Third Annual (2020) IACMR Responsible Research in Management Award Winners (8)



This study sought to understand the impact pay-for-performance (P4P) may have on mental health problems. Matching survey-based data on P4P adoption by 1,309 Danish firms with wage, demographic, and medical prescription data of 318,717 full-time employees, the authors found a 4 to 6% increase in the usage of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication after firms adopt P4P. This change is strongest in low-performing and older workers.  Workers select in and out of P4P firms based on mental health considerations, implying mental health effects influence turnover.  Further, low performers were more likely to leave following P4P adoption. Women with latent or potential mental health concerns were more prone leave firms after P4P adoption. Although the study could not claim a causal relationship, collectively our results suggest a model where performance-based pay forces many employees to choose between leaving or else depression and anxiety. The study expands existing work by showing that the mental health costs of performance-based pay can be severe enough to necessitate pharmaceutical treatment.  Since publication the article has received media attention in FastCompany, HR Executive and ScienceDaily.



This book identifies and describes an entrepreneurial approach for responding to disaster and suffering through the local organizing of spontaneous, compassionate, and impromptu actions.  The authors term the approach “spontaneous venturing,” asserting it can be more effective than the traditional “command-and-control” methods of large disaster relief organizations.  The focal disaster discussed in the book is the catastrophic 2009 bushfires in Victoria, Australia where residents organized an impromptu relief center that collected and distributed urgently needed goods without red tape. Many victims were able to mobilize resources despite considerable personal losses. The research also found spontaneous compassionate actions played a vital role in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Unlike the limitations of traditional disaster relief efforts, victims that were able to take action to help others, developed behavioral, emotional, and assumptive resilience which led to social interaction, community connections, and other positive outcomes. The book showcases the power “spontaneous venturing” can play when disaster hits, providing a practical guide for individuals, organizations, and communities to take a more humanistic and compassionate approach.



This study sought to understand the impact of loosened bankruptcy regulation on the growth of Japanese new start-up technology ventures. Using a quasi-natural experiment with longitudinal data, they found that lenient bankruptcy regulations increased the number of bankruptcy cases, but also surprisingly motivated more capable founders to start new technology ventures. The authors assert that lenient bankruptcy laws are more beneficial to capable founders who often have the most to lose. Thus, the flow of human and social capital that these capable founders bring leads to the foundation of higher-performing firms. The paper engaged academic cooperation and obtained funding from practitioners who were interested in the study. The practitioners in Japan actively participated is providing examples and quotes that broadened the paper’s appeal. This paper, by its effect in policy circles, has added to academic theories of institutional change. Their findings have since been incorporated into new public policy in Sweden and the Japanese government continues to use the research to reform business regulations to energize its entrepreneurial environment. The paper is used widely in Ph.D. seminars.



The study seeks to understand how the provision of long-term executive compensation—which aims to increase managers’ time horizon—impacts firm value and strategy. To study this relationship, we explore the impact of changes in executives’ long-term incentives on a variety of outcomes, including stock prices and operating performance. Specifically, we examine shareholder proposals on long-term executive compensation (advocating the use of restricted stocks, restricted stock options, and long-term incentive plans) that pass or fail by a small margin of votes. The passage of such “close call” proposals is akin to a random assignment of long-term incentives, which allows us to draw causal inferences. We find that corporate short-termism hampers business success, and that long-term incentives improve business performance. Firms that adopted long-term compensation experienced a significant increase in their stock price. This stock price increase foreshadowed an increase in operating profits that materialized after two years. We explore the reasons for these improvements in performance, and find that firms that adopted long-term executive compensation made more investments in R&D and stakeholder engagement, especially pertaining to employees and the natural environment. This suggests that long-term executive compensation benefits companies by fostering innovation and allowing them to acquire intangible assets (such as legitimacy, reputation, and trust) through stakeholder relationships. Our study raises the question of the temporal dimensions of corporate governance and the optimal design thereof. The findings of this study have important managerial and policy implications. Our research has informed recent policy debates in the U.K. on the need to reform executive pay; has been featured in the Wall Street Journal; cited in reports by McKinsey Consulting; and presented to practitioners at various venues including the International Centre for Pension Management, the Investment Innovation Conference for the Canadian Investment Review, and the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Conference.



The study examines how community members (custodians) worked to renew an institution (public water services) during the Detroit water shutoffs that began in 2014. We conducted a longitudinal qualitative study beginning prior to the 33,000 household water shutoffs of 2014 and following this ongoing crisis through 2017. We found that four groups of custodians were mobilized to act at different times, to take on unique roles, and had distinct understandings of their institutional roles: operatives, warriors, converts, and agnostics. These custodians are micro-level actors who worked alongside the macro-level institution to stimulate public awareness that water and water services required active protection and renewal. Our findings demonstrate that different groups of custodians may, in turn, find that leveraging powerful shared institutions could be a valuable tool to address growing social inequalities, bridge polarizing social divisions, and to protect resources in crisis. Subsequent water conflicts in Ireland, the U.S. (Baltimore, Flint, and Standing Rock), and South Africa continue today to draw on the energy and resources renewed in Detroit. Often terming themselves water “protectors” or “defenders,” custodians have stimulated broad public awareness that water and water services are neglected and require active protection.



This book emphasizes Integrated Management as the key driver of innovation and profitability in progressive companies.  It presents an evidence-based approach to integrating sustainability into business practices. Research within the book builds on peer-reviewed published qualitative field studies, survey-based studies, and multivariate analysis studies involving management systems and sustainability to foster reliability and validity for readers from a variety of disciplines and professional backgrounds. It takes readers through the opportunities we have to enable an enterprise value proposition across all business functions that can include environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Applying a proven strategic planning approach, it helps managers and decision-makers uncover the tools and actions available for change management, and performance measured with an Integrated Bottom Line (IBL). The book provides credible and useful knowledge for professionals, and serves as a resource for those in executive education, and as a text, for business management students. A resource with concrete evidence-based examples from best-in-practice enterprises, proven management tenets, models and tools alongside emerging technologies, that can develop integrated solutions aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To date, the book has been disseminated in over twenty countries.


  • Whiteman, G., & Cooper, W. H. (2016). Decoupling rape.Academy of Management Discoveries, 2(2), 115-154.DOI: 10.5465/amd.2014.0064


This study set out to understand how a firm with proclaimed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards came to practice Corporate Social irresponsibility (CSiR – “the failure to act responsibly”) in the forests of Guyana.  Using a grounded theory approach, the authors conducted field research, examined documents and their interview data, coded the actions and events described in the data, identified conceptual categories that captured the firm’s strategies, and summarized their findings in a narrative account.  The research provides an understanding of how a firm that appeared to be socially responsible was in fact operating irresponsibly, despite having been certified as practicing sustainable forestry by a recognized certification body. The findings are used in business ethic courses worldwide and have provided policy makers with evidence that they must take effective, practical steps to ensure that CSR does not turn into CSiR.



This study sought to understand how cultural preservationists leverage the political fraction between the local government and the central government to resist the commercialization (as measured by admission price) of 141 Buddhist temples in China between 2006 to 2016. A Fixed-Effect regression analysis with a panel data set controlled for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneities showed that admission prices were lower in Buddhist temples that gathered support from local, cultural preservationists. The study provided evidence that local, cultural resistance in a moral market can successfully influence the central government of an authoritarian country concerned with the public appearance of social justice, to push back the local government’s efforts of developing temples into tourism businesses. This study showed that political power is not a monolithic body and can be fractured at different levels. Local residents in an authoritarian regime can voice their grievances and coordinate collective action to mobilize the central government to override the local government. These findings contribute to developing a contentious account of the moral market and have implications for the study of the political economy of authoritarian regimes.