Unringing the stigma bell: Investigating informational and social mechanisms behind boards of directors’ appointments Defended on Friday, 10 March 2023

How do people make decisions? Traditionally, scholars would agree that decision-makers go through three steps in the decision-making process: (i) gathering information, (ii) evaluating such information, and (iii) deciding. Scholars have unveiled several important mechanisms and details about how information asymmetry influences the information gathering step or how social factors can shape the evaluation step in decision-making. Yet, little is known about how information asymmetry during the information gathering step of decision-making influences which social factors focal actors use in the evaluation step. My dissertation integrates the research streams on information asymmetry and social evaluations in the decision-making process. Specifically, in the three studies in this dissertation, I advance the decision-making field by theorizing more comprehensively about the actors’ decision-making process.

Overall, the studies in this dissertation contribute to the literature on decision-making by showing that it is important to study the interplay between information asymmetry and social evaluations to better understand how individuals make decisions. My broad intent with these studies is to urge decision-making scholars to embrace the complexity behind how individuals, and especially individuals at the top of organizations, make decisions. I also aspire with these studies to broaden our collective understanding of how individuals make decisions by leveraging the informational, social, and cognitive nuances via the integration of different theoretical insights.


Decision-making, Information asymmetry, Social evaluations, Director labor market, Stigma, Social categorization theory, Director selection, Director appointment, Board of directors, Career theory

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