Eugene Soltes is the Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School where his research focuses how individuals and organizations confront and overcome challenging situations.
Professor Soltes work on corporate misconduct and fraud culminated in the book Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal, which was described by Kirkus Reviews as “a groundbreaking study” on white-collar criminality. The book explores why often wealthy and successful executives engage in deception. The investigation draws on more than seven years of interaction with nearly fifty of the most high-profile former executives responsible for the most significant corporate crimes. The book refutes popular but simplistic explanations of why seemingly successful executives engage in fraud and instead shows that most executives make decisions the way we all do—on the basis of their intuitions and gut feelings. The trouble, Soltes shows, is that these gut feelings are often poorly suited for the modern business world and often lead to the harmful acts that we so often read about in the news.
More recently, Professor Soltes’ research is focused on understanding how veterans with disabilities overcome obstacles when leaving the military. He is the principle investigator on a five-year field study focused on exploring the impact of several innovative incentive and benefit programs to help veterans more effectively transition to civilian life and develop fulfilling personal and professional identities.
At the organization level, Professor Soltes examines how firms voluntarily disclose information to investors, employees, regulators, and the media. This research has been published in leading finance, accounting, and economics journals and he is the recipient of numerous awards including the Hillcrest Behavioral Finance Award, California Corporate Finance Conference, and the Financial Research Association Best Paper Award.
Professor Soltes and his work has been widely quoted by the media including in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg, and USA Today. He teaches in the several of the school’s executive education where he was awarded the Charles M. Williams Award for outstanding teaching.
Prior to joining the faculty of the Harvard Business School, Professor Soltes received his PhD and MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his AM in statistics and AB in economics from Harvard University.
He lives in Cambridge with his wife, a rheumatologist, and young daughter.