News and Events

News and Events

Dear Colleagues,

I know that I speak for all of you when I express my deep appreciation and pride in Nandini becoming Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Peer the Chair of the Management and Organization Department. These appointments highlight their recognized leadership skills and commitment to service and attest to the growing stature of MOR in the Marshall School.

Nandini and Peer will thrive and excel in leading Marshall and MOR. They will take us on new and exciting journeys to even higher levels of scholarly and educational achievement. We offer them our full support, confidence, and good will.

Congratulations Nandini and Peer, you do us proud. Very proud.


Thomas G. Cummings
Professor & Department Chair
USC Marshall School of Business
Department of Management & Organization

Dean's Announcement-Nandini Rajagopalan

Dear USC Marshall Community:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Nandini Rajagopalan to the position of Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs effective July 1, 2017, replacing Professor Gareth James, who has decided to step down this summer. With this appointment, Nandini will be charged with supporting our faculty, overseeing all faculty personnel actions including recruitment and reviews for reappointment and promotion. All Department Chairs will report directly to her.

Nandini is the Joseph A. DeBell Chair in Business Administration and Professor of Management and Organization. She is a Marshall “lifer” having started as a tenure track Assistant Professor in 1990.  Nandini’s research examines CEO succession and strategic change, corporate governance in emerging economies, corporate boards, and corporate diversification and innovation. Her research has appeared in numerous top journals in her field including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Strategic Management Journal. She is a past associate editor of Academy of Management Journal, and has served on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Journal and Strategic Management Journal. Nandini is a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at USC's Center for Excellence in Teaching and has received several teaching awards, including the Golden Apple. From 2006 to 2016 she served as the Capt. Henry W. Simonsen Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship and Director of Research for the Greif Center

Nandini already has a great deal of experience related to her new role. In addition to her stellar scholarly record, she served for 4 years on Marshall’s Personnel Committee (the last 2 years as the chair) and also on the UCAPT committee at the university level. Since last year Nandini has served as the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty, taking primary responsibility for processing all our tenure track and tenured promotion cases. In addition, just yesterday Nandini received the prestigious 2017 Provost's Mentoring Award, one of only two given out to the entire USC faculty. It is hard to imagine a more appropriate recognition and Marshall is very fortunate to have someone with Nandini’s credentials to take on the Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs role.

I also would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude to Gareth James for serving as vice dean since 2013 and, as if overseeing faculty affairs were not enough, for also accepting the additional responsibility for directing our PhD program while KR was on leave. Gareth has been a strong partner in helping to move the mission of the school forward. His wisdom and energy have not only strengthened our recruiting efforts but also helped us develop significant programs – the Institute for Advanced Studies in Business being a great example. He has been tireless in his efforts to help us build the best institution possible – and he has proven over and over that even statisticians have a sense of humor!

Please join me in thanking Nandini for agreeing to serve her school in this important administrative capacity.  I could not be more excited to have her as a member of our senior leadership team.

Best regards,

James G. Ellis

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Dean's Announcement-Peer Fiss

Dear USC Marshall Community: 

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Peer Fiss as Chair of the Department of Management and Organization, effective July 1, 2017, for a three-year term. Peer received his Ph.D. in Management & Organization and Sociology from Northwestern University in 2003. He joined Marshall in 2006 as an Assistant Professor of Management and Organization. Before coming to Marshall, Peer was an Assistant Professor at Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada. In 2010 he was promoted to the rank of tenured Associate Professor of Management and Organization and in 2016 he was promoted to the rank of Professor of Management and Organization.

Peer has an impressive publication record, with three books/edited volumes, thirteen journal articles in top-tier management and disciplinary journals, and numerous book chapters and conference proceedings. He is widely recognized as a prominent and well-rounded management scholar in the strategy and organization theory field. He is also the incoming Program Chair for the Organization and Management Theory Division, one of the largest divisions in the Academy of Management, an appointment that will lead to Chair of the division and which speaks for his high visibility in the profession. Peer’s research spans conceptual, empirical, and methodological contributions across three streams: (1) the diffusion and adaptation of organizational practices, (2) framing and social categorization, and (3) configurational theory and set-theoretic methods. His work identifies seldom examined but crucial macro-contextual, micro-socio-political, and cognitive factors that underlie the diffusion and adaptation of contested organizational practices. In addition, he has focused on applying set-theoretic methods (such as fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis or QCA) to reexamine fundamental aspects of configurational theory in strategy research. His QCA work provides strategy and management researchers with a set of methodological tools to study phenomena characterized by equifinality, non-linearity, punctuational discontinuities, and mutual causality.  In conjunction with his excellent publication record, Peer has served on the Editorial Boards of five of the top-tier journals in management and has been Senior or Associate Editor for two of them: Academy of Management Review and Organization Science.

Peer is an outstanding teacher and has taught courses in Marshall’s PhD, MBA, and Undergraduate programs.  He is also a highly-rated instructor in Marshall’s Executive Education programs. Peer is a superb mentor to doctoral students and junior faculty, with two of his recent doctoral students taking faculty positions at Harvard and the University of Michigan. Peer has received numerous awards and recognitions for his teaching and mentoring contributions, including USC’s Mellon Mentoring Award in 2015 (for mentoring graduate students), Marshall’s Golden Apple Award in 2015 for the full-time Marshall MBA Core, and Marshall’s Evan C. Thompson Award for Mentoring and Leadership in 2013. He has received MOR Department awards for research, teaching, and service multiple times.

Peer has also made outstanding service contributions to the MOR Department, the Marshall School, and the broader professional community. In addition to his many leadership roles in the field’s largest professional associations and top-tier journals, he has served on numerous departmental committees including faculty recruiting, the doctoral program and the APR. He is currently serving as Chair of the Marshall Faculty Council and Coordinator of the MOR Department Doctoral Program.

The Chair of the Department of Management and Organization is among the most important leadership positions we have at Marshall, and we are delighted that Peer has agreed to take on this role for the next three years. Please join us in congratulating Peer on this appointment and thanking him for his service to MOR and Marshall.

Best regards, 

James G. Ellis                                        Gareth M. James
Dean                                                        Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs


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Dean's Announcement-Tom Cummings

Dear Colleagues:

After twenty-one years as the interim chair of the Management and Organization Department, Dr. Thomas Cummings has elected to step down. He just felt he could not get the job right, and will let someone take over for him. Whether he moves on to full-time babysitting, the senior golf tour or just being a sitting scholar, this remains to be seen. In all seriousness, we will miss him in this role. He has done a wonderful job for his school, his department, his faculty colleagues, the staff and our students.

As mentioned, Tom has been chair of MOR for 21 years. To put that in context, some of the junior faculty that we are now hiring were in kindergarten when Tom took over as chair (our current vice dean for faculty was attempting to pass his PhD qualifying exams!). The majority of the current faculty and staff in MOR have known no other department chair than Tom and this is a testament to the support and respect he has enjoyed from his colleagues and staff for over two decades. During Tom’s tenure as MOR chair, he has trained four deans (Westerfield, Gupta, Gilligan, and Ellis), five Vice Deans for Faculty and Academic Affairs (Steece, Stewart, Murphy, Matsusaka, and James), and four Department Coordinators (Stallings, Jones, Bristow, and Taylor).

Under Tom’s leadership, MOR has transformed into one of Marshall’s (and consequently USC’s!) highest performing departments and has developed an extremely strong reputation in the OB and Strategy communities. After 21 years it is really not clear how to summarize in a single email all that Tom has done for MOR, but we would like to mention a few of his key contributions.

  • Tom articulated and implemented a bold strategic vision for the department to complement its historical strengths in more applied areas with discipline-based scholarship.
  • He built a culture of scholarship within the MOR department that celebrates and rewards individual excellence and intellectual diversity while fostering strong departmental norms of collegiality, collaboration, and mentorship.
  • Under Tom’s leadership, MOR successfully recruited 30 tenure-track faculty and six full time RTPC faculty. The department also tenured and/or promoted 16 TT/T faculty internally and promoted six RTPC faculty. This recruiting campaign along with the successful promotions have fully cemented MOR’s transformation into an elite management department.
  • The 2012-2017 UT Dallas research rankings placed MOR 7th in the nation.

But Tom has done much more than “just” serve as chair of MOR. He also provided significant service to the University as a member of the Marshall School Dean’s Search Committee and Co-chair of the USC General Education Review Committee. For the past 15 years, he has served on the USC Renaissance Scholars Selection Committee and the USC Undergraduate Valedictorian Selection Committee. Tom is currently Chair of the University Curriculum Committee, which he has served on for 11 years, and is Past-President of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the all university honor society.

Tom also found time to serve his profession and to keep his hand in research and publishing. He served 8 years as an elected officer of the Academy of Management, with a worldwide membership of over 20,000 scholars. In 2006, he was the Academy’s 61st President. In the past two decades, Tom published 31 journal articles or book chapters and 8 books, receiving the 2007 Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Human Resource Management.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank him profusely. We thoroughly appreciate his efforts on the part of USC Marshall. He is an integral part of the school and we will miss his leadership skills.

Thank you, Tom, and very best wishes! 


James G. Ellis                                               Gareth M. James
Dean                                                               Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs

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Eric Anicich’s paper (with Frederic Godart, Roderick Swaab, and Adam Galinsky) won the Conflict Management Division’s 2017 Best Paper—New Directions Award at the at Academy of Management’s annual conference last summer in Anaheim: When Two Heads Are Not Better than One: Understanding the Costs of Co-Leadership. (04/25/17)



The present research examines the effectiveness of co-leadership in teams, a situation where two individuals jointly occupy the same formally assigned role at the top of a team hierarchy. We integrate insights from the social hierarchy and leadership literatures to present the Social Hierarchy Model of Co-Leadership. This model proposes that co-leadership generally undermines team performance because co-led teams are more likely than solo-led teams to suffer from coordination and conflict problems unless the co-leaders have a strong relationship. Four studies using qualitative, experimental, and archival data support this model. Study 1 qualitatively establishes the prevalence of co-leadership configurations and how co-leaders affect team processes and performance. Study 2 demonstrates that laboratory teams with co-leaders are less creative than solo-lead teams. Study 3 replicates this negative effect in archival analyses of mountaineering expeditions and finds that co-led teams are more likely to experience a fatality than solo-led teams. Study 4 provides further evidence of this negative effect in archival analyses of high-end fashion design teams; this study also finds that co-leadership no longer undermines creativity when the co-leaders are co-founders of their firm. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our model.

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Our own Gerry Tellis (joint MKT) is now a grandfather for the first time with the arrival of Louisa Jean Tellis early this morning. Baby and parents Courtney Shike and Viren Tellis doing well. Some of you may remember teaching Viren when he was at USC Marshall. He is now Senior Director at AppNexus in NY. (04/18/17)

Medha Raj has been awarded a USC Graduate School Summer Grant. (04/09/17)

Kate Wang just received a 2017 Greif Entrepreneurial Research Award: Crises Spillover: Adjacent Movement Fields and Drone Surveillance Regulations. (04/08/17)

Shon Hiatt just received a Greif Entrepreneurial Research Award 2017 for his research proposal: The Impact of Market Intermediaries on Entrepreneurial Entry in the Global Carbon Offset Market.  (04/07/17)

Sarah Townsend has passed her 4th Year Review with flying colors.

Many thanks to the members of her PEG for all the diligent and comprehensive work: Peter Carnevale (Chair), Cheryl Wakslak, and Valerie Folkes (Marketing). (04/06/17)

Nan Jia has just been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Academy of Management Review. (04/04/17)

Eric Anicich (with Jacob Hirsh at the University of Toronto) just published an article in Harvard Business Review:  

This article is based on Eric and Jacob’s forthcoming article in the Academy of Management Review: The Psychology of Middle Power: Vertical Code-Switching, Role Conflict, and Behavioral Inhibition. (03/22/17)

Roshini Raveendhran has been awarded a USC Graduate School Final Year Fellowship for 2017-2018. This is quite an honor and will enable Roshini to complete her dissertation. (03/20/17)

Scott Wiltermuth’s research (with Lynne C. Vincent & Francesca Gino) was recently highlighted in Scientific American and today in USC News: Dazzled by creativity: Why we excuse dishonest acts Think of it as the Ocean’s Eleven effect. Society seems to look the other way (or even give a wry wink) when someone’s actions are unethical but creative. USC Marshall’s Scott Wiltermuth and colleagues explore the phenomenon. (Scientific American). (03/17/17)

John Boudreau just published an article in Harvard Business Review: Uber Is Finally Realizing HR Isn’t Just for Recruiting ( (03/09/17)

Medha Raj has been accepted for the Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference at the London Business School this coming May. She will present a paper at the conference and also serve as a discussant for a paper. (03/08/17)

Florenta Teodoridis just got a paper accepted for publication in Management Science: Understanding Team Knowledge Production: The Interrelated Roles of Technology and Expertise.


Teamwork is an increasingly important aspect of knowledge production. In particular, factors influencing team formation relative to the composition of expertise are crucial for both organizational performance and for informing policy. In this paper, I draw attention to technology access as a highly influential factor impacting expertise in team formation. I examine the hack of Microsoft Kinect as an exogenous event that suddenly reduced motion-sensing technology costs. I show that great reductions in technology costs substitute for ex-ante optimal involvement of area specialists and facilitate involvement of outside area specialists through collaboration with researchers with broader knowledge – generalists. In other words, technology costs influence the composition of expertise in teamwork, with sufficiently large reductions leading to knowledge creation that combines more broadly across knowledge areas. These findings have important implications for organizations and policy makers in crafting incentives for more diverse knowledge creation through strategic investments that significantly lower technology costs to influence team formation. (02/16/17)

Eric Anicich just got a paper accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Review as well as an accepted paper published in Current Directions in Psychological Science

Anicich, E. M. & Hirsh, J. B. (in press). The Psychology of Middle Power: Vertical Code-Switching, Role Conflict, and Behavioral Inhibition. Academy of Management Review


Decades of research have demonstrated that having or lacking power can influence how people think and behave in organizations. By contrasting the experiences associated with high and low-power states, however, this research has neglected the psychological and behavioral correlates of middle power, defined as the subjective sense that one’s power is neither consistently higher nor lower than the power of one’s interaction partners. In this paper, we propose that middle power positions and mindsets lead to frequent vertical code-switching, the act of alternating between behavioral patterns that are directed toward higher-power and lower-power interaction partners. We draw from identity and role transition theories to develop propositions specifying when frequent vertical code-switching will, in turn, result in heightened role conflict. We further situate our theoretical analysis by updating and extending the approach/inhibition theory of power on the basis of insights from revised reinforcement sensitivity theory to introduce an integrative framework called the Approach-Inhibition- Avoidance (AIA) theory of power. Overall, we highlight the promise of conceptualizing power in terms of the stability of one’s vertical orientation, offering novel predictions about the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects of power.

Wang, C. S., Whitson, J. A., Anicich, E. M., Kray, L. J., & Galinsky, A. D. (2017). Challenge Your Stigma: How to Re-Frame and Re-Value Negative Stereotypes and Slurs. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(1), 75–80.


Stigma devalues individuals and groups, producing social and economic disadvantages through two distinct but reinforcing processes: direct discrimination (e.g., a White person not hiring a Black person based on race) and stigma internalization (e.g., women believing men are more qualified for leadership positions). We review strategies that individuals can use to not only cope with but also challenge their stigma. We discuss how attempts to escape stigma can be effective at the individual level but may leave the stigma itself unchanged or even reinforced. We then identify two ways individuals can reappropriate and take ownership of their stigma to weaken it: reframing and self-labeling. Reframing highlights stereotypic characteristics as assets rather than liabilities—for example, framing stereotypically feminine traits (e.g., social intelligence) as essential for effective negotiations or leadership. Self-labeling involves referring to oneself with a group slur. We discuss ways to utilize these reappropriation strategies as well as how to handle potential pitfalls. (02/14/17)

Medha Raj and Nate Fast (with Oliver Fisher, USC) just had a paper accepted for publication in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin: Identity and Professional Networking.


Despite evidence that large professional networks afford a host of financial and professional benefits, people vary in how motivated they are to build such networks. To help explain this variance, the present article moves beyond a rational self-interest account to examine the possibility that identity shapes individuals’ intentions to network. Study 1 established a positive association between viewing professional networking as identity-congruent and the tendency to prioritize strengthening and expanding one’s professional network. Study 2 revealed that manipulating the salience of the self affects networking intentions, but only among those high in networking identity-congruence. Study 3 further established causality by experimentally manipulating identity-congruence to increase networking intentions. Study 4 examined whether identity or self-interest is a better predictor of networking intentions, providing support for the former. These findings indicate that identity influences the networks people develop. Implications for research on the self, identity-based motivation, and professional networking are discussed. (02/09/17)

Paul Adler (with Zlatko Bodrožić, Univ. of Belgrade) just had a paper accepted for publication in Administrative Science Quarterly: The Evolution of Management Models: A Neo-Schumpeterian Theory.


Over the last century and half, US industry has seen the emergence of several different management models, but we still understand little about the factors that drove their evolution. We propose a theory of this evolution based on three nested and interacting processes. First, we identify several successive waves of technological revolution, each of which prompted a corresponding wave of change in the dominant organizational paradigm. Second, nested within these waves, each of these organizational paradigms emerged through two successive cycles—a primary cycle which generated a new management model that obsoleted the prior organizational paradigm, and a secondary cycle which generated another model that mitigated the dysfunctions of the primary cycle’s model. Third, nested within each of these cycles, we identify a problem-solving process in which the development of each model passed through four main phases during which various related management concepts competed for dominance. (02/07/17)

Shon Hiatt (with Brandon Lee and Michael Lounsbury) just had a paper accepted for publication in Organization Science: Market mediators and the tradeoff of legitimacy-seeking behaviors in a nascent category. This paper has won numerous awards, including the 2015 Best Paper Award at the Sustainability, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship Conference as well as the 2014 Outstanding Paper Award at the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability Conference.


Although existing research has demonstrated the importance of attaining legitimacy for new market categories, few scholars have considered the tradeoffs associated with such actions. Using the U.S. organic food product category as a context, we explore how one standards-based certification organization—the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)—sought to balance efforts to legitimate a nascent market category with retaining a shared, distinctive identity among its members. Our findings suggest that legitimacy-seeking behaviors undertaken by the standards organization diluted the initial collective identity and founding ethos of its membership. However, by shifting the meaning of organic from the producer to the product, CCOF was able to strengthen the categorical boundary, thereby enhancing its legitimacy. By showing how the organization managed the associated tradeoffs, this study highlights the double-edged nature of legitimacy and offers important implications for the literatures on legitimacy and new market category formation. (02/03/17)

Peter Kim (with Mislin, A., Tuncel, E., Fehr, R., Chesin, A., & Van Kleef, G.A.) just had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General: Power as an emotional liability: The implications of perceived authenticity for trust after its violation.


People may express a variety of emotions after committing a transgression. Through six empirical studies and a meta-analysis, we investigate how the perceived authenticity of such emotional displays and resulting levels of trust are shaped by the transgressor's power. Past findings suggest that individuals with power tend to be more authentic, since they have more freedom to act based on their own personal inclinations. Yet, our findings reveal that: a) a transgressor’s display of emotion is perceived to be less authentic when that party’s power is high rather than low, b) this perception of emotional authenticity, in turn, directly influences (and mediates) the level of trust in that party, and c) perceivers ultimately exert less effort when asked to make a case for leniency toward high rather than low power transgressors. This tendency to discount the emotional authenticity of the powerful was found to arise from power increasing the transgressor’s perceived level of emotional control and strategic motivation, rather than a host of alternative mechanisms. These results were also found across different types of emotions (sadness, anger, fear, happiness, and neutral), expressive modalities, operationalizations of the transgression, and participant populations. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that besides the wealth of benefits power can afford, it also comes with a notable downside. It, furthermore, extends past research on perceived emotional authenticity, which has focused on how and when specific emotions are expressed, by revealing how this perception can depend on considerations that have nothing to do with the expression itself. (02/02/17)

Harvard Business Review invited Joe Raffiee to summarize his study forthcoming in the Strategic Management Journal—Raffiee J. (2017), Employee Mobility and Interfirm Relationship Transfer: Evidence from the Mobility and Client Attachments of United States Federal Lobbyists, 1998-2014— (02/01/17)

Adele Xing’s dissertation has been selected for funding by the Strategic Research Foundation (SRF) Dissertation Research Grant Program. This funding will support her study of terminated mergers and acquisitions.

Adele would like to thank her dissertation committee members, Kyle (chair), Nandini, and Nan, for their help and support. (01/31/17)

Sarah Townsend was recently named one of the Association for Psychological Science’s Rising Stars for 2016. This honor recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions. (01/30/17)

Florenta Teodoridis was recently appointed to the Methods Advisory Committee at Organization Science. (01/27/17)

David Newman recently won a Graduate Student Poster Award at the Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology: The Morality of Technology: Reactions to Altering Humanity (with Nathanael Fast and Jesse Graham). (01/26/17)

Scott Wiltermuth (with Lynne Vincent and Francesca Gino) just had a paper accepted for publication in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes: Creativity in Unethical Behavior Attenuates Condemnation and Breeds Social Contagion When Transgressions Seem to Create Little Harm.


Across six studies, people judged creative forms of unethical behavior to be less unethical than less creative forms of unethical behavior, particularly when the unethical behaviors imposed relatively little direct harm on victims. As a result of perceiving behaviors to be less unethical, people punished highly creative forms of unethical behavior less severely than they punished less-creative forms of unethical behavior. They were also more likely to emulate the behavior themselves. The findings contribute to theory by showing that perceptions of competence can positively color morality judgments, even when the competence displayed stems from committing an unethical act. The findings are the first to show that people are judged as morally better for performing bad deeds well as compared to performing bad deeds poorly. Moreover, the results illuminate how the characteristics of an unethical behavior can interact to influence the emulation and diffusion of that behavior. (01/25/17)

Peer Fiss (with YoungKi Park, George Washington University and Omar El Sawy, USC) just had a paper accepted for publication by the Journal of the Association for Information Systems. The Role of Business Intelligence and Communication Technologies in Organizational Agility: A Configurational Approach.


This study examines the role of business intelligence (BI) and communication technologies in achieving organizational sensing agility, decision-making agility, and acting agility in different organizational and environmental contexts. Based on the information processing view of organizations and dynamic capability theory, we conceptualize main elements and suggest a configurational analytic framework that departs from the standard linear paradigm to examine how the effect of IT on agility is embedded in a configuration of organizational and environmental elements. In line with this approach, we use fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to analyze field survey data from diverse industries. Our findings suggest equifinal pathways to organizational agility and the specific boundary conditions of our middle range theory that determine the role of BI and communication technologies in achieving organizational agility. Implications for theory and practice are derived and future research avenues are suggested.  (01/23/17)

Nandini Rajagopalan was just selected to receive the 2017 Provost's Mentoring Award. This award is in recognition of Nandini's extraordinary commitment to the professional and personal development of students as well as colleagues. Only two USC faculty members received the award this year, which will be bestowed at the USC Annual Academic Honors Convocation this coming April.  (01/18/17)

Scott Wiltermuth was recently appointed Associate Editor of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. (01/12/2017)

Florenta Teodoridis was recently appointed to the Editorial Review Board of Organization Science. (01/10/2017)

Joe Raffiee just had a paper accepted for publication in the Strategic Management Journal: Employee Mobility and Interfirm Relationship Transfer: Evidence from the Mobility and Client Attachments of United States Federal Lobbyists, 1998-2014.


Employee mobility can erode competitive advantage by facilitating interfirm knowledge and relationship transfer. This study investigates the latter and identifies factors that influence the likelihood of its occurrence. Using a novel database that tracks the employment and client attachments of U.S. federal lobbyists, I show that repeated exchange with employees (firms) increases (decreases) the likelihood clients follow employees who switch firms. Structurally, multiplexity reduces the likelihood of client transfer and weakens the effect of employee-client repeated exchange, with the multiplexity effect strongest when team members have specialized expertise. By examining the main and interactive effects of repeated exchange, multiplexity, and specialized human capital, this study extends prior work by demonstrating how individual, organizational, and structural relationship characteristics affect client transfer and retention ex-post employee mobility. (01/09/2017)

Gerard J. Tellis’ new book (with Stav Rosenzweig), How Transformative Innovations Shaped the Rise of Nations: From Ancient Rome to Modern America, was accepted for publication and is forthcoming from Anthem Press (New York, London, New Delhi). –USC Marshall Communication (01/09/2017)

Jody Tolan has successfully defended her dissertation proposal in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership at the USC Rossier School of Education. Jody’s research should be useful to many of us: Building Leaders: The Role of Core Faculty in Student Leadership Development in an Undergraduate Business School.

Jody is especially grateful for all the support and encouragement she has received from the MOR community. (12/22/2016)

Gerry Tellis’ paper (with Seshadri Tirunillai, University of Houston) has just been accepted for publication in Marketing Science: “Does Offline TV Advertising Affect Online Chatter? Analysis of Quasi-Experimental Data Using Synthetic Control.”


This study analyzes the impact of offline television advertising on multiple metrics of online chatter or User-Generated Content (UGC). The context is a quasi-experiment in which a focal brand undertakes a massive advertising campaign for a short period of time. The authors estimate multiple dimensions of chatter (popularity, negativity, visibility and virality) from numerous raw metrics using the content and the hyperlink structure of consumer reviews and blogs. The authors use the method of Synthetic Control to construct a counterfactual (synthetic) brand as a convex combination of the rivals during the pre-advertising period. The gap in the dimensions of chatter between the focal brand and the synthetic brand in the test versus advertising periods assesses the influence of advertising. Offline TV advertising causes a short but significant positive effect on online chatter. This effect is stronger on information-spread dimensions (visibility and virality) than on content-based dimensions (popularity and negativity). Importantly, advertising has a small short-term effect in decreasing negativity in online chatter. (12/21/2016)

Violina Rindova will be a keynote speaker (along with Joe Porac, Jim Westphal, and Ed Zajac) at the INSEAD Conference on Behavioral Perspectives on Corporate Governance in Fontainebleau, France this coming June. (12/20/2016)

Alex Wang’s paper won the Innovation Theme Best Paper Prize at 2016 Strategic Management Society Special Conference in Hong Kong: “Fools Rush In? Entry into Platform-based Market Following Acquisition Signals.” (12/19/2016)

Shon Hiatt has been appointed to the Editorial Review Board of Administrative Science Quarterly. (12/16/2016)

Marshall’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Business (IASB) has funded Nan Jia’s outlier research proposal: "The Nomenklatura State Institutions in the Knowledge Economy." This award involved a confidential and highly rigorous review of a large number of high quality proposals. The IASB Board was strongly supportive of Nan’s proposal. (12/15/2016)

Lori Yue has been invited to join the Editorial Review Board of Organization Science. (12/14/2016)

Shon Hiatt just received a Greif Case Development Award. It will support research, writing, editing, and layout of the case called Jeld-Wen. (12/01/2016)

Carl Voigt and a team of 12 Marshall MBA students recently presented an influential report at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2016 Meeting in Lima, Peru: “Non-Tariff Barriers in Agriculture and Food Trade in APEC: Business Perspectives on Impacts and Solutions” (press release & executive summary attached). The report, which was commissioned by the APEC Business Advisory Council, involved comprehensive research including an extensive literature review, depth interviews of business and government leaders from all 21 APEC countries, and a survey administered to over 200 APEC members. The report will be used by APEC countries to devise solutions to overcome non-tariff barriers to agriculture and food trade among member countries. 

Under Carl’s able leadership and wise council, the Marshall team spent an enormous amount of time, energy, and care collecting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and writing the report over the past several months. Carl has been instrumental in sustaining a productive 14-year relationship between the Marshall School and the APEC Business Advisory Council in creating an annual report on a topic of special interests to APEC members. These reports have contributed to the development of APEC action agendas for addressing matters of shared economic importance to member countries. The reports have contributed significantly to Marshall’s visibility and influence in the Asia-Pacific region. (11/28/2016)

Frank Nagle’s dissertation was runner-up for the INFORMS Technology, Innovation Management, and Entrepreneurship Section (TIMES) 2016 Best Dissertation Award: “The Digital Commons: Tragedy or Opportunity? The Effect of Crowdsourced Digital Goods on Innovation and Economic Growth.” (11/18/2016)

November 16, 2016


I am delighted to announce that the president has approved the promotion of Peer Fiss to Professor of Management and Organization, effective immediately.

Peer received his PhD in Management & Organizations and Sociology from Northwestern University in 2003. He started his career as an assistant professor at Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada, and moved as an assistant professor to Marshall in 2006. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2010.

Peer’s research is in the field of strategic management and organizational theory. His work has yielded new insights into the diffusion of organizational innovative practices across organizations, the adaptation of these practices in the course of their diffusion, and how organizations attempt strategically to affect other actors’ interpretations of these practices. His work is noteworthy for its focus on practices that are substantively important in their own right—governance practices oriented to shareholder value as they diffused beyond the USA to Germany, Total Quality Management as it diffused across hospitals, golden parachutes, globalization, poison pill anti-takeover provisions, and most recently on-line advertising. He has also been a pioneer in bringing set-theoretic methods such as fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis into the strategy and management field.

Peer is an exceptional teacher who has successfully taught undergraduate, MBA and PhD classes at Marshall. He has won USC’s Mellon Mentoring Award (for mentoring graduate students) in 2015, Marshall’s Evan C. Thompson Award for Mentoring and Leadership in 2013, and Marshall’s Golden Apple Award in 2015 for the full-time Marshall MBA program. Peer is highly committed to mentoring doctoral students (having chaired four dissertation committees and served on 14 others) and junior faculty, guiding their research, and authoring journal articles with them. Two of his PhD students recently accepted faculty position at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Harvard’s School of Public Health.

His service to the MOR department and Marshall have been exemplary as has been his service to the profession. He has held two successive senior editor posts (Associate Editor at Academy of Management Review and Senior Editor at Organization Science--two of the top journals in the management field) as well as serving on the Methods Panel at Administrative Science Quarterly (another of the top journals). At the Academy of Management, he was elected to a three-year term as a Representative-at-Large for the Organization and Management Theory Division (2011-2014)-- the third-largest division of the Academy of Management with currently 3,800 members--and was recently elected as its Program Chair-Elect (part of a five-year rotation that will lead him to the Division Chair role). Within Marshall he was just this year elected as the President of our Faculty Council.

Peer’s promotion is a well-deserved recognition of his outstanding contributions in research, teaching, and service over the years. Please join me in congratulating him.


Gareth M. James
Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

Peer Fiss (with Vilmos Misangyi, Thomas Greckhamer, Santi Furnari, Donal Crilly & Ruth Aguilera—inverse alphabetical order) just got a paper accepted for publication in the review issue of the Journal of Management: Embracing Causal Complexity: The Emergence of a Neo-Configurational Perspective.


Causal complexity has long been recognized as a ubiquitous feature underlying organizational phenomena, yet current theories and methodologies in management are for the most part not well suited to its direct study. The introduction of the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) configurational approach has led to a reinvigoration of configurational theory that embraces causal complexity explicitly. We argue that the burgeoning research using QCA represents more than a novel methodology; it constitutes the emergence of a neo-configurational perspective to the study of management and organizations that enables a fine-grained conceptualization and empirical investigation of causal complexity through the logic of set theory. In this article, we identify four foundational elements that characterize this emerging neo-configurational perspective: 1) conceptualizing cases as set theoretic configurations; 2) calibrating cases’ memberships into sets; 3) viewing causality in terms of necessity and sufficiency relations between sets; and, 4) conducting counterfactual analysis of unobserved configurations. We then present a comprehensive review of the use of QCA in management studies that aims to capture the evolution of the neo-configurational perspective among management scholars. We close with a discussion of a research agenda that can further this neo-configurational approach and thereby shift the attention of management research away from a focus on net effects and towards examining causal complexity. (10/24/2016)

Leigh Tost (with Chris Bauman-UC Irvine and Madeline Ong-Michigan) had a paper published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes: “Blame the shepherd, not the sheep: Imitating higher-ranking transgressors mitigates punishment for unethical behavior.”


Do bad role models exonerate others’ unethical behavior? Based on social learning theory and psychological theories of blame, we predicted that unethical behavior by higher-ranking individuals changes how people respond to lower-ranking individuals who subsequently commit the same transgression. Five studies explored when and why this rank-dependent imitation effect occurs. Across all five studies, we found that people were less punitive when low-ranking transgressors imitated high-ranking members of their organization. However, imitation only reduced punishment when the two transgressors were from the same organization (Study 2), when the transgressions were highly similar (Study 3), and when it was unclear whether the initial transgressor was punished (Study 5). Results also indicated that imitation affects punishment because it influences whom people blame for the transgression. These findings reveal actor-observer differences in social learning and identify a way that unethical behavior spreads through organizations. (09/19/2016)

Peer Fiss was just elected the Chair of the Marshall Faculty Council for this academic year. He also will serve as the Marshall’s representative on the USC Faculty Senate. (09/11/2016)

Alex Wang’s dissertation proposal has been selected as a finalist for the 2016 INFORMS OrgScience Dissertation Award: “Competing Across and Within Platforms: Antecedents and Consequences of Market Entries by Mobile App Developers.” His job market paper has been nominated for the Best Conference Paper at the forthcoming 2016 Strategic Management Society Hong Kong Special Conference: “Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread: Entry into Platform-based Markets Following Acquisitions.” (09/10/2016)

Gerry Tellis (joint with Marketing) has an editorial piece that will be published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science in 2017: “Interesting and Important Research: On Phenomena, Theory, and Writing.” (09/06/2016)

The latest US News has an interview with USC’s starting quarterback Max Brown, who is enrolled in the Marshall Online MBA. When asked Do you have a favorite class or professor so far? Max replied: “All the professors have been great to work with and passionate about what they’re doing, but my favorite class has been “Organizational Behavior in Negotiations” with [professor of management and organization] Peter Kim. I love the game that’s at play with negotiations as far as what information you’re going to reveal and what you keep to yourself. I found the case studies and mock negotiations with my classmates really fun and educational. Maybe it’s the athlete in me, but the competition element was also very enjoyable.” (09/02/2016)

Roshni Raveendhran received the 2016 USC Marshall PhD Teaching Award. (08/18/2016)

Chris Voss’ recent book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It (HarperCollins, 2016), was just recognized by Inc. as one of the seven best all-time negotiation books. (08/18/2016)

Tom Cummings was the 2016 Keynote Speaker for the Management Consulting Division at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Anaheim. (08/15/2016)

Shon Hiatt was doubly honored by the Organizations and Natural Environment Division at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Anaheim. He won the ONE Division's 2016 Emerging Scholar Award, which recognizes early career academics who have already made outstanding research contributions in the area of organizations and the natural environment and who have a strong potential to continue making such contributions in the near future.

Shon's paper won the Organizations and Natural Environment Division's 2016 Best Paper Award: External Threats And Entrepreneurial Collective Action In The Emergent U.S. Wood Pellet Industry. This is the 3rd straight time that Shon has won this award. (08/12/2016)

Frank Nagle’s paper was a finalist for the Technology and Innovation Management Division’s Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Anaheim: Learning by Contributing: Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Contribution to Open Source Software. (08/11/2016)

Mark Young (with Fei Du and Guliang Tang) received the 2016 Notable Contribution to the Management Accounting Literature Award given by the American Accounting Association. This is Mark's 3rd win, which ties for the most wins in the history of the award. (08/11/2016)

Paul Adler is among the inaugural recipients of the Companionship of the British Academy of Management (CBAM). This award is by invitation only in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of Management. Paul will receive the award at the British Academy of Management’s 30th anniversary meeting in September. (08/09/2016)

Michàlle Mor Barak (joint with School of Social Work) will receive the Gender and Diversity Division’s Scholarly Contributions to Educational Practice Advancing Women in Leadership Award at the forthcoming Academy of Management Meeting in Anaheim. (08/04/2016)

Chris Bresnahan, Jody Tolan, and Terry Wolfe have been awarded Lord Foundation funding for their educational workshop proposals for the coming academic year. Jody and Chris’ workshop (with Sabrina Pasztor and Steve Byers) is on “Enhancing Our Role as Leader Educators” and Terry’s workshop addresses “Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competence” in conjunction with the Museum of Tolerance and the Western Justice Center. (07/26/2016)

Peer Fiss was elected Division Program Chair-Elect of the Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management. He will progress over the next few years to become Division Chair of the OMT Division, one of the largest Divisions in the Academy of Management. (06/29/2016)

Lori Yue has been selected to receive a 2015-2016 Outstanding Reviewer Award in recognition of her contributions to Organization Science. She will be honored at the Organization Science Editorial Board Meeting and Reception at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting this August in Anaheim. (06/28/2016)

Lori Yue has been appointed as a Consulting Editor of the American Journal of Sociology (AJS), established in 1895 as the first U.S. scholarly journal in sociology. (06/09/2016)

Shon Hiatt’s paper (with Sangchan Park) was voted Best Paper by conference participants, winning the 2016 People’s Choice Award at the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) Annual Conference in Boulder, CO: External Threats and Entrepreneurial Collective Action in the Emergent U.S. Wood Pellet Industry.


Free riding can be a serious problem in collective action, yet this issue has not been fully examined in entrepreneurs’ collective efforts to legitimate new markets. This paper probes under what conditions entrepreneurs are more or less likely to promote a coherent collective identity in response to external threats. We propose that external threats cause entrepreneurs to favor less-costly types of collective identity promotion, and that these effects are moderated by contextual factors that shape perceived costs of collective action, namely group size and free-riding counterforces. Drawing upon qualitative and quantitative evidence from the emergent U.S. wood pellet industry, our study shows that environmental activists’ targeting of forest-product manufacturers serves as an external threat that increases the similarity of less-costly identity claims used by ventures (promulgating identity-congruent narratives) but decreases the similarity of more-costly identity claims (adopting identity-congruent names). Implications for new market legitimation, social-movement, and sustainability research are discussed. (06/01/2016)

Lori Yue has been appointed Chair of the Research Committee of the Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management. (05/26/2016)

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to let you know that the Provost has approved the joint appointment with MOR of Erick Guerrero, Associate Professor in the Department of Community, Organization, and Business Innovation, USC School of Social Work. As many of you know, Erick is a macro organization researcher who focuses on the organizational implementation and system integration of culturally responsive and evidence-informed health care practices to promote health care equities. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about a key sector of the economy and society, the health care system. He looks forward to engaging with us on the organizational and strategic issues that plague health care’s fairness and effectiveness.

Please join me in welcoming Erick to the MOR community.


Thomas G. Cummings
Professor & Department Chair
Department of Management & Organization

The Provost has approved the joint appointment with MOR of Erick Guerrero, Associate Professor in the Department of Community, Organization, and Business Innovation, USC School of Social Work. As many of you know, Erick is a macro organization researcher who focuses on the organizational implementation and system integration of culturally responsive and evidence-informed health care practices to promote health care equities. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about a key sector of the economy and society, the health care system. He looks forward to engaging with us on the organizational and strategic issues that plague health care's fairness and effectiveness. (05/23/2016)

MOR former doctoral student Chailin Cummings has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at California State University-Long Beach. Congratulations Chailin. Your daughter Catherine and husband Tom are very, very proud of you. (05/20/2016)

Chris Voss, who teaches MOR 569 for us, was recently on local TV being interviewed about his new hit book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It (HarperBusiness, 2016). You can see the interview at (05/12/2016)

It gives me great pleasure to let you know that Derek Harmon successfully defended his dissertation today. (Dissertation chair, Peer Fiss). (05/10/2016)

It gives me great pleasure to let you know that Mariam Krikorian has successfully defended her dissertation. (Peer Fiss her dissertation chair). (05/06/2016)

David Newman’s proposal for a presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Business Ethics has been accepted. Moreover, the Society is honoring David with the Society of Business Ethics Founders' Award for promising PhD students in the field of business ethics. (05/05/2016)

Nan Jia (with Heather Haveman, Jing Shi & Yongxiang Wang) just had a paper accepted for publication in Administrative Science Quarterly: The Dynamics of Political Embeddedness in China.


Economic transitions from state planning and redistribution to market exchange create many businesses opportunities.  But such transitions also create great uncertainty because many interdependent factors – modes of exchange, types of products, and forms of organizations – are in flux.  Uncertainty is even greater when political institutions remain authoritarian because then rule of law is weak and state bureaucrats retain considerable power over the economy.  In such contexts, firms can reduce uncertainty by developing relationships with state bureaucrats, which help firms learn how state bureaucracies operate and engender trust between firms and bureaucrats.  Together, knowledge and trust stabilize firms’ operations and help persuade bureaucrats to lighten regulatory burdens, grant access to state-controlled resources, and improve oversight.  Therefore, in authoritarian regimes, as economic transitions proceed and uncertainty increases, business-state ties increasingly improve firm performance.  We test this argument by studying China, which saw economic transition but persistent authoritarianism.  We also investigate two likely contingencies (industry and firm size) and two important causal mechanisms (access to bank loans and protection from related-party loans).  Empirical analysis supports most predictions, demonstrating the importance of dynamic analysis:  the value of business-state relations varies over time, depending on the trajectory of both economic and political institutions. (05/03/2016)

May 2, 2016


I am delighted to announce that USC president C. L. Max Nikias has promoted Cheryl Wakslak to Associate Professor of Management and Organization with tenure, effective immediately.

Cheryl earned her PhD in Psychology from New York University in 2008, worked as a research associate at Columbia University from 2008-2009, and was a Visiting Researcher at the University of Rochester from 2009-2010, prior to joining the Marshall School as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2010. She is a leading international scholar and expert in the domain of construal level theory, which considers the interrelationship between the level of individuals' mental representations and a wide array of social and organizationally relevant behaviors. Her research has made significant contributions to this literature by extending the boundaries of this theory, by deepening insight into its underlying mechanisms, and by uncovering important practical implications through a highly programmatic body of research.

Cheryl's research record is theoretically rich, empirically rigorous, and remarkably prodigious, with 24 peer-reviewed scholarly articles that span three fields (management, marketing, and psychology). These include papers that have appeared in top journals such as Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, two papers in the Journal of Consumer Research, three papers in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, three papers in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and four papers in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Her contributions have led to her being recognized with the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research in 2014, her election as a Society of Experimental Social Psychology Fellow in 2015, to her being selected as one of just five scholars to receive the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology's 2015 Sage Young Scholar Award, and to her success in obtaining two major National Science Foundation Grants.

Beyond her extraordinary research record, Cheryl has made important contributions in teaching. She has been instrumental in developing an entirely new and very highly rated course on decision-making, and she has also spent considerable time mentoring and doing research with doctoral students. Moreover, with regard to service, Cheryl has either led or worked as a member of multiple committees at Marshall, as an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and as a reviewer for numerous other journals across the fields of management, marketing, and psychology.

Cheryl's promotion is a well-deserved recognition of her outstanding contributions in research, teaching, and service. Please join me in congratulating Cheryl.

Gareth M. James
Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

Derek Harmon was awarded a USC PhD Achievement Award for 2016. This is quite an honor based on Derek's significant accomplishments throughout his doctoral studies. (04/18/2016)

April 11, 2016


I am delighted to announce that USC president C. L. Max Nikias has promoted Nathanael (Nate) Fast to Associate Professor of Management and Organization with tenure, effective immediately.

Nate Fast earned his PhD in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University in 2009 and joined the Marshall School as an Assistant Professor of Management and Organization later that year. He is a leading international scholar and expert on the psychological mechanisms underlying the acquisition and consequences of power in organizations. Nate's research is theoretically strong and empirically rigorous and appears in the top journals in management and social psychology, including Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, four papers in Psychological Science (the leading journal for empirical work in psychology), Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and, at last count, four papers in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. He also publishes regularly in business practitioner outlets such as Harvard Business Review. In addition to this published work, he has a rich pipeline of work in progress and in a new area of research on the impact of technology on management in organizations. Nate has the distinction of being the only Marshall faculty member to have been a recipient of the Marshall Dean's Award for Research Excellence TWICE as an assistant professor.

The key contributions of Nate's work to date are on the psychological mechanisms caused by the experience of power, in particular his discoveries on the abuse of power, for example, that power paired with a lack of self-perceived competence leads to aggression; he has shown that power without status incites demeaning treatment and relationship conflict. Nate is a solid and careful empirical management scholar with a knack for finding interesting problems and the skill to implement innovative research.

In addition to his excellent research record, Nate is among our best teachers. He is the recipient of the Golden Apple Teaching Award; in Poets and Quants, he is one of the World's 40 Best B-School Professors under the Age of 40. Nate spends considerable time mentoring and doing research with doctoral students. His service to USC and the management profession are outstanding. He has served on the Marshall behavioral lab committee, the MOR PhD Committee, and the committee for the MOR Distinguished Speaker Series. In the management and psychology professions, Nate is on the Editorial Boards of their top journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin.

Nate's promotion is a well-deserved recognition of his outstanding contributions in research, teaching, and service. Please join me in congratulating Nate.

Gareth M. James
Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

Lori Yue's paper (with MOR doctoral student Jue Wang and Marketing faculty Botao Yang) has been chosen as a finalist for the 2016 OMT Best Paper on Entrepreneurship Award: The Price of Faith: Political Determinants of Commercialization of Buddhist Temples in China. Lori, Jue, and Botao will be officially recognized during the awards ceremony at the OMT Business Meeting at the 2016 Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Anaheim this August.




The market's expansion into traditional non-market spheres often provokes fierce opposition. However, while past research has studied the way in which cultural barriers serve as a bar to market expansion, this paper considers the role of political forces in shaping the boundaries of markets. The state plays an important role in defining what kinds of goods can be traded and what kinds of organizations can be legitimate players in markets. But the state does not do so randomly; it uses markets in state-building. Studying the commercialization of Buddhist temples in modern China, we found that economic performance is an important means for a state, especially one with an authoritarian regime, to obtain political legitimacy. The pursuit of utilitarian legitimacy has led the Chinese government to include economic performance in the criteria of its political promotion system, turning local government officials into "public entrepreneurs" and creating a tournament-like competition among them. Those local government officials who face stronger pressure to develop the economy press temples to commercialize. In addition, Buddhist temples are more likely to abandon commercial practices when they are located in areas where the local government officials face less pressure to develop the economy. (03/21/2016)

Florenta Teodoridis (with Jeff Furman) just received a substantial, three-year NSF Science of Science & Innovation Policy grant: "Collaborative Research: The Impact of Research Costs on the Rate and Direction of Scientific Discover."




Understanding scientific and technical progress requires measures of both the rate and direction of resources directed to innovative efforts and the outputs produced. This project leverages advances in computational power to map the evolution of research fields based on researchers' project portfolios in ideas spaces. The research takes advantages of shocks, such as changes in policies and research costs, to use empirical research techniques to understand the factors that affect the directions into which science and technology evolve. This work has important implications for understanding the rate and direction of technological change.

Specifically, the project uses techniques based on machine learning and natural language processing that measure the incidence and configuration of keywords in published research to quantify the similarity of groups of such articles to define idea space and to subsequently measure the ways in which idea space evolve in response to shocks in research costs and public policies. The research applies these techniques to three contexts: (a) how changes in the costs of research materials affect research trajectories in motion-sensing technology, (b) how researchers in quantum computing change their project portfolios in response to a controversial approach that differs from an established research paradigm; and (c) how pharmaceutical firm research trajectories change in response to news about rivals' drug discovery projects. (03/14/2016)

Nan Jia's paper (with Kenneth Huang and Cyndi Zhang) won the Best Paper Award at The Inaugural DRUID Asia Conference 2016: "State Capitalism, Agency Risk, and Firm Innovation: Evidence from State-Owned Enterprises in China." The DRUID conference is one of the world's premier academic events on innovation and the dynamics of structural, institutional and geographic change.




This study contributes to the debate over the role of the state in promoting knowledge development through its control over state-owned enterprises (SOEs). We examine how agency risk shapes SOE behaviors in response to the state's promotion of innovation. We argue that without proper incentives or monitoring, SOE agents will prioritize the development of those innovations emphasized by the state principal's evaluation metrics over other innovations. Following China's implementation of a top-down pro-innovation policy that relies disproportionately on objective metrics to assess innovation performance, we found evidence of multiplicative effects: those SOEs with higher agency risk—enabled by lower alignment of managerial incentives with firm interest and by weak political accountability of the monitoring government agency—produced general patents at a higher rate but novel patents at a lower rate than before implementation of the pro-innovation policy and then their peer SOEs with lower agency risk. Our findings suggest that, although the state can increase the overall amount of innovation by SOEs, the extent of agency risk in SOEs influences the types of technologies being produced. Therefore, the state's role in developing innovations is quite complex and is dependent on other institutions including the corporate governance of firms and the political governance of the firms' locations. (03/02/2016)

Peer Fiss (with Vern Glaser MOR PhD alum at U. of Alberta and Mark Kennedy MOR faculty alum at Imperial College) just got a paper accepted for publication in Organization Science: Making Snowflakes Like Stocks: Stretching, Bending, and Positioning to Make Financial Market Analogies Work in Online Advertising.




Analogies to financial markets have proven powerful in establishing novel or potentially controversial business concepts, even in contexts that deviate significantly from financial markets. This phenomenon challenges theory that suggests analogies work best when elements from a source and target domain map closely to each other. To develop a theory that explains how organizations make initially imperfect analogies "work," we use a case study of online advertising exchanges, a market-inspired model for buying and selling online advertising space. We find that as organizations stretch an initially misfitting exchange analogy from financial markets to online advertising, they iteratively bend their activities in superficial, structural, and generative ways to match the analogy and position themselves for advantage in the new space being created. Whereas prior studies emphasize shared cognition about familiar domains as the reason why analogies work, our study offers a dynamic account in which stretching, bending, and positioning combine to not only establish the financial market analogy but also subtly change the understanding of markets. (02/29/2016)

MOR's California Theory Workshop on Organizations and Organizing (CalO2) last November at USC got a wonderful "shout-out" in Steve Barley's lead article in the latest Administrative Science Quarterly: "60th Anniversary Essay: Ruminations on How We Became a Mystery House and How We might Get Out" (ASQ, 2016, Vol. 61: 1-8). Steve mentions our conference several times including its informal format and the topics/issues participants' discussed as exemplars of the kind of scholarly interaction and thinking our field needs to move ahead successfully.

Bravo to Paul and the CalO2 team (Kelly, Lori, Peer, Shon, and Tom). (02/10/2016)

Kyle Mayer has been appointed an Associate Editor for Strategic Management Journal. (02/04/2016)

An article in Poets&Quants ( extolled Marshall's MS in Social Entrepreneurship. It showcased Adlai Wertman, who directs the program, and MOR's Christine El Haddad, who teaches a special strategy course that she designed for the MSSE. (01/25/2016)

Nate Fast's case development proposal on John Terzian and H.wood has been selected to receive funding by the Marshall Case Review Committee. This is part of Marshall's new case writing initiative and it is nice to see MOR in the mix of things. (01/19/2016)

Ed Lawler was recently inducted into the Thinkers50 2015 Hall of Fame. The Thinkers50 is the most definitive ranking of global management thinkers in the world, with over 20,000 people nominating the top 50 management thinkers this past year. The Hall of Fame is a select subgroup of distinguished thinkers who have all made a lasting and vital impact on how organizations are led and managed. As described at the 2015 Hall of Fame induction ceremony: "They are the giants upon whose shoulders managers and leaders stand." (01/11/2016)

Stephanie Smallets (with Streamer, Kondrak, & Seery) had a paper accepted for publication in Personality and Individual Differences: Bringing You Down Versus Bringing Me Up: Discrepant Versus Congruent High Explicit Self-Esteem Differentially Predict Malicious and Benign Envy.




Recent research supports the existence of two faces of envy: malicious envy, characterized by the desire to bring an envy target down, and benign envy, characterized by the desire to bring oneself up to the level of an envy target. In the current study, we investigated discrepant high self-esteem (high explicit, low implicit self-esteem) and congruent high self-esteem (high explicit, high implicit) as antecedents of malicious versus benign envy, respectively. Participants with discrepant high self-esteem were particularly likely to rate a target negatively across a variety of attributes and as deserving to fail when the target was an upward rather than downward social comparison, consistent with malicious envy. In contrast, unlike other participants, those with congruent high self-esteem tended to persist longer at a difficult task after an upward rather than downward social comparison, potentially consistent with benign envy. These results suggest novel antecedents of the two faces of envy and novel consequences of self-esteem. (01/07/2016)

Nan Jia was elected to the Board of Directors for the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics (SIOE). Formerly known as ISNIE—International Society for New Institutional Economics—this global organization promotes rigorous theoretical and empirical investigation of the nature, behavior, and governance of organizations and institutions using approaches drawn from economics, organization theory, law, political science, and other social sciences. Among SIOE's founders and early presidents were three winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: Ronald Coase, Douglass North, and Oliver Williamson. (01/06/2016)

Peer Fiss (with Ruud T. Frambach, Vrije Universiteit & Paul T.M. Ingenbleek, Wageningen University) had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Research: How important is customer orientation for firm performance? A fuzzy set analysis of orientations, strategies, and environments.




Prior literature suggests that customer orientation interacts with other strategic factors, but yields mixed effects in terms of performance outcomes. In addition, capturing performance outcomes of complex systems of interdependencies using commonly employed methods, such as regression models, is often difficult. Thus, this study employs a configurational approach, using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fs/QCA), to analyze the constellations of different strategic orientations, strategy types, and market conditions that yield superior performance. The study finds no evidence of high-performing configurations without customer orientation and shows that highly performing firms configure themselves around their customer orientation in three different ways. The results have implications for market orientation theory as well as for configurational and (marketing) strategy research in general. (01/05/2016)

Peer Fiss (with Charles Ragin) just had a book accepted for publication by the University of Chicago Press: Intersectional Inequality: Race, Class, Test Scores and Poverty.

Two features of social science that distinguish it from other ways of representing social phenomena are its explicit dialogue with theory and its commitment to systematic methodology (Ragin and Amoroso 2011). The latter is especially important because methodology provides conventions both for constituting evidence and for crafting representations of social phenomena (i.e., "results") from evidence. When social research is conducted with the goal of contributing to policy debates, methodology is not a mere academic question, but also a political issue because different methodologies may produce fundamentally different representations of the same evidence (i.e., different "results" or "findings"). Representations can diverge sharply even when the definition of what constitutes relevant evidence (e.g., survey data) is held constant.

The central analytic focus of most policy-oriented social research today is the assessment of the relative importance of competing independent variables in multivariate analyses. For instance, a researcher might ask: "Which variable has the strongest impact on life chances: education, test scores, or family background?" Framing multivariate analyses in terms of a competition between variables dovetails with everyday forms of ideological opposition. That is, there is a direct connection between conventional quantitative methodology and ideological debate because competing variables in multivariate analyses are usually linked to different ideological positions. This linking of variables and ideological positions is apparent in a number of policy debates, including the one generated by The Bell Curve, which spawned a controversy over the importance and use of so-called "intelligence" and school achievement tests as predictors of life chances.

The fact that conventional forms of multivariate analysis, on the one hand, and ideological opposition, on the other, are mutually reinforcing is unfortunate. Their link undermines the potential value of social research to policy discourse, especially in such politically charged arenas as education and social inequality. One consequence of this link is that researchers tend to focus almost exclusively on the competition between variables and fail to consider how different factors may work together and the different contexts that enable one cause versus another. A related consequence is that researchers frequently overlook the possibility that there may be several different paths to the same outcome, involving different combinations of causally relevant conditions. The relevant paths also may differ by other factors, for example, race and gender. The finding that test scores have a significant net effect on life chances, for example, does not help us understand how they have this effect, in what contexts, or in combination with what other factors. A more textured understanding of the connection between test scores and life chances is possible, however, if the analyst is willing to abandon the competition between variables and focus instead on the diverse ways in which combinations of causal conditions and outcomes are linked.

In the chapters that follow we offer an alternative to the conventional approach to the analysis of policy-relevant social data. Instead of asking, "What is the net effect of each independent variable (e.g., test scores versus family background) on the outcome (e.g., avoiding poverty)," we ask, "What combinations of causally relevant conditions are linked to the outcome?" In this view, causal conditions do not compete with each other; rather, they combine in different ways to produce the outcome. This alternate approach allows for the possibility that there may be many paths to the same outcome, and it does not force the incremental effect of each causal variable on the outcome (e.g., on the log odds of avoiding poverty) to be the same for each case. In essence, we propose and offer a diversity-oriented understanding of the connections between causal conditions and outcomes because it views cases intersectionally—in terms of the different ways they combine causally relevant conditions.

The diversity-oriented techniques we use are set-analytic in nature and build upon the case-oriented techniques first presented in The Comparative Method (Ragin, 1987) and then extended in Fuzzy-Set Social Science (Ragin, 2000) and Redesigning Social Inquiry (Ragin, 2008). These works demonstrate how to identify the multiple paths to an outcome using set-analytic methods. By viewing cases intersectionally and causes conjuncturally, it is possible to allow for much greater diversity and heterogeneity, and researchers can address nuanced questions about causal conditions. For example, instead of asking, "What is the net impact of test scores on poverty status?" we can ask, "Under what conditions is there a connection between low test scores and experiencing poverty?" This nuanced question can be answered by examining the different paths to poverty and pinpointing those that include low test scores as part of the mix of causally relevant conditions. Nuanced findings, in turn, are more directly relevant to policy makers and policy discourse and may open up new avenues for moving beyond established positions.

This is quite an accomplishment Peer. University of Chicago Press is arguably the premier publisher of scholarly work in the social sciences in the world. (11/18/2015)

Cheryl Wakslak is one of five young scholars who received the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology's 2015 Sage Young Scholar Award. The award is based on demonstrated exceptional achievements in social and/or personality psychology through research that places awardees' research at the forefront of their peers. Criteria include innovation, creativity, and potential to make a significant impact on the field. (11/13/2015)

Gerry Tellis' former student, Wayne Zhang (PhD Marshall May 2015), was honored by the Pacific Telecommunications Council as a 2015 Young Scholar in Information and Communication Technologies for his dissertation research on viral diffusion of digital information products. He will present his research at their annual conference in Honolulu in January 2016. (11/10/2015)

Sarah Townsend (with Major, B., Kuntsman, J. W., Malta, B. D., Sawyer, P. J., & Mendes, W. B.) got a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology: Suspicion of motives shapes minorities' responses to positive feedback in interracial interactions.

Strong social and legal norms in the United States discourage the overt expression of bias against ethnic and racial minorities, increasing the attributional ambiguity of Whites' positive behavior to ethnic minorities. Minorities who suspect that Whites' positive overtures toward minorities are motivated more by their fear of appearing racist than by egalitarian attitudes may regard positive feedback they receive from Whites as disingenuous. This may lead them to react to such feedback with feelings of uncertainty and threat. Three studies examined how suspicion of motives relates to ethnic minorities' responses to receiving positive feedback from a White peer or same-ethnicity peer (Experiment 1), to receiving feedback from a White peer that was positive or negative (Experiment 2), and to receiving positive feedback from a White peer who did or did not know their ethnicity (Experiment 3). As predicted, the more suspicious Latinas were of Whites' motives for behaving positively toward minorities in general, the more they regarded positive feedback from a White peer who knew their ethnicity as disingenuous and the more they reacted with cardiovascular reactivity characteristic of threat/avoidance, increased feelings of stress, heightened uncertainty, and decreased self-esteem. We discuss the implications for intergroup interactions of perceptions of Whites' motives for nonprejudiced behavior. (11/05/2015)

Cheryl Wakslak[with Dave Kalkstein (NYU), Tali Kleiman (Hebrew U), Cheryl Wakslak (USC), Nira Liberman (Tel Aviv U) and Yaacov Trope (NYU)] just had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Social Learning across Psychological Distance.

While those we learn from are often close to us, more and more our learning environments are shifting to include more distant and dissimilar others. The question we examine in five studies is how whom we learn from influences what we learn and how what we learn influences from whom we choose to learn it. In Study1, we show that social learning, in and of itself, promotes higher level (more abstract) learning than does learning based on one's own direct experience. In Studies 2 and 3, we show that when people learn from and emulate others, they tend to do so at a higher level when learning from a distant model than from a near model. Studies 4 and 5 show that thinking about learning at a higher (compared to a lower) level leads individuals to expand the range of others that they will consider learning from. Study 6 shows that when given an actual choice, people prefer to learn low level information from near sources and high level information from distant sources. These results demonstrate a basic link between level of learning and psychological distance in social learning processes. (11/04/2015)

Derek Harmon's dissertation proposal was awarded second-place at the recent INFORMS Dissertation Proposal Competition in Philadelphia. Dissertation proposals were judged based on soundness of theory, methodological rigor, boldness and innovation, and potential contribution to the field of organization science. This is a highly prestigious and competitive contest and runner up is quite an achievement. (11/02/2015)

Nan Jia and Kyle Mayer had a paper accepted for publication in Strategic Management Journal: Political Hazards and Firms' Geographic Concentration.




We examine the relationship between the geographic concentration of a firm's sales and the firm's vulnerability to expropriation hazards. Although expanding outside the home location can initially increase a firm's exposure to government expropriation, we find that this effect reverses when a firm's sales outside its home location have reached a point at which it has sufficient resources to better influence government actions and to pose a credible threat to exit the market in which it is being targeted. We supplement this main result by identifying two moderating factors: the firm's level of political capital and the effectiveness of institutional constraints on government behavior. We find support for these hypotheses from survey data on privately owned enterprises in China. (10/28/2015)

Gerry Tellis' former doctoral student, Wayne Zhang (PhD May 2015) won the Layton Award for best dissertation, from the Australia New Zealand Marketing Academy: "Essays in Understanding Virality of YouTube Video Ads: Dynamics, Drivers and Effects." Wayne's study also won an MSI grant. Professors Lan Luo, Debbie MacInnis, and Jinchi Lv served on the dissertation committee. (10/26/2015)

At the recent Society of Strategic Management Annual International Conference, Nandini Rajagopalan and Nan Jia were honored as Strategic Management Journal 2015 Outstanding Board Members. (10/25/2015)

Shon Hiatt won the annual conference Best Paper Award of the Organization and the Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management for the past two years. To honor this achievement, the ONE Division recently headlined and interviewed Shon in its newsletter. (10/15/2015)

Jake Grandy is on tear. He recently received a Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. His dissertation proposal was one of only 20 selected from a very competitive pool of 122 submitted proposals.

Jake also was selected to join the 2015 PhD Sustainability Academy, hosted by the Ivey Business School (Ivey) and the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS). His submission was among the most rigorous, innovative, and multi-disciplinary received by the Academy from 32 applicants across 13 countries. (10/06/2015)

Nandini Rajagopalan, along with Helena Yli-Renko from Marshall's BAEP Department, was named to Hot Topics' list of the 100 Top Professors of Entrepreneurship in the world today. These outstanding academics were nominated by the tech executives, entrepreneurs, and investors making up the Hot Topics community, a virtual who's who of entrepreneurship. Criteria for this honor include helping to shape the direction of formal entrepreneurship learning globally and making a significant impact on entrepreneurship knowledge through academic publication. (09/14/2015)

Derek Harmon's dissertation proposal has been selected as a finalist for this year's Organization Science/INFORMS Dissertation Proposal Competition. The finalist proposals scored high on theoretical and methodological rigor as well as boldness and innovation. Derek will present his proposal at the INFORMS 2015 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in November. (09/08/2015)

At the recent Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Tom Cummings' article (with Aquinis, Shapiro, & Antonacopoulou) was recognized as Academy of Management Learning & Education 2014 Best Article Award Finalist: "Scholarly impact: A pluralistic conceptualization" (AMLE, 2014 13:623-639). (08/27/2015)

Gerry Tellis' paper (with Ying Li), has been accepted for publication in Technovation: Does Province Matter? Intra-Country Differences in the Takeoff of New Products.


Multi-national corporations (wrongly) introduce new products in China rather late. Such a strategy arises because research treats all of China as one monolithic country, thus, finding that takeoff occurs quite late. However, for large or multi-ethnic countries, intra country diversity may be quite high, rivaling or exceeding that among inter country differences of some continents (e.g., Europe). This study examines the takeoff of new products among provinces of China based on data of 30 Chinese provinces on 10 categories over 34 years. Rooted in the theory of institutions and product network externalities, this study tests the drivers of new product takeoff using a discrete time hazard model. The major results are as follows: First, time to takeoff varies dramatically across provinces in China. Second, the average time to takeoff varies substantially between products with strong and weak network externalities. Third, time to takeoff is converging across provinces. Fourth, the intra-country differences in time-to-takeoff are explained by economic institutional variables: economic wealth, trade openness, education, media and transportation infrastructure; and product characteristics: network externalities and year of introduction. Fifth, the vast differences in takeoff of new products across provinces suggest that a waterfall strategy within China might be more profitable. (08/25/2015)

Shon Hiatt's paper (with Chad Carlos of BYU) won the 2015 Best Paper Award from the ONE Division of the Academy of Management at this year's Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC.: From farms to fuel tanks: Differential effects of collective action on firms in the emergent U.S. biodiesel sector.


Strategy and entrepreneurship scholars have long been interested in factors that affect new market emergence and firm entry. However, existing literature provides few insights into the factors that influence the types of organizations that enter markets promoted and opposed by social activists. Using the emergent U.S. biodiesel market, we examine how the efforts of new-market proponents (farmer associations) and new-market opponents (environmental groups) differentially influence market entry among category-focused and category-spanning (hybrid) ventures. Quantitative and qualitative evidence indicates that activist tactics to promote new markets positively influenced foundings of category-focused ventures, and this effect decreased as market infrastructure developed. However, greater market contestation negatively impacted foundings and survival of focused ventures, but had little effect on hybrid ventures. The findings contribute to the literature on institutions and entrepreneurship, nonmarket strategy, and industry emergence. (08/24/2015)

Lori Yue's paper has been accepted for publication in the American Sociological Review: The great and the small: The impact of collective action on the evolution of board interlocks after the panic of 1907.


Conventional research in organizational theory highlights the role of board interlocks in facilitating business collective action. In this paper, I propose that business collective action affects the evolutionary path of interlock networks. In particular, the large market players' response after a collective action to the classic problem of the "exploitation" of the great by the small provides a mechanism for interlocks to evolve. Through studying the two types of collective action that banks organized during the Panic of 1907, I find that the experience of issuing currency substitutes, a course of collective action that needed to mobilize community support, made bankers more aware of their responsibility for community welfare, and thus in the post-crisis period, bankers were more supportive of the market stabilization strategy of assisting small banks. In contrast, the experience of organizing mutual lending, a course of collective action that highlighted the power of businesses in a way that was independent of the communities in which they were located, led bankers to focus more on their sectional interest and favor the market stabilization strategy of eliminating small banks. These different attitudes toward small banks affected the evolution of the interlock networks between large and small banks. (08/18/2015)

Nate Fast's paper (with Eric Anicich, Nir Halevy, and Adam Galinsky) has been accepted for publication in Organization Science: "When the Bases of Social Hierarchy Collide: Power without Status Drives Interpersonal Conflict."


Leveraging the social hierarchy literature, the present research offers a role-based account of the antecedents of interpersonal conflict. Specifically, we suggest that the negative feelings and emotions resulting from the experience of occupying a low-status position interact with the action-facilitating effects of power to produce vicious cycles of interpersonal conflict and demeaning behavior. Five studies demonstrate that power without status leads to interpersonal conflict and demeaning treatment, both in specific dyadic work relationships and among organizational members more broadly. Study 1 provides initial support for the prediction that employees in low-status/high-power roles engage in more conflict with coworkers than all other combinations of status and power. In Studies 2a and 2b, a yoked experimental design replicated this effect and established low-status/high-power roles as a direct source of the interpersonal conflict and demeaning treatment. Study 3 used an experimental manipulation of relative status and power within specific dyadic relationships in the workplace and found evidence of a vicious cycle of interpersonal conflict and demeaning treatment within any dyad that included a low-status/high-power individual. Finally, Study 4 utilized survey and human resource data from a large government agency to replicate the power without status effect on interpersonal conflict and to demonstrate that power interacts with subjective status change to produce a similar effect; increasing the status of a high-power role reduces conflict whereas decreasing its status increases conflict. Taken together, these findings offer a role-based account of interpersonal conflict and highlight the importance of making a theoretical distinction between status and power (08/03/2015).

Seshadri Tirunillai (PhD, USC Marshall) and Gerry Tellis have won the Lehmann Award for the best dissertation-based article published in Journal of Marketing or Journal of Marketing Research for 2014: "Mining Meaning from Online Chatter: Strategic Brand Analysis of Big Data using Latent Dirichlet Allocation," Journal of Marketing Research, 51, 4 (August). Seshadri's other dissertation paper also won an award – AMA's John D Howard award for best dissertation in Marketing in 2012 (07/23/2015).

Ed Lawler and John Boudreau's book, Global Trends in Human Resource Management: A Twenty Year Analysis, was just published by Stanford University Press. Here is a brief summary:

Since 1995, USC's Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) has conducted the definitive longitudinal study of the human resource management function in organizations. By analyzing new data every three years since then, the Center has been able to consistently chart changes in how HR is organized and managed, while at the same time providing guidance on how professionals in the field can drive firm performance.

Global Trends in Human Resource Management, the seventh report from CEO, provides the newest findings about what makes HR successful and how it can add value to organizations today. Edward E. Lawler III and John W. Boudreau conclude that to adapt to the demands of a changing global marketplace, HR is increasingly required to span the boundaries between its function, the organization as a whole, and the dynamic environment within which it operates (07/13/2015).

In a recent Poets & Quants article on the top students in MBA programs, the selected students were asked to name their favorite professors (The Top MBAs Name Their Favorite Business School Professors). Here is what the top student from Marshall said:

"Professor Carl Voigt. Among the many brilliant, dynamic, and accomplished professors at Marshall Professor Voigt is something extraordinary. He has unconquerable heart: more than anyone I have ever met. After 30 years in academia, he remains certain that he can make the world a better place. And his optimism is infectious. No one works harder nor inspires hard work more than Professor Voigt. He takes on more than any human can possibly accomplish. He is in his office from 5 am until well into the evening. He is there even on his days off. He lives and dies by his students' success. I know that if I am ever in trouble anywhere in the world I can call him for advice (as can any of his students)." – Jennifer Dare / University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business (07/10/2015).

Shon Hiatt and Jake Grandy's (with Brandon Lee) paper, which won the Academy of Management Organizations and the Natural Environment Division's 2014 Best Paper Award, was just accepted for publication in Organization Science: Organizational responses to public and private politics: An analysis of climate change activists and U.S. oil and gas firms.


We explore how activists' public and private politics elicit different organizational responses. Using data on U.S. petroleum companies from 1982-2010, we investigate how climate change activists serving as witnesses at congressional hearings and engaging in firm protests influenced firms' internal and external responses. We find that public politics induced internally focused practice adoption while private politics induced externally focused framing activities. We also find that private and public politics had an interaction effect: as firms faced more private political pressure, they were less likely to respond to public political pressures; similarly, as firms faced greater public political pressure, they were less likely to respond to private political pressures. The results suggest that activists can have a significant impact on firm behavior depending on the mix of private and public political tactics they engage in. We discuss the implications of our study for social movement research, organization theory, and non market strategy. (07/09/2015)

A recent Poets & Quants survey identified the best students from the Class of 2015: The Best Executive MBAs. As reported in Poets & Quants today, when those selected students were asked to name their favorite professor, the student from Marshall responded:

"Professor Arvind Bhambri is my favorite professor. He is very methodical, precise and thorough with his teaching. He provided us with invaluable frameworks that I was able to use to advise our business leaders on modifying our current strategy. It had a great impact on their decision to promote me in a business development position for Roche's key technology." – Pierre-Marie del Moral / University of Southern California, Marshall (07/08/2015).

Gerry Tellis (with Abhishek Borah) just got a paper accepted in Journal of Marketing Research: "Halo (Spillover) Effects in Social Media: Do Recalls of One Brand Hurt or Help Rival Brands?"


Online chatter is important because it is spontaneous, passionate, information rich, granular, and live. Thus, it can forewarn and be diagnostic about potential problems with automobile models, known as nameplates. The authors define perverse halo (or negative spillover) as the phenomenon whereby negative chatter about one nameplate increases negative chatter for another nameplate. The authors test the existence of such perverse halo for 48 nameplates from 4 different brands during a series of automobile recalls. The analysis is by individual and panel Vector AutoRegressive models. Perverse halo is extensive. It occurs for nameplates within the same brand across segments and across brands within segments. It is strongest between brands of the same country. Perverse halo is asymmetric, being stronger from a dominant brand to a less dominant brand than vice versa. Apology advertising about recalls has harmful effects on both the recalled brand and its rivals. Further, these halo effects impact downstream performance metrics such as sales and stock market performance. Online chatter amplifies the negative effect of recalls on downstream sales by about 4.5 times. (06/29/2015)

Henry Matthew Hiatt was born Tuesday, June 23, 2015. He weighed 8 lbs, 8 ounces and measured 19 inches long. Shon Hiatt, Elizabeth and Matthew are doing well, and Jane and the boys love their new little brother. (06/24/2015)

Will miracles never cease?

Tom Cummings (with Gavin Schwarz and Chailin Cummings) got a paper accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Learning & Education (AMLE): Devolution of Researcher Care in Organization Studies and the Moderation of Organizational Knowledge




In this paper, we critically assess how the devolution of researcher care moderates knowledge development in organization studies. Defining researcher care as what scholars are concerned and passionate about, we consider the extent to which individual researchers lose their personal voice in researching organizations. This bounding of care by the research community is a reflection of the way that researchers knowingly alter their care in researching organizations to gain associated career and reputational benefits. We describe how the field's institutional logic for researching organizations enables this devolution to take hold and how larger institutional forces reinforce how it progressively moderates organizational knowledge. We offer preliminary suggestions for addressing the devolution of researcher care in organization studies and ameliorating its threat to knowledge development. (06/16/2015)

Sarah Townsend (with Stephens, N. M., Hamedani, M., Destin, M., & Manzo, V.) got a paper accepted for publication in Psychological Science: A Difference-Education Intervention Equips First-Generation College Students to Thrive in the Face of Stressful College Situations.


A growing social psychological literature reveals that brief interventions can benefit students disadvantaged by traditional educational settings. We tested a key component of the theoretical assumption that interventions exert long-term effects because they initiate recursive processes. We focus, in particular, on how they alter how students respond to specific situations over time. Specifically, we conducted a follow-up lab study with students who participated in a difference-education intervention two years earlier. In the intervention, students learned how their social class backgrounds matter in college (Stephens, Hamedani, & Destin, 2014). The follow-up lab study assessed participants' behavioral and hormonal responses to stressful college situations. We found that all difference-education versus control participants more frequently discussed their backgrounds in a speech, indicating they retained the understanding of how their backgrounds matter. Moreover, first-generation participants (i.e., whose parents do not have four-year degrees) in the difference-education versus control condition in particular showed greater physiological thriving (i.e., anabolic balance), suggesting they experienced their working-class backgrounds as a strength. (06/15/2015)

Priyanka Joshi, Cheryl Wakslak, and Medha Raj (with Yaacov Trope) got a paper accepted for publication in Social Psychological and Personality Science: "Communicating With Distant Others: The Functional Use of Abstraction."


We introduce the construct of relational scope to refer to the degree to which an individual engages in communication with a more or less distant audience, with a contractive relational scope indicating a near audience and an expansive relational scope indicating a distant audience. Drawing on construal level theory, we argue that speakers use abstract messages strategically when faced with an expansive relational scope in order to be widely relevant and relatable. We show that speakers communicate more abstractly with distant others than near others (Studies 1–3) and experience greater fit when message framing matches audience distance (Study 4). We also demonstrate that framing messages abstractly prompts broader relational scope, with speakers more likely to direct concrete (abstract) messages to near (distal) audiences (Study 5). Finally, we show that when procedural information is critical to communication, communication with distant (vs. proximal) others will increasingly emphasize procedures over end states (Study 6). (06/11/2015)

Nate Fast (with Kimberly Rios and Deborah Gruenfeld) had a paper accepted for publication in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin: Feeling High But Playing Low: Power, Need to Belong, and Submissive Behavior.


Past research has demonstrated a causal relationship between power and dominant behavior, motivated in part by the desire to maintain the social distinctiveness created by one's position of power. In this article we test the novel idea that some individuals respond to high-power roles by displaying not dominance but instead submissiveness. We theorize that high-power individuals who are also high in the need to belong experience the social distinctiveness associated with power as threatening, rather than as an arrangement to protect and maintain. We predict that such individuals will counter their feelings of threat with submissive behaviors in order to downplay their power and thereby reduce their distinctiveness. We found support for this hypothesis across three studies using different operationalizations of power, need to belong, and submissiveness. Furthermore, Study 3 illustrated the mediating role of fear of (positive) attention in the relationship between power, need to belong, and submissive behavior. (06/08/2015)

Adele Xing received the 2015 James D. Ford Fellowship Award. The Marshall School gives this award annually to a third year Ph.D. student who has passed the qualifying exam and who has exceled in scholastic performance. (05/22/2015)

Dear Peer, Dawn, and Fran,

Congratulations for winning the Golden Apple awards for FT MBA Core, MBA.PM Core and MBA electives respectively. We are all very grateful for your dedication. You are an inspiration to the rest of us and we feel privileged to have you teaching in the Marshall MBA programs.

You will be formally recognized at the Commencement Ceremony on May 15, 2015. Hopefully you will be able to attend to receive your hard-earned trophy.

Many thanks to all three of you.

Fernando Zapatero
Vice Dean for Graduate Programs
Robert G. Kirby Chair in Behavioral Finance
Professor of Finance and Business Economics
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California
(05/11/2015 – Peer Fiss)

Heejin Woo successfully defended his dissertation: "Three essays on young entrepreneurial firms".




In this dissertation, I explore the interorganizational relationships of young entrepreneurial firms. In the first essay, I examine how the relationship of a young entrepreneurial firm with a corporate venture capital (CVC) affects the firm's R&D investment strategy. In the second essay, I investigate how a strategic alliance formed by a young entrepreneurial firm influences the strategic benefits of a CVC firm. In the third essay, I examine how relationships of a young entrepreneurial firm with major customers affect the profitability of the firm. By exploring the interorganizational relationships of young entrepreneurial firms, this dissertation attempts to understand better how young entrepreneurial firms interact with stakeholders surrounding them.

Heejin is thankful to his dissertation committee members for their support and guidance, Co-Chairs Yong Paik and Nandini Rajagopalan, Kyle Mayer, and Janet Fulk from Annenberg. (05/08/2015)

Shon Hiatt is on a run. He just received a Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research. This fellowship is one of only three academic recognition programs initiated by the Kauffman Foundation. It recognizes and supports young world-class scholars who are establishing a record of scholarship that makes significant contributions to the body of research in the field of entrepreneurship.

In addition to this honor, Shon's paper (Brandon Lee & Michael Lounsbury) won the 2015 Best Paper Award at the Sustainability, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship Conference: "Market mediators and the tradeoffs of legitimacy-seeking behaviors in a nascent category."




Very little attention has been directed to understand how new market categories can grow while also maintain strict categorical boundaries necessary for legitimation, a salient tension in current market category research. We posit that market mediators can play an important role in balancing both category growth with general audience acceptance be establishing and enforcing criteria that define category membership. Focusing empirically on the emergence of the U.S. organic food category, we find that standards-based certifying organizations helped the organic food market to grow while also maintain coherent categorical boundaries through the development, evolution, and implementation of standard-setting and verification processes. We discuss the implications of these findings for institutional theory and the literatures on category emergence and market mediators. (05/07/2015)

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, what a day for MOR faculty and doctoral students. Starting with our own awards and then continuing to the Marshall Awards, MOR faculty and doctoral students received a great deal of recognition and acclaim.

MOR Awards


  • Excellence in Service: Arvind Bhambri
  • Excellence in Teaching: Robert Turrill and Carl Voigt
  • Excellence in Research: Cheryl Wakslak and Scott Wiltermuth
  • Top Gun (Service, Teaching and Research): Nate Fast

Marshall Awards



  • Evan C Thompson Teaching and Learning Innovation Award: Bob Turrill
  • Evan C. Thompson Mentoring and Leadership Award: Kyle Mayer
  • Marshall Dean's Award for Research Excellence: Nate Fast and Lori Yue
  • Undergraduate Golden Apple Teaching Awards: Chris Bresnahan, Christine El Haddad, and Jody Tolan
  • MBA Golden Apple Teaching Award: Peer Fiss

University and National Awards



  • Mellon Faculty Graduate Student Mentoring Award: Peer Fiss
  • Graduate School Advanced Fellowship: Derek Harmon
  • 2015-2016 The Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowship: YooKyoung Kim
  • Strategy Research Foundation Dissertation Scholar Award: Yongzhi Wang
  • NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant: Mariam Krikorian



  • Professor: Kyle Mayer and Peter Kim
  • Associate Professor (with tenure): Scott Wiltermuth

A hearty congratulations to our MOR award winners and recently promoted faculty, well deserved, very well deserved.


Thomas G. Cummings
Professor & Department Chair
Department of Management & Organization
Marshall School of Business

Paul Adler published a book review essay in Administrative Science Quarterly and two articles in a special themed section of Organization Studies that you might find interesting.

Book Review Essay: The Environmental Crisis and Its Capitalist Roots: Reading Naomi Klein with Karl Polanyi (Reviewing: Naomi Klein : This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014. 566 pp. $30.00, hardback.) According to the World Wildlife Fund's 2014 report on our "ecological footprint," humanity is currently using the earth's resources 50 percent faster than they can be replenished. In the United States, that rate is nearly 600 percent. And the best evidence suggests that we have only years, not decades, to restore the balance before we tip the planet's natural systems into irreversible cycles that will wreak havoc on vast swathes of nature and on the lives of billions of people around the world. Klein's book marshals evidence for this prognosis and offers a diagnosis and a strategy for responding, though her diagnosis is somewhat blurred. At some points, she claims that the root cause of this environmental crisis lies in the capitalist character of our economy. But at other points she indicts not capitalism as such but rather its neo-liberal variant, and at yet other points she attributes the crisis to an "extractivist mindset." This blurred diagnosis is problematic because such different diagnoses point to very different remedies.

Polanyi (2001) offers a theory of capitalism that helps us decide among the alternative diagnoses. Polanyi's argument supports an indictment of capitalism as such rather than its currently dominant neo-liberal variant or an extractivist mindset. This radical-critical edge in Polanyi's argument has been largely blunted as his work has been absorbed into management studies, in particular by the way our field has misunderstood his concept of embeddedness. Restoring that edge to Polanyi's argument and then reading Klein's book through these lenses leads us to a theoretically grounded diagnosis and from there to a possible remedy—along with some other, far darker possible scenarios for our future. Full text at: (04/23/2015)

Organization Studies
Special Themed Section on Marxist Studies of Organization
April 2015; Vol. 36, No. 4

When Organization Studies Turns to Societal Problems: The Contribution of Marxist Grand Theory
Matt Vidal, Paul Adler, and Rick Delbridge




Marxist theory, we argue, can be a valuable resource as organization studies turns to the urgent societal problems of our times. In order to address these problems, organizational studies needs greater historical depth and interdisciplinarity. We argue that these imperatives necessitate a return to grand theory. Grand theories provide the frameworks needed for integrating in a systematic as opposed to an ad hoc manner both scholarship across disciplines and middle-range theories within disciplines. We show that marxism offers a particularly fruitful grand theory for organization studies and for the social sciences more broadly, because it affords a platform for integrating various social sciences and because it offers penetrating insight into both the longue durée of history and the political-economic dynamics of capitalism. In making our case, we present and defend the core ideas of marxism, including its theory of modes of production, its distinctive theory of "soft" technological and economic determinism, its labor theory of value, and its account of the key developmental tendencies of capitalism—concentration and centralization of capital, socialization, and recurrent crises. We illustrate the power of these ideas by showing how they can be used to enrich organizational research on the 2007-8 financial crisis. And we introduce the four articles in this Special Themed Section, which show the capacity of marxist concepts to reframe and enrich research on traditional and emerging topics in organization studies, including organizational learning and communities of practice, knowledge work, teamwork and collaboration, social media and digital capitalism, and organizational routines and path dependence.

Community and Innovation: From Tönnies to Marx
Paul S. Adler




The idea of community has lurked in various forms in organization studies since the field's inception, but its recent prominence as a critical precondition for innovation makes urgent the resolution of two theoretical puzzles. Both puzzles can be stated in the terms suggested by Tönnies' classic contrast of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, community and association. First, it is difficult to reconcile the idea that community is critical to innovation with the traditionalistic character of Gemeinschaft. Second, it is difficult to reconcile any idea of community in work organizations with the conflictual character of the capitalist employment relation and the instrumental Gesellschaft character of the economic sphere. I argue that the resolution of the second puzzle via Marxist theory leads us to a resolution of the first. My thesis, in summary, is that community is a critical component of the capitalist labour-process, and that where this labour-process is oriented toward innovation, community is taking an historically new form. This new form represents a dialectical synthesis of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, a form we can call Genossenschaft, or collaborative. The argument is essentially theoretical; I illustrate some key features of this emergent collaborative form with case data from a software services firm. In conclusion I suggest that this new form represents communism developing in the heart of capitalism. (04/23/2015)

Adele Xing has been elected to membership in Phi Kappa Phi, USC's oldest all-University honor society. Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi members have served in the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court of the United States. They have won Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, and numerous other national and international awards. Adele's membership reflects the excellence of her scholarship and her love of learning.

Derek Harmon has been accepted to the Medici Summer School in Management Studies, a prestigious PhD Student workshop at the University of Bologna. This year's theme is "Social valuation in organizational and market contexts" and will include faculty such as Glenn Carroll, Ezra Zuckerman, Gael le Mens, Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, Christophe Van den Bulte, Robb Willer, Emilio Castilla, Gino Cattani, Rodolphe Durand, Simone Ferriani, and Gianni Lorenzoni.

Former MOR doctoral student, Luis Diestre (Associate Professor of Strategy at IE Business School in Madrid), was selected as one of Poets & Quants 2015 The World's Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors. When asked what scholar he most admired, Luis named Nandini Rajagopalan for her contributions as a scholar and invaluable guidance and mentorship. (04/21/2015)

Peter Monge (joint with Annenberg) will receive the Provost's Award for Mentoring at the USC 2015 Academic Honors Convocation in April. This award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained success in mentoring USC faculty, graduate students, or undergraduate students, and in helping them to succeed in their research or professional development. (04/14/2015)

Cheryl Wakslak is the winner of the 2015 Greif Research Award for her proposal, "Emphasizing the Forest or the Trees: Exploring the Effects of Construal-Level in Entrepreneurship Pitches." A summary of her award-winning proposal appears below.

Entrepreneurs may vary in how abstractly or concretely they discuss their venture when pitching that venture to investors. In this research, we will explore whether this variation predicts entrepreneur's likelihood of receiving funding, and, if so, why this might be the case. In addition, this research will investigate whether entrepreneurs naturally vary the abstractness of their pitches based on features of the investor they are pitching to, such as his or her status and social similarity to the entrepreneur. Our hope through this work is to develop scholarship that offers novel insights to both entrepreneurs and investors for how to improve their performance in the entrepreneurial funding context. With Derek Harmon winning the 2015 Greif Dissertation Research Award, this is another banner year for MOR's entrepreneurship researchers. (04/14/2015)

Yookyoung Kim received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the Program on Negotiation (PON) at the Harvard Law School. The fellowship will enable her to complete her dissertation and some papers next year.

Yookyoung is grateful to Peter Carnevale and Cheryl Wakslak for their support and recommendation letters on her behalf.

Scott Wiltermuth, David Newman (MOR doctoral student), and Medha Raj (MOR doctoral student) just had a paper accepted for publication in Current Opinion in Psychology: The consequences of dishonesty.




We review recent findings that illustrate that dishonesty yields a host of unexpected consequences. We propose that many of these newly-identified consequences stem from the deceiver choosing to privilege other values over honesty, and note that these values may relate to compassion, material gain, or the desire to maintain a positive self-concept. Furthermore, we argue that conflict between these values and honesty can be used to explain the unexpected consequences of dishonest behavior. We demonstrate that these consequences need not be negative, and discuss research that illustrates that dishonest behavior can help actors generate trust, attain a sense of achievement, and generate creative ideas. In addition, we discuss recently-identified negative consequences that can result from privileging other values over honesty. (04/03/2015)

(From: Gareth M. James)

Colleagues –

I am pleased to announce that Frank Nagle will be joining our faculty in the fall as Assistant Professor of Management and Organization. Frank will receive his Ph.D. in technology and operations management from the Harvard Business School this summer.

Frank's research focuses on the digital economy, particularly the effects of information technology and crowdsourced digital goods on firm innovation and productivity. His dissertation examines how free digital goods produced via crowdsourcing can contribute to firm performance; yet, because these goods are priced at zero, their value is frequently underestimated leading to underinvestment in the creation of such goods by firms and governments. Further, the reductions in information costs that enable the production of these goods leads firms to increasingly engage with external communities in a way that weakens firm boundaries.

Frank's research has been published in the journal Research Policy and the books, Oxford Hanbook of Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Studies in Mining Social Networks and Security Information. He has presented his research at several international conferences sponsored by the Academy of Management, INFORMS, and the Strategic Management Society.

Please join me in warmly welcoming Frank to the faculty!

Gareth M. James
Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California


I am delighted to announce that the president has promoted Scott Wiltermuth to Associate Professor of Management and Organization with tenure, effective immediately.

Scott received a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University in 2009 and joined the Marshall School as an Assistant Professor of Management and Organization later that year. His research appears in the top journals in the field and is recognized as theoretically strong and empirically rigorous. He has been a recipient of the Marshall Dean's Award for Research Excellence. Scott is considered a leading international scholar and expert on the cognitive, social, and physical mechanisms underlying ethical behavior and cooperation in organizations.

Scott is an excellent instructor teaching the required organizational behavior course in both the Marshall MBA Program and the Marshall Undergraduate Program in the same semester, a rare feat by any measure. He spends considerable time mentoring and researching with doctoral students. Scott's service to USC and the organizational behavior profession are outstanding. He has served on the Marshall behavioral lab committee, the MOR PhD admissions committee, and the committee for the MOR Distinguished Speaker Series. In the organizational behavior profession, he has been appointed to the Editorial Boards of theAcademy of Management Journal and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, arguably the field's top journals.

Scott's promotion is a well-deserved recognition of his outstanding contributions in research, teaching, and service. Please join me in congratulating him.

Gareth M. James
Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

Lori Yue had a paper accepted for publication in the American Journal of Sociology: Community Constraints on the Efficacy of Elite Mobilization: The Issuance of Currency Substitutes during the Panic of 1907.


Organizing collective action to secure support from local communities provides a source of power for elites to protect their interests, but community structures constrain the ability of elites to use this power. I argue that elites are not necessarily a dominant group that shapes the order of a field, but may be just one element in several larger fields. Elites' power is not static or self-perpetuating but changing and dynamic. There are situations in which elites are forced into movement-like struggles to mobilize support from their community. The success of elites' mobilization is affected by cultural and structural factors that shape the collective meaning of supporting elites' actions and the identities that are formed in doing so. I find broad support for these propositions in a study of the issuances of small denomination currency substitutes in 145 U.S. cities during the Panic of 1907. Small denomination currency substitutes were more likely to be issued in places where elite cohesion was high, economic inequality was low, religious homogeneity was high, and more neighboring communities had adopted currency substitutes. I discuss the contributions of this paper to elite studies, the social movement literature, and the sociology of money.

Lori would like to thank Peer Fiss, Kelly Patterson, and participants of the O&S group for their feedback and advice on the paper. (03/02/2015)

Gerry Tellis (joint with MKT) had an op ed in the Huffington Post last Friday. (02/13/2015)

Alex Wang, fourth-year MOR doctoral student, has been recognized by Phi Kappa Phi for a 2015 Student Recognition Award. Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the largest interdisciplinary honor society in the United States. It is USC's oldest honor society. This award annually recognizes four USC students (undergraduate and graduate) for outstanding artistic and academic works. The winners will be presented with awards at the USC Annual Academic Honors Convocation to be held on April 15th. (02/13/2015)

Mariam Krikorian (with Peer Fiss, dissertation chair) just received a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) through NSF. This will go a long way towards helping her complete her dissertation research. (02/12/2015)

Cheryl Wakslak had a paper (with Kyu Kim from MKT) accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General: "Controllable Objects Seem Closer."


We more and more interact with other people across varying amounts of geographical distance. What shapes our categorization of a fixed amount of such distance as near or far? Building upon and expanding prior work on the association between spatial distance perception and reachability, we argue that people judge a given geographical distance as subjectively smaller when they can exert control across that distance. Studies 1-4 demonstrate this effect of control on spatial distance judgment in disparate contexts, including political, work, and family domains, and explore implications of such judgments for the downstream judgment of travel time to a location (Study 2). We do not find that one's desire for control moderates these effects (Study 4). Supporting a cognitive association argument, we find evidence that the association between control and distance is bidirectional, with subjective distance influencing perceived controllability (Study 5). Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. (02/10/2015)

Lori Yue was interviewed on The ASQ Blog Behind the scenes of the Administrative Science Quarterly: A blog organized by students, for students about her 2013 ASQ article (with Rao and Ingram): "Information Spillovers from Protests against Corporations: A Tale of Walmart and Target." You can read it at (01/29/2015)

Nan Jia has been invited to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of International Business Studies, the top journal in international business. (01/27/2015)