News & Events 2015

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)