MG4G4      Half Unit
Topics in Management Research

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Diane Reyniers MAR 6.07


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.

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. Students will gain confidence in expressing their own ideas.

Topics vary each year (based on student feedback) but examples are the beauty premium, negotiation and gender, grit, leadership, optimism and entrepreneurship.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the AT.

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

Formative coursework

One take-home mock exam in the AT.

Indicative reading

Lecture 1: 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 2: 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 3: 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, 73-105.

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: Fundraising and ask avoidance

Adena, M. & S. Huck (2020) Online fundraising, self-image, and the long-term impact of ask avoidance. Management Science, 66, 2, 722-743.

Lecture 6: Grit

Alan, S; T. Boneva & S. Ertac (2019) Ever failed, try again, succeed better: Results from a randomized educational intervention on grit. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 134, 3, 1121-1162.

Lecture 7: Optimism and entrepreneurship

de Meza, D. et al. (2019) Curb your enthusiasm: Optimistic entrepreneurs earn less. European Economic Review, 11, 53-69.

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: We love our own ideas

Hooshangi, S. & G. Loewenstein (2016) The impact of idea generation and potential appropriation on entrepreneurship: An experimental study. Management Science, 64, 1, 64-82.

Lecture 10: 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 January exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: 16

Average class size 2022/23: 8

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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