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Biography

Kellogg School of Management
Associate Professor of Management & Organizations, Associate Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

Ned Smith is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Associate Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology at Northwestern University, and faculty affiliate of the Northwestern Institute for Complexity (NICO). Prior to joining Northwestern, Ned was the NBD Bancorp Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2010 and BA in East Asian Studies (Chinese literature and language) and Political Science from Yale University in 2003.

Ned has two main areas of research. First, he studies the effects of social structure on the behavior and decision-making of individuals and organizations. His research in this area was awarded a Kauffman Foundation Fellowship in 2009. More recently, Ned's articles on investor decision-making in the hedge fund industry ("Identities as Lenses," Administrative Science Quarterly), and market responses to new executive appointments ("Better in the Shadows", with Kevin Gaughan) were awarded the (2012) Best Published Paper Award by the Academy of Management and the (2016) Best Paper Award by the Academy of Management, respectively. Second, Ned works to connect research on cognitive processes and network theories of social capital to better understand how people utilize (and squander) the resources available to them in their social networks. This research analyzes how people mentally construct their social worlds, i.e., their social networks, according to various psychological and situational factors.

Ned has published his research in leading management and sociology journals including the American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, The Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Management Science, Organization Science, Social Networks, Strategic Management Journal, Social Science Research, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Research in Organizational Sciences. He is currently a senior editor at Organization Science and is a member of the editorial board at Administrative Science Quarterly.

Ned teaches MBA and executive-level courses on strategy implementation, social networks, strategic alliances, and social media, as well as doctoral-level courses on quantitative research methods. While at Michigan Ned was the recipient of the Neary Award for Teaching Excellence (top professor as voted by students). Since coming to Northwestern Ned served as Searle Teaching Fellow for the 2014-15, Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching. 

Areas of Expertise Behavioral Finance
Creativity and Innovation
Group Dynamics
Management of Organizations
Organizational Structure and Relationships
Strategic Leadership
Strategic Management and Implementation

Education Ph.D., 2010, Economic Sociology and Organizational Behavior, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

B.A., 2003, East Asian Studies (Chinese Language and Literature), Political Science, Yale University, Yale University

Mandarin Chinese Immersion, 2001, Beijing Capital University of Economics and Business

Academic Positions Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, MORS, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present

Bank One Corp Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Administration, Strategy, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 2012-2013

Assistant Professor, Strategy, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 2010-2013

Honors and Awards 2016 Best Paper Award, Academy of Management (OMT Division)

Fellow, Searle Institute for Teaching and Learning

Forbes "Data Freaks" Award for Best Published Research Using Qualtrics Platform, Forbes

2012 Best Published Paper Award, Academy of Management (OMT Division)

Neary Teaching Excellence Award, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Kauffman Foundation Fellowship for research in entrepreneurship, Kaufman Foundation

Economist Intelligence Unit Global Business Professor of the Year (Nominee), Economist Intelligence Unit

Editorial Positions Senior Editor, Organization Science, 2016

Editorial Board Member, Administrative Science Quarterly, 2014-Present

Associate Editor, American Journal of Sociology, 2009-2010

Education Academic Positions Honors and Awards Editorial Positions

Read about executive education

Cases

Smith, Ned. 2015. Aura: Designing Strategy and Status in Saudi Arabia. Case 5-115-002 (KEL924).

This case gives students the opportunity to explore the concept of organizational status as a competitive asset. CEO Noura Abdullah of Saudi furniture retailer Aura founded her company as a middle-market furniture and home goods store offering affordable yet design-savvy products. By many accounts, both tangible and intangible, Aura had been a success. By late 2014, Aura had drawn considerable attention from several high-status Saudi wedding planners and media outlets, including Harper’s Bazaar Interiors, Elle Décor, and Martha Stewart Weddings. This attention yielded unusually strong conversion rates (the percentage of visitors to the store who made a purchase). Foot traffic, on the other hand, remained unexpectedly low, leading Abdullah to wonder whether the high-status affiliations had unintentionally signaled to mid-market consumers that they would not be able to afford Aura’s products, keeping such customers away. Students will decide, along with Abdullah, how to handle this unique “problem” as Aura enters a growth phase to other Saudi and Middle Eastern markets.

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