World’s Best B-School Professors: Aks Zaheer

A master teacher and and strategic thinker, Aks Zaheer has been inspiring MBA students at Carlson for more than 20 years

Aks Zaheer

University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management

 

Claim to Fame: His wife, Sri Zaheer, is the new and dynamic dean of the Carlson School

Education:

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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About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.