as an Assistant Professor. Hyodo researches the psychological processes behind how consumers make decisions.

His research, “tends to be rooted in observation of phenomena in the marketplace, wondering if there are implications of the decision that the business is aware of,” he said.

In one set of studies, Hyodo and his co-researcher looked at religious priming, and how it impacted consumer response to an organization’s perceived failures. The study found that if someone has religion top of mind in a moment - which could be after coming from a religious service, or even being presented with religious symbolism or quotes - they would be more likely to respond in a forgiving manner. Through experiments, the studies showed that in a variety of situations – an athlete behaving poorly, a restaurant serving bad meal, a brand getting backlash for using insensitive marketing materials – so long as people in the religious mindset felt an apology or attempt to rectify a situation was forthcoming and sincere, they would behave in a manner of forgiving the perpetrator.

The people, Hyodo said, do not even need to be particularly religious, and he found the same effect for people who identified as atheist or agnostic, as those groups are aware of religious symbols.

“Most literature suggests that it doesn’t matter who you are if you have a bad experience you are upset,” said Hyodo. “These people are still upset, but are more willing to have the situation ameliorated.”

In another study, Hyodo identified ‘the favour request effect’, which allows sellers to help close a negotiation. During transactions with room for negotiations, such as car purchases, there is a chance that sales can get lost through lengthy negotiations, which is a bad result for seller and buyer.

During negotiations, if the seller offers a price decrease but then also requests a favour from the buyer – a positive review, or some form of recommendation – it leads to a far higher acceptance of the price, and the sale.

“When the seller asked for a favour, the buyer was far more likely to view the seller positively, and to see the price as the very best price the seller could give,” said Hyodo. “It is actually a worse offer than if the favour wasn’t requested, because there is a sense of guilt or obligation from the buyer.”

While businesses have tended to be careful to not convey moral judgements or stances, in an effort to appeal to all consumers, this has changed recently.

“Consumers are motivated to support or boycott brands based on organizations they support. We’re in a politically charged state. Consumers are highly educated, and aware of which brands contribute to different campaigns,” he said. “Businesses have been motivated to take stances on moral issues they think consumers want.”

A recent example of brands needing to pivot in the moment, and showing their own morality was the decision by ScotiaBank and other companies to pull their sponsorship from Hockey Canada, in response to perceived failures to respond to sexual assault allegations. “It's a risky move, but ScotiaBank made the decision they needed to signal their values,” Hyodo said.

Joining DAN Management is a homecoming of sorts for Hyodo. He began his undergraduate education in the ACS program - the precursor to the Management & Organizational Studies - before completing his HBA at Ivey Business School. He followed that with a Masters of Science in Management at Queens and a PhD in Marketing at Penn State. He taught at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln for six years before joining DAN Management in May 2022.

Hyodo said he feels that he is “joining the department at a great time”, when there is a strong upward trajectory. “There is lots of undergrad interest in DAN Management,” he said. “It’s an excellent department with great people in it. I’m excited to work with them. It’s been a long circle back to Western, but I’m happy to be here at last.”