Matt Bothner joined ESMT European School of Management and Technology in 2011 as a professor and the first holder of the Deutsche Telekom Chair in Leadership and HR Development. His current research addresses the measurement and consequences of social status in several empirical settings, including venture capital, professional sports, and higher education. Bothner studies status to understand a form of ethical leadership—leadership guided by the categorical imperative, and for which status can be a means, not an end.
In addition, he has developed computational models both to better understand factors affecting the evolution of cumulative advantage and to clarify the optimal strategies for leading tournaments for peer recognition. His research has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, Management Science, and Organization Science.
Bothner received his PhD with distinction in 2000 from Columbia University’s Department of Sociology, where he also received his MPhil and MA degrees. Using network-analytic methods to capture patterns of inter-firm competition, his dissertation focused on antecedents of technology diffusion in the global personal computer industry and also examined the effects of localized scale-based competition on rates of firm sales growth. He has also studied the behavioral consequences of competitive crowding around contestants’ ranks in dynamic tournaments, focusing on the positional causes of car crashes in professional stockcar auto racing.
He taught at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 2001 to 2010, was Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at Cornell from 2010-2011, and Visiting Professor of Organizations and Strategy at Chicago Booth in 2012 and 2013.