RESEARCH

Publications


  • THE VALLEY OF TRUST: THE EFFECT OF RELATIONAL STRENGTH ON MONITORING QUALITY

With Brandy Aven and Lily Morse

Published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision (special issue on "Behavioral Field Evidence on Ethics and Misconduct") Link to article

Effective monitoring of firms by regulatory agencies is essential to maintaining economic sustainability, correcting information asymmetry in markets, and mitigating social and environmental externalities. Yet, monitoring failures often arise where the monitoring agent fails to detect or report infractions by the firms they monitor. Whereas organizational scholars cite weak relationships and a lack of trust between firms and monitors as a key source of monitoring failures, research in organizational deviance contends that increased trust in strong relationships promotes monitoring failures via negligence and collusion. Drawing on these two literatures, we propose that relationship strength exhibits a U-shaped relationship with monitoring quality, as mediated by trust: increasing relationship strength reduces monitoring failures to a certain point, but beyond which it increases monitoring failures. We test our theory with three studies: a field study using longitudinal archival data on financial restatements, a survey of Certified Public Accountants, and an experimental audit simulation.


  • HARVESTING VALUE FROM BROKERAGE: INDIVIDUAL STRATEGIC ORIENTATION, STRUCTURAL HOLES, AND PERFORMANCE

With Giuseppe "Beppe" Soda and Marco Tortoriello (all authors contributed equally)

Published in Academy of Management Journal Link to article

In this paper we explore the mechanisms underpinning returns to brokerage positions by considering the role of individuals' strategic orientation toward brokering. We conceptualize individuals' strategic orientations in terms of arbitraging versus collaborating behaviors enacted when occupying a brokerage position. Leveraging a novel dataset collected in a global consumer product company, we theorize and find evidence for the fact that arbitraging and collaborating orientations have differential effects on the relationship between brokerage and performance, significantly impacting on individuals' ability to extract value from brokerage. We discuss the implications of these findings for the structural analysis of informal networks in organizations.


Papers under review


  • MICROUNDERPINNINGS OF NETWORK ADVANTAGE (Title disguised to preserve the peer review process)

(Job Market Paper: Winner of "Best PhD Proposal Award" for the Behavioral Strategy track at the Strategic Management Society conference in Minneapolis)

Stage: R&R at the Administrative Science Quarterly

Abstract removed to preserve the confidentiality of the peer review process.


  • MONETARY INCENTIVES AND TIE EVOLUTION (Title disguised to preserve the peer review process)

With Giuseppe "Beppe" Soda and Brandy Aven

Stage: Under review

Abstract removed to preserve the confidentiality of the peer review process.


Working papers


  • TO BRIDGE OR NOT TO BRIDGE? HOW POWER AND STATUS AFFECT BROKERAGE PROCESSES

With Catherine Shea

Stage: In preparation for submission

Organizational scholars have started to explore the importance that brokerage processes play in explaining how individuals derive resources from their social network structures. However, past research offers scant evidence of the antecedents of such processes. This paper offers a theoretical account that sheds light on the mechanisms leading individuals to engage in different brokerage processes when interacting with their contacts: that is, keeping them separate from each other (tertius separans brokerage) or introducing them to each other (tertius iungens brokerage). In four studies, coupling experimental and field data, we tested the prediction that power and status have an interactive effect on individuals' brokerage activity. Consistent with our hypotheses, we find that power without status leads to both an increased preference for tertius separans and a decreased preference for tertius iungens. Study 1 showed that neither power nor status alone has a clear effect on how brokers interact with their contacts. Study 2 showed a correlational interactive effect between power and status on brokerage processes using self-perceived measures of power and status. In Study 3, to bolster causality claims, we orthogonally manipulated power and status and examined their effects on individuals' willingness to engage in tertius iungens and tertius separans brokerage. Finally, Study 4 replicated these effects in a field study of managers working for a consulting firm. Moving beyond a purely structural perspective on brokerage, these findings contribute to a process-based view of brokerage showing the importance of the organizational context in explaining third-party action.


  • STEPPING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE? NEED FOR COGNITIVE CLOSURE, (IN)FORMAL STRUCTURES, AND INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE

With Giuseppe "Beppe" Soda and Manuel Gomez-Solorzano

Stage: Writing

Past organizational research suggests that a high need for cognitive closure results in lower individual performance. While prior work sheds light on this finding by focusing almost exclusively on dispositional explanations, we complement this perspective with a social network approach by theorizing and providing evidence for a novel relational mechanism that can account for this particular association. Specifically, we hypothesize that individuals with a high need for cognitive closure will be more likely to self-select into cohesive network structures compared to individuals with a low need for cognitive closure, because dense structures increase homogeneity in information, behavior, and norms, thus reducing ambiguity. Such network configurations, we argue, operate as a pathway leading to lower performance outcomes via mechanisms rooted in social capital. Furthermore, we hypothesize that these negative performance effects will be stronger for employees assigned to formal structures that have high levels of ambiguity, such as dual-authority structures in which employees report to two managers. We find support for these hypotheses in a field study of 264 managers working in a large multinational organization.