Research

Working Papers

Decision-making in organizations: Selecting polysemantic laws, 2014. (with Eric Abrahamson)

All of the institutions with which corporations interact are housed with the legal system. Due to this, it is crucial to study not only business strategy but also legal strategy. We study the setting of the U.S. legal system and focus on the prosecutor as the focal actor. The prosecutor selects the statute or statutes used in a case and possesses the ability to switch statutes between the indictment and trial stage, which is crucial to her discretionary abilities. The corporate world is rife with examples of prosecutors using polysemantic statutes, defined here legal statutes that have several potential interpretations that can be utilized to the advantage of the focal actor, to increase their performance, or conviction rate. We explore this type of behavior and attempt to disentangle the processes that it involves. To do so, we employ a dataset of nearly 73,000 federal criminal cases in order to explore the relationship between polysemantic laws and conviction. We confirm our hypotheses that more polysemantic laws are associated with higher level of conviction, controlling for the skill of the prosecutor. Further, this relationship is moderated by the amount of fine involved in the case.

The Business Techniques Market Hypothesis, 2014. (with Eric Abrahamson) Under review

The term "business techniques" signifies names denoting prescriptions which organizations can implement to transform organizational inputs into organizational outputs. "Innovative" business techniques use fewer inputs than prior techniques—greater efficiency—to produce better outputs—greater effectiveness. Researchers studying the market for innovative business techniques have generally studied—unrelatedly—either supply-side organizations' broadcast of innovative business techniques or demand-side organizations' use of these broadcasted techniques. Scholars have rarely studied the interrelation between the supply and demand of business techniques. When they have, some researchers, using qualitative methods, have found evidence of supply-demand market interrelation, whereas others have not. Not surprisingly, the later scholars have brought into question the market hypothesis that there exists a market for business techniques in which the interrelation between supply-side and demand-side organizations explains the diffusion of innovative business techniques. This article's threefold objectives are to bring the market hypothesis to a quantitative-statistical test, to study the contingent nature of this hypothesis, and to test if this hypothesis generalizes to, not only management techniques, but also to different types of business techniques in marketing, accounting, finance, operations, and human resource management.

The people's hired guns? Experimentally testing the motivating force of a legal frame, 2014. (with Christoph Engel) Under review

Legal realists expect prosecutors to be selfish. If they get the defendant convicted, this helps them advance their careers. If the odds of winning on the main charge are low, prosecutors have a second option. They can exploit the ambiguity of legal doctrine and charge the defendant for vaguely defined crimes, like “conspiracy”. We model the situation as a signaling game and test it experimentally. If we have participants play the naked game, at least a minority plays the game theoretic equilibrium and use the vague rule if a signal indicates that the defendant is guilty. This becomes even slightly more frequent if a misbehaving defendant imposes harm on a third participant. By contrast if we frame the situation as a court case, almost all prosecutors take the signal at face value and knowingly run the risk of losing in court if the signal was false. Our experimental prosecutors behave like textbook legal idealists, and follow the urge of duty. Click here for the appendix

The Determinants of Financial Assets' Evaluation Techniques: Evidence from U.S. Investment Dealers, 2014. (with Amira Annabi)

In this study, we seek to investigate this question by determining how financial firms respond to their exposure to risk when they select evaluation techniques to price particular financial instruments. We intend to assume that decision-making is rational and then conduct a survey to test the assumptions of behavior finance about irrationality using a survey. For this reason, we create a unique and original dataset, based on publically available information, that looks at firm characteristics, such as total revenue, total sales, profit level indicators, number of employees and others and how exposure to risk correlates with the intensity of use of evaluation techniques. By intensity we mean how much a specific evaluation technique is used between and within financial firms to price a specific financial instrument, or asset. We expect to find that financial firms that decide to have a larger exposure to risk use techniques that are used with less intensity.

 

Teaching

This fall, I am teaching the Strategic Management course for Undergraduate Seniors at Manhattan College. This class is listed as MGMT 406. In this course, we focus on how managers analyze key environmental forces and then formulate, implement and evaluate strategies. We will consider various normative strategic planning models and discuss cases featuring small businesses, profit and non-profit firms, and multinational corporations. I also teach the Advanced Strategic Management course, which is listed as MGMT 720 and uses the case method.

I also have experience working with MBA, and Executive MBA students.

 

Links

Here are the webpages of my co-authors:

Christoph Engel----- Eric Abrahamson----- Amira Annabi-----

 

And the link to my university webpage