Tag: Faculty



Ten years ago, Hillary A. Elfenbein published a major review of research that examined emotion in the workplace in the Academy of Management Annals. Since then, her paper has been cited more than 500 times. At the recent Academy of Management (AOM) annual meeting, Elfenbein’s work was honored as the Annals’ paper that has made the greatest impact over the past decade. Elfenbein is the John K. Wallace, Jr. and Ellen A. Wallace Distinguished Professor at Olin and she teaches organizational behavior.

AOM Decade Award recipient

Hillary A. Elfenbein

“Emotions in Organizations:

A Review and Theoretical Integration”

Vol. 1, Issue 1, 1 December 2007

 

“The paper was an integration of all of the research that had ever been done on emotion in the workplace,” Elfenbein explained. “Interestingly enough when I started out, emotion was considered a fringe topic. I actually got very sage advice from my mentors that I should give this up and find a serious topic to work on.”

Elfenbein became interested in emotion in the workplace a few years after Daniel Goldman’s popular book Emotional Intelligence was published in 1995. Despite the discouragement from mentors and a general lack of respect for the topic among academics in business schools, Elfenbein was determined. “I’m a bit stubborn and I persisted with the topic even though it was really something that I had to fight for in graduate school to be able to work on.”

By 2006, there was an explosion of research on emotion in the workplace, but Elfenbein found that it was disconnected and disjointed. “With this paper I was trying to draw together all of this new research into one theoretical, unified model,” she explained. Her work has clearly become a touchstone and great resource for researchers delving into the now accepted academic field of emotion in the workplace.

Elfenbein adds that she felt very fortunate and honored to receive the award from the AOM. “The best part is that it came with an umbrella. I got a little plaque and a big umbrella!”

About the Academy of Management 
The mission of the Academy of Management Annals is to provide up-to-date, in-depth examinations of the latest advances in various management fields. Each yearly volume features critical and potentially provocative research reviews written by leading scholars exploring an assortment of research topics. Annals reviews summarize and/or challenge established assumptions and concepts, pinpoint problems and factual errors, inspire discussions, and illuminate possible avenues for further study. Research reviews published in the Annals are geared toward academic scholars in management and professionals in allied fields, such as sociology of organizations and organizational psychology.



As the world learned in 2008, a global financial crisis can happen when economists least expect (or predict) it. But according to Gary Gorton, finance professor at Yale’s School of Management, it will happen again. He estimates the next crisis will come in 10 to 15 years. Gorton shared his analysis of the 2008 financial crisis at an event sponsored by the Wells Fargo Advisors Center for Finance and Accounting Research at Olin, Aug. 16.

Gorton will address the Finance Theory Group Summer School, meeting at Olin this week, at 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 18, in Emerson Auditorium, Knight Hall. His topic will be: “The Private Money View of Financial Crises.”

Gorton’s 2010 book, Misunderstanding Financial Crises, Why We Don’t See Them Coming, provides historical context for understanding the 2008 financial crisis and why economists and policy makers need to recognize that crises are inevitable and inherent to our financial system. To those who thought that a crisis could not happen again in the US after the Great Depression, Gorton is blunt: “That economists did not think such a crisis could happen in the United States was an intellectual failure.”

Unlike the 1929 crash with bank runs like the scene in the Frank Capra film, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the causes of the 2008 crisis were less visible. Cloaked in electronic trading, complex financial ‘innovations’, and unregulated derivative securities trading within the Shadow Banking system, Gorton said economists were blind to what was really happening in the financial markets.

Gorton points to the lack of data available from financial institutions as a major handicap for economists and policy makers who need to track activity to more accurately understand the markets and see signs of crisis before it’s too late. Gorton calls for a new information infrastructure to be built by the Office of Financial Research established under the Dodd-Frank legislation. He argues collecting and sharing data would help regulators as well as economists to more accurately measure risk and liquidity in the markets.

Gary Gorton and Rich Ryffel, Olin Senior Lecturer in Finance

Bio
Gary B. Gorton is The Frederick Frank Class of 1954 Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management, which he joined in August 2008. Prior to joining Yale, he was the Robert Morris Professor of Banking and Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught from 1983 to 2008. Dr. Gorton has done research in many areas of finance and economics, including both theoretical and empirical work. He is the author of Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007 (Oxford University Press) and Misunderstanding Financial Crises (Oxford University Press).

Dr. Gorton has consulted for the U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, various U.S. Federal Reserve Banks, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, and the Central Bank of Turkey. He was a consultant to AIG Financial Products from 1996 to 2008.

Dr. Gorton received his doctorate in economics from the University of Rochester. In the field of economics, he received master’s degrees at the University of Rochester and Cleveland State University, and also received a master’s degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan.




Prof. Lamar Pierce will present significant new findings on the impact of employee wellness programs on employee productivity at 8 a.m., Sept. 12, in Bauer Hall as part of the Research Impacts Business breakfast series.*

The Wall Street Journal featured the research conducted by Pierce and former Olin PhD student Tim Gubler, in its Aug. 9 edition. UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Prof. Ian Larkin is the third author of the paper, “Doing Well by Making Well: The Impact of Corporate Wellness Programs on Employee Productivity,” forthcoming in the journal Management Science.

The WSJ noted that it has been challenging for researchers to link daily employee productivity data to comprehensive measures of employee health, and whether and how these measures changed after introduction of a wellness program.

The study empirically tested how wellness programs affect worker productivity. The research paired individual medical data from employees taking part in a work-based wellness program to their productivity rates over time.

“When you give people the tools and the opportunity to be physically and mentally healthier, it’s not just that they’re more likely to be at work,” said Lamar Pierce, professor of organization and strategy at Olin Business School. “Those employees are also more likely to be productive.”

Timothy Gubler and Lamar Pierce

Pierce and co-authors Timothy Gubler, assistant professor of management at the University of California-Riverside, and Ian Larkin, assistant professor of strategy at UCLA Anderson School of Management, used data from an industrial laundry company that provides a free, voluntary wellness program each year to its employees.

They matched a three-year panel of medical data for 111 employees with their work performances, which were accurately measurable by the number of pieces or tasks completed in a factory setting. The researchers also used self-reported data from the employees, as well as evaluations from physicians who examined each employee’s medical progress as the program continued. All information was kept confidential and anonymous.

“We were able to compile comprehensive data on employee health, spanning 42 separate blood tests and a detailed survey of health and lifestyle habits,” Gubler said. “Then we were able to link this data, and how it changed after the wellness program, to daily productivity records for the employees. The ability to link such detailed health data to records of employee productivity was unprecedented.”

The researchers compared data for employees that participated in the health plan to employees at a different plant from the same company who weren’t offered the wellness program.

The results were striking and significant: The researchers found wellness programs boosted health and productivity. Participating employees’ productivity jumped by between six and 11 percent compared to those who didn’t participate in the program, with the largest gains for those who improved their health. When further quantified, that figure equaled a 76 percent return on investment for the company after introducing its wellness program.

“Companies have traditionally focused on the reduction in absenteeism and insurance rates when calculating the ROI of these programs,” Larkin said. “Our research suggests that a reduction in ‘presenteeism’ – showing up to work with low energy and therefore lower levels of productivity – may be the primary benefit of these programs.”

“The longest-lasting productivity gains came from employees who improved their lifestyle habits,” he added. “In fact, even healthy employees who were spurred to adopt a healthier diet, exercise more or reduce stress via the wellness program exhibited strong growth in daily productivity.”

The authors offer a caveat to companies that might be interested in putting an employee wellness program into place and practice. There are definite factors that can make or break the program, and the resulting ROI. Employee buy-in is a must.

“The company we studied didn’t try to force people into doing this, they respected their privacy and they have a long relationship and tradition of treating their employees with respect and maintaining that trust,” Pierce said.

*To attend, contact CorporateRelations@olin.wustl.edu

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Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, MBA 2002, Chief Business Officer and Co-founder of online marketplace Shopclues, a highly successful startup based in India, talks about the importance of mentors in her career in an interview with the Economic Times.

“I have had several mentors who have greatly influenced different aspects of my growth and learning in the past 20 years or so. My dean at Washington University, Dr Mahendra Gupta, former dean, Olin Business School, had a great influence on me during my early professional career.

“I have known my current mentor for almost 10 years now. …The most important professional advice I got from my mentor was to always hire someone better than yourself.’ She said, ‘If you find that you are generally the smartest person on the table then there is something wrong.'”

Link to Economic Times article.

Related blog post.




First came cable. Then streaming services. Now Amazon, Facebook, and Google want to get a piece of the action when it comes to bidding on rights to ‘broadcast’ major sports events and professional leagues’ seasons.

Patrick RIshe

An article in Barron’s last weekend prompted the conversation on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” Monday, Aug. 7, with Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Olin.

Will the broadcast television networks be able to out bid the dot.com billionaires for broadcast rights? Stay tuned. Or watch the convo here on CNBC.

CATEGORY: News