Research Interests: corporate strategy; organizational strategy; firm scope; motivation; corporate governance; compensation and pay inequality; corporate purpose
Claudine Gartenberg is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her work is focused on incorporating realistic models of human behavior, such as self-interest and social comparison, into research on firm strategy. She has conducted studies on the role of incentives and corporate scope of US mortgage lenders preceding the 2007-2008 housing crisis, the role of workplace culture in influencing the digitization of work within the trucking industry, and the role of social comparison and corporate scope in affecting pay inequality over the past three decades, among others.
Her work has been published in top academic journals, including Management Science, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal, where she currently sits on the editorial board.
Professor Gartenberg received a B.A. with honors in Physics from Harvard College, and a D.B.A. and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar and received the Wyss Award for best doctoral research. She joins Wharton from the faculty of NYU Stern School. Prior to joining academia, Professor Gartenberg was an account manager at a business consulting firm, working with clients such as PG&E, Chevron, Hallmark Cards, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
Abstract: This study analyzes the relationship between acquisitions—a centerpiece of corporate strategy—and employees’ sense of purpose. Using data from more than 1.5 million employees, we find that purpose is substantially weaker in companies following recent acquisitions. This association is driven by unique acquisitions and those with opaque disclosed rationales. We explore the performance implications of this relationship. We first isolate the component of purpose directly attributable to the deal, and then relate this component to subsequent performance. We find that deals associated with stronger purpose outperform, and those with weaker purpose do not. Together, our evidence suggests a possible tension between strategic and motivational determinants of acquisition success: while firms benefit strategically from uniqueness, it may also erode the sense of purpose within firms.
Claudine Gartenberg and Julie Wulf (2020), Competition and Pay Inequality Within and Between Firms, Management Science.
Claudine Gartenberg and George Serafeim (2019), 181 Top CEOs Have Realized Companies Need a Purpose Beyond Profit, Harvard Business Review Online.
Claudine Gartenberg and Julie Wulf (2017), Pay Harmony: Social Comparison and Performance Compensation in Multi-Business Firms, Organization Science, 28 (1), pp. 39-55.
This course is about managing large enterprises that face the strategic challenge of being the incumbent in the market and the organizational challenge of needing to balance the forces of inertia and change. The firms of interest in this course tend to operate in a wide range of markets and segments, frequently on a global basis, and need to constantly deploy their resources to fend off challenges from new entrants and technologies that threaten their established positions. The class is organized around three distinct but related topics that managers of established firms must consider: strategy, human and social capital, and global strategy.
Much more is known about strategy formulation than its implementation, yet valid, sensible strategies often fail because of problems on the implementation side. This course provides you with tools to turn good strategy into successful reality. It covers the choices, structure, and conditions that enable the successful attainment of strategic objectives. Students learn from rigorous academic research on successful implementation, as well as a series of seasoned business leaders who will visit to share their own experience from the front lines.
This half-semester course examines one of the foundational questions in strategy: the role of organizational structure in both supporting and shaping strategy. As Winston Churchill famously said: "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us." This course examines this proposition from two traditions, the "institutional economics" and "information processing" schools of organizational design. We will examine foundational works from both schools, such as Coase, Williamson, Simon, March, and others, and then proceed to recent work in the area. Some of the questions that we will explore in the class are: why do firms exist? What determines their boundaries? What determines formal and informal structures within firms? How does the strategic context shape the answers to these questions? How might the nature of the firm and its boundaries relate to innovation, human capital, and knowledge creation? The aim of this class is to provide students with a grounding in the fundamental questions and contributions in this area, and to spark ideas for research in their own graduate work.