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Tim Maroz ’02 (Minsk, Belarus), an economics and business major, is among 34 Lafayette students who have been invited to make presentations on their scholarly research at the 16th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) April 25-28.

This year’s presenters will bring to more than 350 the number of Lafayette students who have participated in NCUR, the only national conference dedicated to showcasing research by college undergraduates. More than 400 colleges and universities will send students to this year’s conference hosted by the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.

Maroz will present findings from his senior honors thesis entitled “Impact of Co-determination on Productive Efficiency and Factor of Production Strategies of German Companies,” which speaks to the merits and drawbacks of the German tradition of corporate governance, or co-determination. His research includes interviewing German and U.S. executives and reading financial and corporate information in German.

Ute Schumacher, visiting assistant professor of economics and business; Gladstone Fluney Hutchinson, acting dean of studies; and Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures, are advising the project.

“My instructors are very knowledgeable and together they guide me towards understanding the complete picture, including economic, political, and cultural aspects of codetermination,” the student says.

In Germany’s system of shared corporate governance, employees fill half of the seats on a company’s supervisory board in companies with more than 2,000 workers.

“By allowing workers to participate in the company’s decision-making process, co-determination may enhance worker motivation and thus productivity. At the same time, by impacting upon relative factor rewards, it may alter the firm’s optimal input mix and entail long-run productivity implications,” Schumacher explains.

Maroz decided to write his thesis on corporate governance because it is a hot topic in economics and politics, “as the economic integration within the European Union intensifies and as the EU tries to increase its competitiveness vis-�-vis the U.S. via various structural reforms,” he explains.

Schumacher notes that Germany and other European countries will be forced to make necessary changes to their business and legal framework, labor market, capital market, output market, management structure, and business administration as a result of the increasingly integrated business environment with its attendant greater competition in the capital and output markets.

The student will focus his study on Siemens, a German multinational with subsidiaries that operate within the system of co-determination in Germany and others in the U.S. that do not. He will interview executives and employee representatives at Siemens, and will look at the microeconomic data on specific production lines, or plants, to compare the productivity of labor in German and American operations.

Maroz says this project is unlike any other he has done. “It is more in-depth and it involves analyzing a vast majority of information sources, ranging from newspapers and economic articles to phone interviews with German executives and microeconomic datasets from German and American subsidiaries of multinational corporations,” he says. “I am excited about my project because it involves a lot of high-level theoretical thinking about the factors impacting productivity and about the labor-capital relationship.”

“Tim’s choice of a topic shows him to be forward-looking, insightful, entrepreneurial, and confident,” Schumacher says. “He has approached his research with infectious enthusiasm and dedication. I have learned much from working with him and am convinced his future is bright.”

“Tim’s German is excellent,” says Lamb-Faffelberger. “His sources for research are primarily German text materials sent to him by German companies upon his request. Without his advanced knowledge of the German language, he could not engage in this particular research project.”

“I have always enjoyed my interactions with him because of his exceptional intellectual curiosity,” she adds.

“I believe that Lafayette provides a good environment for extensive academic research,” notes Maroz, who was invited last year to join Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States.

Maroz tutors students in calculus, microeconomics, and corporate finance. He’s a member of Investment Club, German Club, Wine Society, International Affairs Club, and International Students Association. He spent the spring semester of his junior year studying in Vienna, and in his free time, he likes to play squash, tennis, golf, and basketball.

Categorized in: Academic News