Women Leading Research 2017

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Organizations need strong leaders who can build high-quality relationships with their subordinates. But the same leaders create a liability when they exit because loyal employees will often follow them out the door. The result can be “turnover contagion.” The opposite happens when bad leaders depart. Employees are more likely to celebrate. So what’s an organization to do? Research co-authored by Smith School professor Debra L. Shapiro explores ways to anchor employees to their organizations so they don’t want to leave. Read more...

It might be the biggest but least-talked-about drag on the U.S. economy and, paradoxically, it might be why your equity portfolio looks so good, with perky stock prices, cushy buybacks and better-looking dividends. It’s called short-termism, or quarterly capitalism. New research co-authored by Smith School professor Rachelle C. Sampson shows that U.S. capital markets have become increasingly focused on the short-term in recent decades. Read more...

If you want to meet new people, leave your “wingman” at home and go out alone. People will think you are more open-minded, curious and interested in the world and be more likely to strike up a conversation with you. That’s the finding of new research from Smith School professor Rebecca Ratner and a Smith marketing PhD student. Read more...

Smith School information systems professor Louiqa Raschid learned valuable lessons from her involvement in developing the Sahana Open Source system for natural disaster recovery management that was used effectively for such events as Superstorm Sandy. Currently, she’s leading an effort to monitor and avert a different disaster type  a financial crisis. She is helping to organize and direct research teams of academics and industry experts from the likes of Thomson Reuters and IBM as they develop "a global identifier system." Read more...

There’s no question that internet advertising is increasingly vital for business survival. The question is: Where do you start? And how can you be sure that your advertising dollars are reaching the right audience? New research co-authored by Smith School professor Courtney Paulson addresses a range of other practical considerations. Read more...

Wall Street responds to surprises, but not always in intuitive ways. Share prices go up at the firm level when a company issues a stronger than expected earnings report, which makes sense. But the opposite often happens at the aggregate level when companies collectively exceed expectations. Share prices can drop instead of rise. “That’s the puzzle,” says Smith School professor Rebecca Hann. In a recent paper Hann and two Smith School PhD co-authors trace the counterintuitive market reaction to the influence of monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. Read more...

An abusive boss can make work miserable for anyone, prompting defiant employees to retaliate or flee. New research co-authored by Smith School professor Hui Liao shows a third option. "Targets of humiliation, intimidation and verbal attacks can balance the dynamics over time and influence supervisors to mend strained relationships," Liao says. "Sometimes that won’t happen, but a follower has more power than he or she might realize." Breaking the spiral of abuse starts with the understanding that bullies rely on an imbalance of power in their favor, but the needle can move in any dyad. Read more...

Public companies — owned by shareholders with stock — have the advantage of being able to easily tap into financial markets when they need money, either by selling more equity as stock or often by issuing portions of their debt as bonds. Private companies — owned by the company’s founders, a management group or private investors such as a private equity group — can also sell off their debt as public bonds. But for them, the cost is much higher. New research from Smith School professor Hanna Lee has implications for firms weighing different ownership types and how that will impact the cost of capital. Read more...

Brands like Nantucket Nectars, Ben & Jerry's, Toms Shoes, Burt's Bees and Lifeway have thrived against bigger, longer-established competitors. Appearing resource-modest, but highly moral, they’re tapping into the adage “consumers gravitate to underdogs.” Can this formula work for a newly launched personal service provider going up against established competitors? Yes, but with some extra work, according to a recent study by Smith School professor Amna Kirmani. Read more...

Social media users post millions of “likes” and comments every year on brand pages for everything from AAA to Zyrtec. That’s a potentially rich source of information for marketers trying to gauge customer sentiment, but built-in biases create challenges. New research co-authored by Smith School professor Wendy W. Moe shows how to scrub the data and produce reliable scores. The study bases its brand favorability measure on an analysis of 7 billion Facebook “likes” and comments from 170 million users across more than 3,000 company pages. Read more...