IAS Distinguished Lecture

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World


One of the ironies of spheres ranging from business and nature to public policy is that simplicity is often the best approach to tackling the complexity that often occurs. Combining decision-making research with complexity theory, the speaker will describe “simple rules”, indicate their advantages and disadvantages, and unpack distinct kinds of rules and their implications for performance. In this lecture, she will also touch on the evolution of rules and their implications of different kinds of markets by weaving research and examples.

About the speaker

Prof. Kathleen Eisenhardt obtained her PhD in Organizational Behavior from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 1982. She is currently the Stanford Warren Ascherman M.D. Professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and the Co-Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. She is also an Affiliate at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

Prof. Eisenhardt’s research focus is strategy and organization, especially in technology-based companies and high-velocity industries. She is currently studying the use of heuristics and other cognitive strategies, strategic interaction in new markets and novel ecosystems, and strategy making by boards of directors. She has served on the editorial boards of ASQ, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. She is also the co-author of Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos, winner of the George R. Terry Book Award for outstanding contribution to management thinking.

Prof. Eisenhardt was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management and of the Strategic Management Society, and is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). She has received many professional awards and honors including the Scholarly Contributions to Management Award from the Academy of Management, the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research, the Richard D. Irwin Outstanding Educator Award and honorary degrees from London Business School, Aalto University, Chalmers University of Technology and University of Hasselt. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Start-Up Chile and consults at senior levels with firms in industries ranging from Internet, telecommunications, software, and biotech to agribusiness, semiconductors, and clean tech.

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