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UCLA Anderson’s Strategy area trains Ph.D. students to analyze a firm’s response to its environment and its competitors. Our faculty study external interactions of firms with customers, competitors, suppliers and government, and internal interactions with current and potential employees. We use economics as the main discipline to answer strategic questions, augmented by other disciplines such as psychology, sociology and political science. Our program introduces students to broad fields in strategic management such as competitive strategy, innovation, human resource management, entrepreneurship, global strategy, organization theory and market institutions.
From the Strategy Ph.D. Liaison

"As the Strategy area Ph.D. liaison, I welcome you to the study of strategic management at UCLA Anderson. Our program has a strong analytical orientation. Students take courses in strategic management, economics and other fields. The Strategy area at the UCLA Anderson School of Management administers the program. If you are motivated to create new knowledge and innovative research to help advance the field of business strategy, we encourage you to get in touch and apply."

Mariko Sakakibara, Ph.D.
Strategy Ph.D. Liaison

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Milestone Publications

First-Mover Advantages
Marvin Lieberman
Strategic Management Journal

In “First-Mover Advantages,” Marvin Lieberman – together with co-author David Montgomery – explores the theoretical and empirical literature on mechanisms that confer advantages and disadvantages on first-mover terms. In addressing what makes a first-mover advantage, Lieberman and Montgomery also delve into the conditions that create them, the mechanisms that support them, and the circumstances under which firms should pursue these opportunities. The two address major conceptual issues while giving recommendations for future research, and discuss managerial implications. The paper was published in Strategic Management Journal in 1998.

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When Do Research Consortia Work Well and Why? Evidence from Japanese Panel Data
Lee G. Branstetter and Mariko Sakakibara
The American Economic Review

Lee G. Branstetter and Mariko Sakakibara examined the impact of a large number of Japanese government-sponsored research consortia on the research productivity of participating firms by measuring their patenting in the targeted technologies before, during, and after participation. Consistent with the predictions of the theoretical literature on research consortia, they found consortium outcomes were positively associated with the level of potential R&D spillovers within the consortium and (weakly) negatively associated with the degree of product market competition among consortium members. Their evidence suggested that consortia are most effective when they focus on basic research. The American Economic Review published their findings in 2002.

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A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change as Informational Cascades
Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch
Journal of Political Economy

In this paper, Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch explored how an informational cascade occurs when it is optimal for an individual having observed the actions of those ahead of him to follow the behavior of the preceding individual without regard to his own information. The trio argued that localized conformity of behavior and the fragility of mass behaviors can be explained by informational cascades. Their findings were published by the Journal of Political Economy.

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Motivational Spillovers from Awards: Crowding Out in a Multitasking Environment
Timothy Gubler, Ian Larkin, and Lamar Pierce
Organizational Science

Timothy Gubler, Ian Larkin, and Lamar Pierce used data from an attendance award program implemented at one of five industrial laundry plants to show the complex costs of corporate awards. They showed that although the attendance award had direct, positive effects on employees who previously had punctuality problems, it also led to strategic gaming behavior centered on the specific eligibility criteria for the award. The award program temporarily changed behavior in award-eligible workers but did not habituate improved attendance. They also showed that the attendance award program crowded out internal motivation and performance in tasks not included in the award program. Their paper suggested that even purely symbolic awards can generate gaming and crowding out costs that may spill over to other important tasks.

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Alumni Success
Each year, we expect to enroll a handful of outstanding students with high potential to become professors at top business schools and other academic departments. Some of our recent graduates have accepted assistant professorships in the business schools at Columbia, Duke, Michigan, NYU, Rutgers and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

David Bardolet (’08)

Assistant Professor of Management and Technology, SDA Bocconi University

Dissertation: New Perspectives on Capital Allocation

David Bardolet's research interests include behavioral strategy, resource allocation and corporate strategy. His work has been published in Strategic Management Journal and Industrial and Corporate Change, as well as in edited collections from Oxford University Press and Kluwer. Mentored at UCLA Anderson by Professor Craig Fox, he is a collaborator at the Fox Uncertainty Lab.

Vanessa Burbano (’15)

Assistant Professor of Management, Columbia Business School

Dissertation: Three Essays on Corporate Social Responsibility

Now an Assistant Professor of Management in strategy at Columbia Business School, UCLA Anderson alumna Vanessa Burbano focuses her research topics on the intersection of corporate strategy and social/environmental issues, and on employee motivation. Her research has been awarded by the Strategic Management Society and the Strategy Research Foundation. Having joined Columbia in 2015, Burbano earned her Ph.D. from Anderson in 2011 and has also worked as an Associate at Goldman Sachs and as a Strategy Consultant at Monitor Group.

Bennett Chiles (’17)

Assistant Professor of Management, Columbia Business School

Dissertation: Shrouded Information and Strategic Transparency: Three Essays on Price Obfuscation

UCLA Anderson graduate Bennett Chiles has previously worked in strategy consulting, data analytics, and the non-profit sector. Now, she's an Assistant Professor of Management in strategy at Columbia Business School, having joined in 2017. Chiles' research looks at issues at the intersection of competitive strategy and behavioral economics, focusing on information disclosure and deceptive business practices. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2017.

Sara Parker Lue (’13)

Assistant Professor of Management and Global Business, Rutgers Business School

Dissertation: Conflict of Interest and Incentives in Health Care

After graduating from UCLA Anderson with a Ph.D. in 2013, Sara Parker Lue joined Rutgers Business School as an Assistant Professor of Management and Global Business. She focuses on teaching business policy and strategy, along with health care strategy, while her research focus is on strategic human resources, organizational economics of health care, boundary of the firm, impact of reputation on agency issues, and regulatory policy. Lue also earned her M.A. in Economics from UCLA in 2010.

James Owen Ostler (’13)

Assistant Professor of Strategy, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Dissertation: Strategic Risk Taking Under Competition

James Ostler earned his Ph.D. from UCLA Anderson in 2013, and has since become an Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Michigan Ross School of business. His research focuses on decision making under uncertainty, exploring how business decisions are made based on expectations of an uncertain future. Ostler has also worked at start-ups, and as a consultant for a Fortune 500 company.

Belen Villalonga (’01)

Professor of Management and Organizations, NYU Stern School of Business

First academic placement: Harvard Business School
Dissertation: 'Chop Shop' Valuation Models and the Diversification Discount

Belen Villalonga has written numerous articles on how family ownership and control influence the management and governance of firms as well as their performance. Her award-winning research has been published in leading academic journals and cited over 750 times in academic publications, and has been featured in CNBC, NPR, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, Expansion, Financial Times, Forbes, International Herald Tribune and many other international business publications. Since 2006, Villalonga has served as an independent director on the board of Acciona, a family-controlled Fortune Global 500 company in the infrastructure and renewable energy businesses.