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Research seminars


Seminar – Investments that make our homes greener: the role of regulation

12:00 - 13:30

Dr Lakshmi Naaraayanan, Assistant Professor of Finance, London Business School

The operation of residential buildings (our homes) is responsible for roughly 22% of the global energy consumption and 17% of the CO2 emissions. We study the effects of a regulatory intervention aiming to reduce carbon emissions by requiring privately rented properties to satisfy minimum energy efficiency standards. The regulation triggered significant investments in the rental sector. However, the environmental gains were smaller, limited by the use of more polluting energy sources. Regulatory interventions that target carbon emissions directly may be more effective in tackling the climate challenge.



Seminar – Mind the gap: responding to the grand challenge of displacement through field bridging

12:30 - 14:00

Professor Christine Beckman, USC

Grand challenges are not confined to clear field boundaries and responses to these problems increasingly require actors from different fields to interact and organise their actions. We theorise how a boundary practice fosters inter-field interactions in the context of a grand challenge where no singular field actor has sufficient influence to guide the interactions. Building from theoretical discussions of fields and inter-field interactions, we conduct a qualitative study involving interviews and in-depth archival research to examine the bridging of the humanitarian and development fields in response to the problem of global displacement. We describe how a boundary practice, cash-based assistance, fosters flexible engagement and a shared structure for distributed field interactions while allowing each field to retain its separate functions. Cash-based assistance simultaneously enables deep inter-field engagements in situ and broad engagements in scale through three mechanisms: knotting, latching and mushrooming. These mechanisms work to bridge the humanitarian and development fields through ideational, pragmatic, and relational field bridging. Our study offers theoretical contributions to emerging studies on interactions between fields and to our understanding of grand challenges.



Seminar – The effects of piqued curiosity on boundary-spanning networking in organisations

13:00 - 14:30

Professor Tiziana Casciaro, Rotman School of Management

Integrating the differentiated knowledge, skills, and experiences of its members is critical to the effective functioning of an organisation. Hence, interactions spanning formal organisational and informal social boundaries are a principal focus of organisational scholarship. Research has substantiated not only the range of important outcomes deriving from boundary-spanning networking, but also the formidable barriers to engaging in such networking. We argue that a chief impediment to boundary-spanning networking is a lack of motivation. Against this backdrop, we theorise that curiosity—which can be piqued by cues in the organisational environment—heightens individuals’ motivation to network across boundaries in organisations by promoting the drive to learn novel ideas, solutions, and opportunities. We designed and conducted a randomised-controlled-trial field study involving over 2,200 middle-managers in a North American financial services organization to test our predictions, and an experiment to substantiate the underlying causal mechanisms. The findings support our claims and illuminate the psychological foundations of boundary-spanning networking. Our results open new avenues for research, both on how curiosity affects networking and shapes network structure in organisations, and on how organisations induce curiosity in their members as the intrinsic drive to learn.



Seminar – Rhetorical strategies of authenticity: social value judgements in the emerging contest over cellular meat

12:30 - 14:00

Roy Suddaby, Professor, University of Victoria, Washington State University and University of Liverpool

This paper analyses the role of authenticity in processes of technological innovation and new market creation. In 2005 Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, supported by funding from Google’s Sergey Brin, created the world’s first cultured beef burger, a technological innovation by which embryonic stem cells of animals are engineered to induce the growth of muscle cells in a cell culture media, a process now known as cellular agriculture. The capacity to culture meat in a lab is an innovation that threatens to disrupt traditional animal husbandry in agriculture but holds the promise to solve many of the problems created by modern industrial meat production. It has initiated growing competition between incumbent agribusiness actors and upstart cellular producers. It has also initiated a less predictable, but equally important disruption in the value and identity claims of social groups whose mission is to contest traditional methods of animal husbandry because of the ethical, environmental and health issues created by traditional methods of animal food production. (more…)


Seminar – The ESG home bias

12:00 - 14:00

Dr Moqi Groen-Xu, Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance

Firms shift undesirable environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities abroad rather than avoid them altogether. We show that this is consistent with shareholder preferences: we find ESG incident returns to be less negative when they take place outside offenders’ headquarter countries. Our analysis is based on 7,209 ESG incidents involving 63 incident countries and more than 6,000 firms. We exploit events that involve firms from multiple countries to show that geographic heterogeneity in investor preferences explains variation in foreign incident returns. Foreign incident returns are (i) more negative for firms with a larger shareholder base from the incident country, (ii) less negative for firms headquartered in more patriotic countries, and (iii) more negative for firms headquartered in more environmentally friendly countries.



Seminar – A legend in one’s own mind: the (missing) link between ambition and leadership effectiveness

10:00 - 11:30

Professor Francis Flynn, Stanford University

We expect that individuals who are more ambitious—those with a persistent striving for success and accomplishment—are more likely to emerge as leaders. But does their ambition also make them more effective leaders? Across a combination of four archival, longitudinal, and experimental studies, we uncover a discrepancy: while ambitious individuals think they may be better leaders, others disagree. In a longitudinal study of over 500,000 freshmen in the United States, more ambitious students were more likely to become leaders and hold positive views of their own leadership ability (Study 1). However, ambitious individuals were judged as no more effective in a leadership role than their less-ambitious peers (Studies 2-4). This finding held for MBA students judged by experts in a leadership skills competition (Study 2); a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults leading a small team in an experimental leadership task (Study 3); and a field sample of executives who were rated by themselves, their peers, their subordinates, and their managers (Study 4). We consider the implications of these findings for scholars and practitioners interested in leadership selection.