McDonough School of Business
Meet the New McDonough Faculty: Charles Dorison
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Meet the New McDonough Faculty: Charles Dorison

We are pleased to welcome new faculty members to the Georgetown McDonough community this fall. 

In our Meet the New McDonough Faculty Series, learn more about the interests, specialties, experiences, and personalities behind the talented academics inside the Rafik B. Hariri Building on Georgetown’s campus. 

We spoke with Charles Dorison, an assistant professor of management, about what he hopes to accomplish at Georgetown through his engagement with students, research, classroom teachings, and beyond.

What are you most looking forward to when it comes to working at Georgetown McDonough?

The McDonough community sets it apart. It’s as simple as that. The faculty are dedicated not only to advancing their pioneering research, but also to helping each other. The staff are the engine that drives everything. And of course, the students are the gravitational core; I can’t wait to work with them when I begin teaching in the spring. 

What institution or previous line of work are you coming from?

Most recently, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where I taught negotiations in the MBA program. Before that, I completed my Ph.D. in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, where I worked within the management, leadership, and decision science area. And before that, I was an undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis (go Bears!) where I double majored in psychology and economics. 

What is your area(s) of expertise and which subject(s) are you most passionate about?

My origin story started very young with two moments from middle school. First, I couldn’t understand why my parents named my childhood dog Mildred—why would they make such a bad decision? And second, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t popular—why being smart wasn’t enough to make people like me?

While decades have passed, I am still fascinated by these two questions. First, when and why do people make suboptimal or irrational decisions? And second, how can people (especially leaders) communicate their choices in ways that generate buy-in from others. With some additional training since middle school, I’ve learned to rigorously study these questions using a combination of experimental methods, agent-based modeling, archival analysis, and natural language processing. And yet, I am still most passionate about understanding how to help people make better decisions and connect successfully with others—inside and outside their organizations.

What is your favorite quote and why? 

“When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary,” said William Wrigley Jr. (of Wrigley Field and chewing gum fame!).

While the male stereotype is a bit outdated, the main point Wrigley is making stands the test of time: that disagreement is an inevitable and fundamental part of organizations (and life). In the increasingly fractured world we live in, understanding how to effectively navigate disagreement is an essential skill for anyone who wants to make a positive impact on the world. While it can sometimes be tempting to simply follow the crowd or avoid controversial topics, this quote has always stuck with me as a necessary reminder that fostering respectful disagreement is something we should cherish and nurture. 

What is your favorite podcast or book and why? 

Recently, my wife and I have loved listening to The Invisible Life of Addie Larue! 

How would you describe yourself in a few words? 

I would describe myself as creative (usually), cheerful (depending on the time of day), chic (rarely), clever (less often than I hope), and curious (almost always). And probably some other words that don’t start with the letter C, as well. 

What do you hope to ultimately bring to the McDonough community?

McDonough revolves around serving the common good. I am honored to play a small part in this mission.