Posts by Collection


One Size Does Not Fit All: Strengths and Weaknesses of the Agile Approach

Co-authored with Tobias Lieberum and Sebastian Schiffels.
In this paper we examine how agile development principles (iterative sprints, autonomy) affect innovation performance. We find that Agile mainly helps low performance by creating a sense of urgency; however for more complex task it can lead to short term thinking and harm performance. Read more

Entrepreneur-Investor Bargaining: Do the Number of Investors and Contract Form Matter?

Co-authored with Kyle Hyndman and Anyan Qi.
In this research we study how entrepreneurs and investors divide equity. We use the Nash bargaining framework and test several predictions in the lab. We find that the number of investors matters less than the contract form. Preferred Stock contracts, which are popular in practice, disadvantage the entrepreneur and lead to more aggressive investor bargaining tactics. Read more

Mentoring in Startup Ecosystems

Co-authored with Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, David Brophy, Thomas Jensen and Melanie Milovac.
In this report (commissioned by the Kauffman foundation) we look at how entrepreneurial accelerators and incubators organize their mentoring initiatives. We distill some of the best practices and discuss the differences between university and non-university accelerators, and the lessons learned for setting up such programs. Read more

Dynamic Decision-making in Operations Management

Co-authored with Stephen Leider and Ozge Sahin.
In this paper we look at how people make dynamic (sequential) decisions. We examine decision-making in a range of dynamic problems and find, unsurprisingly, that most people are not ‘forward-looking optimizers’. Rather, decision rules depend on the type of environment: decision rules are quite simple in stopping (secretary) problems and quite sophisticated in other dynamic problems. Read more


Ideation-Execution in Product Development: An Experimental Analysis

Published in Management Science, 2018

This paper is about allocating development time between (creative) idea generation activities, and more production related execution activities. We find that developers benefit from firm deadlines early on in the creative process. Granting developers more autonomy leads to delays in idea inception and development. Read more

Recommended citation: Kagan Evgeny, Stephen Leider, Bill Lovejoy (2018). "Paper Ideation-Execution in Product Development: An Experimental Analysis." Management Science. 64(5).

Equity Contracts and Incentive Design in Start-Up Teams

Published in Management Science, 2020

This paper studies incentive design in startups, specifically how to split equity in a startup. We find that founders who choose to split equally invest little effort into the venture after the split. Thus, a preference for a contract type can be seen as a signal of desirability as a collaborator. Delaying the split until some work is done helps remove some of the collaboration difficulties. Read more

Recommended citation: Kagan Evgeny, Stephen Leider, Bill Lovejoy (2020). "Paper Equity Contracts and Incentive Design in Start-Up Teams." Management Science. 66(10).

The Gatekeeper’s Dilemma: When Should I Transfer This Customer?

Published in Operations Research, 2021

This paper studies incentives for service workers handling customer service requests. We find that workers are able to incorporate congestion into their decisions - that is, they spend more time with customers when congestion is low, and less time when congestion is high. However, workers struggle to incorporate different components of compensation scheme, such as rewards for successful resolution, and costs for transfers. Read more

Recommended citation: Brett Hathaway, Evgeny Kagan, Maqbool Dada (2021). "The Gatekeeper’s Dilemma: When Should I Transfer This Customer?" .


Operations Management

Undergraduate Course, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, 2015

Operations Management studies the processes by which inputs of materials, labor, capital, and information are transformed into products and services which customers want and are willing to pay for. This course will provide students with the managerial tools needed to understand and articulate the impact of an organization’s business processes, and the ability to analyze and continuously improve these business processes to make things work better, faster and cheaper. Read more

Foundations of Business Analytics (JHU Carey, MBA, 2020-current)

Graduate Course, Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School, 2020

Being a business leader in a data driven world requires the knowledge of both data-related (statistical) methods and of appropriate models to use that data. The Foundations of Business Analytics course focuses on the latter: it introduces students to quantitative (“analytical”) frameworks and techniques for decision making. At a high level, these techniques include optimization, risk modeling, and Monte Carlo simulation. For each methodology students are first exposed to the basic mechanics, and then apply the methodology to real world business problems using software. Read more