2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Franklin Shaddy, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Congrats to Franklin Shaddy of the UCLA Anderson School of Management for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.


Franklin Shaddy

UCLA Anderson School of Management

“Professor Shaddy’s grasp of, and enthusiasm for, behavioral decision making and marketing blew me away. I came into business school entirely focused on going into investment banking; I considered marketing to be among the least desirable fields. After going through Professor Shaddy’s class, I now found marketing and the behavioral decision making that underpins it to be truly fascinating. Furthermore, my impression of marketing was limited to Don Draper types being struck by genius mid-pitch. Professor Shaddy taught me that marketing does indeed have an element of romance to it, but the field is almost entirely driven by science, and there is a reason for each ad that I see when surfing the web. Our class was 3 hours and 15 minutes, beginning at 8:00 a.m. In every single one of those classes, Professor Shaddy was enthused and ready to attack the material. He was generally loved by my classmates.”Kevin Egan

Franklin Shaddy, 35, is Assistant Professor of Marketing and Behavioral Decision Making at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

He is interested in understanding how consumers form judgments and make decisions in the marketplace. His current research examines goals and motivation, the psychology of bundling, perceptions of fairness, and the causes and consequences of consumer impatience.

Prior to academia, he worked as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. 


At current institution since what year? 2018

Education: Ph.D., University of Chicago Booth School of Business; M.A., Columbia University; B.B.A., University of Michigan

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Marketing Management 


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I first read “Predictably Irrational,” by Dan Ariely. It opened my eyes to an entire world of consumer behavior research that I simply did not know existed. Literally from that point forward I decided to become a marketing professor. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I’ve become really interested in exploring beliefs about fairness—what consumers think is fair, what isn’t, and why. It’s important because there are so many concepts that we teach in business school that might make sense in a vacuum, but which can blow up in your face if you don’t think about whether it will be viewed as fair. For example, any basic economics textbook will tell you that the profit maximizing response to a demand shock is to raise prices (assuming some degree of market power). But I probably don’t need to convince you that price gouging is a bad idea (and, for that reason, often illegal). Most examples aren’t so cut-and-dry, though. We just emerged from a pandemic where it was really critical that we were allocating things fairly. Every time Taylor Swift goes on tour we wish ticketing were fairer. I think you can make a strong case that basically every political fight on Capitol Hill ultimately boils down to disagreements about what is fair. My goal is to develop theories to better understand the causes and consequences of these fairness perceptions in the marketplace. 

If I weren’t a business school professor… I almost wasn’t! The first time I applied to Ph.D. programs I was rejected from all of them (persistence something something—though remember survivorship bias anytime you hear that advice). I left management consulting for academia (and investment banking for management consulting before that). So, the boring answer is probably something along those lines. The less boring answer is a journalist, though I’d probably be terrible at it. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? Lame jokes. The trick is to explain them pedantically afterward. Two rounds of half-hearted laughs for the price of one. 

One word that describes my first time teaching:  michael_scott_business_school_guest_speaker.gif

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Enforce the laptop ban. 

Professor I most admire and why: I’ve been #blessed to have learned from so many great people over the years (Leonard Lee, Anuj Shah, Hal Hershfield, to name just a few), but I really owe everything to my Ph.D. advisor, Ayelet Fishbach. She taught me how to do research, how to ask thoughtful questions, how to navigate the publication process, career decisions—everything, really. Not to mention she’s simply an amazing person. If I could look back on my career and have just a fraction of the impact she’s had (both professionally and personally), I’d be thrilled. 


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I like to tell my students that had I not gotten a Ph.D., I would be in their shoes (or seats, really). I had always planned to get an MBA myself. And as an undergraduate in a BBA program, I went through internship recruiting, superdays, interview bidding—all that good stuff. I think that background helps me relate, and it’s very motivating. 

What is most challenging? Getting them to pronounce my last name correctly: rhymes with “caddy” (my high school summer job). 

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Thoughtful.

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Distracted.

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… “Did you read the syllabus?”


What are your hobbies? My single greatest obsession in life is the University of Michigan Wolverines football team. Go Blue!

How will you spend your summer? Lots of travel. 

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Wherever is next.

Favorite book(s): I will be forever indebted to my tenth-grade English teacher for making us read—very much against our will, to be clear—The Elements of Style (Strunk and White) and On Writing (Stephen King). Not exactly gripping page-turners, but if you write for a living, essential. The gripping page-turners, for me, are anything written by Michael Lewis. 

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? I have seen the movie Dumb and Dumber no fewer than 50 times. 

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Every week for the last 10 years I have downloaded and listened to Tiesto’s “Club Life” podcast. Perfect soundtrack for analyzing data. 


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… diversity. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… fostering a sense of belonging.  

I’m grateful for… my health, family, friends, and dog. Life is short. 


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