SDI: 2012 Student Profiles

The following Ph.D. candidates participated in the 2012 Summer Doctoral Institute.

Brodie Boland


Brodie is currently a PhD Candidate in Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University. He was formerly a consultant with McKinsey & Company's Toronto office. He has also served as President of AIESEC International, where he led the creation of a highly successful five-year vision and plan, and initiated AIESEC's expansion into a number of Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries. He is currently studying how insiders and outsiders can collaborate to create disruptive change, and is particularly interested in transitions towards ecological sustainability. Brodie has traveled to over 40 countries, and enjoys rock climbing and canoeing in the Canadian wilderness.

Research Project:
Diverse Collaborations and Greentech Innovation
Using a dataset that integrates information from NBER's patent database (Hall, Jaffe, & Trajtenberg, 2001), Compustat, and a US Government program allowing expedited processing of patent applications considered 'green', we will evaluate the effects of collaboration on innovation. Innovation quality will be measured based on existing conceptualizations of 'breakthrough' innovations - those receiving a high number of citations in their given fields (Phene, Fladmoe-Lindquist, & Marsh, 2006). Collaboration will be measured using information on patent assignees - the individuals, firms, or other organizations to which the rights to a particular patent are assigned. Multiple assignees indicate collaboration on an invention.

Mentor: Jorge Rivera

Esi Abbam Elliot


Esi Abbam Elliot is a doctoral candidate in marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her dissertation, entitled "Value Co-creation in Subsistence Markets: Microenterprises and Financial Services Firms in Ghana, West Africa," examines how financial services firms and their microenterprise customers in subsistence markets engage in value co-creation (i.e. collaborate to jointly create value) and what types of value they co-create. Her work has been published in the Journal of Business Research with others forthcoming in the Journal of Business Research and the Journal of Product and Innovation Management. She has presented at leading conferences, including: American Marketing Association, Association of Consumer Research, Association of International Business, Global Marketing and Subsistence Markets. Her teaching experience is in Global Marketing, Consumer Behavior, Principles of Retailing, Marketing Management and International Management. Ms. Elliot's professional experience covers the four continents of Africa, North America, Asia and Europe and includes marketing management, product development management and relationship management at Standard Chartered Bank, a multinational bank. She holds an MBA in International Business from Schiller International University, U.K., and a B.Sc. in Business Administration with a major in Banking and Finance from University of Ghana.

Research Project:
Trust and Intellectual Property Rights: Trade Strategies between the United States and Ghana
This study seeks to investigate how trust affects Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in trade relations and trade agreements. Specifically, we seek to understand what kind of institutional-based trust must be established in trade agreements to ensure the protection of IPR; how the implementation of IPR provision builds and ensures institutional-based trust in international business and finally the characteristics of trust related to IPR.
Institutional-based trust is tied to formal societal structures, based on individual, institutional or firm-specific characteristics or on intermediary mechanisms (Zucker, 1986). IPR issues relate to the rights conferred by law in relation to some aspects of industrial, scientific and cultural creativity (WIPO, 2002). Trust relating to IPR issues in international trade between industrialized countries and developing countries occur when the stakeholders in the trading countries - policymakers, citizens, industry stakeholders and business people - interact to implement and enforce IPR laws to ensure that IP holders have their rights protected and receive their promised rents. This trust generates confidence between the trade partners and enhances international business.
To investigate the research questions, this study adopts an exploratory and in-depth qualitative case studies approach with propositions to generate a nuanced understanding of the different dimensions of institutional-based trust through the lens of the various stakeholders involved in international trade between the United States and one developing country, Ghana. Ghana has the basic legislature, structures and systems in place for the provisions of IPR (Sey et al., 2012). Findings from this study expose multi-dimensional institutional-based trust that results from the interactive and inter-related nature of the different stakeholders.
We believe that our findings could help policymakers develop first more realistic and effective language in these provisions that will build and facilitate trust. We hope our findings will also help guide policymaker/business interactions that can build trust in IPR and in so doing, enhance international trade between the US and developing countries.

Mentor: Susan Aaronson

Ayodeji Fajebe


Deji is a doctoral student in the International Affairs, Science, and Technology program at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to coming to Georgia Tech, Deji worked briefly as a network systems engineer. He has a background in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Deji's research interests now lie at the intersection of technology, international development, and international business and management. He is interested in the implications of using information and communication technologies for development, modeling of social systems, economic implications of cloud computing, and models for pricing software as a service in a global economy.

Research Project:
Pricing Characteristics of Software as a Service: A Qualitative Model
Attributing value and price to software services is still an unclear business yet it is increasingly important for firms like Google and that aim to provide innovative software services to an increasingly interconnected global market. As the phenomenon of cloud computing becomes more established and provides a veritable platform for the delivery of the service, firms that will thrive in this new economy must also provide novel ways of pricing these new services. This study examines some of the factors affecting the pricing of software as a service (SaaS) in a global and multidomestic market place and aims to develop a qualitative model that illuminates some of the major elements that should be considered when developing SaaS pricing frameworks.

Mentor: Subhasish Dasgupta

W.G. Douglas Fernandez


W.G. Douglas Fernandez is a doctoral student in Strategic Management and International Business at Florida International University. He graduated cum laude with a BBA in Finance and an MS in Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University. His research interests include corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate social responsibility, innovation management, and strategic human resource management.

Research Project:
Institutional Drivers of Green Innovation
Scholars have long seen firms' ability to innovate as a key determinant of performance and survival. While a vast body of literature has examined innovation as a rational activity driven by firm desires to gain competitive advantage, there is a need to give greater consideration to how the context in which firms operate influences innovation. In other words, there exists a great need to examine innovation as a "social activity", and thus consider how certain institutions shape policies and norms that affect firms' opportunities and capabilities to innovate. Since green innovation is inherently social in nature and relatively little is known about the determinants on this type of innovation, it provides an especially appropriate context in which to evaluate this research question. Thus, using NBER's patent database, this paper seeks to address the aforementioned research gap by developing and testing a model identifying key country-level institutions that drive green innovation.

Mentor: Jorge Rivera

Yujia He


Yujia He is a PhD student in the Program of Science, Technology, and International Affairs in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech. She was a pre-doctoral fellow in the Sam Nunn Security Program at Georgia Tech in 2009-2010. She obtained her B.S. in chemistry from Peking University in China in 2009. Her areas of interests are international political economy, international trade, economic development, industrial policies, and science and technology policies. In particular, she is interested in combining her background in both natural sciences and social science to study about the drivers and the global consequences of industrial development in China, Japan, and other East Asian economies.

Research Project:
U.S. Stakeholder Perspective for Analyzing China's Reregulation of its Rare Earth Industry
Rare earth elements are non-renewable resources used in small quantities to enhance key functions of materials in high-tech industry and national security applications. China has emerged as the world dominant supplier of rare earth minerals and recently been implementing rapid policy reforms to reassert its control over the rare earth industry. Securing reliable access to rare earth minerals has become a challenge for U.S. downstream manufacturers. The study provides an empirical analysis to this research question: What is the U.S. stakeholder perspective on the motivation of China's reregulation of its rare earth industry, and what are the impacts of reregulation upon the U.S. stakeholders, in terms of their responding strategies? This study intends to expand the concept of "reregulation" to explain the role of the Chinese state in market expansion. The study will identify the incentives and drawbacks facing the Chinese authority as it attempted domestic reregulation within the globalized production, the impact of reregulation on the industry production chain both within the U.S. and globally, and the strategies of U.S. downstream firms in response to the resource challenge and competition with their Chinese competitors.

Mentor: Bruce Dickson

Daniel Nogueira-Budny


Daniel Daniel Nogueira-Budny is a PhD candidate of government at the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation seeks to explain under what conditions some leftist parties in Latin American democracies transform into catch-all, electoral-professional parties, and, conversely, under what conditions others fail to adapt and remain radical, niche-oriented parties. His dissertation field research has been generously funded by Fulbright IIE and Boren fellowships. Prior to beginning his PhD, Nogueira-Budny worked for two years at the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Columbia University and his M.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Research Project:
Institutional Modernization and Ideological Modernization among Latin America's Leftist Parties: Toward a Theory of Party Adaptation
Whereas many of Latin America's leftist parties renounced political violence, embraced democratic norms and procedures, and adopted a more conciliatory view towards the role of the market in the 1980s and 1990s, others did not; some failed to adapt, experienced organizational stagnation, and succumbed to electoral irrelevance. This project seeks to answer, under what conditions do radical leftist parties in Latin America adapt into loyal democratic parties that accept market economics? It analyzes Brazil's Workers' Party and Peru's United Left in comparative perspective to determine how, why, and when certain parties engage in ideological moderation and institutional modernization, while others do not.

Mentor: Cynthia McClintock

MinJae Suh


Min Jae Suh is a current PhD student in Department of Building Construction at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on the valuation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification through property values in the U.S. He is from South Korea and his professional experience includes stints as a research engineer, a cost estimator, an engineering officer in South Korea. He got my M.S degree in construction engineering & management and B.S degree in civil engineering.

Research Project:
The Effect of LEED Certified Building on the Real Estate Market Value in New York City
His research will address whether there is a positive impact on the market value by having LEED certified green buildings in a neighborhood area. The research focuses on the market value variation of buildings in a neighborhood area where a LEED certified building is located. The research will help establish and encourage the pursuit of green building rating system by looking into the changes in market value over time and as a result, further enhance the sustainability in the construction industry. It also supports to set the stage to establish U.S competitiveness in the highly aggressive international construction market by providing competitive advantage to extend LEED certification and trends globally.

Mentor: Young Hoon Kwak

Stephanie Wang


Stephanie L. Wang is a doctorate candidate at the School of Business Administration, University of Miami. Her concentration is strategic management and international business and her expected gradation date is May, 2014. Her main research interests include global strategy, multinational management, and internationalization by emerging market firms, business/knowledge process outsourcing, and social entrepreneurship. She has publications in Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Perspective, Global Strategy Journal, Journal of International Management, Organizational Dynamics, Management and Organization Review, and others. Her latest research projects deal with the relationships between home operations and overseas operations of emerging market multinationals. Stephanie has taught strategic management (MGT 401) and will teach international business (MGT 349) at University of Miami. Stephanie received her M.S. at Peking University in 2009, and B.A. at Renmin University of China in 2006.

Research Project:
Does Where You Go Depend on Whence You Come? Home Country Institutions and FDI Locations
In this study, we investigate how multi-dimensional home institutions affect firms' FDI locations when expanding aboard. Specifically, we suggest that (1) home institutions are positively related to firms' tendencies to invest in countries with developed institutions, (2) the effect of home institutions on FDI location becomes weaker as they improve (a curve-linear relationship), (3) there are cross-level interaction effects between home institutions and firm-or deal-level characteristics, (4) different dimension of home institutions functions differently in above relationships. These findings, based on a ten-year multi-level multi-country dataset in the petroleum industry, extend research on FDI and institution-based view of strategy. This study also contributes to emerging market multinational theories by providing benchmark of their advanced counterparties in the same study.

Mentor: Robert Weiner

Jean Woroniecki


Jean, currently a doctoral student in Strategic Management at the University of Pittsburgh and a former analyst at Lehman Brothers. As an analyst, she worked on joint efforts with the bridge equity group, the proprietary private equity fund, and institutional investors on mergers and acquisitions on large loan transactions ranging from $20 million to $5.2 billion. She also prepared marketing materials that included revenue projections, market research, and asset strategy, made presentations to rating agencies and investors and responded to rating agency and investor inquiries. She is currently researching firm survival through waves of technological disruptions. Jean holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University.

Research Project:
Firm Survival Across Waves of Disruptive Technological Change: A Longitudinal Study of the Hard Disk Drive Industry
Geographic scope can be used in a variety of ways to enhance firm capabilities, such as an enhanced international alliance portfolio and co-invention with firms from multiple countries. This paper seeks to determine if a firm's geographical scope enable it to gain the market and technological capabilities needed to survive through waves of technological change? Building on transaction cost-theoretic arguments and on insights from the knowledge-based view of the firm, we develop main and contingent hypotheses on the effects of geographic scope on firm survival amidst technological changes. To test our hypotheses, we constructed a dataset of 232 hard disk drive industry firms who experienced waves of technological disruptions from 1975-1999.

Mentor: Jorge Walter