Spring 2009 Awards

Managing Strategic Paradoxes: A Longitudinal Study of Leadership in a Social Enterprise
Marya Besharov, ILR
Wendy Smith, University of Delaware

Re-evaluating Africa and World War II
Judith Byfield, Africana Studies
Carolyn Brown, Rutgers University
Gregory Mann, Columbia University
Ahmad Sikainga, Ohio State University

Supporting Communities of Memory and Reminiscence
Dan Cosley, Information Science

Rural Schools: Planning and Decisionmaking in Times of Fiscal Stress
Joe Francis, Development Sociology
John Sipple, Development Sociology

Behavioral Tendencies in Newsvendor Decision Making: Capturing the Chinese Perspective
Srinagesh Gavirneni, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Longitudinal Effects of Computer-Mediated Self-Presentations on Scholastic Self-Concept and Achievement
Amy Gonzales, Communication
Jeff Hancock, Communication

What are the Pieces of Language Knowledge?
John Hale, Liguistics
Timothy O’Donnell, Harvard University
Jiwon Yun, Linguistics

Novelty and Popularity in Markets for News
Ben Ho, Johnson Graduate School of Management
Peter Liu, Hotel Administration
Fang Wu, HP Lab

Agglomeration, Product Differentiation, and Firm Entry
Renata Kosova, Hotel Administration

The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Changes
Karel Mertens, Economics
Morten Ravn, University of London

Education and Changing Patterns of Fertility Over The Life Course
Kelly Musick, Policy, Analysis and Management

The Food and Financial Crises and their Impact on the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa
Muna Ndulo
, Law School
David Lee, AEM

Workshop on the Global Impact of the Financial Crisis
Thomas Pepinsky, Government

Consequences of Teen and Early Fatherhood
Elizabeth Peters, Policy, Analysis and Management
Claudio Lucarelli, Policy, Analysis and Management
Joseph Sabia, American University
Joseph Price, Brigham Young University

The Second Urie Bronfenbrenner Conference: Improving the State of Americans
Elaine Wethington, Human Development
Rachel Dunifon, Policy, Analysis and Management

Managing Strategic Paradoxes: A Longitudinal Study of Leadership in a Social Enterprise 
Marya Besharov, ILR, Wendy Smith, University of Delaware

Globalization, financial crises, and environmental destruction have created a world filled with social ills. Social enterprises are an emerging organizational form that responds to these challenges by using for-profit business models to accomplish social objectives. Yet social and financial goals are strategically paradoxical. While social missions and financial performance can be mutually reinforcing, they are also associated with inconsistent cultures, motivations, and goals and are in direct conflict for scarce organizational resources. How do these hybrid organizations manage the strategic paradoxes associated with attending to both social and financial metrics, utilitarian and altruistic motivations, and for-profit and not-for-profit cultures? To investigate this question, we examine leadership, decision-making, and organizational structures in an internationally acclaimed social enterprise, Digital Divide Data (DDD). DDD strives to break the cycle of poverty in Southeast Asia by providing education and employment opportunities through a for-profit data entry business. With interview, observation, and archival data we will identify the major strategic issues and decisions DDD leaders faced over the first eight years of the organization’s existence and explore how they made strategic tradeoffs between social and financial goals. We will use these analyses to construct a process model of how organizations manage conflicting objectives over time. This project is part of a broader stream of research we are pursuing on behavior and leadership in hybrid organizations that combine social and financial goals. The current study has the potential to advance understanding of social enterprises, contribute to the literature on stakeholder management and social responsibility, and provide insights into the processes of managing strategic paradoxes more broadly.

Project Report: This project examines how leaders in organizations manage the apparent paradox between successful business ventures and positive social change. The project focuses on the global social enterprise, Digital Divide Data, who face this paradox through their mission in hiring disadvantaged Cambodians and Laotians in Southeast Asia while maintaining financial profits. Through this project, the researchers have developed a theory entitled “dynamic decision framing,” which analyzes the spectrum of the response of senior organization leaders and has determined that despite the tension of financial limitation, there is a prevailing flexibility in setting aside particular financial gains for positive social gains. Where prior research has defined distinct types of organizations with seemingly conflicting goals, this specific project helps to fill this gap in management role definition and individual-level thought processes that play an integral role in running such an organization. Professor Besharov, with co-authors, has developed a working paper on this research, titled “A paradoxical leadership model for social entrepreneurs: Challenges, leadership skills, and pedagogical tools for managing at double bottom line.” Additional funding in the amount of $10,000 has also been awarded by the Center for International Studies at the University of Delaware to help further this joint research.

Re-evaluating Africa and World War II
Judith Byfield, Africana Studies, Carolyn Brown, Rutgers University, Gregory Mann, Columbia University, and Ahmad Sikainga, Ohio State University

The scholarship on Africa and World War II remains very limited despite a vast literature on the war. This conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to re-examine Africa’s role in World War II and the war’s impact on African communities. The papers from this collection will be published as an edited volume for graduate students and scholars. The collection, which will draw on insights from several fields including spatial analysis, cultural studies, gender analysis and environmental history, will address a lacuna in African history and world war II studies. Both literatures largely construct Africa as being incidental to the war and the war as tangential to Africa’s history. This collection will illuminate the distinctive social, economic and political changes the war generated on the continent, broaden the discussion of racial policies during the war beyond Germany to include those of Britain and France, and highlight Africa’s centrality to the prosecution of the war.

Update: The conference “Re-Evaluating Africa and WWII” took place in September of 2009 at Cornell University.

Supporting Communities of Memory and Reminiscence
Dan Cosley, Information Science

This project’s goal is to fund a workshop at a visible technical conference, probably CSCW (Computer-Supported Cooperative Work) 2010, to explore how social scientists can inform and participate in research that uses technology to support memory, reminiscence, and aging. A growing wave of work around technology and reminiscence focuses on development novel technologies for reminiscing; this work, though interesting, often does not align with actual reminiscing practices and tends to focus on individual experiences at the expense of the social. Bringing this work closer to people who theorize about and study human memory and reminiscence practices will improve research opportunities for both social science and technology researchers, and recent growth in the amount of work around reminiscence in both engineering and social sciences suggests that this is an opportune time to bring these communities together. The funding will be used to subsidize social scientists’ paying the high technical conference registration fees and to fund travel to nourish the interdisciplinary research and grant proposals that will result.

Rural Schools: Planning and Decisionmaking in Times of Fiscal Stress
Joe Francis, Development Sociology and John Sipple, Development Sociology

Population decline, falling property values, frozen or reduced state school aid, and the proposal for a school property tax cap, is creating a need for improved data analysis and data-based decisions across the state of New York. Specifically, this proposal is responding to a very real need to stimulate cutting edge research and quality outreach on fiscal stress and school reorganization in rural New York communities. Using longitudinal GIS analyses with property, tax, and enrollment data, this proposed study will provide practitioners and scholars with state-of the art data and analyses to assist in future decisionmaking. The specific work to be funded by the ISS will serve to jump start this broader study to identify hot spots of fiscal stress, communities where intervention is more likely to be needed, and the advancement of methodological issues in studying fiscal stress and the pressures to avoid or engage in consolidation. Specifically, this ISS small grant funds the basic work to begin construction of the data-set necessary and build the relationships to ensure project success.

Update: By using publicly available NYS data, Cornell’s Program in Applied Demographics began the development of a set of tools that are accessible to anyone. This project was able to implement financial, demographic, and programmatic data tools for school districts in New York State, which is now widely used by school personnel. Media coverage includes (2014) ISS’ Small Grant Awardee, John Sipple, Analyzes Sharing of Services Between NYS Schools.

Behavioral Tendencies in Newsvendor Decision Making: Capturing the Chinese Perspective
Srinagesh Gavirneni, Johnson Graduate School of Management

After many decades on focusing only on quantitative approaches for making decisions in manufacturing and supply chain management, researchers in operations management have recently acknowledged the importance of understanding the human behavior tendencies underlying these decisions. The result is a new stream of research in operations management focused on experiments using human subjects. However, most of these experiments were conducted in the US and Europe with the subject pool (students as well as practitioners) with western cultural and educational backgrounds. As the students and practitioners in China are culturally and educationally different from their western counterparts, it is conceivable that their behavioral tendencies are very different. Given that a large portion of the world’s
industrial output comes from China and other Asian countries, an understanding of the behavioral tendencies specific to those geographical regions is absolutely essential to achieve significant efficiency gains in the world economy.

Update: This project lead to the development of the article “Behavioral Tendencies in Newsvendor Decision Making: Capturing the Chinese Perspective,” published in the Johnson School Research Paper Series.

Longitudinal Effects of Computer-Mediated Self-Presentations on Scholastic Self-Concept and Achievement
Amy Gonzales, Communication and Jeff Hancock, Communication

This study examines self-presentation on the Internet as “academically hard-working” and the potential long-term impact it has on academic identity and academic behavior. Self-perception theory proposes that people construct attitudes about the self through self-observation (Bem, 1972). This effect also occurs via the internet (Gonzales & Hancock, 2008), which may intensify self-perception effects on identity (Gonzales & Hancock, under review). To date, this line of research has only examined short-term self-concept change. The aim of this project is to explore the long-term effect of Internet-based self-presentation on one’s identity as scholastically proficient, and its associated behavioral outcomes. Results of this study will aid in the integration of psychological and communication theory in a new theoretical model of hyperself-perception. Establishing important behavioral implications of a hyperself-perception effect, such as improvement of education outcomes, will support future interventions designed to enable positive self-concept change through use of digital media.

Media coverage includes: News feed: ‘Emotional contagion’ sweeps Facebook (2014); ISS’ Small Grant Awardee and 2008 Faculty Fellow, Jeff Hancock, Examines Facebook and “Self-Presentation” (2014); Texting Friends or Strangers During Surgery Reduces Pain (2015).

What are the Pieces of Language Knowledge?
John Hale, Liguistics, Timothy O’Donnell, Harvard University, and Jiwon Yun, Linguistics

The project initiates a collaboration between two junior colleages, one in Linguistics at Cornell and the other in Psychology at Harvard. The collaboration involves two face-to-face meetings during the 2009-2010 academic year. The first meeting is a mini-workshop that brings the latest information about probabilistic models of natural language to the broader Cornell community. The second meeting focuses on research: the collaborators intend to apply new techniques in Bayesian statistics and computation to the longstanding debate about whether language is best understood as a system of rules or a collection of templates. We address this debate by building a model of relative clause processing difficulty whose predictions are evaluated against self-paced reading times. The results have the potential to re-shape our conception of what it means for members of a speech community to ‘know’ a language.

Update: In an effort to study the intersection of linguistics and psychology, this project aimed to establish collaboration with scholars in these fields. This involved two workshops educating the Cornell community about Bayesian methods as applied to language as well as a computational modeling project on Korean relative clauses. These workshops and project have led to the development of a paper that has been presented at the 2010 Cognitive Science Society meeting in Portland, OR. More media updates: Asian, European languages not so different under the hood (2015). Linguistics professors John Hale and Sam Tilsen conduct research at the Cornell Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility (2015).

Novelty and Popularity in Markets for News
Ben Ho, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Peter Liu, Hotel Administration, and Fang Wu, HP Lab

Empirical evidence shows that consumers of news care about both the novelty of the news they read, as well as how popular that news topic is with others. We develop a continuous time dynamic model that predicts how news providers invest in covering stories with either high novelty or high popularity, and how this investment depends on the market structure (monopoly, oligopoly, competition). We then seek to test the predictions of the model by examining which stories magazines select for their cover, and how that depends on the novelty and popularity of the topic, by looking at how those stories are covered in daily newspapers. This work has implications on innovation more broadly, specifically novelty and popularity can be thought of as innovation and technology transfer.

Update: Where past research shows that consumers of news care about both the novelty of the news they read, as well as how popular that news topic is with others., this project has developed a dynamic model that predicts how news providers invest in covering stories with either high novelty or high popularity, and how this investment depends on the market structure (monopoly, oligopoly, competition). By looking at how those stories are covered in daily newspapers, these predictions of the model then examine which stories magazines select for their cover. Implications on this connection are currently being analyzed and are expected to be presented in a conference.

Agglomeration, Product Differentiation, and Firm Entry
Renata Kosova, Hotel Administration

How does product differentiation affect agglomeration patterns within an industry? And how does the combination of the two affect firm turnover and industry growth? This project addresses these questions by analyzing entry rates and how they relate to agglomeration levels within an industry, measured across different “markets” based on geographic location and product category. The existing literature on agglomeration economies is primarily focused on measuring agglomeration within and across industries and on searching for a positive impact of geographic clustering of firms on productivity and wages as evidence of agglomeration economies. While researchers have begun to seek microfoundations for these economies, they have relied rather heavily on traditional urban economics explanations and, due to data limitations, have tested theories using almost exclusively information from the manufacturing sector. This research extends prior work on several dimensions. First, it empirically tests new theories from the industrial organization literature that suggest that agglomeration should increase with product differentiation. Second, it brings new longitudinal, establishment-level data to bear on these theories. In particular, this project will use extensive hotel-level panel data that cover nearly all existing hotel properties in the US during 2003-2006. The data include information not only on the opening date and geographic location of each hotel, but also its industry segment. Taken together, these data allow for a detailed analysis of the extent to which geographic clustering of establishments within and between segments affects patterns of firm entry. Combining different streams of literature, this research is not only of broad interest to academics, but also to policy makers and private firms. It will enrich our understanding of within-industry product competition, which is crucial for product market regulation policies as well as firm location choice and market expansion decisions. This research will be interdisciplinary and will involve close collaboration with faculty in ILR. This funding supports additional data collection, conference presentations and research assistance.

Update: This project sought to examine industrial organizations in the context of urban economics, particularly in the interaction of product heterogeneity and geographic agglomeration. Research discovered that to the extent that hotels agglomerate, the net returns to clustering differ depending on the composition and size distribution of hotels in an area. Our results were consistent with countervailing competition and agglomeration effects that vary in strength across differentiated firms within the industry. This research has led to a working paper that is currently under review by an academic journal, as well acceptance for presentations at the International Industrial Organization Conference in Vancouver, CA, as well as the Sloan Industry Studies Conference in Chicago, IL.

The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Changes
Karel Mertens, Economics and Morten Ravn, University of London

Whereas some consensus has been reached on the effects of monetary policy, there is still widespread disagreement about the aggregate effects of fiscal policies. An important empirical obstacle is the fact that many fiscal measures are announced prior to their implementation such that economic decisions are affected before the actual implementation of new policies. In recent work, we adopt a methodology based on the narrative approach that allows for the identification of anticipation effects of changes in tax liabilities. This funding extends our work and characterizes separately the effects of the different tax components. We also seek to apply our analysis to other countries. Our main research objectives are to gather additional evidence for our current findings, extend our theoretical work on the transmission mechanism of tax shocks and to develop empirical tests based on the analysis of different types of taxes to distinguish between different transmission channels.

Update: This project lead to the development of an article entitled “The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks: Theory and Empirical Evidence,” which was published for the Centre for Economic Policy Research discussion series.

Education and Changing Patterns of Fertility Over The Life Course
Kelly Musick, Policy, Analysis and Management

College graduates have long had higher fertility than their less educated counterparts (Yang and Morgan 2003), but the long-standing inverse relationship between education and fertility may be changing: increases in substitutes for mothers’ time and flexibility in high-end jobs may be easing the competition between work and family among college graduates, as may increases in their chances of getting and staying married, relative to less educated women. This project will examine the evolving relationship between women’s education and fertility in the context of class-based changes in work and family across cohorts. Social class differences in many domains of family life have been widening (McLanahan 2004), and education differences in fertility are a critical piece of understanding the nature and meaning of these broader cleavages in family experiences. This project will use large-scale, nationally representative panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women (14-24 in 1968; 39-49 in 1993) and Youth (14-21 in 1979; 41-48 in 2006) to situate fertility in the individual contexts of marriage and employment histories and in the social context of changing opportunities and constraints by birth cohort. Marrying individual-level modeling and aggregate-level simulation, this project is unique in examining cohort change in total fertility within a life course perspective.

Update: This successful research was completed and reported on in the article “College Cuts Odds for Marriage Among Disadvantaged,” on January 24, 2012. In 2015, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare awarded a grant on “His and Her Earnings Following Parenthood and Implications for Social Inequality: Cohort and Cross-National Comparisons. Premarital births no longer predict breakups (October 2015).

The Food and Financial Crises and their Impact on the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa 
Muna Ndulo, Law School and David Lee, AEM

The Institute for African Development at Cornell University, in collaboration with other Cornell units, will be hosting a two-day symposium on May 1-2, 2009 on The Food and Financial Crises and their Impact on Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. This double catastrophe of rising food and fuel prices and financial market instability has propelled millions of people worldwide into hunger. It has also threatened to undermine the gains made in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the U.N. General Assembly to galvanize global efforts and improve the condition of the world’s poor. The most vulnerable are the hardest hit and nowhere is this more apparent than in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, the growing financial crisis has widely been expected to reduce economic growth and increase poverty levels as a result of its anticipated impacts in slowing export expansion, foreign direct investment, foreign aid and other adverse outcomes. The objective of the Symposium is to examine the impact of high commodity prices and the global financial crisis on Africa. The immediate effect is that symposium discussions will help influence policy directions in dealing with the crises. Longer term, a publication of the proceedings will continue to inform and lay out the key strategies in dealing with the crises.

Update: This conference was held in 2011 at the United Nations, and goals and topics discussed throughout the conference can be found in the Millennium Development Goals Report. This conference also led to the development of a book entitled “Food and Financial Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa,” by Muna Ndulo and David Lee, which was published in March of 2012.

Workshop on the Global Impact of the Financial Crisis
Thomas Pepinsky, Government

The current financial crisis has generated considerable scholarly research on its consequences in industrial economies. But despite originating in the financial industries of the United States and Europe, the crisis has also had powerful consequences in emerging market economies. These remain poorly understood. This project’s will fund a scholarly workshop that on the global impacts of the financial crisis, with a focus on its consequences for middle-income developing economies and emerging markets. The goal of the workshop is to produce a set of theoretically-informed and comparatively-focused research papers, to be submitted in Fall 2010 as an edited volume at a university press.

Update: This project involved a multidisciplinary conference on the global implications of the financial crisis. It was attended by scholars from throughout the country, including representatives from universities such as Emory University, Northwestern University, and Portland State University. This conference led to multiple papers that are in the journal review process.

Consequences of Teen and Early Fatherhood
Elizabeth Peters, Policy, Analysis and Management, Claudio Lucarelli, Policy, Analysis and Management, Joseph Sabia, American University and Joseph Price, Brigham Young University

Although teen fertility rates in the U.S. have fallen by 33 percent since 1991, the U.S. still has higher teen fertility rates than other industrialized countries. A large body of literature documents the negative effects of teenage motherhood on their labor market and human capital outcomes, although the size of those effects vary widely depending on the statistical techniques used to control for endogeneity and the datasets from which the samples were drawn (see Hoffman, 1998 for a review). Surprisingly, very little empirical work has been done to estimate the consequences of teenage or early fatherhood. In this project we focus on estimating the economic and social consequences for fathers, utilizing many of the same empirical techniques that have been used for mothers. We compare the consequences for men and women, and we investigate the idea suggested by some of the literature that fatherhood may have positive as well as negative consequences for men. We use three different data sets that enable us to analyze changes over time.

Update: This project led to the development of the article “The Effects of Teen and Early Fatherhood on Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes,” published by the Population Association of America Annual Meeting Program on March 31, 2011.

The Second Urie Bronfenbrenner Conference: Improving the State of Americans
Elaine Wethington, Human Development and Rachel Dunifon, Policy, Analysis and Management

In this proposal, we seek funding to support the second biennial conference in honor of Urie Bronfenbrenner. The conference, titled “Improving the State of Americans: Translational Research in the Social Sciences” builds on the commitment of Urie Bronfenbrenner – a founder of Head Start – to translate the findings of basic social scientific research into programs and policies to improve national well being and to address disparities in development and health (Bronfenbrenner et al. 1996). The aim of this conference is to help make Cornell University a national force in the emerging area of translational research, and the world leader in the translation of scientific research in the social sciences to action and policy changes that will improve the well-being of Americans across the life span. The conference will bring together leaders in translational research from across the country with Cornell researchers, many of whom are also considered leaders in the methods and practice of translational research. The initiative will be built on cutting-edge interdisciplinary translational research already in progress across the country and at Cornell University. The conference will result in an edited volume on translational research in the social sciences, which (through prior arrangement) will be published by the American Psychological Association. We believe that the time is ripe for this conference. In his 2008 address to graduating seniors and their parents, Pres. David Skorton identified the process of research translation and social impact as one of the critical areas of contribution for Cornell University. As we will describe below, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at NIH has identified the translation of social science findings into understanding disparities in human development and health as a top priority for funding at NIH. Although there has been considerable research progress in the social and behavioral sciences most would argue that the lessons of that research have yet to be integrated – or translated – into policy and practice. Cornell has the talent and resources to develop a world-class program on translational research in the social sciences, and a number of social scientists who conduct translational research, but these resources have yet to be brought into creative synergy. This conference will develop connections among Cornell researchers that may result in thriving collaborations between social scientists whose work has application for improving the health of Americans across the life span.

Updates: (2009) This conference took place on October 22 and 23 of 2009 at Cornell University. More information about this conference can be found on the Second Urie Brofenbrenner Conference website. Press coverage includes: ISS’ Family Project’s Faculty Fellow, Rachel Dunifon, Shares Wisdom with Parenting Educators (2014).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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