TAMU-CC Business Professors at RELLIS Recognized for Research

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Studying business is often associated with quantitative measures like numbers and statistics. Very few connect it with the qualitative feeling of compassion, but that’s exactly what two Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi RELLIS Business professors have done.

The Island University’s Drs. Katherine Taken Smith, Professor of Marketing, and Lawrence Murphy Smith, Professor of Accounting, received the KPMG Outstanding Published Manuscript Award for their paper, “Analysis of Compassion in Accounting and Business Students, Overall and by Gender.” The Journal of Accounting Education published their research in 2020. Both professors received recognition in the form of a plaque and cash award, along with their coauthors, Dr. Hannah Michelle Russell and Dr. Donald L. Ariail.

The Texas A&M University System RELLIS campus, located in Bryan, Texas, is the first integrated education, research, and testing institution in the state. TAMU-CC aids the innovative campus by providing top-notch business instruction. Katherine Smith is a highly referenced researcher, with over 3,000 citations to her work listed on Google Scholar. She has been part of the Islander community since 2017, educating students on advertising, consumer behavior, and principles. Murphy Smith is a prolific writer, his academic record contains over 200 journal articles, 23 books and monographs, as well as 28 awards and special recognitions for teaching and research.  

“All of us at RELLIS congratulate TAMU-CC Business Professors Katherine and Murphy for this significant recognition of their outstanding research,” said Dr. Nancy Shankle, RELLIS Provost. “They exemplify our excellent faculty at RELLIS, who give the very best in all in their academic roles, teaching, research, and service.”


KPMG Award Recipients

Drs. Katherine Taken Smith and Lawrence Murphy Smith with RELLIS Provost Dr. Nancy Shankle

The Smiths’ recent research examines ethics, international accounting, and the impact of religiosity on business and society. They explain that research shows compassion leads to higher life satisfaction, better job performance, and improved organizational success.

“In our paper, we cite one of the world’s most famous stories about compassion, the Parable of Good Samaritan by Jesus of Nazareth. The Samaritan gives life-saving aid to a badly beaten robbery victim. What makes the Samaritan’s compassionate act even more remarkable is that he aided a person from a different race and culture,” Katherine Smith noted. “Encouraging people to be compassionate toward others, especially to people who are different, including people of all races and cultures, is what being a true ‘Good Samaritan’ is all about. The world can always use more acts of compassion. Compassion is a virtue that makes a society healthy, kinder, gentler, and a blessing to all.”

In the research, the Smiths discussed how educators can incorporate ethical values in their courses to help students develop character and personal values, which could in turn result in more successful, ethically-minded future business leaders and organizations.

“Students indicate that showing compassion is important to their future careers in accounting and business,” said Murphy Smith. “We found that educators would do well to discuss compassion with their students, making them knowledgeable of its benefit to them personally, to the organizations in which they will work, and to society overall.”