News and Events
Sarah Townsend and Stephanie Smallets (with N. Stephens, and M. Hamedani) had a manuscript accepted by PSPB, and Sarah had another manuscript (with N. Stephens and A. Dittmann) accepted by Current Directions in Psychological Science. Sincere congratulations to both of you on this excellent news!
Townsend, S. S. M., Stephens, N. M., Smallets, S., & Hamedani, M. Empowerment through difference: An online difference-education intervention closes the social class achievement gap. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
A growing body of work suggests that teaching college students a contextual understanding of difference—that students’ different experiences in college are the result of participating in different contexts before college—can improve the academic performance of first-generation students (i.e., students whose parents do not have 4-year college degrees). However, only one empirical study, using an in-person panel format, has demonstrated the benefits of this intervention approach. In the present research, we conduct two studies to test the effectiveness of a new difference-education intervention administered online to individual students. In both studies, first-year students read senior students’ and recent graduates’ stories about how they adjusted to college. In the difference-education condition, stories conveyed a contextual understanding of difference. We found that the online intervention effectively taught students a contextual understanding of difference and closed the social class achievement gap by increasing first-generation students’ psychological empowerment and, thereby, end-of-second-year grades.
Stephens, N. M., Townsend, S. S. M., Dittmann, A. G. Social class disparities in higher education and in the workplace: The role of cultural mismatch. Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Differences in structural resources and individual skills both contribute to social class disparities in U.S. gateway institutions of higher education and professional workplaces. People from working-class contexts also experience cultural barriers that maintain these disparities. In this article, we focus on one critical cultural barrier—the cultural mismatch between the independent cultural norms prevalent in middle-class contexts and U.S. institutions and the interdependent norms common in working-class contexts. In particular, we explain how cultural mismatch can fuel social class disparities in higher education and professional workplaces. First, we explain how different social class contexts tend to reflect and foster different cultural models of self. Second, we outline how higher education and professional workplaces often prioritize independence as the cultural ideal. Finally, we describe two key sites of cultural mismatch—norms for understanding the self and interacting with others—and explain their consequences for working-class people’s access to and performance in gateway institutions. (09-08-18)
Jade Lo (Drexel U.), Peer Fiss, Eunice Rhee (Seattle U.), and Mark Kennedy have their work “Category Viability: Balanced Levels of Coherence and Distinctiveness” forthcoming in the Academy of Management Review. This collaboration has a strong MOR imprint: both Jade and Eunice are MOR graduates and Mark of course is a former MOR faculty member. The abstract for the article is below.
CATEGORY VIABILITY: BALANCED LEVELS OF COHERENCE AND DISTINCTIVENESS, Jade Y. Lo, Peer C. Fiss, Eunice Y. Rhee, and Mark T. Kennedy
A growing literature on categorization in organization theory explores the stabilizing role of categories and the processes by which they emerge. Because the literature focuses mainly on categories that emerge successfully or are already established, we know much less about why categories fall out of use or fail to emerge. Rather than viewing declining usage or failed emergence as different processes, we argue they are two aspects of the single problem of understanding what makes a category viable. Focusing on the coherence of the items included in a category and how distinct they are compared to items in other categories, we develop the concept of category viability and argue that viable categories are those found useful for sensemaking, analysis and coordination because they balance both coherence and distinctiveness to fall within what we call a zone of viability. To illustrate how category viability helps explain both change and continuity of categories, we also offer a framework to describe the process by which categories move in or out of the zone of viability with deliberate actions or with shifting circumstances that change their members or positions relative to other categories. (08-29-18)
I wanted to share with you some of the awards that our Department won at this year’s Academy of Management Meetings:
Eric Anicich won the Academy of Management Review’s Best Paper Award for 2017 for his paper “The Psychology of Middle Power: Vertical Code-Switching, Role Conflict, and Behavioral Inhibition. Academy of Management Review, 42(4), 659-682 (Anicich & Hirsh, 2017).
John Boudreau won the HR Division’s Herbert Heneman J. Career Achievement Award, given to the an individual who has distinguished himself/herself in the field of human resource management.
Kyle Mayer won the Academy of Management Journal’s Best Reviewer Award.
Maurice Murphy (2nd year student) won the International Management Division’s Division’s Douglas Nigh Award for his paper “Competing for Emerging Markets: A Resource Dependence Model of Foreign Market Entry Mode.” The award is presented to the best division paper that employs an interdisciplinary perspective and is authored by junior scholars.
Joe Raffie won the Career’s Division’s 2018 Best Symposium Award for his proposal “Careers in professional service firms” (with Hye Joon Park).
In terms of our alumni:
Jake Grandy (USC 2017, chair: Shon Hiatt) received the Best Dissertation Paper Award from the Organizations and Natural Environment (ONE) Division for his work entitled “Essays on Nonmarket Strategy and Entrepreneurship.”
In addition, two other of Shon Hiatt’s former doctoral students won Best Dissertation Paper Awards:
Ryan Merrill (USC 2017, Price School of Public Policy) received the William H. Newman Award (this is the best paper from a dissertation across all divisions in the Academy of Management) for his work “Carbon Risk, the Green Paradox, and Strategic Behavior in the US Petroleum Sector”
Jin Hyung Kim (HBS 2017) received the Best Dissertation Paper Award from the International Management (IM) Division for his work “Essays on Nonmarket Strategy.”
Finally, the MOR Alumni Reception at Bock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery on Saturday evening was another terrific success attended by many current and former students and faculty. Thanks again to Scott and Marie for making this happen!
Congratulations, everyone! (08-20-18)
It gives me exceptional pleasure to announce that our own Nandini Rajagopalan has just been elected as a member of the Fellows of the Strategic Management Society!
The Fellows are a highly prestigious group of strategic management scholars. Over the life of the Strategic Management Society Fellows group, only 85 Individuals have been elected as Fellows, and there are approximately 70-75 living Fellows today. SMS Fellows are nominated and elected to life membership in the group based on significant contributions to Strategic Management scholarship and other contributions to the field. Nandini will be officially inducted at the 2018 SMS Conference in Paris, September 22-25, 2018.
Our most sincere congratulations, Nandini, on this terrific achievement and outstanding recognition! (08-13-18)
Florenta Teodoridis just had a piece based on her recent ASQ article appear on HBR.org. Search for it: "When Generalists Are Better Than Specialists, and Vice Versa," by Florenta Teodoridis, Michael Bikard, and Keyvan Vakili.
Congratulations, Florenta! (07-23-18)
Gerard Tellis’ new book on innovation is now available on Amazon, here. (07-11-18)
At the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) Conference, Shon Hiatt received the 2018 ARCS Emerging Sustainability Scholar Award for my research in the food/agribusiness and energy sectors. This award recognizes the leading pre-tenure scholar “in the area of corporate sustainability who is likely to make significant contributions to the advancement of corporate sustainability scholarship and practice.” https://corporate-sustainability.org/
Congratulations, Shon! (06-14-18)
I’m pleased to let you know that Florenta Teodoridis just had two manuscripts accepted. The first, entitled “When Collaboration Bridges Institutions: The Impact of University-Industry Collaboration on Academic productivity,” will appear in Organization Science, while the second one, entitled “The Pace of Change and Create Performance: Specialist and Generalist Mathematicians at the Fall of the Soviet Union,” will appear in the Administrative Science Quarterly. Both papers are co-authored with Keyvan Vakili and Michael Bikard (both LBS). The abstracts are below.
Terrific work, Florenta—congratulations!!
When Collaboration Bridges Institutions: The Impact of University-Industry Collaboration on Academic productivity (Org Sci)
Prior research suggests that academic scientists who collaborate with firms may experience lower publication rates in their collaborative lines of work due to industry’s insistence on intellectual property protection through patenting or secrecy. In contrast, we posit that university–industry collaboration can sometimes foster specialization and boost academic contribution to open science. Specifically, research lines with both scientific and commercial potential (i.e., in Pasteur’s quadrant) provide an opportunity for a productive division of tasks between academic scientists and their industry counterparts, whereby the former focus on exploiting the scientific opportunities and the latter focus on the commercial ones. The main empirical challenge of examining this proposition is that research projects that involve industry collaborators may be qualitatively different from those that do not. To address this issue, we exploit the occurrence of simultaneous discoveries where multiple scientists make roughly the same discovery around the same time. Following a simultaneous discovery, we compare the follow-on research output of academic scientists who collaborated with industry on the discovery with that of academic scientists who did not. We find that academic scientists with industry collaborators produced more follow-on publications and fewer follow-on patents than did academic scientists without industry collaborators. This effect is particularly salient when the research line has important commercial implications and when the industry partner is an established firm.
The Pace of Change and Create Performance: Specialist and Generalist Mathematicians at the Fall of the Soviet Union (ASQ)
Past research is divided on whether specialists or generalists have superior creative performance. While many have highlighted generalists’ advantage due to access to a wider set of knowledge components, others have underlined the benefits that specialists can derive from their deep expertise. We argue that this disagreement might be partly driven by the fact that the pace of change in a knowledge domain shapes the relative return from being a specialist or a generalist. Using the impact of the Soviet Union’s collapse on the performance of theoretical mathematicians as a natural experiment, we show that generalist scientists performed best when the pace of change was slower, but that specialists gained advantage when the pace of change increased. We discuss and test the roles of cognitive mechanisms and of competition for scarce resources. Overall, our results highlight important trade-offs associated with specialization for creative performance. (06-12-18)
Mark Young’s book "Trojan Tennis – A History of the Storied Men’s Tennis Program at the University of Southern California" is now in print.
The book traces the history (1899-2907) of USC Men's Tennis. Mark spent six years digging through USC tennis archives, published articles, websites and family scrapbooks and even went into SC’s library stacks (!) to unearth a great deal of information that was in danger of being forgotten. He combines interviews with over 60 players including many of USC’s greatest team members such as Stan Smith (who wrote one of the forewords), Bob Lutz, Dennis Ralston, Steve Johnson (who wrote the second foreword) and coaches Dick Leach and Peter Smith to tell the story of the greatest men’s collegiate tennis team of all time.
Mark and Men’s Head Tennis Coach, Peter Smith just completed an interview on the Tennis Channel which can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/tennischannel/videos/10156499619509175/
Congratulations, Mark. (05-21-18)
Nan Jia and Yongxiang Wang just had an article entitled "Value Creation and Value Capture in Governing Shareholder Relationships: Evidence from a Policy Experiment in an Emerging Market" accepted by the Strategic Management Journal. The research and managerial abstracts are below. Congratulations, Nan and Yongxiang!
Protecting minority shareholders is a central issue in corporate governance. A common tool of empowering minority shareholders is to curb controlling shareholders’ power of expropriating firm value, but this approach was rarely successful because of the resistance from powerful controlling shareholders. We examine an alternative way of empowering minority shareholders without directly fighting with controlling shareholders. A major corporate governance reform in China gave minority shareholders a decision right over certain actions that affected the creation of firm value. We demonstrate that, the greater the extent to which minority shareholders’ actions can influence the firm’s value ex-post, the more value controlling shareholders concede to minority shareholders ex-ante. This effect becomes even stronger when controlling shareholders are able to expropriate a larger portion of firm value.
Minority shareholders often have to contend with excessive extraction of firm value by powerful controlling shareholders, particularly in emerging markets. When this tension is considered as a zero-sum game in which every gain to controlling shareholders has to come from a loss to minority shareholders, controlling shareholders strongly resist any effort to empower minority shareholders. We propose an alternative approach to empower minority shareholders. A major reform of Chinese listed firms bestowed upon minority shareholders decision rights to take certain actions that could ex-post create a larger “pie” (firm value) for all shareholders. We find that controlling shareholders give away greater value ex-ante to minority shareholders to induce more of these actions. Consequentially, minority shareholders are more effectively empowered when they can affect firm value.
Minority shareholders often have to contend with excessive extraction of firm value by powerful controlling shareholders, particularly in emerging markets. When this tension is considered as a zero-sum game in which every gain to controlling shareholders has to come from a loss to minority shareholders, controlling shareholders strongly resist any effort to empower minority shareholders. We propose an alternative approach to empower minority shareholders. A major reform of Chinese listed firms bestowed upon minority shareholders decision rights to take certain actions that could ex-post create a larger “pie” (firm value) for all shareholders. We find that controlling shareholders give away greater value ex-ante to minority shareholders to induce more of these actions. Consequentially, minority shareholders are more effectively empowered when they can affect firm value. (05-21-18)
As announced at the Marshall Awards last week:
- John Boudreau won the Herbert Heneman Jr. Award for Career Achievement from the HR Division of the Academy of Management this year. To be recognized at the AOM meeting in Atlanta on August 13, 2018 at the Breakfast Awards Ceremony.
- Shon Hiatt won the Golden Apple for the Full-Time MBA Core, awarded annually by students to outstanding Marshall Faculty members in recognition of their excellence in teaching.
- Edward Lawler won the Dean’s Award for Impact on Practice at the Marshall Annual Faculty Awards
- Michael Mische won the Golden Apple Teaching Awards for Effective Course Teaching by the Marshall Business Student Government (MBSG), presented at the Marshall Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 11, 2018. (05-07-18)
Cheryl Wakslak recently had a manuscript accepted by Social Psychological and Personality Science. It is co-authored with Alison Ledgerwood, Amber Sanchez, and Heather Rees (all at UC Davis). Title and abstract are below. Congratulations, Cheryl!
A Brief, Distance-Based Intervention Can Increase Intentions to Follow Evidence-Based Guidelines in Cancer Screening
Although research findings are increasingly accessible to the public, people may choose to rely on anecdotal over evidence-based information when making important decisions. Thus, a key challenge facing the scientific community is to develop effective strategies for increasing people’s reliance on research evidence in their decision-making. Focusing on the critical context of cancer-screening decisions, we find that a brief, distance-based intervention can influence people’s intentions to follow evidence-based rather than anecdotal information. Specifically, in a preregistered and well-powered experiment (N=224), participants who set a screening schedule for the next ten years before considering a decision for an upcoming appointment were more inclined to follow the implications of evidence-based screening guidelines (vs. an anecdote), compared to participants who only considered the upcoming appointment. The success of this distance-based intervention represents an important first step in translating decades of laboratory research on distance into practical interventions for more complex and consequential decisions. (05-02-18)
Nan Jia just had a manuscript with Kenneth Huang and Cyndi Zhang accepted for publication by AMJ. The title and abstract are below. As she notes, this paper benefited much from the feedback from two O&S meetings, for which the authors are grateful. Congratulations, Nan!
Public Governance, Corporate Governance, and Firm Innovation: An Examination of State-Owned Enterprises, Nan Jia, Kenneth G. Huang, Cyndi Man Zhan
Innovation activities create substantial firm value, but they are difficult to manage owing to agency risk which is commonly thought to result in shirking, hence underinvestment in innovation. However, agency risk can also create inefficient allocation of resources among innovation activities, on which the literature provided limited understanding. We examine an important outcome created by agency risk—that agents pursue the quantity of innovation at the expense of the novelty, and investigate how it is influenced by corporate and public governance. We theorize that improved corporate governance tools, including better alignment of agents’ private incentives and stronger monitoring, and high-quality public governance reduce such agency risk in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Furthermore, higher-quality public governance enhances the functioning of corporate governance tools in further reducing such agency risk in innovation. We test our theory in the context of Chinese SOEs that responded to state’s pro-innovation policies relying disproportionately on quantifiable outcomes (e.g., patent counts) for assessing innovation performance. Our difference-in-differences estimates provide overall support for the hypotheses. These findings provide new insights on how agency risk affects innovation by distinguishing the consequences on quantity and novelty of innovation and on how conventional corporate governance tools shaping innovation is dependent on public governance. (04-19-18)