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Scheller College of Business

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 409
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    The hidden benefits of control: The effect of peer competition on employee responses to restrictive controls
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-12-16) Samet, Jordan A.
    Managers must decide whether to grant their employees the freedom to make their own choices or to restrict their employees’ decision rights by proscribing specific actions, behaviors and decisions. Prior research finds that employees perceive restrictive controls as a signal that their manager does not trust them to behave appropriately. While this might be true sometimes, I argue that an employee’s belief as to why a restriction was imposed could depend on contextual factors, such as how competitive the workplace is. Specifically, I predict that, compared settings where there is little peer competition or the competition is not salient, experiencing stronger peer competition will push employees to view a restrictive control through a lens of how it affects their performance relative to their peers, increasing the likelihood that employees will view a restrictive control as improving fairness. If so, employees might respond positively to the imposition of a restrictive control rather than negatively, as suggested by prior research. The results of a laboratory experiment suggest that employee reactions to a control decision depends not only on the presence of peer competition, but also on the perceived cost incurred by management to impose the control.
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    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-11-11) Fan, Yifeng
    Due to the changing employment landscape, more people are seeking their own “side hustles” (side jobs beyond the full-time job), out of a concern for financial security or a yearning for more meaning in work. However, we know rather little about whether this new type of employment arrangement could affect employees at their full-time job. Identity Theory helps explain people’s behaviors based on the roles they play in the social structure, and thus lends itself naturally to address this gap. In this study, I examine how organizational members’ work identity enhancement between the full-time job and the side job influences their job crafting behaviors at the full-time job. More specifically, I argue that authenticity will mediate this effect, and that workers’ identification with the full-time job will strengthen the indirect relationship. The result indicated that identity enhancement is positively associated with aspirational job crafting. However, authenticity did not mediate the relationship, and, as a result, identification with the full-time job did not moderate this non-significant relationship. Alternative models show that psychological capital holds promise in mediating the relationship between identity enhancement and aspirational job crafting. Furthermore, I found a negative relationship between identity conflict and aspirational job crafting through authenticity. The moderating role of identification with the full-time job received mixed support from alternative models. I discuss the implications in regard to theory and measurement issues. I propose several future research directions that may help further examine the relationships with more nuance.
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    Three Essays on the Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on Brand and Firm Outcomes
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-11-08) Nickerson, Dionne Antoinette
    This work examines the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on marketing outcomes from three unique perspectives. The first essay centers on a multimethod approach and distinguishes between three types of CSR engagement. Results from observational data and laboratory experiments suggest that CSR engagement aimed at reducing a brand’s negative impact produces the highest sales increase, whereas purely philanthropic-type CSR efforts can hurt sales. The second essay explores the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in helping firms reap benefits from CSR, using panel data from a sample of over 300 firms. The findings show that the CMO can positively influence firm financial performance by enhancing a firm’s socially responsible behavior and reducing a firm’s socially irresponsible behavior. The final essay takes an experimental approach to investigate the impact of CSR claims on consumer perceptions of the brand’s societal benefits as well as consumer choice. The findings suggest that CSR claims related to activities within a brand’s core business operations (business process CSR claims) increase societal benefits, and lead to a greater choice of socially responsible products, compared to CSR claims involving activities outside a brand’s core business operations (philanthropic CSR claims).
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    Essays examining role-based behavior
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-07-29) Paul, Iman MI
    My dissertation examines role-based behavior in consumption contexts, with a particular focus on integrating contemporary social-role and identity theories with other, seemingly disparate theories such as tokenism and mental accounting. In addition to contributing to broad literature on identity-based consumption, my essays take a more granular approach by demonstrating that the relation between our consumption choices and “who we are” in terms of our social roles and social identities is more nuanced than previously thought. My essays are linked by the idea that social roles and identities affect judgments, attitudes, and private evaluations across a wide array of consumer contexts. Essay 1: Perceived Role Integration Increases the Fungibility of Mentally-accounted Resources While the literatures on mental accounting and social roles are vast, few (if any) scholars have examined their intersection. Bridging the gap, this essay examines how the extent to which an individual’s life roles (e.g., “employee” and “wife”) are integrated (i.e., the extent to which psychological barriers between life roles are permeable and frequently traversed) influences the fungibility of funds corresponding to those life roles (“role-aligned accounts”). Specifically, I show that funds in role-aligned accounts become more fungible as the corresponding life roles become more integrated. Accordingly, individuals with more integrated roles are: (i) more able to circumvent constraints typically imposed by mental accounts, and (ii) more likely to utilize resources from a mental account corresponding with one role to service the needs of the other role. I present evidence that the effect arises because integrated roles are perceived to share psychological properties like beliefs, values, goals, which allow the costs incurred in one role to be offset by benefits gained in the other. Essay 2: The Influence of Incidental Tokenism on Private Evaluations of Stereotype-Typifying Products In this essay, I argue that being an incidental token member of a transient group (e.g., a woman in a store queue that consists of mostly men) influences evaluations of products associated with the tokenized identity. Across five studies, I find that incidental tokenism activates negative stereotypes of the tokenized identity, which in turn create motivation to disassociate from identity-linked products that typify those stereotypes. Importantly, the motivation does not extend to identity-linked products in general. Similar results emerge when negative stereotypes are activated directly, and the effect is attenuated when tokenized individuals are given the opportunity to self-affirm. Extending past research in public and performance-based domains, my results demonstrate the nuanced consequences of tokenism for private evaluations in subjective, preference-based domains.
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    IT-enabled business practices: Empirical investigations of productivity and innovation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-07-26) Angle, Patricia C.
    My dissertation centers on the impact of information technology (IT) investments on business processes. I seek to understand the way organizations use software to share information with partners in trade and facilitate innovation. Information-sharing IT and process innovation are complementary under the right circumstances, and understanding why and how the strategic use of software impacts organizations has wide-ranging implications, from supply-chain structure to understanding the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the national economy. The first chapter of my dissertation uses proprietary Census data to investigate the impact of e-selling on total factor productivity (TFP). I find that although large plants see a TFP increase related to e-selling, small plants do not. This highlights the need to understand economies of scale related to IT within organizations. The second chapter of my dissertation is an investigation into complementarities between IT and a firm’s research and development (R&D) efforts. While there has been considerable attention paid to IT as a complement to firm capabilities, there is less work examining complementarities between IT and other inputs to innovation. This research represents a novel investigation into the relationship between IT investments and a firm’s innovative strategy.
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    Essays on the societal implications of online lending platforms
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-07-24) Wang, Hongchang
    This dissertation includes three interrelated essays which investigate the outcomes of online lending platforms on both borrowers and investors. More specifically, the first one looks at the borrowers’ side and investigates how online lending influences bankruptcies of borrowers, the second one looks at the investors’ side and investigates how the use of algorithmic trading in online lending platforms influences investing opportunities of individual investors, and the third one looks at the whole online lending market and investigates how political ideology and political distance influence investors’ behaviors and market efficiency. Essay 1 investigates the impact of online lending on bankruptcy filings. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I find that state approval of Lending Club leads to an increase in bankruptcy filings. A complementary instrumental variable analysis using loan-level data yields similar results. I find suggestive evidence that the ease of receiving a Lending Club loan causes some borrowers to overextend themselves financially, leading to bankruptcy. I also find that “strategic” borrowing – in which borrowers who are considering bankruptcy use a Lending Club loan to restructure their debt or to engage in last-minute consumption before they file – may play a role. Essay 2 studies the effects of algorithmic trading by examining the effect of an API upgrade on that facilitated algorithmic trading. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, I find that individual “manual” investors were crowded out of the most quickly-funded and typically best-performing loans after the API upgrade. However, the API upgrade may have increased the size of the market, thereby allowing individual investors to continue investing in the market, albeit for somewhat lower quality loans. Essay 3 studies whether political differences – which are becoming increasingly acute among Americans – inhibit market efficiency by examining whether investors in online lending markets are less likely to lend to borrowers whose political ideology (i.e., liberal or conservative) is likely to be different from their own. I leverage state-level legalization of same-sex marriage as a natural experiment to investigate how investors in online lending markets respond to this signal of a state’s “liberalness”. Results of a difference-in-differences analysis show that: (1) investors make more bids (loan offers) to borrowers in states that legalize same-sex marriage in the days immediately after passage of the law; and (2) investors from politically similar states contribute more to this increase than do investors from politically dissimilar states. This suggests that political differences influence lending decisions in online lending markets, potentially preventing beneficial investor/borrower matches from being formed. To test the generalizability of these findings, I also use all U.S. states and measure the number of bids from investors in each state to borrowers in each state. I use a gravity model to examine how political differences across states influence bidding behaviors. Results are consistent with the difference-in-differences analysis.
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    Essays on platform ecosystems
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-07-19) Venkataraman, Vijayaraghavan
    There has been a tremendous increase in the number and variety of ecosystems. Extant literature has paid more attention to platform owners within ecosystems. In this dissertation, I focus on complementors and try to understand their capabilities and strategies. First, I review the literature and summarize existing research that spans across the three phases of the ecosystem namely nascent, growth and technological change. I highlight some of the gaps in existing research, especially those concerning the nature and role of complementors within the ecosystem. I use empirical studies based on the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Platform Ecosystem to address some of these gaps. More specifically, in one study, I look at the complementor strategy of multihoming and explore the role played by complementor capabilities in terms of their human capital and ecosystem learning facilitated by the complementor’s prior platform partnership in multihoming. In another study, I examine the relationship between platform level competition and complementor performance. When an incumbent platform faces competition from an entrant platform, it tends to engage in steering activities that are aimed at supporting its complementors and dissuading them from joining the rival platform. I analyze the potential role of steering in complementor performance and its differential impact based on the complementors’s human capital profile.
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    The role of online reviews in consumer decision-making
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-07-16) Lei, Zhanfei
    As a prominent form of user-generated content, online reviews have become increasingly indispensable for consumers to make purchase decisions. Thus, it is critical to understand what sets helpful reviews apart from unhelpful ones, which kinds of reviews consumers prefer to read, and how online reviews shape consumers’ purchase decisions. Prior research has examined diverse determinants of review helpfulness and the effect of summary rating statistics on product sales. However, few studies have examined the impact of reviewers’ writing styles on review helpfulness, explored the critical role of consumers’ initial beliefs before they read and evaluate reviews, or investigated the likelihood of individual reviews to sway consumers’ purchase decisions. Addressing these important gaps and scrutinizing commonly accepted assumptions, my dissertation aims to explore how, why, and when various aspects of online reviews influence consumers’ judgment of review helpfulness, preference in information seeking, and purchase decisions.
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    Essays on innovation strategies of entrepreneurs and startups
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-07-12) Li, Congshan
    This dissertation examines the mechanisms and factors that influence the choice and application of innovation strategies by high-tech entrepreneurs. As the competitive advantage of high-tech startups mainly originates from its knowledge-related resources, that is, its social capital, intellectual property, and human capital. This dissertation elaborates on these three knowledge-related resources. In the first paper, Dr. Rothaermel and I posit that the less visible, informal knowledge networks of individuals are a relevant source of information that drives the formation of future alliances between firms. By employing social network theories, we tested how certain structural characteristics of an informal knowledge network, such as the extent to which information is diversified and the information processing capabilities of key individuals, are positively correlated with the formation of future alliances. The second paper discusses the influence of intellectual property on a startup. In this chapter, I explored the impact of a novel innovation on the probability of a successful exit, the likelihood of forming strategic alliances and how such alliances influence the exit activity, and the mode of exit along with its financial returns. The third paper addresses the heterogeneity of the performance of serial entrepreneurs by exploring the moderators of the relationship between entrepreneurial experience and firm performance. The results indicate that education positively moderates the relationship between entrepreneurial experience and venture performance through both the learning-by-doing process and the self-selection process.
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    Creating connections: A multidimensional construct of employee connecting behavior, antecedents, and relationships to creative outcomes
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-07-11) Breidenthal, Amy
    When a person introduces two people to each other who were previously unacquainted, a myriad of benefits may accrue to the newly connected individuals, their work, and their organizations. While much research investigates the outcomes of new collaborations and extending one’s own network, much less is known about the motivations and outcomes for individuals who introduce others in their social network. Creative behaviors (actions that lead to novel and useful outcomes) often take the form of uniting diverse ideas or importing material from one domain to inspire new solutions in another domain. Relatedly, making a new introduction is an act of uniting two previously unconnected people or bringing an individual from one area in the social network into another. Therefore, connecting two previously unconnected individuals may be well-informed by existing creativity theories. In this dissertation, I build off the robust creativity literature to theorize about the behavior of introducing new and useful connections between people, which, like creative behavior, may ultimately lead to creative outcomes. Specifically, I develop a multidimensional construct of employee connecting behavior, which I define as discretionary acts of introducing a professional contact (A) to a new person (B). I propose four distinct types of employee connecting behavior, create and validate new survey measures to assess these types, and propose and test a theoretical model of why employees connect others, and what impact this may have on creative outcomes.