Research Seminars

"Big Pictures, Big Bets and Innovation: Goal Activation and the Commercialization of New Technologies at Motorola"

Speaker: John Joseph
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

10 January 2008 - From 11h00 to 12h30

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When do large research-intensive firms commercialize new technologies? Studies in a range of disciplines suggest that large public corporations are motivated to do so by short-term financial goals. Cognitive perspectives and those derived from the behavioral theory of the firm focus on the relationship between aspiration levels and performance relative to those levels and regard
risk-taking and innovation as contingent on aspiration-performance gaps. Yet an often overlooked aspect of the Carnegie School's original formulation is the role of multiple organizational goals in understanding the form and substance of cognition and, in turn, organizational choice and action. What activates and shifts attention to some organizational goals rather than others? How and under what conditions do organizational goals affect organizational search and decision making? These questions are the focus of this study. Theoretically, I bring together behavioral theory with theories of goal setting and attention to understand the role of multiple goals and their impact on organizational decision making. Empirically, I draw on extensive field data from Motorola's new ventures group and, utilizing an embedded case study of 22 new technology initiatives and QCA, I seek to understand the effects of active goals on the decisions to commercialize new technologies. I suggest that that not only do organizations shift their attention in response to aspiration-performance gaps, but that they may, in fact, shift their attention to different goals entirely – such as directive goals related to specific technologies or customers. I posit that organizational attention to goals shifts in response to 1) top management through big picture mission statements or technology big bets or 2) customers and their demands for particular solutions, and that these goals have different consequences for search and decision making in the form of commercialization of new technologies. Contrary to traditional accounts, I find that firms do not rely on financial performance gaps to motivate technology
commercialization and find that that there are multiple paths to motivate innovation in the large
multi-business firm.

TBD

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Kalle Kraus
Stockholm School of Economics

14 September 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


TBD

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Shiva Sivaramakrishnan
Rice University

15 June 2018 - HEC Paris - Room X120 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


Finance

Speaker: Matthieu Bouvard
Desautels Faculty of Management

14 June 2018 - From 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm


TBD

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Xin Wang
Hong Kong University

8 June 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


Finance

Speaker: Mikhail Simutin
Rotman School of Management

7 June 2018 - From 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm


Disclosure, Competition, and Learning from Asset Prices

Finance

Speaker: Liyan Yang
Rotman School of Management

31 May 2018 - From 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

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This paper studies the classic information-sharing problem in a duopoly setting in which firms learn information from a financial market. By disclosing information, a firm incurs a proprietary cost of losing competitive advantage to its rival firm but benefits from learning from a more informative asset market. Firms' disclosure decisions can exhibit strategic complementarity, which is strong enough to support both a disclosure equilibrium and a nondisclosure equilibrium. Allowing minimal learning from asset prices dramatically changes firms' disclosure behaviors: without learning from prices, firms do not disclose at all; but with minimal learning from prices, firms can almost fully disclose their information. Learning from asset prices benefits firms, consumers, and liquidity traders, but harms financial speculators.

Accounting for tacit coordination

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Hendrik Vollmer
University of Leicester

25 May 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T020 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


Tacit coordination is a pervasive aspect of accounting practice. This paper teases out insights on tacit coordination from existing scholarship, starting with studies of everyday life accounting, then turning to professional practice. It develops an understanding that, in the application of rules and accounting standards, in producing, framing, auditing and using statements, records, apologies or excuses, accounting practitioners tacitly coordinate towards the passing of accounts. This passing can be articulated in terms of structures, agencies and processes of tacit coordination involved in making accounting happen. The implications of this understanding of accounting practice and the importance of the wider domain of enquiry it is indicating are discussed with respect to the stewardship position of accounting professionals and to the further development of accounting theory. The paper identifies a need for broad-based forms of accounting theory to support accounting practitioners in the stewardship of silence and provide an antidote against the idea that any account, any slice of information, or any amount of ‘big data’, could speak for itself – or that it should.

Alpha Decay*

Finance

Speaker: Anton Lines
Columbia Business School

24 May 2018 - T020 - From 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

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Using a novel sample of professional asset managers, we document positive incremental alpha on newly purchased stocks that decays over twelve months. While managers are successful forecasters at these short-to-medium horizons, their average holding period is substantially longer (2.2 years). Both slow alpha decay and the horizon mismatch can be explained by strategic trading behavior. Managers accumulate positions gradually and unwind gradually once the alpha has run out; they trade more aggressively when the number of competitors and/or correlation among information signals is high, and do not increase trade size after unexpected capital flows. Alphas are lower when competition/correlation increases.

What is the Expected Return on a Stock?

Finance

Speaker: Ian Martin
LSE

17 May 2018 - From 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm


We derive a formula that expresses the expected return on a stock in terms of the risk-neutral variance of the market and the stock’s excess risk-neutral variance relative to the average stock. These quantities can be computed fromindex and stock option prices; the formula has no free parameters. We run panel regressions of realized stock returns onto risk-neutral variances, and find that the theory performs well at 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year forecasting horizons. The formula drives out beta, size, book-to-market and momentum, and outperforms a range of competitors in forecasting stock returns out of sample. Our results suggest that there is considerably more variation in expected returns, both over time and across stocks, than has previously been acknowledged.

“Processing the Future: Venture Project Evaluation at the American Research and Development Corporation (1946–1973)”

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Martin Giraudeau
LSE/Sci. Po

4 May 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T025 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


This chapter is an analysis of the project appraisal procedures in place at American Research and Development Corporation (ARD) between 1946 and 1973, under the management of Georges F. Doriot. It shows the importance of knowledge technologies and administrative procedures in the way the venture capital company dealt with uncertain futures. The origins of these knowledge practices are traced back to Georges F. Doriot’s own views on business, and more generally to the pragmatist movement in business administration, of which he was a member. The conduct of project appraisal at ARD is then observed directly, and this reveals its reliance on a rich set of knowledge and diagnostic techniques, as well as administrative procedures. These observations allow for a specification of the nature and role of imagination in the entrepreneurship and venture capital practices examined here—in particular, its close relationship with organized knowledge.


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