Professor Grennan’s research focuses on intangible value creation and emphasizes the role informal and formal governance systems have in its creation. She offers novel computational techniques for quantifying the value of corporate culture and sustainability objectives. Her recent work examines how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and FinTech applications are changing the nature of financial services and workplace interactions more broadly. This research helps to inform debates about optimal regulation for such innovations.
Professor Grennan received her Ph.D. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Wellesley College. Prior to attending The Wharton School, Grennan worked at the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the World Trade Organization, and KPMG.
Duke University, Fuqua School of Business
VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
University of California Berkeley, Law School and Haas School of Business
Finance, Culture, Law, and Innovation
Eldar, O., and J. Grennan, J., 2021 "Social Change through Financial Innovation: Evidence from Donor-advised Funds" (R&R Review of Corporate Finance Studies) [in-progress]
Gorton, G., J. Grennan, and A. Zentefis, 2021 "Corporate Culture" being prepared for Annual Review of Financial Economics. [in-progress]
Grennan, J. 2021, "Decomposing the Value of Corporate Culture" [in-progress]
Grennan, J., C. Makridis, and M. Zator, 2021, "AI-augmented Culture and Leadership" [registered RCT]
Grennan, J., W. Mann, and D. Rock, 2021, "FinTech Regulation: An Inclusive Approach" [in-progress]
Corporate culture is an important driver of business value, and policymakers often blame dysfunctional cultures for egregious actions at firms like Wells Fargo, VW, Toshiba, Uber, and Pinterest. Building on a broader literature on corporate institutions, this course examines antecedents and consequences of corporate culture through the lens of an informal institution. We will learn how differences in espoused and lived cultural values are associated with various business outcomes. Then, we will study specific cases to recognize when, how, and why aspirational ideals may not be met. Finally, we will examine how leaders can foster a culture that meets the evolving regulatory and stakeholder expectations surrounding ethics and compliance.
I've been honored to teach Corporate Finance across a number of programs: MS, MBA, EMBA, PhD, and JD. I always say that maximizing firm value is a team sport, so I'm happy to partner with students where they are in their careers and help them to learn about how investment, financing, and payout decisions are made. I was awarded Fuqua's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017. Links to recent syllabi for the PhD and MBA courses: [PhD], [MBA].
ESG READING GROUP
In 2020, I helped design an ESG reading group for graduate students at Duke. Link to the reading list: [ESG].
INSIDE THE BOARDROOM
This course examines the relationships between corporate managers and the boards of directors charged with overseeing them. While boards are legally bound to represent the interests of equity investors, when carrying out this duty they are often called on to respond to the needs of numerous other stakeholders and society at large. With mistakes instantly transmitted via social media, the reputational stakes to global brands are very high. To better understand these challenges, we will review research on modern corporate governance practices and study specific situations where boards and management teams faced governance challenges.
THE WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dissertation title: "Social Forces in Corporate Finance"
Dissertation committee: David Musto, Mark Duggan (co-chairs), Michael Roberts and Todd Sinai
Completed a Master's degree in Mathematics and Statistics while working full-time in Washington, D.C.
Double majored in Economics and Classical Civilizations
INQUIRE Europe Research Grant for "ESG Integration Across Funds and Debiasing Data"
Best Paper in Corporate Governance awarded by IRRC for "Corporate Culture: Evidence from the Field"
Duke Intellectual Community Planning Grant for "Big Data and Social Interactions"
Thomas Edison Innovation Award, George Mason University
Fuqua's Junior Faculty Recognition Research Grant
Best Paper in Corporate Governance awarded by IRRC for "A Corporate Culture Channel: How Increased Shareholder Governance Reduces Firm Value"
KPMG's Global Valuation Research Grant for "Decomposing the Value of Corporate Culture"
Duke's Center for Financial Excellence Research Grant
AEA's CSWEP Cement Fellow
WFA's Cubist Systematic Strategies Award for Outstanding Research for "A Corporate Culture Channel: How Increased Shareholder Governance Reduces Firm Value"
Best Finance PhD Dissertation Award, Olin Business School for "A Corporate Culture Channel: How Increased Shareholder Governance Reduces Firm Value"
Mack Institute for Innovation Management Research Grant for "Patent Value and Citations: Creative Destruction or Strategic Disruption?"