Emilie Feldman

Emilie Feldman
  • Associate Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2018 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: corporate governance, corporate strategy, diversification, divestitures, firm scope, spinoffs

Links: CV

Overview

Emilie R. Feldman is an Associate Professor of Management (with tenure) at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where she studied Economics and French Literature, and she received her MBA and DBA in Strategy from the Harvard Business School. Her dissertation won the Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research at the Harvard Business School and was a finalist for the Wiley-Blackwell Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Academy of Management.

Professor Feldman’s research focuses on corporate strategy and governance, with particular interests in the internal functioning of multi-business firms and the role that divestitures, spinoffs, and mergers and acquisitions play in corporate reconfiguration. Her research has been published in top academic journals, including the Strategic Management Journal, Strategy Science, Organization Science, and the Academy of Management Journal. She has received numerous scholarly awards, including the Emerging Scholar Award and the Best Conference Paper Award from the Strategic Management Society as well as two Distinguished Paper Awards from the Academy of Management. Additionally, her research has been featured extensively in popular press outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and Fortune.

Professor Feldman currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Strategic Management Journal, and she is on the Editorial Board of Organization Science. She is the Associate Program Chair of the Competitive Strategy Interest Group in the Strategic Management Society, and she is a member of the Executive Committee of the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management.

Professor Feldman teaches courses on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate strategy, and corporate governance in the undergraduate, MBA, law, and executive programs at Wharton and Penn. She received the Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017. She has also consulted and served as a speaker to numerous practitioner audiences.

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Research

  • Emilie Feldman and Patia McGrath (Working), Why Do Divestitures Create Shareholder Value?.

  • Emilie Feldman and Metin Sengul (Working), Identification in Strategy and Management Research.

  • Emilie Feldman and Lisa Tang (Working), The Strategic Complementarity between M&A and R&D.

  • Emilie Feldman and Exequiel Hernandez (Working), Synergy: Definition, Typology, and Dynamics.

  • Emilie Feldman and Victor Bennett (2017), Make Room! Make Room! A Note on Sequential Spinoffs and Acquisitions, Strategy Science, 2 (2), pp. 100-110.

    Abstract: In this study, we identify a novel pattern of deal-making activity—spinoffs followed by acquisitions—that has yet to be analyzed in the corporate strategy literature. We present a set of descriptive results showing that firms undertake spinoffs followed by acquisitions at a rate that is too high to be attributable to random chance. We also find that the acquired businesses are typically more closely related to these companies’ remaining operations than are the spun-off subsidiaries, a pattern that is common across companies with different characteristics. Together, these results suggest that firms may use sequential spinoffs and acquisitions to achieve ongoing synergies and improve the allocation of managerial attention within their organizations. We conclude by discussing how our work contributes to ongoing conversations in corporate strategy about patterns of acquisitions and divestitures, resource redeployment, reconfiguration, and firm scope.

  • Emilie Feldman (2016), Corporate Spinoffs and Capital Allocation Decisions, Strategy Science, 1 (4), pp. 256-271.

    Abstract: This paper investigates how spinoffs affect capital allocation decisions in diversified firms. The sensitivity of capital expenditures to investment opportunities, representing the efficiency of capital allocation decisions, improves when firms undertake spinoffs. The improvement in the efficiency of capital allocation decisions is most pronounced immediately following the completion of spinoffs (though it attenuates thereafter), and in companies that operate in a moderate (as opposed to a high or a low) number of businesses pre-spinoff. Together, these findings uncover a novel benefit that is associated with spinoffs, an improvement in the process by which managers allocate capital in the divesting firms. These results also suggest that an important theoretical mechanism that may be driving this improvement is that spinoffs enable managers to devote more attention to the capital allocation process within their remaining businesses.

  • Emilie Feldman (2016), Dual Directors and the Governance of Corporate Spinoffs, Academy of Management Journal, 59 (5), pp. 1754-1776.

    Abstract: This paper investigates how "dual directors" enable firms that undertake corporate spinoffs to manage their post-spinoff relationships with the firms they divest, as well as the performance implications of dual directors serving simultaneously on these companies' boards. While the presence of dual directors is positively associated with the average stock market returns of parent and spinoff firms, their presence is increasingly positively associated with parent firm performance but increasingly negatively associated with spinoff firm performance as the share of sales a spinoff firm makes to its parent firm rises. These findings show that while dual directors give a parent firm power over its spinoff firm, dual directors only exercise that power at the spinoff firm's expense when that company is highly dependent on its parent firm.

  • Emilie Feldman (2016), Managerial Compensation and Corporate Spinoffs, Strategic Management Journal, 37 (10), pp. 2011-2030.

    Abstract: This paper investigates how corporate spinoffs affect managerial compensation. These deals are found to improve the alignment of spinoff firm managers' incentive compensation with stock market performance, especially among spinoff firm managers that used to be divisional managers of the spun-off subsidiary and particularly when the spun-off subsidiary performs better than or is unrelated to its parent firm's remaining businesses. By contrast, incentive alignment does not improve for the parent firm managers running the divesting companies. This finding appears to be driven by a significant post-spinoff increase in these managers' incentive compensation, the magnitude of which is inversely related to governance quality in their firms. Together, these results elucidate how spinoffs influence managerial compensation in diversified firms and the companies they divest.

  • Emilie Feldman (2016), Corporate Spinoffs and Analysts' Coverage Decisions: The Implications for Diversified Firms, Strategic Management Journal, 37 (7), pp. 1196-1219.

    Abstract: This paper investigates how spinoffs improve the quality of analysts' research about diversified firms, theorizing that these deals may induce analysts to revisit their earlier coverage decisions. The gains resulting from these shifts are expected to be more pronounced when a firm undertakes a legacy (rather than a non-legacy) spinoff, which removes the business that may be constraining analysts' coverage decisions in the first place. Consistent with this argument, firms that undertake legacy spinoffs experience greater improvements in the composition and quality of their analyst coverage than their non-legacy counterparts, and in their overall forecast accuracy and stock market performance. Taken together, these findings shed light on the relationships among the scope decisions, analyst coverage, and valuations of diversified firms.

  • Emilie Feldman and Patia McGrath (2016), Divestitures, Journal of Organization Design, 5 (1), pp. 1-16.

Teaching

Current Courses

  • MGMT897 - Global Modular Course A

    MGMT897405

  • WH 212 - Global Modular Course: Design As Competitive Advantage: Portugal & Spain

    WH 212405

Past Courses

  • MGMT249 - MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

    This course explores the role of mergers and acquisitions and alternative methods of corporate development in advancing the strategies of operating business. Emphasis is on the way companies use acquisitions to alter business mixes; seize opportunities in new products, technologies and markets; enhance competitive positioning; adjust to changing economics, and promote value-creating growth. Although the course will emphasize strategic acquisitions, it also will explore leveraged buy-outs and hostile financial acquisitions as well as their influence on corporate buyers. Please note that you must fulfill the prerequisites in order to enroll in this class.

  • MGMT721 - CORP DEV: MERG & ACQUIS

    This course explores the role of mergers and acquisitions and alternative methods of corporate development in advancing the strategies of operating business. Emphasis is on the way companies use acquisitions to alter business mixes; seize opportunities in new products, technologies and markets; enhance competitive positioning; adjust to changing economics, and promote value-creating growth. Although the course will emphasize strategic acquisitions, it also will explore leveraged buy-outs and hostile financial acquisitions as well as their influence on corporate buyers. Please note that you must fulfil the prerequisites in order to enroll in this class.

  • MGMT897 - GLOBAL MODULAR COURSE A

Awards and Honors

  • Emerging Scholar Award, Strategic Management Society, 2017
  • Distinguished Paper Award, Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2017
  • Best Paper Proceedings, Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2017
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Undergraduate Division, The Wharton School, 2017
  • Winner, Best Paper Prize, Strategic Management Society Annual Meeting, 2016
  • Best Paper Proceedings, Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2016
  • Strategic Management Journal Outstanding Editorial Review Board Member Award, 2015
  • Distinguished Paper Award, Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2012
  • Best Paper Proceedings, Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2012
  • Finalist, Wiley Blackwell Outstanding Dissertation Award in Business Policy and Strategy, Academy of Management, 2011
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, BPS Division, Academy of Management, 2011
  • Finalist, William H. Newman Award (for the best single-authored paper based on a dissertation completed in the past three years), Academy of Management, 2011
  • Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research, Harvard Business School, 2010
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Harvard Business School, 2009
  • Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Derek Bok Center, Harvard University, 2008
  • High Distinction, General Exam, Harvard Business School, 2005
  • Duesenberry Award, Economics Department, Harvard University, 2004
  • Hutchison Prize, Winthrop House, Harvard College, 2004

In the News

  • Possible GE Breakup Could Bring Better Days, Wall Street Journal - 01/17/2018
  • HP Inc. Surprises Wall Street, Outperforms Corporate Sibling, San Francisco Chronicle - 06/16/2017
  • Splitting the Babies: Billionaire Tries to Out-Spin DuPont CEO Ed Breen, the Breakup King, Philadelphia Inquirer - 06/11/2017
  • Yahoo Sale Could Still Draw Softbank, Alibaba, USA Today - 07/07/2016
  • Analysis: Companies Make Up, Then Break Up, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - 05/27/2016
  • Dell-EMC’s New Name: Blunder or Brilliance?, Information Week - 05/05/2016
  • What Ugly Financial Markets Mean for Community’s Big Spinoff Plans, Modern Healthcare - 02/23/2016
  • Dysfunctional Symantec-Veritas Deal Sets New Low Bar for Mergers, San Francisco Chronicle - 02/11/2016
  • Will Xerox’s Spinoff Unlock Value for Investors?, Knowledge@Wharton - 02/10/2016
  • Interview about Yahoo! Spinoff, Knowledge@wharton Business Radio - 12/15/2015
  • What it’s all about: inside the Dow-DuPont merger, WHYY Radio Times - 12/14/2015
  • Yahoo’s Tax Focus Has Squandered Big Chance, San Francisco Chronicle - 12/14/2015
  • Industrial Giants DuPont, Dow Chemical Announce $130 Billion Merger, NPR - 12/11/2015
  • U.S. is the M&A Prom Queen, as Dealmaking Record Set, Investor's Business Daily - 12/09/2015
  • Is a Dow-DuPont Merger Good or Bad for U.S. Biz?, CBS MoneyWatch - 12/09/2015
  • Selling the Golden-Egg Goose, The New Yorker - 11/23/2015
  • ConAgra CEO Put His Stamp on the Company, and in a Hurry, Omaha World-Herald - 11/19/2015
  • Why Nikkei Is Betting Big on Digital Growth at the FT, Knowledge@Wharton - 07/29/2015
  • Interview about the Nikkei sale of the FT, Knowledge@Wharton Business Radio - 07/28/2015
  • The Dark Side of ‘Dual Directors’ in Corporate Spin-Offs, Knowledge@Wharton - 06/30/2015
  • DuPont, if Peltz Gets His Way, The News Journal - 03/20/2015
  • Barnes & Noble is Betting Slimmer Company Can Beat Amazon, The Street - 03/04/2015
  • How Barnes & Noble Can Recover from the Nook’s Downward Spiral, Knowledge@wharton - 12/11/2014
  • The Mergers and Acquisitions Cycle: Buy. Divide. Conquer, New York Times - 12/10/2014
  • Interview about Barnes & Noble – Nook, Knowledge@wharton Business Radio - 12/10/2014
  • Barnes & Noble Move May Signal a Spinoff, NPR Marketplace - 12/04/2014
  • Le Divorce, The New Yorker - 11/03/2014
  • HP and the Case for Corporate Spinoffs, Knowledge@wharton - 10/17/2014
  • Companies Seeing the Advantages in Spinoffs, New York Times - 10/15/2014
  • Interview about Hewlett-Packard Spinoff, Knowledge@wharton Business Radio - 10/08/2014
  • Allan Sloan’s Year in Review, CNN Money - 12/23/2013
  • Picture This: Kodak without its Film Business, Knowledge@wharton Today - 09/14/2012
  • Why Microsoft Nabbed the Nook, Knowledge@Wharton - 05/01/2012
  • Research Roundup: Homeowner Mobility, Divestitures and the Real Impact of FDI, Knowledge@Wharton - 12/07/2011
  • Homeowner Mobility, Divestitures, and the Real Impact of FDI, Knowledge@wharton - 12/07/2011
  • Netflix: Two Companies, Double the Headaches?, Knowledge@Wharton - 09/20/2011
  • Ernst & Young: Too Big to Fail?, Fortune - 12/21/2010
  • An Indictment against Ernst & Young? Maybe Not, Washington Post - 12/21/2010
  • KPMG Partners Lucked Out – Thanks to Enron & Arthur Andersen, Washington Post - 09/06/2005

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

Emilie Feldman and Patia McGrath (Working), Why Do Divestitures Create Shareholder Value?.
All Research

In the News

What’s Behind the Latest Merger Mania?

Slower earnings growth, shifts in technology, interest rates that could soon rise and record stock prices have combined to create a perfect storm for mergers and acquisitions.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2016/11/29
All News

Awards and Honors

Emerging Scholar Award, Strategic Management Society 2017
All Awards