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"Who Should Become a Business School Associate Dean? Individual Performance and Taking on Firm-Specific Roles" (with Jeff Dyer, David Kryscynski, and Shad Morris). Academy of Management Journal, 2021

  • ​Should both high and low performers make firm-specific investments? To answer this question, my coauthors and I analyze the careers of 4100 business school professors from 1990-2017. Surprisingly, we find that low- rather than high-performers (researchers) are most rewarded for making firm-specific investments (becoming associate dean).

In Progress

"The Emergence of Organizational Culture" (with Chris Bingham)

  • Revise and Resubmit at Strategic Management Journal.

  • Job market paper.

  • Culture is central to organizations and their outcomes. However, we know surprisingly little about how culture emerges because extant research generally examines large, established organizations. In this paper, I address this gap. I use an inductive longitudinal research design to study eight nascent technology companies over 22 months to generate a theory of culture emergence. My data point to the criticality of a few founder choices: how they imprint themselves on the organization, structure human capital, and manage the budding culture.  Further, my data reveal that several “best practices” suggested by practitioners for culture creation appear to be more detrimental than helpful. More broadly, my findings contribute to strategy and entrepreneurship.

"Startup as a Path to Entrepreneurship for Black Women" (with Travis Howell, Chris Bingham, and Sekou Bermiss)

  • Revise and Resubmit at Strategic Management Journal.

  • Dissertation chapter.

  • How can one of the most marginalized groups of entrepreneurs become empowered enough to be the most likely to found a business? Black women are very entrepreneurial at the local but are nearly nonexistent in high-growth entrepreneurship. I propose that an unexplored reason for this disparity is due to Black women rarely working as startup employees. By analyzing the careers of college graduates with similar abilities and preferences, I find that Black women who work as startup joiners become founders at greater rates than those from highly represented groups such as White males. 


"Who is Alpha and Does it Matter?" (with Brad Hendricks and Chris Bingham)

  • Reject and Resubmit at Strategic Management Journal.

  • Many leaders claim to hire people smarter than they are, but do they really? Videos of IPO roadshows pitches from 2011-2014 support this claim – the CEO is typically not perceived as the most competent TMT member. However, we show that this hurts instead of helps firm performance.

"How Do More (and Less) Effective Cofounder Teams Work Together?"

  • Dissertation chapter.

  • Cofounded ventures perform better than those that are solo-founded. However, the cofounder relationship is the top reason ventures fail. I study five cofounder teams for 18 months to develop an evolutionary view of how cofounders work together (or not) over time. Though cofounders often refer to their working relationship as a marriage, I find that those who reflect an arranged marriage work together much more effectively over time.

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