Joel A. C. Baum

Joel A. C. Baum
University of Toronto | U of T · Rotman School of Management

PhD, University of Toronto

About

180
Publications
98,046
Reads
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19,121
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2022 - June 2027
University of Victoria
Position
  • Gustavson Distinguished Fellow

Publications

Publications (180)
Article
Full-text available
In the entrepreneurial setting, financial intermediaries such as venture capital firms (VCs) are perhaps the dominant source of selection shaping the environment within which new ventures evolve. VCs affect selection both by acting as a “scout” able to identify future potential and as a “coach” that can help realize it. Despite the large literature...
Article
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Interfirm networks often take on characteristics consistent with the notion of a small world--they are locally clustered into dense sub-networks or cliques that are sparsely connected by a small number of ties that cut across the cliques, linking network members through a relatively small number of intermediaries. Are these characteristics an emerg...
Article
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We investigate the epistemology of trust in social networks. We posit trust as a special epistemic state that depends on actors' beliefs about each others' beliefs as well as about states of the world. It offers new ideas and tools for representing the core elements of trust both within dyads and larger groups and presents an approach that makes tr...
Article
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In this study, we examine how experience at the level of the organization, the population, and the related group affects the failure of Manhattan hotels. We find organizational experience has a U-shaped effect on failure; that organizations enjoy reduced failure as a function of population experience before their founding, but not after; and that r...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract -- As Strategic Organization – SO! – turns twenty, we reflect on the inspirations and aspirations behind the journal’s creation, contemplate its accomplishments, and share some themes it might amplify in the future. We find much to celebrate, as well as things to contemplate. The journal has accomplished a great deal during its adolescent...
Article
As Strategic Organization – SO! – turns twenty, we reflect on the inspirations and aspirations behind the journal’s creation, contemplate its accomplishments, and share some themes it might amplify in the future. We find much to celebrate, as well as things to contemplate. The journal has accomplished a great deal during its adolescent and teen yea...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social networks seeded, crystallized and structured by large-scale social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and WeChat exhibit complicated epistemic structures and dynamics that arise from the nature of interactive knowledge that users/participants possess, share and shape. What users know about what other users...
Preprint
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We show how important phenomena in social networks like coordination, trust and the communication of unsubstantiated information (gossip) can be modelled and understood using epistemic networks or epinets: directed graphs comprising networked agents and the key facts, statements or other kinds of propositional beliefs relevant to their actions. We...
Article
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How business is organized is always changing in response to technological, political-economic, or cultural changes. Over the past fifty years, two trends—(1) the rise of digital technologies, including, most recently, the resurgence of artificial intelligence (AI), and (2) the globalization of finance, trade, and production—have fundamentally alter...
Preprint
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Peer production, which combines technological, organizational, and institutional advances to enable diverse individuals to socialize, communicate, coordinate, and integrate otherwise fragmented knowledge resources, is one of the most noteworthy Internet-mediated organizational innovations. Among the best known instances are Open Source Software (OS...
Preprint
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The academic reward system tempts scholars to selectively collect and analyze data in a search for statistically significant (i.e., p<.05) findings to accumulate articles in prestigious publications. Evidence suggests that such “p-hacking” behavior is widespread throughout science, and work has begun to reveal the extent of this phenomenon in manag...
Article
What?! Season 8 of Game of Thrones won’t appear until 2019!? Seriously? Never mind. I can wait. Meantime, how about a little “off-season” fun taking a closer look at the crisscrossing paths the series’ characters laid down during their unfolding exploits over seven seasons in the Lands of Ice and Fire? Over the next few weeks I’ll binge-post the Ep...
Article
What?! Season 8 of Game of Thrones won’t appear until 2019!? Seriously? Never mind. I can wait. Meantime, how about a little “off-season” fun taking a closer look at the crisscrossing paths the series’ characters laid down during their unfolding exploits over seven seasons in the Lands of Ice and Fire? Over the next few weeks I’ll binge-post the Ep...
Article
What?! Season 8 of Game of Thrones won’t appear until 2019!? Seriously? Never mind. I can wait. Meantime, how about a little “off-season” fun taking a closer look at the crisscrossing paths the series’ characters laid down during their unfolding exploits over seven seasons in the Lands of Ice and Fire? Over the next few weeks I’ll binge-post the Ep...
Article
What?! Season 8 of Game of Thrones won’t appear until 2019!? Seriously? Never mind. I can wait. Meantime, how about a little “off-season” fun taking a closer look at the crisscrossing paths the series’ characters laid down during their unfolding exploits over seven seasons in the Lands of Ice and Fire? Over the next few weeks I’ll binge-post the Ep...
Article
What?! Season 8 of Game of Thrones won’t appear until 2019!? Seriously? Never mind. I can wait. Meantime, how about a little “off-season” fun taking a closer look at the crisscrossing paths the series’ characters laid down during their unfolding exploits over seven seasons in the Lands of Ice and Fire? Over the next few weeks I’ll binge-post the Ep...
Chapter
Organizational ecology aims to explain how social, economic and political conditions affect the relative abundance and diversity of organizations and to account for their changing composition over time. Research in organizational ecology is grounded in three observations. First, aggregates of organizations exhibit diversity. Second organizations' h...
Article
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Taking as our starting point Merton’s (1942) defense of science facing pressures from totalitarian regimes, we argue that today’s challenge to the integrity of management scholarship does not come from external demands for ideological conformity, rather from escalating competition for publication space in leading journals that is changing the inter...
Article
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Research in industrial organization and strategic management has shown that rivals competing with each other in multiple markets are more willing to show each other mutual forbearance, i.e., compete less aggressively, within their spheres of influence, i.e., the markets in which each firm dominates. Sell-side equity analysts typically cover multipl...
Article
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Strategic prescriptions drawn from pooled cross-sectional evidence of firm performance effects are not necessarily warranted. This is because firm characteristics can influence both the mean and variance of firm performance. Strategic inferences are warranted if empirically observed effects reflect increases in mean firm performance. If they reflec...
Chapter
Using examples and unstructured intuitions that highlight the importance of knowledge, beliefs, and mutual beliefs to the outcomes of social situations and interpersonal relations, this chapter argues for the usefulness of epistemic models of human interactions and networks. The notions of an epistemic state – a link between individuals and proposi...
Chapter
This chapter introduces a modeling language for representing the epistemic states of networked human agents at both the individual and collective levels. The new ‘epistemic description language’, or ‘EDL’, has a graphical component and a syntactical component. The language is used to articulate the relationships between individuals and their belief...
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the epistemic structure of trust in social networks. Trust is defined in terms of the epistemic states of networked agents, and a model of trust is advanced in which trust is characterized as a form of confidence in the competence and integrity of another agent, wherein the trustful knows that the trusted would know a fact if...
Chapter
This chapter extends the use of epinets to the characterization of dynamic processes in networks. Epinets are employed in two distinct ways: first as instruments for specifying changes in the epistemic states of linked or interacting agents, and second as a toolkit for representing strategic interactions. Using epinets to represent interactions amo...
Chapter
This chapter illustrates how epinets ground the analysis of social network phenomena. Logical and epistemic pre-conditions for co-mobilization and coordination – important capabilities of social networks – are rendered precise and examined empirically. The epistemic properties of pivotal agents (‘coordinators’ and ‘mobilizers’) and propositions (‘c...
Chapter
The chapter examines the ways firms benefit from knowledge spillovers in industrial clusters. Clustered firms are eight times more innovative when located in clusters with strong specialization in their own technology. While the literature on organization agglomeration has highlighted a potential trade-off between the benefit and cost of co-locatio...
Article
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We investigate the interplay between institutional structures and agency in the emergence of the private military and security industry (PMSI). Despite its controversial nature, the PMSI has achieved sufficient legitimacy since the end of the Cold War to account at times for the majority of military personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. We fi...
Article
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Most studies of responses to change in competitive environments focus on competitor-specific adaptations. However, rivals are often acutely aware of one another, and this awareness should influence their competitive behavior. In this study, we focus on three market structures that affect competitive behavior: competitive parity, status disparity, a...
Article
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We tend to reify a few high-impact journals as top-tier, articles that appear in them as high quality (often without regard to their individual impact), and the small number of authors (and their institutions) who publish in them frequently as distinguished (and elite). Although such praise is warranted at times, the author hopes to encourage some...
Article
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Despite their widespread adoption, journal Impact Factors suffer well-known drawbacks that limit their usefulness in accurately and fairly assessing scientific quality. Among these is the extreme variance and skewness in the citations to articles published by a given journal, which results in their sensitivity to a few highly cited articles, and en...
Article
Although intuitively appealing (and common), drawing network strategy implications from empirical evidence of network performance effects in pooled cross-section is not necessarily warranted. This is because network positions can influence both the mean and variance of firm performance. Strategic prescriptions are warranted if empirically observed...
Chapter
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Handbooks usually cover established perspectives extensively while giving less attention to young research streams. We provide a counterweight by reviewing some young research streams in competitive strategy that have recently grown rapidly. We discuss research on multiunit organizations and multimarket strategy, network competition, group competit...
Article
Departing from prior work that demonstrates the stickiness and stability of alliance networks resulting from embeddedness, we extend matching theory to study firms’ withdrawal from alliances. Viewing alliance withdrawal as a result of firms’ pursuit of more promising alternative partners – outside options – rather than failures in collaboration, we...
Article
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The simplicity and apparent objectivity of the Institute for Scientific Information’s Impact Factor has resulted in its widespread use to assess the quality of organization studies journals and by extension the impact of the articles they publish and the achievements of their authors. After describing how such uses of the Impact Factor can distort...
Article
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It is customary among contemporary organization theorists to equate North American and European scholarship with objectivist and subjectivist metatheoretical positions (respectively), treat these positions as mutually exclusive alternatives, and debate which is best suited to understanding organizational phenomena. Fueled by this dispute, questions...
Article
We combine embeddedness and matching perspectives on interfirm relationships to understand how firms’ relational, structural and positional embeddedness shape their propensity to initiate ties, receive ties, and form ties. Our analysis of underwriting syndicates highlights that investment banks with arms-length ties, open ego networks, and low stat...
Article
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Empirical research on strategic alliances has focused on the idea that alliance partners are selected on the basis of social capital considerations. In this paper we emphasize instead the role of complementary knowledge stocks (broadly defined) in partner selection, arguing not only that knowledge complementarity should not be overlooked, but that...
Article
The article studies how the positions of stocks within the coverage network of sell-side security analysts influence their ability to exert leadership in the provision of information on the stocks they follow. The importance of information leadership to the circulation of information within financial markets and in determining market value is explo...
Article
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All knowledge claims are also to some extent legitimacy claims. No theory can receive serious attention, let alone gain credence, unless it is also seen as legitimate. Philosophers of science have spent decades trying to frame criteria that determine the legitimacy of theories, only to agree to disagree on the matter. Sociologists of science, on th...
Article
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In this paper, we study the evolution of private military corporations (PMCs), which are for-profit organizations that subcontract military field services to sovereign authorities as well as to others. Between Eisenhower’s famous “military-industrial complex” speech in 1961 and the post-9/11 war in Iraq, PMCs were transformed from relatively minor...
Article
The article focuses on the evolution of innovation networks and strategic alliances. It states that organizations create partnerships to access competence or technological innovations they do not possess. It mentions that econometric research of alliance formation focuses more on social capital reasons for strategic alliance formation instead of te...
Article
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We track the cognitive legitimation of organizational downsizing over time through an evolution of explanatory accounts in newspaper reports of middle-management layoffs in Canadian companies from January 1988 to December 1994. We advance an integrative typology of accounts and argue that the form and content of accounts capture sense-making activi...
Article
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We investigate the structure of investment bank syndicate networks in Canada. We consider two banks to be connected if they have participated in an underwriting syndicate together, and construct networks of such connections using data drawn from the Record of New Issues (Financial Data Group). We show that these interfirm networks form “small world...
Article
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During the past quarter century, large multistore retailers have experienced considerable growth. In this article, we examine the widely held belief that the expansion of these chain stores, Wal-Mart in particular, has had a large negative impact on the small locally owned retail sector. Our analysis of four types of independent retailer entries an...
Article
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Although models of alliance network dynamics have focused primarily on alliance formation, this study advances research by investigating member withdrawal from alliances. We develop a model of cohesion and friction at the relationship, network, and market levels and propose cross-level cohesion and time-varying effects on member withdrawal, giving...
Article
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In his final speech as US president, Eisenhower expressed concern that the military could lose command-and-control decisions to a civilian scientific and technological elite. In this paper, we argue that these decisions are governed in part by private military corporations (PMCs), a hybrid form of organization operating under a distinctive economic...
Article
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The article discusses research on the dynamics of member withdrawal from business alliances. The study--which focused on the international shipping industry--examined alliance cohesion and friction in terms of social compatibility within the alliance and relationships at the network and market levels. The hypothesis is that risk of withdrawal incre...
Article
The article reports on the dynamics of structural embeddedness or interorganizational relations. The research refers to dyadic ties in interfirm relations, the topology of interfirm networks, network structure effects relative to the quality of these ties, and the influence of tie age on the benefits created. The study uses data from investment ban...
Article
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In this study, we seek to broaden the research focus in the strategic alliance literature from a firm's “partner strategy” to its “network strategy” by linking a firm's partnering choices to changes in its network position over time. Using data on all underwriting syndicates in Canada over nearly 40 years, we conceptualize and model the interplay b...
Article
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We examine factors influencing the relative productivity of different geographic locations. Our analysis of the Canadian biotechnology industry during the 1990s reveals that inventive and uninventive locations are distinguishable within small geographic areas corresponding to roughly 7000 postal addresses. Inventive locations exhibit greater resour...
Article
We introduce a formal language for describing epistemic states in networks at the individual (node, or agent) and interactive (multi-node) levels and at multiple epistemic levels (knowledge as well as knowledge about knowledge) and show how it allows us to represent states of belief, confidence and trust in the integrity and competence of other age...
Chapter
Mapping the Competitive Landscape Analyzing Dynamic Competitive Interactions The Microprocessor Wars Identifying and Selecting Competitive Actions The Megahertz War Synopsis Conclusion
Article
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We examine the dependence of the performance effects of firms' network positions on the ages of the ties comprising them. Our analysis of Canadian investment banks' underwriting syndicate ties indicates that the performance benefits of closure increase with tie age, while benefits of bridging decrease with tie age. We also find that benefits yielde...
Chapter
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Our goal is to assess and consolidate the current state-of-the-art in organizational ecology. To accomplish this we review major theoretical statements, empirical studies, and arguments that are now being made. Although we attempt to survey ecological approaches to organizations comprehensively, because ecological research now constitutes a very la...
Article
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We link two influential organizational learning models---performance feedback and experiential learning---to advance hypotheses that help explain how organizations' learning from their own and others' experience is conditioned by their aspiration-performance feedback. Our focus is on learning from failure; this kind of learning is essential to orga...
Article
Chain-owned nursing homes have become the predominant type of provider in the United States, but little is known about their management structures. Prior research has found that chain ownership has significant effects on health outcomes, but why that is the case is not well understood. This study examines the effects of corporate-mandated standardi...
Article
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Using detailed data on Canadian biotechnology firms during the 1990s, we explore the geographic scope of knowledge spillovers and the balance spillover-seeking and expropriation-avoidance in entrants’ locations. Our findings indicate that knowledge spillovers are highly localized, with entrants attracted to incumbents’ R&D employees and spending wi...
Article
This study examines the possibility that hybrid network positions that balance a firm's access to structural holes (Burt, 1992) and dense interconnections (Coleman, 1988) may outperform positions emphasizing one or the other alone. To do this, we estimate models of U.K. investment bank performance that consider a bank's own and its partners' balanc...
Article
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This paper examines the performance consequences of non-local partnering - formation of new ties between organizations that have neither prior direct nor indirect connections. Although non-local ties provide organizations with potential benefits including enhanced opportunities to broker resource and information flows across unconnected partners, t...
Article
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At its core, this volume tackles the contradictory views of the performance-enhancing effects of organizational flexibility and inertia head on, and in doing so, contributes to the development of theory and empirical evidence at the interface of strategic management and organizational ecology. In addition to the inertia–flexibility nexus, the volum...
Article
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Multiunit chains proliferated rapidly during the twentieth century and now dominate much of the service sector landscape, often growing by acquiring components from other owners. Transfer learning plays a central but only partially understood role in chain strategy, in both ongoing and newly acquired components. Multiunit chains gain potential bene...
Article
Full-text available
We link two influential organizational learning models - performance feedback and experiential learning - to advance hypotheses that help explain how organizations' learning from their own and others' experience is conditioned by their aspiration-performance feedback. Our focus is on learning from failure, which is essential to organizational learn...
Article
Full-text available
The potential advantage of extreme value theory in modeling management phenomena is the central theme of this paper. The statistics of extremes have played only a very limited role in management studies despite the disproportionate emphasis on unusual events in the world of managers. An overview of this theory and related statistical models is pres...