06 Dec 2011

Annual Research Awards Presented to Five Doctoral Students

Accolades given for innovative dissertation research

BOSTON—The Harvard Business School Doctoral Programs, directed by Kathleen McGinn, the School's Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, have presented four Wyss Awards for Excellence in Doctoral Research and one Martin Award for Excellence in Business Economics to five Harvard doctoral candidates. These prizes are presented annually to outstanding students engaged in innovative dissertation research.

The Wyss Awards are named in honor of Hansjoerg Wyss (MBA 1965) who in 2004 established the Hansjoerg Wyss Endowment for Doctoral Education. The Wyss Endowment supports a broad range of efforts to strengthen the HBS Doctoral Programs, including fellowships and stipends for doctoral students, increased support for field research, new doctoral course development, teaching skills training, and the renovation of doctoral facilities on campus.

The Roger Martin Fund for Doctoral Research was established in 2006 through the generosity of Roger Martin (MBA 1981), currently Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The fund was created in memory of HBS professor John Lintner, a world-renowned expert in finance, who was a mentor to Martin.

The 2011 Wyss Awards recipients are:

  • Ryan W. Buell (Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), Technology and Operations Management)
    While a large portion of service operations research explores the effect of customer behavior on operations, Buell's work reverses the direction of the analysis. In particular, operational choices intended to optimize firm profits can backfire if they diminish customer experiences and, in the process, alter whether and how customers choose to execute their role in the firm's operating system. To date, Buell's research has empirically examined how three specific operational choices - the level of service quality a firm chooses to provide relative to its competitors, the degree of customer heterogeneity a firm chooses to accommodate in its operating system, and whether and how a firm chooses to automate service - affect the experiences and behaviors of its customers, and in turn, its performance. With his work, Buell seeks to simultaneously improve the profitability of service organizations and the in-process experiences of their customers.
  • Zoë Chance (Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), Marketing)
    Chance's dissertation, "Live Long and Prosper," investigates how consumers' behavior influences their preferences and shapes their identities in counterintuitive ways. Chance finds that, contrary to rational expectations, cheating makes people feel smarter, charitable giving makes donors feel wealthier, and spending time on others leads people to believe they have more time. This research also explores the consequences of these effects on productivity and purchase behavior.
  • András Tilcsik (Ph.D., Organizational Behavior)
    Tilcsik's research examines how organizational and institutional environments affect individuals' performance and opportunities within organizations. He studies, in particular, three such phenomena: the effect of early career conditions on subsequent individual performance, the effect of workplace discrimination on individuals' opportunities, and the effect of large-scale institutional changes on individual outcomes. This research not only contributes to the subjects of work and inequality, social capital, and institutional theory, but also addresses such significant issues as job performance, employment discrimination, and organizational change.
  • Chia-Jung Tsay (Ph.D., Organizational Behavior)
    Tsay's research focuses on the psychological processes that influence decision making and interpersonal perception and choice in performance and competitive contexts. Using a multi-method approach, she explores the impact of visual information on judgment. Tsay also examines how expertise and unconscious biases affect judgments of performance. This research holds implications for organizational outcomes such as leadership, team dynamics, interpersonal influence, and communication in the global business environment.

The 2011 Martin Awards recipient is:

  • Jacob Dov Leshno (Ph.D., Business Economics)
    Leshno's research investigates allocation mechanisms that assign items without the use of monetary transfers. A focus of his research is assignment through waiting lists, for example the assignment of public housing apartments to eligible applicants. Since apartments are geographically dispersed and applicants have heterogeneous location preferences, it is important to assign applicants to the apartments they prefer. Leshno developed tools to model this process, allowing him to introduce novel queuing policies that match applicants to their preferred apartments. These policies allow applicants to decline a mismatched apartment at a low cost, freeing it to be assigned to another applicant who prefers it.

Harvard Business School grants the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) in five areas of study: accounting and management, marketing, management, strategy, and technology and operations management. In addition, in conjunction with Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, it offers Ph.D. programs in business economics, health policy management, and organizational behavior. At any given time, approximately 130 HBS doctoral students are completing course work or working on their dissertations at the School.


Kristen Raymaakers

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.