Tan Honored With Irving H. LaValle Research Award

Ricky Tan

Ricky Tan, assistant professor of management science

Assistant Professor of Management Science Ricky Tan was honored with the 2019 Irving H. LaValle Research Award. The award, which was announced at the spring 2019 faculty meeting, recognizes Freeman professors for excellence and advancement of the highest standards of research.

“I am deeply honored and humbled,” says Tan. “But more so, I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the faculty here at the Freeman School. This is such a wonderful place to learn and grow.”

Tan first received the LaValle Award in 2016, and it’s no surprise he was honored again this year. His research frequently appears in some of the most highly regarded academic journals, including Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Production and Operations Management, and Management Science.

“We always have new, emerging technology. Successful management of technology is the key to making businesses competitive in the long-term.”

In his research, Tan explores the relationship between technology and business. He has analyzed topics including the emerging e-commerce model and inventory overstocking, the effects of joint product advertising in online videos, and the agency model for digital goods.

“We always have new, emerging technology,” explains Tan. “Companies have to adapt to this technology in order to thrive in today’s business landscape. Successful management of technology is the key to making businesses competitive in the long term.”

In a recent paper, Tan examined the implications of technology openness on innovations and competition. He specifically looked at Tesla and its decision to apply an open source philosophy to its patents. The car maker states on its website that it “irrevocably pledges that it will not initiate a lawsuit against any party for infringing a Tesla patent through activity relating to electric vehicles or related equipment for so long as such party is acting in good faith.” Tan concluded that Tesla’s open source philosophy was not a show of altruism but rather a shrewd business decision.

“The decision to open up their technology actually helps Tesla,” says Tan. “When competitors look under the hood and find out how complex the technology is, it dissuades them from wanting to get involved.”

At the Freeman School, Tan incorporates his research interests into Business Analytics Projects and Modeling & Analytics, courses he developed for the Master of Business Analytics and MBA programs. He says he strives to engage students in experiential learning that takes them from basic levels of understanding to professional mastery of concepts, and he often keeps in touch with students as they begin their careers.

In addition to being honored with the LaValle Research Award, Tan received the 2018 Dean’s Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, the Freeman School’s highest accolade for graduate teaching. He was also recognized as one of the 40 Most Outstanding Business Professors Under 40 worldwide by Poets & Quants.

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