ESMT Berlin publishes in international academic journals, which are first-class in their respective fields. Research also provides cutting-edge and profound insights for the business community as well as the classroom through managerial publications and case studies. This rare integration of research and practice makes ESMT Berlin an outstanding location for generating relevant and ground-breaking knowledge.
Consumers often do not have complete information about the choices they face and therefore have to spend time and effort in acquiring information. Since information acquisition is costly, consumers trade-off the value of better information against its cost, and make their final product choices based on imperfect information. We model this decision using the rational inattention approach and describe the rationally inattentive consumer’s choice behavior when she faces alternatives with different information costs. To this end, we introduce an information cost function that distinguishes between direct and implied information. We then analytically characterize the optimal choice probabilities. We find that non-uniform information costs can have a strong impact on product choice, which gets particularly conspicuous when the product alternatives are otherwise very similar. There are significant implications on how a seller should provide information about its products and how changes to the product set impacts consumer choice. For example, non-uniform information costs can lead to situations where it is disadvantageous for the seller to provide easier access to information for a particular product, and to situations where the addition of an inferior (never chosen) product increases the market share of another existing product (i.e., failure of regularity). We also provide an algorithm to compute the optimal choice probabilities and discuss how our framework can be empirically estimated from suitable choice data.
© 2018, INFORMS
Maintenance service plans (MSPs) are contracts for the provision of maintenance by a service provider to an equipment operator. These plans can have different payment structures and risk allocations, which induce various types of incentives for agents in the service chain. How do such structures affect service performance and service chain value? We provide an empirical answer to this question by using a unique panel data covering the sales and service records of more than 700 diagnostic body scanners. We exploit the presence of a standard warranty period and employ a matching approach to isolate the incentive effects of MSPs from the confounding effects of endogenous contract selection. We find that moving the equipment operator from a basic, pay-per-service plan to a fixed-fee, full-protection plan not only reduces reliability but also increases equipment service costs. Furthermore, that increase is driven by both the operator and the service provider. Our results indicate that incentive effects arising from MSPs leads to losses in service chain value, and we provide the first evidence that a basic pay-per-service plan—under which risk of equipment failure is borne by the operator—can improve performance and reduce costs.
Copyright © 2018, INFORMS
We study a firm's capacity choice under demand uncertainty given it must finance this investment externally.
Sharing profits with investors causes governance problems affecting both capacity and demand: the firm may “steal" capital, which reduces effective capacity, and \shirk" on market-development, which reduces demand. We adopt an optimal contracting approach whereby the firm optimizes among feasible financial claims derived endogenously. We characterize its optimal financing and capacity choices. First, debt financing is optimal: it minimizes the incentives to both divert and shirk. Second, the firm underinvests (overinvests) if the effort problem is mild (severe) enough relative to the diversion problem. Thus, a worsening of the same governance problem can lead to over- or underinvestment depending on circumstances. Third, we find that the diversion and shirking problems interact in their impact on capacity investment. In particular, if the shirking problem is mild enough, the more severe the diversion problem, the less the firm invests. However, if the shirking problem is severe enough, the effect of diversion is reversed: the more severe the diversion problem, the more the firm invests.
Copyright © 2018, INFORMS
HAL: The missing piece of the puzzle for hardware reverse engineering, trojan detection and insertion
Research has shown that hiring R&D scientists from competitors fosters organizational learning. We examine whether hiring scientists who have many collaborative ties with the hiring firm prior to the mobility event produces different learning outcomes than hiring scientists who have few or no such ties. We theorize that prior ties reduce explorative learning and increase exploitative learning. From our arguments we also derive other testable implications. Namely, we posit that prior ties lead the hiring firm to focus on that part of a new hire’s knowledge with which they are already familiar and that they help appropriate the new hire’s newly generated knowledge. At the same time, prior ties induce new hires to search locally within the hiring firm’s knowledge base and also to produce more incremental, lower-impact innovations. Using data on R&D scientists’ mobility in the Electronics and Electrical Goods industry, we find broad support for our hypotheses. Our results extend our theoretical understanding of learning-by-hiring processes and bear practical managerial implications.
With permission of SAGE Publishing
When organizations crowdsource ideas, they ultimately select only a small share of the submitted ideas for implementation. Organizations generally provide no feedback on ideas they do not select. Contributors whose ideas are not selected for implementation tend to forego submitting ideas in the future. We suggest that organizations can increase contributors’ willingness to submit ideas in the future by giving a thus far understudied form of feedback: rejections. Drawing on social network theory, we develop the overarching argument that rejections lead contributors to bond with the organization, increasing their willingness to continue to interact with the organization. While it may be counterintuitive to associate rejections with bonding, we hypothesize that rejections indicate to contributors that the organization is interested both in receiving their ideas and in developing a relationship with them. This effect, we argue, is particularly pronounced when rejections provide newcomers with explanations that suggest to them that they and the organization are a good match. To test our theory, we examine the crowdsourcing efforts of 70, 159 organizations that receive ideas from 1,336,154 contributors. Using large-scale content analysis, we examine differences in how rejections are written in order to disentangle the mechanisms through which rejections affect contributors’ willingness to continue to interact with an organization. We find that getting a rejection has a positive effect on a newcomer’s willingness to submit idea in the future. The effect is stronger if the rejection includes an explanation, and is particularly pronounced if the explanation accompanying the rejection matches the original idea in terms of linguistic style.
With permission of the Academy of Management
When age does not harm innovation and job outcomes: Testing organizational collaboration as a social buffer
This paper presents an analytical framework of the product take back legislation in the context of product reuse. We characterize existing and proposed forms of E-waste legislation and compare their environmental and economic performance. Using stylized models, we analyze an OEM’s decision about new and remanufactured product quantity in response to the legislative mechanism. We focus on the 2012 waste electrical and electronic equipment directive in Europe, where the policy-makers intended to create additional incentives for the product reuse. Through a comparison to the original 2002 version of the directive, we find that these incentives translate into improved environmental outcomes only for a limited set of products. We also study a proposed policy that advocates a separate target for the product reuse. Our analysis reveals that from an environmental standpoint, the recast version is always dominated either by the original policy or by the one that advocates a separate target for the product reuse. We show that the benefits of a separate reuse target scheme can be fully replicated with the aid of fiscal levers. Our main message is that there can not be a single best environmental policy that is suitable for all products. Therefore, the consideration of product attributes is essential in identification of the most appropriate policy tool. This can be done either by the implementation of different policies on each product category or by implementation of product based target levels.
© 2018 Production and Operations Management Society