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Marketing Ph.D. Student Receives Award from Penn State Institute for the Study of Business Markets
Jameson Watts, Eller Doctoral Candidate

By Sarah Mauet

Jameson Watts. Photo by Sarah Mauet.

Jameson Watts.
Photo by Sarah Mauet.

Eller marketing doctoral candidate Jameson Watts was selected in a national competition to receive the prestigious Business Marketing Doctoral Support Award from the Penn State Institute for the Study of Business Markets. The award consists of $7,500 in financial assistance to be used for travel, conference attendance, data collection, and other expenses of conducting and presenting the results of the research.

Watts, who holds his undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MBA from Willamette University, had a decade of programming experience under his belt before coming to Eller. For his doctoral studies, he uses big data techniques to analyze how uncertainty is resolved through social networks and institutions in emerging bio-tech markets.

“I look at emerging markets,” Watts said of his research. “Early on in emerging markets, there are few prescriptions for how to do business – how to gain financing, go to market, etc. – so people rely on social networks to overcome uncertainties, but the relevance of social networks diminish in their importance over time.”

McGuire Center executive director Bob Lusch, who is supervising Watts on his dissertation, played a pivotal role in his award-winning proposal, “Alliance Signals: An Information Theory of Strategic Partnership in Technology-Intensive Industries.”

“He encouraged all my wacky ideas,” Watts said. “My proposal would have been less ambitious without his input.”

The ISBM provides financial support for up to three Ph.D. dissertations annually for candidates in accredited doctoral programs. From 42 initial entries for the 2013 competition, 13 finalists were selected. Proposals were judged by an academic panel consisting of representatives of the ISBM and qualified faculty members from other universities. Watts was among only two winners selected this year.

Top image of futuristic technology as a next generation art courtesy Shutterstock.