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Svenja SOMMER

Associate Professor

Information Systems and Operations Management

 Profile picture

Biography

Svenja Sommer is an Associate Professor in the Operations Management and Information Technology department at HEC Paris. She is also the Academic Director of the MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She received her Ph.D. in Management from INSEAD (France).

Her research aims to improve our understanding of effective management of innovation-related and product development projects. In particular, her research deals with issues involving management of highly uncertain projects that are common in the domain of innovations; idea generation and selection at the fuzzy front end of the product development process; and collaborative product development processes within or across firms. Her research has been published in journals such as Management Science, Organization Science and POM. 

She serves as a Senior Editor for the “New Product Development, R&D, and Project Management” department of POMS and as an Associate Editor for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Management Science.  She is also an ad-hoc reviewer for a number of journals, including Management Science, MSOM, OR, POM, Organization Sciences and Decision Sciences.

At HEC Paris, Svenja teaches mostly in the MBA and the EMBA program, including core courses in Operations Management and elective courses on Supply Chain Management. Prior to joining HEC, she was on the faculty at the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University.

 

Scientific articles

How Do You Search for the Best Alternative? Experimental Evidence on Search Strategies to Solve Complex Problems

Management Science, March 2020, vol. 66, n° 3, pp 1395-1420, (in coll. with E. BENDOLY, S. KAVADIAS)

The Tension Between Flexible Goals and Managerial Control in Exploratory Projects

Project Management Journal, October 2019, vol. 50, n° 5, pp 524-537, (in coll. with C. LOCH)

Collaborative Prototyping of Alternative Designs Under a Target Costing Scheme

Production and Operations Management, March 2018, vol. 27, n° 3, pp 496–515, (in coll. with T. SHALPEGIN, Z. WAN)

Supervising Projects You Don’t (Fully) Understand: Lessons for Effective Project Governance by Steering Committees

California Management Review, February 2017, vol. 59, n° 2, pp 45-67, (in coll. with C. LOCH, M. MÄHRING)

Managing Complexity and Unforeseeable Uncertainty in Startup Companies: an Empirical Study

Organization Science, January-February 2009, vol. 20, n° 1, pp 118-133, (in coll. with C.H. Loch, J. Dong)

The Effects of Problem Structure and Team Diversity on Brainstorming Effectiveness

Management Science, february, 3 2009, n° 12, pp 1899-1913, (in coll. with S. Kavadias)

Incentive Contracts in Projects with Unforeseeable Uncertainty

Production and Operations Management, March-April 2009, vol. 18, n° 2, pp 185-196, (in coll. with C. Loch)

Selectionism and Learning in Projects with Complexity and Unforeseeable Uncertainty

Management Science, 2004, vol. 50, n° 10, pp 1334-1347, (in coll. with C. Loch)

Chapters in edited books

A cultural evolution theory of balancing innovative and routine projects

Handbook On Innovation And Project Management, A. Davies, S. Lenfle, C. H. Loch, C. Midler, Edward Elgar Publishing, 3, 258-273

Managing unforeseeable uncertainty through learning

Handbook On Innovation And Project Management, A. Davies, S. Lenfle, C. H. Loch, C. Midler, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2, 201-218

Project Management Under High Uncertainty

Encyclopedia Of Technology And Innovation Management, V. K. Narayanan, G. C. O'Connor (eds), John Wiley & Sons US

Project Risk Management in New Product Development

Handbook Of New Product Development And Management, C. H. Loch, S. Kavadias (eds), Elsevier Limited, Oxford

Working papers

Impact of Regulatory Changes on New Product Design Choice and End-of-Life Inventory Buildup

Mimeo , 2011

Supervising Projects you Don't Understand -- Do your Major Projects Receive the Leadership they Need?

INSEAD Working Paper , 2011

Managing Risk and Responding to Uncertainty: How Entrepreneurs and VCs Can Improve Their Effectiveness. A Comparison of Three Countries

Mimeo , 2010

Scientific articles

How Do You Search for the Best Alternative? Experimental Evidence on Search Strategies to Solve Complex Problems

Management Science, March 2020, vol. 66, n° 3, pp 1395-1420, (in coll. with E. BENDOLY, S. KAVADIAS)

The Tension Between Flexible Goals and Managerial Control in Exploratory Projects

Project Management Journal, October 2019, vol. 50, n° 5, pp 524-537, (in coll. with C. LOCH)

Collaborative Prototyping of Alternative Designs Under a Target Costing Scheme

Production and Operations Management, March 2018, vol. 27, n° 3, pp 496–515, (in coll. with T. SHALPEGIN, Z. WAN)

Supervising Projects You Don’t (Fully) Understand: Lessons for Effective Project Governance by Steering Committees

California Management Review, February 2017, vol. 59, n° 2, pp 45-67, (in coll. with C. LOCH, M. MÄHRING)

Chapters in edited books

A cultural evolution theory of balancing innovative and routine projects

Handbook On Innovation And Project Management, A. Davies, S. Lenfle, C. H. Loch, C. Midler, Edward Elgar Publishing, 3, 258-273

Managing unforeseeable uncertainty through learning

Handbook On Innovation And Project Management, A. Davies, S. Lenfle, C. H. Loch, C. Midler, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2, 201-218

Project Management Under High Uncertainty

Encyclopedia Of Technology And Innovation Management, V. K. Narayanan, G. C. O'Connor (eds), John Wiley & Sons US

Project Risk Management in New Product Development

Handbook Of New Product Development And Management, C. H. Loch, S. Kavadias (eds), Elsevier Limited, Oxford

Working papers

Impact of Regulatory Changes on New Product Design Choice and End-of-Life Inventory Buildup

Mimeo , 2011

Supervising Projects you Don't Understand -- Do your Major Projects Receive the Leadership they Need?

INSEAD Working Paper , 2011

Managing Risk and Responding to Uncertainty: How Entrepreneurs and VCs Can Improve Their Effectiveness. A Comparison of Three Countries

Mimeo , 2010

Education

  • Ph.D. in Management, INSEAD - France
  • M.Sc. in Management, INSEAD - France
  • Diploma in Business Administration (Diplomkauffrau), WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management - Germany

Academic appointments

Academic Responsibilities at HEC

  • 2020- Member of GREGHEC, the joint research laboratory CNRS-HEC Paris HEC Paris
  • 2008- Associate Professor HEC Paris

Scientific Activities

Membership in Academic or Professional Organisation

  • Member of INFORMS, MSOM, and POMS

Editorial activities

  • 2011 Area Editor for MSOM, special issue on Sustainable Operations
  • 2011 Evaluator for NSF (National Science Foundation) grant proposal
  • 2011 Evaluator for research proposal of the University of Leuven
  • 2009 Referee for MSOM student paper competition
  • 2006 Referee for PDMA dissertation competition
  • Senior editor for POM journal (New Product Development, RD, and Project Management department, since 2008)
  • Refereed papers for Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, IIE Transactions, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Operations Management, Organization Studies, and Operations Management Review

  • Conference organisation

  • 2005-2008 Organized OM lecture series (workshops) at Krannert School of Management
  • Co-organized 2001 LBS-INSEAD Doctoral Seminar and the 2001 HEC-INSEAD Doctoral Symposium (60 and 50 participants respectively)
  • Awards & honors

    • 2020 HEC Foundation Best Paper 2019 Award for "Collaborative Prototyping of Alternative Designs Under a Targert Costing Scheme", Production and Operations Management, mars 2018, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 496515
    • 2010 2010 Management Science Meritorious Services Award
    • 2009 Syntec Management Consulting Best article award in the category "Operations, Gestion, controle/Systeme d'information et Technologies, "Managing complexity and unforeseeable uncertainty in startup companies : an empirical study", Organization Science
    • 2006 Dean's MBA core teaching award for Mgmt 664