Rucks Department of Management’s Mingtao Xu Co-Authored a Paper Accepted by the Academy of Management Review

December 15, 2020

Mingtao Xu
Mingtao Xu

BATON ROUGE- Rucks Department of Management Assistant Professor Mingtao Xu recently co-authored a paper that was accepted for publication by the Academy of Management  Review.

“Substituting Human Decision-Making with Machine Learning: Implications for Organizational Learning” was co-authored by Xu, Natarajan Balasubramanian (Syracuse University), and Yang Ye (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics).

In the study, the authors show that the richness of organizational learning relies on humans' ability to develop diverse patterns of action by actively engaging with their environments and applying substantive rationality. The substitution of human decision-making with machine learning has the potential to alter this richness of organizational learning. Though machine learning is significantly faster and seemingly unconstrained by human cognitive limitations and inflexibility, it is not true sentient learning and relies on formal statistical analysis for decision-making. The authors proposed that the distinct differences between human learning and machine learning risk decreasing the within-organizational diversity in organizational routines and the extent of causal, contextual, and general knowledge associated with routines. They theorized that these changes might affect organizational learning by exacerbating the myopia of learning. The authors also highlighted some important contingencies that may mute or amplify the risk of such myopia.

The full study is available online here: 

The mission of Academy of Management Review (AMR) is to publish theoretical insights that advance our understanding of management and organizations. Submissions to AMR must extend theory in ways that develop testable knowledge-based claims. To do this, researchers can develop new management and organization theory, significantly challenge or clarify existing theory, synthesize recent advances and ideas into fresh or entirely new theory, or initiate a search for new theory by identifying and delineating a novel theoretical problem. The contributions of AMR articles often are grounded in “normal science disciplines” of economics, psychology, sociology, or social psychology as well as nontraditional perspectives, such as the humanities.

About the Rucks Department of Management

The Rucks Department of Management at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business endeavors to prepare students for careers in fields such as international management, human resources and industrial/labor relations. A generous donation by LSU alumnus William W. Rucks and his wife, Catherine, has aided the department in securing faculty who are repeatedly recognized for their research and has supported student-affiliated organizations in achieving top honors nationally. For more information, visit our home page or call 225-578-6101.


Bridget Conrad
E. J. Ourso College of Business