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Y. Sekou Bermiss - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin, TX, US

Y. Sekou Bermiss Y. Sekou Bermiss

Assistant Professor, Department of Management | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business


Examining the effects of financial performance and corporate social responsibility in the market valuation of firms


Areas of Expertise (6)

Data Analysis Organizational Theory Organizational Strategy Market Analysis Market Research Management


Y. Sekou Bermiss is an assistant professor in the Department of Management at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin.

His research centers around how value is socially constructed in organizational settings. In particular, he investigates how market perceptions of financial performance, organizational identity, and human capital affect firm performance, reputation, and survival. His research has been published in various academic journals, edited volumes, magazines, the Harvard Business Review blog, and on National Public Radio.





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Thank You, PhD Project: Dr. Sekou Bermiss


Education (3)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management: Ph.D., Management and Organizations 2009

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management: M.S., Management and Organizations 2005

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: B.S., Chemical Engineering 1999

Media Appearances (3)

Managing Political Misfits

Harvard Business Review  online


When CEOs weigh the decision to speak out on a hot-button issue, they tend to focus on how their words and actions might affect brand reputation and customer behavior. But an equally significant question is how CEO activism affects employees.

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Don Draper Is Replaceable; Joan Holloway Isn't

Harvard Business Review  online


Sekou Bermiss, an assistant professor at the University of Texas, Austin, had the same response as the fan base, but from a different perspective: he was well into a research project examining which executives in ad agencies do the most damage when they leave (and add the most value when they don’t) based on data from New York City ad agencies from 1924 to 1996. A paper reporting on that research, co-authored by Johann Peter Murmann, is forthcoming in Strategic Management Journal. I spoke with him about his findings...

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Chick-Fil-A Gay Flap A 'Wakeup Call' For Companies

NPR  online


But beyond the big bucks, corporate reputation specialist Sekou Bermiss says companies may be motivated to contribute to community good. "More and more, you see firms that are trying to or feel obliged to certain issues in society, [to] do some greater good in society," Bermiss said...

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Articles (8)

Y. Sekou Bermiss Citations Google Scholar

Listing of the top scholarly works by Y. Sekou Bermiss.

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Entrepreneurial Beacons: The Yale Endowment, Run-Ups, and The Growth of Venture Capital Strategic Management Journal


What leads entrepreneurs to found new companies in nascent sectors? In contrast to prior research, which emphasizes patterns of activity, we argue that entrepreneurial activity can sometimes be driven by the actions of a singular trigger—what we call an entrepreneurial beacon. We examine the influence of two such beacons, Yale University's endowment investments and exceptional venture-capital-backed IPO run-ups, on the founding of new venture-capital firms over a 28-year period.

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Loyal to Whom? The Effect of Relational Embeddedness and Managers' Mobility on Market Tie Dissolution Administrative Science Quarterly


In this study we use a social embeddedness perspective to investigate the paradoxical role that individual-level embedded relationships have on the dissolution of interorganizational ties. Prior studies have found that managers who form close interpersonal relationships with clients can stabilize market ties, but these relationships can also be a source of increased market tie dissolution in the event of an exchange manager’s departure from the firm.

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Who matters more? The impact of functional background and top executive mobility on firm survival. Strategic Management Journal


Do some top executives matter more than others? Integrating insights from upper echelons and executive mobility research, we suggest that the functional roles performed by top executives shape their value to the firm.

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Chemicals, companies, and countries: The concept of diffusion in management research Research in Organizational Behavior


In the field of organizational behavior, the term “diffusion” has come to be implicitly paired with the concept of innovation and a peculiar set of conceptual choices. We explore how this came about, and examine the evolution of the concept “diffusion” from its inception in the English language through its use in the natural and social sciences to its current meaning in organizational research.

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Under construction: How commensuration and management fashions affect corporate reputation rankings Organization Science


This paper analyzes the antecedents of corporate reputation as a dynamic commensuration process in which management fashions influence audiences as they attempt to quantify corporate reputation.

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The individual and the organization: Locating knowledge capabilities in professional service firms Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings


We investigate what types of human capital are most valuable to professional service firms.

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Institutional ‘dirty’ work: Preserving institutions through strategic decoupling Institutional Work: Actors and Agency in Institutional Studies of Organization


Two key aspects of institutional work are the entrepreneurship which accompanies the rise of new institutions and the decline which occurs as they move toward deinstitutionalization.

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