Research in Progress-III
20th April 2023, Thursday at 9 am Eastern Time
Welcome to the "Research in Progress" (RiP) webinar hosted by the Organization Design Community (ODC), and curated by Victoria Sevcenko. In this webinar, we are excited to feature two PhD students, Piyush Gulati (INSEAD) and Ryan Allen (HBS), who will be presenting their working papers at the intersection of organization design, data-driven decision-making and innovation. Their presentation (each about 20-25 min long) will be followed by a discussion led by Professor Metin Sengul (Boston College) and Q&A with the audience. Please see their abstracts below and the bios for the presenters.
Methodological Pluralism and Innovation in Data-Driven Organizations (Ryan Allen-HBS)
Abstract. Do data-driven organizations produce new product innovations that are more commercially successful? This question has evoked polarized viewpoints: some argue that reliance on quantitative data reduces biases by basing decisions on observable customer demand, whereas others argue that such reliance leads to merely incremental innovation. I show that the effect of being data-driven depends on what I call the methodological pluralism of the organization—the extent to which different kinds of analyses are used. Using data on 3,500 product launches and text from employee résumés at 61 large consumer product firms, I show that increasing quantitative analysis decreases innovation performance when qualitative analysis is low, and, conversely, increases when qualitative analysis is high. A culture dominated by quantitative analysis is especially harmful when launching products that are novel, or when targeting markets characterized by higher uncertainty.
The Decrease of Hierarchy in Corporations: Myth or Reality? (Piyush Gulati, Arianna Marchetti and Phanish Puranam)
Are corporations becoming less hierarchical? While there has been substantial interest in this question, large-scale evidence has been scarce. Moreover, we lack a common conceptualization of what “less hierarchical” means. Does it imply reduction in managerial intensity, decentralization of decision-making, or both? We argue that these are distinct attributes and should be simultaneously analyzed to understand hierarchical evolution. We measure both for 3,017 US public firms from 2010-2019 (20,594 firm-year observations), using novel datasets drawing on job listings (Lightcast) and social profiles (Revelio). We find that firms show 2 percentage-point decrease in managerial intensity, 10% increase in senior-managers below CEO, and 16-22% increase in keywords indicating decentralization for non-managerial postings. We conclude that over the last decade, large U.S. corporations have indeed become less hierarchical.
Ryan Allen- HBS
Ryan is a PhD candidate at Harvard Business School. He will be joining the University of Washington as an Assistant Professor in the Management and Organization department starting Fall 2023. Ryan studies how organizational context (like tools, culture, and structure) shapes strategy and innovation. In his dissertation, he develops and tests new theories to explain when data-driven decision-making helps or hinders new product innovation.
Piyush Gulati- INSEAD
Piyush Gulati is a PhD candidate in the Strategy area at INSEAD. His research focuses on the role of human capital in resolving organizational design issues. In his dissertation projects, he is investigating the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of the horizontal structure of the firm at different observation levels: (1) the divisions and functional units that exist at the highest level, (2) the differences in occupational domains of firm employees, and (3) within-employee diversity in their skills. Before joining INSEAD, he worked as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting where he advised clients on topics related to Mergers and Acquisitions.
Victoria Sevcenko is an Assistant Professor of Strategy at INSEAD. Her research examines how organizations can use internal and external labor market frictions to gain a competitive advantage from skilled human capital. For example, she studies the antecedents and consequences of employees’ human capital and social capital for employee mobility, firm performance, and organization design choices, and the strategies that organizations may use to capture value from human capital. Her work has been published in Organization Science, Management Science, and Academy of Management Annals.
Professor Metin Sengul is an Associate Professor of Management and Organization at the Carroll School of Management, Boston College. His research focuses on exploring the factors that influence organizational design choices in complex organizations. He primarily studies multiunit-multimarket firms, such as diversified firms, business groups, multinationals, and dual-purpose companies. His work has been published in the flagship organization design and strategy journals, including Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Journal of Organization Design, and Strategic Management Journal. Before entering academia, Professor Sengul worked as a consultant in the healthcare industry. Additionally, he co-founded an advertisement agency, where he served as a managing partner. Currently, he serves as a senior editor for Organization Science and has previously served as a co-editor for the Journal of Organization Design.
Live webinar is open to all.
Registration closes 19th April, 2023 at 10 am (eastern time)
Hope you will be able to join us!