Sustainability Impact Research Awards

Research is a critical element of IE’s purpose of fostering positive change through education, research, and innovation. IE as a world-class University, our contribution to this positive change must consider knowledge generation as a lever for sustainable impact. This includes both academic research and applied research.

IE’s Sustainability Office, in collaboration with IE’s Research Office, has launched these awards to foster and celebrate the efforts by our faculty to support those who facilitate sustainable outcomes for people and the planet.

The awards will be given to academic and applied research produced by IE faculty that foster sustainable impact in the following two categories:

Sustainable Impact Academic Papers. Two 5.000€ Awards will be granted to academic papers that are already accepted by a journal in the Top IE Journal list or applied research projects that have already gone through the first filter of EU funding selection processes.
Sustainable Impact Research Projects. Five 2.000€ awards will be granted to research projects in the process of being submitted to a journal in the Top IE Journal list or applied research projects that are in the final phases of development.

The awards are earmarked to fund present or future (within a one-year time frame) research efforts by the winning faculty.

Congratulations to the faculty members who won the First Edition of IE’s Sustainable Impact Research Awards!
Aloña Martiarena , Caterina Moschieri , Maya Kumar , Sondos Abdelgaw, Johanna Glauber, Luis Diestre, Benjamin Barber Iv, Juan Santalo, Konstantina Valogianni y Rachida Justo

The panel of judges for the 2020-2021 awards included
Julio De Castro
Rocio Bonet
Cristina Cruz
Marco Giarratana and
Fabrizio Salvador and was coordinated by Maximiliano Oliva.

Santiago Iñiguez, Salvador Carmona, Daisy Escobar, Isabela Alcazar, and Isabel Sanchez were also on hand to present the prizes.

Many thanks for the support of the IE Research Office.

2021 Sustainable Impact Award Winners

5,000€ Award Winners
1. Luis Diestre, Strategy (5.000€; Co-Author: Benjamin Barber, Juan Santaló)

The Friday Effect: Firm Lobbying, the Timing of Drug Safety Alerts, and Drug Side Effects

Safety alerts are announcements made by health regulators warning patients and doctors about new drug-related side effects. However, not all safety alerts are equally effective. We provide evidence that the day of the week on which the safety alerts are announced explains differences in safety alert impact. Specifically, we show that safety.

""We believe the social impact of our paper comes from two important conclusions: inefficiencies in the diffusion of health-related information can severly affect patients' health and the current regulatory design provides certain actors with the means and the incentives to weaken the diffusion of such information"."

2. Konstantina Valogianni, IT (5.000€)

Sustainable Electric Vehicle Charging using Adaptive Pricing

This paper presents a novel pricing scheme that incentivizes electric vehicle charging via volatile renewable sources (wind, solar, etc.). The advantages of the presented pricing scheme over traditional pricing methods are that, first, it ensures smart grid stability and second, it reduces the need for consuming natural resources, such as copper, to expand the grid infrastructure. Most importantly, this pricing scheme can incentivize electric vehicle charging that can match the very volatile generation patterns of renewable sources, ensuring sustainable electric vehicle charging and reducing carbon emissions. We show the superiority of the proposed pricing scheme both mathematically and with large-scale simulations calibrated with real-world data.

2.000€ Award Winners

1. Abdelgawad, Sondos G., Martiarena Aloña, Kumar Maya, Entrepreneurship (2.000€; Co-Authors: Sondos Abdelgawad and Aloña Martiarena)

The role of gender in firm-level bribery: Examining differences in the perception of anomie pressure across women owners and managers

Anomie pressures are perceived financial constraints and competitive intensity that predispose firms to conform to institutional norms of supplying bribes to public officials to gain access to business opportunities and advantages (Cullen et al., 2004). Recent developments in anomie theory applied to organizational studies acknowledge the role of an individual’s perception of anomie pressure in accepting the anomie (Zhou et al., 2013). However, to date, we have limited understanding of the role gender plays in the perception and conformity to anomie pressure and how this perception varies by the position women occupy in firms. Therefore, to address these limitations and in line with the award’s overarching purpose to engender knowledge creation for sustainable impact, our study draws on anomie theory and gender influence-two streams in the literature dealing with firm bribery-to address two related questions: First, what is the influence of the perception of anomie pressure on women-owned firms to supply bribes? Second, what are the implications of different positions that women occupy on the perception of this pressure and the firm propensity to supply bribes? These questions are timely in the light of recent UN data that shows that global shocks such as the current pandemic exacerbate women vulnerability (UN Policy Brief, 2020), leaving them at a disproportionate disadvantage that is likely to threaten progress on key SDG goals: Goal #8 “decent work and economic growth,” Goal #10 “reducing inequality,”  and Goal #16 “peace, justice and strong institutions.” Therefore, our research will provide novel micro insights on how to deal with gender-related structural inequities to address one form of organizational misconduct, bribery, at the firm level. These insights are likely to complement extant macro approaches that deal with country-level institutional forces.

""Our research carries important implications for gender and structural inequality (SDGs 5 and 10) by offering novel micro insights on the influence of women ownership and management on one common form of organizational misconduct that is bribery""

2. Rachida Justo, Entrepreneurship (2.000€; Co-Author Imge Kayasa Banci)

 Is Being Trustworthy Always Rewarded? Think Twice! Trust Penalty for Women Entrepreneurs

Our study explores an understudied mechanism, trustworthiness, through which gender-based inequality is created and perpetuated in entrepreneur – investor relationships. Drawing on stereotypes literature, we propose an inverse U-shaped relationship between trustworthiness and investment for women entrepreneurs. We suggest that while moderate levels -compared to low levels- of trustworthiness positively affect the investment decisions for both women and men, high levels of trustworthiness have adverse effects for women. We also consider macro-contextual factors moderating this relationship. Specifically, we expect the mechanisms, through which women suffer a trustworthiness penalty, to be more prevalent in societal contexts where women are less represented in entrepreneurship. We test our proposed model with a series of experimental studies. Contrary to common sense and empirical evidence indicating that perceived trustworthiness is good for -all- entrepreneurs in investment decisions, our results show that investors’ evaluations of trustworthiness depend on the gender of the trustee. Whereas men benefit from being highly trustworthy, women are penalized. Results also reveal that there is a difference between what respondents claim that they will do (intention) and what they really do (investment amount). In other words, investors talk the talk but do not actually walk the talk. Overall, by bridging the macro-micro divide and employing a sociopsychological lens, we highlight the dark side of trust and conceptualize trustworthiness as a parameter that contributes to and reproduce investment gap between female and male entrepreneurs.

3. Aloña Martiarena, Entrepreneurship (2.000€; Co-Authors: Rachida Justo)

Men make houses women’s make homes: Women entrepreneurs and work-family balance in the household

This study examines women entrepreneurs’ experience of work-family interface (WFI) and its effect on their reproductive choices and satisfaction with the distribution of household responsibilities. Drawing on Conservation of Resources Theory, we posit that the impact of WFI varies according to the profile of the entrepreneur, that is, whether she is self-employed or employs people in her business, which determines the relative value attached to family versus work-related resources. Our results show that women employers experience lower satisfaction from the distribution of household work and need to cut-back on their reproductive goals to a higher extent than self-employed women. These findings suggest that work-family balance might not be accessible to all types of women entrepreneurs and that the trade-offs between personal and professional goals are higher for those who are employers.

"Our study questions whether business ownership allows women to achieve their personal and professional expectations, by exploring the relationship between entrepreneurship and work-family balance. In doing so, we aim to generate novel insights to promote gender equality (SDG 5) and decent work and economic growth (SDG 8).""

4. Caterina Moschieri, Strategy (2.000€)

Water for People? The Effects of Institutional Uncertainty on Public and Private Divestitures in the Water Industry

Our results carry important implications for firms’ managers as well as policymakers about the water industry specifically. Water in general and its supply and service management are becoming increasingly relevant issues on policy-makers agendas and part of broader “grand challenges” in societal context (George et al., 2016). For example, within the countries analysed, the government of Brazil in 1997 created a National Water Agency with a mandate to implement the National Water Resources Policy and coordinate the National Water Resources Management System. The core objective of this agency is to ensure the sustainable use of the country’s rivers and lakes. Our results may inform policy makers and similar agencies about the implications of social movements or political change for the water industry.

"“Despite decades of effort by local and international actors, the majority of the rural population in Latin American countries still does not have access to safe drinking water or sanitation, making access to water a “grand challenge”. My research shows that both political and social instability are likely to alter private and public actor commitments to investments in the water industry.”"

5. Johanna Glauber, Strategy (2.000€)

A good time to bury bad news: A strategic perspective on firms’ timing of product recalls

In this project, I examine when firms are more likely to admit defects and malfunctions in their products via announcing a product recall. To protect consumers from potentially serious harm, it is important to remedy or withdraw dangerous products as early as possible. However, product recalls are costly for firms and firms can have incentives to time the announcement of recalls strategically. Prior work shows that firms resort to various impression management tactics to deflect blame and attenuate negative consequences when announcing bad news. With their focus on the relationship between the firm and the media or investors, however, existing studies have mostly ignored the competitive dynamics at play in impression management. In this paper, we explore how firms strategically use competitors’ negative disclosures as an opportunity to decrease the costs associated with bad news.