Faculty Spotlight - Wenpin Tsai

The Management and Organization Department's distinguished and highlighted faculty members.

Five Questions with a Faculty Member...

Wenpin Tsai, John Arnold Professor of Management

 

  1. Tell us about the classes you teach and the areas you research.I teach MGMT 481: Global Strategic Management at the undergraduate level. I also teach MGMT 578: Doctoral Seminar in Corporate Strategy and MGMT 539: Doctoral Seminar in Social Networks and Organizations at the graduate level. My research examines social capital, knowledge transfer, and cooperative and competitive interactions inside and across organizations, particularly large, complex organizations such as multinational corporations operating a network of multiple units across different national contexts and spanning multiple business areas.
  2. What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?I enjoy seeing students learn and grow intellectually. At the same time, I enjoy learning from students. I believe that teaching is a social process of learning together with students. In a way, the instructor is also a student, just like other students in the classroom. In front of all great knowledge that we want to learn, we need to humble ourselves. We must empty ourselves first before we seek new knowledge. As an instructor, I keep myself updated about the state-of-the art knowledge in the field. However, that does not mean that I know everything and am always right. I value students’ feedback and constantly watch students’ responses in my classes. I try to help students to develop critical thinking skills and encourage students to freely express their own opinions. Sometimes I play devil’s advocate and challenge myself for what I said earlier in the class to stimulate students to think and develop their own perspectives. By considering myself a student trying to learn from other students, I enjoy the process of intellectual exchanges in the classroom. 
  3. Considering the courses that you teach, how can students start putting what they are learning into practice?The Global Strategic Management course that I teach prepares you to manage effectively in today’s interconnected world by understanding the changing environment, principles of global strategy, and the relation between global strategy and organization. We analyze the external environment and internal processes of organizations to help managers make key decisions for improving organizational performance. The analytical tools offered in my course help organizations take stock of their present situation, formulate and deploy strategies, and evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented management strategies. In class, you complete exercises, simulations, and projects to analyze practical managerial issues. After taking my course, you will have good strategic thinking capabilities and know how to communicate effectively with various stakeholders of their organizations. 
  4. What advice do you have for students, as they complete the final third of the semester?
    Perseverance fuels the learning experience. The end of the semester is always the most difficult. As the course content incorporates more advanced materials, you are also likely to have many assignments, projects, and tests at the end of the semester. View any challenge as an opportunity to grow. Never give up! Do not make excuses, make it happen. To finish strong in the last mile of the semester, it is important to keep something in the tank for the final stretch. Keep your spirits high. Also, stay organized. Keep track of your assignments and test dates in a planner or calendar and prepare for upcoming final projects and tests. 
  5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    I am an avid fisherman and do all kinds of fishing. I enjoy fly fishing in Spring Creek, locally. I also fish in lakes and oceans when I can do so. Coaxing the fish into biting and determining what the fish will bite under certain circumstances is my favorite part of the angling experience. It is rewarding to see the new fishing techniques I have developed work effectively on the water, like the feeling I have when I see my hypotheses get supported in my research. 

 

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