Tag: Olin Award

2016 Olin Award (165x178)Todd Milbourn, the Hubert C. and Dorothy R. Moog Professor of Finance and Radhakrishnan “Radha” Gopalan, associate professor of finance, presented their findings on performance-based pay to the largest group yet at the 9th Annual Olin Award Winner’s Luncheon.

A write-up of the findings, a video, and the paper can be found here.

Guests at the luncheon included several CEOs and CFOs asking questions about company approaches to performance-based pay.

Alumni in the news

You’re in San Francisco on a business trip. You checked out of your room before an early morning meeting, have several more meetings before a client dinner followed by catching the Red Eye back to New York later. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a shower, refresh, put your feet up, catch up on email for an hour?

Emmanuel Bamfo

Emmanuel Bamfo

Enter, Recharge.  The startup co-founded by Emmanuel Bamfo, WashU BS ’11, is catering to busy business people who could use a place to recharge for for 67 cents a minute, or $40 an hour.

Cliff Holekamp says Bamfo was active on campus as an entrepreneurship student and won the Olin Cup in 2010 with QuadConnect.

An interview with Recharge’s CEO, Bamfo is featured in Tech Crunch.

“The offering sounds both brilliant and preposterous, yet it has already attracted some smart investors, including Scott and Cyan Banister and early Google engineer Harry Cheung, who’ve provided the company with $650,000 in seed funding. It’s raising up to $2.5 million altogether.

To learn more about the company, we chatted recently with CEO Emmanuel Bamfo, who held numerous brief stints at startups, including at the carpooling company Hitch (acquired by Lyft), before teaming up with two former classmates at Washington University in St. Louis to create Recharge.”
Link to interview.

A list of goals

Associate professor of marketing Robyn LeBoeuf presented research findings to an eager corporate audience in December at the first Praxis Series breakfast. Attendees were surprised to learn that speaking about goals in terms of weeks rather a specific date appeared to motivate people to take initial action toward pursuing goals.

Robyn LeBoeuf

Robyn LeBoeuf

There is more research to be done, as the Q&A time after her presentation proved. There are many more questions about how wording can affect goal-setting to motivate customers or employees.

LeBoeuf’s presentation included research published in her paper, “The Influence of Time-Interval Descriptions on Goal-Pursuit Decisions”. The paper was a top contender in the  2015 Olin Award competition that honors research that impacts business.

Contact or learn more about Professor LeBoeuf here.

Read previous Praxis and Olin Award papers here.

Professor Andrew Knight explained to business professionals, fellow faculty, and guests at the recent Olin Award luncheon what drives interpersonal influence in teams and connects patterns of influence to team performance. His latest research finds that individuals in teams defer to others based on specific attributes, either affinity based or task/skill based. The research concludes that the make-up of the team and patterns of deference determine the level of team performance and productivity.

Dr. Andrew Knight presents winning paper

Dr. Andrew Knight presents winning paper

Knight presented findings from his paper, “Who Defers to Whom and Why? Dual Pathways Linking Demographic Differences and Dyadic Deference to Team Effectiveness”. He is a co-winner of the 2015 Olin Award for this work that was co-authored with Aparna Joshi at the Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University.

The Olin Award, was created by Dick Mahoney, former CEO of Monsanto, in 2007. The competition encourages and rewards research generated by faculty of the Olin Business School that has the greatest potential to enhance business results. This year we received 20 submissions from Olin faculty members. For the first time, the judging resulted in a tie with Knight and Professor Anne Marie Knott as honorees.

Watch video of Prof. Knight talking about his research.



Judges of the 2015 Olin Award competition couldn’t choose just one winner this year from the field of relevant and rigorous research papers submitted by Olin faculty, so they named two winners. Professors Andrew Knight and Anne Marie Knott were each awarded the prize.

Professor Knott presented her paper, “Explaining the Broken Link Between R&D and GDP Growth,” on March 27 to business leaders from industries including pharmaceuticals, life sciences and technology, energy, and household product manufacturing.

Knott’s latest research grew out of her work on developing a measure of R&D productivity called the Research Quotient (RQ), which forms the basis for CNBC’s annual firm innovation rankings. RQ measures the percentage increase in revenues achieved from a 1 percent increase in R&D spending, and fits the construct in growth theory that predicts a firm’s profits, growth, and market value.

In searching for an explanation of RQ declines at some companies and the broken link between R&D productivity and GDP growth Knott realized there was a culprit hiding in plain sight: outsourced R&D!

Firms failed to realize outsourced R&D has zero returns! Thus while a 10% increase in internal R&D increases later revenues by 1.7%, a 10% increase in outsourced R&D has no impact on later revenues.

The good news is this problem is easily reversed! And it’s likely R&D can again drive firm and economic growth. If firms restore their prior R&D productivity levels by gradually bringing outsourced projects back in house, Knott predicts growth in firm revenues and GDP will follow.

Learn more about Professor Knott’s articles and presentations.


An Invitation

The 2015 Olin Award co-winner, Professor Andrew Knight, will present his paper “Who Defers to Whom and Why? Dual Pathways Linking Demographic Differences and Dyadic Deference to Team Effectiveness” on May 12. Professor Knight’s research explains what drives interpersonal influence in teams and connects patterns of influence to team performance. Register for this event by emailing your RSVP to CorporateRelations@olin.wustl.edu.

Read more faculty research and watch professor videos here.

The 2013 Olin Award winner Baojun Jiang, assistant marketing professor, presented his research on Pricing and Persuasive Advertising in a Differentiated Market at a recent luncheon hosted by the Office of Corporate Relations.

Pictured above left to right: Dick Mahoney, Baojun Jiang, and Mahendra Gupta.

The annual Olin Award was established in 2007 by Executive in Residence Dick Mahoney to recognize the faculty member whose research is most likely to impact business.  A panel of corporate executives is assembled each year to judge the submissions from Olin faculty.

The winner receives a beautiful crystal sculpture, a $10,000 prize (courtesy of Mr. Mahoney), and an opportunity to present his or her research to alumni and corporate executives invited to the Olin Award luncheon.

Prof. Jiang presents his work to corporate executives and former Olin Award winners

This is a great opportunity to showcase some of the inspiring and relevant research happening right here at Olin, to help inform the business decisions of our corporate friends.

Stay tuned for a video interview with Prof. Jiang and a blog post on the details of his research.

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