What the Science Says: New Podcast Highlights Research Findings

If/Then aims to help business leaders address modern problems

January 18, 2024

| by GSB Staff

Season one of If/Then features interviews with 13 Stanford GSB faculty. | Photography by Nancy Rothstein, Elena Zhukova, Drew Kelly

On January 24, Stanford Graduate School of Business launches If/Then: Business, Leadership, and Society, a podcast highlighting research findings on topics ranging from AI to Zoom.

If/Then examines research across the breadth of the school’s seven academic areas. Season one’s 13 episodes feature GSB faculty discussing, for example, power dynamics in the workplace, integrating AI into a business, how remote work affects creativity, and what Uber drivers — and Taylor Swift tickets — can teach us about economics.

Each episode is framed around an “if… then” statement that captures research takeaways:

  • If we want to change power structures, then we need to understand the animal forces that drive our behavior.Deborah Gruenfeld, The Joseph McDonald Professor and Professor of Organizational Behavior
  • If we want to generate better ideas, then we need to get people back to the office.Jonathan Levav, The King Philanthropies Professor of Marketing
  • If we want robots to be good for society, then we need to humanize them.Szu-chi Huang, Associate Professor of Marketing
  • If we want to seriously address the climate crisis, then we need to encourage foolish business ideas.William P. Barnett, The Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations
  • If the United States wants to remain a global hub of innovation, then we need to understand the role of immigrants.Rebecca Diamond, The Class of 1988 Professor of Economics

Jonathan Levin, dean of Stanford GSB, says the new podcast offers a window into how research can help address contemporary issues. “I get a front-row seat to insights that illuminate the future of business and leadership,” he says. “With this new show, I can’t wait for our faculty to share their ideas on the issues that matter most for business, government, and society.”

Hosted by Stanford GSB Senior Editor Kevin Cool, If/Then will air every two weeks.

If/Then is a podcast from Stanford Graduate School of Business that examines research findings that can help us navigate the complex issues we face in business, leadership, and society. Each episode features an interview with a Stanford GSB faculty member.

Full Transcript

Bill Barnett: Foolishness is the price of genius. Organizations that create lots of foolishness also create a lot of genius.

Kevin Cool: If you want to understand the modern complexities in business, leadership and society, then here is a new podcast from Stanford Graduate School of Business. I’m Kevin Cool, the host of If/Then, where we speak with professors about their research and everything from remote work to disaster robots. You’ll be surprised by what you learn, like what concert tickets teach us about classical economics.

Mohammad Akbarpour: If Taylor Swift concert tickets are allocated completely based on competitive equilibrium of free markets, then people who are going to be able to go to this concert are not necessarily people who love Taylor Swift the most.

Kevin Cool: Or ways to navigate office power dynamics.

Deborah Gruenfeld: There’s strength in numbers. One person complaining about a bad boss does not have merely the same protection or impact as a group of people complaining about the person altogether

Kevin Cool: If/Then digs into topics that connect to our lives, our work, and our future.

Jonathan Levav: So the result was that pairs that worked face-to-face generated more ideas about 15 to 20% more ideas than pairs of people that worked on Zoom.

Kevin Cool: If/Then is the new podcast for curious people looking for answers to complex questions, if you’re one of them, then I hope you’ll join us If then launching January 24, wherever you listen to podcasts.

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