World’s Best B-School Professors: Aks Zaheer
Claim to Fame: His wife, Sri Zaheer, is the new and dynamic dean of the Carlson School
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD, Strategic Management, 1992
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, MBA, 1975
St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, BA, Economics, 1973
At Carlson Since: 1991
Before Carlson: Had once been a Colgate-Palmolive product manager for dental products in India between 1978 and 1981
Fun Fact: Met wife, Sri, on the stage, in a play, in business school, where he cast her as his mother, and acted in it too!
If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be: The theater, Shakespearean theater
Best part of the job: The joy of discovering fresh ideas, and the ineffable joy of exposing students to fresh ideas, new perspectives, new ways of thinking and looking at things
Worst part of the job: The drudgery of grading!
When Aks and his wife Sri became rookie faculty members at Carlson in 1991, they had just graduated from MIT with their Phds. Dan Quayle was vice president of the United States and the iPod had yet to be invented.
But it did not take long for the husband and wife team to raise eyebrows at Carlson for their immediate contributions to the school. Aks has racked up a number of “best paper” awards for his thinking on strategy issues and has received numerous awards for teaching excellence, including the prize for MBA core faculty of the year in 1995, 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2011. His wife became dean of the school in March of 2012 after a nine-month stint as interim boss.
If you’re taking Business Strategy or Strategic Management, you’ll likely have Aks as your teacher—and you won’t be disappointed.
His current research is in strategic decision making in uncertain business environments, the antecedents and consequences of trust in organizations and in inter-firm exchange, and the dynamics of social structure, among others. He has published in many journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Academy of Management Journal.
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