Work In Progress
Working Papers

RESEARCH UNDER REVIEW

The Double-Edged Sword of Boundary-Spanning CSR Programs: When Institutional Learning Undermines Employee Retention
Revised & Resubmitted
Why does corporate volunteering in developing countries fail to yield retention benefits found in other settings? This is surprising since such programs appear well-positioned to activate both motivational rewards underlying retention effects and learning from stretch experiences. Results from a field study of a ten-year partnership between logistics provider TNT and the United Nations World Food Programme show that such boundary-spanning CSR can be a double-edged sword. Task interdependence with nonprofit peers strengthens partnership identification and institutional learning, but institutional learning is also associated with identity strain (and, subsequently, attrition) when employees return. To avoid these outcomes, employees must feel that the firm recognizes CSR’s value. The findings have implications for studying CSR as a tool for strategic human capital management and designing cross-sector partnerships.
The Wisdom of the Crowd? CSR Design after the 2013 Reform to the India Companies Act (with Christiane Bode) 
Revised & Resubmitted
This paper examines how firms designed their CSR projects following the 2013 legal mandate for CSR spending in India. Based on data for 86,755 CSR projects, we identify patterns regarding three design parameters relevant to strategic and social outcomes: the social causes, geographic locations, and implementation modes that firms chose. These patterns point to a small subset of choices that dominate a multitude of options within each of these design parameters; this trend leads to the emergence of two CSR archetypes that differ dramatically in popularity. We then abductively contrast the observed patterns with theory on CSR to explore possible explanations. The resulting insights inform research on CSR and corporate-NGO partnerships by showing how different theoretical mechanisms can jointly explain homogeneous decisions across firms. They also raise questions about the aggregate implications of firm decision-making in the CSR arena, informing policy discussions around legal mandates for CSR. 
The Returns to Nonmarket Connections during Institutional Transitions: Investor Reactions to Actor and Tie Characteristics (with Marina Gama and Rodrigo Bandeira-de-Mello)
Revised & Resubmitted
We explain how investor perceptions concerning the legitimacy and thereby value of nonmarket strategies changes during institutional transitions towards greater legal compliance.  Indirect influence strategies should be better aligned with the transition and therefore become more legitimate than those associated with direct co-optation and control. Moreover, investors should assess this alignment based on two defining characteristics of firms’ nonmarket strategies, namely the nonmarket actors and the ties involved.  We therefore expect investors to value firms’ ties to NGOs more than to political actors, and ties formed via donations more than board ties. We test our hypotheses in the context of seven police raids in 2014, which launched “Operation Car Wash,” the largest corruption probe in Brazilian history. Our findings integrate nonmarket strategies' political and social facets by showing how actor and tie characteristics jointly explain their success or failure. They also contribute to explaining which firms will be better positioned to weather institutional transitions between legal capture and legal compliance.
RESEARCH IN PROGRESS
 
  • From Political Ties to Nonprofit Connections? The Strategic Reconfiguration of Cross-Sector Interactions (with Marina Gama)
     
  • Connecting Internal and External Networks of Cooperation: the North Star Alliance’s Roadside Wellness Centers across Africa (with Julien Clément and Luk N. Van Wassenhove)
     
  • The political drivers of CSR investments: an analysis of electoral contests following the 2013 Reform to the India Companies Act (with Christiane Bode)