In Brief

In Brief

Haas Welcomes New Students With Program Improvements

The Haas School kicked off the new academic year this fall with the debut of its leadership curriculum for MBA students and key improvements to its top-ranked undergraduate program.

Haas Expands Faculty With Seven New Assistant Professors

This fall the Haas School welcomed seven new assistant professors whose research spans a wide variety of topics, from online marketplaces to consumer behavior to labor economics.

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Matt Livingston, Won Kim, Pei-fu Hsieh, and Hind Chemsi (l. to r.), all MBA 12, participate in a data synthesis exercise in the new Problem Finding, Problem Solving course that was created as part of the school’s new Berkeley Innovative Leader Development (BILD) initiative.

Haas Welcomes New Students With Program Improvements


The Haas School kicked off the new academic year this fall with the debut of its leadership curriculum for MBA students and key improvements to its top-ranked undergraduate program.

From listening to Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone to IDEO General Manager Tom Kelley, MBA 83, Berkeley MBA students attended an activities-packed orientation that also introduced them to the school’s new Berkeley Innovative Leader Development (BILD) initiative right from the start. The first week of class then began with a new course created as part of BILD: Problem Finding, Problem Solving, taught by Senior Lecturer Sara Beckman.

The course, a prerequisite for newly required experiential learning classes, gives students an appreciation for how to find and define problems, as well as the tools, techniques, and processes for approaching “wicked problems,” which defy an easy solution, such as managing climate change and alleviating global poverty.

Meanwhile, Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen, a 1993 graduate of the Evening & Weekend MBA Program, talked about successful leadership with 240 new evening and weekend students during their orientation. “Always try to be exceptional,” Narayen said. If you can connect all the dots, your aspirations are not high enough, he added.

Undergraduate Program Executive Director Erika Walker and Dean Rich Lyons announced several improvements to the 364 new undergraduate business majors. To improve networking opportunities and the sense of community, the new class was grouped into six social cohorts, which will compete for prizes such as Giants baseball tickets. Academic changes include a greater focus on experiential learning. A tripling of funds from the Dean's Office is allowing the Undergraduate Program to expand popular no-credit workshops such as those offered by Training the Street, a Wall Street consulting firm.

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Haas Expands Faculty With Seven New Assistant Professors


This fall the Haas School welcomed seven new assistant professors whose research spans a wide variety of topics, from online marketplaces to consumer behavior to labor economics.

Noam Yuchtman 
PhD in Economics, Harvard 

“My work focuses on legal and educational institutions and their role, combined with human capital, in structuring labor market activity and promoting economic growth and development.”

Pnina Feldman 
PhD in Operations Management, University of Pennsylvania

“My work explores the implications of rational consumer purchasing behavior on firms’ pricing decisions, with applications in retail and services—an interdisciplinary topic that blends aspects of the operations management, marketing, and economics fields. I’m also interested in how firms can strategically use the negotiation process to achieve goals other than reaching a potential agreement.”

Ned Augenblick
PhD in Economics, Stanford

“I’ve been studying the Amazon Mechanical Turk, an online job market for very small and repetitive jobs. I hope to continue to use new technology to observe and understand online interactions in different markets.”

Ming Leung
PhD in Business Administration/Organizational Behavior, Stanford

“I’m interested in the effects of social categorization processes on market participants. Currently I’m studying how these dynamics affect transactions of small businesses and freelancers in an online market context.”

Clayton Critcher
PhD in Social and Personality Psychology, Cornell

“I am an experimentalist who studies psychology and consumer behavior, frequently looking to real-world concerns to motivate basic research. My recent research has included studies of public skepticism toward global warming, the influence of mind wandering on consumers’ sense of satisfaction, and the unintended negative consequences of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”

Panos Patatoukas
PhD in Accounting and Finance, Yale

“My PhD dissertation adopts a new integrative perspective on linkages among firms that calls for a joint exploration of elements of accounting, finance, marketing, and operations research. In recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of my research, the American Accounting Association Northeast Region awarded me its 2009 Best PhD Student Paper Award.”

Minjung Park
PhD in Economics, Stanford
Former Position: Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

“My main research interest lies in firm behavior in a competitive marketplace and various strategies used by firms to attain the competitive edge. I employ structural models to analyze how firms respond to institutional and market incentives and how the strategic interactions influence market structure and consumer welfare.”

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Talking Leadership with New Haas Prof. Don Moore


Don Moore In addition to the new assistant professors who joined Haas, visiting professor Don Moore became an official member of the Haas faculty this summer, bringing a wealth of knowledge about leadership to the school. Moore, an associate professor at Haas, came from Carnegie Mellon and earned his PhD in organizational behavior from Northwestern University. He has studied overconfidence, bargaining and negotiations, comparative judgment, and business ethics. CalBusiness spoke with Moore this summer to find out more about him. Here’s an excerpt from our interview.

What drew you to Haas?
A faculty position at Haas has been my dream job for a very long time. Haas is among the very best business schools in the world. The quality of colleagues is spectacular. The faculty, both at Haas and around campus, is vibrant and stimulating.

Why did you decide to specialize in organizational behavior and leadership?
Leadership is, of course, what most MBAs want to learn. They want to have an influence and advance in an organization. Leadership is a fascinating subject for research because it is incredibly complicated and poses profound questions. My research focuses on managerial overconfidence: how what you do and say makes others more willing to follow you, to what extent people are prone to claim they know more than they do, and how overconfidence impacts results.

What can MBA students expect from your version of the leadership class this fall?
“Leading People” is a core introductory class in organizational management. The course was restructured as part of the new Berkeley Innovative Leadership Development curriculum launched this fall. It’s a survey class based on a broad array of research.

People’s beliefs about human psychology and management practice are often based on intuition, not fact. When people show up to my class, they think they know a lot. They’ve worked in organizations and think they have evidence useful for assessing theories of management.

However, our intuitions are often unsystematic, based on small samples, and biased. It’s fun to explore the limits of our assumptions and talk about the surprising counterintuitive results of what research has exposed and how we can do better. People have theories about how to praise, motivate, and hire people. In this class, students learn how to deliver useful insight based on research.

Tell us about something counterintuitive about leadership.
Lots of people believe that confidence is necessary for effective leadership, and so they cultivate the display of confidence in order to inspire faith in their leadership potential. This belief is only half right: It is true that displaying confidence is often essential for being chosen for a leadership position. However, the most effective leaders are most definitely not the most confident. Overconfidence among leaders has tremendous costs for their organizations, colleagues, and shareholders. Effective leaders must understand the distinction between deliberation— when caution, clear-headedness, and wisdom are most valuable—and implementation, when the display of confidence becomes more useful for inspiring and motivating others to give their all.

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Alum Takes Helm of Lester Center


Andre Marquis Haas alumnus and technology entrepreneur André Marquis, MBA 96, became the new executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in August. Marquis graduated from Berkeley-Haas in 1996 after co-founding Cybergold, an Internet advertising company that later went public and was acquired by MyPoints. He then founded and served in executive positions for several technology ventures. While at Haas, Marquis was one of the founders of Incubator, Inc, the precursor of the current Berkeley Entrepreneurship Laboratory. Marquis succeeds David Charron, who served as interim executive director of the Lester Center after Jerry Engel stepped down in 2009 following 18 years in the position. Charron is now executive director of Berkeley Innovative Leader Development (BILD), the new innovative leadership curriculum that Haas rolled out this fall.

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Haas Takes Second in Energy Challenge


A Haas team won second place at the International Renewable Energy Case Challenge in Macedonia in June for its pragmatic plan to ease the Eastern European nation’s looming energy crisis. Christy Martell and Jeff Olson, both MBA 10, and teammate Taj Walton, BS 10 (Environmental Econ.), wrote a business plan to make solar thermal systems for home water heating affordable through an innovative leasing structure. Judges commented that the Haas proposal was the only one ready to go. The trio beat U.S. rivals in March to win $3,000 and the trip to Macedonia, but a Toronto team prevailed in the final round with a plan for a large-scale power plant.

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Beckman Wins Symposium Award

Sara BeckmanSenior lecturer Sara Beckman, along with colleagues from three other universities, won an Academy of Management award for a symposium on teaching design thinking. The group was selected to receive the academy’s Best Symposium in Management Education and Development Award from a field of 24 entrants. To be considered, the group submitted a paper outlining its symposium, which focused on how to integrate design thinking into business school curricula.

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