Timothy Feddersen
Timothy Feddersen

Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Politics
Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences
Faculty Director, Leadership Development Program, KACI

Print Overview

Professor Timothy Feddersen joined the faculty at the Kellogg School of Management in 1995. He is the Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Politics and Director of the Social Enterprise at Kellogg Program (SEEK). Professor Feddersen’s research centers on the manner in which elections aggregate dispersed information; the linkage between information and participation in elections; modeling ethically motivated agents in games; bargaining in legislatures; and the informal role of activists in the economy. He is currently investigating models of whistle-blowing and the way in which the need to rationalize choice constrains decision making. Professor Feddersen also teaches several classes at Kellogg including Strategy in the Nonmarket Environment, Values-Based Leadership and Values and Strategic Crisis Management. All of these classes focus on the way leaders must anticipate the reaction of stakeholder groups within the firm, in the media, in legislatures, courts and in public opinion broadly.

Areas of Expertise
Corporate Social Responsibility
Crisis Management
Political Economy/Design
Public Management
Strategy in Non-Market Environments
Voting Systems

  • Recent Media Coverage

    Crain's Chicago Business: Business schools offering lessons on social responsibility

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    Economist Intelligence Unit: Executive Briefing: Rationalization in decision making

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Print Vita
PhD, 1993, Political Science, University of Rochester
BA, 1985, Mathematics, Indiana University

Academic Positions
Professor, Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1998-present
Assistant Professor, Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1995-1998
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, 1992-1995

Grants and Awards
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2009-2010
Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2002

Editorial Positions
Associate Editor, American Economic Review, 2012-present
Board of Editors, Political Analysis, 2011-present

Print Research
Research Interests
Political economy with a specific interest in democratic institutions and voting systems

Feddersen, Timothy, Vadim Cherepanov and Alvaro Sandroni. 2013. Revealed Preferences and Aspirations in Warm Glow Theory. Economic Theory. 54(3): 501-535.
Feddersen, Timothy, Vadim Cherepanov and Alvaro Sandroni. 2013. Rationalization. Theoretical Economics. 8(3): 775-800.
Feddersen, Timothy, Sean Gailmard and Alvaro Sandroni. 2009. Moral Bias in Large Elections: Theory and Experimental Evidence. American Political Science Review. 103(2): 175-192.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2009. Information Aggregation and Communication in Committees. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B 364(1518): 763-769.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2008. In Response to Jurg Steiner's "Concept Stretching: The Case of Deliberation". European Political Science. 7(2): 191-193.
Feddersen, Timothy and Alvaro Sandroni. 2006. The Calculus of Ethical Voting. International Journal of Game Theory. 35(1): 1-25.
Feddersen, Timothy and Alvaro Sandroni. 2006. A Theory of Participation in Elections. American Economic Review. 96(4): 1271-1282.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2006. Deliberation, Preference Uncertainty and Voting Rules. American Political Science Review. 100(2): 209-217.
Feddersen, Timothy and Alvaro Sandroni. 2006. Ethical Voters and Costly Information Acquisition. Quarterly Journal of Political Science. 1(3)
Feddersen, Timothy. 2004. Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 18(1): 99-112.
Feddersen, Timothy and Thomas W. Gilligan. 2001. Saints and Markets: Activists and the Supply of Credence Goods. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy. 10(1): 149-171.
Feddersen, Timothy and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. 1999. Strategic Voting and the Unanimity Rule. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 96(19): 10572-10574.
Feddersen, Timothy. 1999. Institutions, Rules, and the Lawmaking Process. Congress and the Presidency. 26(1): 89-95.
Feddersen, Timothy and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. 1999. Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences. American Political Science Review. 93(3): 381-398.
Feddersen, Timothy. 1998. Book Review: "Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral Systems" by Gary Cox. Journal of Economic Literature. 36(4): 2169-2170.
Diermeier, Daniel and Timothy Feddersen. 1998. Comparing Constitutions: Cohesion and Distribution in Legislatures. European Economic Review. 42(3-5): 665-672.
Diermeier, Daniel and Timothy Feddersen. 1998. Cohesion in Legislatures and the Vote of Confidence Procedure. American Political Science Review. 92(3): 611-621.
Feddersen, Timothy and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. 1998. Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts. American Political Science Review. 92(1): 23-15.
Feddersen, Timothy and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. 1997. Information Aggregation and Voting Behavior in Elections. Econometrica. 65(5): 1029-1058.
Feddersen, Timothy and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. 1996. The Swing Voter's Curse. American Economic Review. 86(3): 408-424.
Feddersen, Timothy. 1992. A Voting Model Implying Duverger's Law and Positive Turnout. American Journal of Political Science. 36(4): 938-962.
Feddersen, Timothy, Itai Sened and Stephan G. Wright. 1990. Rational Voting and Candidate Entry Under Plurality Rule. American Journal of Political Science. 34(4): 1005-1016.
Working Papers
Gradwohl, Ronen and Timothy Feddersen. 2015. Persuasion, Transparency, and Commitment.
Feddersen, Timothy and Faruk Gul. 2014. Polarization and Income Inequality: A Model of Unequal Democracy.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2009. Public Disclosure, Private Revelation or Silence: Whistleblowing Incentives and Managerial Policy.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2008. A Note on Preference Uncertainty and Communication in Committee.
Diermeier, Daniel and Timothy Feddersen. 1996. Cohesion in Legislatures: Procedural and Policy Coalitions. Mimeo. Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Feddersen, Timothy. 1993. Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria in a Model of Costly Voting Under Plurality Rule.
Book Chapters
Feddersen, Timothy. 2008. "Strategic Voting." In The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, edited by Steven Durlauf and Lawrence Blume, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2005. "Deliberation and Voting Rules." In Social Choice and Strategic Decisions: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey S. Banks, edited by David Austen-Smith and John Duggan, Springer-Verlag.
Diermeier, Daniel and Timothy Feddersen. 2003. MITI (A) and (B) (Crisis Simulation). Unpublished.
Feddersen, Timothy, Jochen Gottschalk and Lars Peters. 2007. Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of a Pandemic. Case 5-107-010 (KEL349).
Feddersen, Timothy and Kimia Rahimi. 2012. Nonmarket Action and the International Counter-Money Laundering Act . Case 5-411-756 (KEL649).
Feddersen, Timothy and Susan Edwards. 2012. A New Mission Statement for the MBC Corporation. Case 5-112-002 (KEL710).
Feddersen, Timothy and Senoe Torgerson. 2007. U.S. Food Aid: Cash or Commodities?. Case 5-307-510 (KEL342).
Feddersen, Timothy and Scot R. Wheeler. 2007. The Environmental Entrepreneur. Case 5-307-503 (KEL370).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Political economy with a specific interest in democratic institutions and voting systems
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Leadership and Crisis Management (KPPI-440-A)

This course counts toward the following majors: Social Enterprise

Formerly SEEK-440-A

In recent decades corporations have increasingly become the dominant source for political and social change. Increased globalization and technological progress have further accelerated this process. Businesses are now held accountable by standards other than legal compliance or financial performance. Successful business leaders have recognized that these challenges are best mastered by a commitment to values-based management. However, simply "doing the right thing" is not enough. Rather, companies increasingly find themselves as targets of aggressive legal action, media coverage and social pressure. Organizations must be prepared to handle rapidly changing environments and anticipate potential threats. This requires a deep understanding of the strategic complexities in managing various stakeholders and constituencies. To confront students with these challenges in a realistic fashion, the class is structured around a rich set of challenging case studies and crisis simulation exercises.

Values Based Leadership (KPPI-460-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Management & Organizations, Social Enterprise.

Formerly SEEK-460-0

The first issue a leader in the role of manager, entrepreneur, investor or stakeholder must address about an organization concerns its "value proposition," whether deciding to enter an industry or to begin an undertaking. However, this analysis is incomplete if leaders fail to consider the wider impact of the organization's actions on its own employees and on society. This course focuses on the problem of incorporating a wide variety of value perspectives into decision-making. Values-based leadership involves the ability to take the disparate value propositions of various stakeholders and integrate them into a coherent vision. We explore how recognizing and incorporating competing values claims throughout the organization is often facilitated and hindered by a number of psychological, organizational and cultural processes. Students will come to understand the variety of underlying mechanisms managers of organizations typically have at their disposal to successfully implement values objectives and select among different approaches, while anticipating the constraints placed on choice by the organization's market and non-market environments.

Executive MBA
Ethics and Executive Leadership (KPPIX-472-0)
Ethics and Executive Leadership examines the anatomy of leadership in modern organizations, highlighting the ethical challenges facing corporate leaders in the rapidly changing business environment.

Strategic Crisis Management (KPPIX-910-0)
Strategic Crisis Management provides conceptual tools for managers in high-pressure, complex crisis situations. Topics include management and media, dealing with activists and interest groups, and surviving legal, legislative and regulatory challenges.

Executive Education
Crisis Management
A mishandled crisis situation can create significant fallout for an organization and threaten its livelihood. In Crisis Management, you will learn how to identify potential trouble areas in your business, develop a framework for crisis response and cultivate the necessary skills to turn any crisis situation from obstacle to opportunity.
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