More from Desautels Research


Professor Hewlin receives prestigious award nomination for paper on authenticity in the workplace

Congratulations to Professor Patricia Hewlin, Associate Professor in Organizational Behavior, for being selected as a finalist for the 2020 Academy of Management Annals Best Paper Award.

Published: 27 Nov 2020

Inventory in Times of War

Authors: A. Jola-Sanchez, A. Pedraza Martinez and Juan Camilo SerpaPublication: Management Science, ForthcomingAbstract:

We study how armed conflicts affect inventory across firms’ production facilities. We track 38,916 production facilities—including plantations, livestock farms, and factories—in war-torn Colombian regions; we also collect the data of 5,138 attacks performed by the two rebel groups involved in Colombia’s civil war. To obtain exogenous variation in the conflict intensity, we use a difference-in-differences model that hinges on the peace process between the government and one of the guerrilla groups. We find that when the conflict intensity increases by one order of magnitude, inventory decreases by up to 10.38%. Firms, however, barely reduce finished inventory during war; they mainly reduce raw and work-in-process inventory. To offset this inventory reduction, firms increase their cash holdings—that is, they shift their working capital from physical inventory to liquid assets. The location of the facility moderates the effect of war: when a facility is close to a distribution center—hence, inventory travels short distances—the firm responds to violence by aggressively reducing inventory; when a facility is far from a distribution center, the firm reacts less aggressively to war.

Published: 13 Nov 2020

Theorizing Process Dynamics with Directed Graphs: A Diachronic Analysis of Digital Trace Data

Authors: B. Pentland, Emmanuelle Vaast and J. Ryan WolfPublication: MIS Quarterly, ForthcomingAbstract:

The growing availability of digital trace data has generated unprecedented opportunities for analyzing, explaining, and predicting the dynamics of process change. While research on process organization studies theorizes about process and change, and research on process mining rigorously measures and models business processes, there has so far been limited research that measures and theorizes about process dynamics. This gap represents an opportunity for new Information Systems (IS) research. This research note lays the foundation for such an endeavor by demonstrating the use of process mining for diachronic analysis of process dynamics. We detail the definitions, assumptions, and mechanics of an approach that is based on representing processes as weighted, directed graphs. Using this representation, we offer a precise definition of process dynamics that focuses attention on describing and measuring changes in process structure over time. We analyze process structure over two years at four dermatology clinics. Our analysis reveals process changes that were invisible to the medical staff in the clinics. This approach offers empirical insights that are relevant to many theoretical perspectives on process dynamics.

Published: 13 Nov 2020

Unveiling the relevance of academic research: A practice-based view

Authors: M. Marabelli, and Emmanuelle VaastPublication: Information and Organization, Volume 30, Issue 3, September 2020, 100314Abstract:

Published: 13 Nov 2020

Losing Touch: An Embodiment Perspective on Coordination in Robotic Surgery

Authors: A.V. Sergeeva, Samer Faraj, and M. HuysmanPublication: Organization Science, Volume 31, Issue 5, October 2020, Pages 1248-1271.Abstract:

Because new technologies allow new performances, mediations, representations, and information flows, they are often associated with changes in how coordination is achieved. Current coordination research emphasizes its situated and emergent nature, but seldom accounts for the role of embodied action. Building on a 25-month field study of the da Vinci robot, an endoscopic system for minimally invasive surgery, we bring to the fore the role of the body in how coordination was reconfigured in response to a change in technological mediation. Using the robot, surgeons experienced both an augmentation and a reduction of what they can do with their bodies in terms of haptic, visual, and auditory perception and manipulative dexterity. These bodily augmentations and reductions affected joint task performance and led to coordinative adaptations (e.g., spatial relocating, redistributing tasks, accommodating novel perceptual dependencies, and mounting novel responses) that, over time, resulted in reconfiguration of roles, including expanded occupational knowledge, emergence of new specializations, and shifts in status and boundaries. By emphasizing the importance of the body in coordination, this paper suggests that an embodiment perspective is important for explaining how and why coordination evolves following the introduction of a new technology.

Published: 13 Nov 2020

When Digital Technologies Enable and Threaten Occupational Identity: The Delicate Balancing Act of Data Scientists

Authors: Emmanuelle Vaast and Alain PinsonneaultPublication: MIS Quarterly, ForthcomingAbstract:

Occupations are increasingly embedded with and affected by digital technologies. These technologies both enable and threaten occupational identity and create two important tensions: they make the persistence of an occupation possible while also potentially rendering it obsolete and they bring about both similarity and distinctiveness of an occupation with regard to other occupations. Based on the critical case study of an online community dedicated to data science, we investigate longitudinally how data scientists address the two tensions of occupational identity associated with digital technologies and reach transient syntheses in terms of “optimal distinctiveness” and “persistent extinction.” We propose that identity work associated with digital technologies follows a composite life-cycle and dialectical process. We explain that people constantly need to adjust and redefine their occupational identity (i.e., how they define who they are and what they do). We contribute to scholarship on digital technologies and identity work by illuminating how people deal in an ongoing manner with digital technologies that simultaneously enable and threaten their occupational identity.

Published: 13 Nov 2020

Glossing Over: How Magazine Fact Checkers Use Conditional Self-Presentation to Straddle Glamour and Dreariness in Their Work

Authors: S. Spataro and Lisa E. CohenPublication: Journal of Organizational Psychology, Volume 20, Issue 1, June 2020, Pages 82-103.Abstract:

Published: 13 Nov 2020

Financial Returns to Firms’ Communication Actions on Firm-Initiated Social Media: Evidence from Facebook Business Pages

Authors: S. Chung, Animesh Animesh, Kunsoo Han and Alain Pinsonneault

Publication: Information Systems Research, Volume 31, Issue 1, March 2020, Pages 258-285.


The primary goal of this study is to investigate the financial returns to firms’ communication actions on a firm-initiated social media platform by focusing on Facebook Business pages. To this end, we conceptualize and quantify two types of firms’ communication actions on social media: posts and responses to customer messages. Furthermore, we classify a firm’s responses to customer messages based on the valence of customer messages—positive versus negative—and examine the effects of volume as well as timeliness of the two types of a firm’s responses to customer messages on firm performance. Using a sample of 63 South Korean firms across industries over a three-year period (5,566 firm-week observations), we find that the volume and timeliness of a firm’s responses to negative customer messages, which are associated with an increase in customer satisfaction, have a significant positive impact on the firm’s market performance measured by abnormal returns and Tobin’s q. Interestingly, the results suggest that a firm’s posts and its responses to positive customer messages are not significantly associated with firm performance. Furthermore, we find that a firm’s posts and its responses to negative customer messages exhibit complementarities in contributing to firm performance. Our results are robust to various alternative specifications, econometric concerns, and Facebook’s policy changes, such as EdgeRank and Promoted Post. Our findings underscore the business value of firms’ actions on social media and provide unique and important implications for theory and practice regarding the appropriate ways to use social media for building and managing customer relationships.

Published: 10 Nov 2020

Software Patents and Firm Value: A Real Options Perspective on the Role of Innovation Orientation and Environmental Uncertainty

Authors: S. Chung, Animesh Animesh, Kunsoo Han and Alain Pinsonneault

Publication: Information Systems Research, Volume 30, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages 1073-1097.


Although software patents have been growing steadily since 1996, when the restrictions on the patentability of software were eliminated, their value and impacts on the firm’s profits remain unclear and ambiguous. Drawing on the real options theory and the literature on exploration and exploitation, we develop a novel theoretical framework to assess the value of software patents. Moreover, we examine the impact of contextual factors related to the nature of innovation underlying firms’ patent portfolios (exploitative versus explorative) and the environmental uncertainty (competitiveness and dynamism) on the value of software patents. Specifically, we examine the interaction effect of a firm’s software patent stock and its innovation orientation on firm value in markets exhibiting different levels of environmental uncertainty. Based on a large-panel data set consisting of 602 U.S. firms, our results indicate that a software patent portfolio having higher levels of explorative orientation is associated with a higher firm value (as measured by Tobin’s q) in environments exhibiting low dynamism and high competitiveness. By contrast, a software patent portfolio with higher levels of exploitative orientation is associated with a higher firm value in environments with high dynamism and low competitiveness. We discuss the implications for research and practice.

Published: 10 Nov 2020

Maxime Cohen appointed Associate Editor of Management Science

Maxime Cohen, Associate Professor of Retail Management and Operations Management, was recently appointed Associate Editor of Management Science

Published: 30 Oct 2020

Professor Augustin awarded best COVID research paper

Professor Patrick Augustin has been awarded the Best COVID-19 Related Paper at the International Risk Management Conference 2020.

The paper, titled In Sickness and in Debt: The COVID-19 Impact on Sovereign Credit Risk, explored the relation between economic growth shocks and sovereign default risk during the current pandemic.

Published: 20 Oct 2020

The Canadian Pension Fund Model: A Quantitative Portrait

Authors:Alexander Beath, Sebastien Betermier, Chris Flynn, Quentin Spehner

Published: July 21, 2020. Available at SSRN


Published: 10 Sep 2020

Market Transition and Network-Based Job Matching in China: The Referrer Perspective

Authors: Elena Obukhova, Brian Rubineau

Publication: Industrial Labor Relations Review (ILR Review), July 28, 2020


Published: 3 Sep 2020

Desautels professors awarded IVADO research funding

Four Desautels professors have been awarded research grants by the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), a Montreal-based scientific and economic data science hub. The grants will fund three two-year research projects led by Desautels professors as part of IVADO’s Fundamental Research Funding Program.

Published: 1 Jul 2020


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Updated: 2020/10/01

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