Ph.D. Student Investigates Corporate Governance, Strategic Decision Making

Yi Huang

Management (Specialization in Strategy)

  • Ph.D.

Being a researcher is interesting because you always get to answer new questions and solve new problems with each new project.

Yi Huang ’24 Ph.D. has focused much of her research on corporate governance and strategic decision making. One of her recent research papers investigates how large institutional owners help mitigate managerial overconfidence, which has been shown to lead to negative outcomes for the firm. 

Huang had the opportunity to present her paper, “Curb your enthusiasm! Concentrated institutional ownership as a check on CEO overconfidence,” at the 82nd annual meeting of the Academy of Management this summer in Seattle. Co-authors of this research include Department of Management Chair Ravi Dharwadkar, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, and Pamela Brandes, professor of management. 

“It is always exciting to bring your work to a broad research community and share with them what you are working on, especially because this one has been my very first in-person conference after the pandemic,” she says. 

Huang’s research argues that monitoring intensity and informational advantages of concentrated institutional ownership are associated with the surveillance and oversight necessary for curbing CEO overconfidence. The research highlights the importance of concentrated institutional owners for curtailing managerial overconfidence and identifying multiple channels through which monitoring capabilities reduce acquisition-related agency problems. 

Her passion for business research came from her time studying abroad to get a master’s degree in Germany. Originally from China, Huang took the opportunity to study abroad again in the United States for her doctorate. 

The Whitman School was one of the institutions she applied to on the East Coast; she ultimately decided it was the perfect fit because her interests aligned with those of her advisor and mentor, Dharwadkar. 

“Ravi Dharwadkar encourages me to read about the historical and social background of business culture to understand the big picture,” she says. “That is where the business is embedded.” 

She also enjoys the small doctoral cohort that has become like family, as well as the mentorship she received from faculty. 

Huang is in her fourth year of the doctorate in strategic management program at Whitman. As she still is deciding on the framework for her dissertation, she says, “Being a researcher is interesting because you always get to answer new questions and solve new problems with each new project.”


By Kimmy Kimball G’13 (NEW)

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  • Ph.D.