Management Research Webinars: "Committees and Decision Making"

25/05/2020 18:00


Dr. Kenneth A. Kavajecz is the founder of Phoenix Rising Advisory consulting firm which includes a diverse group of clients including a publisher, Wall Street trading company, global energy corporation, and two small start-ups. In addition, he is a faculty member at Edgewood College. Dr. Kavajecz has been an active as an academic administrator most recently as the 17th dean of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Prior to Syracuse, he was a professor of finance and served as the chairman for the department of finance, and the associate dean of both the undergraduate program and the full-time MBA program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Dr. Kavajecz's is an expert on financial market liquidity, trading, risk management, market structure and regulation. His research publications have appeared in many top academic journals including the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics and the Review of Financial Studies. His academic awards include the 2000 Financial Management Association best microstructure paper for "Liquidity Provision during Circuit Breakers and Extreme Market Movements" and a nomination for the Smith Breeden Prize for the Best Paper in the Journal of Finance in 2005 for "Price Discovery in the U.S. Treasury Market: The Impact of Orderflow and Liquidity on the Yield Curve." In addition, Dr. Kavajecz has been awarded numerous MBA teaching awards including, the Gaumnitz Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award including at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2008, the David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Undergraduate division at the Wharton School in 1998 and the Doctoral Teaching Award at Northwestern University in 1996.

Dr. Kavajecz holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S. and Ph.D. in finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He has served as a member of the Economic Advisory Board for the National Association of Securities Dealers and has worked at an Assistant Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.


We study the interactions and strategies of economic agents within a business committee to better understand how decisions are made in an important group setting. Specifically, we study the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) monetary policy actions and meeting transcripts to understand how the committee members' discussion impacts the chosen monetary policy. The results show that after controlling for the impact of macroeconomic factors related to the Federal Reserve's dual mandate and past policy actions, there exist variables that have a statistically significant effect on the FOMC meeting outcomes. These include members' efforts in interpreting the current economic data and persuading other members through cognitive and affective persuasion strategies. The implication is that for a business committee to arrive at a group decision, the members need to digest and interpret the relevant information, spend time persuading other members using logic and emotion in order to aggregate member viewpoints to a consensus decision. Thus, the interpretation processes and persuasion methods that are used during a committee discussion have a non-trivial impact on the final outcome that the committee makes.

Please note that the May 22nd webinar by Dr. Demirbağ has been postponed to June 12th.


Please register at:

For a bio of Kenneth Kavajecz and the abstract of the talk, please visit our website: