YoungKi Park (GWU, a DSO graduate), Peer Fiss, and Omar El Sawy (DSO) just had a paper accepted by Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ). Title and abstract are below. (10-15-19)
Theorizing the Multiplicity of Digital Phenomena: The Ecology of Configurations, Causal Recipes, and Guidelines for Applying QCA
YoungKi Park, Peer C. Fiss, and Omar El Sawy
Faced with the challenge of multifaceted digital phenomena, researchers in IS and related fields have increasingly adopted qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). However, in the absence of explicit guidelines for how to use QCA for theory development, the popularity and proliferation of QCA possibly amplifies the risk of using QCA in an atheoretical manner, hindering theoretical advancement. In this paper, we offer a conceptual framework and prescriptive guidelines for applying QCA to develop causal recipes that account for complex digital phenomena marked by theoretical and configurational multiplicity. Causal recipes are formal statements explaining how causally relevant elements combine into configurations associated with outcomes of interest. We describe these causal recipes in terms of which causes matter (i.e., factorial logic) and how these causes combine into configurations (i.e., combinatorial logic) to produce target outcomes, and propose an ecology of configurations that elucidates the explanatory power of multiple configurations as well as their explanatory overlap. Further, we offer two illustrative empirical examples to demonstrate the usefulness of our framework and step-by-step guidelines for applying QCA to deductive theory testing as well as inductive theory development on phenomena marked by multiplicity.
Nan Jia, with Jing Shi (Macquarie University), Changchun Wang (Remin University), and Yongxiang Wang (USC), just had an article accepted by the Journal of Management Studies. The title and abstract are below.
Congratulations, Nan! (10-07-19)
Parasites and Paragons: Ownership Reform and Concentrated Interest among Minority Shareholders
Do investors with concentrated shareholding infringe on the value of more-fragmented shareholders ("parasites") or facilitate the growth of firm value for all shareholders ("paragons")? In a major ownership reform of Chinese listed firms, we obtain evidence which suggests that larger minority shareholders undertook certain actions both for a rent-seeking purpose—that these actions allowed them to reap private benefits at the expense of smaller minority shareholders, and for a value-creating purpose—to potentially increase firm value after the reform. It is plausible that both drivers co-existed, but they generated different implications of wealth redistribution. When institutional constraints on rent-seeking were ineffective, higher concentration of minority shares decreased the immediate gains captured by the small investors who held minority shares at the time of the reform, but increased the future value of the firm to be divided among for all investors, large and small, who held firm shares after the reform.
Peter Kim, David Newman, and Scott Wiltermuth recently had an AMR accepted. The title and abstract are below. Congratulations, Peter, David, and Scott. (09-30-19)
A Theory of Ethical Accounting and Its Implications for Hypocrisy in Organizations
Peter H. Kim, Scott S. Wiltermuth, and David T. Newman | AMR | Sep 19, 2019, In-Press
Management scholars have typically regarded the widespread instances of hypocrisy across business, religious, and political institutions to be motivated and strategic. We suggest, however, that hypocrisy may stem not only from people’s motivation to interpret and utilize information in a self-serving manner, but also from fundamental differences in people’s access to that information itself. More specifically, we present a multi-stage Theory of Ethical Accounting (TEA) that describes how this differential access to information, specifically about the self vs. others, can create an interrelated series of cognitive distortions in how people account for the same unethical behavior. TEA posits that such distortions can allow people to believe they are being fair and consistent when appraising the morality of the self and others, while actually being inconsistent in how they do so, and describes how this can ultimately make it harder to address not only hypocrisy but unethical behavior more broadly in organizations.
Janet Fulk and Peter Monge, along with two former USC doctoral students, were awarded a Best Publication of the Year award by the Organizational Communication and Information Systems (OCIS) Division of the Academy of Management for their 2018 article in Communication Theory entitled “The Value of Questions in Organizing: Reconceptualizing Contributions to Online Public Information Goods”. The award committee reported reviewing 120 articles and selecting 4 for the Best Publication Award.
Congratulations to all of them! (09-22-19)
Cheryl Wakslak (with our own Priyanka Joshi and Gil Appel and Laura Huang) just published an article in JPSP. Title and abstract are below.
Congratulations, Cheryl and Priyanka. (09-20-19)
Gender Differences in Communicative Abstraction
Priyanka Joshi (San Francisco State University, MOR alum), Cheryl Wakslak (Marshall), Gil Appel (Marshall, Marketing Dept), and Laura Huang (HBS)
Drawing on Construal Level Theory, which suggests that experiencing a communicative audience as proximal rather than distal leads speakers to frame messages more concretely, we examine gender differences in linguistic abstraction. In a meta-analysis of prior studies examining the effects of distance on communication, we find that women communicate more concretely than men when an audience is described as being psychologically close. These gender differences in linguistic abstraction are eliminated when speakers consider an audience whose distance has been made salient (Study 1). In studies that follow, we examine gender differences in linguistic abstraction in contexts where the nature of the audience is not specified. Across a written experimental context (Study 2), a large corpus of online blog posts (Study 3), and the real-world speech of congressmen and congresswomen (Study 4), we find that men speak more abstractly than women. These gender differences in speech abstraction continue to emerge when subjective feelings of power are experimentally manipulated (Study 5). We believe that gender differences in linguistic abstraction are the result of several interrelated processes – including but not limited to social network size and homogeneity, communication motives involving seeking proximity or distance, perceptions of audience homogeneity and distance, as well as experience of power. In Study 6, we find preliminary support for mediation of gender differences in linguistic abstraction by women’s tendency to interact in small social networks. We discuss implication of these gender differences in communicative abstraction for existing theory and provide suggestions for future research.
Shon Hiatt (with Hans Rawhouser and Michael Cummings) just published an article on the global carbon offset market (Kyoto Protocol) in Academy of Management Discoveries. Title, abstract, and implications for the Paris Accord are below.
Congratulations, Shon. (09-20-19)
Does a common mechanism engender common results? Sustainable development tradeoffs in the global carbon offset market.
We investigate whether a common mechanism to achieve global sustainability goals produces uniform results in the world’s largest carbon offset market, the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Conventional wisdom suggests that an international regulatory accord designed to stimulate investment in activities to achieve sustainability objectives would yield similar impacts across institutional contexts. But our results illustrate that consideration of various dimensions of sustainability entails inherent tradeoffs among local priorities that can contribute to uneven global outcomes. We show that broader country-level sustainability institutions, and the ministerial offices in which sustainability assessments are made, affect preferences for different types of sustainable development. We discuss the implications for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and offer suggestions to regulators and policymakers who design and implement market-based sustainable development systems.
Policy Implications for Paris Accord (from text)
Despite the many criticisms of the CDM and questions about whether it has ultimately reduced carbon emissions, we believe that this study provides helpful policy lessons to other cross-country efforts to simultaneously address multiple sustainable development goals (SDGs), including the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement was ratified in 2015 by over 125 countries and seeks to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius through the creation of the Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM), which replaces the CDM in 2020. While the rules for the Paris Agreement are not fully detailed, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement establishes that the SDM will seek to achieve SDGs along with its climate change-mitigation activities.
However, the Paris Agreement introduces changes from the CDM that underscore the importance of our findings. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, the SDM will not have a central clearinghouse for carbon offsets (counterpart to the UNFCCC in the CDM). Instead, host country governments will keep their own records of emission-mitigation activities and measure how these activities promote sustainable development. Given the lack of defined structure for measuring different SDGs, each participating country under the Paris Agreement will have greater latitude in choosing activities that couple their preferred SDG with emission-mitigation activities. These changes coupled with the results from this study suggest that the tradeoffs between sustainability dimensions that occurred in the CDM will occur to a greater extent in the future SDM and that the Paris Agreement will likely result in greater global variability in the types of sustainability goals addressed. Consequently, policymakers should consider innovative incentives that motivate private businesses and country regulators to achieve progress on specific SDGs in a more balanced and uniform way.
Vern Glaser (Alberta), Mariam Krikorian Atkinson (Harvard), and Peer Fiss just had an article on goal-based categorization accepted for a special issue on categories in Organization Studies. Title and abstract are below.
Vern and Mariam are both graduates of our PhD program, and work on the project started when both were still here at MOR. (09-04-2019)
Goal-Based Categorization: Dynamic Classification in the Display Advertising Industry
Goal-based categories have recently emerged as an alternative perspective to the dominant account of prototypical market categories. However, key questions remain regarding the mechanisms that would enable stable market exchanges to form around ad hoc and idiosyncratic goal-based categories. Thus, we sought to answer the following question: How can goal-based categorization enable stable market transactions? Through an inductive study drawing on industry discourse, participant observation, and interview data from the online advertising industry, we describe the category infrastructure that enables buyers and sellers to engage in market exchanges using goal-based categorization. Three mechanisms are integral to goal-based categorization in market exchanges: dimensioning (establishing a possibility space in which valuation can take place through the identification, addition, and/or deletion of product features), scoping (selecting particular features in the possibility space), and bracketing (excluding certain actors from participating in market transactions). Moreover, the fundamental principle of valuation in goal-based categorization is goal-based attribution, which involves iteratively adding and deleting features to accommodate evolving goals. Our findings suggest novel directions for work on goal-based categorization as an important element of valuation in modern markets.
Gerry Tellis just published an Op Ed on the Paradox of Superstars in The Hill. You can find it here: https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/458819-the-paradox-of-superstars (08/29/19)
Florenta Teodoridis (with Frank Nagle, our former colleague, now at HBS) published a piece in the Strategic Management Journal. The title is Jack of All Trades and Master of Knowledge: The Role of Diversification in New Distant Knowledge Integration. Abstract and managerial summary are below.
Congratulations, Florenta! (08/27/2019)
Research Summary: We consider the role of individual-level diversification as a mechanism through which skilled researchers engage in successful exploration - recognizing and integrating new knowledge external to one’s domains of expertise. To approach an ideal experiment, we (1) employ a matching procedure and (2) exploit the unexpected adoption of Microsoft Kinect as a motion-sensing technology in research. We evaluate the impact of Kinect and its embodiment of new knowledge on a set of ability-matched, diversity-varying researchers without prior experience in motion-sensing and find that diversified researchers explore more successfully than their more specialized peers. We also examine the role of personal preferences and professional incentives as antecedents of diversification and find that culture, age and intellectual freedom are positively associated with the propensity to diversify successfully.
Managerial Summary: Organizations where R&D is core to driving competitive advantage face important tradeoffs when hiring researchers. Specifically, diverse combinations of knowledge generate the most impactful discoveries. Yet, coordinating such combinations increasingly requires larger teams as knowledge accumulation causes researchers to specialize in narrower areas. How should organizations achieve the best balance? We argue and show evidence that diversified researchers, individuals routinely criticized for their lack of knowledge depth, are more likely than specialized researchers of similar ability to integrate new knowledge from beyond their domains of expertise to create impactful innovations. Therefore, organizations aiming to create competitive advantage by pushing the boundaries of knowledge should carefully consider the nuanced tradeoffs between specialized and diversified researchers when strategizing about hiring the optimal types of expertise.
Cheryl Wakslak just published two papers involving USC-based collaborations:
With Brittany Torrez and Elinor Amit: Dynamic distance: How motivated psychological distance influences the use of visual and verbal means of communication. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. (Brittany is a quasi-alum of our MOR program, having worked as a lab manager for Sarah Townshend, Nate Fast, and Cheryl. She is now a PhD student in OB at Yale.)
With Kate Johnson, Reihane Bohgrati, and Morteza Dehgani: Measuring abstract mindsets through syntax: Automating the Linguistic Category Model with the Syntax-LCM. Social Psychological and Personality Science. (Kate was a USC psych student, now at Google, and Reihane a computer science student, now at Wharton. Morteza is a professor in the psych and computer science departments.)
Congratulations, Cheryl! (07/21/19)
Torrez, B., Wakslak, C.J., & Amit, E. Dynamic distance: How motivated psychological distance influences the use of visual and verbal means of communication. (in press). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Across seven studies, we investigated how people’s motivation to signal a proximity or distance orientation affects their choice of visual versus verbal means of communication. To explore this question we asked people to construct messages using visual or verbal means of representation within diverse contexts (friendship: Studies 1a-1b, 4, and 5, workplace interactions: Studies 2a-2b, and professional websites: Study 3). Across all studies we found that people prefer visual (versus verbal) means of communication when aiming to signal a proximity rather than distance orientation towards the recipient of the message. More broadly, we suggest that people are active agents who use different mediums in a strategic way (conscious or not) in order to dynamically influence distance: visual representations are used to signal preference to reduce distance, and verbal representations to signal preference to increase distance.
Johnson, K. M., Boghrati, R., Wakslak, C. J., & Dehghani, M. Measuring abstract mindsets through syntax: Automating the Linguistic Category Model with the Syntax-LCM. (in press). Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Abstraction in language has critical implications for memory, judgment, and learning, and can provide an important window into a person’s cognitive abstraction level. The Linguistic Category Model (LCM; Semin & Fiedler, 1988) provides one well-validated, human-coded approach to quantifying linguistic abstraction. In this paper, we leverage the LCM to construct the Syntax-LCM, a computer-automated method which quantifies syntax use that indicate abstraction levels. We test the Syntax-LCM’s accuracy for approximating hand-coded LCM scores and validate that it differentiates between text intended for a distal or proximal message recipient (previously linked with shifts in abstraction). We also consider existing automated method for quantifying linguistic abstraction and find that the Syntax-LCM most consistently approximates LCM scores across contexts. We discuss practical and theoretical implications of these findings.
JMI will be publishing a piece by our own Nandini Rajagopalan as part of a Dialogue series. The essay is entitled “Rigor, Relevance, and Resilience in Management Research.” The Dialogue will contain various essays reflecting on various aspects of business education and research.
Congratulations, Nandini! (07/08/19)
Medha Raj, Scott Wiltermuth, and Gabe Adams just had a manuscript accepted at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The title and abstract are below.
Congratulations to the three of them! (06/21/19)
Raj, M., Wiltermuth, S. S., & Adams, G. The social cost of forgiveness following multiple-victim transgressions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
A single transgressor sometimes harms more than just one victim. We examine a previously undocumented social cost of forgiving following these multiple-victim transgressions. We find that non-forgiving victims believe that other victims who forgive the common transgressor make their decisions to withhold forgiveness appear ungenerous. Faced with this threat, non-forgiving victims report that other forgiving (vs. non-forgiving) victims have overclaimed their standing to forgive the common transgressor and consequently perceive these forgiving victims as demonstrating a lack of benevolence toward them. Non-forgiving victims also perceive forgiving victims to have relatively little integrity. We test these social costs of forgiving in the field and in the lab across seven studies plus a meta-analysis of five of those studies. We also identify one route by which forgiving victims can attenuate the social costs they face: They can affirm other victims’ decisions to withhold forgiveness.
Gerry Tellis was just honored with the 2019 Churchill Award of the American Marketing Association, MR SIG.
This award recognizes an individual’s contribution to marketing research including new methodologies, seminal publications, books, awards and other notable contributions. The award committee stated that Gerard J. Tellis “made important methodological contributions to the field of marketing research in the areas of Synthetic Control, latent Dirichlet allocation, Functional Analysis, and Archival Analysis. His research has been creative in showing the power of social media, market pioneering, incumbent’s curse, technological innovation, innovation of nations, and advertising effectiveness. Tellis’ contribution to marketing research has been extensive, impactful, and widely recognized.”
Congratulations, Gerry! (06/18/19)
Dan Fehder (with Susan Cohen, Yael Hochberg, and Fiona Murray) had an article entitled “The Design of Startup Accelerators” accepted by Research Policy. Abstract and link are below.
Congratulations, Dan! (05/02/19)
Accelerator programs are an increasingly important part of entrepreneurial ecosystems. While accelerators have core defining features—fixed-term, cohort-based educational and mentorship programs for startups— there is also significant variation amongst them. In this paper, we relate key variation in the antecedents, organizational design and operation of these programs to theories of firm-level entrepreneurial performance. We then document descriptive correlations between these design elements and the performance of the startups that attend these programs. In doing so, we probe the connections between design and performance in ways that integrate previously disparate research on accelerators and expand our understanding of startup intermediaries. Our findings delineate the building blocks as well as an agenda for future researchers to build upon not only our understanding of accelerators, but also our understanding of what new ventures need to survive and flourish.
Florenta Teodoridis just had a manuscript with Jeff Furman accepted by Organization Science. Title and abstract are below. Congratulations, Florenta! (04/22/19)
Furman, J., Teodoridis, F. "Automation, Research Technology and Researchers’ Trajectories: Evidence from Computer Science and Electrical Engineering."
We examine how the introduction of a technology that automates research tasks influences the rate and type of researchers’ knowledge production. To do this, we leverage the unanticipated arrival of an automating motion-sensing research technology that occurred as the consequence of the introduction and subsequent hacking of the Microsoft Kinect system. To estimate whether this technology induces changes in the type of knowledge produced, we employ novel measures based on machine learning (topic modeling) techniques as well as traditional measures based on bibliometric indicators. Our analysis demonstrates that the shock associated with the introduction of Kinect increased the production of ideas and induced researchers to pursue ideas more diverse than and distant from their original trajectories. We find that this holds for both researchers who had published in motion-sensing research prior to the Kinect shock (within-area researchers) and those who did not (outside-area researchers), with the effects being stronger among outside-area researchers.
Leigh Tost (with Hana Johnson, U. of Idaho) just had a manuscript accepted by OBHDP. The title is “The Prosocial Side of Power: How Structural Power over Subordinates Can Promote Social Responsibility.” This is particularly exciting as it is an empirical test of parts of the theory Leigh proposed in her ROB paper, and it finds support for the central ideas of the theory.
Congratulations, Leigh! (04/17/19)
We examine the effect of power on powerholders’ egocentric versus prosocial orientation toward others. We argue that power, particularly in collaborative settings such as teams and organizations, induces a sense of responsibility to those over whom one has power. This sense of responsibility is driven by two mechanisms: 1) norms about the benevolent use of power in organizations and 2) awareness that subordinates are dependent on the powerholder. This sense of responsibility also has important consequences. In particular, we argue that it induces feelings of solidarity, a prosocial form of identification with subordinates, which in turn leads powerholders to engage in behavioral solidarity (behaviors that prioritize subordinates’ interests over powerholders’ self-interests). We test these ideas in a series of three pre-registered experiments and one field survey. We discuss the implications of our findings for research on the social psychology of power and organizational theories of power.
Leigh Tost just accepted an invitation to become Associate Editor for Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP). It is just more evidence of her growing visibility and standing in the field.
Congratulations, Leigh! (04/08/19)
Gerry Tellis (along with Debbie MacInnis, Seshadri Tirunillai and Yanwei Zhang) just had a manuscript on digital content sharing accepted by the Journal of Marketing. Title and abstract are below.
Drivers of Virality (Sharing) of Online Digital Content?
The Critical Role of Information, Emotion, and Brand Prominence
The authors test five theoretically-derived hypotheses about what drives sharing of video ads across social media. Two independent field studies test these hypotheses using 11 measures of emotion and over 60 ad characteristics. The results are consistent with theory and robust across studies. Information-focused content has a significantly negative effect on sharing, except in risky contexts. Positive emotions of amusement, excitement, inspiration, and warmth, positively affect sharing. Various drama elements such as surprise, plot, and characters, including babies, animals, and celebrities arouse emotions. Prominent (early versus late, long vs short duration, persistent versus pulsing) placement of brand names hurts sharing. Emotional ads are shared more on general platforms (Facebook, Google+, Twitter) than on LinkedIn; the reverse holds for informational ads. Sharing is also greatest when ad length is moderate (1.2 to 1.7 minutes). Contrary to these findings, ads use information more than emotions, celebrities more than babies or animals, prominent brand placement, little surprise, and very short or very long ads. A third study shows that the identified drivers predict sharing fairly well in an entirely independent sample.
Keywords: Virality, shares, social media, ad content, ad cues, emotion, information, brand prominence, video ads, YouTube. (03-11-19)