Let us introduce Beverly Rich, who is at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City. So, Beverly, you recently won an award at the 2021 Annual Meeting - congratulations! So…
What are your research interests right now?
My current projects focus on contracts, innovation, technology, and/or legal markets. Broadly, I am interested in how machine learning technologies will change firms’ transactions and how firms can use the law to gain competitive advantage.
What do you think is your most exciting contribution to academia?
As a former lawyer, I am excited to leverage insights from law practice (particularly in terms of context and data) to explore questions in strategy, particularly those related to control rights, the use of technology in contracting, and innovation in legal markets.
At the 2021 Conference you won an award from TIM. Tell us about the paper and why you think its findings are important.
This paper addresses the challenges in getting lawyers and legal professionals to adopt machine learning technology, and in ensuring that firms are able to capture value from the technology. I find that emphasizing the long-term value that machine learning (ML) technology adds, both to the individual lawyer and to the firm (as compared to the short-term efficiency gains to a specific task), results in lawyers’ continuing to use the ML technology and in the firm renewing its technology license. Alignment between managers and employees regarding the long-term value of the ML technology results in continued use and renewal. This paper discusses motivating employees (lawyers) to use ML, given their recognition that ML can be a substitute for some tasks, and given that firms capture value from ML with continued use. At the firm level, exploring the micro-mechanisms that promote use and adoption of ML facilitates understanding of how this technology is likely to impact firms going forward.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
If I wasn’t in academia, I would be working for the World Surf League! I love to surf and I love teaching others to surf, even though I don’t get many opportunities to do either these days. Maybe AOM wants to make Hawaii an annual conference destination?
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