A paper co-authored by Linda Argote, the David M. Kirr and Barbara A. Kirr Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at the Tepper School of Business, has been identified as one of the 12 most influential papers published in the first 50 years of the Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP) Journal. Argote’s paper, “Knowledge Transfer in Organizations: A Basis for Competitive Advantage in Firms,” laid the foundation for understanding knowledge transfer and its importance in firm success. This paper, which was co-written with Columbia’s Paul Ingram, is the second most cited paper in the history of the OBHDP Journal. Along with Tepper School Ph.D. student Erin Fahrenkopf, Argote wrote a paper of what has been learned since the original article was published in 2000. Titled “Knowledge Transfer in Organizations: The Roles of Members, Tasks, Tools, and Networks,” the update provides direction for future related research.
Steven Chase, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, was recently awarded a five-year, $800,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award to discover the link between neural mechanisms and skill learning. With the award, one of the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty, he also will research the behavioral factors that drive skill learning. “Practice makes perfect, in a pretty literal sense," Chase said. "When we improve at a skill over time, it is presumably driven by coordinated changes in our brain’s neural representation of how that movement should be completed. Yet, the link between how our brain reorganizes its neurons and how we learn a new skill is still largely unknown," he said. Find out more and watch the video.
Vinayak Kedlaya, a master’s degree student in mechanical engineering, helped to design and build the air treatment system for the new Tesla Gigafactory, which is slated to become the largest lithium-ion battery factory in the world by 2020. Kedlaya, who recently completed a three-month internship at the newly operational Gigafactory, helped the Tesla Motors and Panasonic Corporation partnership to develop and optimize air and wastewater treatment systems for the facility. The systems are used to manufacture lithium-ion battery cells for Tesla’s cars and energy storage devices. Find out more.
What happens when the systems we rely on go haywire? In an op-ed for the Christian Science Monitor, John H. Miller draws parallels between economic market crashes and the behavior of army ants. At any time, Miller notes, the ant colony’s behavior can short-circuit, leading the ants to march themselves to death. He says relying on our current complex economic system without understanding its implications could have similarly catastrophic results. Miller is a professor of economics and social science in the Dietrich College’s Department of Social and Decision Sciences. He is also the author of “A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in Business, Life and Society.” Read the op-ed.