Derek Harmon, UofM Ross School of Business

The Social Origins of Valuation: Entrepreneurial Arguments and Stock Market Reactions in New Markets
Derek Harmon


Fall 2018
Lecture Time: 
Friday, November 30, 2018 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 
R0220 Ross School of Business
Introduced By: 
Michal Russo


This paper investigates how a new way of valuing organizations emerges in financial markets. We theorize that organizations in the early stages of a new market can actively shape how investors over time come to value firms in that space. Using internet initial public offerings from 1997 to 2012, we show that organizations argued for and eventually altered the way the stock market now values internet firms. This emergence process unfolds over two stages. First, the earliest organizations in the market introduce and legitimate a new understanding of value, thus establishing a shared basis of intelligibility with investors. Second, once this new understanding is established, organizations that subsequently enter the market are able to use new valuation metrics that were previously deemed nonsensical. Moreover, supplementary analyses suggest that high levels of excitement surrounding the new market may help new ways of valuing get off the ground more quickly. This study offers insight into how new understandings of value and their associated valuation metrics can emerge over time and lays the groundwork for future research on the social origins of valuation in financial markets.

Recording & Additional Notes