MIT team finds that the ratio of component atoms is vital to performance.
Lotte Bailyn, professor of organizational psychology and management and a member of the Sloan faculty since 1969, has been named to the newly endowed T Wilson (1953) Chair in Management. Mr. Wilson, retired chairman of The Boeing Company, endowed the chair in honor of his year at MIT as a member of the Sloan Fellows Class of 1953 and his continuing association with the Institute since that time.
Chi-Fu Huang, a member of the finance faculty at Sloan since 1983, has been named J.C. Penney Professor of Management. The chair had been vacant since its first and only incumbent, Robert C. Merton, left to join the faculty of Harvard Business School in 1988.
Professor Bailyn has focused much of her work on the study of the relationship between work/career and family, starting with a major MIT alumni/ae survey and following up with research on men and women in various technical careers. She found a greater diversity of technical careers in the engineering than had previously been observed, and she found that patterns of autonomy needs in research labs were different from what the prevalent managerial assumptions often were.
Among her many contributions in the work/family area is the concept of "accommodation" in spouses as a determinant of career success, the identification of the multiple patterns of work/family relationships that can be successful, and the differential impact of work/family stresses on men and women.
Her recent effort to examine how human resource policies and organizational cultures inhibit needed patterns of accommodation such as work at home, part-time work, sabbaticals, and slower career trajectories has received attention from policy makers and promises to be a critical area of future work, especially as the diversity of the work force and organizational structures increases.
Professor Bailyn received her PhD degree in social psychology from Radcliffe College, Harvafd University, and her BA degree in mathematics from Swarthmore College.
Professor Huang has made major contributions to the theory of financial economics, and has written on dynamic general equilibrium theory, intertemporal utility theory, and the theory of individual consumption and portfolio decisions.
His most extensive work has been in dynamic general equilibrium theory. Here he has developed two main themes. The first theme concerns the relations between the revelation of new information to the agents in an economy and the characteristics of asset prices in an economy. His results justified some key assumptions underlying much of the modern work on asset pricing.
The second main theme concerns the critical allocational role of securities markets. Previous research suggested that an efficient allocation of resources would require markets for far more securities than actually exist. Huang's work shifted the focus of discussion from the number of markets to the nature of dynamic trading opportunities. He showed that an efficient allocation of resources could in fact be obtained with relatively few securities as long as these securities could be traded continuously.
In his work on individual consumption and portfolio decisions, Huang provided a new approach to this classic economic topic. Many of the inherent dynamic optimization problems in this area had proved to be impossible to solve. Huang showed how these seemingly intractable problems can be broken into two easy-to-solve parts, one involving a static optimization problem and the other a dynamic problem without optimization.
Huang's work on utility theory has allowed researchers to include in their models some intuitively appealing aspects of individual preferences that were previously ignored because they were too difficult to formalize. More recently, he has expanded the applicability of auction theory to financial markets by studying price behavior in actions conducted by participants who are purchasing items for resale rather than for their own use.
Professor Huang received his PhD degree in finance and his MA degree in economics from Stanford University. He also holds an MBA degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and a BA degree in economics from National Taiwan University.
A version of this article appeared in the March 11, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 23).