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New Ivey faculty: Jason Nguyen

  • Communications
  • |
  • Aug 16, 2021
New Ivey faculty: Jason Nguyen

Ivey welcomes 12 new faculty members to campus! To help you get to know our new colleagues, we asked each of them a list of questions about their academic – and personal – interests.

Get to know: Jason Nguyen

Jason Nguyen is an Assistant Professor in Operations Management and Sustainability at Ivey. Prior to joining Ivey, he was a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the UNSW Business School, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and was a founding faculty member at the College of Business and Management at VinUniversity in Hanoi, Vietnam. He holds a PhD in Supply Chain and Operations Management from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, a Master of Science in Operations Management from Singapore Management University, and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University.

Nguyen’s research aspiration is to contribute academic insights for the movement toward a global circular and sustainable economy that minimizes the consumption of resources, energy, and emissions

Q&A with Jason Nguyen

What is the most important thing business executives can learn from your research/area of expertise?

Sustainable Development Goals are the most important challenges of our time. Achieving them requires a holistic understanding of the whole system, as well as collective and co-ordinated efforts from all involved stakeholders, including consumers, businesses, and governments. Many times, unco-ordinated environmental policies backfire and lead to undesirable outcomes. For example, a unilateral carbon pricing policy could reduce the global competitiveness of domestic businesses, while potentially creating “carbon leakage” to foreign regions with laxer policies. My research looks to provide managerial insights that guide and inform the development and implementation of more effective environmental policies and incentive schemes – ones that move us toward a global circular and sustainable economy that minimizes the consumption of resources, energy, and emissions.

Where did you grow up and what was it like there?

I was born in Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam and grew up there. Being the biggest city in one of the fastest growing economies, it is chaotically charming and has (in my biased opinion) the most exciting street food culture where you can have the best Pho, banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) and broken rice.

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

Without the love and support from my parents and my wife, I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am today. Personally, I’m strongly influenced by Koichi Tohei Sensei, the founder of the Japanese martial arts Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (Aikido with Mind-Body Oneness). Through his teachings, I learn mind-body oneness and aspire to lead a positive, meaningful, caring and loving life. I’m also extremely lucky to have been inspired by and learned from many mentors, colleagues, and friends in my fledgling academic career.

What led you to your career?

I’m a curious person by nature who is always intrigued by the how and why questions. During my first exposure to academic research in the Master of Operations Management program at Singapore Management University, I found a way to satisfy this curiosity and combine it with my knack for mathematics. I eventually fell in love with the set of questions and challenges of the domain that I could potentially contribute to solving.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

My wife and I love cooking and trying out new recipes. Our household cooking is influenced by many different cuisines, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican and Middle Eastern. I also love specialty coffee. Activities-wise, I like calisthenics exercising and hiking.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I’ve being training for almost 10 years and hold a first-degree black belt in the Japanese martial arts Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (Aikido with Mind-Body Oneness). I also like playing (even though I’m terrible at it) and watching professional League of Legends esports.

What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?

I listen to traditional oriental instruments (guqin, pipa, and erhu), which are very calming and make it easy to concentrate during work.

What book would you recommend to others? On the personal side? On the business side?

The War of Art and Do The Work, both by Steven Pressfield, which are tremendously helpful for overcoming resistance faced by those in creative works.

On the business side?

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, a relatively easy-to-read introduction to behavioural decision- making, which has become more and more important to understand in every aspect of business.