Joint with Sharique Hasan. Social interaction is thought to affect individual and organizational innovation. We argue that individuals and teams are better able to generate high quality ideas if they converse with peers who provide them with new insight, perspective and information. Further, we argue that not all individuals can equally capitalize on this new information. Specifically, extroverted peers, because they are more willing to share and transmit their experiences facilitate idea generation. Moreover, innovators who are open to experience absorb this new information better and can more effectively convert it to better ideas. We test our claims using novel data from a randomized field experiment at an entrepreneurship bootcamp where individuals were randomized to both teams and conversational peers. We find that conversations with extroverted peers help individuals generate higher quality ideas, more open individuals benefit more from such peers, and teams with more cohesion can convert these raw ideas into better performance.
PhD Program, Organizational Behavior
PhD Program Office
Graduate School of Business
655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305
Research StatementMy research focuses on developing and testing theories of network and ecosystem design using field experiments that capture both rich micro-level data and important macro-level outcomes. Policy makers and scholars increasingly recognize that ecosystems are key drivers of innovation and economic growth. Underlying this insight is the idea that the networks that connect firms and people within an ecosystem magnify knowledge, talent, and competition. Building on this insight, the question I try to tackle with my research is the following: how can we improve ecosystems by designing better social networks between people and firms?
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Design of Social Networks
Job Market Paper
Do networks plentiful in ideas provide startups with performance advantages? On the one hand, network positions that provide access to a multitude of ideas are thought to increase team performance. On the other hand, research on network formation argues that such positional advantages should be fleeting as entrepreneurs both strategically compete for the most valuable network positions and form relationships with others who have similar characteristics and abilities. I embed a field experiment in a three-week-long startup bootcamp and pre-accelerator to test if networks that are plentiful in ideas lead to performance advantages. Using detailed data from the bootcamp's custom-designed learning management platform, I find support for the first hypothesis. Teams with networks more plentiful in ideas receive better peer evaluations and more crowdfunding page views. I find little evidence that entrepreneurs actively build networks to others who could have provided a greater quantity of information and ideas. Instead, entrepreneurs seek feedback from those they have collaborated with in the past or who share similar ascriptive characteristics. These findings provide first-order evidence for the importance of knowledge spillovers within bootcamps, incubators, and accelerators. Furthermore, the findings provide a potential explanation for the durability of idea and information-based network advantages.
Joint with Jacob Model. The diffusion of online marketplaces has increased our access to ``social information'' -- records of past behavior and opinions of consumers. One concern with this development is that social information may create cumulative advantage dynamics that distort marketplaces by increasing inequality in the distribution of success. Critically, this argument assumes that products that are likely to succeed disproportionately benefit from social information. We challenge this assumption and argue that cumulative advantage processes can aggregate to have nearly any effect on distribution of success, even decreasing the level of inequality in some cases. We assess these claims using archival data and a field experiment in a crowdfunding marketplace. Consistent with prior work, randomized changes to social information generate cumulative advantage. However, our treatments did not change the distribution of success. Products benefited equally from our treatments regardless of their predicted likelihood of success. Our treatments still affected marketplace dynamics by weakening the relationship between predicted and achieved success.
Last Updated 15 Feb 2018