PhD Dissertations

Vincent MEYER, Management and Human Resources, 2018

Performance Management: An American Technologyin a French Multinational Enterprise Established in China

Advisor(s): F. CHEVALIER


The present dissertation examines theentanglement of the social and material in MultinationalEnterprises during the transnational transfer of HumanResource Management Practices, especially PerformanceManagement Practices. Using 4 local Chinese entities of atransnational firm as my case study, I explore how localemployees make Performance Management practices theirown, both internalizing global practices and innovating toadapt to local environments. This research is based on 60interviews, secondary materials and direct observationsover more than 10 years. In the first chapter of thisdissertation, I explore more specifically the adoption ofHuman Resource Management practices at the micro level,and I identify four archetypes of the adoption of HumanResource Management practices: formal, ceremonial,deviant and innovative. In the second chapter, I focus onthe adoption of Performance Management practices inMultinational Enterprises at a meso level. Drawing onsociomaterial theory, I propose a new definition ofhybridization as being a process by which unique practicesemerge in local subsidiaries from the entanglement of thesocial and the material at Headquarters and in localsubsidiaries. This definition allowed me to identify two newhybrid performance management practices in the fourChinese entities of the Multinational Enterprises underinvestigation, which I have called the “harmoniousConfucian” Performance Management practice and the“harmonious instrumental” Performance Managementpractice. In the third chapter, I build on the results of thetwo previous empirical chapters to conceptualize anintegrated multilevel model for the transnational transfer ofHuman Resource Management practices in MultinationalEnterprises by expanding another central concept tosociomaterial theory: the notion of “apparatus”. Thisdissertation aims therefore at contributing both toInternational Human Resources Management literature andto the literature of the sociology of management tools.

Jiachen YANG, Management and Human Resources, 2018

Paths and Patterns toward Acquirer Success in Mergers and Acquisitions

Advisor(s): M. LANDER


Financial implications for buyers in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have been a topic of fascination with academics and practitioners for decades. Despite extensive business research dedicated toward investigating whether and how acquirers perform financially in the short and long terms following M&A, so far, the clarity of our understanding about these issues remains elusive. This doctoral thesis seeks to bring more clarity to these questions by examining complex interactions among several key aspects of M&A. Chapter 1 investigates how acquirer experience influences long-term performance through key pre- and post-transaction decisions and how such indirect influence differs in domestic and cross-border contexts. Chapter 2 explores the configurations of deal and acquirer characteristics as well as acquirer corporate governance mechanisms corresponding to positive acquirer cumulative abnormal returns (CAR). Chapter 3 investigates the interactive effects among host countries’ formal institutions, acquirer characteristics and corporate governance mechanisms on acquirer CAR. Finally, Chapter 4 examines the influence of business news reports on acquirer CAR.

Jung Won LEE, Management and Human Resources, 2017

Being in Love and at War with Team Colleagues: Three Essays on Positive and Negative relationships within teams.

Advisor(s): Mathis SCHULTE


My dissertation seeks to capture the complex interplays between positive and negative affects by delving into the two social relations that have been relatively understudied: negative ties and ambivalent ties within teams. In the first essay, I seek to delineate intra-team conflicts into different patterns of negative ties among team members, complementing the approach to intra-team conflict that has focused on the contents of conflict (e.g., task or interpersonal conflict). Taking a configural approach, I present a typology of within-team conflict that is based on four prototypical configurations of negative ties: “Battlefield,” “Public Enemy,” “Duels,” and “Rival Factions.” I demonstrate how these configurations of negative ties help us to better understand the origins and consequences of team conflict, and also delineate how positive ties could mitigate the negative effects of each team conflict type.The second essay explicates the nature of ambivalent relationships within teams. In this study, I seek to advance the literature on ambivalent ties by furthering the understanding of ambivalent relationships. In particular, I attempt to dispel a common confusion between ambivalent and ambiguous ties by identifying their distinct antecedents at the individual and dyadic level. Building on the clarification of ambivalent relationships in the second essay, the third essay takes the ambivalence to a team context, introducing the concept of “team ambivalence.” With the assumption that team members’ ambivalence about their teams is deeply rooted in their experience of dyadic relationships within their teams, I propose two different relationship patterns that lead to team ambivalence: within-tie and between-tie incongruence. Based on these patterns, I propose a theoretical model that explores the origins and consequences of team ambivalence.

Celine FLIPO, Management and Human Resources, 2017

A Matter of Taste: A Deep Dive into Assessing Creativity

Advisor(s): Kevyn YONG, Francoise CHEVALIER


The objective of the present dissertation is to gain a better understanding of how people assess creativity, and of the antecedents and outcomes of this creativity assessment process. In the first essay, I address the question of how people in different cultures assess creativity. In an inductive study of the French and US versions of Top Chef, a professional chefs’ competition, striking cultural differences emerge both in the moves used at each step of the assessment process and in the frequency and valence of the criteria. In the second part of this dissertation, I focus on the cues upon which evaluators rely to assess creativity. In particular, I disentangle the mechanism underlying the relationship between the creator’s status and the evaluation of his or her creativity. I develop the role of a specialist identity and argue for a complementary effect with the creator’s status. I hypothesize and find evidence that the creator’s status is only beneficial for his creativity evaluation when he has a specialist identity. Finally, in the third part of the dissertation, I focus on team creativity and develop a theoretical model where the assessment process provides an explanation as for why teams are not always the breeding ground for creativity. I propose to conceptually distinguish between different team assessment processes and to explore their respective impact on team’s ability to select its most creative idea for further implementation.

Kseniya NAVAZHYLAVA, Management and Human Resources, 2016

Transparency Perspective on New Information and Communication Technology Implementation:The Case of Social Media Use in Organizational Context

Advisor(s): Joëlle EVANS


This dissertation is an inquiry into the phenomenon of social media use in organizational context with a focus at self-presentation transparency. It drives attention to the processes of enactment of this new technology and investigates how these developments are embedded in the context of occupational norms, social roles, organizational control and autonomy. The research setting is based on the 19-month social media implementation campaign by a central European media organization as a means of enhancing communication and coordination within the organization. The implementation encompassed two departments, journalists and advertising agents, who were asked to create and open their online social media profiles and befriend their colleagues. The dissertation comprises four research papers each taking a separate perspective on the phenomenon. Methodologically, the dissertation builds on qualitative case-study approach and abductive and inductive reasonings. The thesis provides theoretical and practical contributions to the understanding of the normative prerequisites, process and consequences of social media use in organizational context for occupational norms, online knowledge collaboration and organizational control while presenting co-evolution of the technology meaning and use.

Pier Vittorio MANNUCCI, Management and Human Resources, 2016

To Infinity.. and Beyond ! Exploring the Dynamics of Creativity over Time

Advisor(s): Kevyn YONG, Francoise CHEVALIER


This dissertation explores the role of career age in shaping creativity over time. In the first paper, I challenge the commonly-held view that career age has a curvilinear effect on creativity, suggesting instead that career age does not have any clear effect on creativity. I argue that this happens because career age affects individuals’ cognitive complexity, flexibility and intrinsic motivation, which have opposite effects on creativity. I propose that these opposite effects engender different cognitive and motivational needs at different stages of the career, and these needs have to be attended to in order to maximize creativity. Consequently, career age acts as an important moderator of the relationship between creativity and some of its antecedents. In the second paper, I empirically test this idea by looking at the differential effect of two knowledge dimension, depth and breadth, on creativity over the career. I find that the effect of knowledge depth becomes more and more negative as career age progresses, while the effect of knowledge breadth becomes more and more positive. Finally, in the third paper I test these ideas at the team level of analysis, by looking at the effect of resources on team creativity. I find that the resources have a stronger effect when career age and repeated collaboration are high.

Fabien HILDWEIN, Management and Human Resources, 2016

The mobilization work of an activist group. Tactical repertoire, media and members implication.

Advisor(s): F. CHEVALIER, J. EVANS


Notre travail explore les groupes activistes en tant qu’organisations de mouvements sociaux. Pour cela, nous étudions comment les activistes expriment leur message en mobilisant des symboles (discours, position du corps, objets…) pour construire un ensemble de performances spécifiques appelé le répertoire tactique. Pour ce faire, ils s’inspirent de leurs prédécesseurs et de leurs cadres théoriques. Dans un deuxième temps, nous décrivons comment les activistes mobilisent les médias à l’aide d’une stratégie médiatique, reposant à la fois sur le répertoire tactique et sur une certaine intégration des activistes en son sein. Enfin, nous analysons les moyens par lesquels le groupe activiste mobilise ses membres (c’est-à-dire les recrute et les retient) ; cela passe en particulier par l’acquisition de compétences émancipatrices pour les activistes. En conclusion, nous montrons que le répertoire tactique constitue la colonne vertébrale d’un groupe activiste et participe à toutes les tâches que nous avons décrites (mobilisation de symboles, des médias et des activistes). Cette spécificité définit le groupe activiste en tant qu’organisation. Nous nous appuyons sur un travail ethnographique d’un an auprès du groupe activiste féministe La Barbe qui dénonce l’absence de femmes en haut des organisations. Notre travail s’accompagne d’une réflexion méthodologique sur l’observation d’un groupe féministe par un ethnographe homme.

Evelina ATANASSOVA, Management and Human Resources, 2016

Should I Bridge or Should I Bond? Social Capital Strategies and Contingencies

Advisor(s): Michel LANDER, F. CHEVALIER


My dissertation expands the line of inquiry of the contingent value of social capitalto individual performance by raising three novel questions. In the first essay of my dissertationI focus on “How to bridge and how to bond” and propose a new theoretical framework foranalyzing social capital, which deconstructs its major function beyond bridging or bonding intoits substance as social relations versus position in network structure. Considering these twodimensions of social network analysis I propose four distinct sources of social capital that havedifferent predictive value for individual achievements: bridging network, bridging relations,bonding network and bonding relations. The lead question in the second chapter of mydissertation is “When to bridge and when to bond”. Joining the research on the contingentvalue of social capital, I look at organization and individual level factors to predict the value ofeach social capital source to performance and theorize about the strategies individuals shouldpursue in order to achieve better performance. In the third essay I ask “Should one start withbridging or with bonding?” Building on the categorization proposed in the first chapter Iinvestigate the most successful social capital path to on-the-job performance.

Julia VINCENT-PONROY, Management and Human Resources, 2016

Family Firms’ organizational identity and non-family employees, a case study

Advisor(s): Françoise CHEVALIER


This dissertation explores family firms’ organizational identity from a non-family member’s perspective. The family identity of these firms constitutes both an intangible asset, that is difficult to imitate – and a crucial stake as during their growth process, family firms incorporate external members who tend to progressively represent the majority of the payroll. This stake is even more salient as owning families aim at durably influencing their firms’ identity since the family’s and the firm’s history and reputation are interrelated. However, the role of non-family members’ in the family firm’s identity has not been directly investigated by researchers so far. My dissertation aims at filling in this gap, by investigating the way non-family members contribute to enacting the family identity of the firm. The case study I conducted in a French family firm leads me to formulate three main sets of results. First, the exploration of non-family members’ perceptions of the firm reveals that they associate what they consider to be the core attributes of the firm with the owning family. Secondly, I investigate the mechanisms leading to such perceptions and identify that the family’s image and values are “brought” into the organization through four mechanisms – embodiment, reminding, spreading and adaptation – that together constitute the overall process of “familization” of the firm. Lastly, I suggest a typology of non-family members depending on their motives for contributing to “familization” mechanisms. Two categories (the adopted and the converted) play a crucial role in these mechanisms. Moreover, I show that the top management is composed of adopted and converted, who use this specific family of owners as a managerial tool having a role-modeling function. They do it because they perceive this family as embodying an axiology that is symbolized by the Family – as a generic entity –, an axiology that they consider to be valuable in an organizational context. The theoretical and practical contributions of these results are discussed.

Jonathan HAYES, Management and Human Resources, 2016

CEO Resilience: Conceptualization and Effects on Corporate Performance

Advisor(s): Charles-Henri BESSEYRE DES HORTS


Focusing on CEO resilience, this dissertation contributes to the upper echelons or strategic leadership research tradition and highlights a capacity, which is crucial in times of uncertainty, rapid change and pressure. Adopting a three essay format (two empirical and one theoretical pieces), it questions the influence of CEO resilience. The first chapter contextualises my work by reviewing previous "upper echelons" contributions pertaining to CEO characteristics and resilience literature. The first essay then investigates the impact of CEO resilience on firm performance and demonstrates the existence of a bell shape curvilinear relationship, relationship moderated by financial slack and industry complexity.The second essay confirms the existence of a U shape curvilinear relationship between CEO resilience and strategic dynamism and establishes the mediating role of strategic dynamism in the CEO resilience-company performance sequence. The third essay, which is conceptual, provides a model for internal andexternal diffusion of CEO resilience in times of crisis. Finally the concluding chapter of my thesis stresses some limitations, proposes future research avenues, and put forward some managerial implications.