Pierce installed as Beverly and James Hance Professor of Organization and Strategy

  • June 21, 2024
  • By Sara Savat
  • 2 minute read

Lamar Pierce, an Olin Business School expert on ethics, motivation and incentives in organizations, was installed April 30 as the Beverly and James Hance Professor of Organization and Strategy at a ceremony in the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

His installation lecture was titled “Strategy, Luck and Human Behavior in Organizations.”

Pierce studies how organizations can better align ethics and productivity, focusing on how economic and psychological factors create opportunities to improve the welfare of both people and their employers. His research spans a myriad of industries and settings that include salespeople, manufacturing and service workers; military and police officers; and consumer finance; while employing methods ranging from multimillion-dollar field experiments to econometric analysis of corporate personnel and performance data. A four-time cancer survivor, Pierce is currently working on how organizations can more effectively support personal challenges such as mental health and on clarifying how principles of business and personal health management can better inform one another.

Pierce joined the Olin faculty in 2007 after earning his PhD from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served in numerous leadership roles over the past 17 years and is the current editor-in-chief at Organization Science.

James H. Hance Jr. and his wife, Beverly, made a commitment to establish this professorship in 2004. James earned a master’s degree in business administration from Olin Business School in 1968. Beverly earned a master’s in education from Arts & Sciences in 1968. James Hance served as vice chairman at Bank of America Corp. until his retirement in 2005. He also served as Bank of America’s chief financial officer for 18 years and as a member of the company’s board of directors, holding leadership responsibility for finance, legal, corporate planning and strategy, investment portfolio management and investor relations.

The Hances are active on multiple boards and foundations, and James Hance is an honorary emeritus trustee of Washington University. In addition to this professorship, the Hances have generously supported WashU throughout the years in many ways, including an Olin Business School endowed scholarship.

About the Author

Sara Savat

Sara Savat

As a senior news director for social sciences, I write about political science, religion (and their intersection), sociology, education, anthropology, philosophy and linguistics. I have a passion for storytelling and enjoy working with our world-renowned faculty and members of the media to bring research to life for the public. Prior to joining the Public Affairs team, I worked in public relations at SSM Health and covered academic medicine at Saint Louis University. I have a master’s degree in communication from SLU. Outside of work, I am most likely to be found at a dance studio or cheering from the sidelines of a soccer field. My family and I also love traveling, camping and visiting national parks.

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