Areas of Expertise (6)
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.
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)
Don Draper is Replaceable; Joan Holloway Isn't
Texas Enterprise | Big Ideas in Business online
McCombs Assistant Professor Sekou Bermiss talked with Harvard Business Review executive editor Sarah Cliffe to discuss his latest research that finds internal-facing employees at advertising agencies are far more important to a firm's long-term survival prospects than high-profile account executives and creatives.
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...
Chick-Fil-A Gay Flap A 'Wakeup Call' For Companies
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We investigate what types of human capital are most valuable to professional service firms.
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.