Organizations operate under the scrutiny of stakeholder audiences, on which they depend for growing and succeeding. My research explores how stakeholders in modern complex environments evaluate organizations, and how these evaluations (including negative ones) affect organizational behavior, competitive advantage, and success chances.

Understanding stakeholder evaluations is critical because organizations depend on stakeholders (e.g., investors, clients, employees, members, regulators, media) for the key resources they need to operate and survive (Jourdan, 2018). I conceptualize organizations as collectives that orchestrate resources to offer durable solutions to a set of problems they identify. Both the problems organizations attend to and the solutions they offer are embedded in time- and place-specific dominant institutional logics. These institutional logics shape how organizational actors make sense of the world and act upon it.

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, 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 developed, with a set of co-authors, a research program (based on, and extending, my dissertation) to study the interplay between resource acquisition and resource allocation strategies:

  • How do the resources acquired from various stakeholders, such as financial investors (Durand and Jourdan, 2012 AMJ) and public agencies (Jourdan and Kivleniece, 2017 AMJ), affect how organizations behave and their performance?
  • How does the conformity of organizational strategies to external expectations affect the acquisition of key resources, such as social capital (Jourdan, Durand, & Thornton, 2017 AJS), and eventually shape the survival chances of organizations (Jourdan, 2018 Strategy Science)?

More recently, I've further developed my work on the stakeholder evaluation of organizations in three directions.

  • First, in the context of multiple audiences, I explore how ability and identity judgments interfere in shaping the valuation of academic scientists (Fini, Jourdan and Perkmann, 2018 AMJ). We are currently pushing this line of work by studying the "gatekeeper effect" in peer accreditation (with Riccardo Fini, Markus Perkmann and Laura Toschi), using exhaustive data on the 2012 nationwide accreditation of Italian academics.
  • Second, I'm developing a research agenda on organizational scandals, building and testing theory on the consequences of scandals for the competition between organizations, using data on religious organizations in the US (Piazza and Jourdan, 2018 AMJ). To further probe and extend the theory, I'm exploring (big) data on the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" scandal (with Ju Qiu and Svitlana Galeshchuk). We are also developing and testing theory on the scandalization of misconduct, that is the process through which an act of wrongdoing becomes (or not) public (with Alessandro Piazza). Relatedly, I'm also studying how multinational organizations respond to negative evaluations when they are subject to "political stigmatization", that is direct attempts by public officials at discrediting firms (with Riodrigo Bandeira de Mello and Arnaldo Mauer).
  • Third, we are building theory about value-based stakeholder strategy (with Ilze Kiveleniece and Anita McGahan), exploring how the classical value creation and appropriation model in strategy may be extended in a stakeholder perspective.

My work tends to be empirical and quantitative, and involve the econometrical analysis of large-scale datasets, in conjunction with qualitative work when needed. Recently, I've explored the collection and analysis of (big) social media data, in collaboration with the PSL Governance Analytics lab. I recently received a grant from the Paris-Dauphine U. Digital program to create a doctoral level introductory course on Computational Social Science.