Hovig Tchalian studies the impact of language and communication on organizations and markets. His research focuses especially on framing and sensemaking processes as well as language devices such as analogies. When online retailer Amazon was launched in 1994, for example, very few people shopped on the Internet. So Amazon and other retailers compared online shopping to the in-store experience—slowly making people feel comfortable with the idea of browsing, gathering items in a shopping cart, and checking out.

Tchalian’s research helps explain how the “social conversation” around new ideas and practices like online shopping helps them get accepted. He applies what is known as a mixed-methods approach (which combines qualitative and quantitative analysis) to examine such sources of social discussions as newspaper articles, technical publications, and social media outlets, using both traditional and newly developed big data techniques.

Tchalian teaches in the Practice of Management program, which focuses on communication, problem solving, and teamwork in the management and organizational setting. He also heads Drucker Advisory Services, which brings together teams of professors, a professional project manager, and select graduate students to solve complex strategic challenges for large- and medium-sized organizations.

He has taught at both USC and UCLA. He most recently designed and taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the USC Marshall School of Business and Viterbi School of Engineering, focusing on management, strategy, and professional communication. He has received grants and won awards at USC for innovative course design and technology use.

He has consulted with Fortune 1000 firms while at the strategy-consulting firm Monitor Group and worked extensively there and elsewhere with firms and executives in a direct capacity. He is a member of Duke Corporate Education’s GLRN (Global Learning Resource Network), has led courses at the Business Literacy Institute, and also teaches with Drucker Executive Education.

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