Research

Impression Management via Corporate Philanthropy (Dissertation)
My dissertation project explores how and why companies implement different impression management strategies through the vehicle of corporate philanthropy. A first paper explores whether firms react to specific reputation threats in media coverage by deflecting away from or addressing the issue with their philanthropy. For example, a firm under the spotlight for environmental problems may donate to other social issues (deflecting) or donate to the environment directly (addressing). This paper relies on large-scale media data and an original dataset of grants made by F1000 companies.

I complement these statistical analyses with qualitative work to understand the process of corporate giving inside major companies. Using in-depth interviews with CSR managers and a year-long ethnography of a corporate foundation, I analyze how CSR managers: 1) use philanthropy as a relationship management tool and 2) evaluate the merit of and select nonprofit recipients. My dissertation work is financially supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Kellogg School of Management, and Northwestern University.

Stated-Lived Value Congruence and Expressive Authenticity (with Rachel Ruttan)
Despite widespread assumptions about the value of stating organizational values, organizational scholarship lacks a theoretical framework for understanding when and why stating values matter. This article integrates macro-level research on organizational values with social psychological research on values and perceptions of authenticity to offer a multilevel framework for understanding the impact of organizational values on employees. To do so, we develop the concept of stated-lived value congruence, or the congruence between what organizations say they value and what members experience in daily organizational life. We present two mix-method studies that test whether and why employees view their workplaces more favorably when stated and lived organizational values are congruent. Study 1 tests whether greater congruence between stated values, as listed in companies’ formal value statements, and lived values, as described in employee reviews on Glassdoor.com, impacts workplace evaluations. Countering the idea that merely stating values is beneficial, the findings show that employees evaluate workplaces more negatively when stated values are incongruent with lived values. Study 2 seeks to explain why congruence matters and provides stronger causal evidence by experimentally manipulating stated and lived values and examining the role of expressive authenticity in mediating the effect of congruence on employee evaluations. Central to both studies is a novel organizational value taxonomy developed for this research. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that authentically expressing organizational values leads to more positive employee perceptions and extend theories of person-environment fit.

Network Change and Social Support (with Mario Small and Peter McMahan)
This project includes original, longitudinal, qualitative and quantitative data on the experience of first-year graduate students in a large university. A first paper (Social Networks 2015) examines the stability of the core discussion network over the first six and twelve months in this new context. We find that the core discussion network changes remarkably quickly, with little or no lag, and that it appears to do so because both the obligations that people face and the routine activities they engage in are transformed by new institutional environments.  Findings suggest that core discussion network may be less a “core” network than a highly contextual support network in which people are added and dropped as actors shift from environment to environment. A second working paper explores how mental perceptions of networks evolve over time.

Network Change and Pro Bono (with Christiane Bode)
We analyze changes in workplace social networks after employees perform pro bono work, hypothesizing that those who perform pro bono work will have a more influential network position than those who only engage in traditional commercial projects. We test our hypotheses using rare longitudinal network data of 6 years of rotating project teams from a large, international consulting firm. This early-stage project combines my interests in social network and corporate social responsibility.

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
Small, Mario L., Vontrese Pamphile, and Peter McMahan. 2015. “How Stable Is the Core Discussion Network?Social Networks 40: 90-102.

Deeds, Vontrese and Mary Pattillo. 2015. “Organizational failure and institutional pluralism: A case study of an urban school closure.Urban Education 50.4: 474-504.

POLICY BRIEFS
Pamphile, Vontrese. 2014. “How School Closures Can Hurt Students by Disrupting Urban Educational Communities.Scholar Strategy Network. Key Findings Policy Brief.