USC Marshall School of Business
Darla Moore School of Business



Darla Moore School of Business
Professor, Academic Director, Master of Human Resources


Anthony J. Nyberg teaches courses in negotiations, compensation and performance management, and research methods.

Nyberg’s research focuses on how organizations compete through people, specifically the strategic role of pay in their attraction, emergence, retention and motivation, including those in the C-suite. Nyberg’s work has been published in top academic journals. He serves as an associate editor for the Academy of Management Journal and on the editorial boards of other prestigious management journals. Nyberg has received numerous awards for teaching, reviews and research including awards for best dissertation, best published manuscript (twice) and career success, including being named a Featured Scholar and a Breakthrough Rising Star by the University of South Carolina. He also received the Early Career Achievement award from the Academy of Management. His research has been highlighted in major international media outlets, including Business Week, Time Magazine, National Public Radio, US News & World Report, Harvard Business Review and CNBC.

Nyberg received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prior to that, he earned an MBA from Tulane University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Mathematics from St. John’s College. Nyberg served for nine years as the managing partner for an international financial services firm based in Northern California, where he held Series 7, 24, 55 and 63 licenses, and he earned his certified financial analyst designation. During that time, he was also a licensed mediator and arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers.

What courses do you teach?
Why should a student take your class? How does your class help students become employable?

In all of my classes, students are expected to think and apply knowledge garnered in the class to real-world situations. Hence, students may not be more employable just for having one of my classes on their transcript, but students frequently return to tell me that they are clearer problem-solvers, better workers and more effective employees due to the experience.

What do you research? What kind of projects are you working on?

My research focuses on how organizations compete through people. Currently, this means that my primary focus involves examining how organizations can use compensation to optimize group performance. I am also deeply involved in examining the processes behind how boards of directors make decisions, particularly in terms of CEO succession. However, the research that I find most fun is identifying the silliness that permeates academic research.

How do your research projects make a difference?

My research is directly applicable, as evidenced by the implementation of some of my research ideas, for how organizations manage turnover, compete through compensation and design processes for making C-suite succession decisions.

Briefly describe a few of your current projects.

One of our current research projects involves interviewing board members from Fortune 500 firms to ascertain the processes that they use to make CEO succession decisions. Another project involves running laboratory experiments to determine the optimal pay mix for maximizing group performance.

How do you involve students in your projects?

We use undergraduates primarily as subjects in our experiments. Our more motivated masters students help with collecting data, and our doctoral students are fully engaged partners. However, there have been cases where exceptionally motivated and talented students, at all levels, have become more substantively involved with research.

What inspires you about your work?

The opportunity to think deeply about meaningful topics makes every day fun — this is why being a tenured research professor is one of the greatest jobs in the world. Hearing companies recognize the uniqueness and value of our work is an added bonus that always brings joy.

What are you doing when you’re not working?

I don’t understand this question.

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