Best Paper Award

The Best Paper Award recognizes the empirical or conceptual paper submitted to the Academy of Management annual meeting that offers a significant contribution to the field of organization and management theory.

2020 Best Paper Award Winner

Wage Stagnation and the Rise of Merit Pay, 1974-1991

Nathan Wilmers (MIT) and Maxim Massenkoff (UC Berkeley)

Past Winners

2019 Colleen Stuart and Roman V. Galperin (Johns Hopkins University). "Extra-organizational determinants of careers: Gendered expert authority and attainment of patent examiners."

2018 Matthew Metzger (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs) and Jennifer Howard-Grenville (University of Cambridge). "Role Regeneration as a Pathway to "Powerless" Category Persistence."

 Paul Ingram and Yoonjin Choi (Columbia U.). "From Affect to Instrumentality: The Dynamics of Values Homophily in Professional Networks"

2016 Kevin Patrick Gaughan and Ned Smith (Northwestern University). "Better in the Shadows? Media Coverage and Market Reactions to Female CEO Appointment"

2015 Kenji Klein (California State U., Long Beach) and Renee Rottner (New York U.). "Weeding out the competition: How alternatives are eliminated during institutionalization"

2014 Adam Cobb (U. of Pennsylvania) and Flannery G. Stevens (U. of Utah). "These Unequal States: Corporate Organization and Income Inequality across the US States”

2013 James Westphal (University of Michigan) and Guy Shani (University of Michigan). "Social Distancing from Journalists who Engage in Negative Coverage of Firm Leadership"

2012 Scott D. Graffin (University of Georgia), Jonathan N. Bundy (University of Georgia), James B. Wade (Emory University), Joseph Porac (New York University), and Dennis Quinn (Georgetown University). "Negative Returns to Status: The 2009 Expense Scandal and Its Impact on Parliamentary Elites”

2011  Jim Westphal (University of Michigan), Sun Hyun Park (University of Michigan), Michael McDonald (University of Central Florida) and Matthew Hayward (University of Colorado, Boulder). “Helping Other CEOs Avoid Bad Press: Impression Management Support Among CEOs Toward Journalists”

2010  Maxim Sytch (University of Michigan). “Where Do Conflictual Ties Come From? Exploring the Role of Spatial Distribution of Principals and Mediating Agents”

2009  Joel Baum (University of Toronto), Robin Cowan (University of Maastricht), and Nicolas Jonard (University of Luxembourg). “Network-Independent Partner Selection and the Evolution of Innovation Networks”

2008 Jason Davis (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). “Network Plasticity and Collaborative Innovation: Processes of Network Reorganization”

2007 Andrew V. Shipilov (INSEAD), Giuseppe Labianca (University of Kentucky), Yuri Kalnysh (Ukrainian Academy of Public Service), and Valentyn Kalnysh (Ukrainian Institute of Public Health). “Career Related Network Building Behaviors, Range Social Capital and Career Outcomes”

2006 James Westphal and Michael Bednar (University of Texas, Austin). “How Top Managers use Interpersonal Influence to Neutralize the Effects of Institutional Ownership”

2005 Michael B. Elmes and Steven S. Taylor (Worcester Polytechnic Institute). “From Chaos to Tempered Radicalism: The Form and Content of Organizational Resistance”

2004 Angelo Fanelli (HEC), Vilmos F. Misangyi (University of Delaware), and Henry L. Tosi, Jr. (University of Florida). “Proven Winners? The Effects of CEO Charisma on Securities Analysts”

2003 Bryant A. Hudson (Louisiana State University), and Gerardo A. Okhuysen (University of Utah). “They’re Doing What in There? The Prevention of Social Stigma and Illegitimacy in the Bathhouse” and Mooweon Rhee (Stanford University), and Pamela R. Haunschild (University of Texas, Austin). “The Liability of Good Reputation: A Study of Product Recalls in the U.S. Automobile Industry”

2002 David Barry (Victoria University, Wellington), and Claus Rerup (University of Pennsylvania). “Calder and the Network: Towards Movement and Aesthetic Consideration in Network Theorizing”

2001 Scott Shane and Rakesh Khurana (Harvard University). “Bringing Individuals Back In: The Effects of Career Experience in New Firm Founding”

2000 E. Geoffrey Love (Rice University). “Changing Technical and Institutional Influences on Adoption of an Administrative Practice: Downsizing at Large U.S. Firms, 1977-1995”

1999 David Strang (Cornell University), and Michael W. Macy (Cornell University). “'In search of excellence': Fads, success stories, and communication bias”

1998 Gautam Ahuja (University of Texas, Austin). “Collaboration Networks, Structural Holes, and Innovation: A Longitudinal Study”

1997 Eric Abrahamson (Columbia University), and Gregory Fairchild (Columbia University). “Management Fashion: Lifecycles,Triggers & Collective Learning Processes”

1996 James D. Westphal, Ranjay Gulati and Stephen M. Shortell (Northwestern University). “The Institutionalization of Total Quality Management: The Emergence of Normative TQM Adoption and the Consequences for Organizational Legitimacy and Performance”

1995  Patricia H. Thornton (Duke University) and Nancy Tuma (Stanford University), “The Problem of Boundaries in Contemporary Research on Organizations”


1993 Gerald F. Davis (Northwestern University). “Who Gets Ahead in the Market for Corporate Directors”



1990  Lori Rosenkopf (Columbia University). “When Do Bandwagon Diffusions Roll? How Far Do They Go? And When Do They Roll Backwards?: A Computer Simulation”