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William Acar

William ACAR (Dipl. Ing., Ecole Supérieure d'Ingénieurs de Beyrouth; M.A.Sc., Waterloo, Ont., Canada; Ph.D., Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA) is currently a Professor of Management and Information Systems at the Graduate School of Management of Kent State University. In addition to the periods of research included in his graduate studies, he brings a prior experience consisting of six years of engineering consulting, five years of evaluative analysis of nonprofit programs and three years of University teaching in another language (in French, at the Ecole Polytechnique of Université de Montréal). His experience with nonprofit program analysis has further developed his interest in methodological issues.

Dr. Acar has consulted to a number of business firms and nonprofit agencies, and is active in several learned societies. For example, he served as an internal consultant to nonprofit agencies for several years in Toronto, and taught managerial seminars on Management by Objectives. He supported himself during his doctoral years at the Wharton School by consulting and setting up seminars to large businesses as an associate of the Busch Center of U-Penn, and later of the Applied Research Center of LaSalle University in Philadelphia. Also, he was active for several years with Kent State University's Small-Business Institute as he supervised consulting projects carried out by his student teams.

Dr. Acar was admitted to the graduate faculty of Kent State University soon after joining in late 1983 and became a full member of it in 1986. Since that time, he has chaired a dozen doctoral dissertations. He has taught doctoral, masters-level and undergraduate classes in several areas, and has pioneered an approach to teaching large classes in an interactive manner reminiscent of the desirable small-class setting. He has also served on a large number of university-level, college and departmental bodies, task forces and committees, from the Faculty Senate to the Departmental FAC (Faculty Advisory Committee) and the current Departmental Self-Study & Review Committee.

He has received a number of honors and awards. Regarding research, he was the co-recipient of the 2010 John F. Mee Award at the 2010 national Academy of Management conference in Montreal. Internally, he was awarded for 2008-2009 a Creative Research Award from the Graduate Research Office of Kent State University. As to teaching, he was nominated as one of the three Kent State candidates for the U.S. Professor-of-the-Year Award in 2003 and 2004, and internally nominated for the Pfeiffer Creative Teaching Award in 1999, 2001 and 2003.

Dr. Acar's principal teaching focus is on strategic management, knowledge management, organization theory and supply-chain management. His research focus is on strategic management and its interface with information science, financial theory, entrepreneurship, corporate responsibility, and operations and supply-chain management. He has developed a number of conceptual and methodological approaches for management theory and practice. For instance, he has developed a causal mapping method for the analysis of complex business situations called CSM (Comprehensive Situation Mapping), and coauthored a book on organizational learning entitled Scenario-Driven Planning published by Quorum Books. His approach has been used to co-develop a computerized GDSS (group decision-support system) for solving strategic and "collaboration engineering" problems. Another methodological interest of his resulted in the development of measures of diversity better calibrated than the Herfindahl and Entropy measures still widely used in a variety of applications.

Dr. Acar has published in many journals, including the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, the Journal of Management Studies, Decision Sciences, the Journal of Knowledge Management, the European Journal of Operational Research, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, the Journal of Management, Decision Sciences, OMEGA, the Canadian Journal of Operational Research & Information Processing, the Journal of Information Systems, Systems Research, Behavioral Science, the International Journal of Production & Operations Management, the Journal of Applied Systems Analysis, the International Journal of Organizational Analysis, the International Journal of Operational Research, the Journal of Psychology & Financial Markets, FUTURES, the Journal of Enterprise Management, Strategic Change, INTERFACES, the International Journal of Strategic Decision Sciences, the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing and the International Journal of Commerce & Management. His recent journal research output includes:

2014   W. Acar & B.A. Polin: “The Ascent of Resource-Based Theory as Constructive Rational-Behavioral Integration for Looking Inward and Outward.”  International Journal of Commerce & Management. Forthcoming.

K.E. Aupperle, W. Acar & D. Mukherjee: “Revisiting the Fit-Performance Thesis Half a Century Later: A Historical Financial Analysis of Chandler’s Own Matched and Mismatched Firms.”  Business History, DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2013.790369.

  S. Anokhin & W. Acar: “Corruption and the Ethical Context of Country-Level Entrepreneurship.”  International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 4 (4): 391-408.

W. Acar & D.A. Druckenmiller:  “Philosophical Requirements of a Comprehensive D.I. System.”  International Journal of Strategic Decision Sciences, 3 (3): 1-12.

  A.T. Burns, W. Acar & P. Datta: “A Qualitative Exploration of Entrepreneurial Knowledge Transfer.”  Journal of Knowledge Management, 8 (2):270-298.


William Acar
Department of Management and Information Systems