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2016 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Robert Lount, Fisher College of Business

Robert Lount Ohio State

Robert Lount

Associate Professor of Management and Human Resources

Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

Professor Robert Lount is making a significant impact in his field with his trailblazing research on employee motivation and trust in the workplace. His research findings and insights, which have been featured in prominent outlets such as Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, have also been incorporated into his curriculum, ensuring that Fisher’s MBAs are equipped with knowledge that’s relevant to real-world practitioners. Because of this, his course on negotiations is one of the most popular electives among MBA students at Fisher.

Professor Lount’s contributions to his field extend beyond Fisher and academia. Recently, he was selected by NASA to serve on a multi-disciplinary team of grant reviewers with the purpose of evaluating proposals that study the effective group dynamics necessary for a multi-year mission.

In 2012 Lount received the Pace Setter Faculty Research Award from Fisher and he’s a recipient of the Fisher College of Business Dean’s Recognition of Teaching Excellence.

Age: 38

At current institution since: 2007

Education: PhD Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, 2007

Courses you currently teach: Negotiations

Professor you most admire: J. Keith Murnighan – Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Keith was my PhD advisor and was incredibly generous with his time. I was fortunate to learn the ropes under his guidance.

“I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when…” I read research papers being published by business school faculty on the topics of negotiations and group dynamics.

“If I weren’t a b-school professor…” I’d be an entomologist. Namely, I would enjoy researching how insects that live in colonies coordinate, collaborate and work effectively together.

Most memorable moment in the classroom or in general as a professor: The first time I taught an undergraduate intro course with 250 students. There was a steep learning curve that semester.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Over the past several years I’ve been working with a social entrepreneurship professor, Geoff Kistruck, on projects aimed at understanding how organizations can better succeed in their poverty alleviation efforts. The work has required traveling to developing economies to collaborate with organizations in the field. In addition to finding the work to be incredibly rewarding, it was an honor to learn that one of our papers received the Best Paper in International Business Award at the Academy of Management Conference (2014).

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor? Teaching students who are eager to apply what they are learning in the classroom.

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? Grading

Fun fact about yourself: I played bass guitar in a punk rock band while in graduate school

Favorite book: Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.:

Favorite movie: Stranger than Fiction

Favorite type of music: Indie/garage rock

Favorite television show: Curb your Enthusiasm and Rick and Morty.

Favorite vacation spot: Oval Beach, Lake Michigan.

What are your hobbies? Music and exploring nature with my kids.

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…” Low student to faculty ratios with lots of experiential learning opportunities for students.

Students say…

“Professor Lount’s negotiations class is the perfect blend of theory and real-world application. His enthusiasm for teaching and his support of his students enhances our academic experience and prepares us for success as business and community leaders. I took the class to work on my fear of negotiation, and I gained the confidence to identify solutions or agreements that maximize the interests of all parties involved. Professor Lount’s negotiation course has been my most impactful course at Fisher College of Business.”

Anna Klatt, MBA 2016

“Dr. Lount is a consummate professional and a master at his craft —  negotiations. I realized this within minutes of his first lecture. He seamlessly guides his students every step of the way throughout his class and demonstrates an incredible commitment to making sure each student understands negotiations. I recommend his courses to every student I can, telling them that they shouldn’t graduate from Fisher without taking Dr. Lount.”

Matthew Keck, Fisher MBA 2017