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Anand Swaminathan - Emory University, Goizueta Business School. Atlanta, GA, US

Anand Swaminathan

Roberto C. Goizueta Chair of Organization & Management | Emory University, Goizueta Business School




Anand Swaminathan joined Goizueta Business School in the fall of 2007. Prior to joining Goizueta he taught organizational theory and strategy at the University of California at Davis and before that he taught corporate strategy at the University of Michigan Business School.

His research touches a wide range of organizational issues, including industry evolution, strategies for niche/specialist firms, and applications of social network analysis. His current research examines planned obsolescence in software platforms, cross-national differences in the timing of product recalls in the automobile industry, transition to self-employment and entrepreneurship, membership retention in online communities, network effects in venture capital investment decisions, and career outcomes for coaches in the NFL and faculty in higher education institutions.

Education (3)

University of California at Berkeley: PhD, Business Administration 1993

Indian Institute of Management , Calcutta: Master's PDGM, Marketing and Organizational Behavior 1984

National Institute of Technology , Warangal, India: Bachelor's BTech, Mechanical Engineering 1982

Areas of Expertise (6)

Organizational theory and strategy

People Analytics

Interorganizational and social networks

Industry evolution

Small-firm strategies

Organizational change and its consequences

Publications (7)

Racial disparity in leadership: Evidence of valuative bias in the promotions of National Football League coaches

American Journal of Sociology

Christopher I Rider, James B. Wade, Anand Swaminathan and Andreas Schwab


The authors propose that racial disparity in organizational leadership representation will persist until valuative bias favoring white men ceases to influence advancement from the lower-level positions where most careers begin. They consider how racial disparity results from the organizational matching of individuals to positions with different advancement prospects (i.e., allocative bias) and by the provision of differential rewards within those positions (i.e., valuative bias). Analyzing career history data for over 1,300 National Football League coaches from 1985 to 2015, the authors find that white assistant coaches were promoted at higher rates than Black coaches—holding constant many factors including unit and individual performance—both before and after a league-wide intervention explicitly implemented to close the racial gap in leadership representation. They further demonstrate that this white promotion advantage is specific to the position typically occupied before promotion to head coach. Simulations demonstrate how racial disparity persists even absent bias in positional allocations; eliminating valuative bias at early career stages is, thus, necessary to achieve racial parity in leadership representation.

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Industry Clusters and Organizational Prototypes: Evidence from the Franconian Brewing Industry

Journal of Management

Nikolaus Beck, Anand Swaminathan, James B. Wade and Filippo Carlo Wezel


In this article, we argue that in addition to facilitating organizational learning and specialization, an industry cluster related to tradition or to the practice of a craft influences audience expectations through the definition of the prototypical features that define an organizational form. Analyzing the population of northern Bavarian (Franconian) breweries, we show that compliance with a prototype involves multiple dimensions and depends on an organization’s location in geographic space with reference to the center of the industry cluster. Using qualitative interviews, archival data, and a survey of consumers, we provide evidence that as distance from the cluster center increases, organizations are more likely to deviate from the prototype and suffer fewer of the negative consequences that result from such deviations.

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Resource partitioning and the organizational dynamics of ‘fringe banking’

American Sociological Review

Giacomo Negro, Fabiana Visentin and Anand Swaminathan


We examine the emergence and proliferation of payday lenders, fringe businesses that provide small short-term, but high-cost loans. We link the organizational dynamics of these businesses to two trends in consumer lending in the United States: the continuing consolidation of mainstream financial institutions; and the expansion of such institutions in the provision of financial services regarded as similar to payday loans. We explain the coexistence in mature industries of large-scale organizations in the market center and smaller specialists in the periphery by testing and extending the organizational model of resource partitioning. Our focus is on two under-examined aspects of the model: the dynamic underlying the partitioning process, and the conditions under which the market remains partitioned. The empirical analysis covers payday lenders, banks, and credit unions operating in Wisconsin between 1994 and 2008.

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The diffusion of foreign divestment from Burma

Strategic Management Journal

Sarah Soule, Anand Swaminathan and Laszlo Tihanyi


We examine variation in the rate of divestment by multinational firms from Burma. We argue that in addition to a set of firm-level characteristics known to impact divestment decisions, firms are also influenced by characteristics of their home country and the divestment patterns of others. Using data on firms operating in Burma during 1996–2002, we model these multiple influences on firms to divest. Our results show that beyond firm-level concerns, firms divest in response to the political characteristics of their home country, including protest, the level of political freedom, and transparency of institutions. We also find that the centrality of their home country in the network of intergovernmental organizations impacts divestment patterns in interesting ways.

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They just fade away: Mortality in the U.S. venture capital industry

Industrial and Corporate Change

Christopher I. Rider and Anand Swaminathan


Organizational mortality events are better understood than the process by which organizations cease to be. Complementing research on organizing, we theorize about disorganizing. We propose that disorganizing organizations attempt to avoid mortality by reducing audience engagement. We also propose that, typically, such behaviors only delay the inevitable because reduced engagement diminishes audience appeal which, in turn, raises mortality hazards. Analyzing life histories of 1891 organizations that experience protracted mortality processes, we find support for our arguments. Reducing engagement increases the mortality hazard for venture capital firms by reducing the firm's appeal to co-investors, but gradual reductions attenuate the effects of reduced engagement on both mortality and appeal. We discuss implications of these findings for organizational theory, entrepreneurs, and institutional investors.

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Evaluative schemas and the mediating role of critics

Organization Science

Greta Hsu, Peter W. Roberts and Anand Swaminathan


How do critics enable producers and consumers to come to mutually agreeable terms of trade? We propose that critics offer more guidance to those who set prices when their quality assessments are structured by clearer evaluative schemas. Schema clarity enables producers to accurately anticipate the quality assessments that critics will disseminate to the market. This allows their posted prices to center more faithfully on prevailing conceptions of quality. We then argue that the position of a producer within the market's social structure—in terms of its prior coverage, reputation, and niche width—influences the degree to which it is guided by clear evaluative schemas. We test these predictions in the market for U.S. wines. After elaborating a novel approach to inferring the clarity of evaluative schemas within different varietal categories, we demonstrate that list prices are less variable around expected levels when the schemas used to evaluate quality are clearer. Moreover, this effect is stronger among more relevant and more focused producers in each category.

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Why the Microbrewery Movement? Organizational Dynamics of Resource Partitioning in the American Brewing Industry after Prohibition

American Journal of Sociology

Glenn R. Carroll and Anand Swaminathan


The number of small specialty brewers in the U.S. beer brewing industry has increased dramatically in recent decades, even as the market for beer became increasingly dominated by mass‐production brewing companies. Using the resource‐partitioning model of organizational ecology, this article shows that these two apparently contradictory trends are fundamentally interrelated. Hypotheses developed here refine the way scale competition among generalist organizations is modeled and improve the theoretical development of the sociological bases for the appeal of specialist organizations' products, especially those related to organizational identity. Evidence drawn from qualitative and quantitative research provides strong support for the theory. The article offers a brief discussion of the theoretical and substantive issues involved in application of the model to other industries and to other cultures.

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In the News (2)

The Rooney Rule appears to mask a larger racial problem in coaching

CBS Sports  online


The loophole in the Rooney Rule is that it doesn’t apply to coordinators or position coach jobs, which is how coaches get on head-coach interview lists to begin with.

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Swaminathan to Head PhD Program

emorybusiness.com  online


Anand Swaminathan, Goizueta Chair and Professor of Organization & Management, has been named Director and Associate Dean of Goizueta’s PhD Program. He takes over for Professor of Accounting Grace Pownall, who served as the program head for two terms that saw increasing success in placement and student achievement. Pownall remains on the school’s faculty while Swaminathan expands on an active role in the PhD Program. He also serves as coordinator for the Organization & Management academic area. Swaminathan joined Goizueta in Fall 2007. He previously held potions at the University of California at Davis and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. His research touches a wide range of organizational issues including industry evolution, strategies for niche/specialist firms and applications of social network theory. In 2011, PhD students will join the faculty of Pittsburgh, BYU, Virginia Commonwealth, Washington University and Florida International.

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