Past PhD theses

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EL FASSI Ismail - Three Essays on Management Control

Thesis committee: Prof. Daniel Oyon (supervisor), Prof. Antonio Davila (internal expert), Giovanni-Battista Derchi, EHL (external expert), Prof. Michael Burkert, University of Fribourg (external expert)

AbstractThis dissertation analyzes three drivers of firms’ long-term performance: stakeholder management, resource management and artificial intelligence (AI) tools management. In the first chapter, we use an exogenous setting to analyze how stakeholders’ power and urgency of their claims influence the relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance (CFP). Our results indicate that firms following a stakeholder salience approach outperform their peers and contributes both theoretically and empirically to the advancement of the stakeholder salience theory. It has also practical contributions helping managers define effective and context-dependent CSR activities in order to maximize CFP.

In the second chapter, the study examines the relationship between the asymmetric adjustments of costs to revenue increases and decreases (i.e., cost stickiness), capital structure and profitability. It introduces a novel measure of cost stickiness and addresses endogeneity issues using instrumental variables. Results indicate that high-sticky-cost firms have lower financial leverage, shorter debt maturity, higher cash holdings, but also higher profitability, adding to both the accounting and corporate finance literatures.

In the third chapter, we conduct a randomized field experiment that examines the algorithm appreciation phenomenon, where humans tend to trust AI advice more than advice from human peers (as opposed to algorithm aversion). We randomly assign subjects to two experimental groups receiving advice either labeled to come from an AI system or from human peers. Our results are in line with recent laboratory experiments documenting algorithm appreciation. However, we find that this greatly varies with subject characteristics with both male and high-knowledge subjects placing considerably less weight on AI advice.

RAHMANI Leïla - Three Essays on Sustainable Consumer Psychology and Behavior

Thesis committee: Prof. Sandor Czellar (supervisor), Prof. Tobias Schlager (internal expert), Prof. Susan Clayton, The College of Wooster (external expert)

Abstract: Global warming is a pressing issue which poses a significant challenge for humanity. Human activities have played a substantial role in climate change, emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to mitigate the environmental impacts of individual behaviors. An essential component of this effort is understanding our relationship with the natural environment. Environmental identity refers to the sense of connection to the natural world and is conceptualized as a dynamic interaction between individuals and their environment, shaping how humans perceive and interact with their surroundings. This dissertation contributes to the field of consumer behavior through the lens of identity theory to comprehend the impacts of environmental identity on sustainable consumer behavior. The first essay explores the nuanced meanings individuals attribute to nature by establishing a typology of nature-related associations and a nomological framework, providing a foundation for future research in environmental psychology and marketing. The second essay proposes an efficient strategy to activate environmental identity, demonstrated through a series of online- and laboratory studies using both scenario-based stimuli and actual marketing material. The research findings show that inviting consumers to consider their relationship with nature is more likely to lead to stronger environmental identity salience effects than inviting them to think about nature alone. The third essay advances research on environmental identity by developing a concise measurement of environmental identity salience (how frequently individuals think about their relationship with nature) and demonstrates the applied value of the new measure for the prediction of both self-reported and actual behaviors.

MAHENDIRAN Shreekanth - Essays on the Role of Reputation in the Markets for Technology

Thesis committee: Prof. Jean-Philippe Bonardi (supervisor), Prof. Chirantan Chatterjee, University of Sussex (co-supervisor), Prof. Giorgio Zanarone (internal expert), Prof. Gary Dushnitsky, London Business School (external expert)

AbstractNew technological advances have brought renewed focus into the importance of reputation and trust in overcoming the imperfections in the markets for technology. It has inspired three chapters that explores the role of reputation in influencing the financing opportunities of innovative ventures and protection of upstream innovative technologies through trademarks.

The first chapter of my dissertation examines the effectiveness of a tough reputation in deterring future trademark infringement, focusing on pharmaceutical market in India. Our empirical analysis, supported by a stylized theoretical model, suggests that tough reputation by trademark-holding firms induces competitors to name their competing trademarks much more differently – especially in lucrative markets.

The second chapter delves into how misconduct allegations against startups influences the financing opportunities of technologically-similar, yet innocent, startups. We theorize that investors' exhibit both forced and strategic behavior to protect their reputation, thereby resulting in reduced financing opportunities for technologically similar startups. Our empirical evidence supports the same, highlighting the heterogeneity by type of misconduct allegations.

The final chapter examines how investors network evolve over time in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Leveraging misconduct allegations against startups as an external shock to an investors' reputation, the research finds that co-investors reduce their investment amounts and deal sizes with tainted investors following the revelation of misconduct allegations.


SCHWEGLER Yasmin - A Multi-Method Exploration of Individual and Social Mechanisms in Environmental Entrepreneurship

Thesis committee:

Prof. Jeffrey Petty (supervisor), Prof. Déborah Philippe (internal expert), Prof. Oana Branzei, Ivey Business School, Western University (external expert)


This thesis explores how mechanisms on the individual and social level influence the attractiveness and the success of environmental entrepreneurship. In the first chapter, we compare environmental and conventional entrepreneurs in a qualitative multi-case study. Our results about the activist or opportunist nature of different environmental entrepreneurs provide insights for initiatives that intend to foster environmental entrepreneurship, regarding the need to adapt their policies and programs to the type of environmental entrepreneur. The second chapter provides an overview of the individual and social-level drivers and hindrances of environmental entrepreneurship. We complement the extant knowledge about environmental entrepreneurs and their stakeholders with literature about environmental attitudes, behavior, social norms, and legitimacy. Our resulting conceptual model explains how environmental entrepreneurship can be fostered and hindered through the individual and social valuation of environmental value. In the third chapter, we use an experiment to test whether several different forms of awareness of environmental problems lead to environmental entrepreneurial intent. The findings clarify that only public and not personal awareness have a positive effect on environmental entrepreneurial intent, which enables institutions that seek to foster environmental entrepreneurship to promote it in an effective way.

KURTOVIĆ Hrvoje - Essays on Financial Markets and Private Equity

Thesis committee: Prof. Garen Markarian (supervisor), Prof. Paul André (internal expert), Prof. John Heater, Duke University (external expert)

AbstractThe recent period of global economic tumult, catalyzed by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, has highlighted the importance of understanding various elements within the financial market landscape. It has inspired three research papers focusing on the rather new role of some private equity firms being listed on exchanges and the belief formation process of market participants.

The first part of my dissertation examines the risk and performance of listed private equity firms (LPEs), an understudied industry in the financial market. LPEs carry twice the debt as other public firms but do not demonstrate any unique share price performance. The Covid-19 crisis exposed the riskiness and opacity of such investments, causing them to underperform.

The second chapter delves deeper into how LPEs responded to this unforeseen pandemic, and what factors drove their value during this period. LPEs, on average, did poorly throughout the crisis. However, there is variation among LPEs depending on their access to capital, business risk, transparency, and ownership structure, indicating the complex nature of private equity firm valuation.

The final section of my work challenges the common practice of using the divergence in analysts’ earnings per share forecasts as a direct measure of investor disagreement. I find that the interplay between investor disagreement and forecast uncertainty plays a considerable role in asset mispricing. Higher investor disagreement, especially when conditioned on analysts’ forecasts, amplifies mispricing, with this effect being more pronounced around earnings announcements.

MÄNDLI Fabian -Three Essays on Dynamic Media Exposure and the Related Methodological Issues of Control Variable Selection and Automated Sentiment Analysis

Thesis committee: Prof. Jean-Philippe Bonardi (supervisor), Dr. Estefania Amer Maistriau (co-supervisor), Prof. Patrick Haack (internal expert), Prof. Michalis Vlachos (internal expert), Prof. Michael Etter, King's College (external expert)

AbstractMy doctoral thesis investigates dynamic media exposure of firms and two related important methodological issues. Chapter 1 illustrates that due to unfolding dynamics in negative media coverage, firms might become trapped in spirals of negative reporting over time. However, it also shows that firms can emit press releases and nurture positive news to prevent such spirals. Chapter 2 is driven by the challenge of selecting control variables for causal identification in the first chapter. The chapter confirms that control variable selection should be driven by existing theory and complemented with causal graphs to identify endogenous controls. Both examined perspectives on control variables – using few controls vs. using many controls – in many cases might yield biased estimates if their specific recommendations are being applied. Chapter 3 examines whether the manual sentiment coding of the news articles in chapter 1 could have been realized with automated approaches commonly used in management research. It shows that none of the methods are sufficiently accurate, but that novel large language models might present a valid option. Overall, this thesis highlights that empirical analysis of complex topics demands taking sensible decisions regarding methodological aspects, as such choices might affect results heavily.

BEKBERGENOVA Anely - Charisma and Gender in Pitching

Thesis committee: Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast (supervisor), Prof. John Antonakis (co-supervisor), Prof. Franciska Krings (internal expert), Prof. Janine Bosak, DCU Business School (external expert)

Abstract: Although charismatic leadership has been the topic of many research articles, it is unclear whether it is equally effective for women and for men and whether women and men use charisma in the same manner. Furthermore, is charismatic leadership equally effective in the academic or entrepreneurial settings out of scope of traditional leadership? I try to answer these questions in my doctoral dissertation, seeking to expand the knowledge about areas of effectiveness of charisma and to investigate whether charisma’s effectiveness for women and men, through conducting controlled experiments, field studies, while using innovative research methods. In the first paper I explore whether charisma is effective in the academic context, through the investigation of public speaking competitions for doctoral students. In the second paper I look at the impact of verbal charisma and gendered communication styles in the entrepreneurial pitches for women and men entrepreneurs. Also, I investigate whether women and men naturally use gendered communication styles in their charismatic speeches. In the third paper I disentangle verbal and nonverbal charisma using virtual humans in the context of entrepreneurial pitching. The findings of the first paper show the potency of verbal and nonverbal charismatic tactics on the success of doctoral students in academic pitching competitions. The findings of the second paper show that in some cases a gender-congruent writing style in an entrepreneurial pitch is detrimental to funding prospects, thus a gender-neutral writing style might be preferable. The findings of the third paper show that charisma can be perceived to the same extent when enacted by real or by virtual humans. Nevertheless, using verbal or nonverbal charisma does not seem to make a significant difference on the perceived market potential of the venture when used by of female or male virtual entrepreneurs. An additional contribution of this thesis is the application of methodological innovations, such as the tracking of nonverbal behavior using Openpose, the use of deepfake, and virtual humans to create stimulus material. 

REZAEE Behzad - Decision-Making Processes and Influential Cues in Social Media

Thesis committee: Prof. Markus Christen (supervisor), Prof. Tobias Schlager (internal expert), Prof. Bruno Kocher, University of Neuchâtel (external expert)

Abstract: In the current era of digitization, the widespread use of social media has transformed our communication methods. People can effortlessly share personal stories and opinions, connect with loved ones, obtain news from various sources, and follow their favorite brands. The advent of social media inundates us with a constant stream of information, which, despite its diverse purposes, consumes a significant portion of our time and cognitive effort. However, this abundance of data does not necessarily guarantee optimal decision-making. As Herbert A. Simon pointed out, an excess of information can overwhelm our focus and attention (1971). The human cognitive system, with its limited processing capacity, is prone to compromised decision-making quality when exposed to an overload of information. This can result in a trade-off between efficiency and accuracy in assessing information. To address this challenge, consumers often rely on specific cues and heuristics to aid their decision-making on social media. This thesis, comprising three articles, aims to investigate the signals and cues individuals use when searching for information to make informed decisions in the online realm.

FANNIN Jeremy - Emerging Technology and Media: Three Essays Exploring the Impact and Potential Uses of Two Forms of Emerging Technology - Deepfakes and Virtual Reality

Thesis committee: Prof. Tobias Schlager (supervisor), Prof. Sandor Czellar (internal expert), Prof. Youjung Jun, Yonsei University (external expert)

AbstractWithin three essays, this dissertation explores the impact of two new and emerging forms of technology – Deepfakes and Virtual Reality. Two of the three essays take a specific look at audiovisual disinformation and the impact which certain intervention techniques have on attitudes, as well as aiding in judgements. The first essay explores the impact of deepfake videos – videos generated utilizing AI technology – as well as the effectiveness of intervention techniques found on social media used to combat such content. Results show that deepfake videos have a negative impact on the depicted persons reputation, while existing intervention techniques help but do not fully attenuate the negative impact. The second essay expands upon this by incorporating general manipulated videos. Here, we look at how successful individuals are at judging between authentic and manipulated video content. Results show that individuals are much worse at judging manipulated video content compared to the same textual content. Furthermore, when presented with the option to seek additional information to aid in judgement, individuals subsequently become much better at judging manipulated video. However, a downstream effect to this is individuals’ inability to successfully judge real video content when presented with additional information. The third and final essay is a conceptual piece looking at the potential of virtual reality as an experimental setting within marketing research. Within this essay, we argue for the benefits and downfalls of utilizing VR throughout the experimental process. Certain disadvantages include effort (e.g., programming), cost of set up (e.g., participant payment), potential experimenter effect, and capturing self-reported measures. Oppositely, we argue that VR has certain advantages including stimulus bandwidth (i.e., capability to design both real and unimaginable stimuli), standardization of procedure, situational control, and ability to collect behavioral and physiological measures in a controlled setting. Overall, this thesis shows both the harms and benefits of emerging technology in a variety of different contexts.


AALTVEDT Morten - Crisis Sensemaking and Meaning Conflicts

Thesis committee: Prof. Déborah Philippe (supervisor), Prof. Guido Palazzo (internal expert), Prof. Bernard Forgues, Emlyon Business School (external expert), Prof. Thomas Roulet, University of Cambridge (external member)

Abstract: My dissertation consists of three chapters on the role of sensemaking at different phases of crises. Meaning conflicts – a specific outcome of sensemaking - can be understood as sensemaking processes that produce retrospective and prospective understandings that are in direct conflict with understandings held by others. The first chapter of the dissertation investigates the role of meaning conflicts that emerged during the signal detection phase of a crisis. The findings indicate that the presence of meaning conflicts had the potential to prevent the situation from developing into an acute crisis. The second chapter focuses on the effect of meaning conflicts on the overall trajectory of crises. The chapter shows that meaning conflicts that emerged in the recovery phase of a crisis altered the trajectory of the crisis in two critical ways: 1) it prolonged the overall duration of the crisis, and 2) it broadened the scope of the crisis in the sense that actors that were not initially involved became implicated by entering the meaning conflicts. The third chapter assesses the problematic consequences of using inquiry processes in crisis recovery. The chapter reveals that meaning hierarchies are likely to exist in crises, and that the inquiry process may result in a more complicated recovery process.

GRUBAN Moritz - Three Essays on Legitimacy

Thesis committee: Prof. Patrick Haack (supervisor), Prof. Déborah Philippe (internal expert), Prof. Thomas Roulet, University of Cambridge (external expert), Prof. Roy Suddaby, University of Victoria (external expert), Prof. Georg Wernicke, HEC Paris (external expert)

Abstract: In my thesis I study how morally contested practices become legitimate. The first chapter of my thesis examines the role of professionals in legitimating waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In this research, I show how professionals working for the CIA used the trappings of scientific expertise and scientific discourse to distinguish between legitimate EITs and illegitimate practices of torture. In the second chapter of my dissertation, I conduct three experiments to study the effects of moral framing and self-interest on legitimacy judgments and on support for an individual’s decision. I find that framing and self-interest have significant effects on individual behavior but that these effects cancel out when eliciting legitimacy judgments before measuring behavior. This result suggests that the link between the formation of legitimacy judgments and the expression of behaviors is less straightforward than commonly assumed. In the third chapter, I develop a process model that explains how stakeholders come to view an organization that advances market practices, which infringe prevailing moral norms, as acceptable.

De SAINT PRIEST Oriana - Three Essays on Power and Diversity

Thesis committee: Prof. Christian Zehnder (supervisor), Prof. Franciska Krings (co-supervisor), Prof. Rafael Lalive (internal expert), Prof. Eva Derous, Ghent University (external expert)

AbstractThis thesis focuses on two management topics that are currently of pivotal importance in scholarly debate and practice alike: power and diversity. Research on power has indeed been very active and it has resulted in many conclusions being drawn about power, such as power corrupts, power increases risk-taking and power increases social distance. My first thesis chapter contributes to the power literature by aiming to elucidate whether it might not be misguided to establish conclusions about power in general, while power in reality comes in various forms with potentially different effects on attitudes and behaviors. This first chapter reveals positive results for the power literature, insofar as the effects of power do not seem to depend on subtle changes in the way in which power is framed.

The second topic of my thesis relates to diversity. My second thesis chapter focuses specifically on the impact of family choices on wages. By analyzing a large dataset, I reveal the importance of the responsibility for emergency childcare duties in causing wage differentials between men and women. In addition, there is evidence that self-employed women and managers are not punished for motherhood, which suggests that employer discrimination as well as lack of work flexibility play a role in explaining the gender wage gap. My third thesis chapter builds on my second chapter to suggest ways in which business leaders can devise effective practices aimed at improving diversity. Across four online studies, this chapter provides evidence that a pro-diversity culture communication aimed at promoting age diversity in teams succeeds at increasing the selection rate of older persons into teams.

SU Janet -Three Essays on Narratives in the Context of Grand Challenges

Thesis committee: Prof. Guido Palazzo (supervisor), Prof. Gaia Melloni (co-supervisor), Prof. Sonja Vogt (internal expert), Prof. Anette Mikes, Oxford University (external expert), Prof. Charles Cho, York University (external expert)

AbstractUsing the recent COVID-19 and climate change crises as a research context, this dissertation presents a theorization of the role of narratives/risk disclosure in the new normal. In chapter 1, we set up the theoretical framework of the new normal, highlighting key components that may lead to greater transparency in corporate sustainability reporting disclosure. Chapter 2 presents an empirical test of COVID-19 risk disclosures made in the peak of the pandemic, testing for the presence of COVID-washing. Finally, chapter 3 uses qualitative methods to study climate change narratives spread through documentaries, offering suggestions on how to better combat the spread of misinformation.


KLEINBAUER Tyler - Three Essays in Management: Methods, Empirics, History and Critique

Thesis committee: Prof. John Antonakis (supervisor), Prof. Christian Zehnder (internal expert), Prof. Mikko Rönkkö, Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics (external expert), Prof. Jeffrey R. Edwards, Kenan-Flager Business School, University of North Carolina (external expert)

Abstract: My thesis contains three research projects. In my first chapter, I evaluate the use and utility of a family of statistical techniques called “relative importance analysis”. These techniques aim to partition the amount of variation in a variable, like work performance, between a set of other factors that are thought to be related. Using mathematical demonstrations and MonteCarlo simulations I show that these techniques do not work as intended and their use should be abandoned in favor of OLS regression. In my second chapter, I investigate whether leaders matter for economic growth in the 50 states of the USA. To do so, I collected economic and election data from 1963 to 2019 yielding 2985 observations which I analyzed using a variance-decomposition model. The idea is that when a new governor is elected, and there is a change in the administration of a state, that change may cause a change in GDP growth, and indeed we find that governors and their administrations are responsible for 2.36% of the variation in GDP growth. In the third chapter of my thesis, I trace the history and development of management as an academic discipline from 1940 to 2022. I identify the major research themes across time and narrate the development of the field. I also create a list of the 20 publications that most affected the field of management. I then critique two of the influential publications to highlight some of the theoretical and methodological problems plaguing our field and provide suggestions on how to solve them.


KADJI Kéou - Three Essays on the Interaction between Gender and Self-disclosure on the Recipient's Outcomes and Perception of the Discloser in Hierarchical Relationships

Thesis committee: Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast (supervisor); Prof. Franciska Krings (internal expert); Prof. Judith Hall, Northeastern University (external expert)

AbstractIt is difficult to imagine an organizational environment that does not require one person to interact with another (Singh, 2014) because everyone is constantly communicating regardless of their social group, age, gender, religion, or ethnic background (Widhiastuti, 2013). This thesis examines one communication strategy in particular, which is self-disclosure and its consequences in both formal and informal hierarchical relationships namely supervisor-subordinate relationship and physician-patient relationship. In fact, this thesis uses survey type studies, a controlled laboratory setting and Mturk, to examine how the individual who receives the disclosure (“the receiver”) reacts to the discloser’s statements. In the first paper, physician self-disclosure is investigated during medical consultations through two different studies. In the second paper, the role of physician gender and physician self-disclosure on consultation outcomes is empirically investigated, on how patients perceive the physician and how they react to the physician (i.e., disclosure reciprocity). In the third paper, the relationship between supervisor gender, supervisor self-disclosure and subordinates’ perception of their supervisor is empirically investigated. This thesis contributes to the understanding of how individuals can improve interpersonal communication between them and others in different contexts.

LEGERET Matthieu - Three Essays in Decision Making

Thesis committee: Prof. Ulrich Hoffrage (supervisor); Prof. Christian Zehnder (co-supervisor); Prof. Patrick Haack (internal expert); Prof. Ralph Herwig, Max-Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin (external expert)

Abstract: My thesis consists of three independent essays on human decision making. The first chapter focuses on the dynamics of individual morality in environments with temptation shocks. I report results of an incentivized online experiment that are consistent with limited self-awareness in moral contexts. The second chapter investigates leader selection, and advocates that selecting underperforming leaders can be optimal for a group because the appointment of a talented leader may be associated with substantial opportunity costs if the candidate is also very effective in the follower position. We develop a model that exploits the logic behind comparative advantages and extend it to different organizational contexts. The third chapter proposes a novel typology of organizational changes, based on the characteristics of an organization’s environment and the learning strategies used by the organizational members.

BURRUS Inès - Three Essays on the Future of Smallholder Farming: Radical Change as a Condition to Maintain Agricultural Production

Thesis committee: Prof. Guido Palazzo (supervisor); Prof. Patrick Haack (internal expert); Prof. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, UNIGE (external expert); Prof. Andreas Rasche, Copenhagen Business School (external expert)


Abstract: This thesis is important for organisation and management studies (OMS) because it focuses on rural work environments in the agri-food sector, which is all-too-often ignored or forgotten in this field. It is an attempt to bring to the fore smallholder farming issues, linking them to the institutional realities of our time. The three qualitative studies of my PhD thesis provide a coherent story about rural youth, smallholder farming and the alleviation of rural poverty by multinational corporations. In the first essay I listen to the voices of rural youth and their motivation for staying or leaving rural areas and smallholder farming. In the second essay the focus shifts from farmers to managers. I look at how MNCs respond to rural youth exodus and rural poverty. Finally, I examine in the third essay why firms fail in that endeavour. I argue that a sustainable business future where inequality does not persist can only be envisioned by embracing a new economic order and provide solutions to make this possible.

FANI Valentina - Mergers and Acquisitions, Competition, and Performance

Thesis committee: Prof. Jean-Philippe Bonardi (supervisor), Prof. Olivier Bertrand, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Brazil (co-supervisor); Prof. Xavier Castañer (internal expert); Prof. Laurence Capron, INSEAD (external expert); Prof. Taco Reus, Rotterdam School of Management (external expert)

Abstract: Motivated by three growing and increasingly important categories of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As), this thesis focuses on global megadeals, acquisitions of start-ups by incumbents, in particular spinout acquisitions, and large M&As with antitrust implications. While research on M&As has traditionally defined the success or failure of an acquisition by its ability to enhance the competitive advantage of the acquiring firms, this thesis shows that this is not so straightforward by investigating the competitive and regulative environments surrounding M&As. In particular, the first two studies of the thesis point out that competitors might react to minimize different sources of competitive advantages, including financial economies potentially achieved through the exploitation of country-specific institutional advantages (first study) and knowledge gains that could stem from accessing valuable technological resources and capabilities inherited and developed by spinouts (second study). Besides considering the external competitive environment, the third study of this thesis suggests acquiring firms to vigorously focus on their interactions with antitrust authorities when their M&As are closely scrutinized because of competition concerns. Such business-antitrust institution interactions can result in enforcements that this thesis presents as fruitful exploration opportunities.


PALESE Tristan - Three essays on behavioral adaptability in the leadership context

Thesis committee: Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast (supervisor), Prof. Franciska Krings (internal expert), Prof. Judith Hall, Northeastern University (external expert)

Abstract: In this thesis, it is argued that behavioral adaptability is an essential skill for managers in that it would allow them to adapt their leadership style to the respective expectations of their different subordinates. This individualized consideration would lead to more satisfied and therefore more productive employees. The first paper of this thesis focuses on the link between behavioral adaptability and the ability to recognize emotions. The results suggest that being able to recognize emotions could be linked, in women, to the development of adaptability skills, but only for behaviors that foster social relationship between managers and their subordinates. The second paper investigates the link between social dominance orientation - the desire for one's own group to dominate and be superior to other groups - and behavioral adaptability according to subordinates’ group membership. The results show that social dominance orientation may be negatively related to behavioral adaptability in people belonging to "low status" social groups, regardless of the group membership of the subordinates. These results suggest that it would be relevant to select people low in social dominance orientation for management positions. Finally, the third paper highlights the fact that it is important for managers to adapt to their subordinates in a transparent way if they are confronted with subordinates having different expectations. Indeed, managers who behave differently between two subordinates without any apparent reason might tend to be perceived more negatively.

LONATI Sirio - Contributions to Establishing Causality in Management Studies: Three Essays on Experimental methods, latent Moderated Models and the Origins of Organizational Leadership

Thesis committee: Prof. John Antonakis (supervisor), Prof. Christian Zehnder (co-supervisor), Prof. Charles Efferson (internal expert), Prof. Jeffrey Edwards, University of North Carolina (external expert), Prof. Mikko Rönkkö, Jyväskylä University (external expert)

Abstract: Over the past years, the management field has been challenged to raise its “methodological game”, especially concerning the estimation of causal relationships. My doctoral dissertation tackles some of the empirical and theoretical difficulties linked to establishing causality credibly in our discipline. The first chapter studies how to ensure causally interpretable experimental effects, with a specific attention to organizational research. The second essay focuses on a workhorse for management scholars, namely, moderated models. In particular, it proposes and probes in a Monte Carlo simulation a novel procedure for assessing the consistency of latent moderated effects when the linear components of an interaction term are measured with error. In the last chapter of the dissertation, I turn to field data and explore empirically the ultimate causes of different organizational leadership styles thanks to an unusual theoretical prism inspired by evolutionary-informed social sciences.

VOLPENTESTA Valeria - Three Essays on Board Interlocks and Financial Outcomes

Thesis committee: Prof. Paul André (supervisor), Prof. Alain Schatt (internal expert), Prof. Ann Gaereminck, Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven (external expert), Prof. Antonio Parbonetti, Department of Economics and Management, University of Padua (external expert)

Abstract: Interlocking directorates, i.e., two or more firms sharing a common director, form complex inter-organizational relationships that have attracted much interest from researchers in the past few decades. We investigate accounting and financial outcomes in relation to two unique types of interlocking directorates (i.e., financial interlocks and auditor-director interlocks). In the first chapter, we explore the role of financial interlocks (board directors from financial institutions) on the relationship between ownership structure and the cost of debt for Italian listed firms. We show that while concentrated ownership has a positive association with the cost of debt, financial interlocks act as a monitoring device moderating this relationship. In the second chapter, we investigate the role of interlocks among board directors and external auditors on the quality of financial reporting. For a sample of firms listed in Germany, France and the UK, we show that interlocks involving executive directors reduce auditors’ independence and decrease financial reporting quality. On the contrary, interlocks involving audit committee non-executive directors represent a channel to reinforce the co-operation with auditors towards ensuring higher financial reporting quality. Finally, the third chapter explores the association of auditor-director interlocks with the outcomes of the negotiations for audit and non-audit services. The findings in each country suggest that this association is ultimately related to both the institutional environment and the risks faced by directors and auditors.


KEANE Allister - Three Essays on Ownership Structure and Corporate Governance in the Banking Industry

Thesis committee: Prof. Alain Schatt (supervisor), Prof. Paul André (internal expert), Prof. Kiridiran Kanagaretnam, York University, Canada (external expert), Prof. Marleen Willekens, KU Leuven (external expert)

Abstract: A decade ago, several banks experienced financial difficulties around the world. In the wake of the global financial crisis, policy makers and regulators encouraged reforms to improve the resilience of the banking sector. Some debates have focused on the weaknesses of banks in terms of ownership structure, corporate governance and risk management. This thesis provides original results on these topics, in particular on the influence of risk committees at the board level on bank solvency risk, and on the behaviour of state-owned banks in terms of credit risk and financial reporting quality. 

KHADEMI Mahshid - Interpersonal Power in Organizational Context: Empirical and Methodological Advances

Thesis committee: Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast (supervisor), Prof. Christian Zehnder (internal expert), Prof. Petra Schmid, ETH Zürich (external expert)

Abstract: Power as the influence that one can exert over others is the fundamental force in our social interactions. Power can predict organizational outcomes such as manager’s level of influence and effectiveness, employees’ commitment, innovative behavior, performance, and job satisfaction. This thesis, set out to better understand the dark side of power in organizational context by running experiments. I investigated the questions such as “Does power corrupt everyone?” and “how dominance can be mitigated in working groups?”. This thesis also intended to take a very first step to achieve methodological clarity in the field.  In the first paper, I developed a method to induce power in a robust and consequential manner in experimental settings. In the second paper, I used this method to investigate the effect of power on unethical conducts. I showed that it is not power per se but also the individual differences that lead to unethical decision making in high power positions. Finally, in my last paper I looked into the role of dominance and how it can be mitigated in interdependent task groups where members need to equally contribute to reach a collective outcome.

BORISOVA Anastasiia - Three Essays on Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures and the Transition to Mandatory CSR Reporting in Europe

Thesis committee: Prof. Paul André (supervisor), Prof. Alain Schatt (internal expert), Prof. Giovanna Michelon, Bristol University (external expert), Prof. Charles H. Cho, Schulich Business School, York University (external expert)

Abstract: Transition to mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in Europe following Directive 2014/95/EU in 2014 opens new possibilities for comprehensive analysis of non-financial reporting in an environment of regulatory change. A significant fraction of CSR information exists in the form of text, and the number of entities required to publish this information includes all large European companies. Textual nature of data and lack of uniform presentation call for non-traditional tools to measure the change in reporting quality and its capital market effects. We address this issue using textual analysis, which seems to be a promising channel to capture regulatory impact. While isolating CSR discussion and analysis in a dedicated report is not an issue, its extraction from the annual report requires developing an adapted algorithm. The first chapter of the thesis describes such an algorithm developed for that purpose. In our second chapter, we analyze CSR reporting by large European listed companies pre and post-adoption of Directive 2014/95/EU mandating non-financial reporting in the European Union. In our final chapter, our primary focus is to analyze the capital market consequences of mandatory CSR reporting around the new Directive. Overall, this study contributes to CSR literature investigating economic consequences of disclosure regulations, summarizing CSR narratives with alternative measures besides non-transparent ratings and extending scope of CSR disclosure analysis by including annual reports.

KHAN Umair - Three Essays on Microfoundations of Strategic Decisions

Thesis committee: Prof. José Mata (supervisor), Prof. Jean-Philippe Bonardi (internal expert), Prof. Markus Menz, University of Geneva (external)

Abstract: Using microfoundational perspective, this thesis looks at the role of CEOs in the strategic decision making. The first paper looks at the impact of executive general managerial skills on exploration and exploitation. We found that diversity of CEOs lifetime experience has a positive link with exploration and exploitation. Second paper explores the role of CEO narcissism in the innovation strategy of the firm. Using succession events in innovative industries, we found that firms run by highly narcissistic CEOs invest more in R&D, undertake more technological acquisitions and introduce new products at a much faster rate compared to less narcissistic CEOs. Third paper of this thesis looks at the influence of CEO narcissism on the location choice in cross-border acquisitions. Using novel measure of CEO narcissism from the quarterly earnings conference calls, we found that firms run by highly narcissistic CEOs are more likely to enter distant countries in terms of culture, political system, geography and level of economic development. We also found that the gap between performance and aspiration negatively moderates the relationship between CEO narcissism and distance.

AOUN Adam - Three Essays on R&D Investments in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Thesis committee: Prof. Alain Schatt (supervisor), Prof. Paul André (internal expert), Prof. Beatriz Garcia Osma, Universidad Carlos III Madrid (external expert)

Abstract: Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry is critical for the treatment of diseases. To produce new drugs, pharmaceutical firms engage in risky and long-term R&D investments. This thesis contributes to the debate on the determinants and the consequences of R&D investments, by providing new results on the influence of corporate governance on R&D strategy, the financial market reaction to R&D alliances, and the usefulness of clinical trial disclosure (i.e., non-financial information) for financial analysts.


DESMICHEL Perrine - Three essays on luxury consumer behavior

Thesis committee: Prof. Bruno Kocher (supervisor), Prof. Sandor Czellar (internal expert), Prof. David Dubois, INSEAD (external expert)

Abstract: Across three essays, the present thesis tries to answer some of the issues faced by luxury brands. In the first essay, Prof. Kocher and myself study the differences between the purchase-experiences that take place either in luxury multi-brand stores or in luxury single brand stores. We observe that the shopping experience is less hedonic (i.e., pleasurable) in multi-brand (vs. single-brand) stores, which increase consumers’ desire to compare multiple brands during their purchase decision. In the second essay, together with Prof. Ordabayeva and Prof. Kocher, we compare how individuals perceive iconic versus ephemeral luxury signals. We find evidence for the fact that ephemeral goods reflect the high status of their owners, but also signal that this status is more achieved (through effort) than ascribed (from a rich family). In the last essay, I try to define the conditions in which luxury brands could use aggressive imageries. In each essay, I share some of the implications for consumers and luxury brands.

DABROWSKA- LESCZYNSKA Angieska - Scent message elaboration: conceptualization, measurement and impact on brand perceptions

Thesis committee: Prof. Felicitas Morhart (co-supervisor), Prof. Sandor Czellar (co-supervisor), Prof. Tobias Schlager (internal expert), Prof. David E. Sprott, Washington State University (external expert)

Abstract: This PhD thesis introduces the idea that people differ in their abilities to think and deliberate over scents. For example, the scent of gingerbread can be thoroughly or shallowly thought over; some people can smell this scent and think a lot about Christmas time, shopping malls, coffee, tea etc., whereas others might only determine that it is a pleasant scent. I conceptualize this phenomenon as scent message elaboration and develop its measurement tool: the SMEL3A scale. I show that the more a scent is elaborated, the more scent-related objects like brands can be experienced and valued. This knowledge can be used by retailers, perfumery houses, cosmetics and food industry managers to identify those customers who are more prone to deliberate over the world of scents.

TUR Benjamin - Three essays on leadership

Thesis committee: Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast (supervisor), Prof. John Antonakis (co-supervisor), Prof. Christian Zehnder (internal expert), Prof. Deanne den Hartog, University of Amsterdam (external expert)

Abstract: Leaders are at the core of organisational success. They can motivate followers beyond expectations, make strategic decisions or shape the future of their team. In this thesis, I built on the existing literature and investigated three research questions. The first essay investigated the effects of charismatic signalling in social media and informal leader-follower relationships. Considering that politicians, scientists and activists often take the debate to the likes of Twitter or Youtube, I collected data on TED Talks and Twitter and found that charisma has a positive effect on social influence. The second essay ought to answer a different question and tested whether charismatic signalling could increase trust between a leader and his subordinates and whether subordinates would punish charismatic leaders more for breaking their promise. Using three incentivised experiments, we did not find conclusive evidence for our hypotheses. Finally, the third paper challenged existing theories of leader selection and suggested that, under certain circumstances, selecting underperforming leaders could be beneficial to the group. Building on the idea that opportunity costs were too often neglected, I proposed a theoretical of leader selection that explains under which circumstances underperforming leaders increase group performance.

ELSARAFY Amro - Three essays on uncertainty, resources and organizations

Thesis committee: Prof. Jean-Philippe Bonardi (supervisor), Prof. Guido Palazzo (internal expert), Prof. Ulf Andersson, Mälardalen University (external expert)

Abstract: The overarching focus of this dissertation project is on how organizations use resources to handle uncertainty, the various ramifications thereof, and how attempts to deal with uncertainty are limited by bounded rationality. While at first glance they may seem to have little in common, two theories employed in this dissertation are in fact similar in how they approach the topic of organizations employing resources to manage uncertainty: Pfeffer and Salancik’s Resource Dependence Theory and Knight’s Theory of Profit.
Overall, organizations, including their subunits, handle uncertainty through resource diversification, but this strategy is limited by the cognitive abilities of the decision-makers. Further, this cognitive limitation results in tradeoffs, faced by firms, that lead to organizational ramifications, which are explored uniquely in each paper of this dissertation. In the first paper, the tradeoff is between subsidiary internal and external embeddedness, where the ramification is subsidiary power decline. In the second paper, the tradeoff is between subsidiary internal power and external power, where the ramification is goal incongruences between the focal subunit and the HQ. In the third paper, the tradeoff is between risk and uncertainty, where the ramification is a penalty of risk-bearing but a reward for uncertainty-bearing.

GHIASSALEH Arezou - How can retailers enhance consumer shopping experience? Effects of popularity signs and product categorizations on consumer decision making

Thesis committee: Prof. Bruno Kocher (supervisor), Prof. Felicitas Morhart (internal expert), Prof. Sascha Alavi, Ruhr Universität (external expert)

Abstract: Across three essays, this PhD thesis aims at providing a better understanding of the strategies used by retailers to enhance consumer shopping experience. Essay 1 examines the effect of popularity signs (e.g., best seller) on consumer post-choice behavior. The results indicate that commonly used popularity signs, rather than helping consumers, might create greater decision complexity, increase choice uncertainty and decrease choice commitment for consumers with a prevention (vs. promotion) focus. Essay 2 disentangles the impacts of conceptual and perceptual categorization cues. The findings show that conceptual (vs. perceptual) categorization induces a rational thinking process, increases the time consumers spend in store, as well as the number of products they buy. Essay 3 investigates the impact of consumers’ feelings of control on their responses to different stimuli in the decision environment. I show that consumers with low (vs. high) relative control or high (vs. low) absolute control make their decisions based on their cognitions (vs. affect) and are more satisfied with product categorization (vs. structure). The findings of this thesis provide valuable insights for marketers in both online and offline contexts.

GIOABA Irina - Three essays on employment age discrimination

Thesis committee: Prof. Franciska Krings (supervisor), Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast (internal expert), Prof. Michael North, New York University (external expert)

Abstract: The world population is getting older by the minute. United Nations declares population ageing as one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century. One of the major consequences of the rampant growth of ageing population is the increasing number of older individuals who choose to remain active in the workforce. Despite this fact, research shows that older individuals often face discrimination related to their age. In my thesis, I focused primarily on investigating interventions that can help reduce age discrimination and change how older job candidates are evaluated in the employment context. More specifically, I examined the effectiveness of impression management tactics aimed at counteracting negative older-worker stereotypes, with the goal of reducing formal and subtle discrimination against older job candidates. My work has shown, that using these strategies, can help older candidates improve interview evaluations, although younger candidates continue to be perceived more favorably. I also found that these strategies are only effective for older men and had no impact on older women’s evaluations. Overall, these findings provide valuable insight into the measures that older individuals, as targets of discrimination, can take to fight against it.

IURCHENKO Denis - Three essays on equity crowdfunding and the digitalization of entrepreneurial finance

Thesis committee: Prof. Jeffrey Petty (supervisor), Prof. Guido Palazzo (internal expert), Prof. Tatiana Manolova, Bentley University (external expert), Prof. Jörn Block, University of Trier (external expert)

Abstract: This dissertation was completed in order to investigate the legalization of equity crowdfunding across several countries as well as to conduct an initial assessment of the role of investor-entrepreneur discussions in equity crowdfunding decision-making. The results of this study have practical implications for policymakers seeking to revise regulations in light of innovations as well as for entrepreneurs aspiring to raise funding.

First, governments are advised to be more accommodating regarding the possible introduction of regulatory changes. Inflexible regulatory environments are likely to hinder entrepreneurial innovations seriously and may even prompt entrepreneurs to launch puzzling for regulators, yet high-potential ventures in other countries with a more liberal regulatory approach. In contrast, a coherent policy towards equity crowdfunding or other innovations may be instrumental in securing a country`s leadership status in a given field.

Furthermore, any entrepreneur intending to raise money on equity crowdfunding platforms should be aware that mastering investor communication during a campaign is a task that cannot be taken lightly. Months of preparation, time and resources spent on a professional video, spreadsheets and a business plan may be wasted if a discussion between a team and potential crowdinvestors leads to a misunderstanding or ultimate breakdown in the relations between the two parties. Overall, responding to Q&A as well the general ability to run a campaign and stay diplomatic regardless of the circumstances needs to be taken very seriously by entrepreneurs as these skills serve as their proxies for entrepreneurial ability.


DING Ashley Bin - Organizational climate and climate strengh: three essays

Organizational climate refers to employees’ shared perceptions of the policies, practices, and procedures that an organization rewards, supports, and expects. The three papers in my dissertation aim to contribute to the organizational climate literature in three different respects. The first two papers advance our understanding in focused climates, that is, organizational climate with a specific focus, for example, service. The third paper contributes to the climate strength literature, that is, how strong the organizational climate is.

More specifically, Paper 1 treats service climate as the focal construct. It includes leaders, in addition to employees, as raters of service climate. Findings of Paper 1 indicate the importance of looking at service climate from the perspectives of both leaders and employees. Paper 2 studies the co-existence and joint effects of service climate and product quality climate on customer satisfaction. By examining these two focused climates simultaneously, Paper 2 helps us gain a richer understanding of the complementarity of service climate and product quality climate in service settings. Paper 3 synthesizes the literature on climate strength and summarizes the literature in an integrative framework. With some critiques of current research on climate strength and organizational climate, I make three main observations, namely, the relationship between climate level and climate strength, the endogeneity problem in organizational climate research, and the influence process of climate strength. The three papers deepen our understanding of organizational climate, service climate and climate strength, and offer possible avenues for future research.

LINK Daniela - How the environment shapes decision making

We make decisions every day; and have a collection of strategies available to do so. In my thesis I look at one specific decision strategy: when comparing alternatives, consider attributes in the order in which they are retrieved from memory. In Chapter I, I experimentally test whether people use such a strategy. As it turns out, most people seem to consider information in the order in which it is remembered, not in order of importance. In Chapter II, I explore how information appearance in the Internet can predict what people remember and how fast they will retrieve this knowledge from memory. Simulating different decision strategies, I find that considering attributes in the order of memory retrieval can help to make fast and accurate decisions. In Chapter III, I model decisions made in social contexts, finding that in uncertain situations, people orient themselves towards what they observe as the decisions made by other people around them.

KALANOSKI Dimitrija - Three essays on inter-firm arrangements and firm competitiveness

How do different inter-firm arrangements like M&As and joint-ventures among competitors affect their direct rivals? Do these inter-firm arrangements have positive or negative effects on rivals? What firm, industry and institutional level factors drive the observed competitive effects of rivals upon the inter-firm arrangements of their competitors? The purpose of this thesis is to provide new answers to these questions through three interrelated articles.


The first explores the ability of firms to use inter-firm arrangements as competition-attenuating instruments by stimulating symbiotic coopetition among direct rivals. The second essay aims to bridge the theoretical gap regarding whether the competitive effects of joint-ventures stem from the complementarity between the partners or their joint-efforts, size, economies of scale and market power. Results from an event study analysis of joint-ventures in the manufacturing, services and utility sectors between 1998 and 2014 provide evidence consistent with the competitiveness-enhancement idea and suggest that joint-ventures create advantages through co-specialized efforts and simultaneously vertical and horizontal integration and therefore encourage competitiveness on the market. The third essay examines how differences in the degree of development of the institutional environments, that is, the institutional competitive advantage and disadvantage of acquiring, target and rival firms directly impacts the competitiveness of rivals upon M&A announcements.

CHEPYNOGA Kateryna - Affordability and availability of medicines in low-income and lower-middle-income countries: quantitative analyses based on data from health action international

Access to basic medicines for chronic diseases is still problematic for millions of people in poor countries despite the fact that many of these drugs were invented years ago and are cheap to produce and should, therefore, be widely available around the world. In particular, people affected by chronic diseases are considered to have unaffordable medicines either if they are (further) pushed into poverty after purchasing treatment out of their pockets or if they have unmet treatment needs due to high prices on medicines. Furthermore, even if individuals manage to pay themselves, they often may have unmet treatment needs due to unavailable medicines driven by weak supply systems and/or poor infrastructures in some countries. How we measure access to medicines can strategically influence how we come to understand it, analyze it and what kind of further policies will be designed to improve it. Thus this thesis consists of three chapters on the measurement and analysis of the access to medicines in poor countries focusing on the methodological as well as policy aspects of the issue. The first chapter estimates the affordability of selected essential medicines based on a new micro-level approach that evaluates the interplay between drug prices, disease prevalence, patients’ socioeconomic status and medicine use with regard to financial risks associated with increasing chronic diseases treatment need. The second chapter assesses the respective roles of different drivers of medicine (un-)affordability by decomposing the prices of drugs into the cost of their production on the one hand and different mark-ups imposed at the wholesale and retail levels on the other. The third chapter studies the association between the availability and affordability of medicines, comparing settings where medicine prices are regulated to be uniform versus settings without uniform pricing policies across geographical areas and the facilities.

OBERSON Romain - Three essays on accounting and regulatory information provided by financial institutions: perspectives from accounting, Basel Rules and auditing

Bankers’ compensation systems, as well as the growing housing bubble and the rising popularity of derivative instruments, were blamed for causing the 2007-2009 financial crisis. However several aspects of the accounting and regulatory systems have also been called into question and are analyzed in this thesis.
The first essay evaluate how investors react when banks make accounting choices and manage risk in an integrated fashion. More specifically, we examine how banks’ discretion on accounting valuation and risk-weight reporting for investment securities under Basel rules impacts information asymmetry. We find that banks face higher information asymmetry when holding low risk-weighted securities under the most flexible accounting valuation method
The second essay focuses on the approaches used for calculating risk-weighted asset (RWA). Advanced approaches (AA) have been blamed to enable banks to underreport RWA as they are allowed to use their own risk estimates compared to the standardized approaches (SA) for which regulators set risk parameters. More specifically, I investigates why banks adopt AA, whether banks underestimate RWA by using AA and whether investors react differently to RWA depending on the approach used. I report that the drivers to adopt AA are consistent with bank’s business model. I also find that banks do not under-report RWA differently under both approaches. Finally, RWA computed under AA appear to be more risk-relevant than RWA computed under SA.
The third essay investigates how audit rotation, partner rotation, limitation of non-audit services, and joint audit ─ i.e., the remedies ─ affect audit efficiency. In general, we find that the proposed remedies do not enhance audit efficiency. However, we highlight the importance of the institutional context that influences the relation between the remedies and audit efficiency.
Overall, these three essays provide financial system policy makers as well as accounting standard setters with interesting findings on the consequences of accounting rules and regulatory requirements.

KHALILZADEH Amir - Three essays in bank systemic risk

My dissertation consists of three chapters on financial stability of large banks. In the first chapter I describe a model with a banking system in which the deposit bank collects deposits from households and lend to the investment bank, and the investment bank provides funds to firms. A severe economic downturn may lead to the defaults of both banks. Since deposits are insured by the government, the expected loss on deposits has to be compensated by the government. I calibrate the model and quantify the expected loss on deposits under stress.

In the second chapter I develop a new methodology to measure the capital shortfall of commercial banks during a market downturn. The measure, which I call stressed expected loss (SEL) is defined as the difference between the market value of assets in the stress scenario and the book value of the deposits and short-term debt of the bank. I estimate the probability of default and the SEL of the 31 largest commercial banks in the U.S. between 1996 and 2016. The probability of default in a market downturn was as high as 25%, on average, between 2008 and 2012, and is close to 5% during 2016. SEL was very high (between $250 and $350 billion) during the subprime crisis and is close to $200 billion during 2016.

In the third chapter I study credit risk premia of large international banks. My findings are threefold: (1) I show that credit risk premium accounts for two-thirds of the total price of default risk since the financial crisis, (2) this premium had been negative until just before the financial crisis but then rose dramatically and remained rather high until just recently, and (3) I document that risk bearing capacity of the bank drives the risk premium in the credit market. That is, investors in the credit market require a premium for bearing risk due to the leverage growth of the bank.

FISCHER Thomas - Leadership: processes and ambiguities

Thesis committee: Prof. Jörg Dietz (co-supervisor); Prof. John Antonakis (co-supervisor); Prof. Patrick Haack (internal expert); Prof. Sim Sitkin, Duke University (external expert)

Abstract: There is lots of research and even more talk about leadership; but what are actually the mechanisms that underlie leadership? In my first thesis chapter, I synthesize the extensive academic literature to develop a taxonomy of such leadership mechanisms. In addition, I examine how leadership unfolds over time. Then, in my second thesis chapter, I go one step back and ask the basic question “What is the content of leadership?” At the exemplar of leadership styles—like authentic, ethical, and transformational leadership—I uncover that leadership styles mix leader behaviors and follower evaluations. Problematically, such a conceptual conflation makes it impossible to decipher if the behavioral or evaluative component of leadership styles accounts for the relationship with such outcomes like performance. Thus, leadership styles are ambiguous and causally indeterminate—and in my third thesis chapter I find experimental support for that claim.

STEPHEN Sarah Lilian - Responsible investment funds and mature organizational fields: lessons for institutional change and entrepreneurship

Management scholars have spent over four decades in answering the perennial question: Does it pay for corporations to be good (i.e. to be socially and/or environmentally responsible)? As research to date has failed at reaching a consensus, my three-paper Ph.D thesis commences by querying how corporations can be motivated into becoming responsible? The answer lies in their need for capital. Therefore, in two papers, I examine responsible investment funds - these aim at steering companies into bettering the society and the environment by investing in corporations with superior social responsibility, environmental responsibility, having good corporate governance, or following religious values.
In my first research paper, I charted the early history of these funds- i.e. their creation and emergence in the hostile context of financial services. By examining this via the lens of institutional theory, I mapped an emerging model explaining the modest acceptance of such incongruent practices. My second paper is a theoretical contribution that focuses on the aforementioned context of organisational fields. These are generally considered as being of two types: emerging and mature. I disentangle the mature category by utilising key features and theorise three subcategories. These are used to illustrate how the nature of the field determines the nature of successful change, the origin of change, and the actors proposing the change. The third paper is a systematic review examining existing research on the financial performance of environmentally responsible investment funds. As there was no clear answer, I constructed a model of factors influencing the financial performance of responsible investment funds and used this to evaluate the published studies. The model is presented as a roadmap for future studies and I argue that the environmental performance of these funds is, at the least, equally important as the financial performance.

CLERGUE Valentina - Three essays on the effects of divine references in consumption contexts

Over the past decades, brands have played various roles for consumers such as communication agents, relationship partners, and cultural myth performers (Aaker, 1997; Fournier, 1998; Holt, 2004) and seem to take on an almost spiritual role in current consumer societies (Belk & Tumbat, 2005; Muñiz & Schau, 2005; Schouten & McAlexander, 1995). Examples from practice show that brands have started to actively use transcendental meaning in their positioning and communication. Despite existing evidence that priming people with religious concepts like God, spirit, divine, and holy has an effect on a variety of behaviors and personality characteristics such as prosociality, honesty, self-esteem and stress levels (Chan, Tong, & Tan, 2014), we lack knowledge about how associating brands with the divine influences consumers and their product and brand perceptions in Western, predominantly Christian contexts. This dissertation aims to shed light on these questions by investigating consumer reactions to brands that use explicit religious references in their brand communication and in particular as part of their brand name. Findings from the three Essays indicate that consumers do not find it inappropriate or offensive for brands to associate themselves with religious concepts.  Although, one could imagine that marketing has limits and cannot tap into spheres such as the personal connection with the sacred, evidence from the studies in this dissertation showed that consumers had more positive attitudes towards brands having a transcendental (vs. an equally positive non-religious) concept in the name and were willing to pay more for these brands. Additionally, religious concepts as part of the brand elements seemed to make consumers more generous and willing to buy and offer more gifts at Christmas times. Additional research is needed in order to investigate whether consumers also benefit from consuming brands associated with the divine. My hope is that the implications of this dissertation are not only for marketing managers but for consumers as well.

FEIX Aurélien - A critical investigation into the corporate social responsibility discourse

What is actually problematic about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication? As it stands today, the most common criticism directed towards CSR communication is that of “greenwashing”: Firms are accused of deceiving their stakeholders by over-promoting their CSR credentials. This doctoral thesis argues that the “greenwashing” critique, although important and justified in many cases, captures only part of the problems associated with CSR communication. Regardless of whether a piece of CSR communication adequately reflects a firm’s actual socio-environmental performance, it contributes – more fundamentally – to shaping our very understanding of businesses’ role in society, and thereby to defining what we regard as “socio-environmental performance” in the first place. This “constitutive” (or “performative”) dimension of CSR communication also needs to be problematized. Chapter I of the thesis outlines the limitations of the customary “greenwashing” charges, and calls for a more comprehensive critique of CSR communication. Chapters II and III then critically examine the constitutive effects of two selected schemes of the CSR discourse: narratives about CSR and the corporate diversity rhetoric.


SCHNEGG Maël - Environment monitoring in companies: a contingency study

Chapter 1: Environment Monitoring System: a Literature Review and Proposals for Future Research
To cope with increasing competition in the 1960s, managers started to transpose military practices to business. This chapter is a literature review about the systems, processes, tools and practices used by companies to monitor what happens in their environment. Initially, control systems aimed at measuring various internai indicators of the firm's performance to take timely corrective actions. In a globalized world that is changing quickly, the controlling paradigm is facing limits and firms need not just to implement their strategy but also to adapt it. In parallel to the control literature, a wide and rather unstructured stream of research rose to describe and predict the state of the environment. How these studies inform practice remains inconclusive. Through the contingency theory of the firm, we call for more research on the systems, processes, tools and practices for environment monitoring and on the association between monitoring intensity and innovativeness of firms.
Chapter 2: Monitoring the Environment: A Multiple Case Study
The purpose of this chapter is to study how companies monitor their environment. To keep their strategy aligned with market conditions, companies need to have a clear idea of trends and potential changes occurring in their environment. Relying on structured interviews with top and middle managers of two organizations, we explored how these managers defme their environment and process data about it to make stratégie décisions.
We observed that environment monitoring is only partially formalized and structured. The différent practices and tools, however, make the Company better informed about the ongoing changes. Four main lessons emerged. First, top management increases its involvement as soon as the situation becomes particularly urgent. Second, when the legitimacy of the strategy is at stake, the diversity of people reflecting on the issue increases. Third, information channels are more structured and disciplined when assessing the power (nuisance capacity) of an actor of the environment. Finally, environment monitoring intensity tends to be positively associated with the company's efforts to innovate.
Chapter 3: Déterminants of Environment Monitoring Intensity and its
Impact on Firm's Innovativeness
Environment monitoring is essential to accurately and timely detect opportunities and threats. This survey-based study on managerial and organizational systems, tools and practices explores the déterminants of environment monitoring and its impact on innovativeness. We observe that a wide involvement of people, a disciplined and structured information sourcing process, as well as a top management team focus, are positively associated with environment monitoring intensity. Conversely, performance measurement systems such as the Balanced Scorecard are not associated with environment monitoring intensity. We also observe a positive association between the environment monitoring intensity and innovativeness of companies.

SORELL Michael - Organizational outcomes in an exploration-exploitation framework: corporate social performance, capital structure and cash

This thesis aims to contribute to stratégie management research. Currently, both scholars and researehers examine issues related to the antecedents of the exploration exploitation framework but rarely examine issues related organizational outputs based on firms following an exploration or exploitation strategy.
The uniqueness of this work can first be seen in its theoretical approach. This thesis will use three différent debates in related literatures-corporate social performance (CSP), capital structure and cash holdings- and examine these debates using the exploration- exploitation framework as the main analytical tool. The application of exploration- exploitation perspective results in a changed understanding in each of these three literatures and in the exploration and exploitation framework. In particular, firms following an exploration or exploitation strategy develop routines that impact the structure and organizational outputs. The more these firms pursue their given strategy, the more their structures are aligned with the strategy making it difficult to move from their orientation. The results show the importance of strategy and structure in relationship to each individual field and the exploration-exploitation framework.
The methodological approach of this thesis is based on archivai data from Datastream and Worldscope. Corporate accounting and performance data are selected from a large sample of international firms. These companies represents over 90+ différent industries and 30+ countries. Estimâtes of an individual firm's orientation and focus (exploration or exploitation) is calculated using micro-economic theory.
In brief, this thesis présents the following contributions: firstly, this work changes the way the antecedents in the exploration-exploitation framework are understood. It does so by demonstrating that antecedents can also be outputs of the framework. Secondly, this dissertation integrates corporate social performance into the exploration-exploitation framework. This is one of the first dissertations to do so. Thirdly, this dissertation shows that strategy and orientation matter in literatures examining firm outeomes: CSP, finance, etc. Without accounting for strategy, researehers overlook how firm décisions create heterogeneity in firm outeomes. Last, this dissertation indireetly shows that exploitation firms adjust their structures to survive and overcome environmental shocks both institutional (CSR) and financial (2007 crisis). This then challenges the ideas of organizational ambidexterity and suggests that environmental shocks may help exploitation firms survive long-term.

DENNERLEIN Tobias - Empowering leadership and employees' achievement motivation: the role of self-efficacy and goal orientations in the empowering leadership process

Empowering leadership, the process of engaging in behaviors that enable sharing power with an employee, is both "en vogue" and a promising lever for organizations to bring out the best in employees. Y e.t, being an effective empowering leader is as challenging as it is important. This dissertation aims to advance our knowledge of when and why empowering leadership is most effective. Specifically, in three studies this dissertation examines the role of employees' achievement motivations (i.e., self-efficacy and goal orientations) as boundary conditions of empowering leadership and identifies key processes that link empowering leadership to individual performance. 
The first study examines the question whether empowering leadership would have a decreasing marginal effect on employee performance and might be overburdening for employees at too high levels. Moreover, we argue that employees' generalized work-role self-efficacy beliefs would qualify this relationship. Our findings from a multi-source field study in the U.S.A. support this view. It shows that empowering leadership has a positive, decreasing effect on employees' creativity and in-role performance for employees low on work-role self-efficacy, but no effect for employees high on work-role self-efficacy. 
The second study focusses on employees' goal orientations as determinants of employees' sensitivity for empowering leadership's implications for the psychological states of meaning and competence, and on how these states relate to creativity and in-role performance, respectively. We posit that empowering leadership positively effects job meaningfulness and, subsequently, creativity for employees high on learning goal orientation. For employees high on performance orientation, we predict that empowering leadership impacts in-role performance via the psychological state of competence. Results from a multi-source field study in the Netherlands confirm our predictions for both the learning and performance avoid goal orientations. 
The third study investigates a cross-level effect of team empowering versus directive leadership on individual creativity. We propose that empowering leadership triggers a team coordination process and predict that - depending on their goal orientations - team members would vary in the extent to which their individual creativity benefit from this process. In a laboratory group experiment we find that team members with a learning goal orientation benefit more from empowering leadership and team direction of information exchange than do team members holding performance goal orientations.

Thesis in joint-supervision with Erasmus University Rotterdam.


BASTARDOZ Nicolas - Three essays on methods in management

What is the minimum sample size to yield unbiased estimates in structural equation models? How should researchers test the fit of these models? How can we estimate the causal effect of interventions when observations are assigned to conditions based on a quantifiable variable? The answers to these questions, which are addressed in my thesis, are very important, particularly given the policy implications that applied research can have. By offering state-of-the-art statistical methodologies as well as a rigorous causal design, this collection of articles will hopefully help in improving the understanding of these issues, which are both timely and highly relevant to a large portion of applied psychology and management researchers.

The papers of this thesis focus on two key problems: The first concerns a widely used, though misused, method in our field: Structural equation modeling. I discuss how this method should be correctly applied, using as an example a typical model that is estimated in our field (i.e., a mediation model), and bearing in mind the small sample sizes used in social sciences disciplines. I show that many of the conventional decision rules that are used to decide whether the sample size is sufficiently large so that the method can be used, whether a model is defensible, and whether estimates can be interpreted, are wrong. The second problem concerns the misuse of ANOVA-type models in cases where data are compared from groups, whose units constituting those groups are not randomly assigned. I show how, for specific cases of data, a procedure called the regression discontinuity design should be used instead. In tackling both problems, and in all three papers of this thesis, I make extensive use of Monte Carlo simulations, which are too, underused in my field.

PORETTI Cédric - Three essays on the relevance of accounting numbers for financial markets

We analyze the relevance of accounting information for two main financial markets participants: practitioners that use earnings to value public companies, and investors that use earnings to revise their expectations about the future of those companies and, ultimately, to modify the composition of their portfolios. The thesis is structured into three essays. The first one is a synthesis of the literature focusing on the use of accounting earnings by investors, especially the price-to-earnings ratio to value public companies. The second essay investigates the relationship between the accounting standards used and the implementation of comparable methods. We try to determine whether more comparability related to the mandatory adoption of the international financial reporting standards (IFRS) impacts professionals’ valuation practices, especially in terms of peers’ selection. Finally, the third essay investigates the relation between firm-specific corporate governance and the credibility of earnings announcements in Europe. We highlight that audit committees might substitute for weak investor protection and, therefore, increase the credibility of earnings.

PHAM Thi Minh Nhiên - Why sweatshops persist: failed standards, lemons, lies and hegemonic frames

A sweatshop is a workplace that violates labor standards where workers suffer unfair treatments, work in dangerous conditions, receive very low wages and work for excessively long hours. Those factories may employ children or slave labor to produce. This thesis, composed of three theoretical articles, seeks to answer the question why sweatshops in global supply chains persist despite the effort of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in factory monitoring and auditing. The first article discusses and clarifies different concepts of accountability and addresses the question how can CSR engagement in global labor conditions can be held accountable. This article seeks to improve the accountability of CSR engagement to make these programs more effective in curbing labor abuse in global supply chains. The second article examines the information asymmetry along a global supply chain and multinational corporations (MNCs)’ difficulty in regulating their supply chain partners. Based on the fact that the majority if not all supply chains factories can lie about their true labor practices, this article suggests directions to solve this information problem to improve working conditions. The third article studies issue framing in CSR labor initiatives as CSR engagements are often tailored by the way the issue is framed. CSR programs addressing labor abuse tend to frame issues in a way that allow to work around the problem rather than to develop radical solutions. Improving CSR impact on working conditions requires an investigation of the way CSR issues are framed and CSR frames such as « working conditions » and « child labor » need more careful examination. Together, these articles expose the research context, theories, analysis and discussions to address the question “why sweatshops persist in global supply chains”.

MARTIN Christian - Three essays on consumer values and identities

The thesis "Three Essays on Consumer Values and Identities" explores different questions around the constructs of materialism (Essay 1), green values (Essay 2), and connectedness to nature (Essay 2 and 3).

Materialism (i.e., the belief that material possessions are important in life) seems to emerge out of consumer insecurities, such as concerns regarding one's mortality. However, little is known about whether materialistic consumption can reduce different types of insecurities. Essay 1 contributes to this literature by showing that high-materialism consumers can use luxury consumption to cope with their mortality concerns. The findings furthermore suggest that luxury marketers might want to be careful about using imaginary appeals as these appeals might satiate an important motive for luxury consumption (i.e., mortality concerns).

Extant research confirms a link between green values (i.e., the belief that protecting the environment is important) and different environmentally friendly behaviors. Despite these desirable outcomes of a strong green value orientation, little is known about how green value orientations are formed and how they can be strengthened in consumers. Essay 2 shows that a feeling of connectedness to nature can foster the development of green value orientations in consumers and ultimately lead to more sustainable behavior. The results suggest that (re)connecting consumers to nature can be a powerful strategy for public policy makers and social marketers who wish to encourage consumers to behave in environmentally friendly ways.

HELLWIG Katharina - What is shared in the sharing economy? Four essays on consumer behavior in peer-to-peer consumption contexts

Nominated as “one of 10 ideas that would change the world” by the Time Magazine in 2011, the Sharing Economy has attracted a great deal of scholarly and media attention in the past years. The present dissertation lays a foundation for understanding how marketplace actors behave and interact in the context of the newly emerging peer-to-peer marketplaces of the Sharing Economy. It comprises four essays. The first essay is a conceptual piece that explores the theoretical link between consumption practices of the Sharing Economy and the psychological well-being of consumers. Essay 2 draws on a qualitative study of the peer-to-peer hospitality network CouchSurfing to understand sharing among strangers. Essay 3 analyzes how the nature of human interaction among hosts and guests is shaped by the respective prevailing market versus non-market consumption context by means of an ethnography of the peer-to-peer hospitality platforms CouchSurfing and AirBnB. Essay 4 extends the findings of the first three essays and situates them within a broader discussion of socio-historical and marketing literature. It draws on research of brands as mediators of social relationships and the dialogical relationship of human connection, commerce, and technology to understand the emergence of the “humanist brand”, a brand the product of which is the facilitation of authentic human connection. The main contributions of this dissertation are threefold. Firstly, it extends and further stratifies research on sharing as a modality of resource circulation and sheds new light on the theoretical discussion on the epistemological and ontological foundations of sharing that is developing in consumer research. Secondly, it provides a comprehensive analysis of the marketing elements that are needed to turn online interactions into offline encounters. Finally, my work offers useful insights on human connection as a commercially relevant offering and newly emerging forms of sociality in alternative marketplaces.


DERCHI Giovanni Battista - Management compensation for corporate sustainability execution: the role of employee compensation

The research described in this thesis examines the characteristics, the benefits and the challenges associated with the implementation of management accounting systems in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Applied to the CSR context, management accounting relates to the identification, elaboration and communication of information about an organization’s interactions with the society and the environment. Based on this information, firms are able to make decisions to achieve social and environmental objectives and provide evidence justifying the benefits and the costs of such actions. 
The study begins by focusing on green management and exploring the characteristics of Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) systems within firms. The first chapter informs the reader about the growing body of EMA research and reveals unexplored relevant aspects that need to be further investigated. The work also emphasizes the importance of developing new theoretical hypotheses and appropriate research designs to empirically tackle new aspects of EMA and gain understanding on the use of these practices. 
Subsequently, given the acknowledged importance of control systems in influencing the behaviour of individuals within organizations, the remaining two chapters of the dissertation focus on the functioning of CSR-linked incentives assigned to employees in the form of compensation plans. The second chapter examines the determinants influencing corporate provision of incentives for the attainment of environmental targets. Empirical analysis of a sample of international firms reveals that companies are likely to use green incentives as mechanisms to increase the efficacy in contracting with their employees as well as to respond to social influences. 
Finally, the third chapter investigates the effectiveness of contracting associated with the use of CSR-linked executive compensation. Empirical analysis of a sample of US-based companies shows that corporate choice to tie senior executives’ pay to CSR targets promotes the firm’s CSR performance.

CAVOTTA Valeria - Three essays on discourse and processes of institutional change and maintenance

The dissertation examines the role of discourse in processes of institutional change and maintenance. It is composed of three papers, each aiming to make a distinct contribution to institutional theory.

The first paper is a theoretical piece that examines how new societal discourses demanding corporations to take greater stakes in social issues impact firms’ sensemaking. The study theorizes how different frames soliciting corporate intervention, i.e. “opportunity” and “injustice”, impact the way firms respond – and potentially change – their way of copying with social issues.

The second paper is a qualitative case study that investigates how actors occupying positions across multiple fields, leverage this condition to introduce institutional change. The study shows the potential for actors located across multiple fields, to construct framing strategies - diagnostic, prognostic, and motivational - that make the case for institutional change be relevant for multiple fields. In so doing the potential for allies’ mobilization increases.

The third paper is a qualitative case study that examines how discourses can favor the maintenance of illicit institutions - e.g. mafia-driven practices - that have negative and not-exclusive consequences for local communities in Italy. Institutional maintenance has been little investigated compared to processes of institutional change and creation. The findings of the case study shed light on three discursive processes that favor institutional maintenance of illegal and illicit practices: insulation, sense-hiding, and sense-suspending.

WIRZ Max - Chapters on financing delay and liquidity in corporate finance

This dissertation comprises of three chapters, which examine the impact of delay in raising outside capital on debt issuance, capital structure, and on liquidity management.

Chapters 1  & 2 both exploit the 2005 Securities Offerings Reform, which eliminated the regulatory delay of issuing debt for large firms (public float larger $700 million) while leaving small firms unaffected, thus serving as a quasi-natural experiment. Chapter 1 (“Delay as a financing friction”) finds that following a reduction in issuing delay, US firms switch debt issues from private to public markets and increase their leverage (replace equity by debt), while investors require more covenants. Chapter 2 (“Issuing delay and the granularity of debt”) finds that the elimination of issuing delay prompts firms to spread out their debt issues into more smaller installments, i.e. to have a more granular debt structure.

Chapter 3 (“Cash vs. Granularity”) models firms’ liquidity as a tradeoff between holding excess cash and frequent refinancing (i.e. a granular debt structure). The predicted relationship is empirically confirmed across explanatory variables which serve as proxies for size, interest rate, fixed cost of debt issues, volatility, cash demand, and cost of illiquidity.

STEINER Rebekka - The work-family interface from a crossover perspective and a gender perspective

In four essays I investigate the work-family interface in parents. More precisely, I investigate the intersection between work and family in parents and therewith related experiences, both, from a crossover perspective and from and a gender perspective. The crossover perspective takes into account the tight interrelatedness of parents’ work and family lives. The gender perspective takes into account that for many parents the work and family domains are strongly gendered, with the father assuming the main responsibility over breadwinning and the mother assuming the main responsibility over parenting.  
Essay 1 takes the form of a literature review of recent research on crossover from work to family and from family to work in couples. Essay 2 investigates intraindividual and crossover effects of both spouses’ traditional gender-role attitudes on working mothers’ work-to-family conflict. Essay 3 investigates intraindividual and crossover effects of parents’ work and family goal importance on their life satisfaction, and whether gender-norm congruent goal importance (i.e., the mother assigns high importance to her family goals and the father to his work goals) is particularly beneficial for both parents’ life satisfaction. Essay 4 investigates how observers perceive mothers and fathers who experience different types of work-family conflict (i.e., work-to-family vs. family-to-work conflict), and whether these perceptions depend on the alignment between the type of conflict and gender stereotypes.  
Overall, the dissertation presents novel insights into the close interrelatedness of parents’ work and family lives and the various ways through which gender and related norms and beliefs shape the work-family experiences of parents.

GRIEDER Manuel - Three essays on the behavioral economics of organizations

The focus of this thesis lies on economic organization and the behavior of people within organizations. By combining psychological insights about human behavior and motivation with the methodological and analytical tools from economics and game theory, the three papers contained in this thesis aim at contributing new insights to the emerging field of behavioral economics of organizations. Each paper studies a relevant organizational phenomenon, and all three papers follow an experimental approach that allows for causal identification of determinants of the phenomenon under scrutiny. Chapter 1 looks at counterproductive behavior in response to perceived unfairness. I find that competitive mechanisms can be used to manage people’s fairness perceptions. In particular, counterproductive, revengeful reactions in response to unequal outcomes are much less severe if the outcome has been generated via a competitive mechanism compared to the direct use of authority. Chapter 2 examines voluntary cooperation and the effects of delegating decision rights to teams. It shows that delegation allows making use of team members’ information advantage – compared to a hierarchical superior – about each others’ contributions to success. Thanks to this information advantage, delegation leads to objectively fairer reward allocations and to more favorable fairness perceptions. However, delegation also creates incentives for free riding on other team members’ efforts, which harms team production. Finally, chapter 3 shows that identification with a group leads to overconfidence in that group’s skill and ability. Moreover, identification also leads to biased information processing in the sense that people tend to take positive information about the group more strongly into account than negative information. This bias in favor of the own group can lead to costly errors in decision making, and it can also have negative consequences on the societal level as it may contribute to intergroup discrimination.

CHUI Wing See Celia - Observer reactions to workplace mistreatment

In my dissertation, I use three different approaches to gain a deeper understanding of when and how observers will intervene in workplace mistreatment incidents. Because many targets do not respond actively to mistreatment and prefer to respond passively, observers can play a vital role in stopping and preventing future mistreatment on behalf of targets.

In the first paper, I used a qualitative interview approach and examined 73 incidents of interpersonal workplace mistreatment experiences as recounted by 73 participants. I found that observers intervened either through social interpersonal relationships or through power-based hierarchical procedures. Some common factors that influenced observer reactions included concern for actors’ welfare, perception of intervention effectiveness, perceived harm level, power, job role and responsibility, and reporting accessibility.

In the second paper, I developed a theoretical model to explain why a majority of observers often do not intervene and report mistreatment in organizations. Specifically, the model explains how target reactions, perceptions of whether intervention and mistreatment are legitimate, whether targets or perpetrators permit intervention, and organizational disciplinary systems can influence whether third-party employee observers will intervene or not.

In the third paper, we conduct an experimental study to examine how informal (no formal system) and formal (weak, strong, and perfect) justice systems influence wrongdoing and helping behaviors. We find that an informal system is better than a weak formal system, and that there is not a big different between a weak and strong formal system. Only a “perfect” formal justice system is the best at preventing wrongdoing and encouraging helping behaviors.

ORELLANA DE RICKEBUSCH Adriana - Three essays on corporate responsibility towards human rights, peace and security

In the context of globalization, corporations may find themselves operating in weak, repressive or failed countries. They may have to deal with critical challenges such as widespread violation of human rights, insecurity and armed confrontation. Scholars have noted two opposing links between corporations and societal issues in such settings: their participations in violations of human rights and their participation in peace-building activities. On the one hand, an increasing number of corporations are being accused of complicity with human rights abuses, i.e., of contributing to abuses committed by others such as repressive regimes, abusive security forces or their own suppliers. On the other hand, in order to avoid such accusations, some corporations have started engaging in conflict alleviation and peace-building practices, hence contributing to stability and peace in the regions in which they operate.

Through three essays, this thesis aims at addressing these links by analysing the role of corporations regarding human rights in general and stability and peace in particular. The first essay is theoretical and revisits the definition of corporate complicity in order to discuss the implications for the corporate responsibility towards human rights. The second essay investigates qualitatively how corporations manage potential complicity challenges in conflict zones of Colombia by developing their regions of operations and thereby building peace. It argues that promoting development creates a protective shield against conflict threats. Finally, the third essay, also qualitative, examines the intrinsic motivations for engaging in conflict prevention and peace-building strategies in Colombia. Business motivations are explained in terms of the company’s proximity with the conflict, of the concern that corporate members have for the common good and of the emotions felt during the decision making.


KLEINLOGEL Emmanuelle - Reconceptualization of the prejudice-Discrimination relationship as an ethical phenomenon: three essays on moral disengagement and discrimination

My research focuses on the main question of “how can individuals still engage in discriminatory behavior in our society?” To answer this question, I draw on literature on ethics and particularly on the work from Bandura (1986, 1990) on the concept of moral disengagement. Moral disengagement is an individual difference in the way individuals justify their intended unethical behaviors to render them acceptable.

In my research, I theorize moral disengagement as a moderator in the relationship between prejudice and discrimination such that it fosters the expression of prejudice by allowing individuals to mask the ethically questionable aspect of their discriminatory behavior through seemingly acceptable justifications. My dissertation is composed of both a theoretical part in which I present my propositions and an empirical part in which I develop a measure of moral disengagement and assess the role of moral disengagement in the relationship between prejudice, discriminatory context, and employment discrimination.

At the theoretical level, my work allows for a better understanding of how prejudice turns into its expression through moral disengagement. At the practical level, my work should sensitize organizational members about the role of moral disengagement on individual decision making and on the powerful effect of contextual factors on the ethicality of individual decision. Ultimately, this research allows reflecting on potential solutions to prevent individuals to morally disengage and so to discriminate. As potential solution to prevent from discrimination within the organizational context, my work suggests organizational members to develop ethical climate within their organization. Future research should investigate the development of training and the adoption of ethical codes of conduct as solutions.

GIRARDIN Florent - What does it mean for a brand to be true? The formation of consumers' perceptions of brand authenticity

Consumers are increasingly searching for authenticity, demanding authentic products, brands, and experiences. This doctoral dissertation aims at understanding brand authenticity from a consumer perspective. Based on a literature review, a qualitative study, and several quantitative studies, we propose that consumers’ perceptions of brand authenticity emerge from three authenticity perspectives (i.e., objective, constructive, and existential) and consist of five dimensions named tradition and heritage, quality commitment, sincerity in intent, connection to place and culture, and relevance to consumers. A theoretical framework, which identifies the drivers, consequences and moderators of perceived brand authenticity (PBA), was empirically tested in a European country and in the United States. Results reveal that PBA significantly increases brand emotional attachment, brand commitment, positive word-of-mouth, and willingness to pay a price premium. Results also show that the drivers and outcomes of PBA have very similar effects in Europe and North America even though some significant differences exist for specific constructs relationships. In particular, the effect of PBA on emotional brand attachment is stronger for North American consumers than for Europeans.

This dissertation has many implications for brand managers who wish to increase the perceived authenticity of their brand. First, the proposed PBA dimensions are useful for managers who can work on different aspects of their brands to elevate perceived authenticity. Second, the identification of specific cues provides clear insights for marketers who wish to influence one of the five PBA dimensions. In this regard, the measurement scale developed in this dissertation constitutes a valuable tool for managers who can track the effects of their actions on PBA dimensions. Finally, the significant influence of PBA on important brand equity constructs gives marketers strong justification why to invest on increasing the perceived authenticity of their brands.

BICER Isik - Modeling and mitigation of supply-demand mismatches

In this thesis, I develop analytical models to price the value of supply chain investments under demand uncertainty. This thesis includes three self-contained papers. In the first paper, I analyze the value of lead-time reduction under the risk of sudden and abnormal changes in demand forecasts. I use an Edgeworth series expansion to divide the lead-time cost into that arising from constant instantaneous volatility, and that arising from the risk of jumps. I show that the value of lead-time reduction increases in the intensity and the magnitude of jumps. In the second paper, I analyze the value of quantity flexibility in the presence of supply chain disintermediation problems. I use the multiplicative martingale model and the “contracts as reference points” theory to capture positive and negative effects of quantity flexibility. I find that lead-time reduction reduces both supply-demand mismatches and supply chain disintermediation problems for the upstream level of a supply chain. In the third paper, I investigate the value of dual sourcing for the products with heavy-tailed demand distributions. I apply extreme-value theory and analyze the effects of tail heaviness of demand distribution on the optimal dual-sourcing strategy. I find that the effects of tail heaviness depend on the characteristics of demand and profit parameters. When both the profit margin of the product and the cost differential between the suppliers are relatively high, it is optimal to buffer with less inventory and less capacity as the tail of demand becomes heavier. When the profit margin of the product is relatively high, and the cost differential between the suppliers is relatively low, it is optimal to buffer with more inventory and less capacity as the tail of demand becomes heavier.

SCHUHMACHER Karl Michael - Aggregation and errors in management accounting

It is essential for organizations to compress detailed sets of information into more comprehensi-ve sets, thereby, establishing sharp data compression and good decision-making. In chapter 1, I review and structure the literature on information aggregation in management accounting research. I outline the cost-benefit trade-o˙ that management accountants need to consider when they decide on the optimal levels of information aggregation. Beyond the fundamental information content perspective, organizations also have to account for cognitive and behavi-oral perspectives. I elaborate on these aspects di˙erentiating between research in cost accounti-ng, budgeting and planning, and performance measurement.
In chapter 2, I focus on a specific bias that arises when probabilistic information is aggregated. In budgeting and planning, for example, organizations need to estimate mean costs and durations of projects, as the mean is the only measure of central tendency that is linear. Di˙erent from the mean, measures such as the mode or median cannot simply be added up. Given the specific shape of cost and duration distributions, estimating mode or median values will result in underestimations of total project costs and durations. In two experiments, I find that participants tend to estimate mode values rather than mean values resulting in large distortions of estimates for total project costs and durations. I also provide a strategy that partly mitigates this bias.
In the third chapter, I conduct an experimental study to compare two approaches to time estimation for cost accounting, i.e., traditional activity-based costing (ABC) and time-driven ABC (TD-ABC). Contrary to claims made by proponents of TD-ABC, I find that TD-ABC is not necessarily suitable for capacity computations. However, I also provide evidence that TD-ABC seems better suitable for cost allocations than traditional ABC.

BINGGELI Steve - Three essays on the antecedents and mechanisms leading to the unfair treatment of immigrants

Immigrants constitute an increasing proportion of the workforce. Although they are protected by federal laws, numerous statistics suggest that immigrants are unfairly treated in comparison to locals at equal level of competence. This dissertation aims at understanding the antecedents and mechanisms leading to this discrimination. As such, it makes relevant practical implications for organizations.

First, it encourages practitioners to pay more attention to the diversity of immigrant employees. This means recognizing that they have different origins and skill sets, but also that they are likely to face different difficulties in the workplace. In fact, the same immigrant group can be treated differently within a country. For instance, German immigrant employees might face more incivility in the German than in the French-speaking region of Switzerland and vice versa for French immigrant employees.

Second, practitioners should not assume that increasing diversity in their organization will necessarily contribute to reducing employment discrimination. Immigrant employees are as likely as locals to discriminate against immigrants, perhaps even more so. Therefore, organizations should pay attention to the composition of their workforce and make all their employees aware of the behavior they express toward others.

Finally, this dissertation suggests that being more lenient toward immigrant employees might have negative consequences for them. Typically, my research shows that immigrant employees who perform poorly are often more negatively evaluated than local employees expressing the same level of performance. This bias can send a wrong signal to immigrant employees and impede their integration of locals’ working norms. Thus, it is important for organizations to treat immigrant and local employees alike, regardless of their level of performance.


VON WITTICH Daniel - Three essays on leader individual differences and effectiveness
DIREN Mine - 4 essays on e-marketing: an in-depth understanding of online consumer behavior
WÄGER Daniel - Three essays on social movements and organizations in a globalizing world
WICKERT Christopher - Corporate social responsibility and firm size: normative premises, dynamic capabilities, and a comparative theory
HAFENBRAEDL Sebastian - Ethics, expectations and escalation: perspectives on managerial decision making


PEREZ Eloy - Partial vertical integration in electricity markets: a game-theory based modeling approach
CARDENAS Felix - Three essays in control, entrepreneurship and innovation

Nowadays even the largest and most technologically advanced firms combine internal and external sources of knowledge. R&D has been the traditional activity conducted by firms to exploit internal knowledge and generate innovation. Nonetheless firms can use alternative activities to explore external knowledge, for example, partnerships with universities, mergers & acquisitions, and strategic alliances. However more recently firms are engaging in Corporate Venture Capital (CVC). CVC is defined as an equity investment made by large firms in a young innovative startup. CVC provides several benefits because it increases financial returns, provides growth options, increases innovation output and creates market value. CVC has been an important investment phenomenon in which high-tech companies (e.g., Apple, Intel, and Motorola), automotive giants (e.g., BMW, Ford Motor Company, and Honda), food and beverage leaders (e.g., Nestle, Starbucks, and Carlsberg), machinery companies (e.g., Caterpillar and Honeywell), pharmaceuticals (e.g., Johnson & Johnson, Roche, and GlaxoSmithKline) among others invest billions of dollars in startups.

My research highlights the importance of an innovation strategy that can benefit from internal and external sources of knowledge. My findings support the notion that an innovation strategy that combines CVC and R&D can create value. The results can be used as a reference to encourage technology and innovation managers to further explore combining CVC and R&D as complementary mechanisms for innovation and value creation.

YANOCHKIN Anton - Three essays in risk management in financial institutions
SHAN Jialu - Governance practices in different environmental contexts: using interdisciplinary approaches at different organizational levels
FENLEY (ANGERFELT) Marika - Women in leadership: three essays
BOLLMANN Grégoire - Workplace aggressive behaviors: Three essays

This thesis examines through three essays the role of the social context and of people concern for justice in explaining workplace aggressive behaviors.¦In the first essay, I argue that a work group instrumental climate - a climate emphasizing respect of organizational procedures -deters employees to manifest counterproductive work behaviors through informal sanctions (i.e., socio-emotional disapproval) they anticipate from it for misbehaving. A contrario, a work group affective climate - a climate concerned about others' well-being - leads employees to infer less informal sanctions and thus indirectly facilitates counterproductive work behaviors. I additionally expect these indirect effects to be conditional on employees' level of conscientiousness and agreeableness. Cross-level structural equations on cross-sectional data obtained from 158 employees in 26 work groups supported my expectations. By promoting collective responsibility for the respect of organizational rules and by knowing what their work group considers threatening their well-being, leaders may be able to prevent counterproductive work behaviors.¦Adopting an organizational justice perspective, the second essay provides a theoretical explanation of why and how collective deviance can emerge in a collective. In interdependent situations, employees use justice perceptions to infer others' cooperative intent. Even if moral transgressions (e.g., injustice) are ambiguous, their repetition and configuration within a team can lead employees to assign blame and develop collective cynicism toward the transgressor. Over time, collective cynicism - a shared belief about the transgressor's intentional lack of integrity - progressively constrains the diversity of employees' response to blame and leads collective deviance to emerge. This essay contributes to workplace deviance research by offering a theoretical framework for investigations of the phenomenon at the collective level. It organizations effort to manage and prevent deviance should consider.¦In the third essay, I solve an apparent contradiction in the literature showing that justice concerns sometimes lead employees to react aggressively to injustice and sometimes to refrain from it. Drawing from just-world theory, a cross-sectional field study and an experiment provide evidence that retaliatory tendencies following injustice are moderated by personal and general just-world beliefs. Whereas a high personal just-world belief facilitates retaliatory reactions to injustice, a high general just-world belief attenuates such reactions. This essay uncovers a dark side of personal just-world belief and a bright one of general just-world belief, and participates to extend just-world theory to the working context.


BREITINGER Dominik - Global challenges for global companies: a trilogy of essays on anti-firm activism, reputational damage and political responsibility
MENA Sébastien - Corporate responsibility & soft law institutional, democratic & social movement perspectives
OTT Christoph - Understanding the role of behavioral norms in early stages of a business relationship
MOINAT Vivien - Three essays on symbolic consumption
VELEA Irina - Trade inspection, security and international terrorism
ROSSET (NICOLESCU) Tabita Crina - Managing diabetes in Switzerland : a systemic approach

The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases is one of the major causes of rising health expenditure, as stated by the WHO. Not only chronic diseases are very costly, but they are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths. Diabetes in particular is becoming a major burden of disease. In Switzerland around 5% of the population suffer of type 2 diabetes and 5 to 10% of the annual health care budget is attributable to diabetes. If the predictions of WHO do realise, the prevalence of diabetes will double until 2030 and so is expected the attributable health expenditure.The objective of this thesis is to provide policy recommendations as to slow down the disease progression and its costly complication. We study the factors that influence diabetes dynamics and the interventions that improve health outcomes while decreasing costs according to different time horizon and use systems thinking and system dynamic.Our results show that managing diabetes requires using integrated care interventions that are effective on three fronts: (1) delaying the onset of complications, (2) slowing down the disease progression and (3) accelerating the time to diagnosis of diabetes and its complications. We recommend firstly the implementation of those interventions targeted at changing patients' behaviour which are also less expensive, but require a change in the delivery of care and medical practices. Then policies targeted at an earlier diagnosis of diabetes, its prevention and the diagnosis of complications are to be considered. This sequence of interventions allows saving money, as total costs decrease, even including the costs of interventions and result in longer life expectancy of diabetics in the long term.In diabetes management there is therefore a trade-off between medical costs and patients' benefits on the one hand and between the objectives of obtaining results in the short or long term on the other hand. Decision makers need to deliver acceptable outcomes in the short term. Considering this criterion, the preferred policy may be to focus only on diagnosed diabetics, thus attempting to slow down the progression of their disease, compared to an integrated care approach addressing all the aspects of the disease. Such a policy also yields desirable results in terms of costs and patients' benefits.

HINTSA Juha - Post-2001 supply chain security - impacts on the private sector


SCHREMPF Judith - The de-limitation of corporate social responsibility: upstream, downstream and historic CSR
KHAYESI Jane - The double-edged sword of social capital: three essays on entrepreneurship in developing nations

My study seeks to answer the main question: "how does entrepreneurs' social capital positively and negatively affect their resource mobilization efforts, and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunity?" To answer this question, I develop a model for examining positive and negative effects of social capital on resource accumulation by entrepreneurs, and the subsequent effect of resource accumulation on the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunity, and utilize data from Africa to ëmpirically test the relationships in this model. Developing nations are a suitable context because: a) They require entrepreneurship for economic development, b) They have received less attention in management and entrepreneurship research, c) Because of inadequately-developed institutions, entrepreneurs from developing nations face major resource mobilization challenges hence they often turn to their social ties for resources, and d) The communalistic and collectivistic nature of most developing nations -encouraging support and sharing of resources- may help us better understand how society's values and structures may contribute and also deduct firm resources.
My study reveals that social capital contributes resources to entrepreneurs in developing nations at a cost that takes away resources, and that more resources but lower costs facilitate entrepreneurial opportunity exploitation. For entrepreneurs in developing nations, large networks, greater shared identity, and more trust are beneficial. To increase chances of raising more resources, entrepreneurs from communalistic societies should include network members from outside their communities. Besides providing financial support, policy-makers should develop training programs and advisory services on configuration of entrepreneurs' networks so as to achieve more resources at a low cost. My study insights can help improve entrepreneurs' resource accumulation efforts and the subsequent growth of their firms, leading to the overall economic growth of developing nations.

LALOS Marco - Consumer attitudes toward personal data collection practices perceived to be insidious : the intrusiveness – privacy dyad
HOOS Florian - Effective corporate governance: experimental evidence on internal auditors' judgements and the contribution of financial accounting education
MEZZOUR Samyr - Three essays on internationalization and firm entrepreneurial behavior

This article addresses the relationship. Past findings reveal that the direct effects of internationalization on performance are mixed and inconclusive. Our framework integrates firm entrepreneurial behavior as a mediating force of the troublesome Drawing on the tension between the entrepreneurship literature and the organizational inertia theory, we argue that internationalization is key to minimizing the stifling effects of inertia and in engendering entrepreneurial behavior towards growth. We suggest that firms that internationalize at a young age and enjoy an intense degree of internationalization tend to become more entrepreneurial than do late and weakly internationalized firms. As a consequence, early and intense internationalizers experience superior growth. Aware of the inherent endogeneity of our propositions, we also discuss how consistent estimates can be obtained when testing the model empirically.
This paper seeks to address the issue of whether early and intense internationalization leads to superior firm growth. We revisit the hypotheses of previous studies within the emerging research domain of international entrepreneurship. Empirical analyses on the performance implications of internationalization have so far been limited and inconsistent. Our paper intends to make two contributions to the international entrepreneurship literature. First, we bring additional empirical evidence as to the inconclusive firm performance endogeneity in our causal model, using a sample of 103 Swiss international small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). On one hand, we find that the degree of internationalization significantly increases perceived firm growth (i.e., relative firm performance in a market); however, age at internationalization was unrelated to perceived firm growth. On the other hand, we reproduced the causal path of a highly cited study that showed how age at internationalization was significantly and negatively associated with objective firm growth (i.e., sales). Interestingly, our results support the study similar setting (OLS regression with comparable control variables); however, the effect for age at internationalization reverses when we correct for endogeneity.
How does internationalization influence a firm orientation (EO) and is this related to firm growth? This paper inquires into the performance theorizing, we test a process model in which EO plays a mediating role in accounting for the relationship between internationalization and growth. We position this paper on the tension zone between the entrepreneurship literature and the organizational inertia theory. We lay out the argument that internationalization is source of opportunities that drives a firm and thus mitigates inertial pressure. Using a sample of Swiss software small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), we found that degree of internationalization (but not age of internationalization) increases EO, which subsequently increased firm growth.

VILADENT Christian - A deterministic model to assess the impact of AIDS interventions in countries with generalized HIV epidemic. An application to Botswana

The Human Immunodeficiency/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic, despite recent encouraging announcements by the World Health Organization (WHO) is still today one of the world's major health care challenges.The present work lies in the field of health care management, in particular, we aim to evaluate the behavioural and non-behavioural interventions against HIV/AIDS in developing countries through a deterministic simulation model, both in human and economic terms. We will focus on assessing the effectiveness of the antiretroviral therapies (ART) in heterosexual populations living in lesser developed countries where the epidemic has generalized (formerly defined by the WHO as type II countries). The model is calibrated using Botswana as a case study, however our model can be adapted to other countries with similar transmission dynamics.The first part of this thesis consists of reviewing the main mathematical concepts describing the transmission of infectious agents in general but with a focus on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. We also review deterministic models assessing HIV interventions with a focus on models aimed at African countries. This review helps us to recognize the need for a generic model and allows us to define a typical structure of such a generic deterministic model.The second part describes the main feed-back loops underlying the dynamics of HIV transmission. These loops represent the foundation of our model. This part also provides a detailed description of the model, including the various infected and non-infected population groups, the type of sexual relationships, the infection matrices, important factors impacting HIV transmission such as condom use, other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and male circumcision. We also included in the model a dynamic life expectancy calculator which, to our knowledge, is a unique feature allowing more realistic cost-efficiency calculations. Various intervention scenarios are evaluated using the model, each of them including ART in combination with other interventions, namely: circumcision, campaigns aimed at behavioral change (Abstain, Be faithful or use Condoms also named ABC campaigns), and treatment of other STD. A cost efficiency analysis (CEA) is performed for each scenario. The CEA consists of measuring the cost per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted. This part also describes the model calibration and validation, including a sensitivity analysis.The third part reports the results and discusses the model limitations. In particular, we argue that the combination of ART and ABC campaigns and ART and treatment of other STDs are the most cost-efficient interventions through 2020. The main model limitations include modeling the complexity of sexual relationships, omission of international migration and ignoring variability in infectiousness according to the AIDS stage.The fourth part reviews the major contributions of the thesis and discusses model generalizability and flexibility. Finally, we conclude that by selecting the adequate interventions mix, policy makers can significantly reduce the adult prevalence in Botswana in the coming twenty years providing the country and its donors can bear the cost involved.Part I: Context and literature reviewIn this section, after a brief introduction to the general literature we focus in section two on the key mathematical concepts describing the transmission of infectious agents in general with a focus on HIV transmission. Section three provides a description of HIV policy models, with a focus on deterministic models. This leads us in section four to envision the need for a generic deterministic HIV policy model and briefly describe the structure of such a generic model applicable to countries with generalized HIV/AIDS epidemic, also defined as pattern II countries by the WHO.

JACQUART Philippe - Leadership at the upper echelons: three essays
Because charisma is assumed to be an important determinant of effective leadership, the extent to which a presidential nominee is more charismatic than his opponent should be an important determinant of voter choices. We computed a composite measure of the rhetorical richness of acceptances speeches given by U.S. presidential candidates at their national party convention. We added this marker of charisma to Ray C. Fair's presidential vote-share equation (1978; 2009). We theorized that voters decide using psychological attribution (i.e., due to macroeconomics and incumbency) as well as inferential processes (i.e., due to leader charismatic behavior) when voting. Controlling for the macro-level variables and incumbency in the Fair model, our results indicated that difference between nominees' charisma is a significant determinant of electoral success, particularly in close elections. This extended model significantly improves the precision of the Fair model and correctly predicts 23 out of the last 24 U.S. presidential elections.

We investigated whether CEO leadership predicted corporate financial performance (CFP) and corporate social performance (CSP). Using longitudinal data on 258 CEOs from 117 firms across 19 countries and 10 industry sectors, we found that determinants of CEO leadership (i.e., implicit motives) significantly predicted both CFP and CSP. As expected, the most consistent positive predictor was Responsibility Disposition when interacting with n (need for) Power. n Achievement and n Affiliation were generally negatively related or unrelated to outcomes. CSP was positively related to accounting measures of CFP. Our findings suggest that executive leader characteristics have important consequences for corporate level outcomes.

We propose that individuals are more lenient in attributing blame to leaders than to nonleaders. We advance a motivational explanation building on the perspective of punishment and on system justification theory. We conducted two scenario experiments which supported our proposition. In study 1, wrongdoer leader status was negatively related to blame and the perceived seriousness of the wrongdoing. In study 2, controlling for the Big-Five personality factor and individual differences in moral evaluation (i.e., moral foundations), wrongdoer leader status was negatively related with desired severity of punishment, and fair punishments were perceived as more just for non-leaders than for leaders.
Keywords: Charisma, Elections, Leadership
BENDAHAN Samuel - Three essays on leadership

Samuel Bendahan, John Antonakis, Christian Zehnder, and François Pralong
The relationship between power and immoral decisions has been discussed extensively
by scientists and philosophers alike. Although the exercise of power is ubiquitous in social hierarchies, direct evidence on the impact of power on decision making is scarce. We use laboratory experiments to study whether more power leads to corruption. We manipulate power in the context of leader decision-making authority involving monetary stakes. Prior to the experiment, we also gathered extensive data on psychological and endocrinological individual differences. We find that an increase of power caused leaders to be more likely to engage in destructive, selfish behaviour, although the same subjects did not behave in this manner before their level of power was increased. We also show how individual differences affect the initial level of destructive behaviour and the corruption process.
Samuel Bendahan
Value congruence between leaders and followers is important not only for follower commitment but also as part of the attributions followers make of leaders. I theorized that transformational leadership, which often is referred to as being value driven and having strong moral foundations, has differential effects depending on the values of the follower and whether these values are congruent with what the leader espouses. I designed an experiment to analyze how the political values of followers and leaders can influence followers' attributions regarding leaders. Within the context of political leadership, I found that transformational leaders were seen as more prototypical. Value congruence predicted prototypicality, which was strongly related to follower intentions to vote for the leader. Furthermore, followers with left-wing political values were more influenced by prototypical leaders than were followers with right-wing political values, presumably because of moral overtones of both left-wing ideology and transformational leadership.
Samuel Bendahan, Philippe Jacquart, and John Antonakis
A large body of literature suggests that interviewers do not accurately rate candidates when using unstructured interviews and evaluation procedures that affect pre-interview expectations; however, the process by which these biases are produced is not well understood. We theorized several reasons for the sub-par performance of the unstructured interview. These factors, which we manipulated in the context of a videotaped interview of a candidate applying for a leadership position, include evaluator cognitive load, pre-interview performance cues regarding the candidate, and the ethnicity of the candidate. We also controlled for the intelligence of the evaluator. We found a significant four-way interaction between the manipulated factors and evaluators' cognitive abilities. The effects of the manipulated factors were all significantly less for evaluators who were high on general intelligence.


GUERARD Stéphane - Struggles for meaning and struggles for control: the diffusion of bandwagon technology in two institutional environments

In this thesis, I examine the diffusion process for a complex medical technology, the PET scanner, in two different health care systems, one of which is more market-oriented (Switzerland) and the other more centrally managed by a public agency (Quebec). The research draws on institutional and socio-political theories of the diffusion of innovations to examine how institutional contexts affect processes of diffusion. I find that diffusion proceeds more rapidly in Switzerland than in Quebec, but that processes in both jurisdictions are characterized by intense struggles among providers and between providers and public agencies. I show that the institutional environment influences these processes by determining the patterns of material resources and authority available to actors in their struggles to strategically control the technology, and by constituting the discursive resources or institutional logics on which actors may legitimately draw in their struggles to give meaning to the technology in line with their interests and values. This thesis illustrates how institutional structures and meanings manifest themselves in the context of specific decisions within an organizational field, and reveals the ways in which governance structures may be contested and realigned when they conflict with interests that are legitimized by dominant institutional logics. It is argued that this form of contestation and readjustment at the margins constitutes one mechanism by which institutional frameworks are tested, stretched and reproduced or redefined.

BARROSO CASADO Raul - Three essays in Swiss corporate governance

This dissertation is a combination of three relatively independent chapters on the subject of corporate governance. Corporate governance is presently at the epicenter of the global financial crisis. The lack of regulation and the misalignment of objectives have greatly contributed to the major crisis we are now in. Most governance research has been conducted in the United States in a context of widely held corporations and great executive power. It does not reflect the variety of situations around the world and we question the validity of this model in other contexts.
The aim of this dissertation is to look at other governance models, in particular the Swiss corporate governance not only from a practical point of view, but also from a multi-theoretical approach. Traditional corporate governance literature has focused on the Anglo-American model that mainly follows the agency theory (Jensen and Meckling, 1976) in a shareholder-manager context, and overlooked other approaches. We focus on three different aspects of corporate governance using three different theories. First, we look at the ownership type of various corporations, using the agency theory in a context where issues between shareholders predominate over the typical shareholder-manager relationship. Second, we explore the adoption process of several governance mechanisms that, due to changes in legislation, has taken place in Switzerland since 2002. We use the institutional theory (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983), in a context where the environmental pressures are particularly high. Finally, we spotlight the board of directors as a key element of the governance of publicly listed corporations. Particularly, we focus on the independence of the board of directors, using a combination of the agency and resource dependence theories (Pfeffer, 1972; Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978).


MILLER Joyce - Tapping the innovation potential of corporate engagement with stakeholders
RICHTER Ulf - Corporate responsibility in the postnational constellation - A multiple-case study

In my thesis I present the findings of a multiple-case study on the CSR approach of three multinational companies, applying Basu and Palazzo's (2008) CSR-character as a process model of sensemaking, Suchman's (1995) framework on legitimation strategies, and Habermas (1996) concept of deliberative democracy. The theoretical framework is based on the assumption of a postnational constellation (Habermas, 2001) which sends multinational companies onto a process of sensemaking (Weick, 1995) with regards to their responsibilities in a globalizing world. The major reason is that mainstream CSR-concepts are based on the assumption of a liberal market economy embedded in a nation state that do not fit the changing conditions for legitimation of corporate behavior in a globalizing world. For the purpose of this study, I primarily looked at two research questions: (i) How can the CSR approach of a multinational corporation be systematized empirically? (ii) What is the impact of the changing conditions in the postnational constellation on the CSR approach of the studied multinational corporations? For the analysis, I adopted a holistic approach (Patton, 1980), combining elements of a deductive and inductive theory building methodology (Eisenhardt, 1989b; Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007; Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Van de Ven, 1992) and rigorous qualitative data analysis. Primary data was collected through 90 semi-structured interviews in two rounds with executives and managers in three multinational companies and their respective stakeholders. Raw data originating from interview tapes, field notes, and contact sheets was processed, stored, and managed using the software program QSR NVIVO 7. In the analysis, I applied qualitative methods to strengthen the interpretative part as well as quantitative methods to identify dominating dimensions and patterns. I found three different coping behaviors that provide insights into the corporate mindset. The results suggest that multinational corporations increasingly turn towards relational approaches of CSR to achieve moral legitimacy in formalized dialogical exchanges with their stakeholders since legitimacy can no longer be derived only from a national framework. I also looked at the degree to which they have reacted to the postnational constellation by the assumption of former state duties and the underlying reasoning. The findings indicate that CSR approaches become increasingly comprehensive through integrating political strategies that reflect the growing (self-) perception of multinational companies as political actors. Based on the results, I developed a model which relates the different dimensions of corporate responsibility to the discussion on deliberative democracy, global governance and social innovation to provide guidance for multinational companies in a postnational world. With my thesis, I contribute to management research by (i) delivering a comprehensive critique of the mainstream CSR-literature and (ii) filling the gap of thorough qualitative research on CSR in a globalizing world using the CSR-character as an empirical device, and (iii) to organizational studies by further advancing a deliberative view of the firm proposed by Scherer and Palazzo (2008).

GHERBI Reda - Du principe de continuité de l'exploitation en comptabilité

En choisissant volontairement une problématique comptable typiquement empirique, ce travail s'est attelé à tenter de démontrer la possibilité de produire des enseignements purement comptables (ie à l'intérieur du schème de représentation de la Comptabilité) en s'interdisant l'emprunt systématique de theories clé-en-main à l'Économie -sauf quant cela s'avère réellement nécessaire et légitime, comme dans l'utilisation du CAPM au chapitre précédent. Encore une fois, rappelons que cette thèse n'est pas un réquisitoire contre l'approche économique en tant que telle, mais un plaidoyer visant à mitiger une telle approche en Comptabilité. En relation avec le positionnement épistémologique effectué au premier chapitre, il a été cherché à mettre en valeur l'apport et la place de la Comptabilité dans l'Économie par le positionnement de la Comptabilité en tant que discipline pourvoyeuse de mesures de représentation de l'activité économique. Il nous paraît clair que si l'activité économique, en tant que sémiosphère comptable directe, dicte les observations comptables, la mesure de ces dernières doit, tant que faire se peut, tenter de s'affranchir de toute dépendance à la discipline économique et aux théories-méthodes qui lui sont liées, en adoptant un mode opératoire orthogonal, rationnel et systématique dans le cadre d'axiomes lui appartenant en propre.
Cette prise de position entraîne la définition d'un nouveau cadre épistémologique par rapport à l'approche positive de la Comptabilité. Cette dernière peut se décrire comme l'expression philosophique de l'investissement de la recherche comptable par une réflexion méthodique propre à la recherche économique. Afin d'être au moins partiellement validé, ce nouveau cadre -que nous voyons dérivé du constructivisme -devrait faire montre de sa capacité à traiter de manière satisfaisante une problématique classique de comptabilité empirico-positive. Cette problématique spécifique a été choisie sous la forme de traitement-validation du principe de continuité de l'exploitation.
Le principe de continuité de l'exploitation postule (énonciation d'une hypothèse) et établit (vérification de l'hypothèse) que l'entreprise produit ses états financiers dans la perspective d'une poursuite normale de ses activités. Il y a rupture du principe de continuité de l'exploitation (qui devra alors être écartée au profit du principe de liquidation ou de cession) dans le cas de cessation d'activité, totale ou partielle, volontaire ou involontaire, ou la constatation de faits de nature à compromettre la continuité de l'exploitation. Ces faits concernent la situation financière, économique et sociale de l'entreprise et représentent l'ensemble des événements objectifs 33, survenus ou pouvant survenir, susceptibles d'affecter la poursuite de l'activité dans un avenir prévisible.
A l'instar de tous les principes comptables, le principe de continuité de l'exploitation procède d'une considération purement théorique. Sa vérification requiert toutefois une analyse concrète, portant réellement et de manière mesurable à conséquence, raison pour laquelle il représente un thème de recherche fort apprécié en comptabilité positive, tant il peut (faussement) se confondre avec les études relatives à la banqueroute et la faillite des entreprises. Dans la pratique, certaines de ces études, basées sur des analyses multivariées discriminantes (VIDA), sont devenues pour l'auditeur de véritables outils de travail de par leur simplicité d'utilisation et d'interprétation.
À travers la problématique de ce travail de thèse, il a été tenté de s'acquitter de nombreux objectifs pouvant être regroupés en deux ensembles : celui des objectifs liés à la démarche méthodologique et celui relevant de la mesure-calibration.
Ces deux groupes-objectifs ont permis dans une dernière étape la construction d'un modèle se voulant une conséquence logique des choix et hypothèses retenus.

PETTY Jeffrey - A study of venture capital decision making
IUNIUS Florian Ray - La perception de la productivité dans l'industrie hôtelière de luxe: le cas de la Suisse romande
KOCHER Bruno - When does a change in established brand name—logo consistency affect consumers' brand attitudes? An investigation of moderating effects
GONIN Michael - The social disembedding of business theory and practice. A (neo-)institutional analysis of the homo economicus and corporate social responsibility, and the inherent responsibility of business scholars

In the first article, I focus on the context in which the Homo Economicus was constructed - i.e., the conception of economic actors as fully rational, informed, egocentric, and profit-maximizing. I argue that the Homo Economicus theory was developed in a specific societal context with specific (partly tacit) values and norms. These norms have implicitly influenced the behavior of economic actors and have framed the interpretation of the Homo Economicus. Different factors however have weakened this implicit influence of the broader societal values and norms on economic actors. The result is an unbridled interpretation and application of the values and norms of the Homo Economicus in the business environment, and perhaps also in the broader society.
In the second article, I show that the morality of many economic actors relies on isomorphism, i.e., the attempt to fit into the group by adopting the moral norms surrounding them. In consequence, if the norms prevailing in a specific group or context (such as a specific region or a specific industry) change, it can be expected that actors with an 'isomorphism morality' will also adapt their ethical thinking and their behavior -for the 'better' or for the 'worse'. The article further describes the process through which corporations could emancipate from the ethical norms prevailing in the broader society, and therefore develop an institution with specific norms and values. These norms mainly rely on mainstream business theories praising the economic actor's self-interest and neglecting moral reasoning. Moreover, because of isomorphism morality, many economic actors have changed their perception of ethics, and have abandoned the values prevailing in the broader society in order to adopt those of the economic theory. Finally, isomorphism morality also implies that these economic actors will change their morality again if the institutional context changes.
The third article highlights the role and responsibility of business scholars in promoting a systematic reflection and self-critique of the business system and develops alternative models to fill the moral void of the business institution and its inherent legitimacy crisis. Indeed, the current business institution relies on assumptions such as scientific neutrality and specialization, which seem at least partly challenged by two factors. First, self-fulfilling prophecy provides scholars with an important (even if sometimes undesired) normative influence over practical life. Second, the increasing complexity of today's (socio-political) world and interactions between the different elements constituting our society question the strong specialization of science. For instance, economic theories are not unrelated to psychology or sociology, and economic actors influence socio-political structures and processes, e.g., through lobbying (Dobbs, 2006; Rondinelli, 2002), or through marketing which changes not only the way we consume, but more generally tries to instill a specific lifestyle (Cova, 2004; M. K. Hogg & Michell, 1996; McCracken, 1988; Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001). In consequence, business scholars are key actors in shaping both tomorrow's economic world and its broader context. A greater awareness of this influence might be a first step toward an increased feeling of civic responsibility and accountability for the models and theories developed or taught in business schools.


PERRINJAQUET Amandine - The value / personality – attitude – behavior hierarchy and its impact on individual performance in the context of market orientation

The purpose of this dissertation is to better understand how individual employees? values and personality traits influence their attitudes toward market orientation; how such attitudes impact their market-oriented behaviors; and how in turn, these behaviors lead to their superior individual performance. To investigate these relationships, an empirical study was conducted in the French speaking part of Switzerland and data were collected from a sample of service firms? employees from diverse departments and hierarchical levels. To a large extent, the results support the hypothesis of a hierarchical chain moving from value / personality to attitude to behavior to individual performance in relation to market orientation.

SUND Kristian - Three essays on organizations and their external environment

The literature on the various links between organizations and their external environment is very extensive and fragmented. This thesis is comprised of three separate essays, each examining specific research questions related to these links. The first essay deals with the notion of industry life cycle and how the geographical concentration of an industry is linked to the particular life cycle stage in which the industry finds itself. The aim of this first essay is firstly to verify if the evolution of the Swiss hotel industry fits some of the stylized facts of the industry life cycle. The second aim is to verify if there is evidence of geographical clustering of the hotel industry, and by extension of tourism. The third aim is to verify a hypothesis that industry decline manifests itself mainly by company closures in decentralized locations.
The importance for organizational survival and performance of adapting and reacting to environmental changes has long been ascertained. This adaptation requires managers, under conditions of uncertainty, to identify relevant changes in their external environment and to interpret the possible effects of those changes on their organization. Furthermore, it requires finding and adopting organizational responses in reaction to the environmental changes. The second essay explores how managers perceive their environment by reporting the results of two workshops held with managers from the European hotel industry. In the third essay we examine in more detail the role of uncertainty in the interpretation by executives of environmental changes. We integrate existing theories of interpretation and uncertainty into one framework, which we then test using national survey data from the hotel industry.
In all three essays we are able to provide some evidence to support our main hypotheses, but.also make suggestions far further research into the topics examined.

OCHOA Patricia - The dynamics of the Swiss electricity market : three essays

Electricity is crucial for modern societies, thus it is important to understand the behaviour of electricity markets in order to be prepared to face the consequences of policy changes.
The Swiss electricity market is now in a transition stage from a public monopoly to a liberalised market and it is undergoing an "emergent" liberalisation - i.e. liberalisation taking place without proper regulation. The withdrawal of nuclear capacity is also being debated. These two possible changes directly affect the mechanisms for capacity expansion. Thus, in this thesis we concentrate on understanding the dynamics of capacity expansion in the Swiss electricity market.
A conceptual model to help understand the dynamics of capacity expansion in the Swiss electricity market is developed an explained in the first essay. We identify a potential risk of imports dependence. In the second essay a System Dynamics model, based on the conceptual model, is developed to evaluate the consequences of three scenarios: a nuclear phase-out, the implementation of a policy for avoiding imports dependence, and the combination of both. We conclude that the Swiss market is not well prepared to face unexpected changes of supply and demand, and we identify a risk of imports dependence, mainly in the case of a nuclear phase-out.
The third essay focus on the opportunity cost of hydro-storage power generation, one of the main generation sources in Switzerland. We use and extended version of our model to test different policies for assigning an opportunity cost to hydro-storage power generation. We conclude that the preferred policies are different for different market participants and depend on market structure.

MARTEL Frédéric - Venture capital financing: screening and contracting under assymetric information

This thesis consists of 5 sections.
Section 1 starts with the problem definition and the presentation of the objectives of this thesis.
Section 2 introduces a presentation of the theoretical foundations of Venture financing and a review of the main theories developed on Venture investing. It includes a taxonomy of contracting clauses relevant in venture contracting, the conflicts they address, and presents some general observations on contractual clauses.
Section 3 presents the research findings on the analysis of a European VC's deal flow and investment screening linked to the prevailing market conditions.
Section 4 focuses an empirical study of a European VC's investment process, the criteria it uses to make its investments. It presents empirical findings on the investment criteria over time, business cycles, and investment types. It also links these criteria to the VC's subsequent performance.
Finally, section 5 presents an empirical research on the comparison of the legal contracts signed between European and United States Venture Capitalists and the companies they finance. This research highlights some of the contracting practices in Europe and the United States.

VUOLA Olli - Innovation and new business through mutually beneficial collaboration and proactive procurement

This dissertation focuses on new technology commercialization, innovation and new business development. Industry-based novel technology may achieve commercialization through its transfer to a large research laboratory acting as a lead user and technical partner, and providing the new technology with complementary assets and meaningful initial use in social practice. The research lab benefits from the new technology and innovation through major performance improvements and cost savings. Such mutually beneficial collaboration between the lab and the firm does not require any additional administrative efforts or funds from the lab, yet requires openness to technologies and partner companies that may not be previously known to the lab- Labs achieve the benefits by applying a proactive procurement model that promotes active pre-tender search of new technologies and pre-tender testing and piloting of these technological options. The collaboration works best when based on the development needs of both parties. This means that first of all the lab has significant engineering activity with well-defined technological needs and second, that the firm has advanced prototype technology yet needs further testing, piloting and the initial market and references to achieve the market breakthrough. The empirical evidence of the dissertation is based on a longitudinal multiple-case study with the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. The key theoretical contribution of this study is that large research labs, including basic research, play an important role in product and business development toward the end, rather than front-end, of the innovation process. This also implies that product-orientation and business-orientation can contribute to basic re-search. The study provides practical managerial and policy guidelines on how to initiate and manage mutually beneficial lab-industry collaboration and proactive procurement.


CAPKUN Vedran - Five essays on bankruptcy
LU HONG ZE Abraham - Three essays on bankruptcy risk

Market prices of corporate bond spreads and of credit default swap (CDS) rates do not match each other. In this paper, we argue that the liquidity premium, the cheapest-to-deliver (CTD) option and actual market segmentation explain the pricing differences. Using the European transaction data from Reuters and Bloomberg, we estimate the liquidity premium that is time- varying and firm-specific. We show that when time-dependent liquidity premiums are considered, corporate bond spreads and CDS rates behave in a much closer way than previous studies have shown. We find that high equity volatility drives pricing differences that can be explained by the CTD option.

DONG Minyue - Determinants of corporate disclosure: a multicountry, multilevel model

The complexity of the current business world is making corporate disclosure more and more important for information users. These users, including investors, financial analysts, and government authorities rely on the disclosed information to make their investment decisions, analyze and recommend shares, and to draft regulation policies. Moreover, the globalization of capital markets has raised difficulties for information users in understanding the differences incorporate disclosure across countries and across firms. Using a sample of 797 firms from 34 countries, this thesis advances the literature on disclosure by illustrating comprehensively the disclosure determinants originating at firm systems and national systems based on the multilevel latent variable approach. Under this approach, the overall variation associated with the firm-specific variables is decomposed into two parts, the within-country and the between-country part. Accordingly, the model estimates the latent association between corporate disclosure and information demand at two levels, the within-country and the between-country level. The results indicate that the variables originating from corporate systems are hierarchically correlated with those from the country environment. The information demand factor indicated by the number of exchanges listed and the number of analyst recommendations can significantly explain the variation of corporate disclosure for both "within" and "between" countries. The exogenous influences of firm fundamentals-firm size and performance-are exerted indirectly through the information demand factor. Specifically, if the between-country variation in firm variables is taken into account, only the variables of legal systems and economic growth keep significance in explaining the disclosure differences across countries. These findings strongly support the hypothesis that disclosure is a response to both corporate systems and national systems, but the influence of the latter on disclosure reflected significantly through that of the former. In addition, the results based on ADR (American Depositary Receipt) firms suggest that the globalization of capital markets is harmonizing the disclosure behavior of cross-boundary listed firms, but it cannot entirely eliminate the national features in disclosure and other firm-specific characteristics.

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