Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods

Philipp Ecken Conferred Doctorate


Topic of Dissertation: “Expert Long-Term Judgment”

Philipp Ecken, researcher at the Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods, successfully completed his doctoral thesis project. On November 22, 2013 he defended his thesis “Expert Long-Term Judgment”. Due to his superior and innovative work, the board of examiners conferred the distinction: summa cum laude.

In his paper-based dissertation, Dr. Ecken examined psychological factors that lead managers and policy makers astray when they make judgments about crucial future events.

Dr. Ecken began his dissertation project at Supply Chain Management Institute of EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht. Since January 2012, he has worked at the Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods of Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, where he gives lectures in Managerial Analytic & Decision Making. In 2013 Dr. Ecken spent a semester as a guest researcher at Harvard University.


Abstract of the Dissertation:

Understanding how experienced professionals make judgments about the occurrence of important far future events is of great relevance, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. This thesis presents novel insights into what influences industry experts when they form and revise long-term judgments. The three essays of this thesis are based on empirical evidence and investigate the role of optimism, belief updating, and the interaction between the two, in the context of experts' long-term judgments. It is found that experts are over-optimistic about the occurrence of relevant far future events. Furthermore, it is shown that the optimistic bias persists when experts receive advice from their peers; this is because (1) experts mainly ignore the advice from their peers and (2) the way experts revise their prior beliefs is also optimistically biased. Managers and policy makers need to be aware of these biasing influences in order to make better-informed long-term plans and strategies.