Research seminars are often associated with particular research projects or current affairs and run during throughout the academic year. These seminars are directed primarily at Faculty members, but postgraduate students and corporate members are usually welcome.
Abstract: Enforcing a firm’s patents in court is crucial for defending its competitive advantage. CEOs are central for making these strategic decisions but we know little about how their individual incentives shape them. We integrate theory from outcome based CEO compensation designs into models explaining firms’ decisions to become plaintiffs in patent litigation. Based on how compensation shapes time horizons and risk taking of CEOs, we predict that CEO compensation tied to stock increases the firm’s likelihood to enforce patents in court, while bonuses and stock options reduce it. We test and support these hypotheses for 2,685 US firms with 4,733 different CEOs and 3,138 patent litigation cases between 1997 and 2015. These results have implications for theory and practice in assessing risks for patent litigation.
Abstract: Problem definition: We investigate the effect of using subcontracted workers together with permanent employees on project financial performance. Academic/Practical relevance: Organizations are increasingly staffing project teams with subcontracted workers, in order to adapt to variations in demand and access specialist expertise. Despite the importance of this phenomenon, there is scant research on the effect of subcontracted workers on project performance. Investigating such an effect is important because past findings on the effects of subcontracting in retail or assembly lines cannot be simply extrapolated to the more demanding tasks associated to project environments. Methodology: Building on previous findings about the higher motivation level of subcontracted workers vis-à-vis permanent workers, we develop hypotheses to conceptualize how and under what conditions subcontracted workers positively impact project performance. We then test our hypotheses analyzing 413 projects of a European high-tech firm. Results: We find that greater use of subcontracted workers increases project profit margins. This positive effect is stronger for larger teams, and weaker when large project scope changes occur or when higher skilled workers are subcontracted. Managerial Implications: Our study helps managers understand when subcontracting project team members is conductive to higher project margins and when, instead has no or even negative effects on project margin.
Abstract: Firms in industries using emerging technologies confront grand governance and ethical challenges because of their fast growth along with their prominent, yet ambiguous future impact. In this paper, we investigate the level of corporate governance performance and ethical quotient of firms in the computer programming and data processing industry, and in what ways they differ from those of their counterparts in non-emerging sectors. We also investigate whether corporate governance and ethical performance are associated with organizational legitimacy. Using data from 68 matched-pairs based in U.S. for the period 2009–2017, we show that firms belonging to emerging technology-based industries exhibit better corporate governance and stronger ethical identity. However, their applied governance and ethics are not sufficient to secure organizational legitimacy. Our results indicate that governance effectiveness is contingent on firms’ specific environmental context and suggest that ‘good’ governance mechanisms in one environment may be misplaced or insufficient in a different one.
Abstract: Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Africa have increased since the turn of the millennium, mainly due to the growth in FDI into African countries by multinational enterprises (MNEs) from developing economies. While African governments view this growth as a positive development for the continent, many governments in the West have raised concerns regarding the institutional impact of investments from developing economies. This paper examines the impact of FDI flows on institutional quality in African countries by distinguishing investments from developed versus developing economies. Previous empirical studies have found a significant relationship between FDI flows and institutional quality in African countries but regard the relationship as MNEs rewarding African countries for adopting institutional reforms. However, little attention has been paid to the reverse causality that FDI can act as a cause for institutional change in African countries. Using bilateral greenfield FDI flows between 56 countries during 2003-2015, we find no significant effect of FDI from developed and developing economies on institutional quality in host countries. However, aggregate FDI flows from developed and developing economies have a significant positive effect on host country institutional quality but differ with regards to the timing of the impact. In contrast, we find no significant effect of FDI flows from China on host country institutional quality. Our results are robust to alternative measures of institutional quality.
Abstract: From pandemic outbreaks to crimes and terrorism, brands often operate in environments in which consumers experience mortality salience. Yet, relatively little is known about how mortality salience can impact brands. This research helps fill this gap by examining the effect of mortality salience-inducing events on brand equity. Study 1, a large-scale field study on U.S. consumers using a difference-in-differences approach, showed that 9/11, a major mortality salience inducing event, degraded equity of brands with an exciting, but not other, personality. In study 2, experimentally inducing mortality salience also decreased evaluations of a brand with an exciting but not a control personality. Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated that avoidance of change plays an underlying role in this phenomenon: the onset of mortality salience drives consumers to avoid the notion of change; because brands with an exciting (vs. other) personality are more closely associated with the notion of change, they tend to be evaluated less favorably. Study 3 showed this mediation process in the context of COVID-19 outbreak. Study 4 further supported this process by showing that experimentally reducing the degree of association between an exciting brand and the notion of change eliminated the negative effect of mortality salience. These findings add to the theoretical literature and offer actionable managerial insights.
Abstract: Digital transformation challenges the way people work across the globe. In such digitalised world, globalisation, as well as automation, reduce the number of routine/low-skills jobs, resulting to a rise in demand of a new set of competencies on behalf of graduates instead to secure their employment. Digital competencies, including social intelligence and cultural agility amongst others, have been widely researched in the academic literature as an organisational tool to transform their work practices (Bedwell et al., 2014; Davies, Fidler, & Gorbis, 2011; Hartmann & Hundertpfund, 2015; Murawski & Bick, 2017; Pan & Seow, 2016). In addition, others examined SMEs graduate employment through the utilisation of an appropriate level of digital competencies (Gartner Co., 2017; Baker et al., 2015; Gallagher, 2015). However, research is nascent examining the relationship between digital competencies and SMEs individual managers’ decision-making style with regards to recruiting graduates. We develop our argument through the greenhouse metaphor (Renwick et al., 2019). Although, there are established trees (i.e. existing research noted above), we place the aforementioned relationship as a new incubator within the greenhouse which could grow and become a new established tree, and thus to shed light into organisational practices can be shaped and tweaked to promote graduates’ recruitment in (ibid).
Recent changes in socio-political environments (e.g. ‘Brexit’, economic reforms, higher education and generation attitude changes, Covid-19 pandemic) further reinforce the need to explore SMEs attitude towards graduates’ recruitment, and to examine whether there are any ‘good practices’ that can be adopted universally. As such, our project offers the British perspective of the aforementioned relationship.
Drawing on digital competencies and decision-making theories, we have developed a moderation model to test the following hypotheses:
1. Digital Competencies will have a significant positive relationship with Likelihood to Recruit.
2. Competency Demand will moderate the relationship between Digital Competencies and Likelihood to Recruit.
3. SMEs Decision Style moderates the moderating effect of Competency Demand between Digital Competencies and Likelihood to Recruit.
A mixed method approach has been adopted. A survey questionnaire was distributed to capture SMEs managers’ (individuals with full or partial responsibility to recruit graduates) expectations. Our survey questionnaire explored the relationship between digital competencies and likelihood to recruit graduates through the moderating role of SMEs decision style, resulting in 726 responses (subject to multiple regression analysis). To delve deeper into SMEs individual managers’ perception of the importance of digital competencies, we have also conducted semi-structured interviews with key informants (e.g. SMEs’ owners, managers etc.) to triangulate with key findings from our survey questionnaire.
Our project seeks to provide critical insights into the relationship under examination to inform education and public policy makers. We aim to replicate our study in other counties (recently, the survey launched in Switzerland) to offer comparative results and thus to examine the digital competencies-decision making-graduates recruitment relationship through the lens of ‘different’ national models.
Tuesday , June 6 | Evangelia Siachou "Humility in leadership and employee voice: the mediating role of employee intention to share knowledge and the moderating role of organizational tenure"
Abstract: Recently, leader humility has attracted scholarly attention in organizations studies. It is considered as a key antecedent to employees’ extra-role behavior and a contextual factor that is associated with many positive employee and organizational outcomes. In this study, we provide a better understanding of the role of leader humility in employee voice by examining simultaneously the mediating role of intention to share knowledge and the moderating role of organizational tenure. Results from 209 medical representatives supported the study hypotheses indicating that leader humility is related to employee voice via intention to share knowledge and this relationship is stronger for shorter tenured employees than longer tenure ones. The study also provides implications for both theory and practice.
Abstract: Despite the importance of organizational members’ worktime for the implementation of organizational change, studies of how organizational members’ worktime is valued and reallocated during change remain rare. To illuminate this important but underexplored issue, we investigated how members responded to the time requirements of a change initiative in a multidivisional engineering company. Our analysis revealed that the ways in which members responded to the reallocation of their time – required to implement organizational change – reflected the different ways in which they (and their organization) valued and structured the reallocated time. In particular, three types of value became salient: economic value, social-symbolic value, and personal-symbolic value. Tensions among the time requirements and these three types of values explain variation in the degree to which members felt energized and allocated their worktime to the initiative, and more or less actively resisted the process. This variation significantly influenced the evolution of planned organizational change, in particular its time-delivery goals and pace. Our theoretical insights have significant implications for understanding the valuation and use of organizational members’ worktime during a planned change process.
Abstract: The increase in international trade, the advances in technology, the growing importance of the emerging markets are the main factors that have contributed to the explosion of counterfeiting experienced in recent years, estimated to be valued at about 5-7 per cent of the world trade. The luxury industry in Italy has been particularly hard hit and most brands nowadays are urgently looking for demand-side and supply-side strategies to track and control the phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to provide a supply chain view of counterfeiting and illegitimate trade phenomena, in a supply chain risk management perspective, to define and illuminate the interaction of the legitimate and the illegitimate supply chains.
Tuesday, December 12 | Dr. Ioanna Boulouta, Birkbeck College, University of London "Designing effective Corporate Social Responsibility strategies to engage consumers in ethnocentric environments"
Abstract: One of the most popular Corporate Social Responsibility strategies nowadays is Cause Related Marketing (CRM) where a firm promises to give part of the profits from sales of its products to a designated social cause, benefiting people in national or international places. However, current business practice prefers donating to social causes nationally rather than internationally, resulting in a shortage of funds going to international causes. Surprisingly, this happens despite any conclusive academic evidence about a consumer preference for national rather than international locations. This study aims to shed some light on how consumers respond to CRM campaigns that benefit people in various geographic locations. Towards this objective an advertisement-based survey experiment of consumers in UK has been employed.
Abstract: We use proprietary transaction data on interest rate swaps to assess the effects of centralized trading, as mandated by Dodd-Frank, on market quality. Contracts with the most extensive centralized trading see liquidity metrics improve by between 12% and 19% relative to those of a control group. This is driven by a clear increase in competition between dealers, particularly in US markets. Finally, centralized trading has caused inter-dealer trading in EUR swap markets to migrate from the US to Europe. This evidence is consistent with swap dealers attempting to avoid being captured by the trade mandate in order to maintain market power.
Abstract: Empirical evidence regarding the link between flexible working arrangements (FWAs) and work effort is still mixed, with literature showing that some practices are linked to more work effort while others to less work effort. In this study, we propose that this discrepancy may be due to the existence of different FWA bundles. Using Understanding Society, a national survey conducted in the UK, and building on theories related to social exchange, the study examines the link between different FWA bundles, i.e. employee-centered and employer-centered, and employee work effort manifested intensively (e.g. job strain, job tension) or extensively (e.g. overtime, working hours). The study further tests whether these relationships differ depending on employees’ family responsibilities. Based on a sample of 13,834 employees, results show that both employee- and employer-centered FWA bundles are negatively associated with intensive and extensive work effort, with findings for the employer-centered bundle being more pronounced. Furthermore, results show that these negative associations are generally stronger for employees who have fewer rather than more family responsibilities.
Friday, March 29 | Jordan Siegel, University of Michigan "Is U.S. formalized lobbying more about nefarious corruption of benign industry information provision? Evidence from foreign firms lobbying in the U.S."
Abstract: The literature on lobbying and corruption is at an impasse between those studies arguing that U.S. formal corporate lobbying with mandated disclosure is primarily a conduit for corruption and other studies that contend that this type of corporate lobbying is primarily about benign industry information provision to policy makers. A study by Fisman and Miguel (2007) demonstrated how home country corruption is a robust predictor of corrupt behavior by home country-based groupings of foreign diplomats residing in the United States. In this study, using a rarely utilized data set on U.S. formal lobbying with mandated disclosure at the federal level, we ask whether instrumented home country corruption is a robust predictor of U.S. formal corporate lobbying with mandated disclosure by home country-based groupings of foreign companies operating in the United States. In a counterintuitive finding, we show that U.S. formal lobbying is far more likely to be conducted by companies from the least corrupt home countries. This is true after relying on a proven instrumental variables (IV) approach for identification and after ruling out other alternative explanations based on country wealth, industry portfolio, and innovation. Overall, the results are consistent with the idea that U.S. formal corporate lobbying is relatively more about benign industry information provision to policy makers than about nefarious corruption. Other channels such as bribery still could remain for companies from the most corrupt countries to engage in nefarious corruption in the United States.
Abstract: Past research has found that creative projects evolve in organizations through either formal or informal (ie., bootlegging and creative deviance) channels. We generate new theory about creative projects that evolve by combining access to both formal and informal channels. Using a real-time and in-situ study of the creative leadership, we examine how a leader on a creative project in a Southern European subsidiary of a Fortune 500 multinational corporation transforms an existing situation of a creative project into a preferred one by discerning a slacklining trajectory that combines legitimate evolution in the formal channel; illegitimate evolution in the informal channel; and tactical switching between the formal and informal channels aimed at maximizing the creative project’s chances of success. We identify five behavioral components of slacklining—brokerage, selective concealment, shared wins framing, use of time, and creative licensing--that are configured in different ways depending on the target of slacklining. We develop a grounded theoretical model that describes slacklining as a politically-driven manifestation of integrative creative leadership that alters decisively the balance of power among the structural barriers, structural enablers and structural gaps that affect the evolution of creative projects in organizations. We discuss implications for theory and research on creative counter-role behaviors, creative leadership, and creative projects.
Abstract: Social entrepreneurship is a widespread paradigm worldwide, as social enterprises aim to tackle local and global challenges, such as mitigating social and economic inequities, or responding to humanitarian crises and environmental threats, such as climate change and natural disasters. Social enterprises are forceful in terms of putting forward their social mission, yet they often encounter challenges when it comes to setting and evaluating their social impact. This paper introduces a conceptual framework that delineates social impact as a negotiated and socially constructed process, which should be integral to the organisational design of a social enterprise. Our conceptual framework aims to address ‘how do social impact strategies influence the organisational design of social enterprises’? By critically reviewing relevant literature on social entrepreneurship and organisation theory, we scrutinise the impact of current methods used for reporting social impact on social enterprises’ organising.
Abstract: We discuss two types of goals. Attainment goals feature a discrepancy between the current and the desired state (e.g., increase my income level by an amount). Maintenance goals feature a corresponding match (e.g., maintain my income level). In a series of studies we show that this difference leads to different responses even (or especially) when it is small. In terms of cognition, the featured discrepancy for attainment goals is a salient cue for their difficulty. The corresponding match for maintenance goals, however, is not as salient. Therefore, in separate evaluations, attainment goals that feature small discrepancies (e.g., work five minutes more than usual) can be perceived as easier than objectively easier maintenance goals (e.g., work the same amount of time as usual). These differences in perceived difficulty then drive consequential goal choices. In terms of affect, the impact of one’s current mood depends on the extent to which consumers perceive mood states as “representative”—indicative of essential characteristics of a target. Maintenance goals feature a match between the current and the desired states. This match can make the desired state be perceived as representative of incidental positive mood, and thus maintenance goals more motivating when people are experiencing positive mood. The featured discrepancy of attainment goals does not have this effects, because the desired state is yet to be reached, thus it cannot be representative of current mood. Finally, we discuss implications for theory and practice.
Abstract: Alignment with external environmental imperatives is seen as a sine qua non of proper strategizing. Any deviation from this management mantra engenders organizational decline and, ultimately, mortality. I put this axiomatic principle under scrutiny and I challenge it on ontological and epistemological grounds. I use the law of requisite variety as my organizing principle since it is a cornerstone of this matching contingency logic and it has served to legitimize a wide range of decisions and research practices in e.g., leadership, organizational learning, corporate governance, operations management as well as in theory development itself. Inspired by organizational vignettes inhabiting antithetical complexity regimes, i) I deconstruct deterministic and isomorphic assumptions related to environmental fittingness ii) I challenge teleological orientations in strategy literature and importantly, iii) I discuss the neglected role of human agency amid complexity.
Abstract: During the last few decades, real-world systems have become increasingly complex, due to the high level of involvement of humans in many of these systems' internal processes. In turn, since human behavior cannot be characterized as 100% rational, these systems often tend to behave in a seemingly irrational way. As a result, the use of gaming simulations (games) has become paramount, in order to test different scenarios in an affordable, ethical, and risk-free way. Indeed, irrespective of their size, corporations have been increasingly using these games, in order to evaluate and ascertain impactful business decisions and strategies. Yet, there is still lack of research on whether, and if so how, these games can be used by researchers and practitioners to build evidents on systems' behavior within a larger scheme. The aim of this Ph.D. is to explore the four main areas of games: i. Design, ii. Validation, iii. Game Sessions, and iv. Knowledge Management, through literature and case studies. The primary case study is ProRail, the Dutch governmental task organization that takes care of maintenance and extensions of the national railway network infrastructure, of allocating rail capacity, and of traffic control. In more detail, in the area of design, the use of game theory is explored as a tool for abstracting real-world systems and pinpointing the worst-case scenarios, then in turn games can be used to further understand and mitigate them. In the area of validation, the introduction of humans in what was previously known as simulations has raised a number of issues, an example of which is the sample size. On the one hand, large sample sizes (i.e., large number of participants) are challenging to achieve due to the high cost of coordinating humans and executing game sessions. On the other hand, small sample sizes severely limit analytical conclusions. In the area of game sessions, the synthetic nature of facilitation and debriefing poses the greatest impediment towards the success of games, especially for games in which the participants are not the knowledge beneficiaries. Therefore, the research interest is in understanding and mitigating the factors that inhibit the facilitation and debriefing of games. While, in general, knowledge management is widely acknowledged as the cornerstone for companies to improve their know-how and thus sustain or even increase their competitive advantage; in games, it is the least researched area. Thus, the research focus is in understanding the type and quality of knowledge games produce, and then capture, maintain, and disseminate it.
Tuesday, June 12 | Panagiotis Avramidis , Alba Graduate Business School “Do banks appraise internal capital markets during credit shocks? Evidence from the Greek crisis”
Abstract: Using data of bank loans to Greek firms during the Greek crisis, we provide evidence that affiliated firms, having access to the internal capital markets of their associated group, are less likely to default on their bank loan during a credit shock. Furthermore, banks appraise the firm’s access to internal capital markets positively. In particular, banks are less likely to downgrade the credit profile and demand lower loan collateral coverage from affiliated firms. Such favorable terms are conditional on the bank’s overall relationship with the group. Finally, banks are more likely to show forbearance against affiliated firms with non-performing loans.
Abstract: We examine the effects on IPO uncertainty of an alternative going-public mechanism – the two-stage IPO, where a firm first gets quoted on the OTC market, and then upgrades to a national exchange where it first issues public equity. We find that a two-stage IPO firm experiences lower underpricing and return volatility than does a similar traditional IPO firm. Our study is the first to analyze the impact of U.S. pre-IPO disclosure and liquidity on levels of uncertainty and pricing at the IPO stage. We find that greater disclosure and liquidity during the first stage leads to greater reduction in IPO uncertainty. We control for the potentially endogenous nature of the two-stage IPOs by using a difference-in-difference analysis that utilizes two exogenous OTC market events.
Tuesday, March 13 | Maria Iosifidi ,Montpellier Business School “What's the Use of Having a Reputation If You Can't Ruin It Every Now and Then?' Regulatory Enforcement Actions on Banks and the Structure of Loan Syndicates”
Tuesday, June 13 | Dr. Nikoletta-Theofania Siamagka , King's College London "Consumer-Brand Relationships in the Context of Private vs Public Brand Transgressions: An Investigation into Consumer Brand Forgiveness"
Tuesday, May 9 | Dr. Zafeira Kastrinaki, Brunel University London
Tuesday , April 25 | Dr. Epameinondas Katsikas, University of Kent
Tuesday, April 11 | Dr. Ioanna Grypari, Max Planck Institute “The Demand for Politicians: Campaigning and Voting in US Presidential Elections
Tuesday, March 14 | Dr. Anastasia Papazafeiropoulou, Brunel University London "Mindfulness Mediation against technostress: How ancient Asian philosophies and practices can help us with a very modern Western problem?"
Tuesday, February 14| Dr. Seraphim Voliotis, Alba Graduate Business School "Mathematics and Deviance"
Lecture series "Reflections on the State of the Greek Economy"
"Why leverage does not deliver: Lessons from the performance of the top 50 industrial firms in Greece during the Great Depression"
Lecture series "Reflections on the State of the Greek Economy"
Tuesday, March 14 | Dr. Natasha Papazafeiropoulou, Senior Lecturer, Brunel University "Mindfulness mediation against technostress: How ancient Asian philosophies and practices can help us with a very modern Western problem"
Lecture series "Reflections on the State of the Greek Economy"
Thursday, May 29 |. Dr. Nikos Vettas, Athens University of Economics and Business, Foundation of Economic & Industrial Research "Reforms and Development: When and How"
Tuesday, April 29 | Yanos Gramatidis, Institute of Economic Policy & Public Governance of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. "The pathology of the Greek economic model and the degree of institutional and social participation in the economic development 'antidote'"
Monday, March 31 | Tasos Giannitsis, University of Athens "Societies in evolution and societies falling behind. The complex relationship between reform and status quo"
Lecture series "Reflections on the State of the Greek Economy"
Thursday, June 6 | Aristos Doxiadis, partner at OpenFund "Is export-led growth an option for Greece?"
Tuesday, May 23 | George Prokopakis, Business Consultant "The stabilization mechanism as project"
Tuesday, February 5 | Stavros Thomadakis, University of Athens "Debt, deleveraging and mechanisms for development"
Tuesday, January 22 | Gikas Hardouvelis, University of Piraeus “From Crisis to Growth: How and When”
Do you wish to learn more regarding the Research Seminars organized at Alba? Please feel free to send us a message.