My research lies at the intersection of strategy and organization theory.

I conceptualize organizations as collective problem solvers engaged in resource acquisition and resource allocation strategies. As open systems, organizations transact with primary stakeholders (e.g., investors, clients, members, regulators) to acquire the key resources they need to operate and survive. Organizations accumulate and allocate resources according to strategies embedded in dominant logics of action (e.g., profession, market).

Operating in complex environments, modern organizations face multiple stakeholders with different, sometimes conflicting, expectations. They have to achieve their core mission (e.g., designing and making cutting hedge products), while meeting financial investor’s expectations, respecting environmental laws, and following socially responsible activists’ prescriptions. In this context context, top management teams face critical resource acquisition decisions; e.g., should we accept private equity money or public sponsorship? How will that affect our strategy? They are also constantly confronted with resource allocation choices; e.g., Should we conform to the expectations of powerful stakeholders? How will this affect our ability to acquire more resources, grow and strive?

To address these questions, I study the interplay between resource acquisition and resource allocation strategies:

a)     How do the resources acquired from various stakeholders, such as financial investors or public agencies, affect how organizations behave and are evaluated?

b)    How does the conformity of organizational strategies to external expectations affect the acquisition of key resources?

My work tends to be empirical and quantitative, and involve the econometrical analysis of large-scale datasets. For instance, my main line of work builds on an original dataset—compiled from archival sources—including the exhaustive population of film-specialized investment funds and production firms, and on more than 300,000 film production contracts, complemented with qualitative evidence.

With my co-authors, I explore the effects of resource acquisition (a) in the context of the film industry and in academia.

  • In Jules or Jim: Alternative conformity to minory logics (AMJ, 2012, with R. Durand), we find that filmmaking organizations conform beyond expectations to private equity funds in order to reduce their dependence on incumbent resource holders.
  • In Too much of a good thing? The dual effect of public sponsorship on market performance (AMJ, 2017, with I. Kivleniece), we reveal how public sponsorship boosts immediate market performance, but gradually undermines the market discipline of target organizations – conditional on internal resource strategies.
  • In Valuations across multiple audiences (with Markus Perkmann and R. Fini), we show that the peer valuation of academic scientists by grant committees suffers when scientists engage repeatedly in research contracts with private firms, affecting their ability to acquire key organizational resources.

I use data on the film industry and religious organizations to investigate (b) how resource allocations and conformity behaviors affect organizations.

  • In The price of admission: Organizational deference as strategic behavior (AJS, forthcoming, with R. Durand and PH. Thornton), we show how outsider financial organizations differentially gained acceptance in the film industry by strategically engaging in deference towards films producers.
  • In When the dust settles: The consequences of scandals for organizational competition (AMJ, in press, with A. Piazza), we investigate how Christian churches’ membership was affected by sex-abuse misconduct and scandals.
  • In Conformity and survival in complex institutional environments, I find evidence that consistent conformity to the professional logic of film auteurs or the market logic of entertainment is rewarded with increased survival chances, particularly so when the latter became increasingly dominant in the industry.

Overall, my research contributes to the understanding of the management of organizations by revealing the critical interplay between resource acquisition and resource allocation strategies in complex institutional environments.