Governors State Business Professor Publishes Harvard Business Review Article

Dr. Gokce Sargut

University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Dr. Gokce Sargut, Assistant Professor of Management at Governors State University, is co-author of “Learning to Live with Complexity,” the cover story in the September-October issue of Harvard Business Review.

The article, co-written with Dr. Rita Gunther McGrath of Columbia University, examines strategies for making sense of the unpredictable and undefinable in today’s hyperconnected business world.

Sargut said ever-increasing technological advances have made information overload a fact of modern life. “Today we are exposed to enormous amounts of data but that doesn’t mean we have gotten any better at processing all that data, or delivering services based on that data,” he said. “We wanted to find ways to make sense of all these new challenges, and that was the point at which we started.”

In just a short time, the article states, most businesses have gone from complicated to complex. They now contain numerous diverse, interdependent parts. This makes managers’ jobs much more difficult:

  • They can’t predict what will happen when various parts of the business interact; the same starting conditions may yield different results.
  • Seemingly simple actions produce unintended consequences.
  • Human cognitive limits mean that no manager can understand all aspects of the business, but many refuse to acknowledge those limits.
  • Rare events can be more significant that average ones – and may occur more often than we think.

Managers can navigate this difficult landscape by making fundamental changes in how they approach key tasks, such as forecasting, mitigating risks, making tradeoffs, and ensuring diversity of thought.

Dr. Sargut said he and his co-author plan to write a follow-up article on complexity for an academic journal and expect to make a presentation on their research. He praised Dr. McGrath, who served as his faculty mentor when he was working on his Ph.D. at Columbia’s Graduate School of Management. “She is someone who does everything amazingly well, whether it is teaching, writing, or serving as a business consultant,” he said.

Harvard Business Review is arguably the preeminent publication that provides business executives with information on cutting edge academic research in a readable, accessible manner, said Dr. Ellen Foster Curtis, Dean of GSU’s College of Business and Public Administration. The publication is very selective in choosing authors, topics, and articles.

“This is an exemplary accomplishment for any business faculty member,” Curtis noted. “In Dr. Sargut’s case it is especially impressive for one so early in his academic career.”

Dr. Sargut, who is in his second year at GSU, said the university has provided an atmosphere that is conducive to his research. “I like it here a great deal,” he said. “Everyone has been very supportive and positive about my work. There is a wonderful culture of teaching at GSU.”

Prior to joining the GSU faculty, Dr. Sargut taught in the Economics Department at The City College of New York. Besides his Ph.D. from Columbia, he holds an MBA degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Summer and Fall at Prairie State College