Skip to main content
About HEC About HEC Faculty & Research Faculty & Research Master’s programs Master’s programs MBA Programs MBA Programs PhD Program PhD Program Executive Education Executive Education Summer School Summer School HEC Online HEC Online About HEC Overview Overview Who
We Are Who
We Are
Egalité des chances Egalité des chances Career
Center Career
Center
International International Campus
Life Campus
Life
Sustainability Sustainability Diversity
& Inclusion Diversity
& Inclusion
Stories Stories The HEC
Foundation The HEC
Foundation
Coronavirus Coronavirus
Faculty & Research Overview Overview Faculty Directory Faculty Directory Departments Departments Centers Centers Chairs Chairs Knowledge Knowledge Master’s programs Master in
Management Master in
Management
MSc International
Finance MSc International
Finance
Specialized
Masters Specialized
Masters
X-HEC
programs X-HEC
programs
Dual-Degree
programs Dual-Degree
programs
Visiting
students Visiting
students
Certificates Certificates Student
Life Student
Life
Student
Stories Student
Stories
MBA Programs MBA MBA Executive MBA Executive MBA TRIUM EMBA TRIUM EMBA PhD Program Overview Overview HEC Difference HEC Difference Program details Program details Research areas Research areas HEC Community HEC Community Placement Placement Job Market Job Market Admissions Admissions Financing Financing Executive Education Executive Masters Executive Masters Executive Certificates Executive Certificates Executive short programs Executive short programs Online Online Train your teams Train your teams Executive MBA Executive MBA Summer School Youth Programs Youth Programs Summer programs Summer programs HEC Online Overview Overview Degree Program Degree Program Executive certificates Executive certificates MOOCs MOOCs
PhD Program

PhD Thesis Defense, Arnaud Cudennec, Strategy and Business Policy

A. Cudennec, HEC Paris PhD 2020

Congratulations to Dr Arnaud Cudennec, Strategy and Business Policy, who successfully defended his Doctoral thesis at HEC Paris, on June 23, 2020. Arnaud will join the Hong Kong Polytechnic University ("PolyU") as assistant professor.  

Thesis Topic: Market categories, expertise, and evaluation of organizations

Supervisor(s):  Rodolphe Durand, Professor of Strategy and Business Policy

Jury Members: 
Giada Di Stefano, Associate Professor, University of Bocconi 
Rodolphe Durand, Professor,  HEC Paris, Supervisor
Elisa Operti, Associate Professor, ESSEC
Mauricio Zollo, Professor,  Imperial College

Abstract: This dissertation examines how categories — groupings that are built upon social and cognitive similarities — affect the evaluation of organizations in markets. Research shows that market audiences are likely to penalize organizations that combine multiple categories. Questioning the past studies' underlying assumptions, my work contextualizes this demand of categorical purity by studying the role of (i) category nesting, that is the hierarchical disposition of categories, (ii) audience members’ heterogeneity in expertise and modes of categorization (the way individuals group entities together), and (iii) the differences of valence among categories themselves. Using experimental tests (Chapter 1), longitudinal data on venture capital deals worldwide from 1994 to 2017 (Chapter 2) as well as theoretical developments (Chapter 3), this dissertation provides evidence of conditions under which categorically atypical organizations are better appraised than categorically pure organizations in markets. This work offers contribution to organization theory and economic sociology by speaking to research on market categories, experts’ evaluations and optimal distinctiveness.