New Article Published in JMS

An article coauthored with Markus Kreutzer & Karin Kreutzer (both at EBS Universität) has just been published in the Journal of Management Studies:

Setting the Tone for the Team: A Multi-Level Analysis of Managerial Control, Peer Control, and their Consequences for Job Satisfaction and Team Performance

In this study, we develop a multi-level theoretical framework linking antecedents and outcomes of peer control, defined as team members at the same hierarchical level noticing and responding to their peers’ behaviour or performance. Analysing multi-level data from 356 volunteers and 58 regional teams in a non-profit organization, we examine top-down managerial controls as antecedents of lateral peer control, both directly (i.e., monitoring and responding directly to peers) and indirectly (i.e., gossiping about and avoiding underperforming peers), and peer control’s effects on individual- and team-level outcomes. In line with our predictions, we find formal managerial control and clan control to be antecedents of peer control, albeit with differential effects on direct and indirect peer control. We also find a significant association between peer control and both individual-level job satisfaction and team-level performance, but again, with crucial differences between the two types of peer controls and the two outcomes. Our study contributes to the development of a better theoretical understanding of peer control, sheds light on inconsistent findings across prior studies, provides novel insights into how team leaders can influence team members’ individual satisfaction and team-level performance via peer control, and reveals important trade-offs with regards to peer control’s influence on individual-
and team-level outcomes.

Keywords: formal and informal (clan) control, job satisfaction, multi-level analysis, non-profit organizations, organizational control, peer control, team performance, volunteers

JOM Editorial Term Ending

Today, my term as Associate Editor at Journal of Management has ended. I am incredibly grateful to Editor David Allen & Senior Associate Editor Taco Reus for offering me this amazing opportunity, and I learned a lot from handling more than 100 unique manuscripts (many for multiple revisions) and close to 100 review issue proposals during my three years at JOM. And I won’t be leaving JOM as I have been invited to join the incoming JOM editorial board and will also remain the AE for any manuscripts assigned to me during my term which are still in the review process.

2019 Academy of Management Annual Meeting

This year’s Academy of Management Annual Meeting is happening in Boston, MA. My co-authors and I are represented on the program with two presentations:

  • Levin, D. Z. & Walter, J. (2019). Is tie maintenance really necessary?
  • Ross, J. R., Mehra, A., Levin, D. Z., Walter, J. (2019). Dormant ties: A review and agenda for research.

Both presentations are part of a symposium Daniel and I organized:

  • “The Role of Memory and Cognition (vs. Activity and Behavior) in Social Networks.” Presenters: Jiyin Cao (Stony Brook), Edward Bishop Smith (Northwestern), You-Ta Chuang (York), Fu-Sheng Tsai (Cheng Shiu), Wenpin Tsai (Pennsylvania State), Martin J. Kilduff (University College London), Tiziana Casciaro (Toronto), Jason Rekus Ross (Kentucky), & Ajay Mehra (Kentucky). Discussant: Ronald S. Burt (Chicago).

I was also honored by receiving an “Outstanding Reviewer Award” by the Strategy Division.

Ave Tucker Fellowship

Happy to share that I have been awarded a one-year Ave Tucker Fellowship at George Washington University’s School of Business.

Named after George Washington University’s Board of Trustee member Avram S. Tucker, this fellowship recognizes faculty members who “displayed good teaching performance, as well as recent scholarly productivity, prospects for continued publications in top outlets, and records of research leadership and mentoring of junior scholars.”

Promotion to Full Professor


Another big milestone to celebrate after becoming U.S. citizen a few weeks ago: I was just promoted to Full Professor at the George Washington University School of Business. It has been quite a journey from getting my PhD in 2005, becoming an Assistant Professor in 2006, moving from the West Coast back to the East Coast in 2010, and getting tenure in 2014.

Looking forward to the freedom but also the responsibilities that this new chapter in my career will bring with it…

New Article Forthcoming in Journal of Management

A new article “Before they were ties: Predicting the value of brand-new connections,” co-authored with Daniel Levin (Rutgers University), has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Management.

Complementing and extending prior studies on the value of existing work relationships, this study examines whether we can predict the value of brand-new ties before people ever meet. We examine this question by developing three sets of hypotheses reflecting the three main perspectives in the social networks literature: the resource (actor), dyadic (tie), and structural (network) perspective. To test our hypotheses, we asked executives to reach out for advice from someone they had never met and to complete a survey of their various thoughts about the other person both before and after making a connection. We find support for all three perspectives after a connection has been made; however, before tie formation, we find evidence only for the structural perspective. Our results suggest that the lack of reliable information about strangers obscures which brand-new ties will turn out to be more valuable but that surrounding network structures remain a reliable predictor of value, even for brand-new ties.

New Commentary Forthcoming in the Academy of Management Discoveries

My co-author Daniel Levin (Rutgers) and I just published a commentary titled “Is tie maintenance necessary?” in the Academy of Management Discoveries.

In this commentary, we build on our research on dormant ties to contrast what we would call the activity-based perspective of tie maintenance—i.e., the premise underlying the vast majority of social networks research that ties to individuals who are associated with one’s past are important to maintain—with we would call the memory-based perspective on tie maintenance, i.e., that the memory of a prior relationship is often sufficient and that past relationships can retain considerable value, without the need for active maintenance.

2017 SMS Annual International Conference

Congratulations to to the organizers Laura Cardinal, Chet Miller, and Anthea Zhang for a great Strategic Management Society conference in Houston, TX!


As Associate Program Chair for the Strategy Process IG, I co-organized two workshops:

  • “New frontiers in strategy process & practice research,” with Rich Bettis (UNC Chapel Hill), Cynthia Devers (Texas A&M University), Steven Floyd (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Tomi Laamanen (University of St. Gallen), Phil Bromiley (University of California, Irvine), Paula Jarzabkowski (Cass Business School, City University of London), Shenghui Ma (University of Zurich), & Libby Weber (University of California, Irvine); co-chaired with Krsto Pandza (Leeds University Business School).
  • “The process of publishing process research: Journeying along the (sometimes bumpy but ultimately successful) paths to publication,” with Steven Floyd (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Tomi Laamanen (University of St. Gallen), Henry Mintzberg (McGill University), and Sotirios Paroutis (University of Warwick); co-chaired with John Joseph (University of California, Irvine).

Thanks to all panelists and participants for making this happen!

Appointed to the Academy of Management BPS Research Committee

Just accepted the invitation of the Business Policy & Strategy (BPS) Division of the Academy of Management (AOM) to join the BPS Research Committee. This two-year appointment entails reviewing and nominating the papers for the various BPS Best Paper Awards at the Annual Meeting each year and selecting the winner of the Annual Dissertation Award.

I look forward to serving the BPS in this capacity!

Article Recognized as 2016 Outstanding Group & Organization Management Paper


Our article “Relational enhancement: How the relational dimension of social capital unlocks the value of network-bridging ties” co-authored with Daniel Levin (Rutgers University), Melissa Appleyard (Portland State University), & Rob Cross (University of Virginia) has been recognized as a 2016 Outstanding Group & Organization Management (GOM) Paper and nominated for a “Best GOM Paper” Award by the GOM Editorial Team.

According to the editor, our paper “exemplifies high quality research that is both informative and engaging and hence makes important contributions to the study and practice of management.”

New Article Forthcoming in Journal of Management

New article forthcoming in Journal of Management:

Experiential Learning, Bargaining Power, and
Exclusivity in Technology Licensing

Theodore A. Khoury*, Erin G. Pleggenkuhle-Miles**, Jorge Walter***

* Portland State University, **University of Nebraska Omaha, ***The George Washington University

Licensing has become the central form of interfirm technology transfer and commercialization in the market for inventions. However, despite the large representation and growth of this business model, the resolution of key contractual provisions is still regarded as idiosyncratic, and little is known about how experience with prior relationships or bargaining power position affects contract outcomes. In an attempt to further understand how these transactions unfold, we present and test a
theoretical framework disentangling experience benefits and transaction costs associated with licensors’ prior involvement in out- versus in-licensing deals and how they affect the important, yet contentious, contractual provision of nonexclusivity. Drawing on transaction cost, experiential learning, and bargaining power theories, we develop new insights explaining when licensors are likely to realize nonexclusive contracts as a function of their prior licensing deals, and when bargaining power moderates the relationships between prior deals and nonexclusivity. Leveraging a
27-year sample of bioscience licensing transactions, this study reveals the dynamic tension between the benefits and transaction costs arising from prior interfirm collaborations, and how a firm’s history of collaborations, alongside its bargaining power position, influences contractual outcomes.

Keywords: transaction costs; bargaining power; technology licensing; interfirm alliances; experiential learning; nonexclusivity; bioscience industry; perspective-taking