News & Events 2017

Our own Lori Yue has been selected as a 2018 recipient of the Western Academy of Management’s Ascendant Scholar Award. The award honors scholars who have demonstrated a great research, teaching, and service record and show a professional trajectory that looks very promising for the future. Congratulations on this terrific achievement, Lori!  (12/18/17)

Violina Rindova has two forthcoming papers, one in Strategy Science and one in JoM. Titles and abstracts are below. Congratulations, Violina!

Rindova, V. and Martins, L. (Forthcoming) From Values to Value: Value Rationality and the Creation of Great Strategies, Strategy Science.

This paper proposes that strategies with superior value-creation and value-capture potential—that is, great strategies—can originate in the personal values of strategists. We root our argument in Max Weber’s idea of value-rational action as an innate human capacity expressed in value rationality, which refers to actions that derive their logic with reference to a value system. We build on psychological research on personal values to propose that values are complex cognitive resources, distinct from mental representations, beliefs, ideologies, identities, and emotions, that, when deployed in strategy making, affect the attributes of the strategies created. We specify how values affect the value-creation and value-capture potential of firms’ strategies by theorizing four distinct functions of values in strategy making: as attentional structures, as valuation lenses, as design principles, and as identity markers. As attentional structures, values direct strategists’ attention to specific issues and often unconventional solutions; as valuation lenses, they change the evaluation of relevant markets and resources; as design principles, they influence the prioritization and integration of activities; and as identity markers, they facilitate audience engagement and mobilization. Our theory offers a new basis for under-standing the sources of novel strategies and pathways to superior value creation by firms.

Rindova, V. P., Martins, L. L., Srinivas, S. B., Chandler, D. (Forthcoming) The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Organizational Rankings: A Multi-Disciplinary Review of the Literature and Directions for Future Research, Journal of Management.

A review of the literature on organizational rankings across management, sociology, education, and law reveals three perspectives on these complex evaluations—rankings are seen as a form of information intermediation, as comparative orderings, or as a means for surveillance and control. The information intermediation perspective views rankings as information products that address information asymmetries between the ranked organizations and their stakeholders; the comparative orderings perspective views them as representations of organizational status and reputation; and the surveillance and control perspective emphasizes their disciplining power that subjects ranked organizations to political and economic interests. For each perspective, we identify core contributions as well as additional questions that extend the current body of research. We also identify a new perspective— rankings entrepreneurship—which has been overlooked to date but presents significant opportunities to extend our understanding of the production and consumption of rankings.  (12/4/17)

Beverly and George just welcomed Simon Rich Ingersoll into this world. He arrived yesterday, 11/17/17, at 1pm, weighing 9 lbs, 14 ounces and measuring 23 inches. Beverly and her son are doing well.

Congratulations, Beverly, George, and Simon! It will be a special Thanksgiving. (11-18-17)

Leigh Tost just had a paper accepted for publication in PSPB. She shares first authorship with Michael Schaerer, the other coauthors are Li Huang, Francesca Gino, and Rick Larrick. The title and abstract are below. Congratulations, Leigh!

Advice giving: A subtle pathway to power

We propose that interpersonal behaviors can activate feelings of power, and we examine this idea in the context of advice giving. Specifically, we show a) that advice giving is an interpersonal behavior that enhances individuals’ sense of power and b) that those who seek power are motivated to engage in advice giving. Four studies, including two experiments (n=290, n=188), an organization-based field study (n=94), and a negotiation simulation (n=124) demonstrate that giving advice enhances the advisor’s sense of power because it gives the advisor perceived influence over others’ actions. Two of our studies further demonstrate that people with a high tendency to seek power are more likely to give advice than those with a low tendency. This research establishes advice giving as a subtle route to a sense of power, shows that the desire to feel powerful motivates advice giving, and highlights the dynamic interplay between power and advice. (11-17-17)

At the SMS this week, Frank Nagle won the Conference Best Paper Award for the Knowledge & Innovation Interest Group for his paper entitled “Learning By Contributing: Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Contribution to Crowdsourced Public Goods.” Also, Joe Raffie won honorable mention for the best paper prize. Congratulations to both of you, Frank and Joe. (11-03-17)

Gerry Tellis was just elected as President of Informs Society of Marketing Science (ISMS). The term lasts for six years involving 2 years each of president-elect, president, and past-president. That’s a terrific honor.  Congratulations, Gerry. (10-31-17)

Frank Nagle just had a manuscript accepted by Management Science. The title and abstract are below. Congratulations, Frank!

Open Source Software and Firm Productivity

As open source software (OSS) is increasingly used as a key input by firms, understanding its impact on productivity becomes critical. This study measures the firm-level productivity impact of non-pecuniary (free) OSS and finds a positive and significant value-added return for firms that have an ecosystem of complementary capabilities. There is no such impact for firms without this ecosystem of complements. Dynamic panel analysis, instrumental variables, and a variety of robustness checks are used to address measurement error concerns and to add support for a more causal interpretation of the results. For firms with an ecosystem of complements, a 1% increase in the use of non-pecuniary OSS leads to an increase in value-added productivity of between 0.002% and 0.008%. This effect is smaller for larger firms and the results indicate that prior research underestimates the amount of IT firms use. (10-04-17)

Leigh Tost just had a paper accepted at Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. The study is titled “When corporate social responsibility motivates employee citizenship behavior: The sensitizing role of task significance” and is co-authored with Madeline Ong, Dave Mayer, and Ned Wellman. Of particular note: this is based on the first author’s second year paper as a doctoral student at Michigan, which Leigh supervised. Congratulations, Leigh!


Scholars have proposed that organizations’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts are often positively associated with employees’ organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) and have invoked identity-based mechanisms to explain this relationship. Complementing these perspectives, we develop a CSR sensitivity framework that explains how task significance, a micro-level job characteristic, can sensitize employees to their organizations’ macro-level CSR efforts, thereby strengthening the association between CSR and OCB. Across three field studies, we find that CSR and task significance interact to predict OCB, such that an organization’s CSR is more positively associated with OCB among employees who report higher task significance than among those who report lower task significance. Furthermore, we find support for prosocial motivation as a mediator of this interactive effect, but we do not find evidence for several alternative mediators. We discuss the implications of our findings for the literatures on CSR, job design, and other-oriented approaches to organizational behavior.  (9-18-17)

Roshni Raveendhran’s dissertation proposal was named as a finalist for the INFORMS Dissertation Proposal Competition in Houston. Dissertation proposals are 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 to be named as a finalist is quite an achievement.

Roshni’s dissertation title is: “The changing nature of workplace monitoring: Technology-driven monitoring and its consequences”.   Her description of it is as follows:

"My dissertation examines how novel technologies, such as behavior-tracking and virtual reality tools, influence the decisions and perceptions of managers and their subordinates. I develop and test a theoretical model suggesting that interacting with technology changes people’s focus from perceiving a situation as controlling to perceiving it as informational. I posit that interacting with technology reduces the salience of social evaluation, and as a result, attenuates the extent to which people feel controlled in a given situation. In doing so, technology enables people to perceive a situation as informational – one where they can gather information about their behaviors without feeling controlled. I examine this in the context of behavior-tracking technologies. I use a combination of field studies and laboratory experiments to develop insights about when and why employees submit to extreme monitoring. In particular, I argue that as behavior-tracking technologies change people’s focus from evaluation, leading to a greater willingness to be monitored. My dissertation is currently invited for a revision at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology." (9-13-17)

Shon Hiatt (with Chad Carlos and Wesley Sine) just had the article, “Manu Militari: Institutional Contingencies of Stakeholder Relationships on New Venture Survival,” accepted for publication in Organization Science. Prior version of this paper won the 2014 Greif Research Grant Award and the 2013 Best Paper Award at the Leadership for Peace and Prosperity Conference.  Congratulations, Shon.


This study examines how ventures can leverage relationships with heterogeneous government stakeholders to enhance survival in different institutional environments. We consider how the distinct resources provided from venture ties to military and political actors represent complementary strategic assets that differentially influence performance in varying political and economic environments as well as under conditions of violence and conflict. Empirically, we examine the effect of these respective stakeholder relationships on new venture survival across 10 countries over a 65-year period. By distinguishing between the resources obtained through relationships with different types of government stakeholders and showing how the value of these resources varies in different contexts, this study contributes to nonmarket strategy and stakeholder management research and highlights the need for studies to take a pluralistic view of government stakeholders. The paper also presents managerial insights to firms seeking to address the prevalent challenges associated with political, economic, and physical security issues in developing and underdeveloped economies.  (9-09-17)

Leigh Tost received a best reviewer award from AMR at the Academy Meetings this year. (8/15/2017)

Shon Hiatt and Kyle Mayer were among the winners of the 2017 Organization Service Awards. This award honors referees who did an exceptional job by submitting timely, unbiased, and thoughtful reviews. (8/12/2017)

As the last hours of June 30 wind down, I want you to know what an honor and privilege it has been serving as your department chair the past 21 years. Our journey together has been full of joy, frustration, and surprise, all the emotions that made the adventure so interesting and worthwhile.

Next year, I will be on sabbatical, spending the first six months in Lyon, France. I will return to the MOR faculty in August, 2018, doing pretty much the research, teaching, and service I’ve been doing since becoming an assistant professor in 1970.

I believe I hand the reigns over to Peer with MOR in good shape. He will do a wonderful job leading us on a new adventure. I look forward to joining you on the journey. – Tom Cummings (6/30/2017)

Beverly Rich was just awarded the USC Gould School of Law 2017 Linnie and Michael Endowed Research Katz Fellowship for her research (with Florenta Teodoridis) on using machine learning to analyze federal and state judicial opinions to identify a role for law in explaining regional differences in innovation in the US. Gould received a record number of applications for the Fellowship this year and Beverly’s submission was especially interesting and meritorious. (6/28/2017)

Frank Nagle just received a research grant from the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Digitization Group for his study on Source Software Regulations on Productivity, Entrepreneurship, and Social Welfare. (6/21/2017)

Nan Jia just has a paper accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Review: “Make and/or Buy” Decisions of Corporate Political Lobbying: Integrating the Economic Efficiency and Legitimacy Perspectives. (6/16/2017)


This paper examines political lobbying and investigates firms’ decisions regarding whether to employ internal functionalities (i.e., to “make” or insource), to contract with external professionals (i.e., to “buy” or outsource), or to do both (i.e., to “make and buy” or plural source). I first develop an integrated framework based on the twin perspectives of economic efficiency and legitimacy. When the political audience faces little uncertainty about lobbying content, firms make sourcing decisions to maximize economic efficiency in producing such content in line with transaction cost economics and the capabilities view. However, when the political audience faces substantial uncertainty about lobbying content, it relies on the perceived legitimacy of the lobbying entity to draw inferences about the quality of the such content; therefore, the legitimacy of a potential lobbying entity matters to firms making sourcing decisions related to lobbying. Then, I connect firms’ sourcing decisions with several concrete characteristics of lobbying entities that can affect political audiences’ judgment regarding their legitimacy. Finally, I examine the tension that develops when legitimacy and economic efficiency considerations call for different forms of sourcing, and I examine how complementarities in plural sourcing help resolve this tension in certain situations.

Nan thanks her colleagues in the O&S group for their helpful feedback on this paper.(6/16/2017)

Florenta Teodoridis was appointed to serve a two-year term on the Research Committee of the Business Policy & Strategy Division of the Academy of Management. (6/4/2017)

I am pleased to introduce you to newest member of the MOR family, Kia Townsend Cavagnolo who joined us last Sunday morning (pic attached). Kia is looking forward to meeting all of this coming fall.

Sarah, Marc, and little brother Nico all doing fine, at least for now. (6/1/2017)

Lori Yue (with Henrich Greve) just had a paper accepted for publication in Organization Science: Hereafter: How Crises Shape Communities through Learning and Institutional Legacies.


Community differences in organizing capacity have been attributed to cohesion and trust among population members and from population members to organizations, and have been seen as an enduring feature of communities. The experience of a crisis, and the handling of the crisis, can be seen as a test of cohesion that verifies community support of organizations or proves its absence. Using data on two bank panics 14 years apart, we explore whether a crisis event affects whether banks in a community handle the subsequent crisis through community collective action or through executing inter-organizational solutions. We find that banks are less likely to seek community support when a prior financial crisis exposes the lack of trust from community members but are more likely to do so when having the experience of successfully avoiding a looming crisis. Organizational memory carries past experience into the future, and the banks that have directly experienced the absence of community trust prefer an inter-organizational solution for the next financial crisis. (5/24/2017)

Sarah Townsend and Mindy Truong just had a paper accepted for publication in Current Opinion in Psychology: Cultural models of self and social class disparities at organizational gateways and pathways.


Attaining a college degree has traditionally been assumed to be key to upward social and professional mobility. However, college graduates from working-class backgrounds achieve less career success in professional, white-collar workplaces compared to those from middle-class backgrounds. Using a cultural models approach, we examine how the independent cultural beliefs and practices promoted by professional organizations disadvantage people from working-class backgrounds, who espouse interdependent beliefs and practices. Our review illustrates how this disadvantage can manifest in two ways. First, it can occur at organizational gateways (e.g., interview and hiring decisions) despite relative equality in objective qualifications. Second, even after people from working-class backgrounds gain access to an organization, it can occur along organizational pathways (e.g., performance evaluations, assignment to high-profile tasks). (5/23/2017)

Sarah Townsend (with Nicole Stephens, Northwestern) just had an article published in Harvard Business Review: “How You Feel About Individualism is Influenced by Your Social Class” ( (5/22/2017)

Yongzhi (Alex) Wang successfully defended his dissertation today: Competing Across and Within Platforms: Antecedents and Consequences of Market Entries by Mobile App Developers.

Alex's dissertation committee members are: Nandini Rajagopalan (Committee Chair-MOR), Lori Yue (MOR), Florenta Teodoridis (MOR), Cheng Hsiao (USC Economics Department) and Brian Wu (University of Michigan-Ross School of Business).

Alex has accepted a job at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business as a tenure-track Assistant Professor starting in Fall 2017. (5/17/2017)

Nan Jia was just awarded a research grant from the Zumberge Fund Individual Grant program for her proposed research: A Study of the Clustering of Political and Economic Power.

This is a highly competitive award and only 10 researchers across all of USC received grants this year. (5/4/2017)

A big shout out to our MOR Award winners yesterday:

  • Excellence in Service: Carl Voigt & Peter Carnevale
  • Excellence in Teaching: Scott Wiltermuth & Shon Hiatt
  • Excellence in Research: Ed Lawler
  • Top Gun: Excellence in Research, Teaching, & Service: Nan Jia

At the Marshall Awards ceremony, Christine El Haddad received an Undergraduate Golden Apple Teaching Award.

Congratulations to all our award winners, well deserved. (5/03/2017)

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

April 18, 2017

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

April 14, 2017

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

April 24, 2017

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

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.


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. (04/25/17)

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)