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Karen Bernhardt-Walther

E. J. Hyun

Eunjung ("EJ") Hyun | Ph.D. Candidate in Organizations and Strategy | Email: | Phone: 1.312.385.9990


Research Interest: Organizational theory, Strategic management, Economic sociology, Social network analysis, Intermediaries & mediated markets, Category innovations, Globalization


Job Market Paper

"Avoiding Guilt by Association? How Stigma Affects Interorganizational Relationships" (Revise & Resubmit at Administrative Science Quarterly)

Abstract: This paper explores how negative third-party evaluations of the network affiliates of a stigma source become relational hazards in interoganizational settings. Focusing on the mediated market context, I propose that the potential risks of being discredited by third-party audiences can induce the focal corporate actor to dissociate from the intermediary tied to tainted others. I test this idea by analyzing publicly observed interorganizational market ties between clients (companies issuing securities) and intermediaries (securities law firms vouching for the legal conformance of clients' offerings). I find strong support for the argument: the probability of client-intermediary tie breakage increases as a function of a given intermediary's associations with other clients previously tainted by securities fraud allegations. Consistent with some prior findings, this effect tends to attenuate when the intermediary is perceived as being higher in status. Further analysis uncovers a paradox that the relational hazards of stigma-by-association tend to amplify for client-intermediary dyads with longer relationship tenure and higher proximity. Together, this study demonstrates how stigma may act as a relationally disruptive force but work in complicated ways when operating in tandem with status and embeddedness.

Working Papers

"Market Audience, Peers & Globalization: An Analysis of Overseas Branch Openings among US Law Firms" (with Kim, T., Invited for Resubmission at Strategic Management Journal)

Abstract: This paper investigates how market audience and peers differentially affect the globalization of professional services firms. Analyzing panel data on overseas branch openings of U.S. large corporate law firms (1987-2008), we find that firms adopt foreign practice when they maintain strong market ties with prominent clients conducting international activity. We also show that peer effects are country-specific, and the identity of prior adopters matters. Using an instrumental-variable approach, we address endogeneity issues raised in modeling the relationship between corporate clients and law firm globalization. By emphasizing existing relationships with prominent market audience, alongside with varying influence of peers' prior adoptions, as inter-organizational antecedents of law firm globalization, our results have implications for theories of organizational adoption and diffusion pertaining to professional services markets.

"The Creation of a New Art Category: A Study of American Abstract Expressionism" (Under Preparation for Submission)

Abstract: In this paper, I consider how a novel art category is created through social movement-like processes, drawing on the case of American Abstract Expressionism (AAE) centered in New York during 1930s-1950s. I develop an analytical narrative that emphasizes socio-historical processes underpinning the formation of collective identity among the artists aspiring more aesthetic freedom where artists assume the role of active agent in their own endeavors. In particular, I show 1) how tension grew out of interactions between a new breed of avant-garde artists and the traditional cultural institutions; 2) how this group of artists gained increasing recognition as a distinct entity by art audiences and 3) how key gatekeepers of the art world facilitated this process by influencing the AAE creators across various venues of organized activities.



Last Updated 7/10/09