Session 15

Human Capital, Company Networks, and Reputation

Track L

Date: Monday, October 5, 2015


Time: 11:15 – 12:30

Common Ground

Room: Plaza Court 4


  • Olivier Chatain, HEC-Paris

Title: Let Them Go? How Losing Employees to Competitors can Enhance Firm Status


  • David Tan, University of Washington
  • Christopher Rider, Georgetown University

Abstract: In this study, we propose that losing key personnel to competitors can be status-enhancing for a focal employer. While firms may view employee mobility as detrimental to product market competition, careers are becoming increasingly interorganizational, and early-career professionals often evaluate employment opportunities based not only on expected compensation while employed by the firm but also based on expected opportunities in the external labor market. Drawing on research on the status effects of inter-organizational affiliations, we propose that when a focal firm loses employees to a more profitable competitor, the focal firm will gain in status. Evidence from the U.S. legal services industry provides support for our predictions.

Title: Leveraging Social Affiliations: How Transacting with Socially-affiliated Clients Impacts Expert and Firm Performance


  • Timothy Gubler, University of California-Riverside

Abstract: While many studies have emphasized the efficiency benefits from transacting within social structures, it remains unclear the extent to which experts and firms can improve performance when transacting with socially-affiliated clients. I investigate this question using a novel approach that pairs data from the Utah Multiple Listing Service with hand-collected data on geographically assigned LDS (Mormon) congregation boundaries. By identifying listings where real estate agents and home sellers share a common geographically-assigned congregation, I explore the impact of affiliations on value creation and appropriation in transactions by listing agents, and firm performance. I find agents create and appropriate more value when listing homes for affiliates, significantly increasing firm performance. My results suggest an important firm resource is embedded in the social affiliations of individual employees.

Title: Pushing the Secondary Boundaries: How Talent Mobility Across Countries and Status Groups Affects Organizational Creativity


  • Andrew Shipilov, INSEAD
  • Frederic Godart, INSEAD

Abstract: Individuals who span formal organizational boundaries can enhance the creative performance of their firms because they bring new ideas from the outside. When a firm’s employees leave to work for competition, they become “boundary spanners”: they cross the organization’s “primary boundary” and embed their former employer into an industry-wide mobility network. An organization’s position in this network offers access to outside communication channels and influence-enhancing opportunities, at the cost of leaking ideas to competition. We propose and find that the benefits and costs of employee mobility across primary boundaries depend on whether employees also cross “secondary boundaries”, i.e. whether they move to work for competition in different countries or different status groups than their former employer. We test these arguments in the context of the global high-end fashion industry.

Title: Reconceptualizing Stars: Disentangling Task Performance and Status as Sources of Value Creation through Human Capital


  • Rebecca Kehoe, Rutgers University
  • David Lepak, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Frederick Bentley, Rutgers University

Abstract: We offer a refined conceptualization of star employees, wherein we identify three types of stars – universal stars, status stars, and performance stars – on the basis of stars’ unique combinations of task performance and status. By classifying stars in this way and disentangling the unique qualities and contributions of different types of stars, we offer novel insights into stars’ influences on human capital emergence, value creation, and value capture in organizations. We further shed light on how complementarities and redundancies between different types of stars and other human capital inform these outcomes. Finally, we extend these insights to explore implications for how stars are best managed to achieve patterns of dependence, interdependence, and complementarity which position an organization for competitive advantage through its collective human capital.

Title: The Effect of Elite Education Ties on Organizational Networks


  • Matthew Josefy, Indiana University
  • Joseph Harrison, Texas A&M University
  • Michael Howard, Texas A&M University

Abstract: We examine whether elite education ties, long shown to have consequences for individuals and top management teams, have broader impacts on corporate networks and interorganizational phenomena. Specifically, we apply exponential random graph models to determine whether ties between firms and elite universities are significantly associated with interlocking directorates, alliance partnerships, employee migration, and adversarial relationships between firms. We therefore extend the concept of elite educational affiliations beyond an individual level to consider how firm-level ties to elite universities may influence the complex interrelationships between firms in the business environment. We suggest that “eliteness” may become a self-reinforcing attribute or culture within a firm that not only permeates the perspectives of decision-makers but also alters the interorganizational networks to which a firm belongs.

Title: The Role of Managerial Capabilities in Organizational Reputation: Examining Human Capital, Social Capital, and Cognition


  • Alia Crocker, Babson College
  • Yoojung Ahn, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Abstract: Prior research has explored organizational reputation as a valuable firm resource while different streams of literature have considered how characteristics embedded in individuals contribute to firm outcomes. In this study, we explain how components of dynamic managerial capabilities impact organizational reputation. Specifically, we focus on human capital, social capital, and cognition in the top management team as a unit-level human capital resource. Preliminary analysis from Fortune 500 TMT members and KLD data suggests that the origins of organizational reputation are more multifaceted than previously explained, particularly in regards to the action and interaction of managerial resources. Our results contribute to literature on human capital, social capital, and cognition, while also providing alternative explanations around the antecedents of organizational reputation and outcomes of dynamic managerial capabilities.

All Sessions in Track L...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 287: Strategic Human Capital in a Global Market
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 289: Seeing the Future in the Recent Past: Predicting Seminal Work
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 288: Strategy Microfoundations and Human Capital: What Have We Learned?
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 13: Employee Mobility: Barriers and Enablers
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 321: Strategic Human Capital Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 14: Typologies of Human Capital and Strategy
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 15: Human Capital, Company Networks, and Reputation
Session 204: Acquiring human capital: Process and outcomes
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 16: Human Capital and Innovation
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 18: Human Capital Architectures
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 19: Motivating and Governing Human Capital
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 20: New Frontiers in Human Capital Research
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 17: Human Capital and Entrepreneurship
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 21: Revisiting Theory in Strategic Human Capital Research

Strategic Management Society