MG4G4      Half Unit
Topics in Management Research

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Diane Reyniers NAB5.22


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Diploma in Accounting and Finance, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Economics and Management and MSc in Management and Strategy. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students must have prior knowledge of microeconomics and econometrics.

Course content

This course addresses various interesting topics which will be used to encourage creative and logical thinking, structuring of clear arguments and critical assessment of evidence. The focus is on interpretation of findings rather than statistical or econometric techniques.

The intellectual backbone of the course is applied and empirical economics (including behavioural economics) and finance but wherever appropriate contributions from the psychology, sociology and management literature will be discussed. We will mainly deal with issues which are amenable to rigorous empirical investigation. The course is designed around a set of empirical research papers. Examples of questions considered are whether pain killers are more effective when they are expensive, whether creative people cheat more, whether people overvalue their own ideas.

The main objective of the course is to enable students to comprehend and critically assess the management literature,, to evaluate statements in terms of evidence and to detect false reasoning or logic.

Topics vary each year (based on student feedback) but examples are racial discrimination, negotiation and gender, graduate earnings, leadership, hiring.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the LT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with Departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Two mock exams in the MT.

Indicative reading

A course pack containing all materials (lecture slides, articles, seminar sheets) will be available to students taking the course. The following readings are indicative only as topics vary:

Lecture 1: The IKEA effect and ideas

Hooshangi, S. & G. Loewenstein (2016) The impact of idea generation and potential appropriation on entrepreneurship: an experimental study. Management Science.

Lecture 2: Choking

Ariely, D.; U. Gneezy, G. Loewenstein & N. Mazar (2009) Large stakes and big mistakes. Review of Economic Studies, 76 (2), 451- 469.

Lecture 3: Does Management Matter?

Bloom, Nick and Van Reenen, John (2007) Measuring and explaining management practices across firms and countries. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(4), 1351-1408

Lecture 4: Racial discrimination

Bertrand, M. & S. Mullainathan (2004) Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination. American Economic Review, 94, 4, 991-1013.

Lecture 5: Behavioural economics at work

Blanes I Vidal, J. & M. Nossol (2011) Tournaments without prizes: Evidence from personnel records. Management Science, 57, 10, 1721-36.

Lecture 6: Marketing and placebos

Shiv, B.; Z. Carmon & D. Ariely (2005) Placebo effects of marketing actions: consumers may get what they pay for. Journal of Marketing Research, XLII (November), 383-393.

Lecture 7: Creativity and cheating

Gino, F. & D. Ariely (2012) The dark side of creativity: Original thinkers can be more dishonest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102 (3), 445-459.

Lecture 8: The dark side of leadership

Nevicka, B.; F.S. Ten Velden, A.H.B. De Hoogh & A.E.M. Van Vianen (2011) Reality at odds with perceptions: Narcissistic leaders and group performance. Psychological Science, 22, 10, 1259-64.

Lecture 9: Do we know what we want?

Ariely, D; G. Loewenstein & D. Prelec (2003) “Coherent arbitrariness”: stable demand curves without stable preferences. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118, 1, 73-106.

Lecture10: Negotiation

Small, D. A., M. Gelfand, L. Babcock & H. Gettman (2007) Who goes to the bargaining table? The influence of gender and framing on the initiation of negotiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 4, 600-613

Bowles, H.R., L. Babcock &L. Lai (2007) Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 103, 84-103.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2018/19: 10

Average class size 2018/19: 11

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills