Research Incubator Seminar Series


The dates and presenters for the Research Incubator Seminar Series during the Spring 2021 semester are:

  • March 31 - Alison Vania Birch of the Department of Management
  • April 28 - Yuan Ji of the Department of Accounting

All seminars are planned to be virtually held via Microsoft Teams on Wednesdays from 2:00–3:30 p.m. during the Spring.

Please mark your calendars. We hope you will be able to attend the real-time talks.

Best Regards,

The Research Incubator Seminar Series Committee (Sanjiv Sabherwal and Mahmut Yasar)

March 31st Presentation


Sanjiv and I are pleased to announce that the next presentation of the Research Incubator Seminar Series is scheduled for Wednesday, March 31 from 2:00–3:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams. Our presenter is Alison Hall Birch of the Department of Management. The paper that she will present is titled “Putting Climate into Context: How State-Level Culture and Composition Shape the Effects of Diversity Climate on Performance.”

Title: Putting Climate into Context: How State-Level Culture and Composition Shape the Effects of Diversity Climate on Performance
Presenters: Alison Hall Birch
When: Wednesday, March 31, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Where: Via Microsoft Teams

Abstract: Existing evidence demonstrates that an organization’s diversity climate can enhance its bottom line. Though some scholars have theorized potential mediators to explain these effects, two recent literature reviews and a meta-analysis concluded that much remains unknown regarding both why and how diversity climate influences outcomes. We propose that commitment inequality, or the degree of within-unit disparity in affective organizational commitment among unit members, acts as a mediator of the diversity climate-productivity relationship. We argue that unit-level diversity climate fosters more uniformly high affective commitment levels among unit members (i.e., less commitment inequality), thereby optimizing the returns on its human capital investments in the form of greater unit productivity. Data from 738 stores in 48 American states indicate a significant indirect effect of store diversity climate on productivity through commitment inequality. Moreover, we extend theory on the impact of contextual variation to determine how the external environment's culture (tightness-looseness) and composition (racioethnic variety) interactively influence this process. Our results demonstrate collective moderation by state-level context. Climates supporting diversity coincide with reduced commitment inequality, thereby prompting higher productivity when organizational practices that promote a positive diversity climate align with states’ cultures and compositions (loose/diverse or tight/homogenous). No such significant indirect effect is observed in units operating in states where pro-diversity efforts are misaligned with the external environment (loose/homogenous or tight/diverse).

Author’s note about the paper's "warts": In conceptualizing this 3-way interaction, we let the conditions where climate, composition, and culture "aligned" drive our expectations. Upon analyzing the data, that worked out for us! However, in writing the paper, it became clear that our story for one of the misaligned conditions (specifically the effects of a hospitable diversity climate in a racioethnically homogenous-loose state) is something we had glossed over. It doesn't neatly align with what we currently argue are the driving mechanisms for what's happening in the other three cells (hospitable diversity climate: tight-homogenous, loose-diverse, tight-diverse). Now we are in search of a theoretical explanation as to what's happening there. We've got a few ideas that I will be sharing during the presentation. Additionally, we are still sorting through the nomenclature of our mediator. We've semi-settled on "Commitment inequality" but it was formerly "commitment disparity" and we've also considered a few other names, so if you have thoughts there, I'm open!

Objective of the Research Incubator Seminar Series

The seminar aims to create a forum for scholars to present their work in progress and receive thoughtful constructive comments and suggestions that will help improve the quality of their work. We especially encourage scholars to present current work that has resulted in a dilemma for them in terms of the feasibility, conceptual framework, methodological approaches, data limitations, etc.

We hope that this forum not only provides an opportunity for faculty to present their working papers and receive feedback from their peers on how to overcome the paper's challenges but also facilitates contact and collaboration amongst scholars in various departments. We believe that openness among the departments can result in significant research productivity growth. Although technology has made electronic communication convenient and ubiquitous, gravity still exists in the world of disembodied knowledge because of its tacit nature. The mechanisms that facilitate face-to-face interactions of scholars across departments can significantly contribute to the research outcomes of our college through knowledge transfer amongst scholars. We hope that this forum will help accomplish these objectives.

Ph.D. students are strongly encouraged to attend the seminars since this is a great opportunity to learn and develop as scholars.

All seminars are planned to be virtually held via Microsoft Teams on Wednesdays from 2:00–3:30 p.m. during the Fall

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you at the seminar!

Best Regards,

The Research Incubator Seminar Series Committee (Sanjiv Sabherwal and Mahmut Yasar)

View Past Events

February 24th: - Mahyar Vaghefi of the Department of Information Systems & Operations Management


The next presentation of the Research Incubator Seminar Series is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24th from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Via Microsoft Teams. Our presenter is Mahyar Sharif Vaghefi of the Department of the Information Systems and Operations Management. The paper that he will present is titled “Diffusion of Health Messages in Online Social Networks: A Study of Healthcare Professionals Content Generation on Twitter.”

Title: Diffusion of Health Messages in Online Social Networks: A Study of Healthcare Professionals Content Generation on Twitter
Presenters: Mahyar Sharif Vaghefi
When: Wednesday, February 24, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Where: Via Microsoft Teams

Abstract: Online social networks have become an important venue for the search and sharing of health-related information. This has become more evident during the coronavirus outbreak. Thus, the contribution of health professionals to such platforms can reduce the spread of misleading information and add to the trustworthiness of information made available to the public. The contribution of health professionals can be made both by generating content and by facilitating the dissemination of content. In this study, we focus on the Twitter platform and study the factors that can contribute to the dissemination of information on the health professional social network. In our work, we emphasize the structure of the social network and the characteristics of health messages. We argue that the structure of the social network paves the way for the dissemination of information and that the content attributes provide fuel for it to flow through the networks and reach a wider audience. The theoretical basis of our work is the model of intellectual epidemics and the likelihood model of persuasion. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our work.

Author’s note about the paper's "warts":Our paper aims to provide a conceptual model for diffusion of health messages in online social networks. We have conceptualized our theoretical model using the intellectual epidemic model and information processing models. We used Twitter observational data to empirically test our proposed model. While the preliminary results of our study are promising, there are certainly some limitations in the paper that need to be identified and addressed prior to the submission of the paper. Our main concerns are: Is there any other theoretical model that fits into our theoretical framework that allows us to better justify our hypotheses? How well our measurements can be capturing the main variables of interest in our work? Whether the observational data collected is appropriate for testing our conceptualized model? Are there any possible sources of bias in the data that we should test for? Is there any better approach to analyze our data? Do we need to apply any specific type of robustness method to our work?

January 20th: Dhruba Banjade and David Diltz of the Finance Department


The January 20th presentation of the Research Incubator Seminar Series was scheduled for Wednesday, January 20 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams. Our presenters are Dhruba Banjade and David Diltz of the Department of Finance. The paper that they will present is titled “Environmental, Social, and Governance Scores and Firm Value.”.

Title: Environmental, Social, and Governance Scores and Firm Value
Presenters: Dhruba Banjade and David Diltz
When: Wednesday, January 20, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Where: Via Microsoft Teams

Abstract: Corporate social responsibility is vital to the interests of the modern corporation as investors, creditors, customers, government, and environmental agencies have placed greater emphasis on environmental protection, workplace safety, and effective governance. The ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) scores have been developed by the United Nations to address these issues. This paper examines the impact of ESG scores on firm value as indicated by Tobin's Q. We find that performance improves for those firms whose ESG scores exceed 50%, while ESG controversy scores negatively impact firm value. Moreover, we find that these relationships hold, even during the financial crisis (2007-2009) period.

Author’s note about the paper's "warts": Theoretically, many researchers claim that improvement in ESG scores improves firm performance. However, many research findings do not support this claim. Most of the research article find a negative association between ESG score and firm performance. We check the relationship between ESG score and firm performance at a different level of ESG scores. We find that firms should maintain an ESG score of more than 50% to reflect their ESG related activities into better firm performance. In most of the cases, we also find a negative association between ESG score and firm performance. We investigate the role of ESG scores in different periods. ESG controversy harm firm value.

December 2nd: Wayne Crawford of the Department of Management


Title: The Longitudinal Effects of Network-Member Excision on Layoff Survivors’ Social Network Resource-Acquisition Strategies and Performance
Presenter: Wayne S. Crawford
When: Wednesday, December 2, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Where: via Microsoft Teams

Abstract: This study examines network change following a disruptive event in an American hotel firm—downsizing—whereby many employees are simultaneously eliminated from a network. Applying a resource- and network-evolution approach to longitudinal communication-network and employee-performance data, we examine how survivors develop revised resource-acquisition strategies while repositioning themselves after a disruptive event. Specifically, we find that disruption initiates a transitional period in which new tie-making logics, including seeking out ties with long-tenured employees and employees outside of one’s department, are utilized. This facilitates substantial gains in betweenness centrality for some survivors, and these gains are positively associated with long-term employee performance. We observed post-disruption network stabilization, where logics used for tie-making in the disruption period were abandoned, pre-disruption logics were resumed, and betweenness centrality remained relatively constant. We use exponential random graph models to show how the network changed and latent change score modeling to examine whether changes in betweenness centrality predict performance. Our results demonstrate that two temporary logics of tie-formation—a suspension of within-unit homophily and a preference for seeking ties with long-tenured employees—help employees acquire betweenness centrality during the disruption period. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of these results and suggest future research directions.

Author’s note about the paper's "warts": In this manuscript we use a combination of SEM and network analysis to assess how survivors of a downsizing reorganize their social networks. We originally switched back and forth between using Conservation of Resources theory and network evolution theory to support our arguments, and ultimately developed our own logical arguments partially based on both for some hypotheses, but for other hypotheses we actually go against what these theories suggest (particularly in hypothesis 1b). One of our main struggles was that we assessed the interaction among employees at three different time periods (we measured betweenness centrality) but we were unable to directly speak to the exact motivation behind why people changed their interaction patterns post-downsizing. As an author team, we consistently argued about our ability to speak to this since we didn’t directly ask people about if they consciously changed their interaction patterns, and further, what would have motivated such change (this issue is primarily relevant for hypotheses 2a-c). This paper is currently under review, but we would welcome feedback on this aspect, as we are certain reviewers will bring it up. Any help that we might be afforded regarding thinking about the relevant theoretical mechanisms that would explain such interaction change would be greatly appreciated.

November 18th: Hila Fogel-Yaari of the Department of Accounting


Our presenter is Hila Fogel-Yaari of the Department of Accounting. The paper that she will present is titled “Financial Disclosure Quality’s Role in Fostering Trust: Evidence from the Relation between Disclosure Quality and Innovation.

Title: Financial Disclosure Quality’s Role in Fostering Trust: Evidence from the Relation between Disclosure Quality and Innovation
Presenter: Hila Fogel-Yaari
When: Wednesday, November 18, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Where: Microsoft Teams

Abstract: In principle, innovation and financial disclosure have little in common. Yet, previous studies have documented a positive association between financial disclosure quality and innovation. I shed light on this puzzle, by pointing to the fact that high quality disclosure fosters investors’ trust, and this trust provides firms the autonomy necessary for innovation. Trust is investors’ willingness to be vulnerable to the risk that the firm will fail their expectations in the short-run, i.e., trust is the tolerance for a firm’s short-term failure. I too document a positive association between disclosure quality and innovation and demonstrate that it is stronger when disclosure plays a more important role in fostering investor trust, including following events that erode trust and when “generalized trust” is high. Further, a path analysis delineates the impact of disclosure on access to financing, and provides further evidence on the importance of disclosure quality for fostering trust. This study contributes to the literature on the economic role of financial disclosure by highlighting that financial disclosure quality proffers a benefit beyond the standard moral hazard and adverse selection roles.

Author’s note about the paper's "warts": My biggest struggle with the paper is finding the right audience for it. It has been rejected from the top accounting journals, who do not acknowledge the importance of trust for the business world. The challenge is exacerbated by the difficulty in measuring trust empirically. In addition, the paper deals with innovation, where the literature is very broad and encompasses a few disciplines, so I would appreciate other researchers' prospective on this paper, and it would also be great to hear ideas that would strengthen the hypothesis development and research design.

Wednesday, October 21 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams.

Our presenter is Narayanan Janakiraman of the Department of Marketing. The paper that he will present is titled Not All Discounts Are Created Equal: Power Distance Belief and Locus-of-Discount in A Bundle..

Title: Not All Discounts Are Created Equal: Power Distance Belief and Locus-of-Discount in A Bundle
Presenter: Narayanan Janakiraman
When: Wednesday, October 21, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Where:Via Microsoft Teams

Author’s note about the paper's "warts": One of the big issues has been the theory that drives the effect. In essence what we show is that when bundles of products are sold [say a shampoo and a conditioner] should the discount be offered on the main product [e.g. shampoo] or the tie-in product [e.g. conditioner] and would it be affected by a key cultural construct [namely, power distance belief]. When we started the project the consistent finding was that in high power distance countries [e.g., India] discounts on the tie-in product were ignored while in low power distance countries [such as the US] discounts on either the main product or the tie-in product resulted in similar effect. What was indeed puzzling is that a discount on a tie-in product resulted in lower purchase intent belying common intuition that in countries such as India where discretionary income is lower any discount must make the product more attractive. A second issue apart from this suppressed purchase intent, was what is the theory that leads to this. We pursued various paths, and this month we finished an eye tracking study and a field study with actual consumers in the bookstore [which I have not included in the abstract but will in the presentation] makes us convinced on one account that leads to this effect which is the lack of attentional resources devoted to the tie in product by high power distance folks due to a tendency to discriminate. We will present this and see if we can refine our theory and the set of studies before we submit to the journal. As a final input what we would love the group to help us with is the substantive contribution part of our research. We provide as a part of Study 4 and other studies that brand names might play a role etc, but thinking through how a firm might be able to take advantage of our findings is still something we are struggling with.

Abstract: Four studies examine the relation between power distance belief – the tendency to accept and endorse inequalities – and preference for a discount on the focal (vs. tie-in) product in a bundle, the underlying mechanisms and boundary conditions. Our results have important implications for marketing theory and practice.

Wednesday, September 9 from 2:00-3:30 p.m via Microsoft Teams. Our presenter is Kay-Yut Chen of the Department of Information Systems & Operations Management. The paper that he will present is titled “Coping with Digital Extortion: An Experimental Study on Normative Appeals.

Title: Coping with Digital Extortion: An Experimental Study on Normative Appeals
Presenter: Kay-Yut Chen
When: Wednesday, September 9, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Where: Via Microsoft Teams

Abstract: Digital extortion emerges a significant threat to organizations that rely on information technologies for their business and operations. We study, with human-subject experimentation, how normative appeals may influence defenders’ engagement of investing in security and refusal to pay ransoms as mitigating strategies to this digital extortion threat. We explore the effects of four types of normative appeals: injunctive norms and descriptive norms promoting investing or not-paying ransoms. We find that the defenders’ decisions deviate from the predictions of game theory. However, given the strategic interactions between the defenders and the attacker as well as noisy decision-making behaviors, it is challenging to untangle the influence of the treatment interventions on the defenders. We develop a structural model using the quantal response equilibrium framework to determine how normative appeals change the defenders’ utilities of investing and not-paying. While interventions may be successful in increasing the utilities of investing and/or not-paying, their impacts are mitigated by the attacker reducing ransoms. Thus, it is challenging for an intervention to significantly boost a community’s investment rate or to suppress ransom payment rate. Based on the model, we characterize how security outcomes of a community (including expected ransoms, attack rate, investment rate, payment rate) change with the defenders’ utilities of investing and not-paying. The results to two new interventions, a penalty for paying ransoms and the ability for defenders to communicate via text chat, further validate the modeling results.

Author’s note about the paper's "warts": We would appreciate comments and suggestions on any aspects of the paper. We look forward to an enlivening discussion.

  • February 5th: Jivas Chakravarthy - Department of Accounting
  • March 18th: Mahyar Vaghefi - Department of Information Systems & Operations Management
  • April 15th: Narayanan Janakiraman - Department of Marketing
  • September 4th: John Adams - Department of Finance and Real Estate
  • October 2nd: David Rosser - Department of Accounting
  • November 13th: Jay Samuel - Department of Information Systems and Operations Management
  • January 30th: Ann McFadyen - Department of Management
  • February 20th: Yun Fan - Department of Accounting
  • March 20th: Adwait Khare - Department of Marketing
  • April 24th: Sridhar Nerur - Department of Information Systems and Operations Management
  • September 12th: Alper Nakkas - Department of Information Systems and Operations Management
  • October 17th: Sriram Villupuram - Department of Finance and Real Estate
  • November 14th: CY Choi - Department of Economics
  • January 24th: Wendy Casper - Department of Management
  • February 21st: Jennifer Zhang - Department of Information Systems and Operations Management
  • March 21st: Emmanuel Morales-Camargo - Department of Finance and Real Estate
  • April 18th: Wayne S. Crawford - Department of Management
  • September 6th: Bin Srinidhi - Department of Accounting
  • October 4th: David Rakowski - Department of Finance and Real Estate
  • November 1st: Ritesh Saini - Department of Marketing
  • November 29th: Jingguo Wang - Department of Information Systems and Operations Management
  • July 19th: Ann McFadyen - Department of Management
  • February 8th: David Rakowski - Department of Finance and Real Estate
  • March 8th: James Campbell Quick - Goolsby
  • April 5th: Alan R. Cannon - Department of Information Systems and Operations Management
  • May 3rd: Nandu J. Nagarajan - Department of Accounting
  • May 10th: Michael R. Ward - Department of Economics