The Impact of IP Litigation on Corporate Social Responsibility in Different Institutional Environments: Signaling, Legitimacy, and Decisions Standards (2016-2017)*

Brief Description: This interdisciplinary study advances the Corporate Social Responsibility perspective on litigation, involving firm’s intellectual property (IP). Past studies suggest that firms are entitled to proactive protection of its assets (e.g. patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc.). Litigiousness, or toughness in IP suits informs stakeholders that firm is willing to devote resources to the protection of assets and active deterrence of competitors. Such signals may enhance firm’s reputation and CSR among stakeholders; however, such assertion is not without controversy. Frequent IP suits may diminish CSR by signaling lack of R&D, poor management, or disregard of public interest. We posit that IP litigation provides different signals that have both enhancing (strategic signaling and pragmatic legitimacy) and diminishing (moral legitimacy) effects on CSR. Next, we hypothesize that the strength of such conflicting mechanisms is contingent on the institutional environment, in which litigation occurs. Regulatory and normative pillars of the country’s institutional environment determine decision standards employed by courts (juries and judges) in IP cases. These standards moderate signaling and legitimization effects of IP litigation on CSR in the different countries. By combining signaling, institutional, and legal suit frameworks, we aim to create research stream examining complex effects of IP litigation on the CSR.

 *Jointly sponsored with the Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility


Content Trends in Global Sustainable Business Education (2015-2016)*

Brief Description: This grant proposal outlines a two-phase research project: research in progress and our plan for continuation of this research stream. In phase one, the purpose of the research in progress is to determine if there is a pattern emerging that constitutes essential reading or seminal works in introductory sustainable business studies courses. This study reviewed the syllabi of 96 introductory courses (from 2008-2012) representing 63 universities from around the world. Although still under analysis, it is expected that the results will guide the discipline in the transition from a buckshot approach to teaching sustainable business to a more focused approach based upon a general consensus of seminal works. It is anticipated that the findings of this study will serve as a guide to those who teach or will develop an introductory sustainable business course and will help identify the early foundations of the field that should be included in the course reading list. This study answers the critical question on instructors’ minds: what to include in an introductory sustainable business course. The purpose of the second phase of research is to move beyond content identification and to focus on concept development. Specifically, we intend to focus on “next generation sustainability” and regenerative business. Through the combined expertise of the authors in business and ecology, we expect to make a contribution to the literature by exploring natural system applications to business operations.

  *Jointly sponsored with the Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility


A Multi-level Analysis of Internationalization by the U.S Social Enterprises (2014-2015)*

Brief Description: Despite the recent theoretical advancement and practical attention in international new ventures (INVs), the literature in international entrepreneurship (IE) lacks a solid empirical foundation to explain the formation and rapid internationalization of social ventures, i.e. international social enterprises. This study responds to this challenge by proposing an integrated empirical model to address international social entrepreneurs’ founding characteristics and their outcomes in foreign markets that may be differentiated from those of commercial INVs. Using the Data Enclave (DE) version of Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) longitudinal dataset with 4,928 observations over the period of 2004-2010, it aims to answer the following questions on international social enterprises: (1) Are there any specific industrial sectors/market segments that are dominated by international social enterprises compared to commercial INVs?; (2) What forces drive the formation and rapid internationalization of social ventures in those sectors?; and (3)  Do international social enterprises perform better than commercial INVs in those sectors?  

*Jointly sponsored with the Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility


International New Ventures, Founder Gender, and Export Performance (2013-2014)

Brief Description: With a sample of 4,240 Korean new and young ventures, this study explores the gender—international performance relationship of international new ventures (INVs) by investigating financial and operational risk perceived, upstream and downstream firm-specific advantages (FSAs), and country-specific advantages (CSAs) of new ventures as four mediators.  Empirical results show that male-owned new ventures, compared to female-owned firms, are more likely to get an access to finance from venture capital, maintain higher levels of both innovation and marketing capabilities. Further, finance from venture capital, innovation capabilities, and marketing capabilities are positively associated with the international performance of international new ventures represented by exports per employee from foreign markets. As a result, we find evidence that the level of financial and operational risk perceived, upstream FSAs, and downstream FSAs mediate the relationship between gender and international performance of Korean international new ventures. The country destination of exports by international new ventures in their home region, on the other hand, is shown to positively affect the international performance, but gender is not directly associated with the home region destination of exports in foreign markets.   

Why Does the Earnings Announcement Premium Differ Across Countries? A Risk Based Explanation (2012)

Brief Description: We investigate possible explanations for why the earnings announcement premium (risk) differs across countries. The information content hypothesis states that the information content of earnings announcements vary cross-country, due to governance factors such as earnings management practices or the accuracy of analysts’ forecasts. If there is less information revealed from earnings announcements, then trading volume does not increase as much resulting in a smaller announcement premium. The beta hypothesis explains that the earnings announcement premium is due to increased cash flow risk of the announcing firm, because announcing firms’ earnings contain market-wide information. To test these hypotheses, we explore the relationship between the earnings announcement premium and abnormal accruals, analysts’ forecasts, and firm’s beta by country.

Assessing Entrepreneurial Decision Processes to Exploit Business Opportunities: A Cross-Cultural Experiment (2011)

Brief Description: Understanding how individuals with different cognitive framework and knowledge base identify and exploit business opportunities is fundamental to both management and entrepreneurship research. Increasingly similar business environments and standards across cultures may impact entrepreneurial cognition in a systematic way and lead to similar prototypes of ideal business opportunities. However, due to the pervasive and direct influence of local culture, entrepreneurs may develop different cognitive frameworks across cultures and use heterogeneous prototypes. This study seeks to explain how an individual’s entrepreneurial dispositions and knowledge endowments, developed in different cultural contexts, influence his or her evaluation of new business opportunities. More specifically, do entrepreneurs with different cultural backgrounds consider similar prototypes of ideal business opportunities in evaluating business opportunities? Do U.S. individuals have entrepreneurial dispositions distinct from those of Europeans or Asians? To what extent are opportunity evaluations affected by entrepreneurs’ knowledge profiles with respect to their academic and professional experiences?

Our methodological approach uses a choice-based conjoint analysis of opportunity evaluations with respect to stated and revealed importance of opportunity dimensions (i.e., market size, growth potential, competitive pressure, time to first sale, product desirability, and product innovativeness). We then examine if differences in these opportunity evaluations are attributed to the individual’s cultural backgrounds (i.e., US, EU, or Asia), entrepreneurial dispositions (i.e., goal and growth orientation, and risk-taking propensity), academic and professional experiences (i.e., marketing, entrepreneurship, management, finance, accounting, and engineering). In addition, we explore whether the difference in opportunity assessments can be explained by the big five personality traits (i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) and the demographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, and education level).

Preliminary results of 19,632 observations from the sample of 409 participants from US, EU, and Asia indicate that individuals with different cultural backgrounds, entrepreneurial dispositions, and academic and professional experiences differ in systematic ways they evaluate new business opportunities. In particular, the US respondents who are mostly driven by financial goals tend to focus on annual market growth dimension in their evaluation of business opportunities while the EU respondents with similar financial goal orientation consider current market size as a key opportunity dimension. With respect to the impact of their risk propensity on opportunity evaluations, the US respondents who are highly risk averse on their job loss tend to disregard the overall attractiveness of business opportunities while the EU counterparts deemphasize only product innovativeness dimension. In their academic backgrounds, the US respondents with marketing and management education find the number of competitors most important while the US respondents with finance degree tend to emphasize time to first sale when compared to the EU counterparts. In their work experience, the US respondents with managerial experience put stronger emphasis on current market size than the EU counterparts while the EU respondents with financial experience put lower emphasis on time to first sale in their opportunity evaluations.

Social Enterprise Alliance: A Framework to Develop Social Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies (2011)

Brief Description: This research develops a social enterprise framework to support social entrepreneurship in emerging economies. In this framework, each partner contributes resources and strengths that co-create value. The non-governmental organization has an understanding of the local conditions and offers financial and social capital; the university utilizes its research efforts to assess the processes and enhance the positive outcomes of the strategic venture; the corporation utilizes its financial capital and provides market access to the local business; and the local business provides human capital as well as products.  This strategic alliance encourages long-term sustainability with economic returns, advocates social development goals, and fosters dynamic capabilities that provide the local business a competitive advantage in the marketplace. In this research, a Coffee Cooperative in Tanzania (although not presented in this working paper) serves as an illustrative example that demonstrates the formation and operation of the strategic alliance framework. 

For access to the full paper, please contact Linda Tuncay Zayer