Please contact me if you would like a copy of one of the papers below.

Here’s an Opportunity: Knowledge Sharing among Competitors as a Response to Buy-in Uncertainty

Winner, 2015 Best Student Paper, Academy of Management (OMT Division)

Selected Media Coverage: Yale Insights

Although knowledge sharing among competitors is seemingly counterintuitive, scholars have found that competitors share knowledge under certain conditions: among actors who have a preexisting relationship and who expect direct reciprocity. However, there are examples of knowledge sharing among competitors that cannot fully be explained using these relational mechanisms. In this study, I propose that in markets where competitors are a set of key stakeholders, knowledge sharing is a strategic response to high levels of buy-in uncertainty related to a potential opportunity, namely, the likelihood that stakeholders will come to realize the value of a potential opportunity in a timely fashion. Using a unique data set of knowledge sharing among investment professionals on a digital platform, this study leverages variation in the platform’s knowledge-sharing structure to test this theory. I find that knowledge sharing among these competitors is most likely when buy-in uncertainty for a given opportunity is high and that this knowledge sharing does lead to subsequent buy-in.

Organization Science, 2018 29(6): 1033–1055


Pursuing Quality: How Search Costs and Uncertainty Magnify Gender-based Double Standards in a Multistage Evaluation Process

With Mabel Abraham

Runner-up, 2018 Mark Granovetter Best Article Prize

Selected Media Coverage: Bloomberg, New York Post, Quartz, Rotman's Institute for Gender + the Economy, Worth, Yale Insights

Despite lab-based evidence supporting the argument that double standards—by which one group is unfairly held to stricter standards than another—explain observed gender differences in evaluations, it remains unclear whether double standards also affect evaluations in organization and market contexts, where competitive pressures create a disincentive to discriminate. Using data from a field study of investment professionals sharing recommendations on an online platform, and drawing on status theory, we identify the conditions under which double standards in multistage evaluations contribute to unequal outcomes for men and women. We find that double standards disadvantaging women are most likely when evaluators face heightened search costs related to the number of candidates being compared or higher levels of uncertainty stemming from variation in the amount of pertinent information available. We rule out that systematic gender differences in the actions or characteristics of the investment professionals being evaluated are driving these results. By more carefully isolating the role of this status-based mechanism of discrimination for perpetuating gender inequality, this study identifies not only whether but also the conditions under which gender-based double standards lead to a female disadvantage, even when relevant and objective information about performance is readily available.

Administrative Science Quarterly, 2017 62(4): 698-730

Copyright 2020 - Tristan L. Botelho