SMS Annual Conference PhD Paper Prize

2022 Award Co-Chairs

picture of Isin Guler
Isin Guler
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
picture of Elena Novelli
Elena Novelli
Bayes Business School, City, University of London

Past Award Recipients

"Public-Private Partnerships Promoting Prosperity: Evidence From Brazilian Favelas"
Leandro Pongeluppe, University of Toronto

"Learning What They Think Vs. Learning What They Do: Two Mechanisms of Vicarious Learning"
Sanghyun Park, INSEAD
Phanish Puranam, INSEAD

"Worker Expertise and Quality of Algorithm-assisted Decisions"
Ryan Allen, Harvard University

"Friends in High Places: Indirect Network Effects and Competition on Platform Markets"
Manav Raj, New York University

"Proposal Evaluation amid Interdependencies: Knowledge and Motivational Biases and Their Remedies"
Cha Li, University of Michigan

"A Theory of Competitive Expectations: How Music Theory Can Inform Competitive Intuitions and Progression"
Eric Y. Lee,  University of Georgia
John Busenbark, University of Notre Dame

"The Consequences of Start-ups' Organizational Structure"
Saerom Lee, University of Michigan

"Where Does M&A Success Come From? Target-acquirer Cultural Fit and Performance Implications"
Arianna Marchetti, INSEAD

"Decision-Making in the Digital Age: Performance Aspirations, Stakeholder Sentiment, and Firm Risk Taking"
Steffen Nauhaus, University of Geneva
Sebastian Raisch, University of Geneva

"Revisiting the Locus of Experience: A Study on Corporate Development Executives, Organizational Learning and M&A Performance"
Lisa Tang
University of Pennsylvania

"Carrot or Stick? Strategic Corporate Governance and the Incentivization of Attention to ESG Issues" 
Kevin Chuah, London Business School

"Iterative Coordination in Organizational Search"
Sourobh Ghosh, Harvard University
Andy Wu, Harvard University

"Under Your Spell: How IPOs' Linguistic Congruence to Investors Mitigates the Effect of Categorical Ambiguity"
Paul Gouvard, HEC Paris

"The Dark Side of Brokerage in Innovation: Quasi-experimental Evidence Using Broker Inventors' Sudden Death"
A-Sung Hong, IESE Business School

"Short-selling and Firm Performance on Corporate Social Responsibility - Evidence from a Natural Experiment"
Vanya Rusinova, Copenhagen Business School
Georg Wernicke, HEC Paris

"Trust and Disintermediation: Evidence from an Online Freelance Marketplace"
Yuan Gu, Harvard University
Feng Zhu, Harvard University

"Intra-Platform Envelopment: Coopetition Between the Platform Owner and its Complementors"
Hye Young Kang, Boston University 
Fernando Suarez, Northeastern University

"Informational Costs of Integration"
Leonardo Kluppel, Washington University in St. Louis

"You Have the Right to Remain Silent: Anticipatory Impression Management through Strategic Restraint"
Eric Y. Lee, University of Georgia

"A Mixed Methods Study Uncovering the Success of Business Model Configurations in the Sharing Economy"
Karl Täuscher, Leipzig University
Sven M. Laudien, University of Bayreuth

"Ethics of Sorting Talent on Wall Street"
Pooria Assadi, Simon Fraser University

"Leveraging Who You Know by What You Know: Returns to Relational and Human Capital"
Heejung Byun, University of Maryland
Justin Frake, University of Maryland
Rajshree Agarwal, University of Maryland

"Going Against the Grain: the Impact of Mandate Loss on Subsidiary Evolutionary Trajectories"
Edward Gillmore, Malardalen University
Ulf Andersson, Malardalen University

"Webs of Influence: National Stakeholder Networks and Corporate Social Performance"
Kate Odziemkowska, University of Pennsylvania
Witold Henisz, University of Pennsylvania

"Partners in Crime: Code Violation and Preservation Between Category Insiders and Outsiders"
Maima Aulia Syakhroza, University of Cambridge
Lionel Paolella, University of Cambridge
Kamal Munir, University of Cambridge

"Too Big to Ale: The Symbolic Value of Organizational Authenticity in the Craft Beer Industry"
Justin Frake, University of Maryland

"Learning to Execute: Examining the Impact of Prior Experience on Learning-by-Doing"
Megan Lawrence, Harvard University

"Markets as Club-Goods Systems:  A Study of the Role of Economic Reliance in Corporate Pro-Social Behavior"
Luis Ballesteros, University of Pennsylvania

"Effects of Multimarket Contact on the Governance of R&D Alliances"
Wongsang Ryu, Purdue University
Jeffrey Reuer, University of Colorado

"Ambiguous Feedback and Aspiration Level Adaptation: The Case of Haute Cuisine"
Natalie Senf, European University of Viadrina
Jochen Koch, University of Viadrina

“Agent Heterogeneity in Two-Sided Platforms: Superstar Impact on Crowdfunding”
Anil Doshi, Harvard University

“Performance of Different Types of Serial Acquisition Strategies”
Xena Welch Guerra, University of St. Gallen
Tomi Laamanen, University of St. Gallen

“Networks, Attention, and Good Ideas: Taking Advantage and Overcoming the Liability of Social Structure”
Seung-Hyun Rhee, Northwestern University
Paul Leonardi, Northwestern University

“Product-Service Transition and the Emergence of Value Creation Networks: Consequences for Business Model Design”
Birgit Daxboeck, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
Sven M. Laudien, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

“Contests, Sponsorship, and Internal Hiring: How Search Affects the Quality and Costs of Internal Matches”
Joseph Keller, University of Pennsylvania

“Cognitive Microfoundations of a Dynamic Capability: What Leads to Business Model Innovation in New Firms?”
Yuliya Snihur, Toulouse Business School
Christoph Zott, IESE Business School

“Firm Response to Environmental Activism: The Contingent Nature of Secondary Stakeholder Salience”
Trey Sutton, Florida State University

“Strategic Management of Sustainability: The Struggle for Legitimacy”
Monika Lesner, Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Jan-Florian Schlapfner, Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Markus Reihlen, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

“The Competitive Advantage of Business Groups: Entrepreneurial or Rent Seeking? Evidence From North Africa”
Addis Gedefaw Birhanu, Bocconi University

“The Locus of Capabilities in Emerging Markets: Micro-Macro Resource Grafting by Leading Domestic Firms”
Aline Gatignon, INSEAD
Laurence Capron, INSEAD

“Making Sense of Performance Heterogeneity Among Entrepreneurial Spinoffs: A Natural Experiment Involving a Complete Population”
Richard Hunt, University of Colorado-Boulder
Daniel Lerner, University of Colorado-Boulder

“The Paradox of Static and Dynamic Ambidexterity”
Johannes Luger, University of St. Gallen
Sebastian Raisch, University of Geneva

“Being Too Positive? The Effect of Positive Emotions on Stock Market Reaction”
Wei Guo, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

“Executive Learning in Corporate Development: Evidence from Corporate Acquisitions”
Philipp Meyer-Doyle, University of Pennsylvania

“Failure of Competitor Firms and the Mobility and Entrepreneurship of Employees of Healthy Organizations”
Seth Carnahan, University of Maryland

“Do Non-competition Agreements Lead Firms to Pursue Path-breaking Inventions?”
Raffaele Conti, Lisbon-Catholic

“Competing Over Whom Your Customers Hire: The Other Talent War”
Seth Carnahan, University of Maryland
Deepak Somaya, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign

“Do Ties Really Bind? The Effect of Technological & Relational Networks on Consensus Formation”
Ram Ranganathan, University of Pennsylvania

“The Institutional Environment and Gender Diversity on Boards of Directors”
Cory Angert, University of Houston
Seemantini Pathak, University of Houston

“Sell-offs and Firm Performance: A Matter of Experience?”
Johannes Luger, University of St. Gallen
Jan Mammen, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Matthias Brauer, University of St. Gallen

“Organizing for Adaptation: Innovative Capabilities, Combinative Potential, Coordination Costs, and Boundary Choices”
Konstantinos Grigoriou, Georgia Institute of Technology
Frank T. Rothaermel, Georgia Institute of Technology

“Uncovering the Process of Executive Mobility”
Marko Coh, London Business School

“In Harsh –and Slack Times: How Does Firm Performance Affect the Intensity and the Direction of External Technology Sourcing”
Thomas Klueter, University of Pennsylvania
Felipe Monteiro, University of Pennsylvania

“On the Role of Causal Knowledge In Organizational Learning”
Natalia Vuori, Aalto University

“Technology Acquisition and Knowledge Integration”
Seungho Choi, Michigan State University
Gerry McNamara, Michigan State University

“An Integrated Perspective on Corporate Scope, Structural Complexity, and Corporate Divestment”
Joe Beck, University of California-Irvine
Margarethe Wiersema, University of California-Irvine

“Growth Rings: Patterns of Resource Bundle Emergence and Dynamics in New Ventures”
Renee Rottner, University of California-Irvine

“Immigrant Agglomeration, Firm Heterogeneity, and FDI Location Choice: Evidence From the United States”
Exequiel Hernandez, University of Minnesota

“Institutions, Entrepreneurship and the Adoption of Voluntary Standards: Evidence from the Green Building Industry”
Jeffrey York, University of Virginia
Michael Lenox, University of Virginia

“The Influence of Technological Interdependence on Employee Entrepreneurship and Mobility: Evidence from the Semiconductor Industry”
Martin Ganco, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign

“Does Licensing Foster Rapid Innovation?”
Maria Isabella Leone, Luiss Guido Carli University
Toke Reichstein, Copenhagen Business School

“Executive Compensation, Financial Slack, and Strategic Risk-Taking: A Behavioral Agency Perspective”
Elizabeth Lim, University of Connecticut

“The Affects Of Practices Of Governance and Leadership On Capabilities and Performance Of Alliances”
Jochen Schweitzer, University of Technology, Sydney
Siggi Gudergan, University of Technology, Sydney

“The Dynamic Diffusion Process of Downsizing in Korea 1997-2006”
Sookyoung Lee, Korea University
Hicheon Kim, Korea University

“Tie versus Tie: When do Corporate Development Activities Strengthen or Disrupt Buyer-Supplier Ties?”
Youtha Cuypers, Tilburg University
Xavier Martin, Tilburg University

“The Learning Paradox: An Observation Of Knowledge Sharing At IKEA Japan”
Anna Jonsson, Lund University

“Learning From Mergers And Acquisitions: The Roles Of Acquirer And Target Experience”
Ilya Cuypers, Tilburg University

“Process And Outcome Measures Of Environmental Performance”
Dror Etzion, IESE Business School-University of Navarra

“Social Movements, Regulatory Politics, And Technology Evolution”
Kerem Gurses, IESE Business School-University of Navarra

“Delegation Across borders: The Case Of Multinational Hierarchies”
Yue Maggie Zhou, University of Michigan

“Understanding The Emergence Of Organizational Communities: Nanotechnology In The United States”
Jennifer Woolley, University of California-Irvine

“The Burden Of Reach: Exploring Trends And Implications Of Multi-Site Firm Geography”
Linda M Cohen, University of Pennsylvania

“The Competitive Effect Of Going Private: Evidence From Competitors' Stock Price Reactions To Transaction Announcements”
Yu Zhang, INSEAD

“Replication: On Knowledge Transfer In Chain Organizations”
Marie Bengtsson, Linköping University

“Performance Effects Of Resource Interdependence: A Study Of Firms' Products And Process Innovations”
PuayKhoon Toh, University of Michigan

“Trait-Based Imitation Among Entrepreneurial Market Entrants”
Richard J Gentry, University of Florida

“Strategic Lucidity Or Mixed Signals? An Empirical Study Of Competitive Maneuvering And Stock Return Risk”
Margaret Vardell Hughes, University of Kentucky

“Diversification, Dividends, And Firm Value”
Tyson Mackey, Ohio State University

“Explaining Firm Performance: The Symbolic Management Of Quarterly Earnings Announcements”
Jo-Ellen Pozner, Northwestern University

“Organizational Memory: Conceptual Framework And Empirical Operation At Individual And Group-Level”
Kim-Chi Trinh, Duke University

“Post Acquisition Integration: A Social Network Investigation of Behavioral Change”
Joan T Allatta, University of Pennsylvania

“Turnaround Strategies in Southeast Asia”
Alexander D Falkenberg, University of St Gallen

“Contextual Determinants of Firm-level Strategic Resource Reallocation”
Thomas P Moliterno, University of California-Irvine

“A Temporal Perspective on Learning Alliance Formation”
Ming Piao, Northwestern University

“Do Financial Markets Price Firm R&D Strategies”
Hart E Posen, University of Pennsylvania

“Bearing Strategy in the Back of Your Head: Managerial Action Stemming from Strategy Formation”
Juan Ignacio Canales, IESE Business School-University of Navarra

“Shaping the Competitive Landscape: Preemptive Actions on Resources”
Olivier Chatain, INSEAD

“Incentives to Cheat: Executive Compensation and Corporate Malfeasance”
Jared Harris, University of Minnesota

“Can the Survivor Principle Survive Diversification?”
Lasse Lien, Norwegian School of Economics & Business Administration

“Network Positions and Innovation Opportunities: A Longitudinal Study of Pharmaceutical Firms”
Beiqing (Emery) Yao, University of Pittsburgh

“Can Firms Internalize Growth Opportunities through Mergers and Acquisitions?”
Asli Musaoglu Arikan, Ohio State University

“Organizing for Global Attention”
Cyril Bouquet, University of Western Ontario

“Information Technology and Firm Performance: Resources, Capabilities, and the Moderating Effectof Process Choice”
Michael Fern, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“Decision-making under Uncertainty: A Study of Investment Decisions in the VC Industry”
Isin Guler, University of Pennsylvania

“How the Rich become Richer in the Venture Capital: Firm Performance and Position in Syndication Networks”
Tuukka Seppo, Helsinki University of Technology

“An Empirical Study of Alliance Value Creation in e-Businesses”
Sendil Ethiraj, University of Pennsylvania

“Achieving Competitive Advantage by Leveraging Star Knowledge Workers: Performance Drivers of Ranked Analysts”
Boris Groysberg, Harvard University

“From Disparity to Synthesis: How do Inter-sectoral Alliances between Corporations and Environmental Non-profit Organizations Work?”
Ted London, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“Divisionalization: Strategic Effects of Organzational Structure”
Metin Sengul, INSEAD

"Firm Risk Management Policies: Financial Hedging and Corporate Diversification”
Heli Wang, Ohio State University

“Attracting Stars to New Galaxies: Performance Consequences of Investment Banks' Hiring of Ranked Analyst”
Boris Groysberg, Harvard University

“Understanding Open Source Software: A New, Nonprofit Competitive Threat”
Jennifer Kuan, University of California-Berkeley

“Corporate Venture Capital and the Creation of US Public Companies: The Impact of Sources of Venture Capital on the Performance of Portfolio Companies”
Markku Maula, Helsinki University of Technology

“Apples, Oranges, and the Diversification Discount”
Belén Villalonga, University of California-Los Angeles

“Evolutionary Diversification Patterns of US Banks and Their Differential Effect on Performance from 1982-1999”
Carmen Weigelt, Duke University

Award Overview

The SMS with the initial support from the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton created this award in 2000 in recognition of a PhD candidate's presentation of an outstanding paper at the SMS Annual Conference.

PhD candidates, whose proposals meet the below eligibility criteria, are invited to submit a full paper version of their submitted proposal for consideration by the review committee. These are studied before the conference and 10 finalists are named prior to the conference.

Five winners will be honored at the conference with the SMS Best Conference PhD Paper Prize and will receive awards of US$1,500 each. All winners will also be presented with a commemorative certificate and recognition at the conference, usually during the awards luncheon.

Criteria for Submission Eligibilty

  • A PhD Candidate must be the primary author of the presented proposal (either sole author or first author on a paper that includes no more than one faculty co-author)
  • The paper must be accepted and presented at the SMS Annual Conference
  • The primary author is expected to be enrolled full-time and in-residency as a PhD student during the academic year in which the conference takes place
  • The author(s), the title, and the subject matter of the submitted paper must match the original, accepted conference proposal
  • The paper must not have been previously published
  • Based on proposal review scores, authors of the top 30% of proposals that meet the above criteria will be invited to submit a full paper
  • The full paper must be submitted on the SMS website by June 30

2021 Recipients

"Agreeing to Be Different: Startup Teams, Cultural Legacy, and Cultural Innovation"
Yeonsin Ahn, INSEAD

"An Emotio-Temporal Perspective on Learning Practice Adoption"
Suvi-Tuuli Helin, Aalto University
Timo Vuori, Aalto University

"Cooperative as an Entrant and Incumbents Technology Upgrades"
Hyoju Jeong, University of Minnesota

"Entrepreneurial Learning and Strategic Foresight"
Aticus Peterson, Harvard University
Andy Wu, Harvard University

"Unintended Consequences of Government Policy:  The Ban of Investors' Dubious Behavior and Firm Growth"
Yijia Ding, London Business School

PhD Paper Prize Webinar

SMS Conference PhD Paper Prize
December 17, 2021 10:00 AM EST (UTC-5)

The SMS Conference PhD Paper Prize Webinar brings together the five winning papers from SMS Virtual Toronto in 2021. This discussion featuring the PhD paper authors will be moderated by Elena Novelli (City, University of London) and Isin Guler (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). 

*This webinar is open to all 2021 and 2022 Members of the Strategic Management Society. You can learn more and become a member here:

Yeonsin Ahn, INSEAD
Why do some startups use a clean slate to bring about cultural innovation, whereas others conform to the most common cultural scripts? An atypical culture can be seen as having a lower value or feasibility, and pursuing it requires agreements among founding team members. I propose that co-founders who are culturally diverse tend to converge to the culture that is already taken for granted in the industry to resolve cultural conflicts. This convergence is amplified when startup teams belong to a cultural cluster in which a stronger norm is manifested. However, teams with high intrapersonal diversity cultivate a more novel culture because they recombine cultural tools strategically. Furthermore, cultural recombination is facilitated when a team incorporates cultural elements that broker two otherwise disconnected elements.

Suvi-Tuuli Helin, Aalto University
Timo Vuori, Aalto University
The majority of the organizational learning literature takes for granted that learning behaviors take place in the organizations after a performance by analyzing past experiences for lessons. Our qualitative longitudinal study from a management consultancy problematizes this temporal assumption and shows how the timing and temporal focus of learning practices influences subsequent organizational consequences. In particular, in our study, learning practices that consultants enacted before performance got adopted and learning practices that consultants enacted after-performance were disengaged from. This was because before-performance learning practices evoked positive, action-facilitating emotions, and after performance learning practices evoked negative, action-inhibiting emotions. Our study adds to the organizational learning literature an emotio-temporal theorization that has been missing from it.

Hyoju Jeong, University of Minnesota
This study examines the pro-competitive role of cooperative entry compared to investor-owned firm entry. A cooperative entrant may force incumbents to be more efficient than an investor-owned firm entrant by prioritizing consumer/member benefits to profits and providing goods/services at cost in a highly concentrated market where consumers are severely exploited. I test and find support for this argument in the US broadband industry from 2014 to 2018, showing that incumbents are more likely to upgrade their technology to high-tech in response to cooperative entry than in response to investor-owned firm entry, especially in markets with one or two high-tech internet service providers. 

Aticus Peterson, Harvard University
Andy Wu, Harvard University
We study how learning by experience across projects affects an entrepreneur's strategic foresight. In a quantitative study of 314 entrepreneurs across 722 crowdfunded projects supplemented with a program of qualitative interviews, we counterintuitively find that entrepreneurs make less accurate predictions as they gain experience executing projects: they miss their predicted deadline to bring a product to market by nearly six additional weeks on each successive project. Although learning should improve prediction accuracy in principle, we argue that entrepreneurs also learn of opportunities to augment each successive product, which drastically expands the interdependencies beyond what a boundedly rational entrepreneur can anticipate. We find that in a subsequent project, entrepreneurs encounter more unforeseen interdependencies, and they sacrifice on-time delivery to address these interdependencies.

Yijia Ding, London Business School
Whereas prior research has documented that government policies have spillover effects on firms not directly targeted by the policies, less is known about whether such spillover effects may also extend to firm actions outside the scope of the policies. Drawing on resource dependence theory, I propose that, owing to interdependencies between organizations, government policies aimed at a particular set of firms may have unintended ramifications for other organizations. I show that a government policy that most would agree is beneficial for social welfare (i.e., closing an ethically dubious tax loophole for institutional investors), via its influence on firms’ payout decisions, had a depressing effect on strategic actions that many would consider desirable (i.e., investing in growth actions) by the firms the investors had invested in.