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Gad Allon receives the 2014 Alumni Professor of the Year Award at Kellogg Reunion on May 3.

Gad Allon

Graduate honors

Gad Allon named alumni favorite professor for 2014

By Glenn Jeffers

5/3/2014 - The alumni have spoken.

Gad Allon, professor of managerial economics and decision sciences, has been named the 2014 Alumni Professor of the Year. Dean Sally Blount ’92 announced the award at the May 3 Brave Leader panel at Reunion.

The award is given to a faculty member based on alumni vote. Alumni cast their ballots while registering for Reunion.

This isn’t the first Kellogg commendation for Allon, who teaches a core operations management elective and two courses in the Executive Education Program: “The Science of Lean Six Sigma Operations” and the three-day “Executive Operations Experience” at the McKinsey Capability Center in Atlanta. In 2009, he won the L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award and the Chairs’ Core Course Teaching Award in both 2006–2007 and 2008–2009.

In 2011, Poets & Quants named Allon one of “The World’s 40 Best Business School Profs Under the Age of 40.”

Still, the fact that the alumni chose Allon, who joined the faculty in 2005, makes this win a little more special.

“Every professor hopes that the way they taught will have a lasting impression,” Allon said. “This is a much better testament to that.”

From waiting times to market share

Part-Time and Executive MBA alumni got the chance to see Allon at work during his Kellogg Insight Live discussion May 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The talk, titled, “Is Your Customer’s Time Worth It?” focused on customer waiting times and how that sense of frustration can become a competitive advantage for service providers.

The trick, Allon said, is to find ways to slightly shorten waiting times. A seven-second decrease in waiting time could mean as much as a one-percent increase in market share, he said.

Allon’s current research involves studying models of information sharing among firms and customers both in service and retail settings.

“People really hate waiting, but what’s the value? What is the cost associated with waiting?” he said. “It just tells you to what extent doing nothing has significant opportunity cost.”

An esteemed list

The Alumni Professor of the Year award was established in 1988. To be eligible, a faculty member must have taught at Kellogg for at least five years.

With his win, Allon joined the ranks of several esteemed past winners, including Daniel Diermeier, the IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice (2013); Sergio Rebelo, the Tokai Bank Distinguished Professor of International Finance (2007); and Philip Kotler, the S.C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing (1991 and 1995).