Department of Accounting

Li Yan
Outside view Gaylord Hotel at Dallas, Texas

A short report from Li Yan on her research findings presented in the conference.

Title: The Effect of Option Number in Directional Comparison

Past research has shown consumers focus on one option more than the other when they compare two options by attributes. They attune to focal option’s attributes and map them back to referent option. They prefer focal option more (less) to referent option when its attributes are attractive (unattractive). This is called “direction- of-comparison” effect. Such effect has not been examined in a more realistic, multiple-option context. When the number of option increases, consumers cannot remember all information and recall them for attribute comparison, so the effect should disappear. We, however, show that the effect is not only sustainable but more prominent in multiple-option situation. We conducted three studies to show that the DOC effect increased in multiple-option settings. Furthermore, we showed that the DOC effect can be extended to the beneficiary effect and the disadvantage effect depending on whether consumers compared attractive attributes or unattractive attributes.

Readers commented that the contribution was clear, but the magnitude of the contribution would leave to the reviewers to decide. They suggested that we should give a bigger picture to convey why it is important to investigate the DOC effect upfront so that we can raise people’s attention to the theory we investigated. Besides, they also commented that we should look for interesting moderators that have not been looked at in previous studies. The potential breakthrough would add further interest to the theory”

Department of Finance

Zhang Changhao

A short report from Zhang Changhao on his Research Findings presented in the conference.

Title: Lending Relationships and Distressed Firms

This paper provides a comprehensive examination of the impact of lending relationships for a set of borrowers that either underwent financial distress or filed for bankruptcy. I find that maintaining strong lending relationships helps borrowing firms avoid distress. Prior to distress, banks offer preferential contract terms in terms of lower interest rates and collateral to their relationship borrowers. After the onset of distress, banks offer identical loan contract terms to their relationship borrowers and outside borrowers. However, after filing for bankruptcy, banks again offer preferential terms to their relationship borrowers. My findings suggest that the uncertainties due to potential bankruptcy filing may be an important financial constraint for firms that are undergoing distress but have not yet filed for bankruptcy.

Prof Manju Puri from Duke University, lead the discussion in the PhD student consortium and gave comments on each paper presented in the consortium. She suggested me to explore more deeply the meaning of my empirical results. Professor Anthony Saunders from New York University was the chair in the PhD student special presentation session. Professor Diana Knyazeva from University of Rochester was the discussant of my paper. She gave me many good suggestions on the further empirical tests.

Department of Management & Organisation

Li Wendong
Li Wendong at Sheraton New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

A short report from Li Wendong on his research findings presented in the conference

Title: The Effect of Social Interdependence on Incumbents’ Job Analysis Ratings and Their Perceptions of Role Breadth and Job

Variations in job analysis ratings and perceptions of role breadth and job complexity provided by incumbents of the same job are meaningful and associated with incumbents’ identification of the relationship of their goals with others’. In the paper presented in 24th Annual SIOP Conference, Mr. LI Wendong from NUS conducted a study on this topic. He collected data from China and demonstrated that incumbents, who believed that their goals with others were cooperative, rather than competitive and independent, provided a) higher importance and level ratings on reasoning and interpersonal related skills, as well as personality requirements and b) higher level ratings of reasoning related ability requirements. They also perceived broader role breadth and higher level of job complexity.

Mr. Li shared his study with other researchers from the US (Fred Morgeson from MSU), Germany (Sandra Ohly from Goethe University) and HK (Dean Tjosvoldfrom Lingnan U). They discussed future research directions by introducing proactively, creativity into job analysis and job design areas and exploring social and contextual variables in job analysis ratings.

Tong Yew Kwan
Tong Yew Kwan

A short report from Tong Yew Kwan on his research findings presented in the conference.

Title: Taking a virtual break: Cyberloafing as on-the-job recovery mechanism

Job burnout has always been a major area of research for organisational scholars. From an individual’s perspective, burnout leads to increased anxiety, depression and cardiovascular problems. From an organisational perspective, burnout negatively affects job performance, job satisfaction and organisational commitment. These deleterious consequences have led to large volume of research on burnout interventions.

Among the possible interventions, scholars have recognized the effectiveness of respite and recovery in alleviating burnout. Respite and recovery refer to the process of unwinding and recuperation. Studies have found that respite such as vacations and leisure are effective in reducing the repercussions of burnout. However, employees are unlikely go on vacations or engage in leisure activities as and when they like. This limits the effectiveness of vacation and leisure as recovery tools and increases the need for an alternate and expeditious on-the-job recovery mechanism.

In a recent paper presented at the 25th Annual Conference for Society of industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOP), we developed and tested a model examining the relationship between burnout, cyberloafing and work/life attitudes. We argued that cyberloafing is an on-the-job recovery mechanism. Specifically, it is a form of workplace leisure that alleviates the negative impact of burnout on employees. Using data obtained from 191 working professionals, we found that emotionally burnout employees who cyberloaf are more satisfied with their job, more committed to their organisation and are more satisfied with their life than their counterparts who do not cyberloaf. This is because cyberloafing temporarily detaches emotionally burnout employees from work stressors.

This poster received numerous favourable feedbacks from conference participants. Many scholars have expressed interest in this paper and praised the timeliness of this line of research.

Gao Xiangyu
The picture was taken at 25rd Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOP) Conference

A short report from Gao Xiangyu on his Research Findings presented in the conference.

Title: Guanxi quality and knowledge transfer: An interpersonal trust perspective

In recent years, knowledge sharing among employees has received considerable amount of attention among organisational scholars. Although previous literatures provided remarkable insights on the role of interpersonal relationship in the process of knowledge transfer, all of them adopted a culture-free perspective which may neglect the difference of mechanism of interpersonal interaction across different cultural contexts.

In a recent paper presented at the 25th SIOP Conference Atlanta, United States, I developed and tested a model examining the relationship between guanxi, a Chinese indigenous concept, and effectiveness of knowledge transfer among employees. Specifically, this study found that high guanxi quality facilitates knowledge transfer among employees through incubating interpersonal benevolence-based trust and competence-based trust. In addition, when the transferred knowledge is tacit, complicated, and uncodifiable, high quality of guanxi and strong trust in co-workers’ competence are indispensable. Our findings justified the necessity of fostering professional trust among employees for effective knowledge sharing and organisational learning.

Title: Impact of Cyberloafing on Emotions and Work

In recent years, abuse of company’s internet resources by employees has received considerable amount of attention among organisational scholars. The term cyberslacking or cyberloafing has been used to describe voluntary acts of employees using their companies’ Internet access for non-work related purposes during working hours. While the cost and productivity loss associated with cyberloafing activities provide causes for concern for companies, some scholars also noted that cyberloafing serve as a palliative coping strategy against negative workplace experiences.

In a recent paper presented at the 14th Annual Asia Pacific Region Decision Science Conference, we presented a paper that examined the impact of cyberloafing on employees’ emotion and work. Specifically, we found that men were more likely to cyberloaf and report that cyberloafing has a positive impact on work than women. Further, men found it easy to switch between work and cyberloafing while women experienced difficulties in task switching. Our findings also suggested that browsing activities have a positive impact on employees’ emotion while emailing activities have a negative impact. Sample for this study was drawn from 190 working professionals in Singapore.

Zhao Xiuxi
Zhao Xiuxi at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

A short report from Zhao Xiuxi on her research findings presented in the conference.

Title: “Impace of Parents’ Work-Family Conflict and Burnout on Youths’ Life Satisfaction”. with Lim V.K.G. and Teo T.S. H.

Abstract: With the growing economic competition and influx of women into the workplace, work-family conflict has attracted more and more research attention. Especially for those individuals who are in dual-earner marriages, oscillating between emphasizing career and family roles can be very stressful. Previous literature has discussed both spillover effect and crossover effect of work-family conflict. The former is an intra-personal contagion process that occurs when emotion or satisfaction is transferred from one domain to another while the later is an inter-personal contagion process that occurs when emotion or satisfaction is transferred from one person to another.

In this study, we examine both spillover effect and crossover effect. More specifically, we propose that the work-family conflict will lead to employees’ burnout. Moreover, such negative experience will be perceived by other family members and will have a negative impact on them. Previous research mainly examined the crossover effect between couples. Our study further argue that negative experience of work-family conflict will influence youths’ life satisfaction negatively.

Data were collected from a sample that included undergraduates and their parents in Singapore. Results of the structural equation modelling analyses supported both spillover effect and crossover effects. Parents’ work-family conflict leads to their burnout. Parents’ burnout was in turn significantly related to their children’s perceived work-family conflict. Youths who perceive parents’ work-family conflict experienced lower level of life satisfaction.

Doctoral consortium 14th Dec. 2008

The doctoral consortium was a full-day event held in the National Cheng-Chi University. Five prestigious scholars in the management field gave talks in various topics that are most relevant to Ph.D. students. I will summarize below.

09:00 am Kwok Leung, City U of Hong Kong “Publishing in leading journals”

Prof. Leung is an experienced researcher in my field. He has a psychology background. He has published and served in the editorial board in many top journals. He shared with us how to publish in such top journals as JAP. He listed four key points: strategic publication plan, brilliant research ideas, superb craftsmanship, and effective working habits. Around these key points, Prof. Leung gave us some samples to help us think how to produce good papers.

10:15 am Bernard Yeung, National U of Singapore “Publishing from an Asian perspective”

Prof. Yeung’s speech was no doubt the most enlightening one. Based on his knowledge and experience, he advised us not on “how to publish and get ahead in career” but on “how to be a real scholar”. He pointed us to the potential of doing research in Asia, he encouraged us to be curious of the basic questions, he also gave us some helpful advice. I was very much motivated by his speech as well as his personality.

11:30 am Mike Peng, U of Texas -Dallas “Working with reviewers and editors”

I read Prof. Peng’s papers when I was doing research on Chinese firms. He is one of the most influential Chinese scholars in the field of strategy. His papers were well-written and widely-cited. How? After listening to his talk, I found the reason. He is passionate, has clear goals, and knows how to “sell” his ideas. He compared doing research to marketing. The metaphor, I think, is right to the point. He also requested us to repeat out loud that “I make a contribution!” Oh, he is definitely eloquent. He shared with us his experience of “surviving the review process”, which is very helpful.

13:30 pm Ming-Jer Chen “Developing a research program”

Prof. Chen has a different personality. He is such a nice person and he is so “Chinese”. He wrote a paper titled “Reflecting on the process: Building competitive dynamics research” especially for us, the participant students of this doctoral consortium. In this paper, he shared with us his experience of doing research and publishing on competitive dynamics. He also showed us a table in which he listed the review and revision history of all his publications. I loved this table because it reminded me of the story that I had alwaystold myself during the tough time. I remember a famous Chinese pianist once said: “look at my CV, it only tells you how many championships I have won, but it never tells you how many competitions I have participated”. As scholars, we should know, working hard does not guarantee publication, but if we do not make any effort, failure is guaranteed.

14:45 pm Shige Makino “How to shape a discipline”

Prof. Makino is the final speaker. He shared with us his understanding of good theory and good research. He is an interesting person.

A short report from Hung Yuchen on her research findings presented in the conference.

Title: The blurred work-family boundary: A study on overtime work and working from home

At an interactive session, we presented our paper to fellow scholars who were similarly engaged in research on work-family balance. The abstract of our paper is as follows:

Work can intrude into the family domain across the work-family boundary in the forms of overtime work and working from home. Guided by role theory, identity theory, and boundary theory, the current study examined antecedents and consequence of these two boundary crossing behaviors based on reports from 433 workers. Work overload was found to be positively correlated with overtime work. Role identities and desire for segregation were also found to be significantly correlated with both overtime work and working from home. Overtime work was found to be positively related to work-to-family interference. Our current study has extended the work-family literature by jointly examining both the time and space markers of the work-family boundary.

Dr Van Steenbergen from Utrecht University facilitated the session. Other papers examined the impact of expatriation/country relocation on work-family conflict; emotional resilience and cognitive hardiness as individual difference factors moderating the effects of workplace conflict; the experience of working adults undertaking part-time MBA programs who juggled ‘tripartite role responsibilities’ of work, family, and study; the influence of workload on diet choice and physical health. In addition to focused discussions on each specific paper, the group also bandied ideas regarding nascent questions at the intersection of the various perspectives presented. For example, on the buffering effect of work resources, to what extent will it no longer help to reduce negative feelings or attitudes among individuals? Can the absence of work-family conflict tell us as much as its presence? The gathering concluded with some exchange of contacts among participants so conversations could continue beyond AOM 2008.

A short report from Chen Jiaqing on his Research Findings presented in the conference.

Department of Strategy & Policy

Zhao Xiuxi
The picture was taken in front of the AOM conference site: Hyatt Hotel in Chicago. The background is the hotel building

A short report from Gu Qian on her Research Findings presented in the conference.

Title: Intraindustry network embeddedness, reputation and syndication behaviour: China’s venture capital

As one of the largest cities in US, Chicago is certainly attractive to me. However, nothing makes the trip more exciting than getting the best paper proceeding and being the finalist for Douglas Nigh Award. This might be trivial for senior scholars, yet it was a huge incentive for me to push things forward.

I did two presentations in AOM and both went well. Unlike last year in Anaheim where conference participants obviously favored Mickey more than papers, a much larger number of audiences showed up in my presentations and provided constructed feedbacks this year. For one paper, Professor Henisz suggested us to add more contextualized analysis to strengthen the argument. For another paper, Professor Deephouse suggested us to include some other dimensions so as to draw a larger audience. Such comments are not only useful for the current working papers, but also very valuable for the construct of my dissertation.

Furthermore, I was very impressed by the workshops that I attended. For example, the workshop titled “Halfway there, but now what? Advice for pre-dissertation doctoral students” provided me a lot of good advices about the dissertation process, tips for developing a stream of research, and an introduction to the job market. The workshop titled “Introduction to social networks analysis” was also a fantastic lecture where I acquired a better understanding of the state-of-art in social network research and the application of the UCINET software.

Below is a picture that I took in front of the conference site. Participating AOM this year was an excellent experience and I look forward to a more fruitful one next year in Canada.

Zhao Xiuxi

Zheng Yan
Zheng Yan picture taken at Registration Booth at San Diego

A short report from Zheng Yan on his Research Findings presented in the conference.

Title: Society for Industrial and Organizaitonal Psychology

I proposed a model of neutralization depicting an individual’s thought process in my paper. The model basically suggests that the performance of a deviant act by and individual involves a rationalization cognitive process by the individual which helps the person reduce any guilt associated with the deviant action. This process may be moderated by legislation and external factors, and factors such as personality and external attribution tendencies affect the individual’s decision to commit the act as well. Organisational and environmental factors such as corporate governance, power and control also play a part in the process.

Other interesting presentations in the session include a study on the relationships between dysfunctional dispositions (i.e., ‘moving against’, or ‘away from people’), the potential to derail, and turnover (The Relationship between ‘Dark Side’ Dispositions, Derailment Potential, and Turnover by Adelman et. al.). Results show that derailment potential partially mediates the positive relationship between the ‘moving against people’ dispositional characteristics and both voluntary and involuntary turnover. It appears that personality plays a significant role in the performance of derailment behaviors; individuals who display more of the ‘moving against’ tendencies are more likely to engage in derailment behaviors. Another study by Moore et. al. (A Longitudinal Examination of Workgroup Civility and Satisfaction) examinedlongitudinal workgroup-level survey data and explored the relationship between civility and satisfaction over time. The longitudinal nature of the data in this study may establish evidence for a stronger causal link for civility driving satisfaction. This is relevant in the context of organisational interventions as it provides a behavioral construct (civility), which can be targeted as intervention focus, in order to increase satisfaction.

Chen Jiaqing
Conference Avenue: China European International Business School

A short report from Chen Jiaqing on his Research Findings presented in the conference.

Title: Explore the Gap between Rigor and Relevance in Management Research

This study attempted to contribute to the hot debate over rigor and relevance in academic research. Using 10-year data collected from five scholarly and practitioner journals under the associations of AOM and AIB, we found that research in both scholarly journals and practitioner journals gives comparable attention to research topics of green management and emerging markets. In terms of authorship, the dominance of American authorship is decreasing over time in scholarly journals, but not in practitioner journals. In addition, findings from the study also showed that scholarly journals tend to use more robust statistical methods, while practitioner journals apply more descriptive analysis.

The study received wide attention during the conference presentation. Professor John Child from Birmingham Business School, the chair of the cross-cultural research session, gave constructive suggestions on further improving the research. His advice includes expanding the comparison of authorship by dividing non-American authors into different categories. This would improve the contribution from this study to cross-cultural research. Other audiences on site also showed great interests and acknowledged the importance of such study on enhancing the understanding about the research in international business studies.

The sessions on the topics of emerging markets and business groups helped me learn the frontier of research in the international business areas. Through direct communication with scholars with similar research interests, I had a wonderful chance to broaden my view with understanding of the most up-to-date focus in their research projects. The PhD students from other schools all around the world also shared their experience and the conversations with them were very encouraging. The party prepared by AIB was also a good chance to become a member of the academic community and expand network with scholars from different fields.

A short report from Khoo Hwee Sing on her research findings presented in the conference.

Title: Does More Expropriation Mean More Gain? An Agency Theory Perspective on Family Business Group in Emerging Economies

The title of the paper I presented in the Academy of Management is “Does more expropriation mean more gain? An agency theory perspective on family business group in the emerging economy”. We examine the role of concentrated ownership in family business group (FBG) in emerging economy and test how the concentrated ownership structures affect FBG affiliate performance in Taiwan, where such structures have been central to the functioning of FBGs. We propose that the divergence between family ownership and family control serves as an incentive for the controlling family to expropriate minority shareholder’s interest, yet it does not necessarily maximize the controlling family’s return on investment. Results of a longitudinal study over 9 years show that the divergence between family ownership and family control, negatively moderated by age, positively correlates with the amount of R&D investment. In contrast, the divergence has an inverted-U relation with the affiliate’s innovation performance. We also found that different market performance of FBG affiliates moderates controlling family’s decision on R&D investment differently: affiliate with superior performance will have less R&D investment, yet those with inferior performance will have more.

This was my first time to attend AOM and I had a wonderful experience in Anaheim. During the 5-day conference, I had an opportunity to present my own study, and more importantly, to meet scholars from all over the world. During the presentation of our study on Taiwan family business group, I met some scholars from Taiwan and Hong Kong who had conducted similar research on family group ownership structure and performance. Through the engaging discussions, we exchanged ideas on some interesting phenomenon as well as the difficulties we encountered in our research, such as theory application and data collection.

Besides, since my research interest lies in entrepreneurship and SME in the emerging economy, I attended quite a few relevant workshops and paper presentation sessions, such as “New insights into theories of entrepreneurship through new questions to ask” and “Contextualization, integration and potential contributions of China management research”. Ann Tsui, Gerry George, Ranjay Gulati, Wesley Sine and other professors shared with us their insights of this research stream, thus enable me to have a better understanding of the frontier of the current research as well as the future research directions.

Ruan Yi
From left Anna, Aegean, Ruan Yi, Zheng Weiting and Xu Weiwei

A short report from Ruan Yi on her research findings presented in the conference.

Title: Publish or Profit? An Investigation of University Technology Commercialization in Singapore

The increase of technology commercialization in university has raised concerns that the research orientation of university researchers might be disturbed by developing application for their inventions and entrepreneurial activity. Empirical evidence on this concern is ambiguous and mainly in the U.S. context. Drawing on data from National University of Singapore, we examine the relationship between academic publication productivity, patenting involvement, and entrepreneurial propensity of university researchers. We find that patenting and academic publication are complements rather than substitutes, but further involvement in entrepreneurial pursuits may lead to decrease of publication. We also find that among university patent inventors, full professors are the most likely to start up new ventures.

Ms Els from Ghent University presented a paper about how the scope and newness of the endowed technology predict the post-spin-off growth for corporate and university spin-offs; whereas Ms Mateja from University of Ljubljana shared her study about specific determinants and processes that characterize emergence of academic entrepreneurial intentions that lead to spin-off companies in two European settings. I found Ms. Els’ research question to be quite intriguing as she incorporates the characteristics of technology to explain the performance of university spinoffs and the comparison between corporate and university spinoffs is also quite interesting. The idea of the other paper is quite close to what I am studying in my thesis and hence I also learned some data collection and analysis methods from it. But overall I found that the framework of that paper to be of no surprises which also made me re-consider my consider my own framework.

A short report from Xu Weiwei on her research findings presented in the conference.

Title: Group Tunneling and Affiliates’ Power

The main objectives of my attendance of AOM this year have three folds: first, job search; second, present a research paper; third, attend a PDW session at the conference. I believe that the conference concludes well with all of my objectives fulfilled. I have 7 interviews with professors from all over the world, including Professor Timothy Devinney of UNSW, Professor Leung Kwok from City U of HK, Professor Richard Dunford from U of Sydney, Professor Gibbons from UCD, etc. The interview process helped me understand more about the academic life, requirements and their schools. I also presented my research paper on business group tunneling behaviors in China. I investigated how the power of the affiliates in a business group can constrain the expropriation by the controlling business groups. I also attended a PDW session called “foster publication on leading journals”, where I listened to a presentation given by Professor Anita McGahan from Harvard Business School. She was avery knowledgeable, humble, humorous and charming person. She set a role model for me for my academic career pursuit. I believe my attendance of the AOM this year was very helpful, informative and inspiring.