Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2015

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Business Administration

Additional Affiliations

Olin Business School

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation investigates the role of individuals in firm strategy and performance by exploring how social factors at the individual-level combine with financial incentives to influence individual behaviors and performance. By drawing on unique proprietary datasets from two service settings, I investigate 1) how social affiliations between real estate listing agents and clients influence value creation, appropriation, and the types of transactions agents engage in, and 2) how corporate awards, which primarily reward individuals based off non-pecuniary social factors, are influenced by individual heterogeneity. The results of this dissertation suggest that a more nuanced view of the impact of social structures on individual and firm performance is needed. Moreover, the results suggest that focusing on the micro-macro links is important to both managers and to future theory in strategic management.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Lamar Pierce

Committee Members

Nicholas Argyres, Daniel Elfenbein, Adina Sterling, Todd Zenger,


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