Wright State business faculty win prestigious Ranyard Medal for analytics research

Anand Jeyaraj, professor in the Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management

The Operational Research (OR) Society in the United Kingdom has awarded the prestigious Ranyard Medal to Wright State University business faculty members Anand Jeyaraj and Amir Hassan Zadeh for their paper on the alignment of business and social media strategies published in the Journal of Business Analytics (JBA).

Jeyaraj is a professor and Zadeh is an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management in the Raj Soin College of Business.

The inaugural award in 2020 is for work published in the Journal of Business Analytics’ 2018-19 editions. Jeyaraj and Zadeh’s paper was titled “Alignment of business and social media strategies: insights from a text mining analysis.”

“This is a paper that has the potential to be a highly cited paper from the JBA,” the journal wrote in announcing the award. “It uses analytics to solve a problem that is common among businesses, i.e., strategic alignment, and, in particular, the alignment between the overall strategy of the company and its social media strategy.”

The Ranyard Medal is awarded in recognition of the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of business analytics published in the Journal of Business Analytics. It is named in honor of John Ranyard, who made significant contributions to the field of business analytics and was a leader in building relationships between academics and industry, commerce and the public sector.

Jeyaraj said it is an honor to receive the medal.

“As business analytics gains rapid attention, it is gratifying that our research could potentially help organizations rethink the alignment between their business and social media strategies,” he said.

The journal said social media strategy is sometimes an afterthought whose relevance to the business model and strategy of the company is not given sufficient attention.

“This paper dispels this notion and provides practical help to organizations in identifying drift between the formal stated strategy and the potentially more idiosyncratic view of strategy presented in social media,” the journal said. “Crucially, the issue analyzed by the paper has not only practical relevance but also has theoretical significance for the study of strategic alignment.”

Amir Hassan Zadeh, associate professor of management information systems

Jeyaraj and Zadeh used a sample of 33 organizations in the information technology industry in their research. The organizations’ business strategies were identified using data extracted from annual 10-K reports while their social media strategies were identified from Twitter feeds. Text mining techniques were used to uncover patterns of alignments between business and social media strategies.

“Text analytics is becoming a core practice in today’s organizations as more and more business functions become digitalized,” said Zadeh. “It is exciting to contribute to this important field, and I am truly honored and grateful to the OR Society for the recognition of our work.”

Jeyaraj and Zadeh said results of their research show that organizations offering software products and services achieved high levels of alignment while those dealing with internet products and services experienced lower levels of alignment.

“Organizations may find it useful to reconsider their messaging on social media,” Jeyaraj and Zadeh wrote. “This research found that high alignment was achieved by organizations that generally focused on customer and IT strategy in their social media posts.”

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