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Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

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Olin Award: Research That Transforms Business

Established in 2007, the Olin Award recognizes the important impact that scholarly research by Olin Business School faculty can make on business results.

Each year, faculty submit papers for consideration, and the papers are judged by a group of national business executives and educators. Richard Mahoney, Olin distinguished executive in residence and former chairman and CEO of Monsanto, initiated the award to promote scholarly research that has timely practical applications for complex management problems.

Winner(s) receive a $10,000 honorarium.

2014 winner

Lamar Pierce, associate professor of strategy, co-authored "Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity" (PDF), with Daniel Snow, Brigham Young University and Andrew McAfee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The researchers examine how investments in technology-based employee theft monitoring can improve profitability by both reducing misconduct and increasing productivity.

2013 winners

Baojun Jiang, assistant professor of marketing, co-authored "Pricing and Persuasive Advertising in a Differentiated Market" (PDF) with Kannan Srinivasan, professor of international business, Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. The researchers examine how competitive firms’ pricing and persuasive advertising strategies as well as profits are affected by changes in consumer preferences, unit production costs, and advertising efficiencies

2012 winners

Tat Y. Chan, associate professor of marketing; Chunhua Wu, PhD marketing (expected ’12); and Ying Xie, associate professor of marketing, co-authored the 2012 winning Olin Award paper: “Measuring the Lifetime Value of Customers Acquired from Google Search Advertising.” (PDF) The researchers developed a method to measure the value of Google pay-per-click advertising taking into account both online purchase and the potential for “cross-channel sales spillover” when online customers purchase goods or services off-line.

2011 winners

Radhakrishnan Gopalan, assistant professor of finance; Todd T. Milbourn, Hubert C. and Dorothy R. Moog Professor of Finance; and Anjan V. Thakor, director of the PhD program and John E. Simon Professor of Finance, co-authored the 2011 winning Olin Award paper: “The Optimal Duration of Executive Compensation: Theory and Evidence.” (PDF) This new research offers an evidence-based model to help the board of directors align the duration of the CEO’s compensation with the strategic needs of the company.

2010 winners

Judi McLean Parks, Reuben C. and Anne Carpenter Taylor Professor of Organizational Behavior, co-authored "Give and Take: Incentive Framing in Compensation Contracts" (PDF) with James W. Hesford, assistant professor of accounting, Cornell University. The research examines the relationship between different forms of compensation (performance-contingent and salary) and fraudulent behavior.

2009 winners

Markus Baer, assistant professor of organizational behavior; Kurt Dirks, professor of organizational behavior; and Jackson Nickerson, Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy, co-authored "A Theory of Strategic Problem Formulation."

2008 winners

Jackson Nickerson and Todd Zenger, Robert and Barbara Frick Professor of Business Strategy, co-authored “Envy, Comparison Costs and the Economic Theory of the Firm.”
The Olin Award