Michael Slavensky Dahl, Professor

Michael S. Dahl (MSD) is a Professor of the Economics of Entrepreneurship and Organizations at the Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Denmark.


Phone: (0045) 9940 8268
Email: md(at)business.aau.dk
Web: msdahl.com

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He has a PhD (2004) and a MSc in Industrial Economics (1999) both from Aalborg University. Previously, he held visiting scholarships at Carnegie Mellon University, SCANCOR at Stanford University, and Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies. He has been awarded with the Spar Nord Foundation Research Award 2005, the Tietgen Gold Medal Research Award 2006, the Tuborg Foundation Business Research Award 2001, and the European Management Review Best Paper Award 2009. MSD is heading the newly founded research group for Entrepreneurship and Organizational Behavior at Aalborg University. He is a member of the board of directors of DRUID.

MSDs research focuses on broad issues related to the organization and performance of new businesses, economic geography, migration, population ecology and health outcomes. This research has been published in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, Social Forces, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Urban Economics, Research Policy, European Management Review, Industry and Innovation, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, and International Review of Applied Economics.

MSD teaches two core courses, Economic Environment and Competition and Innovation Strategy, at Aalborg University’s MBA Program, where he also co-coordinates the third semester.



Selected publications

Dahl. M.S., Dezsö, C. and  Ross D.G. (2012) Fatherhood and Managerial Style: How a Male CEO's Children Affect the Wages of his Employees. Academic Science Quarterly, vol 57, no.4, pp 669-693

Motivated by a growing literature in the social sciences suggesting that the transition to fatherhood has a profound effect on men’s values, we study how the wages of employees change after a male chief executive officer (CEO) has children, using comprehensive panel data on the employees, CEOs, and families of CEOs in all but the smallest Danish firms between 1996 and 2006. We find that (a) a male CEO generally pays his employees less generously after fathering a child, (b) the birth of a daughter has a less negative influence on wages than does the birth of a son and has a positive influence if the daughter is the CEO’s first, and (c) the wages of female employees are less adversely affected than are those of male employees and positively affected by the CEO’s first child of either gender. We also find that male CEOs pay themselves more after fathering a child, especially after fathering a son. These results are consistent with a desire by the CEO to husband more resources for his family after fathering a child and the psychological priming of the CEO’s generosity after the birth of his first daughter and specifically toward women after the birth of his first child of either gender.

Dahl, M.S. and Sorenson, O. (2012) Home Sweet Home: Entrepreneurs' Location Choices and the Performance of Their Venture. Management Science, vol. 58 no. 6, pp. 1059-1071.

Entrepreneurs, even more than employees, tend to locate in regions in which they have deep roots (“home” regions). Here, we examine the performance implications of these choices. Whereas one might expect entrepreneurs to perform better in these regions because of their richer endowments of regionally embedded social capital, they might also perform worse if their location choices rather reflect a preference for spending time with family and friends. We examine this question using comprehensive data on Danish start-ups. Ventures perform better—survive longer and generate greater annual profits and cash flows—when located in regions in which their founders have lived longer. This effect appears substantial, similar in size to the value of prior experience in the industry (i.e., to being a spin-off).

Dahl, M.S. (2011) Organizational Change and Employee Stress. Management Science, Vol. 53, No. 2, pp. 240-256.

This article analyzes the relationship between organizational change and employee health. It illuminates the potentially negative outcomes of change at the level of the employee. In addition, it relates to the ongoing debate over how employees react to and respond to organizational change. I hypothesize that change increases the risk of negative stress, and I test this hypothesis using a comprehensive panel data set of all stress-related medicine prescriptions for 92,860 employees working in 1,517 of the largest Danish organizations. The findings suggest that the risk of receiving stress-related medication increases significantly for employees at organizations that change, especially those that undergo broad simultaneous changes along several dimensions. Thus, organizational changes are associated with significant risks of employee health problems. These effects are further explored with respect to employees at different hierarchical levels as well as at firms of different sizes and from different sectors.