Edward (Ned) Smith
Edward (Ned) Smith

Associate Professor of Management & Organizations

Print Overview

Ned Smith is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and Associate Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Northwestern, Ned was the NBD Bancorp Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Administration at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2010 and BAs in East Asian Studies (Chinese literature and language) and Political Science from Yale University in 2003.

Ned’s research is on the construction and consequences of organizational identity, with particular empirical emphasis on financial markets and the hedge fund industry. He draws on sociological and network-based theories of markets to develop and test new identity-based models of decision-making, organizational behavior, and market evolution. His research in this area was awarded a Kauffman Foundation Fellowship in 2009. More recently, Ned’s 2011 article on investor decision-making in the hedge fund industry ("Identities as Lenses," Administrative Science Quarterly) was awarded the Best Published Paper Award by the Academy of Management. A second avenue of Ned's research works to connect research on cognitive processes and network theories of social capital to better understand how people utilize (and squander) the resources available to them in their social networks. This research analyzes how people mentally construct their social worlds—i.e., their social networks—according to various psychological and situational factors. Ned has published his research in leading management and sociology journals including the American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, The Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Management Science, Organization Science, and Research in Organizational Sciences.

Ned has taught courses on corporate- and business-level strategy as well as a PhD seminar on research methods. He was awarded the University of Michigan Neary Teaching Excellence Award in 2012 and was nominated for that award in 2011. At Kellogg Ned will teach a new elective called “Strategy Implementation.” In addition to his teaching in the classroom, Ned frequently speaks at investor and hedge fund conferences around the world.

Areas of Expertise
Behavioral Finance
Creativity and Innovation
Group Dynamics
Management of Organizations
Organizational Structure and Relationships
Strategic Leadership
Strategic Management and Implementation
Print Vita
Ph.D., 2010, Economic Sociology and Organizational Behavior, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
B.A., 2003, East Asian Studies (Chinese Language and Literature), Political Science, Yale University, Yale University
Mandarin Chinese Immersion, 2001, Beijing Capital University of Economics and Business

Academic Positions
Associate Professor of Organizations and Management, MORS, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Bank One Corp Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Administration, Strategy, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 2012-2013
Assistant Professor of Strategy, Strategy, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 2010-2013

Print Research
Research Interests
Decision Making, Social Networks, Organizational and Group Structure and Relationships, Market Emergence, Creativity and Innovation, Social Structure of Organizations and Markets

Smith, Ned and Yuan Hou. Forthcoming. Redundant Heterogeneity and Group Performance. Organization Science.
Menon, Tanya and Ned Smith. 2014. Identities in Flux: Cognitive Network Activation in Times of Change. Social Science Research. 45: 117-130.
Smith, Ned, Tanya Menon and Leigh Thompson. 2012. Status Differences in the Cognitive Activation of Social Networks. Organization Science. 23(1): 67-82.
Bothner, Matthew, Young-Kyu Kim and Ned Smith. 2012. How Does Status Affect Performance? Status as an Asset versus Status as a Liability in PGA and NASCAR. Organization Science. 23(2): 416-433.
Bothner, Matthew, Joel Podolny and Ned Smith. 2011. Organizing Contests for Status: The Matthew Effect Versus the Mark Effect. Management Science. 57(3): 439-457.
Smith, Ned. 2011. Identities as Lenses: How Organizational Identity Affects Audiences' Evaluation of Organizational Performance. Administrative Science Quarterly. 56(1): 61-94.
Bothner, Matthew, Ned Smith and Harrison White. 2010. A Model of Robust Positions in Social Networks. American Journal of Sociology. 116(3): 943-92.
Bothner, Matthew, Richard Haynes, Wonjae Lee and Ned Smith. 2010. When do Matthew Effects Occur?. Journal of Mathematical Sociology. 33(2): 80-114.
Book Chapters
Smith, Ned. 2013. "From Role Conflict to Evaluation Discordance: How do Conflicting Performance Evaluations Affect Risk Taking in Multiple Audience Contexts?." In Received Wisdom, Kernels of Truth, and Boundary Conditions in Organizational Studies, edited by Daniel J. Svyantek, Kevin T. Mahoney, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Strategy, Organizational Structure and Decision Making, Research Methods, Statistics, Social Network Analysis
Macro-Organizational Research Methods (MORS-426-2)
This course offers an introduction to empirical social science methods with particular attention to issues relevant to organizational research done outside the laboratory. It focuses on questions of research design – how to turn a research question into an empirical study that can answer the question. Organizational research employs a plurality of methods and the course is designed to allow students to fully understand, evaluate and employ different methods. The course offers a survey of the most common non-experimental research approaches in organization studies, strategic management and economic sociology, examines their logic of inquiry, and evaluates the relative advantages. In addition, we examine how common challenges, such as measurement, causality and multi-level data structures, are addressed across designs. In practice, modes of scientific inquiry not only involve empirical designs for data collection and inference, but also genres of motivating, writing and publishing research, and so the course addresses these aspects as well.

Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Strategy Implementation (MORS-455-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Management & Organizations.

Two-thirds of business and corporate strategies fail not due to poor strategy or flawed logic but poor execution. However smart a new strategy may be, it takes informed managers and strong leadership to make it a successful one. Expanding on the lessons from MGMT 431, this course focuses on strategy implementation, with emphasis on the decisions, actions, structures, and conditions that facilitate the successful attainment of strategic objectives. Our guiding framework involves applying principles of social organization to mobilize the necessary resources to pursue a given strategy.