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Research seminars

2
Feb

Online Seminar – The bias for talent in recruiting attracts narcissistic job seekers

14:00 - 15:30

Professor Dan Cable, London Business School

We document that recruiters are currently more likely to advertise for “talented” employees instead of “hard-working” employees. However, signaling a high premium on talent may not help organisations attract the talent that they seek. We develop person-organisation fit theory by highlighting how people’s self-perceptions are often biased, leading to a breakdown of the matching processes in the Attraction-Selection-Attrition cycle. We argue that when organisations emphasise talent as a cultural value, they attract more narcissistic job seekers who are not stronger performers, but only believe themselves to be so. We also show that recruiters are not aware of the adverse attraction resulting from their emphasis on talent, and they actually do not want to hire the narcissistic job candidates that they attract. The focus on talent in recruitment thus constitutes a case of bounded rationality, by which organisations disproportionately attract job seekers whom they are averse to hiring and which can damage the organisation.

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2
Feb

Online Seminar – The role of corporate culture in bad times: Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic

16:00 - 17:00

Dr Kai Li, Senior Associate Dean, Equity and Diversity, Professor of Finance, and W. Maurice Young Endowed Chair in Finance, UBC Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia

After fitting a topic model to 40,927 COVID-19-related paragraphs in 3,581 earnings calls over the period 22 January to 30 April 2020, we obtain measures of firm-level exposure and response to COVID-19 for 2,894 US firms. We show that despite large negative impacts of COVID-19 on their operations, firms with a strong corporate culture do better in the midst of a pandemic than their peers without a strong culture. Moreover, firms with a strong culture are more likely to support their community, embrace digital transformation, and develop new products, whereas are no more likely to cut costs, than their peers without a strong culture. To explore the channels through which culture makes firms resilient to the pandemic, we show that firms with a strong culture have higher sales per employee and lower cost of goods sold per employee during the first fiscal quarter since the pandemic hit. Our results support the notion that corporate culture is an intangible asset designed to meet unforeseen contingencies as they arise (Kreps 1990).

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