Ned Smith is the Bank One Corporation Assistant Professor of Business Administration & Strategy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business prior to joining the faculty at Ross in 2010.
Ned’s research focuses primarily on the construction and consequences of organizational identity, with particular empirical emphasis on financial markets. He draws on sociological and network-based theories of markets to develop and test new identity-based models of organizational behavior and investor decision-making. Ned is currently analyzing the effect of market turbulence on the likelihood that new organizationsspecifically, “equity market neutral” hedge fundsmake and, more importantly, live up to strong identity claims. A second avenue of Ned’s research analyzes how people mentally construct their social worldsi.e., their social networksaccording to situational and environmental variations. For instance, he has shown that high- and low-socioeconomic status people exhibit markedly different patterns of “cognitive network activation”i.e., recalling who is relevant in one’s social networkunder the equivalent situational threat of job loss. Whereas high-status people tend to recall more expansive networks when under threat, low-status people do just the opposite. This research strives to connect work on cognitive processes and structural theories of network formation to better understand how people utilize (and squander) the resources available to them via their social networks.
Ned’s research has been published or is forthcoming in leading management and sociology journals including the American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, The Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Management Science, and Organization Science. In 2009 Ned was awarded a Kauffman Foundation Fellowship for his research on the role of organizational identity in the hedge fund industry. A paper ("Identities as Lenses") derived from this research was awarded the Best Published Paper Award by the Academy of Management (OMT division) in 2012. Ned was also recently awarded (2012) the Neary Teaching Excellence Award by Ross school students. He was nominated for the award in 2011. Ned previously served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Sociology.