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Paul Bierly: Madison Scholar

Dr. Paul Bierly - 2004 College of Business Madison Scholar

On Wednesday, November 17th, Dr. Paul Bierly, the Zane Showker Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship gave his 2004 Madison Scholar lecture. Dr. Bierly spoke on “Managing for Innovation and Reliability in High Risk Organizations: A Case Study of US Nuclear Submarines”.


Paul Bierly receives congratulations and the Madison Scholar pin from Bob Reid, Dean of the College of Business

Speaking before an audience of both students and faculty, Dr. Bierly revealed how officers aboard US nuclear submarines use different management styles under different conditions to effectively operate billion dollar submarines in some of the most unforgiving conditions on earth. He lectured extensively on how nuclear submarine commanders rely in normal operations on a heavily rule-based, redundant management style, called bureaucratic management, to minimize the chance of incidents, accidents and system failures. He then addressed the fact that if something goes wrong, the submarine’s management environment changes to a culture-based management style that calls upon the initiative, problem-solving skills and job cross-training of small groups and individuals. He then elaborated on how relentless training in port, and at sea, are the effectiveness cornerstones of both these management environments and of how quickly a submarine’s command structure can transition from one style to the other.


Madison Scholars Susan Palocsay, 2003, and Paul Bierly, 2004


Students and faculty listen to Paul Bierly’s lecture on managing the US nuclear submarine program