Management conference celebrates anniversary of influential faculty publication

The Penn State Smeal College of Business Department of Management and Organization hosted a conference last month to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the most influential articles in the history of management.

“Upper Echelons: The Organization as a Reflection of its Top Managers,” authored by Evan Pugh Professor and Smeal Chaired Professor of Management Don Hambrick and co-author Phyllis Mason, appeared in the Academy of Management Review in 1984.

“Smeal’s Department of Management and Organization features some of the top talent in management thought in the world, and this conference provided great visibility in that area.”

-- Dennis Gioia, Robert & Judith Klein Professor of Management, Chair of the Department of Management and Organization, Smeal College of Business

The paper brought together and expanded upon previously fragmented research to link organizational outcomes with the values and experience of the organization’s upper management, spurring a new strain of research related to the “upper echelons” theory.

Selected as the best paper of the journal’s first decade, it has been cited more than 1,800 times in the Web of Science citation index and more than 5,000 times in Google Scholar.

The conference was attended by some of the top strategic management scholars in the world, from institutions such as Harvard, Northwestern, Texas, INSEAD and Seoul National University.

“Smeal’s Department of Management and Organization features some of the top talent in management thought in the world, and this conference provided great visibility in that area,” said Dennis Gioia, department chair and Robert & Judith Klein Professor of Management.

Hambrick, a Smeal faculty member since 2002, is widely known for his research related to CEOs and top management teams, executive leadership, corporate governance, and strategy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Colorado, a master of business administration in marketing and planning/control from Harvard University and a doctoral degree in organizational strategy and planning from Penn State.

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Last Updated June 19, 2014