Management & Organization Theses and Dissertations

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    A Prosocial Contributor or Status Grabber? How and Why Newcomer Proactive Knowledge Sharing with Coworkers Impacts Inclusion Perceptions via Ambivalent Coworker Attributions
    (2023) Guan, Zhishuang; Liao, Hui HL; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Newcomers are often referred to as the “new blood” because they represent a source of fresh, unique, task-relevant knowledge that potentially adds value to organizations. In this research, I focus on newcomer proactive knowledge sharing with coworkers and investigate how it impacts the transition of newcomers from outsiders to insiders. Integrating attribution theory and the status characteristics theory, I propose that newcomer proactive knowledge sharing with coworkers triggers coworkers’ ambivalent attributions (i.e., perceiving it to be driven simultaneously by newcomers’ prosocial and status-striving motives). Furthermore, the ambivalent attributions affect the extent to which coworkers provide socialization support and utilize the newcomer’s knowledge, eventually exerting different influences on the newcomer’s inclusion perceptions. The results of a multi-wave (i.e., four waves) and multi-source (i.e., survey data from newcomers and coworkers) longitudinal study based on 336 newcomers in a large technology company support the proposed serial mediating relationships between newcomer proactive knowledge sharing with coworkers and their inclusion perceptions via coworkers’ ambivalent attributions and behavioral reactions. The data also demonstrates that leader encouragement of learning is a viable leader strategy that makes coworkers more likely to interpret newcomer proactive knowledge sharing is driven by prosocial motives. This research has significant implications both theoretically and practically. From a theoretical perspective, it advances our understanding of newcomer socialization, knowledge sharing, and workplace inclusion. From a practical perspective, it helps newcomers better navigate the process of knowledge sharing by illuminating potential social consequences. Practitioners can leverage these insights to create more inclusive onboarding experiences for new employees.
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    (1986-05) Goktepe, Janet R.; Schneier, Craig Eric
    This field study used groups performing "sex-neutral" tasks over a six- to fifteen-week period to examine determinants of emergent leadership and leadership effectiveness. The study included 149 subjects in 35 task groups (28 mixed-sex groups, 4 all-male groups, and 3 all-female groups) working in conjunction with personnel management or business policy courses. Data were collected twice during the period for all measures used in predicting the identity and effectiveness of emergent leaders (based on follower perceptions of their sex, physical and interpersonal attractiveness, and the leader's selfdescribed sex-role identity, i.e., masculine, feminine, undifferentiated, or androgynous). The results showed that the leader chosen by group members did not change from Time 1 to Time 2 except in one group (an all-male group). Most of the results were similar between Time 1 and Time 2, and were consistent with predictions made based upon theoretical considerations and previous research. The hypotheses in this study were tested using a combination of statistical techniques. The results supported the major hypotheses of the study. In general, within the total sample, sex did not influence perceptions of an emergent leader. However, within groups, the probability of a female gaining leadership status was dependent upon the relative proportion of females in the group, i.e., at least half or more members had to be female. Female leaders were rated more physically attractive than male leaders. Male leaders received the lowest ratings of physical attractiveness, even lower than male nonleaders. Leaders were rated more interpersonally attractive than nonleaders. Emergent leaders with high ratings of physical and interpersonal attractiveness were also rated higher on effectiveness. Individuals with a self-described "masculine" sex role identity emer.ged as leaders more than undifferentiated, feminine, or androgynous types. There were no differences in leader effectiveness ratings among the four leader types.
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    Essays on Entrepreneurship: The Role of Complexity of Innovation and Efficient Hierarchies
    (2023) Ding, Yuheng; Braguinsky, Serguey; Agarwal, Rajshree; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Entrepreneurial activities have been on the decline across a broad range of sectors in the U.S. during the past few decades. This decline (sometimes also called “declining business dynamism”) is reflected in the decreasing rate of new firm entry, the share of young firms (usually defined as those five years of age or less) in the total number of firms and/or the share of employment at young firms in total employment, and so on (e.g., Decker et al. 2014; Akcigit and Ates, 2021). All of the above have exhibited a secular decline, not just in the U.S. but in other advanced economies as well. The underlying causes of these trends, however, are not yet clear with a broad array of explanations suggested in the literature (Akcigit and Ates, 2019; 2021; Decker et al., 2016; Hopenhayn et al., 2018; Karahan et al., 2019; Andrews et al., 2016). There also appears to be a lot of heterogeneity in how strongly the decline in entrepreneurial activities (business dynamism) is pronounced in various industries and sectors of the economy. In particular, the evidence in Haltiwanger et al. (2014) suggests that high-tech industries could be affected more than other sectors of the economy. High-tech sectors have been the driving force of growth in recent decades, so uncovering the reasons for declining business dynamism in those sectors is a task of first-order importance. In the first chapter, I employ the restricted-use data on the science and engineering workforce in the U.S. to investigate whether the increasing burden of knowledge is a growing concern for science-based entrepreneurship. Results show that since 1997, the rate of startup formation has precipitously declined for firms operated by U.S. Ph.D. recipients in science and engineering. The decline in startup formation is accompanied by an earnings decline, increasing work complexity in R&D, and more administrative work for science-based founders. With limited access to efficient knowledge hierarchies, founders of science-based startups must shoulder the burden of knowledge by doing more tasks by themselves. Workers at established firms, on the other hand, could better mitigate the burden of knowledge by narrowing the span of control and increasing the depth of hierarchy. Moreover, less experienced founders were hit harder than more experienced founders as the increasing burden of knowledge led to increasing returns to labor experience. While in the first chapter I use individual-level work data, in the second chapter I utilize firm-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau to develop the analysis further. I adopt the abductive approach and leverage matched employee-employer Census data between 2000-2014 to investigate how a growing burden of knowledge (measured as knowledge interdependence) in the most innovative firms affects potential entrepreneurs’ decisions to start their own business ventures. I show that higher knowledge interdependence in incumbent firms is negatively associated with employee entrepreneurship, and the negative effect is pronounced even stronger among the highest-performing employees. Moreover, higher knowledge interdependence has a positive selection effect on the quality of “spinouts”, and this effect is significantly stronger if the startup is formed by individuals ranked highest in the human capital distribution. These results suggest that knowledge interdependence does not merely raise the barrier for entry into entrepreneurship by imposing higher costs of knowledge transfer. It also changes the functioning of the internal labor market inside the firms. In the third chapter, I further investigate the mechanism underlying the relationship between knowledge interdependence and employee entrepreneurship. I propose a formal theoretical framework that reconciles all empirical findings. The theory suggests firms that rely on higher knowledge interdependence should share “rent” with their employees by paying wage premia if the profit from higher knowledge interdependence is high enough. As a result, within-firm earning dispersion would always be larger in firms relying on higher knowledge interdependence. I find supporting evidence in the data for this alternative explanation. Overall, these findings have important implications for declining entrepreneurial activity, rising income inequality, and technological change in the U.S. economy. While the conventional wisdom might view the declining entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. as the demise of economic growth, it is possible that as innovation becomes more complex, large established firms start to substitute the role of start-ups in pushing forward the technological frontier and driving economic growth as the efficient knowledge hierarchy could better deal with complex knowledge needed in the production process (Garicano, 2000; Garicano and Rossi-Hansberg, 2004). If this is the case, the declining business dynamism might just be a reflection of technological change and efficient (re)allocation of resources but not necessarily detrimental to technological advancement and economic growth. Whether this is true remains an avenue for future research.
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    (2023) ALGHAREEB, ALI; Kirsch, David; Goldfarb, Brent; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation uses an Inference to the Best Explanation approach for two essays on the evolution of the Lithium-ion battery industry (1991—2023). In the first essay, I consider an industry-level perspective and use quantitative and qualitative data to document the emergence and evolution of the Li-ion battery industry. The observations of multiple waves of new firm entry and more than one instance of sales takeoff highlight an empirical puzzle. Thus, I propose a conceptual framework of Market transformation (MT) that is qualitatively related to but distinct from the traditional frameworks of Industry Emergence and Disruption. By comparing the predictions of the Industry Emergence and Disruption approaches with those of the proposed MT framework, I argue that the proposed framework provides a better explanation for the observed evolutionary trajectory of the Li-ion battery industry. In the second essay, I consider the strategic choices of application markets and entrepreneurial strategies from a firm-level perspective to examine how did start-ups choose their entrepreneurial entry strategy when application markets are characterized by different sizes and levels of uncertainty. Assembling a dataset of 151 US-based battery start-ups founded in the Li-ion battery industry, I report on the start-ups’ choices of application markets and entrepreneurial strategies at entry across three distinct periods in the evolution of the Li-ion battery industry. The observation of only 16% of start-ups choosing a specialization-in-generality strategy while 84% of start-ups choosing alternative strategies during a period of increasing uncertainty (2006—2012) highlights an empirical puzzle. Thus, looking across the multi-decade history of the Li-ion battery industry, the uncertainty triggered by the successful commercialization of consumer electric vehicles (i.e., industry demand shock of the Tesla Roadster) spurred start-ups to enter with different strategic bets; it also triggered investors to support those bets. By elaborating and evaluating the list of possible explanations, I infer that the increasing levels of uncertainty associated with each application market generated uncertainty profiles that start-ups selected based on the preferences and beliefs of their entrepreneurs or their investors about the nature of uncertainty, resulting in different strategic bets, as the best explanation.
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    (2023) Park, Hyunsun; Tangirala, Subrahmaniam; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Employees of lower social class origins can elicit ambivalent reactions when they make it into elite, high-status organizations. On the one hand, they can be seen as misfits and face discrimination in work outcomes, such as lower performance evaluations and job rewards. On the other hand, their achievements can be viewed as admirable and earn them higher than usual evaluations and rewards. Drawing on the ambivalence-amplification theory, I propose that such ambivalence toward employees of lower social class origins leads to especially amplified reactions to their behaviors. When they engage in behaviors that support the existing norms in the organization (such as being courteous and helpful), those behaviors are seen as role-congruent and rewarded more highly than similar behaviors of employees with higher social class origins. By contrast, when they engage in behaviors that challenge such norms (such as speaking up with ideas and concerns), those behaviors are seen as role-incongruent and receive more negative evaluations than similar behaviors of higher-class employees. Through a field study of working professionals and two experiments, I examine this idea in the context of social caste in India. I replicate these findings in the context of socioeconomic status in the U.S. using two experiments.
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    MBO Program Characteristics, Type A Personality and Individual Performance
    (1984) Lee, Cynthia; Carroll, Stephen J.; Business and Management; University of Maryland (College Park, Md); Digital Repository at the University of Maryland
    This study sought to explain some of the inconsistent results in the Management By Objectives research by examining the moderating role of the motivational individual difference variable, Type A Behavior Patter, and the mediating role of the cognitive individual difference variable, perceived self-efficacy. Specifically, individuals low in Type A Behavior Pattern (TABP) were hypothesized to respond more positively to various components of Management By Objectives (MBO) programs than individuals high in TABP. This is based on the assumption that Type A individuals generally set higher performance goals, seek performance feedback, and in general, attempt to control their performance situation more than their Type B counterparts. On the other hand, the mediating role of self-efficacy is based on the assumption that certain external environment variables, such as MBO programs, affect performance primarily through influencing an individual's percept of self-efficacy. The results did not support the above hypotheses. The findings, however, provide further support for Bandura's (1977) assertion that self-efficacy has a positive effect on performance. Moreover, the results also supported previous research on the positive effect of quality MBO attributes on performance.
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    The Backhaul Problem and Related Topics in Vehicle Routing
    (1991) Casco, Daniel Orlando; Golden, Bruce L.; Business and Management; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    The problem studied in this dissertation is a variation of the classical vehicle routing problem (VRP) that has received limited research attention, and concerns the routing of vehicles over a set of mixed customers; that is, some customers are delivery or linehaul points but others are pickup or backhaul points. In contrast to deliveries, when a vehicle services a pickup point, product, bound for the distribution center, is loaded on the truck. Practical considerations usually dictate that the number of backhauls per route is small and they are serviced near the end of a route. The vehicle routing problem with backahuls (VRPB) can be stated as follows: Find a set of vehicle routes that service the delivery and backhaul customers such that vehicle capacity is not violated and the total distance traveled is minimized. In this dissertation, we examine three real-world routing applications with backhauls and several first-generation algorithms designed to solve VRPBs. The key dissertation research objective is to develop new heuristics to solve the VRPB that redress the shortcomings of existing solution methods in dealing with real-world considerations. The four new heuristics developed allow common carrier or supplier deliveries, dedicated backhaul routes, and mixed routes. In order to evaluate their performance, the heuristics were coded in Pascal and a series of computation experiments were performed on a Macintosh platform. The experiments consisted of generating twenty seven hundred random problems covering a range of possible combinations of critical problem parameters. These problems were solved by the heuristics and the main findings are as follows: 1) on average, the new heuristics outperformed heuristics which allow only pure delivery and mixed routes, 2) the effectiveness of the new procedures was found to vary with changes in problem size, the percentage of backhaul nodes, and the delivery node concentration region, 3) the effective of the new procedures was found not to vary with changes in the cost to insert backhaul location in mixed routes, or with changes in common carrier costs, and 4) the execution times to solve 40-node and 100-node problems was found to be less than a minute.
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    The Effects of Appropriately Participative Leadership on the Core Dimensionis of Climate
    (1990) Kidder, Pamela J.; Schneider, Benjamin; Psychology & Business and Management; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    A field experiment was conducted to determine some effects of the appropriateness of participative leadership styles on the core dimensions of climate. Climate is a construct that has received considerable attention in organizational research. The research on Climate has revealed a core set of issues or dimensions that appear to be useful for capturing employees' perceptions across all or most organizations. Proposed core dimensions of climate have included role stress or harmony in the work environment, job challenge and autonomy, leadership facilitation and support, and workgroup warmth, empathy and cooperation. I hypothesized that leadership style would affect employees' perceptions of these core dimensions of climate. The literature in psychology and organizational behavior shows significant agreement regarding the potential effect of leadership style on climate, but little empirical work has been conducted in this area. The particular leadership style I studied concerned the appropriateness of participativeness of leaders' decision making styles. I carried out a field experiment, using a two group pre- and post- experimental design. The experimental manipulation was a training program in appropriate participative decision making, with supervisors randomly assigned to a training or no training control group. Pre- and post- measures of the core dimensions of climate and decision making style were collected prior to and following the training. Appropriate participativeness in decision making (Vroom & Jago, 1988) was found to predict the three core dimensions of role stress, leadership facilitation and support, and workgroup cooperation, friendliness, and warmth. The quality of the supervisor-subordinate relationship, based on vertical dyad linkage theory, was found to contribute to the prediction of the core climate dimension of role stress. It was concluded that leadership style has an effect on employees' perception of some, but not all of the core dimensions of climate. Implications of these results for research and practice regarding climate and leadership were explored.
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    Decomposing Charismatic Leadership: The Effects of Leader Content and Process on Follower Performance, Attitudes, and Perceptions
    (1992) Kirkpatrick, Shelley Ann; Locke, Edwin; Business and Management; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    Leadership entails both content and process elements, e.g., what the leader says and how the leader says it. For example, charismatic leaders are theorized to communicate and implement a vision (content) with an enthusiastic communication sty l e (process). In a laboratory experiment with manipulated independent variables and a simulated task, this dissertation separately examined the content and process components of charismatic leadership on performance and attitudes. The content aspect was separated into two parts, vision (versus no vision) and implementation of the vision through task strategies (versus no task strategies). Process was manipulated as enthusiasm level (low versus high). Thus, a 2 x 2 x 2 design was employed. Two trained actors, one male and one female, played the role of leader, a CEO/President of a local printing company. Upper-level business students served as participants and performed a binder assembly task. Students completed questionnaires before each session and at the end of the experiment to assess how they are influenced by the leader. Results indicated that content affected performance and many attitudes and perceptions. Process did not affect performance and affected only a few attitudes and perceptions. Exploratory analyses showed that self-set goals and self-efficacy served as mediators between the content variables and performance. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed.
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    (2022) Chen, Mo; Waguespack, David M; Zenger, Todd R; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    In this dissertation, I use archival data and a formal model to investigate how actors (firms) organize their innovation and coordinate in an innovation ecosystem and what the evolutionary outcome of the ecosystem is. Empirically I study Linux Kernel, the most commercially important open-source project. As of 2017, Linux has more than 99% of the market share in supercomputing, more than 90% market share of public clouds, and around 82% market share of smartphone operating systems. With over 1700 subsystems and over 50000 files, the Linux kernel is one of the most complex systems in innovation history. Moreover, unpaid work only contributes 8.2% to Linux kernel development. Ten big corporations contribute around 40% of development efforts (The Linux Foundation, 2017). Characterized by diverse commercial interests and high-level knowledge heterogeneity and complexity, Linux Kernel provides an ideal setting to understand open collaboration and coordination in an ecosystem. The first chapter investigates how individual innovations evolve in a complex ecosystem. While innovation outcomes have been extensively studied in strategy and related literature, prior studies often abstract away from the interdependent nature of innovation within broader assemblies or systems of technologies. Adopting the problem-solving perspective, I study how three types of complexity — technological, cognitive, and incentive — impact the coordination process of a proposed innovation becoming integrated into the shared infrastructure of the ecosystem. By focusing on Linux Kernel development, a rare setting where the technological and actor interdependence are both observable, I provide evidence of how technological interdependence, a critical concept in organization design, is associated with difficulty in reaching satisfactory solutions. The research context provides a setting to study how heterogeneous interests and potential conflicts between system participants impact innovation outcomes. The results also show that cognitive complexity, measured by the uniqueness of innovation, has a U-shaped relationship with innovation integration. In the second chapter of my dissertation, I investigate the tradeoff between discovery and divergence in the open form of collaboration in the innovation ecosystem. Building on the insight from problem-solving literature, I argue that strategic knowledge accumulation, i.e., actors shape knowledge creation based on self-interest, can create potential conflicts between the system and individual actors and thus impact the open innovation outcomes significantly. I then use a simulation approach to investigate the appropriateness of various coordination mechanisms for innovation systems with varying degrees of complexity and different patterns of the same level of interaction. Results show that both the level of complexity and the way the attributions interact impact the effectiveness of coordination mechanisms. Without system-level incentives, granting veto power to the individual actor would increase strategic knowledge accumulation hazard and thus decrease performance when complexity exists. With the system-level incentive, the composite solution and veto power could improve the overall system performance for systems of a wide range of complexity and interaction pattern. Yet modularized or "core-peripheral" systems see the best performance when no coordination mechanism exists. In the third chapter, I explore the evolutionary pattern of an innovation ecosystem and its components. While research has investigated how interdependence at the system-level impacts innovation in the ecosystem extensively, little is known about how micro-structure interdependence and local social environment impact individual components' evolution within an ecosystem. Utilizing Design Structure Matrices (DSMs), I explore the development of the Linux Kernel technological system and the ecosystems it is embedded in. The results, while exploratory, suggest that component level interdependence and the alignment between technological structure and designed communication channel are associated with an increased chance of component survival. The results also show that local environments' social composition, such as commercial participation percentage and concentration of power, have implications for the component survival.
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    Putting the 'I' in Creativity Assessments: the Impact of Identities on Creativity Assessments and Willingness to Implement Ideas
    (2022) Dennis, Alexander Stuart; Bartol, Kathryn M; Marr, Jennifer; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Managers’ assessments of the creativity of ideas are crucial to organizations. Research suggests that there are distinct individual differences in the way managers assess creative ideas, yet it remains an under-researched topic. One such difference, shared social identities (e.g., nationality or organizational membership), can alter perceptions of creative ideas, yet no research has yet examined the other form of identities, role identities, despite research showing that role identities can influence the generation of ideas. I examined the effects of creative and economic managerial role identities on creativity assessments because past research shows these two identities play important roles in creativity. I theorized that the activation of either a creative or economic role identity would affect creativity assessments in three ways. First, that the activation of a creative managerial role identity would positively moderate the relationship between idea novelty and creativity assessments, while the activation of an economic managerial role identity would negatively moderate the relationship between idea novelty and creativity assessments. Second, that social comparison orientation would negatively moderate that relationship. Third, that the activation of a creative managerial role identity would strengthen the positive effects of creativity assessments on managers’ willingness to implement the idea, while the activation of an economic managerial role identity would weaken the positive effects of creativity assessments on managers’ willingness to implement the idea. I proposed several alternative hypotheses which examined whether trait levels of creative and economic managerial role identities had a significant effect on these relationships. I conducted four online experiments to test these hypotheses. The result of these four experiments did not support the hypotheses. However, across the four studies there was consistent evidence of a direct positive effect of trait creative managerial role identity on creativity assessments and an indirect positive effect on willingness to implement through higher creativity assessments.
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    Lifted Up or Feet on the Ground? How Leader Emotional Balancing Moderates the Effect of Developmental Feedback on Employee Learning
    (2022) Guo, Siyan; Seo, Myeong-Gu; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Leaders expect their developmental feedback to help employees develop skills and improve performance, yet the effect of developmental feedback on learning remains unclear. In this dissertation, the concept of developmental feedback (DFB) is extended to include two dimensions, gap identification and gap elimination. I focus on the affective mechanisms underlying the DFB – learning relationship and identify trade-offs in each of the DFB dimensions. I argue that while gap elimination elicits employee positive affect (PA) that facilitates learning via increased learning self-efficacy, it undermines learning via PA and decreased learning need recognition. In addition, gap identification induces employee negative affect (NA) that works in the opposite way. Emotional balancing, or leaders’ dynamic engagement in both affect improving and affect worsening behaviors, is proposed to attenuate the negative mechanisms. I conducted a pilot study in the field to develop measures for the two DFB dimensions, followed by a three-wave, multisource field study to test my theoretical model at the between-person level, and a daily dairy field study to test the model at the within-person level. The findings largely support my proposed model. The results indicate that gap identification positively predicts employee NA, while gap elimination predicts PA. Gap identification is positively associated with learning via employee learning need recognition, but negatively predicts learning via employee NA and learning self-efficacy. I also find that gap elimination positively predicts learning through PA and improved employee self-efficacy in learning. Importantly, the results demonstrate the beneficial effects of emotional balancing, which significantly moderates the effects of PA and NA. Taken together, these findings indicate that receiving DFB is a highly emotional experience that creates a tension between feeling uplifted and keeping feet on the ground, and leaders can use emotional balancing to manage employee affect to achieve better learning outcomes.
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    Demand-side Account on Firm Strategies in Response to Technological and Regulatory Changes
    (2022) Lim, Najoung; Agarwal, Rajshree; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    The focus of my dissertation is to understand how firms adapt to a new demand environment by leveraging their vertical and horizontal scope, the change triggered by an arrival of either new technological or regulatory regime. I follow an abductive approach to understand mechanisms using both quantitative and qualitative data in the context of the medical diagnostic imaging industry. In the first chapter, I document the process of an important technological regime change occurred in the early 1990s—standardization in medical image communication. Identifying users as an important actor, the chapter describes how the emergence of a medical image sharing platform and its underlying standard was triggered and influenced by user group’s (i.e., radiologists) request for interoperability across various imaging equipment. The chapter reveals that users can actively shapes both standard-setting process and a resulting competitive landscape for firms. The second chapter examines how the emergence of the standardized open platform affects firms’ product diversification, which connects pre-existing standalone products that were technologically independent but complementary for users. Compatibility and modularization reduced the benefit of internal coordination, but also lead to an increase in end-users’ heterogenous needs thanks to their ability to mix and match products, which in turn increased the benefit of internal coordination. I find the pattern of increasing product diversity in the post-standard period, which was particularly driven by the firms that became integrators to create customized systems around their platform software. The third chapter studies how and why prior differences in vertical structure affects firms’ ability to adapt to sudden and exogenous decreases in demand. Exploiting a major Medicare reform that created an unexpected negative derived demand shock for imaging device manufacturers, the analysis suggests that integrated firms were more likely to exit treated markets than nonintegrated firms. Drawing on literature conceptualizing firms’ vertical boundaries as a representation of existing resources and governance choices, the study explains that integrated firms with dedicated sales force were not able to shed costs associated with downstream sales functions effectively, while non-integrated firms were poised for timely reconfiguration by working closely with distributors in the locations unaffected by the shock. Together, the three chapters acknowledge the demand-side factors as an important source of change in firms’ external environment that firms (should) actively incorporate when deciding their scope of activities, which has been overlooked in the standard-setting, ecosystem, and diversification literature.
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    Physical Boundaries Make Psychological Boundaries Stronger: The Synergistic Effect of Open Workspace and Authentic Climate on Employee Knowledge Sharing and Voice Behavior
    (2022) Cao, Rujiao; Tangirala, Subra; Derfler-Rozin, Rellie; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Physical settings in the workplace carry important implications for employees’ perceptions and behaviors. Organizations’ increasing need for employees’ sharing of expertise and ideas has led to an increased interest in the management of physical barriers in the workplace (Elsbach & Pratt, 2007). While prior research, which focuses primarily on the functional perspective (e.g., visibility, accessibility, level of noise), has yielded valuable insights into the role of open workspace (i.e., workspace with few or no physical barriers) in influencing employee knowledge sharing behavior (among other collaborative behaviors), the existing work may have over-emphasized the instrumental aspects of physical barriers. As a result, other critical psychological processes (such as the symbolic effects) through which physical barriers impact employees’ sharing of expertise and ideas could be overlooked, resulting in an incomplete and even biased view of open workspace. The goal of this dissertation is to extend the existing research by employing a symbolic perspective and investigate how and when fewer physical barriers in the workspace have a positive effect on employees’ knowledge sharing and voice behavior. Specifically, integrating the symbolic perspective of the physical environment with optimal distinctiveness theory, I propose that fewer physical barriers can increase employees’ knowledge sharing and voice behavior through decreased employees’ experienced isolation by signaling a sense of connectedness and inclusion. Furthermore, the positive relational cues of open workspace are more likely to be salient when there is a high (versus low) authentic climate. The results from two studies (a laboratory experiment and a field survey) supported that fewer physical barriers in employees’ workspace increased its occupant’s knowledge sharing and voice behavior, especially when there was a high (versus low) authentic climate. Moreover, employees’ experienced isolation mediated the above relationship. Together, my results suggest that there is a synergistic effect of physical barriers and authentic climate on employee knowledge sharing and voice by conveying positive relational cues.
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    (2022) Wormald, Audra; Agarwal, Rajshree; Braguinsky, Serguey; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation seeks to better understand the phenomenon of industry emergence in settings characterized by high uncertainty. To examine mechanisms underlying industry emergence and growth, I compiled a unique, hand-collected, comprehensive quantitative and qualitative dataset of the global mobile money industry. The first study examines variation in pioneering firm characteristics on choices to integrate capabilities within or across firm boundaries and to create network externalities through open or closed end user access to the mobile money platform. An analysis of the census of mobile money pioneering firms extends theories developed in traditional industrial settings by showing that pioneers were equally likely to engage in external and internal integration, with diversifying entrants less likely to internally integrate than startups. A deep data dive reveals how capabilities and motivations can be brought together to understand heterogeneity in firm choices for platform ecosystem development and underscores the importance of experimentation to resolve demand and ecosystem uncertainty to generate direct and indirect network effects. This study unpacks the relationship between institutional uncertainty and industry emergence by examining two sources of institutional uncertainty: pre-existing market institutions (e.g., impersonal rule of law) and industry-specific institutions (e.g., regulations). As more industries of today are emerging globally, additional research is needed to understand how industry emergence may be affected by institutional uncertainty that differs from one country context to the next. This study examines the emergence of the mobile money industry across the African continent to understand 1) how variation in market institutions across countries influences firm entry and 2) the ways in which market institutions influence the regulatory approach for developing industry-specific institutions. My findings reveal that pre-existing market institutions related to colonial history are associated with variations in both entry patterns and approaches to developing industry-specific institutions. This study sheds light on the path dependencies at play across these two types of institutions, industry emergence, and innovation diffusion, enhancing our theoretical understanding of industry emergence across countries that vary in market-supporting institutions. Together, this body of research underscores the importance of uncertainty reduction and experimentation for innovative solutions that provide a sustained solution to thorny societal problems. This is particularly critical in the poorest nations in the world, where underlying market institutions may be missing or inadequate, but can emerge and grow with industries.
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    Consequences of Winning: Evidence from Sell-Side Equity Research
    (2021) Yan, Liyue; Goldfarb, Brent; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation studies the impact of winning awards on individuals’ behaviors, as well as their consequential effects on organizational outcomes. Essay 1 studies when managers may knowingly make poor decisions. Specifically, we posit “reputational herding,” whereby decision makers herd to avoid being uniquely wrong even when they know this will make them less likely to be correct. We model this phenomenon and show that decision makers will be less likely to herd when they have higher reputations and when experts have less correlated information. The theory provides predictions that distinguish between learning and reputational herding. The theory is tested in the context of sell-side stock analysts. Using winning a performance-based awards as a shock, a difference-in-differences estimation compares award-winning analysts and runners-up with similar ability to identify the causal impact of a change in reputation on the likelihood of herding. The results suggest that analysts herd less after an increase in reputation, which is consistent with the reputational herding mechanism. Essay 2 studies the effect of winning professional performance awards on entrepreneurial entry. We propose that performance awards can increase professionals’ likelihood to become entrepreneurs through increasing their confidence and reputation. We examine the effect of winning a performance award on stock analysts’ likelihood to become entrepreneurs by comparing the winners with a control group with similar ability. Using LinkedIn data, we trace the careers for about 3,000 analysts and find award winners’ likelihood of becoming entrepreneurs is 30% to 40% higher than that of the non-winners. Additionally, we find that the effect of winning is driven by mid-career professionals and those who work at relatively bigger firms. The evidence suggests that winning awards complements existing resources in entrepreneurial entry decisions. Our study provides evidence that performance awards may be low-cost instruments that complement formal policy to encourage entrepreneurship. Essay 3 discusses the empirical challenges and opportunities in studying awards for management research. We argue that existing research do not provide sufficient empirical evidence on the topic or theoretical explanations for different empirical results. We discuss several major challenges: internal validity, external validity, and disciplinary differences in studying awards. We propose some measures to deal with these challenges and suggest potential research avenues.
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    The Impact of Earnings Manipulation on the Science and Practice of Strategic Management
    (2021) Gibbs, Ralph Anthony; Waguespack, David; Agarwal, Rajshree; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Strategic management research frequently seeks to explain variation in organizational performance using metrics such as accounting profits scaled by firm assets (ROA). Essay 1 addresses a concern with such accrual-based accounting methods—perhaps best illustrated by a large discontinuity in the distribution of ROA around zero for U.S. public firms—that operational and accounting practices will artificially inflate/deflate accounting profit. The essay establishes that such earnings management is common, introduces non-classical noise, and distorts our understanding of broad drivers of firm performance. It concludes with an analysis showing that an alternative performance measure, Cash Flows from Operations on Assets (OCFOA), offers a robust vehicle for checking results using accounting profits. Essay 2 addresses a core prediction of the behavioral theory of the firm—that a firm is more likely to engage in strategic change when its performance falls short of its aspirations. If a firm manipulates income to report above aspirations when otherwise it would have fallen short, this creates a theoretical tension—does the firm engage in strategic change or not? This study utilizes two instrumental variables for a firm’s capability to smooth earnings to analyze the linkage between earnings smoothing and strategic change. The results suggest that public firms actively smoothing earnings have a lower propensity to subsequently change the firm’s major resource allocations, and that avoiding reporting performance below aspirations is a mechanism through which this may occur.
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    (2021) Chighizola, Nicolais; Chen, Gilad; Foulk, Trevor; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    The ways that leaders use their power can have important impacts on their subordinates as well as their organizations, so it is important to discern how leaders develop the ways they understand (or construe) power. As people’s construals of power can develop through experiences that arise from their social contexts (e.g., Torelli & Shavitt, 2010; Belmi & Laurin, 2016), the structures of teams within the workplace can cause team members to have varied experiences, and may thus play a critical role in developing the ways that future leaders construe power. In this dissertation, I argue that the experiences that people have in teams as lower-level employees can influence the ways they understand power, which predict the behaviors they will later enact as leaders. I also integrate multiple streams of research on power construal and propose a framework to bridge multiple perspectives within this literature. In two pilot studies and two main studies, I find that team member experiences impact members’ power construals, and that power construals predict behaviors these members enact when they are later put in positions of leadership. I discuss contributions to the teams, power, and leadership literatures, and offer practical guidance for organizations and early-career employees.
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    Competition and Prosocial Incentives: Essays on the Role of Gender When Choosing to Compete for Others
    (2021) King, Benjamin Charles; Agarwal, Rajshree; Starr, Evan P; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    My dissertation examines how prosocial and selfish incentives affect individuals' willingness to compete as a critical behavioral choice, and the role of gender in this relationship. Understanding more about this connection is key, as men are more competitive than women, on average, and higher levels of competitiveness are correlated with positive career outcomes. Using insights from economics and psychology, I test and expand theory that individuals become more willing to compete when the rewards benefit a charity or another individual. I suggest practical implications for organizational designers who seek to reduce gender gaps in wages and achievement.
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    (2021) Kim, Seojin; Agarwal, Rajshree; Goldfarb, Brent; Business and Management: Management & Organization; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    My first essay examines how radical technological systems are created by economic actors that are heterogeneous in both their prior history and their experimentation efforts, and the implications for their value capture strategies. Defining radical technologies based on their effect on existing technological regimes, scholars have studied incumbent-entrant dynamics based on whether incumbents can offset the obsolescence of their technological capabilities by utilizing complementary capabilities or by adapting to technological change. I identify important limitations stemming from such a definition of radical technologies and utilize the alternative definition of radical technology as a technological system that utilizes new base principles at either component or system level. We utilize historical methodology to analyze rich quantitative and qualitative data on the incubation and commercialization of bionic prosthetics. We show that the component knowledge for the new technological system was created by diverse firms—startups, conventional prosthetic incumbents, and established firms in other industries. However, incumbents who invested in the new technology system were key to creating an integrated system for bionic prosthetics and dominated in commercialization efforts in the nascent industry. Startups captured value through licensing or being acquired by incumbents, and established firms in other industries were knowledge spillover conduits, given their focus on alternative nascent downstream markets to capitalize on their existing capabilities. The second essay examines how and why the sources of entrepreneurial knowledge, namely prior experience that founders gained in academic, user, and employee settings, may affect market strategies of new ventures. While prior studies did not examine the heterogeneity of pre-entry knowledge in predicting strategy and performance of startups, I argue that each firm type possesses a distinct comparative knowledge advantage regarding key elements of the industry’s technological system, thereby leading to firm differences in technological and value chain positioning. I assembled the quantitative and qualitative data of 106 prosthetic startups created between 1991-2017. My results indicate that academic startups were likely to choose component-level products based on nascent technology, while employee startups were likely to choose finished products based on established technology. Also, user startups were likely to choose niche, component-level products leveraging established technology. Through qualitative data, I interpret my findings to suggest that entrepreneurs’ strategic choices are constrained by their initial strengths and the cost of acquiring additional resources. Together, I suggest that entrepreneurial strategy can be better understood by considering the interaction of the types of entrepreneurial knowledge and the industry’s technological system.