Research Seminars      


Dr. Siobhan O’Mahony (BU-QUESTROM)

Co written with Amisha Miller (New York University)


May 21st, 2024 from 19h00 am to 11:30 am, Online / N231


Evaluating entrepreneurial potential: Where do gender disparities come from?

When data is in short supply, evaluators may rely on ascriptive characteristics that do not reflect underlying quality. This can create “leaky pipelines”, where candidates exit evaluation prematurely. Much research on this problem explains how organizations can mitigate biases by focusing on performance. Yet, many organizations evaluate entrepreneurial potential – the ability of a startup, innovator or idea to create and capture future value. Evaluating potential differs from performance in that the past may not predict the future, but the processes used are largely understudied. How do organizations evaluate entrepreneurial potential? To address this gap, we conducted a three year field study with Connect, a global investment organization that evaluated entrepreneurial potential regularly and aimed to diversify its investments. We conducted 59 interviews, observed 171 hours of evaluation processes and analyzed the full pipeline data for 665 startups. We inducted six phases of evaluation: from defining measurement to comparing data, noting where startups leaked. We identified four moments where data or assumptions disappeared which inhibited systematic collective scrutiny and comparison of entrepreneurial potential. We traced how these moments produced gendered investment outcomes, counter to Connect’s strategy. We also interviewed 34 investors from Connect’s varied partner organizations and corroborated our process findings globally. Rather than focus on evaluators’ biases, we contribute a grounded process model that explains how and where pipeline leaks occur: with four moments where data, assumptions and startups disappear from collective scrutiny and comparison. These findings are relevant to organizations evaluating entrepreneurial potential, especially those aiming to cultivate diversity.



Dr. Filippo Wezel (USI-LUGANO)


May 14th, 2024 from 10h00 am to 11:30 am, Online / N231


Hiring via secondary affiliation

This paper establishes the phenomenon of hiring via secondary employment affiliations as an effective practice that organizations may leverage when targeting employees of other organizations. Hiring via secondary employment affiliations involves a two-stage enculturation process which organizes in distinct phases the socialization and identification of new hires, and thus facilitates the integration of their human capital into the hiring organization. Our data-driven exploration of the population of hires among in the Swedish private sector suggests that larger salary increases, higher chances of promotion, and lower rates of inter-firm mobility are observed among employees hired via secondary employment affiliations compared to conventional hires (i.e., to employees hired from other organizations without a secondary employment affiliation). These differences appear most pronounced among younger and smaller firms. We elaborate on the conceptual implications of these findings for organizations.


Dr. Lisa Cohen (MCGILL)

Co written with Sara Mahabadi (Alberta University) & Arvind Karunakaran (Stanford University)


April 23rd, 2024 from 10h00 am to 11:30 am, Online / N231


You can’t always get what you want:

Hiring as an occasion for investors to structure startup teams

Investors care about the structure and membership of the teams of the startups in which they invest. Yet, little is known about how investors might influence entrepreneurs to create the type of teams they want to invest in and the longer-term implications of this for startups. In this paper, we examine one way investors influence team structure—through involvement in startup hiring—and how entrepreneurs respond to these efforts. To understand how hiring is an occasion for investors to influence the structure of startups, we analyze observations and interviews with 138 startup investors, entrepreneurs (founders, hiring managers), employees (from intern to CEO), and experts in over 100 organizations on the hiring process. We follow the development of eight of these startups for two years to understand the longer-term effects of investor interventions in hiring. We identify a general process by which investors leverage their involvement in hiring to influence the structure of startup teams: investors come to common and consistent expectations about team composition and structure; they communicate these expectations to entrepreneurs; and most startups embrace investor expectations and collaborate with investors to meet these expectations. For the most part, this results in startups that take on common initial imprints that last into the future. However, we document two exceptions to this process. The pattern differs for expectations around demographic diversity and for experienced entrepreneurs. In unpacking hiring as a mechanism through which investors influence the structure and composition of startup teams, we contribute to literatures in several areas. We build a process model that explains how it is that investors influence startup team composition and structure that could be extended to explain other areas of investor influence. It also provides some initial evidence about when this process will lead to met expectations and when it will not. It is not only about whether the expectation makes sense or not. It is about the content of that expectation and the nature of those receiving it. Further, we add to recent work on how the process of hiring works.  It is not a process that is limited to formal interactions between job candidates and hiring managers. It is a series of interactions that can produce much more than bringing people into the organization and it can influence how these nascent organizations get structured and grow.  In this case, it builds relationships between investors and entrepreneurs and build organizational structures and processes in the longer-term.  Finally, we add to understanding of why diversity targets may not be met in all situations.


Dr. Vera Rocha (CBS)


April 2nd, 2024 from 10h00 am to 11:30 am, Online / N231


Forced migration challenges host countries to integrate large numbers of refugees. Equality in employment opportunities and work conditions are critical for integration. However, most refugees are paid less than what is earned by domestic employees with similar human capital. This has been explained by labor market frictions allowing firms to bargain for the lowest possible wages when recruiting employees with few outside options, such as refugees. This perspective overlooks firm heterogeneity and assumes that firms face no stakeholder pressures or reputation damages from extracting as much value as possible from vulnerable employees. We leverage upper echelon theory and argue that top managers who have worked for advocacy groups in the past and, thus, were exposed to stakeholder and societal concerns will pay comparatively higher wages to refugees and reduce the disadvantage they face vis-à-vis domestic employees with similar characteristics. To isolate this effect, we reason that this effect is stronger in contexts where top managers have more managerial discretion, i.e., in resource-abundant firms and high-growth markets. Our analysis supports our hypotheses for a sample of 174,303 employees (including 7,284 refugees) hired by 10,137 firms in Denmark between 2001 and 2016.


Dr. Michaël Bickard (INSEAD)


March 12th, 2024 from 09h30 am to 11h00 am, Online / N231


Standing on the Shoulders of (Male) Giants: Gender Inequality and the Technological Impact of Scientific Ideas (joint work with Isabel Fernandez-Mateo and Ronak Mogra)


This paper shows that gender inequality affects the extent to which scientific ideas are used to develop new technologies. Despite strong incentives to select the most promising ideas, we claim that inventors are more likely to build on men’s rather than women’s science.  Empirically, we track the citations that scientific publications receive in patented inventions and find that the papers led by female scientists receive fewer citations, both in a large sample of millions of publications as well as in a smaller sample of twin discoveries. We further explore the mechanism using interviews and an online experiment. The gap in patent-to-paper citations does not appear driven by credit allocation or varying opinion about the technological value of male- versus female-authored papers. Rather, the pattern of results is consistent with inventors being more aware of scientific publications authored by men. These findings have implications for our understanding of frictions in science-based technology development, as well as for broader theories of how gender inequality shapes cumulative innovation.



Dr. Mario Danielle Amore (HEC)


February 6th, 2024 from 09h30 am to 11h00 am, Online / N231


Time Tells: Unraveling the Temporal and Risk Dynamics of Venture Capitalists


Access to funds is critical for new ventures, yet many struggle to secure financing. Why are some investors more likely than others to finance new ventures? We address this question by studying the influence of time and risk preferences on venture capital’s investment decisions. Using data from a large-scale incentivized survey of venture capitalists in Europe, our findings reveal that patient venture capitalists favor early-stage firms, whereas risk-averse venture capitalists invest in more mature ones. Moreover, we show that risk and time preferences provide different pathways to success: risk-averse investors are more likely to exit through a trade sale, whereas patient investors exit more often through an initial public offering (IPO). The most favorable path to an IPO occurs when investors demonstrate both patience and a willingness to take risks, highlighting an interplay between risk and time preferences.


Dr. Thorsten Grohsjean (Bucconi)


January 23rd, 2024 from 09h30 am to 11h00 am, Online / N231


Can you go home again? Performance assistance between boomerangs and incumbent employees


Boomerangs, i.e., rehires, should have advantages over other new hires for integrating into an organization due to their familiarity with the work context and pre-existing relationships. However, current research suggests that the effects of hiring boomerangs may not be straightforwardly positive. To better understand these effects, we investigate how boomerangs’ social integration into a work team differs from that of other new hires due to their pre-existing relationships, and how those relationships shape their and incumbents’ competence and motivation to provide assistance for collective performance. We theorize and find that compared to other new hires, boomerangs exhibit more performance assistance toward incumbent former and new colleagues. In contrast, incumbent former colleagues do not direct their performance assistance toward boomerangs, contrary to our prediction, nor do incumbent new colleagues. This study contributes to the nascent literature on boomerangs and the literature on job mobility by finding evidence that prior relationships condition the behavior of both boomerangs and incumbents.


Ella Miron-Spektor, INSEAD

June 6th, 2023 from 11:00 am to 12.30 am, Online / N231

Harnessing the Paradox Mindset for Enhanced Team Performance and Creativity


To maximize team performance and foster creative solutions, it is crucial for teams to navigate conflicting perspectives and integrate competing task demands. In this talk, I will discuss recent and ongoing research on the effectiveness of a collective paradox mindset in enhancing team performance and creativity. I will present two studies on teams. The first (N= 323), demonstrated that teams primed with a paradox mindset (i.e., paradoxical frames), coupled with high epistemic motivation, generate more creative solutions compared to teams with paradox mindset but low epistemic motivation. Teams with high epistemic motivation that solely emphasize information sharing, without embracing paradoxes, fall short in producing creative outcomes. Teams with paradoxical frames and high epistemic motivation are more creative because they engage in idea elaboration they exchange, consider, and integrate diverse ideas and perspectives. By contrast, other teams settle on suboptimal middle-way solutions that do not address task demands. The second study investigated highly diverse teams (N=131) over an extended period and unveiled the protective effects of having team members with a paradox mindset in the face of relationship conflicts. These team members were found to buffer the negative impacts of relationship conflict on team potency and performance. Together, the studies show that when teams collectively work through their tensions, they improve their performance and creativity. By shedding light on the underlying processes that enable teams to harness task and team tensions, this research contributes valuable insights into the advantages of embracing a paradox mindset within teams. 

Perry-Smith Jill, Emory 

May 23th, 2023 from 9:15 am to 11.30 am, Online / N231  

Creativity and the idea journey: Social network pathways to success

The creative idea journey involves a series of distinct phases: idea generation, idea elaboration, idea championing, and idea implementation. Instead of traversing across phases and moving through the journey, promising ideas sometimes get stuck or permanently stall. We investigate the first and second half of the idea journey across two papers and illuminate when creative ideas may not advance. In the first paper, we identify the types of network ties (weak or strong) that are helpful in idea generation and idea elaboration, and given this understanding, whether individuals activate ties accordingly. In a series of experiments, we provide evidence of the causal effects of weak and strong ties for each phase. We also find that individuals with large networks, despite providing more opportunity to activate both strong and weak ties, activate fewer weak ties and are less likely to switch ties across phases than individuals with smaller networks, particularly when creativity is perceived as a high-risk endeavor. Finally, we find that activating the wrong ties leads to either dropping creative ideas or pursuing uncreative ones. In the second paper, we focus on idea championing. Building on social approaches to creativity and evaluation, we theorize that what fosters attention and inclusion in the consideration set, may not necessarily lead to final positive evaluation and selection for implementation. We test our theory in an original archival dataset of 983 screenplays selected between 2005 and 2017. Our results reveal that promising scripts handled by socially active champions receive gatekeepers’ attention yet are also less likely to advance to implementation.

Nilanjana Dutt, Bocconi 

May 16th, 2023 from 9:15 am to 11.30 am, Online N231  

Autonomy and the Management of Knowledge in Multi-Unit Firms 

Nilanjana Dutt 

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology & iCRIOS 

Luisa Gagliardi 

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology & iCRIOS & CEP/(SERC) 

Grigorios Spanos 

University of Geneva - Geneva School of Economics and Management 


Autonomy is an essential managerial tool, especially for firms that are managing knowledge units in several locations. Although these firms typically monitor their subsidiaries, monitoring may be too costly with geographically distant units. Autonomy could support the development of distant subsidiaries' knowledge assets efficiently. We examine the conditions under which multi-unit firms use autonomy to manage their subsidiaries. Specifically, we focus on the link between autonomy and subsidiaries' level of knowledge assets. We find that when distant units have autonomy, they have greater knowledge assets. As these results are stronger in thicker markets, these subsidiaries likely build their knowledge by interacting with the local market. On the other hand, proximate units that are autonomous have fewer knowledge assets. This result supports the conventional wisdom that most subsidiaries benefit from control and knowledge transfer from the headquarter. Our research highlights the importance of autonomy as a strategic tool to improve the organizational performance of distant subsidiaries.

Kevin Corley, Imperial Business School 

April 18th, 2023 from 9.15 am to 11.30 am, Online / N231

Beyond Terroir: Tracing the Origins of a Strategic Group Identity in the Shadow of an Established Market Category Identity

Two particularly notable, but distinct, theoretical foundations for understanding collective identity, one advocating a social actor conception and the other a social constructivist view, suggest that collective identity plays an important role in the ultimate success of organizational groupings. Neither view alone, however, can explain how and why, despite the existence of a market category identity (MCI), a strategic group identity (SGI) originated amongst a set of organisations for whom the MCI was not of significance. Nor can they explain how and why such a SGI triggered a reinterpretation of the MCI. Our in-depth inductive study of the Franciacorta group of wineries allowed us to gain insight into the micro-level mechanisms at play in the SGI origination process, as well as how that nascent SGI helped create a new MCI. Our model helps scholars better understand the heretofore unexamined mechanisms responsible for the initial emergence of a collective identity in the shadow of an existing one, and the important role independent agents play in those origination mechanisms. In so doing, it provides novel theoretical grounding to the dynamics underpinning collective identity formation and the interactions between different types of collective identities.


April 4th, 2023 from 9.15 am to 11.30 am, Online

Elaborative Play: How Creative Groups Crystalize Novel Ideas


How can group members collaborate on developing new ideas when those ideas are too vague for individual group members to understand, communicate, or assess? To investigate how groups crystallize novel ideas (i.e., give a fuzzy, abstract concept form and make it clearer, more comprehensible, and communicable), we conducted a qualitative study of experimental circus groups in the early phases of creating a new show. Using field observations of nine groups over ten months (approximately 360 hours), and 39 interviews, we found that crystallizing ideas was critical, yet rare and unpredictable. Much of groups’ time was spent on elaborative work, which provided and refined necessary raw materials, but paradoxically, made crystallizing a particular idea more difficult. Instead, ideas crystallized during infrequent, emergent bursts of elaborative play, during which members became engrossed in the process and the process decoupled from the intentional pursuit of creating a circus show. Our study contributes to understanding the “messy middle” of collective creativity, revealing that, rather than linear and progressive, iteration is an unpredictable, tedious process punctuated by sudden leaps forward during bright spots of play; and showing how, rather than possessing inherent value, novel ideas are imbued with value through groups’ intuition- and emotion-fuelled interactions with them.

Ming Leung  from  UC Irvine

March 14th, 2023 from 9.15 am to 11.30 am, Online / N231

An Uphill Battle: Employer Learning and the Persistence of Occupational Gender Segregation

(with Claire Daviss)

Abstract :

Extant work recognises that gender biases in hiring contribute to occupational gender segregation. However, little attention has been paid to the ways that employers’ experiences with women and men workers may contribute to undermine these biases. The authors propose that employers update their preferences for gender typical workers based on their experiences with workers. We test for evidence of employer updating drawing on rare access to longitudinal hiring data from an online labor marketplace. Results of linear probability regressions demonstrate that employers more strongly favor women as they accumulate more experiences with women workers. A simulation of employer hiring decisions over time elucidates implications of gendered employer learning for occupational gender segregation. Employer updating leads to a persistence of gender segregation in highly gender segregated occupations but leads to gender integration where employers have more frequent experiences with gender atypical workers, such as in more moderately segregated occupations. This paper therefore highlights the link between micro-level gendered employer updating and the persistence of macro-level occupational gender segregation.

CANCELLED John Mawdsley from HEC Paris 

February 14th, 2023 from 9.15 am to 11.30 am, Online / N405

Intra- and Inter-Group Dynamics and the Market for Quality: 

Examining Mobility of Elite Professionals 

Claudia Gabbioneta (Univ. of York)

John Mawdsley (HEC Paris)

Daniel Muzio (Univ. of York)

Abstract :

Knowledge-based organizations rely on the human and social capital of their professional workers for competitive advantage. This creates incentives to recruit elite professionals. Yet, prior research challenges the assumption that recruiting exceptional talent necessarily improves group and firm performance. In this study, we investigate how intra-and inter-group factors moderate the relationship between recruiting a talented individual into a group and that group’s quality-performance. Using a longitudinal panel dataset of UK law firms, we show that while recruiting an elite professional into a group reduces the quality of services delivered to buyers, this negative weakens when the average quality of group-incumbents is higher and strengthens when the organization has a higher number of other high-quality groups. Additional analyses dig deeper into the mechanisms of our findings. Our study contributes to the strategic human capital, employee mobility, and group dynamics literatures.  

Nilanjana Dutt  Bocconi University

POSTPONED January 17th, 2023  from 9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., Online / N405

Autonomy and the Management of Knowledge in Multi-Unit Firms 

Nilanjana Dutt 

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology & iCRIOS 

Luisa Gagliardi 

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology & iCRIOS & CEP/(SERC) 

Grigorios Spanos 

University of Geneva - Geneva School of Economics and Management 


Abstract :

Autonomy is an essential managerial tool, especially for firms that are managing knowledge units in several locations. Although these firms typically monitor their subsidiaries, monitoring may be too costly with geographically distant units. Autonomy could support the development of distant subsidiaries' knowledge assets efficiently. We examine the conditions under which multi-unit firms use autonomy to manage their subsidiaries. Specifically, we focus on the link between autonomy and subsidiaries' level of knowledge assets. We find that when distant units have autonomy, they have greater knowledge assets. As these results are stronger in thicker markets, these subsidiaries likely build their knowledge by interacting with the local market. On the other hand, proximate units that are autonomous have fewer knowledge assets. This result supports the conventional wisdom that most subsidiaries benefit from control and knowledge transfer from the headquarter. Our research highlights the importance of autonomy as a strategic tool to improve the organizational performance of distant subsidiaries.


Giacomo Negro (Emory)

June 14th, 2022  from 9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., Online / N517 

Social Structure and the Refraction of Social Control: Naming Names During the Hollywood Blacklist

Although social control is often conceived as a macro phenomenon imposed on a population, individuals embedded within communities, such as members of a professional group, provide critical information as to who is and is not violating laws and regulations. By calling the police, whistleblowing, or notifying the authorities in other ways, community members simultaneously facilitate and mediate the imposition of social control. Yet reporting others within a community involves potentially endangering neighbors, colleagues, and friends by identifying them for punishment. In this paper, we theorize the ways in which social structure shapes the imposition of social control by influencing individuals’ patterns of reporting others to the authorities. Specifically, we argue that social environments that are more cooperative lead to different patterns of reporting than environments that are more competitive, holding constant the laws, the means of enforcement, and the transgression. We evaluate this theory using data from the Hollywood film industry during the late 1940s and 1950s, when fear of Communist influences in Hollywood led to a series of investigations by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Over 100 creatives were forced to testify, with anyone named in the hearings immediately blacklisted from the industry. Differentiating between writers (who were structurally more cooperative) and actors (who were structurally more competitive), we show how social control diffused differentially through these two populations, revealing a greater impact of accuracy and publicity in competitive environments, and of network diffusion in more cooperative ones. 


Claudio Panico (BOCCONI) 

May 17th, 2022  from 9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., Online / Le Club N 231  


The creation and division of a joint value is a defining feature of team-based structures within and between organizations. Members should cooperate by providing their contribution and resisting the temptation to shirk, while avoiding latent conflicts that trigger rent-seeking behaviors. Going beyond examining the opposite situations, when members are cooperative or not, we conceptualize cooperation in relation to the tension between value creation and value appropriation. Using a formal model, we examine scenarios of full, partial, and no cooperation, addressing the effects of team size on members’ behaviors. We then examine members’ willingness to cooperate in the shadow of the future by means of mutual monitoring and reciprocity. To do so, we account for different defections from cooperation and posit that members calibrate retaliation to the non-cooperative behaviors they observe in their team. We show that members of larger teams are less tempted to shirk and more tempted to engage in rent-seeking and provide conditions for full and partial cooperation (i.e., coopetition).


March 10, 2022 from 9.15 a.m. to 10.45 a.m., Online / N517 

To Engage or Not to Engage with AI for Critical Judgments: How Professionals Deal with Opacity When Using AI for Medical Diagnosis

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies promise to transform how professionals conduct knowledge work by augmenting their capabilities for making professional judgments. We know little, however, about how human-AI augmentation takes place in practice. Yet, gaining this understanding is particularly important when professionals use AI tools to form judgments on critical decisions. We conducted an in-depth field study in a major U.S. hospital where AI tools were used in three departments by diagnostic radiologists making breast cancer, lung cancer, and bone age determinations. The study illustrates the hindering effects of opacity that professionals experienced when using AI tools and explores how these professionals grappled with it in practice. In all three departments, this opacity resulted in professionals experiencing increased uncertainty because AI tool results often diverged from their initial judgment without providing underlying reasoning. Only in one department (of the three) did professionals consistently incorporate AI results into their final judgments, achieving what we call engaged augmentation. These professionals invested in AI interrogation practices—practices enacted by human experts to relate their own knowledge claims to AI knowledge claims. Professionals in the other two departments did not enact such practices and did not incorporate AI inputs into their final decisions, which we call unengagedaugmentation.” Our study unpacks the challenges involved in augmenting professional judgment with powerful, yet opaque, technologies and contributes to literature on AI adoption in knowledge work.

Spencer Harrison (INSEAD)  

February 15, 2022 from 9.15 a.m. to 10.45 a.m., Online / N517 

Point Break?

The impact of creative differences on directors’ careers and the process of creative vitrification

Popular images of creative leaders often depict them as difficult to work with and yet, worth the struggle because of their ability to innovate: the so-called “jerk genius.” Leading creative group work requires, by design, managing differences in perspective, vision, and ideas. In this multimethod study, we examine the both the long-term effects of creative leaders fail that spark disagreements that lead to broken collaborations and the process that leads to these breakdowns. Integrating perspectives from research on the social turn in creativity and using an archival sample of Hollywood directors leaving projects due to “creative differences,” we first assess the relationship between creative differences and creative leaders’ future career success. Empirical  evidence support our hypotheses that creative leaders leaving projects due to “creative differences” experience drop offs in future employability and creativity success. In a subsequent qualitative study, we discovered the process of creative vitrification, that explains the underlying social dynamics that harden and subsequently break creative collaborations leading to “creative differences.” Together, our multimethod findings breaks new ground, challenging prevailing notions of the value of disagreeable creative leaders by revealing the long-term consequences of these behaviors while also elucidating the often obscured process of creative vitrification that leads to breakdowns in collaboration. 

Maria Guadalupe INSEAD 

Tuesday, January 11th, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15 AM, Online.

Learning, Clarity and Credibility in Teams: Evidence from an Agile Organization

This paper studies team dynamics in the product development section of a large bank that is structured following the Agile model i.e. around self-managed teams, with few interdependencies among them. In collaboration with the bank, I ran 5 surveys of teams between October 2015 and February 2017 that allow me to describe the evolution of an agile organization and study the main drivers of sustained cooperation and coordination within 382 teams. First, I show that performance and engagement improve over time and this is mostly driven by team learning rather than selection of teams. Then, exploiting within team variation over time and controlling for a rich set of potential drivers of team’s outcomes, I show the importance of trust, common “culture”, quality of communication and several dimensions of clarity for efficiency and employee engagement at the team level. Third, I am able to compare the importance of those features in agile teams relative to non-agile teams and show that, while the drivers of performance are similar, good communication and trust are more relevant for performance in agile teams. I interpret the results as allowing me to test the importance of clarity and credibility for the team relational contract in an agile context. Finally, I show how different people in the organization evaluate performance in a setting with complex, multidimensional tasks that are inherently difficult to obtain hard measures for. I find that different observers have a similar assessment of team performance, but also differ in some interesting ways. The importance of the measured features which are “soft” in nature and dependent on interaction highlight the difficulty in copying key organizational practices across organizations.

Henry Sauermann  of ESMT Berlin

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15 AM, Online / N517

Can Early-Stage Startups Hire Talented Scientists and Engineers? Ability, Preferences, and Employee Job Choice

Early-stage technology startups rely critically on talented scientists and engineers to commercialize new technologies. And yet, these startups compete with large technology firms to hire the best workers. Theories of ability sorting predict that high ability workers will choose jobs in large established firms that offer complementary assets and higher pay, leaving low ability workers to take lower-paying and riskier jobs in startups. We propose an alternative view in which heterogeneity in both worker ability and preferences enables early-stage startups to hire talented workers who have a distinct taste for a startup work environment, even at lower pay. Using a longitudinal survey that follows 2,394 science and engineering PhDs from graduate school to industrial R&D occupations, we overcome common challenges in studying job choice by observing both ability and ex ante stated preferences years prior to first-time employment. We find that higher ability workers are more likely to join early-stage startups, despite receiving significantly lower pay than their established firm counterparts. Supplementary analyses show that preferences predict who applies to startup jobs, while ability predicts who receives startup job offers. We also show that since many more individuals apply to startup jobs than there are openings, startups can “cherry pick” the most talented workers. Despite resource constraints and greater risk of failure, startups are indeed able to hire talented workers with a taste for startup employment at lower pay.


Prof.  Abhinav Gupta,  of Foster School of Business

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15 AM, Online / N405

Stakeholder Ideological Incongruence and Diffusion of Controversial Practices: Evidence from LGBT Domestic Partner Benefits Adoptions by U.S. public universities

Prior research has shown that organizations tend to adopt contentious practices that align with their stakeholders’ values and resist practices that do not. In this study, we introduce the concept of stakeholder ideological (in)congruence, which refers to the degree to which key organizational stakeholders are ideologically (mis)aligned with a practice, and theorize its relevance for how organizations adopt – and justify their adoption of – contentious practices. In a longitudinal analysis of public universities in the United States that were confronted with the decision to adopt domestic partner benefits, we show that having a conservative-leaning state legislature is associated with universities’ heightened susceptibility to emulating adoption decisions of proximally situated corporations. We also show that the universities with conservative-leaning legislature are more likely to justify their adoption decisions using market-based reasoning, an effect that is amplified based on universities’ resource dependence on the state. We discuss the implications of our theory and findings for research on institutional complexity, stakeholder theory, and cross-sector diffusion.

Prof. Georg Wernicke of HEC

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15 AM, Online / N517

The Role of Organizational Implementation Capacities and Constraints in Firms’ Sequential Responses to Stakeholders, coauthored with Nikolas Rather and Brayden King. 

In studying organizational responses to stakeholder pressure, research has often assumed that organizations choose to respond in either a symbolic way or a substantive way. In this study, we consider the possibility that such responses are not an either-or choice when a stakeholder issue first surfaces but instead are sequential. With sequential responses, organizations first adopt a highly visible policy to acknowledge a stakeholder issue and subsequently implement the policy, suggesting that responses can unfold in multiple phases over time. Sequential responses and the resulting time between the distinct phases are the consequence of various challenges organizations face as they seek to implement a policy. Drawing on insights from the literature on policy implementation challenges and the resource-based view of the firm, we develop a theoretical framework around the capabilities and constraints that influence the timely implementation of policies that were previously adopted following stakeholder pressure. Using data that span a 13-year period and pertain to the adoption and implementation of policies by U.S. firms in response to stakeholder pressure around consumer health and safety, we find that firms with structural implementation capacities are more likely to implement policies in a timely manner. In addition, firms with intentional constraints exhibit a lower likelihood of timely implementation. Our study extends research on decoupling and organizational responsiveness by considering an alternative explanation of what are often regarded as symbolic responses and making explicit a new set of mechanisms that drive substantive responses. 


Prof.  Kais Snellman, INSEAD and Peter Younkin, U of Oregon

Tuesday, Janauary 19, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15 AM, Online

Do Job Candidates Discriminate Minority Founders? Evidence from a Field Experiment

Do job seekers consider the race or gender of an employer when applying for a job? While we have extensive research on employer-side discrimination, we know less about employee-side biases and  their  consequences. In this study, we examine how the gender and race of the employer shapes the willingness of prospective employees to apply for a job. To do this, we need a setting where we can observe not only the applicants who decided to apply but also those who  decided not to apply. We address this challenge by conducting a field experiment where we advertise real jobs for real applicants and vary the demographic composition of the employer. We find that applicants were no less likely to apply to jobs in companies with white female founders than white male founders. In contrast, they were significantly less likely to apply to Black founders and when they did apply, they requested ten percent higher salary. In addition, the more qualified a candidate the less likely they were to apply to Black founders. Our findings indicate that Black founders face significant bias from job applicants and, solely because of their race, attract fewer high-quality applicants and face higher salary demands. We conducted a second experiment to help distinguish between several potential explanations and find no evidence that applicants fear that the organization will underperform or that the founders are less qualified. By contrast, white applicants fear that they will not be good cultural fits to startups run by Black founders.

Prof. Olenka Kacperczyk (LBS)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15, Online

Does Entrepreneurship Benefit Society? 

The Effect on Crime using a Natural Experiment


Previous research has focused on the economic effects of entrepreneurship, but little is known about how promoting entrepreneurship impacts societies. Focusing on community crime as a key societal outcome, we posit that initiatives fostering entrepreneurship through lower barriers to entry will reduce crime. The proposed mechanism responsible for this effect is the enhanced socio-economic integration of disadvantaged groups within the community. This is, however, enabled through multiple channels: lowering the barriers to entrepreneurship improves labor market opportunities for disadvantaged groups as founders of their own firms and joiners of new startups, or, more indirectly, as new hires at incumbent firms. Leveraging employer-employee matched data from Portugal between 2002 and 2010 and an exogenous deregulation reform that significantly increased entrepreneurial activity, we find strong support for our theory. Promoting entrepreneurship reduces within-community crime and this result is further amplified in communities with higher socio-economic exclusion. We find significant reductions in different types of crime, though the magnitude, timing, and persistence of the effects varies, which gives important insights into the different integration mechanisms at play.  

Prof. Linus Dahlander (LMHT)

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15, Online

Selection regimes and selection errors

How can organizations structure their selection of innovation projects   to reduce errors in the form of false positives (investments that should not have been made) and false negatives (investments that should have been made but weren't)? Although simulations and case studies exist, our understanding of the effects of different selection regimes on both types of errors has been limited due to a lack of decision and outcome data over a large set of projects. We study this question through unique access to data from an accelerator that used three different selection regimes over time: (1) an investment board representing different areas of expertise, (2) delegation where a single expert recommended an investment to be approved by the CEO, and (3) pre-selection that occurred through globally distributed two-day camps to which teams were invited. We combine 121 interviews to understand how decisions were made with unique data of 3,611 innovation project applications. We hand-code the outcomes for both funded and rejected projects years after the decisions were made to construct unique measures of false positives and false negatives at the project-level and analyze how these change in the different selection regimes. 

Prof.  Christiane Bode, of Imperial College Business School

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15, Online

Expertise, Competitive Overlap, and Partner Choice 

(with Geoff Borchhardt and Balazs Kovacs) 

When choosing business partners, organizations ideally prefer partners with the most relevant expertise while avoiding those who also serve their competitors. Hence, in market networks, partner choice often presents a trade-off between accessing expertise and avoiding second-order competitive overlap. We propose that as competitive overlap increases, organizations' fears of information leakage and concerns about access to resources lead them to select less expert partners. A matched sample analysis of 963,089 US patents with measures of expertise and competitive overlap constructed via a text-based, deep learning algorithm shows that the likelihood a client selects a patent law firm based on relevant expertise decreases significantly as competitive overlap with other clients of the law firm increases. However, when concerns about information leakage or access to resources are lower, in particular when the client and the law firm have a prior relationship, when the law firm is high status, and when few alternatives are available, this effect weakens. Finally, we show that when a client chooses a less expert partner, time to patent acceptance is greater and forward citations are lower, indicating that avoidance of competitive overlap may come at a significant cost. 

Prof. Michelle Rogan, of Imperial College Business School 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at Essec, Cergy, 9:15, Online

Expertise, Competitive Overlap, and Partner Choice 

(with Geoff Borchhardt and Balazs Kovacs) 

When choosing business partners, organizations ideally prefer partners with the most relevant expertise while avoiding those who also serve their competitors. Hence, in market networks, partner choice often presents a trade-off between accessing expertise and avoiding second-order competitive overlap. We propose that as competitive overlap increases, organizations' fears of information leakage and concerns about access to resources lead them to select less expert partners. A matched sample analysis of 963,089 US patents with measures of expertise and competitive overlap constructed via a text-based, deep learning algorithm shows that the likelihood a client selects a patent law firm based on relevant expertise decreases significantly as competitive overlap with other clients of the law firm increases. However, when concerns about information leakage or access to resources are lower, in particular when the client and the law firm have a prior relationship, when the law firm is high status, and when few alternatives are available, this effect weakens. Finally, we show that when a client chooses a less expert partner, time to patent acceptance is greater and forward citations are lower, indicating that avoidance of competitive overlap may come at a significant cost.

Prof. Arianna Marchetti of Strategy & Entrepreneurship Area, London Business School 

Tuesday,  May 11, 2021, at Essec, Cergy, 9:15, Online


Although theories exist that link a distinctive organizational culture to superior performance, our understanding of the different ways in which cultural distinctiveness arises remains limited. I argue that because a culture results from aggregating individuals'  cognition and behavior in the organization, it can be distinctive to a firm either in central tendency (content), distributional properties (configuration), or both, on either idiosyncratic or shared dimensions across firms. By applying topic modeling to 42,982 Glassdoor text reviews posted by corporate employees, I illustrate these forms of cultural distinctiveness by comparing Netflix culture, viewed as distinctive in popular discourse, to that of its peers. I find that both Netflix cultural content and configuration are distinctive on idiosyncratic dimensions, compared to its competitors, and discuss implications for competitive advantage. 

Prof. Rocio Bonet, IE Business School 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at Essec, Cergy, Online

Workers on Demand? Effects of Just-in-Time Schedules on Employee Absenteeism and Patient Dissatisfaction in a Home Healthcare Organization 

Service companies today are increasingly adopting a new employment model characterized by just-in-time scheduling practices in order to adapt to irregular demand patterns while keeping their labor costs low. A direct consequence of these practices is that workers often face irregular schedules characterized by split work within the work day and high schedule variability. The underlying assumption of this model is that workers can adapt to these just-in-time schedules without problems. However, evidence regarding how just-in-time schedules translate into worker behavior and outcomes in the organization is scarce. Using a proprietary dataset of close to a million home visits performed by home caregivers over a 5-year period in a health care service organization in Canada, we study how just-in-time schedules impact worker absenteeism and performance. We find (1) work splits during the day and (2) non-routine schedules across weeks are associated with higher absenteeism and with higher patient dissatisfaction. We also find that workers are more sensitive to these schedule characteristics when they face low task variety and high patient familiarity. Our results cannot be explained by the negative consequences of the irregularity aspect of just-in-time schedules on the pay of the workers and reveal that the temporal precarity imposed on workers may translate into limits of flexibility for organizations.  

Prof. Ilze Kivleniece (INSEAD) 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at Essec, Cergy, Online

Towards a Stakeholder-Oriented Framework on Value Creation and Allocation, (Joint work with Julien Jourdan and Anita McGahan) 

In contrast with value-capture theory in strategy, stakeholder research argues that the maximization by a firm of value capture may undermine value creation. The theory remains ambiguous about how much value firms should capture, under which conditions, and which stakeholders should appropriate the co-created value. To address this ambiguity, we highlight differences in core assumptions across the value-capture and stakeholder perspectives. Discrepancies can be reconciled, we argue, by recognizing that the amount of value that stakeholders co-create is, under conditions we explore, a function of how much they receive. Firms can then be conceived as stakeholder value allocation mechanisms driven towards value creation. By shifting the focus from value capture to value allocation, our framework addresses critical questions in the emerging new stakeholder theory.   

Prof. Thomas Roulet (Cambridge Judge) 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at Essec, Cergy, Online

Playing with Trash: Emotional Bubbles and the Adoption and Early Diffusion of Zero Waste Practices through Gamification 

Previous research has shown how the adoption and diffusion of practices are usually driven by economic and normative incentives. Despite growing attention to the role of emotions in institutional processes, limited work has looked at the role of emotions in the adoption and diffusion of practices. Such a focus would help to fully uncover the interplay between positive and negative emotions in institutional processes at the individual and collective levels. To empirically address those matters, we investigate how local authorities in France convinced households to adopt innovative waste management practices using gamification – a set of principles that subject participants to a complex system of emotions. We draw on rich longitudinal qualitative material including interviews, observations, and secondary data. We find that the interplay of the emotions experienced by adopters forms bubbles, which protect them from push back. We inductively build a model explaining how these emotional bubbles act as concentric circles around individuals, their direct social ties, and their broader social environment, driving adoption and early diffusion. We show how emotional bubbles protect early adopters from negative emotions related to deviating from the norm, and act as an encouraging echo chamber in which positive emotions are magnified.

Archive (2017-2019)

Anu WADHWA (Professor from Imperial College London)

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020 online  at 9:15 am

"How Founder Experience Shapes Entry Strategy: Evidence from Dominant Designs in the Disk Drive Industry" 

This paper investigates the role of strategic positioning choices and pre-entry endowments in determining the post-entry innovative performance of firms entering new markets. We hypothesize that entrepreneurial entrants that possess greater levels of pre-entry endowments and those that choose to operate in multiple segments and position themselves aggressively in new markets will introduce products with dominant design features earlier. We also hypothesize that pre-entry endowments positively moderate the relationship between post-entry technology strategy choices and early introduction of dominant design features. Our hypotheses are tested using longitudinal data on entrepreneurial startups that operate in the computer hard disk drive industry in the period 1974 to 1995.  

Jerker DENRELL (Professor from   Warwick University)

Tuesday, March 24th 2020  online  at 9:15 am

"Do experience and markets eliminate opportunities due to poor dynamic decision making?"

Managers regularly deal with dynamic tasks, where choices impact immediate payoffs as well as long-term capabilities. Prior research has shown that people perform poorly in dynamic tasks but it is not clear if experience can improve decision-making and eliminate strategic opportunities. In a task trading off short-term gains and long-term investments we experimentally remove challenges to learning due to ambiguity, large state space, complex exploration, and memory and updating, finding that none explains the observed learning failures. Instead, poor performance is due to difficulties in balancing short-term payoffs against promising investments. We also show allowing participants to trade in a market surprisingly exacerbates failures and induces erroneous learning. We discuss the implications for understanding individual learning, role of markets, and the behavioral view of strategy. 

Isabel FERNANDEZ-MATEO  (Professor from London Business School)

Tuesday, February 4th 2020   at ESSEC in room N517 at 9:15 am

"Brokered Careers: The Role of Search Firms in Managerial Career Mobility" 

Although traditional theories of careers emphasize the matching processes that take place between workers and employers, job matches often involve a third party: executive search firms. We examine how the introduction of this third party affects movement between jobs and the unfolding of careers. Building on theories of market intermediation and labor market matching, we argue that the moves mediated by search firms are less likely to involve changes in functions and industries - which constrains opportunities for horizontal career mobility. We also suggest that search firms are most likely to mediate mobility into the kinds of roles that offer more rewards and responsibilities. As a consequence, search firms are particularly likely to constrain career paths into more senior positions. To test these arguments, we employ longitudinal career data from a survey of MBA alumni. We find evidence that labor market intermediaries may indeed shape the paths that individuals take through the labor market. However, we find no evidence that the matches created by search firms actually result in a better fit between workers and employers. We discuss the implications of these results for research on the dynamics of career advancement. 

Hart POSEN (Professor   from Wisconsin School of Business University, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Tuesday, Ocotber 7th 2019   at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 9:15 am


The existence of a learning curve, in which costs decline with cumulative experience, suggests that early entry (and production) provides learning opportunities that create competitive advantage by reducing future production costs relative to later entrants. We argue that this proposition is subject to an under-appreciated limitation — that progress down the learning curve may be uncertain. If there is uncertainty in the learning curve, then the taken-for-granted wisdom regarding the benefits of learning curves may over- or under-emphasize the value of early entry. We consider two forms of uncertainty — prospective (future production costs) and contemporaneous (current production costs). We demonstrate computationally that while prospective uncertainty in the learning curve enhances the learning benefits of early entry and production, contemporaneous uncertainty reduces these benefits. Further, we examine the implication of these findings for learning curve spillovers between leader and laggard firms. We conclude with implications for future research regarding learning curves and the pursuit of early mover advantage.

Sujin JANG  (Professor from  INSEAD)

Tuesday, October 1st 2019   at ESSEC in room  N231  at  9:15  am  

"Bridging Temporal Divides: Temporal Brokerage in Global Teams" 

Temporal dispersion is an important characteristic of global teams, as members of such teams are often distributed across multiple time zones. This paper introduces the construct of temporal brokerage, which we define as being in a position within a team's temporal structure that bridges subgroups who have little or no temporal overlap with each other. Although temporal brokerage is not a formal role, we argue that occupying such a position makes an individual more likely to take on more coordination work than other members on the team. We suggest that while engaging in such coordination work has advantages in the form of greater learning, it also comes with costs in the form of increased effort relative to other members. We further argue that the increased learning and effort that result from occupying a position of temporal brokerage have implications that go beyond the boundaries of the focal team, spilling over into other tasks the individual is engaged in. Specifically, we predict that being in a position of temporal brokerage on global teams decreases the quantity but increases the quality of an individual's work outside the focal team project. We find general support for these predictions across two studies comprising 8,914 individuals participating in global student project teams and 190,660 individuals participating in global academic research teams, respectively. The framework and findings presented in this paper contribute to theories of global teamwork, temporal dispersion, and the effect of team structures on individual outcomes. 

Martin RUEF (Professor from DUKE UNIVERSITY)

Tuesday, September 24th 2019   at ESSEC in room  N231  at 10:00 am  

"Segregation and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis" 

A robust body of research has investigated the spatial mismatch hypothesis (SMH), considering the consequences of geographic segregation between minority residential locations and potential opportunities for employment.  Focusing on U.S. and European urban areas between the 1970s and the present, these studies have produced equivocal evidence on the implications of spatial mismatch for minority employment.  In this presentation, I argue that the mixed evidence in the United States may result from a misspecification in both the historical period and mechanisms whereby spatial mismatch affects minority employment opportunities.  I show that national declines in black employment and labor force participation were especially pronounced under Jim Crow segregation, rather than the post-industrial era in which the SMH has generally been tested.  I then investigate the extent to which the SMH should be formulated as a logistical problem, involving the commuting range of minorities to non-residential sites of employment, or a problem of transit segregation and residential ecology.  Analysis of census microdata between 1910 and 1970 suggests that employment suffered when the stigma of segregation prompted black commuters to use more restrictive means of transit and when black housing was separated from the homes of business owners or residential employers.

Charlene ZIETSMA  (Professor from Pennsylvania State University)

Tuesday, June 25th 2019  at ESSEC in room PA115 at 10:00 am  

"The Microfoundations of Belief and Behavior Change: A Field Experiment on the Efficacy of Frame Bridging and Frame Shifting Strategies for Stimulating Innovative Entrepreneurship" 

Although institutions gain their strength through broad-based social agreement, institutional change begins at the individual level, with a shift in individual beliefs or judgments of what is appropriate, acceptable, and legitimate. Prior work suggests that this shift occurs as the mental models, or frames, that individuals use to make decisions change. Frames may be changed either through frame bridging, involving constructing connections between new ideas and analogous or familiar frames, or through frame shifting, involving cutting off an association to a past frame in order to switch to a new one. To understand the relative efficacy of these two framing strategies in changing perceptions and behavior, we tested them in a field experiment conducted in rural Sri Lanka, using entrepreneurship training programs which attempted to reframe entrepreneurship as innovation rather than replication of time-tested models. Our findings contribute to an understanding of the link between the microfoundations perspective on institutional change and the framing literature by identifying factors for predicting how and when a given framing strategy will resonate with its intended audience and lead to belief and behavior change, and to the entrepreneurship literature by shedding light on how individuals are most effectively motivated to identify and act on innovative opportunities. 

Ivana NAUMOVSKA  (Professor from  INSEAD)

Tuesday, May 28th 2019, at ESSEC in room N517  at 10:00 am 


What are the performance consequences for blameless firms when an industry peer is accused of corporate misconduct? Research on corporate misconduct has revealed that accusations of industry peers generate negative consequences to blameless firms (contagion effect). In turn, research on competitive dynamics implies that such accusations can benefit blameless firms that compete with these industry peers (competition effect). We reconcile these perspectives by arguing that the market value of a blameless firm is dually shaped by the contagion and competition effects, depending on the extent of market overlap between the accused industry peer and the blameless firm. Using fine-grained product data, we analyze the stock market returns of 233 software firms following all the accusations of financial misconduct by their industry peers in the course of a decade. We demonstrate that the negative contagion effect increases with the product market overlap between the accused and blameless firms, but only up to a point, beyond which the positive competition effect becomes stronger. We further show that the competition effect becomes relatively more pronounced, the more fine-grained the market classification used to assess the market overlap. Our study unpacks the heterogeneity of spillover effects across blameless firms and enhances understanding of the interplay of contagion and competition following misconduct by industry peers.

MARTIN KILDUFF   (Professor from  UCL)

Tuesday, May 7th 2019  at ESSEC  in  room LE CLUB at 10:00 am 

"When the Personality of Others Matters: Self-Monitoring, Homophily, and the Origins of Network Structure"

We investigate whether and how the personality of the coworkers with whom an individual interacts helps explain the extent to which the individual comes to occupy advantageous positions in social networks. We suggest that differences in self-monitoring personality affect social structure beyond the reach of the individual. We test this prediction in two studies. In Study 1, we use cross-sectional data on advice relations in an organization to show that self-monitoring is associated with network popularity and homophily: high self-monitors attract advice requests mainly from highs, and low self-monitors from lows, although high self-monitors receive more advice requests overall. In Study 2, we use longitudinal data on advice relations within a cohort of young-professionals in a post-graduate program, to show that high self-monitors come to occupy network brokerage roles to the extent that they are sought for advice by other high self-monitors. This happens, we suggest, because their high self-monitoring contacts tend to remain unconnected from each other. At the same time, the extent to which high self-monitors are sought for advice by low self-monitors tends to explain the likelihood of the highs to remain embedded in closed networks. This happens, we suggest, because their low self-monitoring contacts are more likely to interact with each other. 

Daniel BLAKE  (Professor from  IE Madrid)

Tuesday, February 19th 2019  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am

"Additive vs adaptive nonmarket strategies: How business associations affect firms' willingness to outsource" 

Firms can pursue different forms of nonmarket strategies in response to institutional challenges. On the one hand firms can employ adaptive strategies by selecting governance modes that avoid the market. On the other, they can pursue additive strategies and develop institutional supplements or substitutes. In this study we investigate whether or not the pursuit of an additive nonmarket strategy dampens the need for an adaptive strategy and thereby enables firms to transact more easily in the market.  We argue that when firms do participate in the additive nonmarket strategy of participating in a business association, they will be more willing to consent to market governance and outsource a part of their operations. Through quantitative analysis of firm survey data from the World Bank, we find that firms that are members of a business association are more likely to outsource operations and that this relationship is strongest in contexts where judicial institutions provide weak enforcement of market agreements.

Roxanna BARBULESCU (Professor from HEC Paris)

Tuesday, January 22nd 2019  at ESSEC   in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am

"Outrunning the past? Prior employer status and job matching in the MBA labor market" 

How external candidates are matched to jobs has important implications for job segregation and income inequality. Existing studies have found the status of prior affiliations to stratify opportunities in the labor market, meaning that individuals with past high status affiliations fare better in subsequent career outcomes. However, possibly because existing studies are limited to one industry, we currently ignore if alternative attainment routes may be open to job seekers who lack such high status affiliations. In this paper we seek to fill this gap by taking a view of job matching as a two-sided process comprised of sequential decisions by applicants and employers. While future employers may use candidates' prior employer affiliations to evaluate candidates, candidates will also anticipate employers' behaviors and consider their prior affiliations when evaluating their chances of success in different jobs. We test our hypotheses in the context of job searches of MBA students from a large international business school. Using longitudinal survey and archival data on three cohorts (836 individuals) and Fortune and Vault industry rankings of their prior employers (2586 distinct firms), we investigate the relative probabilities of individuals coming from higher- vs. lower-ranked backgrounds to apply to, get offer from, and accept offers in the main job domains in this setting. The results suggest the existence of alternative routes for attainment, such that lower-ranked job seekers recover some of their initial difference in income relative to the higher-ranked job seekers in their post-MBA jobs. Furthermore, we find that this stems from a final allocation of jobs across higher- vs. lower-ranked candidates that is driven primarily by the job seekers' application decisions and only secondarily by employers'  offers decisions. Lower-ranked job seekers tend to move more across domains, such that they are disproportionately more likely to apply to – and sometimes even to receive offers in – positions in job domains different than their prior background, albeit with some important limitations. Our findings have implications for research on status and attainment, distribution of human capital resources among firms, and the conceptualization of relative status hierarchies in labor markets.


Tuesday, November 13th 2018  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am

"Organizing for Disruptive Innovation: Untangling the Cognitive and Structural Antecedents of Adoption and Implementation"

ies how cognitive and structural antecedents affect adaptation to disruptive innovations.  We do so by analyzing how video game firms adapted to the introduction of the "free-to-play" business model around the period of disruption (2012-2015).  Our dataset (which contains 461 firms, collectively employing 83,157 individuals) allows us to characterize each firm's organizational structure and each employee's experience profile; it also captures the performance of firms along both S-curves (that is, firms that do and do not adopt the innovation).  We show that cognitive and structural antecedents affect adoption, implementation under the existing S-curve, and implementation under the new S-curve in different and often opposite ways.  We also point out conditions under which cognitive and structural antecedents can compensate for each other.  Overall, our study contributes to a better understanding of how firms should organize to face disruptive innovations. 

Sameer SRIVASTAVA  (Professor from UC BERKELEY)

Monday, October 29th 2018  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am

"Dampening the Echo: Receptiveness to Opposing Views, Majority-Minority Distance, and Network Homogeneity" 

Social worlds often splinter into echo chambers as people preferentially form ties to others who hold similar political views and avoid affiliating with those who disagree with them. Group composition often contributes to this dynamic, with those in the ideological majority being less likely than those in the minority to form relationships with ideological opponents. This article examines how an individual difference—receptiveness to opposing views—can counteract these tendencies and thereby dampen the echo in some chambers. We develop a theoretical account of how micro-level differences in receptiveness can give rise to macro-level patterns of network heterogeneity. In particular, we theorize that prospective interaction partners who are more mutually receptive will be less prone to forming ties on the basis of political homophily or triadic closure. In groups with majority and minority factions, we further propose that mutual receptiveness will increase the propensity of group members in the political majority to form ties with minority group members. We evaluate and find support for these ideas using field data from three sites that vary in political orientation, analyzing tens of thousands of dyads composed of 599 participants. We discuss implications for research on individual differences and networks, attitude polarization, and group composition. 

Sarah KAPLAN  (from  University of Toronto)

Tuesday, October 23rd 2018  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am


Increasing attention – both in the scholarly literature and in the world of policy makers and practitioners – is being paid to the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. What was once assumed to be a merit-based system for encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurs is now understood to operate in gendered ways that in many cases disadvantage female founders. These effects occur across the entire pipeline, beginning with the dearth of women seeking to start high growth companies, to the lack of funding opportunities and mentorship. There are substantial differences in the number of startups led by women, their levels of relevant experience and the amount of funding – both debt and equity – they seek and receive. Some have argued that women tend to found lower potential startups. Yet, even controlling for quality, we see many implicit biases in how female founders are treated. One important approach to redressing inequalities might be through the use of accelerators. Entrepreneurship accelerators are proliferating in both developed and developing economies as different cities, regions and sectors seek to increase economic growth and employment. Accelerators are designed to give a boost to startups by providing in a concentrated way the mentor ship, networks, training and financing required to be successful. The presence of accelerators could have the potential to solve some of the challenges female entrepreneurs face, however preliminary evidence suggests that they, for the most part, seem to be perpetuating the gendered dynamics that exist in the entrepreneurial system. On the other hand, there is no systematic research on how accelerators do or might address the gendered dynamics of entrepreneurship. Because accelerators are seen as such an important policy tool for increasing entrepreneurial success, it is imperative that we develop and analyze systematic data on accelerators and their effects, particularly on female founders. In this study, we will draw on what is known to date on female entrepreneurs and more broadly on the research on gender in organizations and the economy to understand the dynamics of acceleration in entrepreneurship. Using a longitudinal database of over 3,000 ventures in nearly 50 accelerators, we trace the effects of selection into the accelerator and the acceleration process on outcomes for women-only, women-led, and male-only venture teams. We couple survey data with interviews of accelerators to understand whether and when acceleration can be a tool for mitigating gender bias in female entrepreneurship.

Danqing WANG  (from  University of Hong Kong)

Tuesday, October 16th 2018   Level 3 board room at 4:00 pm in Singapore 10:00 a.m in Cergy Room N231

"Political Leaders, Career Concerns and FDI Inflows" 

Host governments' role in influencing companies' location choice for foreign direct investment (FDI) has been studied much more than the impact of individual leaders in these governments. Extending agency theory to an authoritarian government, we study how career concerns motivate local leaders to drive FDI inflows as one of the goals delegated by their superiors. We theorize that certain conditions may enhance the motivating effect of career concerns: individual and regional characteristics that increase leaders' tendency to take risks and the alignment of leaders' and their superiors' interests. We test this framework by examining Chinese city leaders and FDI inflows into their cities from 2000–2010. In China, political leaders' careers largely depend on local economic growth. Because newly appointed leaders have better prospects for promotion, they should have stronger incentives than incumbent leaders to work toward their supervisors' interests. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that newly appointed leaders attract more FDI inflows to their cities than incumbent leaders. This effect of political incentives is stronger for newly appointed leaders who are younger and have political connections with their direct superiors, and also for cities with weaker previous economic performance. We contribute to location studies by highlighting the role of political incentives and political leaders' characteristics in shaping intra-national differences of FDI inflows. We also discuss theoretical implications for agency and institutional theories. 


Thursday, October 11th 2018  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am  (4.00 p.m in Singapore)

"Organizing for Open Social Innovation: The Case of OpenIDEO" 

With increasing large-scale complex social issues such as poverty, aging, and education facing our world, cross-sector collaborations, in particular those involving the general public, have been recognized as crucial to the generation of innovative solutions. Yet, the success of such collaborations is elusive. Drawing on a 40-month ethnographic study of OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform for social innovation, I examine how an organization created a diverse global community and invited its members through sponsored challenges – to collaboratively generate ideas for tackling complex social issues. Through inductive analysis, I identify three practices by which the OpenIDEO team developed a participatory platform for open social innovation: constructing a collaborative community, temporally structuring interactions, and providing a space for collaborative idea generation. I show how these organizing practices are crucial to successfully engage individuals from multiple backgrounds across the globe to collaboratively problem-solve complex social issues. My findings suggest that open social innovation might be a productive form of collaborative organizing for organizations aiming to experiment with new forms of organizational responses to grand challenges. This work has implications for our understanding of open social innovation, collaborative spaces for idea generation and the practices supporting the engagement of diverse communities in tackling complex social issues. 

Gina DOKKO (Professor from UC DAVIS)

Thursday, September 20th 2018  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am  (4.00 p.m in Singapore)

"You can't go home again: Boomerang employees and bi-lateral relational assistance" 

Understanding the portability of performance is critical in a world of boundaryless careers and unstable employment. Researchers have focused on human capital and social capital as key factors in determining how well performance translates across firm boundaries; less attention has been directed toward identity-based or cognitive frameworks that individuals carry when they move between employers. We study boomerangs, i.e. individuals who return to a former employer after working elsewhere, to focus on how identity impacts the behavior of both returnees and incumbent co-workers. We find that boomerangs are more likely to assist their former co-workers than other co-workers, and that this effect is mitigated when the boomerangs re-enter the firm as part of a co-mobility event. By contrast, former co-workers are less likely to assist the boomerang, and the negative effect is exacerbated when the boomerang is coming back as a star performer. 

Tiziana CASCIARO  (Professor fom  University of Toronto)

Tuesday, June 26th 2018  at ESSEC in room N231 at 10:00 am  (4.00 p.m in Singapore)

"How do people perceive organizational networks? Toward a theory of Gestalt versus elemental network perception"

How people perceive organizational networks influences individual and organizational outcomes above and beyond the effects of the network structure underlying those perceptions. In investigating these effects, research on network perception has been dominated by an elemental view of social cognition, which assumes that people encode and recall each tie in the network, and construct their view of the network as a whole based on the sum of these ties. This dominant view has marginalized a Gestalt, holistic view of network perception, whereby people perceptions of an actor's network position (i.e., central vs peripheral, high status vs. low status, liked vs. disliked) are created through a top-down, category-driven process that hinges heavily on their organized prior knowledge, as opposed to relying primarily on bottom-up, data-driven processes. I argue and document empirically that recognizing the distinction between elemental and Gestalt forms of network perception allows a greater understanding of the descriptive (how people do perceive networks) and prescriptive (how people should perceive networks) implications of network perception for organizational behavior. I then set the conceptual foundations for a theory that encourages a distinction between thin structure and deep structure as boundary conditions for the relevance of elemental and Gestalt network perceptions. Elemental network cognition, I propose, is necessary to capture the effects of deep structural features of the network—the complex topology of network edges. Gestalt network perceptions may suffice instead when a phenomenon can be understood in terms of its thin structural features—higher-level aggregates and trends of social connections. Working toward such a theory can direct future studies toward a fuller account of the way people form network perceptions, the boundary conditions for the impact of those perceptions on organizational phenomena, and the methodological options that such descriptive and prescriptive theorizing opens up for research on organizational networks. 

Stefano TASSELLI  (from  Rotterdam School of Management)

Tuesday, May 22nd 2018  at ESSEC in  room N231 at 10:00 am  (4.00 p.m in Singapore)


Tracking social network dynamics among professionals in a hospital department, we investigate the role of alters' motivation in explaining change in ego's network position over time. Motivational orientations affect the kind of co-workers with whom people preferentially interact in the workplace, such that people high in communal motives prefer to establish ties with co-workers occupying central positions in organizational social networks. This effect driven by motivation results in a systematic network centrality bias: the personal network of central individuals (individuals with many incoming ties from colleagues) contains more supportive and altruistic people than the personal network of individuals who are less central (individuals with fewer incoming ties). Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the alter-centric psychological foundations of an individual's network centrality and call for further empirical research on how alters' motives affect the development of an individual's social networks in organizations. 

Bart CLARYSSE (Professorfrom  ETH ZURICH)

Tuesday, April 10th 2018  at ESSEC in room N231 at 10:00 am  (5.00 p.m in Singapore)

"Sowing the Seed of Failure: Organizational Identity Dynamics in New Venture Evolution" 

New ventures in nascent markets often morph from one organizational  form  to another, while still developing their organizational identity. We study how the organizational identity of a new venture co-evolves with such a process of continuous morphing. To shed light on this process, we conduct an in-depth longitudinal field study of a new venture developing a technology to transform Internet websites for mobile devices. The venture morphs from one organizational form to another successfully once, but fails in its second attempt to pivot. Comparing the successful and the unsuccessful change, we find that the successful morphing relies on the ability to crystallize the role identities of organizational members in line with organizational identity. However, as an unintended consequence, the role identities rigidify and inhibit further adaptation. The explanation lies in the surprisingly strong influence of one stakeholder: the venture capitalist that provides resources to the firm. Through involvement in co-development of the business model, recruitment, and the implementation of routines, the committed venture capitalist accelerates the crystallization of role identities, yet that also leads to an inflexible organizational identity, which inhibits subsequent change.

Olivier CHATAIN  (Professor from HEC Paris)

Tuesday, March 27th 2018  at ESSEC in room N231 at 10:00 am  (5.00 p.m in Singapore)

"Demand-side attributes and resource reconfiguration in human-capital-intensive-firms" 

We investigate how demand-side attributes influence the reconfiguration of micro-level resources—human assets—by human-asset-intensive-firms when staffing incoming client projects. Using fine-grained data on M&A legal mandates outsourced by clients to M&A law firms (suppliers), we find that suppliers are less likely to reconfigure their human assets on incoming client projects when the supplier has provided prior services to the focal client, but are more likely to reconfigure their human assets when the scope of the client relationship across different service lines is broader. In addition, suppliers reconfigure less for high status clients, but are more likely to reconfigure when a client has a greater proclivity to switch business between multiple suppliers. Finally, we show that the size of a supplier's client portfolio, which relates to resource management complexity, lowers reconfiguration. Overall, our paper contributes to the literatures on resource reconfiguration, human capital and the micro-foundations of resource-based theory." Keywords: Resource reconfiguration; Demand-side strategy; Microfoundations of resource-based theory; Strategic human capital; Buyer-supplier relationships.

Hila LIFSHITZ-ASSAF (Professor from  NYU) 

Tuesday, March 13th 2018  at ESSEC in room N231 at 10:00 am  (5.00 p.m in Singapore)

"Navigating Through the Fog of Self-Organizing for Accelerated Innovation: A Study of Makeathons' Product Development Process"

The literature is extensive on "the innovation journey" of new product development processes in traditional forms of organizing that span months or years. Recently, hackathons and makeathons suggest accelerating the innovation process, the "journey," into a "sprint" of only a few days. Moreover, this accelerated process is self-organized, absent of structure or guidance. The existing innovation literature would expect these ambiguity-enhancing conditions to result in failure to produce new working products. Yet this process often leads to working, innovative products. To investigate this puzzle, we closely study the product development process of 13 projects across two assistive technology makeathons. We find divergent reactions to these conditions that play a critical role in enabling successful development of working products for individuals with disabilities under this extremely limited time frame or not. Some projects navigated through the fog of self-organizing for innovation by "setting a course," reducing ambiguity, while other projects were "tacking" through the fog, sustaining the self-organizing process and ambiguity. From a temporal perspective, the same time frame was interpreted very differently: the course setting projects compressed time whereas the tacking projects deepened time, perceiving this time frame to be discontinuous to their past and future ones. Only tacking projects were able to produce functioning new products by the end of the makeathon. This study contributes to theories on innovation processes, self-organizing, and temporality.

Birgit SCHYNS  (Professor from  NEOMA) 

Tuesday, February 13th 2018  at ESSEC in  room N517 at 10:00 am  (5:00 p.m in Singapore)

"Is it me or you? – How reactions to abusive supervision are shaped by leader behavior and follower perceptions"

There is a growing interest in understanding the perceptual and attributional processes involved in reactions towards abusive leadership. Our research examines the influence of different leadership (constructive, laissez faire, low and high abusive) behaviors on follower reactions in two experimental studies. We also conducted a field study to validate our results further. Specifically, we focus on the role of perception of abusive supervision as a mediator (in the experimental studies) between leader abusive behavior and reactions as well as attribution as a moderator in the relationship between perception of abusive supervision and reactions. After conducting a pre-study, data from several samples were collected using first, a two point experimental design with vignettes (Study 1 and 2) and, second, a cross-sectional field study (Study 3). Regression analyses using bootstrapping as well as moderated regressions were used to test the hypotheses. Experimental variation of leadership behavior results in systematic differences in perceptions and reactions towards behaviors. Perception partly mediates the relationship between leadership behavior and reactions (Study 1 and 2). We also found that attribution moderates the relationship between the perception of abusive supervision and reactions in both Study 2 and 3. The differences in results between the studies reflect that in Study 1 and 2 abusive behavior was manipulated and in Study 3 actual leader behavior was assessed. The research presented here adds to our understanding of the processes involved in how abusive leadership influences reactions and the role that followers' perceptions and attributions play in this relationship. Our research can help leaders to better understand their own role and the followers' role for the perception of abusive supervision and reactions towards those behaviors. Our results highlight that the avoidance of abusive supervision should be taken seriously and followers' perception and suffering is not only due to subjective judgment but reflects actual differences in behavior. However, in practice, abusive behaviors might sometimes be ambiguous. 


Thursday, December 7th 2017  at ESSEC, Cergy, in room N517 at 10:00 am (5.00 p.m in Singapore)

"Entrepreneuring Your Life" or Entrepreneurship for Growth: Means Versus Ends-Based Theories of Social Impact Through Entrepreneurship" 

How do organizational actors in local entrepreneurial ecosystems understand their role in tackling "grand challenges" and effecting social change? National governments and supranational institutions increasingly promote entrepreneurship as a solution to socio-economic disparities across individuals, communities and regions. Yet, despite impressive growth in public and scholarly attention to the latter, we know surprisingly little about how, and to what extent, such initiatives succeed or fail in achieving social impact. This paper argues that a primary reason for the inconclusive evidence is that, although scholarship has recognized the multifaceted nature of the input (different forms of entrepreneurship), it assumes a much narrower conceptualization of the outcome (social impact), without adequately examining how organizations construe their role in effecting social change. This paper builds on recent theoretical frameworks for understanding the role of private organizations in positive social change by studying an initiative to promote entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities in France (colloquially known as banlieues). I take a grounded-theory approach, relying on 46 interviews with entrepreneurs and organizations that support entrepreneurs(hip) in the banlieues, as well as archival and observational data. I theorize that what appears to be a broad policy towards reducing community inequalities through entrepreneurship is translated locally by organizations as two distinct approaches: a means- versus an ends-based approach. Notably, the latter constitute divergent organizational theories of social impact, based on different (1) targets of impact, (2) measures of impact, and (3) identified barriers to achieving impact, across multiple levels (individual, community, societal). Ultimately, means- versus ends-based theories carry distinct implications for evaluating organizations' social impact. The paper contributes to a cross-level perspective on the relationship between organizations, entrepreneurship, and positive social change.

Nishani BOURMAULT  (professor from  NEOMA)

Tuesday, November 14th 2017  at ESSEC in room N231 at 10:00 am (5.00 p.m in Singapore)

"When Stepping Up Also Means Stepping Down: Managerial Role Transitions for Members of High Reliability Occupations" 

In past literature on work transitions into managerial roles, a key challenge for newcomers is assumed to be the increase in responsibility that the new job entails. However, little attention has been paid to individuals' occupational backgrounds before transitioning. To better understand managerial transitions, this study compares the shifting responsibilities of supervisors coming from a high-reliability occupation, where small errors can lead to serious consequences, versus a low-reliability occupation, where such concerns do not exist. Drawing mainly on interviews with former Paris subway drivers (high-reliability) and station agents (low-reliability) now promoted to supervisors, we analyze the change in "responsibility" experienced during such a transition. We find that this responsibility has multiple facets, some of which actually lessen as one moves up. For subway drivers, stepping up into a managerial role entails lower task significance, lower temporal immediacy, and lower task independence; creating a certain loss of what we label "personal" responsibility. By contrast, former station agents reported no such loss. Building on the imprinting literature, we suggest that workers coming from high-reliability occupations might experience a similar "managerial blues." Overall, our findings shed light on how specific occupational backgrounds shape the experience of responsibility when moving up the hierarchy. 

Simona GIORGI  (Professor from Boston College)

Thursday, October 19th 2017   at Essec, Cergy, in room N517  10:00 am  (4.00 p.m in Singapore)



This study examines the role of framing in fostering a collaborative agreement between two environmental non-profits in the U.S. that aimed at saving a particular type of natural ecosystems, wetlands. Building on 87 interviews, 17 months of participant observation, and extensive archival data, I show that framing can be a double-edged sword that can promote, but also hinder collaboration between seemingly compatible organizations. Unlike previous work that focused on instances of success and portrayed framing as a strategic tool for persuading others, my analysis documents how framing initially resonated with what the intended recipient valued, but over time revealed a deeper-seated cultural difference in how such value was constructed. More specifically, differences in orders of worth, or principles used to construct the value of nature – either as something worthy per se or for the exchange and use value of its services – prevented collaboration between the two organizations. These findings shed light on the underpinnings of framing resonance, highlighting the complex cultural basis of inter-organizational collaboration. 


Tuesday, October 17th 2017  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am  (4.00 p.m in Singapore)

"Social Media and their Affordances for Effective Teamwork" 

Teams are changing, technologies are changing, and both of these shifts are outpacing the theoretical advances needed to understand and enable teams. Over the past 25 years, the rapid advancement of information communication technologies has facilitated new forms of collaboration and communication among individuals that have fundamentally shifted the ways in which people team up. Most recently, social media are increasingly being implemented in work organizations as tools facilitating communication and collaboration among employees that are enabling individuals to team up in new ways. Yet the rapid uptake of social media has outpaced theoretical research on how these technologies are fundamentally altering organizational processes at the team and inter-team level. In this talk, I will present a conceptual framework advancing an affordance lens to understand the relationship between social media use and team processes. This conceptual framework is then used to explain how social media both affords and constrains team processes. 

Joshua SKEWES  (Professor from  AARHUS NIVERSITY)

Tuesday, September 26th 2017  at ESSEC in room LE CLUB at 10:00 am (4.00 p.m in Singapore)

"Informational Openness Enhances Collaborative Decision-Making in Groups of Autonomous Agents: A Cognitive Agent-Based Study"

Collaborative decision making is central to the organization of society. Juries decide cases; boards and executive teams make strategic decisions; and voters elect government officials. It is common to think of such groups as decision making entities. We say that juries deliberate; that boards rule; and that electorates decide. But this language is imprecise. Real decision processes do not occur within any group as an abstract entity. Collaborative decision making always happens within and between individual group members. There is a rich body of research focused on how individuals decide together in groups. Most of this research assumes that individuals are already committed to the group they are in. This leaves open the question of how individuals decide to join decision making groups in the first place. We present an agent-based model of collaborative decision making designed to address this question. We develop this model in the context of existing research on task learning and intra-group communication. We demonstrate that collaborative decision making is done best when it is done by groups that are informationally, as well as structurally, open 


Tuesday, January 16th 2017  at ESSEC in  room N231 at 9:30 am  (4.30 p.m in Singapore)

"Teaching personal initiative beats traditional training in boosting small business in West Africa"

Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. We tested whether a psychology-based personal initiative training approach, which teaches a proactive mindset and focuses on entrepreneurial behaviors, could have more success. A randomized controlled trial in Togo assigned microenterprise owners to a control group (n = 500), a leading business training program (n = 500), or a personal initiative training program (n = 500). Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11%for traditional training. The training is cost-effective, paying for itself within 1 year.