Daniel B. Sands
 

Doctoral Candidate

Daniel B. Sands

Strategy and Organizational Theory

Department of Management and Organizations

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

New York University

 

 

Sands Website Photo.jpg

Contact me at: dsands [at] stern.nyu.edu

Overview and

Research Description

I am a doctoral student focusing on strategy and organizational theory at the Department of Management and Organizations in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University.

My current research centers on evaluation, valuation, price, competition, and innovation. As a market theorist, I am interested in how social forces permeate markets and affect outcomes. I have a recent publication in Strategy Science and have presented my work at leading conferences throughout the world, including those hosted by the Academy of Management (AOM), Strategic Management Society (SMS)European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE). Projects that I am working on have been fortunate enough to have received generous support from organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Kauffman Foundation, and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

My dissertation is tentatively titled "Strategy, Evaluation, and Valuation in Markets: The Role of Third Parties in the Creation and Capture of Value." Progress is ongoing...  Importantly, I have a great committee (consisting of Gino Cattani, Joe Porac, Rob Seamans, Adam Brandenburger, and Paul DiMaggio) that is helping me develop something meaningful.

Prior to the doctoral program at NYU-Stern, I completed a MA at Columbia University where my thesis was supervised by David Stark. As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, I quadruple majored in economics, political science, accounting, and  finance. I wrote three separate honors theses that were, respectively, supervised by Price Fishback, Paulette Kurzer, and Chris Demchak

I am an avid traveler. I have been to 50 countries across 6 continents over the past decade. I have included some of my travel photos at the bottom of this webpage.

 


Education

 

New York University, New York, NY

LEONARD N. STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

PhD, Management

Expected Graduation May 2021

MPhil, Management
Graduated May 2019

 

Columbia University, New York, NY

GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

M.A, Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences
Graduated May 2011

 

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

ELLER COLLEGE OF MANAGEMENT

B.S. in Business Administration with Honors, Accounting (Major 1); Finance (Major 2)

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

B.A. with Honors, Economics (Major 3); Political Science (Major 4)
Graduated May 2009

 

Conference

Presentations

 

2019 (Scheduled)

Strategic Management Society Annual Meeting, Minneapolis
European Group for Organizational Studies annual meeting, Edinburgh
Stockholm Competition Workshop, Stockholm
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics annual meeting, New York City
INdustry Studies ASSOCIATION conference, Nashville

2018

BEhavioral Strategy Conference, Chapel Hill
Strategic Management Society Annual Meeting, Paris
academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago
European Group for Organizational Studies annual meeting, Tallinn
Medici Summer School in Management Studies, Bologna
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics annual meeting, Kyoto
trans-atlantic doctoral conference, London
east coast doctoral conference in management, new york city
organization science winter conference, park city

 

2017

creative industries conference, new york city
european group for organizational studies annual meeting, copenhagen
east coast doctoral conference in management, new york city

 

2016

Strategic Management Society Annual Meeting, berlin
academy of Management Annual Meeting, anaheim
trans-atlantic doctoral conference, London
Nyu-Columbia Management doctoral conference, new york city

 

 

Research and Experience

 

Publications

Competitive Sensemaking in Value Creation and Capture

with Gino Cattani, Joseph Porac, and Jason Greenberg

Strategy Science. December 2018, Volume 3, Issue 4: 632-657.

We suggest that a systematic socio-cognitive approach to “competitive sensemaking” has been absent from theory and research on competitive strategy. We define competitive sensemaking as the social and cognitive processes that underlie how firms detect, define, and conceptualize their competitive relationships with other firms. Competitive sensemaking is a subset of the more general process of strategic sensemaking, which is the “making plausible sense” of the broad array of stimuli and circumstances that characterize complex market situations. Using the value-based view of value creation and capture as a conceptual base for our arguments, we unpack four cognitive underpinnings of competitive sensemaking: mental time travel, comparability, counterfactual reasoning, and stories. We then show how these four components were differentially involved in shaping competitive sensemaking in four actual market situations. In doing so, we illustrate how competitive sensemaking provides fundamental inputs into the value creation and value capture process. We conclude the paper by drawing out the implications of competitive sensemaking for strategy theory and research.

Working Papers

 

Airmail and the Locus of Innovation

with Eunhee Sohn and Robert Seamans

R&R at Management Science- recently presented at aom 2018 annual meeting

This paper explores how innovation is jointly shaped by exposure to technological opportunities and local capabilities. We exploit a quasi-natural experiment, the establishment of the United States Post Office’s Airmail routes, to analyze how a new technological opportunity spurred innovations in aircraft technology between 1915 and 1935. Using a novel dataset of historical patents, we find that the introduction of an airmail route into a county results in a 93% increase in aircraft-related patents in that county, on average. We also explore the role of local capabilities and find that different types of local knowledge have a heterogeneous effect on patent quality. We find that treated areas with more users and tinkerers produce more low-quality patents, whereas treated areas with more specialists and workers with higher education produce more high-quality patents. This research contributes to existing literature by refining our understanding of how technological opportunities lead to advances in early-stage technologies.

Evaluation, Status, and Paradox

In Progress- RECENTLY presented at egos 2018 annual meeting

This work, extending from the perspective offered by economic sociology, explores how value and price are socially constructed in markets. Precisely because real-world actors do not inherently know what something is worth, they must rely on social interaction in order project value onto objects and establish prices. These social processes become apparent though analyzing deviations to predictions of a model in which actors have full knowledge of their intrinsic valuations for objects, particularly with rebidding in second price open bid auctions. This paper posits that rebidding is a manifestation of socially constructed value because the valuation of one actor is affected by the valuations of others, and therefore through social interaction market participants socially construct value and price. An empirical analysis of more than 10,000 auctions, with more than 55,000 individual bids, on the online auction website eBay is used to test the theoretical framework developed in this paper. The statistical analyses conducted in this work offer support for an explanation of rebidding behavior as derived from an economic sociology perspective. These findings indicate that rebidding is positively associated with a lack of auction-internal price information, a lack of external product references, and bidder inexperience in auctions.

Patterns of Giving Around CEO Turnovers

with Robert Salomon

In Progress- REcently Presented at SMS 2018 Annual Meeting

Building from the long-standing debate over fundamental questions pertaining to the role of management and discretionary activities of the firm, we investigate how CEO turnovers affect corporate philanthropic giving. Using a novel dataset composed of 937 instances of million dollar gifts and 3,327 CEO turnovers within 29,982 firm-year observations between 2000 and 2013, we find that corporate giving is less likely to occur around a CEO turnover event. Exploiting exogenous variation in the cause of a CEO turnover, we find a reduction in giving immediately preceding unforced CEO turnovers, while there is no evidence that there is a reduction in corporate philanthropy immediately preceding forced CEO turnovers. In both the unforced and forced cases, however, there is a significant negative effect of CEO turnover on corporate philanthropy in the year of turnover with a stronger negative impact for forced turnovers. Taken together, our results suggest that corporate philanthropy is not exclusively a stable organizational-level activity, but is also tied to idiosyncratic managerial discretion. 

Prices in The NYC Restaurant Industry

with Gino Cattani, Jason Greenberg, and Joe Porac

In Progress- Recently Presented at SMS 2018 Annual Meeting

Despite a substantial amount of research on pricing in market settings, economic sociologists and organizational theorists have devoted relatively little attention towards theorizing about and explaining real-world pricing behavior. Using the insights afforded by neo-institutional theory, we theorize how and under which conditions mimetic and normative isomorphism can help explain real-world pricing behaviors. We substantiate our theory by examining the pricing activities of restaurants in New York City using semi-structured interviews and an in-depth neighborhood case study. The paper aims to lay the groundwork for developing sociological and organizational perspectives on pricing, including our neo-institutional approach to pricing. We argue and offer evidence that prices can form in social space, as opposed to purely economic space, precisely because economic activities are embedded in social relations. Accordingly, prices are a reflection of underlying social structures, and therefore require analyses that go beyond a neoclassical economic framework to be fully understood. 

Competitive Sensemaking and the Cognitive Embeddedness of Markets

with Gino Cattani, Jason Greenberg, and Joe Porac

In Progress- Recently presented at EGOS 2017 Annual Meeting

Similarity comparisons have posed conceptual and empirical challenges to scholarly and applied work on the structure of markets in economics, strategic management research, antitrust theory and practice, economic sociology, and organizational theory. At the root of the conceptual difficulties is the fact that firms and their product offerings can be described along a large number of attributes and so be viewed as more or less similar depending on the attributes used for comparison. We know from cognitive science research that similarity judgments in multi-attribute spaces are cognitively complex and embedded in cultural, local, and institutionalized knowledge. Our research exposes the multi-level cognitive embeddedness of competition among restaurants in New York City. Using field, interview and archival data on restaurant reviews, categories, pricing, and menus, we employ “qualitative counterfactual analysis” to address fundamental issues concerning competitive boundaries that cut across the categorical, managerial/organizational, and transactional levels of analysis. We find that conceptualizations of competition are only loosely coupled across these different levels. We contend that similarity judgments are better construed as a collective sensemaking process where different actors (i.e., customers, managers, and third-parties) interact and competitive boundaries are constantly defined, contested and redefined. By integrating different conceptualizations of competition, we propose a heuristic framework for understanding the cognitive embeddedness of competition and the research challenges it poses. Implications for theory concerned with categories and competitive boundary definition, as well as for research on strategic categorization are drawn.

Competition and Evaluation

In Progress- Recently Presented at AOM 2016 Annual Meeting

This paper addresses how evaluations are influenced by competition. While the evaluation of any object is fundamentally an interpretation of underlying quality, evaluations are not constructed in isolation and the evaluative processes is subject to socio-cognitive environmental influences. The evaluative process is predicated upon the comparison of similar-objects, and not all objects are considered and compared with equal intensity. This work develops a theoretical framework explaining how evaluations are socially constructed in a particular competitive space, and how the varying intensity of comparison can be derived from heterogeneity in object categorization and social attention. In order to test this theory, I use a dataset from Rotten Tomatoes user evaluations containing 75,133 movie evaluations of 123 feature films released in the United States during 2007. In line with the presented theory, I find that during a movie’s opening week, movies that are categorically similar to the number one grossing box office movie receive lower consumer evaluations, ceteris paribus. Moreover, early evaluations influence later evaluations inasmuch as they maintain the evaluative discount in later periods due to social conformity pressures. Furthermore, this article contributes to the broader economic sociology literature by depicting how digital environments do not fundamentally change underlying social processes. In this way, this research highlights how online behavior is, just as in-person activity, inherently and inescapably embedded in social relations. 

Socially Constructing Value and Price in eBay Auctions

In Progress- Recently Presented At SASE 2018 Annual Meeting

This work, extending from the perspective offered by economic sociology, explores how value and price are socially constructed in markets. Precisely because real-world actors do not inherently know what something is worth, they must rely on social interaction in order project value onto objects and establish prices. These social processes become apparent though analyzing deviations to predictions of a model in which actors have full knowledge of their intrinsic valuations for objects, particularly with rebidding in second price open bid auctions. This paper posits that rebidding is a manifestation of socially constructed value because the valuation of one actor is affected by the valuations of others, and therefore through social interaction market participants socially construct value and price. An empirical analysis of more than 10,000 auctions, with more than 55,000 individual bids, on the online auction website eBay is used to test the theoretical framework developed in this paper. The statistical analyses conducted in this work offer support for an explanation of rebidding behavior as derived from an economic sociology perspective. These findings indicate that rebidding is positively associated with a lack of auction-internal price information, a lack of external product references, and bidder inexperience in auctions.

 

Theses

And Advisors

 

Doctoral Dissertation   ||   New York University

Title: Strategy, Evaluation, and Valuation in Markets: The Role of Third Parties in the Creation and Capture of Value

Doctoral Dissertation Committee

Gino Cattani

Joe Porac

Robert Seamans

Adam Brandenburger

Paul DiMaggio

-

 

Masters Thesis    ||  Columbia University

Title: Socially Constructing Value and Price in Auctions

Masters Thesis Advisor

David Stark

-

 

Undergraduate Honors Theses    ||    University of Arizona

 (1) Title: Labor and the Law: Economic History of Early 20th Century Labor Conflict

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Advisor

Price V. Fishback

-

 (2) Title: Illegal Immigration in the European Union

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Advisor

Paulette Kurzer

-

 (3) Title: Complexity Theory and the 2008 Financial Crisis

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Advisor

Chris C. Demchak

 

 

 

 

Awards

 

Finalist for Best Doctoral Student Paper - “Evaluation, Status and Paradox”, European Group for Organizational Studies, 2019

-

ABCD Top Reviewer Award, Academy of Management OMT Division, 2018

-

Nominated Best Paper- “Airmail and Innovation”, Strategic Management Society, 2017

-

ABCD Top Reviewer Award, Academy of Management OMT Division, 2016

-

Leonard N. Stern Doctoral Fellowship, 2015-2019

-

DaVinci Award, Honors College of The University of Arizona, 2009

-

McCord Scholar, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, 2007

 

 

 

Teaching

 

Lead Instructor:

Undergraduate Courses

  • Management and Organizations — NYU-Stern

Teaching Assistant:

Graduate Courses

  • Strategy — NYU-Stern Executive MBA

  • Data Driven Decision Making — NYU-Stern MSBA

    Undergraduate Courses

  • The Economics of Finance and Banking — Barnard/Columbia

  • Management and Organizations — NYU-Stern

  • International Business Studies (including course trip to Peru) — NYU-Stern (x2)

 

 

Non-Academic

Experience

 

Military Officer - Major, Infantry - 12 years United States Army, Army National Guard

  • Commander— Officer Candidate School, F CO 2 BN 106th RTI, NYARNG

  • Senior Instructor— Officer Candidate School NYARNG

  • Platoon Leader— Deployment to Afghanistan 2011-2012

    • Combat Infantryman Badge

  • Army Ranger School Graduate [Class 05-10]

  • Army Airborne School Graduate

  • Distinguished Military Graduate 2009 Commissioning Year