2017 Funded Research

Global Careers and Global Leaders

The growth of global careers represents an important by-product of the globalization of business. Organizations increasingly seek to hire people from across national boundaries to learn from leading markets, to infuse fresh perspectives into their business, and to broaden the potential pool of recruits, ensuring that they are hiring the best talent, wherever it comes from. Some organizations also seek to increase internal mobility, moving people from one country to another in order to accelerate cross-unit learning, build a common culture, and develop their leadership bench.

In order for organizations to access the multinational talent that they seek, though, those international moves must also work for the people involved, either by bringing immediate benefits or else by advancing their careers. Anecdotal work highlights some of the challenges posed by international moves, including the difficulties of becoming effective within a different culture and the frequent challenges that expatriates face with finding a job when they return to their home country. In this study, we aim to analyze systematic, quantitative data on cross-border careers to understand who moves overseas as part of their careers, what role these moves play within their careers, and whether these moves lead to positive or negative outcomes in terms of pay, responsibilities and career satisfaction. Understanding the answers to these questions should help firms to better nurture the careers of their employees and develop global leaders.

Research by Matthew Bidwell, Associate Professor of Management, the Wharton School; Martine Haas, Associate Professor of Management, the Wharton School; and Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School

Getting the Wrong People Off and the Right People On the Bus: A Qualitative Exploration of Drastic Disruption and Turnaround

In the United States, the academic performance of students in public schools varies widely as a function of community wealth.  On average, students in schools in high-income communities perform far better on standardized tests than do students in schools in low-income communities.  The school-level income-achievement gap reflects differences in school funding and resources, in the quality of teaching and school leadership, and in students’ school readiness, family engagement in education, and more.  Research examining the income-achievement gap among OECD countries indicates that the income-achievement gap varies a great deal between countries, is greatest in countries is when students are segregated among schools by income, and is particularly great in the United States (Chmielewski & Reardon, 2016).

In recent years, a number of school districts in the United States have implemented major organizational change efforts designed to “turnaround” their chronically under-performing schools – schools, almost always in low-income neighborhoods, in which students have for years performed far below standard.  In numerous instances, the turnaround effort is a “drastic disruption” (Myers & Smylie, 2017, p. 506) – an intense effort to dramatically change and improve teaching and student achievement.

Research by  Katherine Klein, Vice Dean, Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Edward H. Bowman Professor of Management, The Wharton School.


18th Annual Strategy and the Business Environment Conference

The Strategy and the Business Environment Conference is a small annual research conference sponsored by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Harvard, Duke, Northwestern, UCLA, UT-Austin and Rochester. Each year the conference convenes leading and emerging scholars in management and the social sciences who explore business strategies at the intersection of business, government and civil society.

The location of the conference rotates among the sponsoring schools, and the 2018 event will be hosted in the Spring with the financial support of the Center for Leadership & Change Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in partnership with the Mack Institute, the Lauder Institute, Wharton’s Global and Social Impact Initiatives, the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and the Management Department.

Career Aspiration and Management Principles: The Leaders of China's Successful Private Entreprises

A symposium for the 2017 Academy of Management Meeting taking place August 4-8, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Expressions of Passion and Status Conferral: A Longitudinal, Computational Study of U.S. Congress Members

Emotions are ubiquitous in organizations, as they help facilitate communication and coordination. A lesser-appreciated role of emotions is that they also influence one’s individual career trajectory. Employees who display positive emotions, in particular, have been shown to elicit more support from their workers and higher performance evaluations from supervisors. While important, this research has until now neglected to consider the impact of more extreme, high arousal emotions on one’s status within an organization. In this dissertation, I plan to examine the status impact of one particular, increasingly relevant, high arousal emotion: passion. Although passion has been studied in psychology and organizational behavior as an internal emotional state that influences one’s motivation to pursue a task, the question of how external expressions of passion influence interpersonal outcomes remains open. This dissertation explores the question of how expressions of passion influence status in two studies. The first study is a large-scale archival study of C-SPAN videos of Congress members, whereby I will computationally analyze how passionately they communicate, utilizing a number of cutting-edge technologies, and relate this to subsequent changes in status. The second study is a lab study in which participants will observe trained actors conveying passion to better understand mediators of the hypothesized relationship between passion and status.

Research by  Jamie Potter, PhD Candidate in Management, The Wharton School and  Professor Sigal Barsade, Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor of Management.