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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues



Employees often engage in collective grassroot efforts to bring about gender equity in the workplace. Such coalition-based advocacy is largely driven by women, which has led to debate about whether men’s involvement as allies can help. Integrating literatures on signaling and legitimacy, we propose that the demographic composition of a gender equity advocacy coalition matters: Men-only groups lack coalition legitimacy, or the perception that they are the “right” spokespersons for gender equity issues, whereas women-only groups struggle to convey issue legitimacy, or the perception that gender equity is of strategic importance within business organizations.

Retail stores are geographically dispersed as a part of a multiunit organization. In such a setting, store managers play an important role in driving store performance. To motivate them to exert effort, retailers have provided group incentives for store managers. Using data from 75 stores of a U.S.-based retail chain that changed its incentive plan for store managers from being purely dependent on store performance to being dependent upon both store and corporate performance, we investigate the effect of this change on store performance.

We examine the effect of pay transparency on gender pay gap and firm outcomes. This paper exploits a 2006 legislation change in Denmark that requires firms to provide gender disaggregated wage statistics. Using detailed employee-employer administrative data and a difference-in-differences and difference-in-discontinuities designs, we find the law reduces the gender pay gap, primarily by slowing the wage growth for male employees.

How leaders can recast innovation's toughest trade-offs—efficiency vs. flexibility, consistency vs. change, product vs purpose—as productive tensions.

Although past research demonstrates that perceived fairness leads to many benefits, it also tends to assume that fairness flows almost exclusively from justice adherence. We instead reason that when employees form fairness judgments, they consider not only the extent to which supervisors adhere to justice but also why supervisors do so.

Do founder-CEOs have an expiration date? In the wake of Jack Dorsey’s resignation from Twitter, some have begun asking whether the move could herald a new era, in which founders voluntarily step aside rather than sticking around for decades or waiting to be ousted. To explore the value added by a founder-CEO, the authors analyzed stock price and financial performance data from more than 2,000 publicly traded companies.

Following state-level legal changes that increase labor dismissal costs, firms increase their innovation in new processes that facilitate the adoption of cost-saving production methods, especially in industries with a large share of labor costs in total costs. Firms with high innovation ability exhibit larger increases in process innovation and capital-labor ratios, an effect driven by both increases in capital investment and decreases in employment. By facilitating the adjustment of the input mix when conditions in input markets change, innovation ability allows firms to mitigate value losses and is a key driver of their performance.

Over the last two decades, executive compensation research has focused primarily on equity-based pay and incentives emanating from executives' firm-specific equity portfolios, while generally ignoring cash-based bonus plans as a second order effect. Exploiting access to new data sources, there has been a revival of interest by accounting researchers in more deeply understanding the value adding roles played by bonus plans. 

To be effective, experts need to simultaneously develop others (i.e. provide advice and feedback to novices) and advance their own learning (i.e. seek and incorporate advice and feedback from others). However, expertise, and the state of efficacy associated with it, can inhibit experts from engaging in these activities or doing so effectively. We discuss when and why cognitive entrenchment and reduced perspective taking lead experts to hold misperceptions about others. We then explain how these misperceptions lead experts to provide less helpful advice and feedback to novices and to be less likely to seek and take input from others. We offer insights to overcome these barriers, enhancing experts’ ability to provide and propensity to seek advice and feedback.

We study the impact of widespread adoption of work-at-home technology using an equilibrium model where people choose where to live, how to allocate their time between working at home and at the office, and how much space to use in production. A key parameter is the elasticity of substitution between working at home and in the office that we estimate using cross-sectional time-use data.

We examine the impact of four classes of workplace interruptions on short-term (working hours) and long-term (across-shifts) worker performance in an agribusiness setting. The interruptions are organized in a two-by-two framework where they result (or do not result) in a physical task requirement and lead to a varying degree of attention shift from the primary task.

As the nature of work has become more service-oriented, knowledge-intensive, and rapidly changing, people—be they workers or customers—have become more central to operational processes and have impacted operational outcomes in novel and perhaps more fundamental ways. Research in people-centric operations (PCO) studies how people affect the performance of operational processes. In this OM Forum, we define PCO as an area of study, offer a categorization scheme to take stock of where the field has allocated its attention to date, and offer our thoughts on promising directions for future research.