Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level





Tomas Jandik

Committee Member

Wayne Lee

Second Committee Member

Scott Hsu


capital budgeting, capital structure, corporate finance, innovation, networks, social connections


In my dissertation I explore how personal networks affect firms’ financial decisions. In the first essay, I study how social connections among divisional managers affect the capital allocation to divisions in diversified conglomerates. In contrast to the previous studies, I focus on the horizontal connections or connections formed among managers of the same level of corporate hierarchy. I show that connections among divisional managers lead to higher sensitivity of segment capital spending to segment’s growth opportunities, higher firm-level allocation efficiency and higher firm value. Additionally, firms tend to strategically assign better-connected managers to these segments, and connections help to reduce internal information asymmetry. The results are consistent with the idea that connections facilitate interdivisional cooperation and better alignment of divisional and firm’s incentives.

In the second essay, I examine capital structure decisions of suppliers with social connections to major customers, which invest in relation-specific assets. Suppliers connected to major customers with relation-specific assets have higher debt ratios. The effect is more pronounced when intensity and duration of business relationship is high, and when information asymmetry between parties is high. In addition, building up debt helps suppliers to reduce underleverage and move faster toward target leverage ratios. Overall, the results are consistent with the view that connections help to strengthen implicit contracts through establishing trust between trading parties.

In the third essay, I study the effect of divisional manager-CEO social connections on the scale and success of corporate innovation activities. Divisional managers who previously worked or studied with CEO file a greater number of patents during their tenure at the segment. These patents receive more citations in future and represent a greater scientific and economic value. These findings can imply that socials connections help to mitigate adverse selection problems associated with R&D investments.