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Managers’ external social ties at work: Blessing or curse for the firm?


Brandes, L; Brechot, Marc; Franck, E (2015). Managers’ external social ties at work: Blessing or curse for the firm? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 109:203-216.

Abstract

Existing evidence shows that decision makers’ social ties to internal co-workers can lead to reduced firm performance. In this article, we show that decision makers’ social ties to external transaction partners can also hurt firm performance. Specifically, we use 34 years of data from the National Basketball Association and study the relationship between a team's winning percentage and its use of players that the manager acquired through social ties to former employers in the industry. We find that teams with “tie-hired-players” underperform teams without tie-hired-players by 5 percent. This effect is large enough to change the composition of teams that qualify for the playoffs. Importantly, we show that adverse selection of managers and teams into the use of tie-hiring procedures cannot fully explain this finding. Additional evidence suggests instead that managers deliberately trade-off private, tie-related benefits against team performance.

Abstract

Existing evidence shows that decision makers’ social ties to internal co-workers can lead to reduced firm performance. In this article, we show that decision makers’ social ties to external transaction partners can also hurt firm performance. Specifically, we use 34 years of data from the National Basketball Association and study the relationship between a team's winning percentage and its use of players that the manager acquired through social ties to former employers in the industry. We find that teams with “tie-hired-players” underperform teams without tie-hired-players by 5 percent. This effect is large enough to change the composition of teams that qualify for the playoffs. Importantly, we show that adverse selection of managers and teams into the use of tie-hiring procedures cannot fully explain this finding. Additional evidence suggests instead that managers deliberately trade-off private, tie-related benefits against team performance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:January 2015
Deposited On:21 Dec 2015 09:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:44
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-2681
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2014.11.013
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:12847

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