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Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

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Bret Sanner, PhD, Organizational Behavior

Research Interests:
Organizational behavior and theory: power and status as well as team learning and adaptation

Dissertation Title: “How teams make better decisions under duress”

Abstract: Teams are unlikely to utilize their knowledge when their organizations need them to the most - in anxious situations. Unfortunately, research has not shown how teams can improve their information use when they are anxious. My dissertation develops and tests a theory that addresses this issue. Specifically, I propose that situational framing can impact teams’ goals thereby influencing the extent to which their members collaborate. When anxious situations are framed as opportunities, members are motivated to achieve positive outcomes and to understand the situation resulting in engagement in information sharing and ultimately better outcomes. When circumstances are left unframed or framed as threats, teams constrict their focus and make poor decisions. This theory is tested using a large scale experiment.

Faculty Advisor:
J. Stuart Bunderson

Previous Employment:
  • Instructor of Economics and Organizational Management -- Agnes Scott College (2014)
  • Manager of New Products and Innovation -- Blackstone/Travelport (2010 – 2011)
  • Turn-Around Expert -- McMaster-Carr (2007 – 2010)
  • Associate Consultant -- The Boston Consulting Group (2005 – 2007)
Education:
  • 2014 MS Business Administration, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 2005 BS Economics, Concentration in Finance, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Curriculum Vitae | Email