PEER EFFECTS IN ORGANIZATIONS: THE ROLE OF INFORMATION, COMPETITIVE, AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS
LEE, HYEUN Jung
Beckman, Christine M
Ding, Waverly W
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My dissertation seeks to answer questions about how peers influence performance in organizations. Specifically, my research investigates the information environment in which firms operate, competition among peers, and the social environment in which organizations are embedded. These organizational conditions shape the extent to which peers share information and influence one another. Empirically, I examine my research questions in an educational setting and a corporate setting, featuring datasets collected from multiple years of fieldwork. In the first part of the dissertation, I focus on security analysts and explore reasons why female analysts reap systematically lower returns from peers compared to male analysts. I argue that women face challenges in accessing and processing information from their male peers due to segregation of information within organizations. I explore this information mechanism using a policy (Regulation Fair Disclosure) that changed the information environment among security analysts. In the second and third parts of my dissertation, I focus on how performance is evaluated among peers and the broader social environment in which organizations are embedded. Specifically, I ask: 1) What is the role of competition in predicting the direction of peer effects? 2) How do gender stereotypes in the social context influence the magnitude of peer effects? In exploring these questions, I leverage random roommate assignment as well as teacher assignments in an educational setting.