Information will be updated throughout the summer and fall.

Accounting & Management

Jee Eun Shin

Faculty Advisor(s):

Aaron Yoon

Catering Through Disclosure: Evidence from Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect
I study firms’ use of disclosure to build investor confidence when they operate in a market with a weak financial control system. Using the announcement of Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect, which is a regulation that increased foreign institutions’ future ability to invest in select Shanghai firms, I examine how eligible firms responded vis-à-vis ineligible firms. I find that eligible firms increased private disclosures (corporate access events and private dial-ins) ahead of the new regime’s implementation, motivated by their desire to attract capital. Those firms experienced an increase in foreign institutional holdings and conducted more secondary offerings targeting foreigners after the regulation’s implementation. Further, they exhibited higher foreign holdings and lower volatility during a subsequent market crash.
Faculty Advisor(s): P. Healy (Co-Chair), K. Palepu (Co-Chair), G. Serafeim, and R.Verdi

Health Policy (Management)

Michaela Kerrissey

Punctuated Teaming: Meso-level Processes in Interorganizational Work
Cross-boundary collaboration is often highlighted as a critical means by which organizations can generate value in interconnected and dynamic environments. This paper analyzes the meso-level processes that boundary-spanning actors engage in together as they pursue interorganizational collaboration through interactions that are punctuated – that is, brief, infrequent and with shifting members. Study 1 qualitatively identifies meso-level processes that create temporal ties between medical care providers and community-based organizations for chronic disease services. Two processes emerged: one focused on joint problem solving related to task-specific problems, while the other focused on establishing trusting relationships. Study 2 quantitatively measures these processes and finds that joint problem solving is associated with interorganizational task performance, while trust is not, and that learning mediates the relationship between joint problem solving and performance. This research has implications for theory on collaboration in dynamic environments and for practitioners who span organizational boundaries.
Faculty Advisor(s): A. Edmondson (Chair), S.SingerT. Neeley, and J.Clark


Johnathan Cromwell

Collaborative Problem Solving for Breakthrough Innovation: The Case of a Social Robot
Breakthrough innovations deliver significant benefits to organizations and society, but they are particularly difficult to create because people must collaborate with each other while working on open (i.e., vague and undefined) problems. Under these conditions, people must spend much of their time defining and changing problems—in addition to solving them. Prior research has developed extensive theory for individuals working on open problems and for collaborators working on closed (i.e., clear and defined) problems, which both show that constraints are fundamental to problem solving, but there is sparse theoretical or empirical work explaining how people collaborate with each other when working on open problems. To address this gap, I conducted a two-year ethnographic field study in an organization that was building one of the world’s first social robots for the home. In chapter one, I develop a theoretical framework that guides my empirical research in chapters two and three. In it, I explain when and why constraints can have a positive, negative, or curvilinear effect on creative problem solving. In chapter two, I build directly off this theoretical framework, exploring how people collaborate with each other as they experience a dynamically changing set of external constraints (i.e., external to the task) over time. In chapter three, I elaborate on this theme by exploring how people collaborate with each other when dealing with a dynamically changing set of internal constraints (i.e., internal to the task) over time. Together, my dissertation advances a nascent theory of collaborative problem solving, which includes collaboration processes for both open and closed problems.
Faculty Advisor(s): T. Amabile (Co-Chair), H.Gardner (Co-Chair), M. Tushman, and S. Harrison

Paul Green

Shopping for Confirmation: How Disconfirming Feedback Shapes Social Networks
To improve and advance in their careers, employees must be able to identify their own deficiencies. But humans are notoriously self-deceptive in their self-appraisals, consistently ignoring their flaws in an attempt to maintain a positive self-concept. Aware of this fact, organizations commonly gather various forms of developmental feedback from others in the belief that it will be more honest than self-assessments and motivate self-improvement. We propose that these feedback processes are, in fact, often ineffective because they represent threats to recipients’ positive self-concept. Analyzing four years of peer feedback and social network data from a company in the agribusiness industry, we find that employees, in the face of feedback that is more negative than their own self-assessment in a given domain (i.e., disconfirming feedback), reshape their social network in ways designed to attenuate the threat brought about by the feedback, and that this behavior is detrimental to their performance. In a follow-up laboratory study, we replicate these findings conceptually, showing that disconfirming feedback has such effects on one’s relationships and performance because it is perceived as threatening to one’s self-concept.
Faculty Advisor(s): F. GinoB.StaatsA. Edmondson, and K. McGinn

Organizational Behavior

Ting Zhang

Back to the beginning: When rediscovering inexperience helps experts give advice
Although experts have more knowledge, skills, and experience relative to novices, they suffer from imperfect memory of their past experiences, making it difficult for them to remember the experience of being a novice. Across a series of studies, this paper investigates how rediscovering the experience of inexperience influences experts’ ability to advise novices. One series of studies found that relative to upperclassmen who merely recalled their past summer internship experiences, upperclassmen who read their own past accounts of being a summer intern gave advice that younger internship seekers rated as higher in quality. Beyond rediscovering documentation of past experiences, experts can also rediscover the feeling of being a novice by making a mastered skill feel new. For example, expert guitarists who rediscovered the feeling of being inexperienced (e.g., playing their instrument with their non-dominant hand) gave advice that novices rated as more encouraging and helpful in content, relative to experts who played traditionally. These findings demonstrate that rediscovering inexperience influences experts’ perception of novices and their ability to give advice.
Faculty Advisor(s): F. Gino (Chair), M. BazermanM. Norton, and J. Margolis


Christopher Poliquin

The Effect of the Internet on Wages
Who benefits from the adoption of technology in the workplace? I combine worker-level wage data with information on broadband adoption by Brazilian firms to estimate the effects of broadband on workers in different levels of the organizational hierarchy. Managers’ wages increase following adoption, but wages for workers lower in the organizational hierarchy do not change. Inequality within the firm therefore increases following broadband adoption. The paper provides the first direct evidence connecting adoption and use of advanced information technology to a widening pay gap within an organization. The results have implications for public investments in broadband and the management of pay inequality within firms.
Faculty Advisor(s): S. Greenstein (Chair), M. Luca, and R. Sadun

Mike Teodorescu

The Need for Speed: Effects of Uncertainty Reduction in Patenting
Faculty Advisor(s): T. Khanna (Co-Chair), S. Greenstein (Co-Chair), W. Kerr, and N.Thompson

Technology & Operations Management

Karthik Balasubramanian

Inventory Management for Mobile Money Agents in the Developing World
Mobile money systems, platforms built and managed by mobile network operators to allow money to be stored as digital currency, have burgeoned in the developing world as a mechanism to transfer money electronically. Mobile money agents exchange cash for electronic value and vice versa, forming the backbone of an emerging electronic currency ecosystem that has potential to connect millions of poor and “unbanked” people to the formal financial system. Unfortunately, low service levels due to agent inventory management are a major impediment to the further development of these ecosystems. This paper describes models for the agent’s inventory problem, unique in that sales of electronic value (cash) correspond to an equivalent increase in inventory of cash (electronic value). This paper presents a base inventory model and an analytical heuristic that are used to determine optimal stocking levels for cash and electronic value given an agent’s historical demand. When tested with a large sample of transaction-level data provided by an East African mobile operator, both the base model and the heuristic improved agent profitability by reducing inventory costs (defined here as the sum of stockout losses and cost of capital associated with holding inventory). The heuristic increased estimated agent profits by 15% relative to profits realized through agents actual decisions, while also offering substantial computational advantages relative to the base model.
Faculty Advisor(s):

Maria Ibanez

Task Scheduling Under Worker Discretion
My research examines job scheduling when workers have some degree of discretion over the allocation and/or completion of tasks. Scheduling research investigates the optimal allocation of scarce resources (e.g., a machine or a worker) to tasks’ completion over time, typically overlooking the role of worker discretion. In practice, workers are often involved in these processes, influencing and being affected by job schedules. I investigate how workers use discretion to structure their work and how these decisions affect productivity and quality.
Faculty Advisor(s): A. Raman (Chair), M. ToffelR. Huckman, and B. Staats