Information Disclosure or Opaque Transparency

My latest paper — Opaque Transparency: How Material Affordances Shape Intermediary Work — is now published. Co-authored with Miron Avidan (McGill University) and Dror Etzion (McGill University), this research examines the emergence of FracFocus, self‐regulatory initiative with strong industry ties, charged with disclosing data pertaining to the chemicals used in oil and gas wells completed using hydraulic fracturing technology (fracking) in the United States and Canada. It is part of a larger program of research that has looked at numerous aspects of unconventional shale development and hydraulic fracturing.

The article was published in Regulation & Governance as part of a special issue “Exploring the Formal and Informal Roles of Regulatory Intermediaries in Transnational Multi-Stakeholder Regulation,” edited by Luc Brès, Sébastien Mena, and Marie‐Laure Salles‐Djelic.

Citation details:

Avidan, M., Etzion, D. & Gehman, J. Opaque Transparency: How Material Affordances Shape Intermediary Work. Regulation and Governance. In press. doi:10.1111/rego.12217.

New Article on Legitimacy and Crowdfunding Just Accepted

Today, my paper — “The Legitimacy Threshold Revisited: How Prior Successes and Failures Spill Over to Other Endeavors on Kickstarter” — co-authored with Jean-François (JF) Soublière (University of Alberta) was accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Journal.

The paper asks: How does the legitimacy conferred on entrepreneurial endeavors affect the legitimacy of subsequent ones? We extend the notion of a “legitimacy threshold” to develop and test a recursive model of legitimacy. Whereas extant research has focused on whether entrepreneurial endeavors garner sufficient support from key audiences to cross this threshold, we argue that the order of magnitude by which they succeed or fail is consequential for later entrants, too. Distinguishing “blockbuster” from “unsung” successes, and “path breaking” from “broken path” failures, we contend that recent successes and failures affect related subsequent endeavors in predictable, though sometimes counterintuitive ways. We test our hypotheses by examining 182,358 entrepreneurial endeavors pitched within 165 categories over a six-year period on Kickstarter, one of the most important crowdfunding platforms. We show that individual outcomes, taken collectively, generate legitimacy spillovers, either by encouraging audiences to repeatedly support other related endeavors or by discouraging them from doing so. Our research contributes to understanding the recursive nature of legitimacy, the competitive dynamics of entrepreneurial efforts, and crowdfunding platforms.

Article on Opaque Transparency Available Online

Last week my latest article — Opaque Transparency: How Material Affordances Shape Intermediary Work — was published online. Co-authored with Miron Avidan and Dror Eztion, both at McGill University, the paper asks: How do the material aspects of intermediary work affect regulators, targets, and beneciaries? Continue reading

AMR Article on Going Public Now In Press

Yesterday, my article — “Going Public: Debating Matters of Concern as an Imperative for Management Scholars” — was published on the Academy of Management Review website. Co-authored with Dror Etzion (McGill University), in this review essay we assess the shale revolution through the lens of management theory and practice.

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EPCOR eMetering Case Study Published

On August 13, Ivey Publishing released our latest case study — EPCOR Utilities Inc: Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity System. The case was co-authored by Jennifer Keith, Chelsey McLeod, Jolene Proulx, and Leanne Hedberg, all former students. The case centers on EPCOR, an Edmonton-based utility company and its 2014 decision making related to the implementation of eMetering. This is the tenth business school case study I’ve published.

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Poppy Barley Case Study Published

Today Ivey Publishing released our latest case study — Poppy Barley: Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Sustainability Certification. The case was co-authored by Greg Dobbelsteyn, Leanne Hedberg, Peter Loginov, Aimee Van Dam, and Brittnay Verstraete, all former students. The case centers on Poppy Barley, an Edmonton-based made-to-measure footwear retailer. This is the ninth business school case study I’ve published.

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Why We Care About Certified B Corporations

Yesterday we were notified that our latest article on Certified B Corporations — Why We Care About Certified B Corporations: From Valuing Growth to Certifying Values — was accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Discoveries (AMD). Co-authored with Matthew G. Grimes and Ke Cao, the article is an invited commentary on a forthcoming AMD article — The Impact of B Lab Certification on Firm Growth — co-authored by Simon C. Parker, Edward Gamble, Peter W. Moroz, and Oana Branzei.

Serendipity Arrangements Paper Published

My previously in press paper — “Serendipity Arrangements for Exapting Science-Based Innovations” — co-authored with Raghu Garud (Pennsylvania State University) and Antonio Paco Giuliani (IÉSEG School of Management), was published in the Academy of Management Perspectives. The paper is part of a special symposium on “Rethinking the Commercialization of Public Science: From Entrepreneurial Outcomes to Societal Impacts” edited by Riccardo Fini, Einar Rasmussen, Donald Siegel, and Johan Wiklund.

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Charting the Emergence of Certified B Corporations

An article I co-authored with Ke Cao (a Ph.D. student at the University of Alberta) and Matthew Grimes (Indiana University), was published as the lead chapter of Volume 19 in the Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth series. Edited by Andrew C. Corbett (Babson University) and Jerome A. Katz (Saint Louis University), the theme of the volume is Hybrid Ventures.

Citation: Cao, K., Gehman, J. & Grimes, M.G. 2017. Standing Out and Fitting In: Charting the Emergence of Certified B Corporations by Industry and Region. In A.C. Corbett & J.A. Katz (Eds.), Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth: Hybrid Ventures. 19: 1-38.

Abstract: To fulfill their economic and social missions, it is imperative yet challenging for hybrid ventures to demonstrate legitimacy (fitting in) while simultaneously projecting distinctiveness (standing out). One important means for doing so is by adopting and promoting the recent B Corporation certification. Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of the emergence of this certification, we argue that when it comes to promoting their businesses, hybrid ventures should not adopt a one size fits all approach. Rather, their promotion strategies need to be adapted to their specific contexts. We theorize and develop a typology of certification promotion strategies for hybrid ventures based on the relative prevalence of other hybrid ventures in the same regions and industries. We conclude by articulating why the B Corporation movement is a rich and underexplored context for scholarship on hybrid ventures, and highlight several promising future research directions.