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Biography

Kellogg School of Management
Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University

Brian Uzzi is a globally recognized scientist, teacher, consultant and speaker on leadership, social networks, and big data. He is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at the Kellogg School of Management, and professor of sociology and professor of engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering.  At Northwestern, he is also codirector of NICO, the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and the director of the Kellogg Architectures of Collaboration Initiative (KACI).  Besides his positions at Kellogg, he has been on or visited the faculties of Harvard University, INSEAD, University of Chicago, and the University of California of Berkeley where he was the Warren E. and Carol Spieker Professor of Leadership.  He has been awarded 13 teaching prizes and 12 scientific research prizes worldwide.  

His research has been funded by a wide variety of government and private agencies and uses social network science and computational methods to predict outstanding human achievement. His research has appeared in the WSJ, Newsweek, The Economist, The New Yorker, Fortune, other media outlets and TV.  His research spans disciplines and has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, American Journal of Sociology, Harvard Business Review, Science, The Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PLOS One, Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin, WWW, and Nature.

Brian has advised and spoken at major organizations and associations in over 30 countries, including the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), Baker and McKenzie, Deloitte, Pepsico, Kraft, Abbott Labs, UNITE, Total Quality Schools, Hearst Media, ABN AMBRO, CreditSuisse, P&G, McKinsey, the World Bank, U.S. intelligence agencies, Intel, Thomson Reuters, PwC, and other corporations and non-profits worldwide.

Before Kellogg, Brian worked as a management consultant, carpenter, and a musician. He earned his MS in social psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Ph.D. in sociology from The State University of New York at Stony Brook.

To read more about Professor Brian Uzzi's research and teaching, visit his personal web site: www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/uzzi/index.htm

Areas of Expertise Behavioral Finance
Creativity and Innovation
Innovation
Social Media
Social Networks

Education PhD, 1994, Sociology, State University of New York, Stony Brook

MA, 1991, State University of New York, Stony Brook

MS, 1989, Organizational Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University

BA, 1982, Business Economics, Hofstra University

Academic Positions Faculty Director, Kellogg Architectures of Collaboration Initiative (KACI), Northwestern University, 2013-present

Co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), Northwestern University, 2007-present

Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering (Courtesy), Northwestern University, 2007-present

Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2006-present

Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts of Sciences (Courtesy), Northwestern University, 2005-present

Professor of Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2005-present

Warren E. and Carol Spieker Chair in Leadership, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, 2007-2008

Visiting Professor of Strategy, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, 2004-2005

Summer Fellow, Santa Fe Institute, 2003-2003

Summer Fellow, Santa Fe Institute, 2002-2002

Visiting Professor of Strategy and Organization Behavior, INSEAD, 1999-2000

Faculty Fellow, Insitute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 1998-2000

Associate Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts of Sciences (Courtesy), Northwestern University, 1996-2004

Associate Professor of Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1996-2004

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts of Sciences (Courtesy), Northwestern University, 1993-1995

Assistant Professor of Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1993-1995

Honors and Awards 2016 World Wide Web (WWW) Best Paper Prize in Computer Science, World Wide Web/Computer Science, 1 year

Star-Nelkin Science, Knowledge and Technology Award, Honorable Mention, American Sociological Association, 2015

Starred Outstanding Paper Award, Conference on Complex Systems, 2015

Professor of the Year, Kellogg Executive MBA Program

Kellogg Alumni Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2009

Editorial Positions Ad-hoc Reviewer, Science

Managing Editor, PNAS

Ad-hoc Reviewer, Nature

Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Journal of Sociology

Ad-hoc Reviewer, Administrative Science Quarterly

Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Sociological Reivew

Education Academic Positions Honors and Awards Editorial Positions

Read about executive education

Cases

Wuchty, Stefan and Brian Uzzi. 2011. Human Communication Dynamics in Digital Footsteps: A Study of the Agreement between Self-Reported Ties and Email Networks. PLoS ONE. 6(11): e26972.

Digital communication data has created opportunities to advance the knowledge of human dynamics in many areas, including national security, behavioral health, and consumerism. While digital data uniquely captures the totality of a person's communication, past research consistently shows that a subset of contacts makes up a a person's social network of unique resource providers. To address this gap, we analyzed the correspondence between self-reported social network data and email communication data with the objective of identifying the dynamics in e-communication that correlate with a person's perception of a significant network tie. First, we examined the predictive utility of three popular methods to derive social network data from email data based on volume and reciprocity of bilateral email exchanges. Second, we observed differences in the response dynamics along self-reported ties, allowing us to introduce and test a new method that incorporates time-resolved exchange data. Using a range of robustness checks for measurement and misreporting errors in self-report and email data, we find that the methods have similar predictive utility. Although e-communication has lowered communication costs with large numbers of persons, and potentially extended our number of, and reach to contacts, our case results suggest that underlying behavioral patterns indicative of friendship or professional contacts continue to operate in a classical fashion in email interactions.

Wuchty, Stefan and Brian Uzzi. 2011. Human Communication Dynamics in Digital Footsteps: A Study of the Agreement between Self-Reported Ties and Email Networks. PLoS ONE. 6(11): e26972.

Digital communication data has created opportunities to advance the knowledge of human dynamics in many areas, including national security, behavioral health, and consumerism. While digital data uniquely captures the totality of a person's communication, past research consistently shows that a subset of contacts makes up a a person's social network of unique resource providers. To address this gap, we analyzed the correspondence between self-reported social network data and email communication data with the objective of identifying the dynamics in e-communication that correlate with a person's perception of a significant network tie. First, we examined the predictive utility of three popular methods to derive social network data from email data based on volume and reciprocity of bilateral email exchanges. Second, we observed differences in the response dynamics along self-reported ties, allowing us to introduce and test a new method that incorporates time-resolved exchange data. Using a range of robustness checks for measurement and misreporting errors in self-report and email data, we find that the methods have similar predictive utility. Although e-communication has lowered communication costs with large numbers of persons, and potentially extended our number of, and reach to contacts, our case results suggest that underlying behavioral patterns indicative of friendship or professional contacts continue to operate in a classical fashion in email interactions.

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