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September 18, 2007


Posted on Behalf of Robert Meyer ([email protected])  
Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

2008 Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships for

Research on Human Decision Processes and Risk


The Wharton Center for Risk and Decision Processes is pleased to announce the 3rd edition of the Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships, which constitutes a new funding opportunity for doctoral research on human decision making at Penn.  The funding will take the form of research awards in the $1,000-$2,500 range, funds that can be used to support data collection, travel, and other research related expenses. The 2006-2007 fellowships supported 15 students from various departments at Wharton and Penn. In the coming year, we would like to support a similar number of fellowship recipients.

We hope to use these fellowships to facilitate the development of a doctoral student research community in the area of decision making under uncertainty.  As such, in addition to the direct funding, award recipients will be invited to participate in two Center-sponsored seminars to be hosted at the Wharton School, one in late Fall 2007 and a second in early Summer 2008.

The first seminar is designed to provide students with the opportunity to present their research ideas in the early stages. The 2007-2008 recipients will be responsible for organizing the second event, a one-day conference gathering doctoral students from Penn and other universities; a conference by and for doctoral students undertaking research in related fields.

Students engaged in on-going research that relates to problems in decision making under risk and uncertainty are encouraged to apply.  Proposals can reflect a broad range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, and may include tests on economic theories of risky decision making, investigations into the role of emotions in decision making, and group decision making.

Proposals should be 2-3 pages in length, and include the following information:

  1. Project title and descriptive summary (1-2 pages);
  2. Name of primary faculty member with whom the student is      working;
  3. Proposal must be signed by the primary faculty member, or      by the advisor;
  4. Detailed budget describing the anticipated expenses; and     
  5. Description of other current sources of research and      travel funding from your department.

 The deadline for proposals is Friday, October 5, 2007.  

 Please send the complete proposal and additional information to Cynthia Anderson @[email protected]

The research fellowships are named in honor of an endowment provided to the Wharton School by Russell Ackoff, the Anheuser-Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science at the Wharton School.  Professor Ackoff is a very well-known and distinguished member of the Penn faculty community, whose life’s work has been dedicated to furthering our understanding of human behavior in organizations.  It is in the spirit of continuing this legacy by supporting doctoral training that the fellowships have been named.

The Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center is a nexus of people and projects devoted to furthering the practical understanding of how to manage situations of risk involving health, safety, and the environment in both the private and public sectors of our society. Since it’s creation in 1984, the Center has been at the forefront of research into the management of low-probability/high-consequence events, i.e. extreme events. In addition to working on programs of basic and applied research, Risk Center faculty serve on national and international advisory committees, with partnerships in government, academia, industry, and NGOs.

Building on the disciplines of economics, decision sciences, finance, insurance, and marketing, the Center's research program is focused on descriptive and prescriptive analyses. Descriptive research focuses on how individuals and organizations interact and make decisions regarding the management of catastrophic risk. Prescriptive analyses propose ways that individuals and organizations, both private and governmental, can make better decisions regarding risk. The Center supports and undertakes field and experimental studies of risk and uncertainty to understand better the link between descriptive and prescriptive approaches to decision-making in coping with technological and natural hazards under various regulatory, environmental, and market conditions. Center research investigates the effectiveness of such strategies as incentive systems, insurance, regulation, and the communication of risk information.

Website: http://opim.wharton.upenn.edu/risk/

Howard Kunreuther                  Robert J. Meyer                      Erwann Michel-Kerjan

Co-Director                               Co-Director                             Managing Director

[email protected], [email protected] [email protected]


Posted by ACASA on September 18, 2007 at 05:17 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

Systems Thinking -- Mental Model Musings

This web site has seen many changes over the years though if there is one thread of continuity which runs through the content it has much to do with the concept of systems.

You can access this blog post @:    Mental Model Musings

Posted by ACASA on September 14, 2007 at 10:12 AM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 07, 2007

The Annual Colloqium of EGOS (European Group on Organizational Science)

24th EGOS Colloquium
July 10–12, 2008
VU University Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Upsetting Organizations


Call for Papers

In historical consciousness, the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC) has come to represent both the pride and the shame of the maritime reign of the Netherlands in the 17th century. The VOC is credited as the first multinational corporation in the world, and it was the first company to issue stocks. Sailing the seas from Spitsbergen to Cape Horn and into the Pacific, the VOC set up global trade networks, accumulated exorbitant wealth, and contributed to an era of Dutch economic and cultural prosperity, the remnants of which can still be admired in cities like Amsterdam. The company known as the symbol of the Dutch Golden Age also came to represent the dark sides of Dutch economic expansion. The VOC did not hesitate to use ugly and socially upsetting tactics, such as war, enslavement, torture and mass murder, to accomplish its objectives. The Dutch East India Company therefore symbolizes the potentials of organized human action to initiate activities that are tremendously successful yet, at the same time, utterly upsetting.

Intense media coverage of organizational crises, scandals and disasters has brought the darker side of organizations to the forefront of public attention in recent years. Yet, organizational theory has paid little attention to organizations causing or facing disorganization, disorder and decay. It could be – and perhaps should be – more upsetting to management and organizations by unmasking organizational rhetoric and revealing actual practices or develop counterintuitive interpretations and groundbreaking, provocative theories; qualities that give organization studies a dynamic and slightly unsettling quality by being in counterpoint to the orthodoxy of mainstream thinking. Investigating the implicit or even silent features of organizational life and organized societies is a key task for organizational research in its role of upsetting the easily observed and taken-for-granted aspects of organization. The challenge for the field of organization studies, and for this conference, is to address theoretical implications of upsetting events and develop insights that upset the field of organization studies anew.

Sub-themes: http://www.egosnet.org/conferences/subthemes/groups.php?conf_id=6

Posted by ACASA on September 7, 2007 at 09:46 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack