Vikas Anand

Chair and Professor, Department of Management 

Ph.D in Management, Arizona State University
MBA in International Business, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi
MSc in Physics, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India
BE in Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India

In his own words:

Something most people don't know about me is ...  I have read every Harry Potter book over a dozen times.

What I've been reading lately ...  The IDEA Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by John Gerstner.

I got interested in business ethics ... because of what I saw in my corporate career and travels to different parts of the world.

About his research:

Dr. Anand’s research focuses on business ethics, crisis management and the normalization of corruption, or “how people who otherwise are very good rationalize their behavior and believe what they are doing is right when it is clearly unethical,” he said.

A recent study explored the restoration of corporate image after wrongdoing in China, India, and the U.S. Researchers created fictional companies in the three countries and, after making participants aware of alleged wrongdoing, showed them video clips of the CEOs issuing a statement of denial. People in India and the U.S. responded better to a conversational, question-and-answer approach, while people in China favored a formal statement.

Another project focuses on strategic secrets and how companies protect them from competitors. An enduring secret such as the formula for Coke might require security measures for all workers, while a secret of shorter duration, such as a corporate takeover, might be protected by limiting the number of people in the know.

Dr. Anand is an innovative teacher, linking classroom learning with real-world experience. Honors students in a recent Business Strategy course worked with a start-up in Silicon Valley, for example, competing with one another to offer solutions for the company’s needs. In previous years, Anand has empowered students to create their own group assignments, such as a video primer for international students new to the U.S. and a training manual for companies readying expats to move to Asia.

Dr. Anand was director of the MBA program for several years, and one of his key initiatives was to start an accelerated program for honors students. Students receive credit for master level classes taken in the spring of their senior year, which allows them to complete the MBA in one additional year.

Dr. Anand’s administrative duties leave him time to teach only one undergraduate class a year, but honors students are a priority, he said. He works with several thesis students a year, as well as leading the popular India Study Abroad program.

“Working with honors students is energizing,” Anand said. “They love to learn. Not only do they love to learn, they teach me a lot. They think about things in ways I haven’t thought about. If you can motivate them, they will go way beyond expectations in what they do and bring to the table.”

Anand holds degrees in engineering and physics as well as in business; he has worked in India, Africa, the Middle East and the U.S. That range of experience allows him to connect with students and their various passions, he said.

He encourages students to link their professional goals with the development of their personal interests. One honors student, a SURF grant recipient and economics major, delved into psychology and sociology to design a study looking at how women’s perceived attractiveness influences their climb up the corporate ladder, for example.

“I’ve been a very big believer that we need a little more integrated education,” Anand said. “Students today have to be very good in one area, but they have to have breadth of other areas, too.”