Dean Geoffrey Garrett
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Teaching + Innovation
Experiential Learning Center
Open Expression Statement
BS Business Administration (BUAD)
BS Accounting (ACCT)
World Bachelor in Business (WBB)
BS Business of Cinematic Arts (BCA)
BS Artificial Intelligence for Business (BUAI)
Full-Time MBA (FTMBA)
Executive MBA (EMBA)
Part-Time MBA (MBA.PM)
International MBA (IBEAR)
Online MBA (OMBA)
MS Business Administration (MSBUSAD)
MS Business Analytics (MSBA)
MS Entrepreneurship + Innovation (MSEI)
MS Finance (MSF)
MS Global Supply Chain Management (MSGSCM)
MS Marketing (MSMKT)
MS Social Entrepreneurship (MSSE)
Master of Business for Veterans (MBV)
Master of Management Studies (MMS)
Master of Accounting (MAcc)
Master of Business Taxation (MBT)
Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals (MBT.WP)
Data Sciences + Operations
Management + Organization
GC in Business Analytics
GC in Financial Analysis + Valuation
GC in Management Studies
GC in Marketing
GC in Optimization + Supply Chain Management
GC in Strategy + Management Consulting
GC in Sustainability + Business
GC in Technology Commercialization
GC in Library and Information Management – Online
Business Communication (BUCO)
Data Sciences and Operations (DSO)
Finance + Business Economics (FBE)
Leventhal School of Accounting (ACCT)
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (BAEP)
Management and Organization (MOR)
Institutes + Centers
Randall R. Kendrick Global Supply Chain Institute
Peter Arkley Institute for Risk Management
VanEck Digital Assets Initiative
Institute for Outlier Research in Business
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab
Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making
Center for Effective Organizations
Center for Global Innovation
Center for Investment Studies
Initiative on Digital Competition
Giving + Support
Alumni Engagement + Resources
Peer is broadly interested in how meaning structures shape organizational actions. His work has been published in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Organizations Science, Organization Studies, MISQuarterly, and the Strategic Management Journal, among others. He has also been working for over two decades on the use of set-analytic methods in the social sciences, specifically on the use of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in management and related fields.
Areas of Expertise
Centers + Institutes
INSIGHT + ANALYSIS
Quoted: Peer Fiss on Firstpost
FISS, professor of management and organization, lends perspective based on his work related to golden parachutes in a piece by FIRSTPOST on former Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal's severance rights.
Quoted: Peer Fiss in the Los Angeles Times
Peer Fiss, Jill and Frank Fertitta Chair in Business Administration, explains how a "poison pill" strategy works in a Los Angeles Times piece on Elon Musk's Twitter bid.
RESEARCH + PUBLICATIONS
While the established, coherence view of internal fit provides a compact representation of firms and strategy, it also discounts the strategic benefits of tensions and contradictions, and downplays strategy creation and change. Here, we develop a novel dialectical alternative to fit-based models of strategy. Within our model, contradictions and tensions serve as a key engine for strategic renewal and transformation. If carefully harnessed through what we call “disciplined incoherence,” contradictions can help firms establish and change their strategies and business models, adapt to and shape their environment, and enhance and sustain their competitive advantage. We offer a dynamic, endogenous view of how configurations are generated, transformed, and maintained, and present a processual alternative to current strategy models that are grounded in equilibrium and coherence assumptions.
Management scholars study phenomena marked by complex interdependencies among multiple explanatory factors that combine to bring about an outcome of interest. Yet, theorizing about causal complexity can prove challenging for the correlational theorizing that is predominant inthe field of management, given its “net effects thinking” that emphasizes the unique contribution of individual explanatory factors. In contrast, configurational theories and thinking are well suited to explaining causally complex phenomena. In this article, we seek to advance configurational theorizing by providing a model of the configurational theorizing process, which consists of three iterative stages—scoping, linking and naming. In each stage, we develop and offer several heuristics aimed at stimulating configurational theorizing. That is, these theorizing heuristics are intended to help scholars discover configurations of explanatory factors, probe the connections among these factors, and articulate the orchestrating themes that underpin their coherence. We conclude with a discussion of how configurational theorizing advances theory development in the field of management and organizations, and beyond.
Faced with the challenge of multifaceted digital phenomena, researchers in IS and related fields have increasingly adopted qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). However, in the absence of explicit guidelines for how to use QCA for theory development, the popularity and proliferation of QCA possibly amplifies the risk of using QCA in an atheoretical manner, hindering theoretical advancement. In this paper, we offer a conceptual framework and prescriptive guidelines for applying QCA to develop causal recipes that account for complex digital phenomena marked by theoretical and configurational multiplicity. Causal recipes are formal statements explaining how causally relevant elements combine into configurations associated with outcomes of interest. We describe these causal recipes in terms of which causes matter (i.e., factorial logic) and how these causes combine into configurations (i.e., combinatorial logic) to produce target outcomes, and propose an ecology of configurations that elucidates the explanatory power of multiple configurations as well as their explanatory overlap. Further, we offer two illustrative empirical examples to demonstrate the usefulness of our framework and step-by-step guidelines for applying QCA to deductive theory testing as well as inductive theory development on phenomena marked by multiplicity.
Goal-based categories have recently emerged as an alternative perspective to the dominant account of prototypical market categories. However, key questions remain regarding the mechanisms that would enable stable market exchanges to form around ad hoc and idiosyncratic goal-based categories. Thus, we sought to answer the following question: How can goal-based categorization enable stable market transactions? Through an inductive study drawing on industry discourse, participant observation, and interview data from the online advertising industry, we describe the category infrastructure that enables buyers and sellers to engage in market exchanges using goal-based categorization. Three mechanisms are integral to goal based categorization in market exchanges: dimensioning (establishing a possibility space in which valuation can take place through the identification, addition, and/or deletion of product features), scoping (selecting particular features in the possibility space), and bracketing (excluding certain actors from participating in market transactions). Moreover, the fundamental principle of valuation in goal-based categorization is goal based attribution, which involves iteratively adding and deleting features to accommodate evolving goals. Our findings suggest novel directions for work on goal-based categorization as an important element of valuation in modern markets.
During the last decade, qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) has become an increasingly popular research approach in the management and business literature. As an approach, QCA consists of both a set of analytical techniques and a conceptual perspective, and the origins of QCA as an analytical technique lie outside the management and business literature. In the 1980s, Charles Ragin, a sociologist and political scientist, developed a systematic, comparative methodology as an alternative to qualitative, case-oriented approaches and to quantitative, variable-oriented approaches. Whereas the analytical technique of QCA was developed outside the management literature, the conceptual perspective underlying QCA has a long history in the management literature, in particular in the form of contingency and configurational theory that have played an important role in management theories since the late 1960s.
Until the 2000s, management researchers only sporadically used QCA as an analytical technique. Between 2007 and 2008, a series of seminal articles in leading management journals laid the conceptual, methodological, and empirical foundations for QCA as a promising research approach in business and management. These articles led to a “first” wave of QCA research in management. During the first wave—occurring between approximately 2008 and 2014—researchers successfully published QCA-based studies in leading management journals and triggered important methodological debates, ultimately leading to a revival of the configurational perspective in the management literature.
Following the first wave, a “second” wave—between 2014 and 2018—saw a rapid increase in QCA publications across several subfields in management research, the development of methodological applications of QCA, and an expansion of scholarly debates around the nature, opportunities, and future of QCA as a research approach. The second wave of QCA research in business and management concluded with researchers’ taking stock of the plethora of empirical studies using QCA for identifying best practice guidelines and advocating for the rise of a “neo-configurational” perspective, a perspective drawing on set-theoretic logic, causal complexity, and counterfactual analysis.
Nowadays, QCA is an established approach in some research areas (e.g., organization theory, strategic management) and is diffusing into several adjacent areas (e.g., entrepreneurship, marketing, and accounting), a situation that promises new opportunities for advancing the analytical technique of QCA as well as configurational thinking and theorizing in the business and management literature. To advance the analytical foundations of QCA, researchers may, for example, advance robustness tests for QCA or focus on issues of endogeneity and omitted variables in QCA. To advance the conceptual foundations of QCA, researchers may, for example, clarify the links between configurational theory and related theoretical perspectives, such as systems theory or complexity theory, or develop theories on the temporal dynamics of configurations and configurational change. Ultimately, after a decade of growing use and interest in QCA and given the unique strengths of this approach for addressing questions relevant to management research, QCA will continue to influence research in business and management.