Research Seminars


Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Bruce Carruthers
Northwestern University

20 October 2017 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Qiang Cheng
Singapore Management University

18 October 2017 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Workplace courage: Turning good stories into good social science

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Jim Detert
Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, USA

12 October 2017 - Room Bernard Ramanantsoa - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Courage is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous concepts in the world. It has been written about extensively in philosophy, religion, throughout the humanities and, more recently, in psychology. Despite this, our understanding of “workplace courage” remains quite limited. This is an important gap, as those who teach leadership know that students/practitioners are compelled by a lay belief that courage is linked to leader effectiveness and other important outcomes. But, whether this is true, or what we might do to help leaders develop their courage if it is true, cannot meaningfully be addressed until we answer more basic and fundamental questions about workplace courage as a social science construct. In this talk I will therefore quickly review my motivations for studying workplace courage, the limited extant literature, and then present results from several initial studies undertaken (using multiple methods and a total sample over 6,000) to begin shedding light on the construct of workplace courage and how this construct might be pursued in future research. I am particularly interested in discussing with you how we might address the “perspective problem” more directly and satisfactorily in future research on courage (and many other organizational constructs).

“The quality of earnings and non-earnings information in stock returns, and their relative effect on the cost of equity”

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Eli Amir
Tel Aviv University

6 October 2017 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

While prior literature shows that the quality of earnings information explains the variation in firms’ cost of equity, earnings information, after all, represents only a small part of firm specific, value-relevant, information. In addition, whereas different firms report earnings according to similar rules, their information environment on non-disclosure days is more heterogeneous. Using daily stock returns, we estimate the quality of information during earnings and non-earnings announcement days, and find that although the quality of information increases during earnings announcements, it explains less of the variation in expected returns than the quality of information on non-earnings days. Our findings suggest that the quality of earnings has but only a small effect on the cost of equity relative to the quality of information released on non-earnings days.

Customer Retention in a Platform World.


Speaker: Barak LIBAI
Professor of Marketing , Arison School of Business, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) – Herzlya, Israel

14 September 2017 - Room T004 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Customer Retention in a Platform World.

By Barak Libai
Arison School of Business, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) – Herzlya, Israel

In recent year marketer’s attention has been drawn to the prominence of customer retention and the need to low churn, in particular of high value customers. Yet this thinking and analysis has largely focused on the case of a single product, while firms had been advised for a while to manage their offerings as platforms that consist of families of products with a common underlying logic. Taking a platform view, when a new product of the same family enters the market, the users of current products may be good candidates for acquisition efforts to the new offering. This raises interesting questions which widen the existing discussion of customer retention. Which customers would the firm want to transfer from current products and when? Would we want to churn the “best customers” of the current product earlier or later? How would considerations of value that stems from purchases (lifetime value) be different value that stems from the effect on others (social value)? We analyze these questions using agent based models, looking in particular at the market for mobile games, where the question of customer transfer among products is of high importance to firms.

Does the Opinion of the Crowd Predict Success? Evidence from Crowdsourcing


Speaker: Anirban MUKHERJEE
Assistant Professor of Marketing , Lee Kong Chian School of Business - Singapore Management University

7 July 2017 - Room T015 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Does the Opinion of the Crowd Predict Success? Evidence from Crowdsourcing


Anirban Mukherjee
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University

Ping Xiao
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing
Business School of the National University of Singapore, NYU Shanghai

Li Wang
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Noshir Contractor
Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences
McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University


“Crowdsourcing” is the sourcing of organizational functions from the “crowd”: a large, undefined community of a firm’s consumers, partners, and collaborators. A crucial challenge in crowdsourcing is to determine the quality of crowdsourced submissions. To help screen submissions, crowdsourcing portals use crowdvoting: they ask the community to vote on submissions. Our study investigates the informational role of crowdvoting on design submissions on Threadless, a pioneering crowdsourcing website. We collect and examine a novel, large scale dataset tracking over 150,000 designs, submitted by over 45,000 designers, voted on almost 150 million times, by over 600,000 different users. We focus on two questions. First, what is the conventional wisdom—how does crowdvoting influence Threadless? Second, does the conventional wisdom stand up to scrutiny—does crowdvoting systematically predict commercial success? We document several new empirical findings relating crowdvoting to revenues. We conclude by discussing the implications of our research for designers and firms seeking to ride the crowdsourcing tide.

Keywords: crowdsourcing, crowdvoting, new product development, big data.

Joint seminar HEC/ESSEC - Localization of Global Accounting Practices: A comparative analysis of practice variation in response to institutional complexity

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Eksa Kilfoyle
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

20 June 2017 - Champerret - Amphi 461 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

We conduct a comparative analysis of the initial stages of implementation of global accounting and control practices in two member organizations of an international network. We analyze organizational responses to institutional pressures. We attend to nested institutional levels and show how institutional logics, enacted by executives in early stages of implementation, mediate variations in the localized accounting and control practices. Our study contributes to understanding how field level pressures shape practice variation beyond loose coupling and decoupling. We also highlight the importance of early stages of localization of accounting practices, given the path dependent nature of institutions. Executive team decisions and actions in response to field level pressures in the early stages of localization shape organizational responses to the introduction of global accounting practices. We find that localized accounting and control practices are institutional hybrids and we propose a process that explains the source of variations in these accounting hybrids.

R Share Repurchases and Accounting Conservatism

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Gerald Lobo
University of Houston

13 June 2017 - HEC Paris - room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The prior literature indicates that financial policy (e.g., payout policy) as well as accounting policy (e.g., conservatism) can be used to address incentive problems in firms. Similar to findings in Louis and Urcan (2014) who study cash dividends, we find that stock repurchases, an increasingly popular form of payout, are negatively related to conservatism, suggesting that these mechanisms are substitutes. Extending this analysis, and focusing on a particular manifestation of the incentive problem (managerial propensity to engage in overinvestment using free cash flows), we find that in firms with high levels of free cash flows, the negative relation between share repurchase and conservatism is stronger. By contrast, we find that the substitution effect is weaker when CEO tenure is higher, which confirms that more powerful CEOs have less incentives to solve the overinvestment problem. In an ancillary test, we show that the stock market reaction to share repurchases is increasing in conservatism, suggesting that the relation between conservatism and repurchases is complex (i.e., with multiple dimensions).

Strategy & Business Policy

Speaker: Sendhil Ethiraj

8 June 2017

Performance Isn’t Everything: Personal Characteristics and Career Outcomes of Mutual Fund Managers


Speaker: Anna Scherbina
UC Davis

8 June 2017 - From 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm


We find that mutual fund managers’ career outcomes are largely determined by past performance, measured by returns and fund flows. However, managers’ personal attributes also factor in. All else equal, female managers are less likely to be promoted and have shorter tenures than male fund managers. This finding largely applies to women who co-manage funds with other managers, which suggests that working in teams negatively affects women’s careers compared to men’s. Restricting the sample of managers to those that co-manage the same fund and have identical track records, we provide further evidence that female managers are significantly more likely to leave the job than male managers. After controlling for workload and performance, we show that young managers are more likely to be promoted and less likely to be demoted or fired than their older peers.