In June, Associate Professor of Management Anne Parmigiani was named to a list of just 14 faculty members across campus as a recipient of a Faculty Excellence Award in recognition of her research, teaching, and leadership. The awards honor tenured UO faculty at the forefront of research and discovery who have demonstrated academic excellence and world-class teaching.
In her research, Parmigiani said she is first and foremost a strategist.
“I explore why firms differ from each other, in fundamental characteristics and in their performance,” she said. “Unlike other scholars who focus on Fortune 500 firms and high-technology sectors, I study small firms in relatively unusual and often technologically mature contexts, such as metal forming firms, casual dining chains, bridge builders, NFL football teams, and recreational vehicle manufacturers. I like to thoroughly understand the setting and thus be able to isolate causal drivers of performance, which is more tractable in these smaller settings.”
When it comes to students, Parmigiani sees her role as helping students understand how all our disciplines—accounting, finance, marketing, operations, and management—are interrelated.
“This is the essence of strategy,” she said. “The material and the project in the capstone course I teach are all about helping students understand these connections and apply them to real-world examples.”
One such example, which can also be found in her research, is franchise chains, such as Applebee’s, that both operate company-owned outlets and also have franchisees who operate outlets under the same masthead. These two distinct groups are making and buying the same thing.
“Making and buying occurs in nearly every sector, including manufacturing and service, and in both high- and low-technology contexts,” she said. “This phenomenon suggests that firm boundaries are not as clear and obvious as we all may believe and raises interesting theoretical and practical questions, such as how to manage both of these sources of supply simultaneously.”
This leads into another research interest: buyer/supplier relationships.
Parmigiani recently published a study indicating that firms who use a supplier repeatedly may benefit through growth and increased sales, but profits may suffer as a result, she said.
“This suggests interesting trade-offs in using repeated exchange partners,” noted Parmigiani.
Likewise, she has published studies that support the importance of both technical expertise and relationship management skills in having successful supplier relationships.
Both as a researcher and educator, her colleagues hold Parmigiani in high esteem.
“Anne has been an extraordinary scholar throughout her tenure at the Lundquist College,” said Michael Russo, who heads up the Department of Management. “Her blend of deep knowledge of real-world contexts and first-class research methodologies has produced a steady flow of articles in the world’s finest management and operations journals. We are indeed lucky to have Anne on our faculty.”
This fall, Parmigiani teaches the capstone strategy course for senior undergraduates (BA 453) and, in winter, a doctoral seminar in economic theory.