Stereotypes and Belief Updating

Increasing evidence demonstrates that stereotyped beliefs drive key economic decisions. This paper shows the significant role of self-stereotyping in predicting beliefs about one’s own ability. Stereotypes do not just affect beliefs about ability when information is scarce. In fact, stereotypes color the way information is incorporated into beliefs, perpetuating initial biases.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge > Social Psychology

Team Learning Capabilities: A Meso Model of Sustained Innovation and Superior Firm Performance

In strategic management research, the dynamic capabilities framework enables a “helicopter view” of how firms achieve sustainable competitive advantage. This paper focuses on the critical role of work teams, arguing that managers must leverage the knowledge generated by teams to support innovation and strategic change. It matches types of team learning to innovation activities.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge > Social Psychology

The Salary Taboo: Privacy Norms and the Diffusion of Information

Barriers to the diffusion of salary information have implications for a wide range of labor market phenomena. This study of employees of a real organization shows that individuals significantly misinterpret their peers’ salaries, partly due to pervasive preferences for concealing own salary, and a potentially strategic decision of high earners to withhold their personal information.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge > Social Psychology

Gifts of the Immigrants, Woes of the Natives: Lessons from the Age of Mass Migration

Investigating the economic and political effects of immigration across US cities between 1910 and 1930, this paper finds that political opposition to immigration can arise even when immigrants bring widespread economic benefits. The paper provides evidence that cultural differences between immigrants and natives were responsible, at least in part, for natives’ anti-immigration reactions.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge > Social Psychology

Channeled Attention and Stable Errors

As humans we are surprisingly good at neglecting unexpected information that conflicts with what we “know” to be true. This paper develops a framework for predicting when we are more likely to “get a clue” despite this cognitive barrier to discovering our own mistakes.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge > Social Psychology

Trust and Disintermediation: Evidence from an Online Freelance Marketplace

Intermediaries such as brokers, distributors, and agents all face a risk of disintermediation, when two sides circumvent the intermediary and thus avoid the intermediary’s fees. This study of a large online freelance marketplace finds that enhanced user trust increases this risk, alongside other contributing factors like being geographically near one another, having easily divisible jobs, and clients themselves having high ratings.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge > Social Psychology