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Patrick Noonan - Emory University, Goizueta Business School. Atlanta, GA, US

Patrick Noonan Patrick Noonan

Professor Emeritus in the Practice of Information Systems & Operations Management | Emory University, Goizueta Business School


Professor Noonan came to Goizueta in 1993 from the faculty of the Harvard Business School, where he earned his Ph.D. in Decision Sciences.








Professor Noonan came to Goizueta in 1993 from the faculty of the Harvard Business School, where he earned his PhD in Decision Sciences. He also holds a BS in Engineering & Applied Science and an MBA, both from Yale University. He retired from the faculty in Sept. 2018, and was awarded emeritus status by Emory University.

He served as Goizueta's first Associate Dean for Management Practice Initiatives from 2012-2015, and as Assistant Dean and Director of MBA Programs from 1996-2000. He has been a Visiting Professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and he has taught short courses at Aalto University (Helsinki), Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá), ESAN (Lima), and Universidad ORT (Montevideo).

Patrick's field is "decision analysis," which draws on both the wisdom and the analytical methodologies of economics, psychology, statistics, sociology and engineering to provide prescriptions for improving decision making in business, in the professions, in health sciences, in politics and in life.

His analytics coursework at Emory – which included decision modeling, game theory and data analysis –earned the Distinguished Educator award 13 times and “Last Lecture” speaker role six times. In 2001 he received the Adler Prize for Teaching Excellence. He has been honored by inclusion in Emory’s “Great Teacher Lecture Series” and earned the Keough Award for Excellence. In 2005 he was awarded a Fulbright grant to serve as a Senior Specialist to a university in Uruguay.

Patrick's research and teaching in the area of managerial decision making combine academic training with real-world experience as a management consultant. He learned the profession at McKinsey & Company in the 1980s, and later as a Director at Planning Technologies Group (which he co-founded in 1990 and sold to Knowledge Universe in 1998), and offers workshops in the "craft skills" of consulting and problem-solving. He also is an expert on teaching & learning, especially in the business school context, and is a frequent facilitator of workshops for B-school and engineering faculty in the techniques of case teaching and other active learning techniques. Noonan’s consulting and executive education clients have included such diverse organizations as Microsoft, Bertelsmann, NewsCorp, The New York Daily News, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merrill Lynch, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), Sea-Land, Accenture, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Economics Institute, Johns Hopkins University and Greenpeace USA.

Education (4)

Harvard University: PhD, Decision Sciences

Harvard University: Master's Science, Engineering Science

Yale School of Management: Master's, Business Administration Public & Private Management

Yale University: Bachelor's Science, Engineering & Applied Science

Areas of Expertise (4)

Decision & Risk Analysis

Game Theory

Negotiation & Strategic Thinking

Data Analysis

Publications (1)

Communicating Analytic Results: A Tutorial for Decision Consultants

Decision Analysis

2012 Good analysis alone may not achieve the goals of decision analysis (DA) engagements. Good communication of the results of that analysis can help stakeholders understand, accept, and implement the recommended course of action. Practitioners can use decision-analytic principles when considering the decision of how to communicate results themselves. From this perspective, we consider a range of questions to ask in preparing for communication with the client and other stakeholders. We review standard communication practices in DA engagements. The standard practice can be improved by drawing on insights from other areas of management practice. Decision analysis has both technical and organizational features, and we discuss ways to deal with the conceptual and expressive challenges this presents. This pragmatic tutorial provides a starting point for decision analysts to develop both technical communication skills and organizational communication skills.

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In the News (3)

Patrick Noonan carries memories, relationships into retirement

Emory Business  online


A smiling Patrick Noonan walks into Goizueta Business School Room 208, greeting his MBA class with an enthusiastic “good afternoon.” The students respond in kind. Noonan laughs. The professor and his students are in good spirits, although Noonan speaks with just a touch of melancholy. Not only is this his final class of the Fall semester, it’s the last of a rewarding career.

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Nominees Named for Leadership Character Awards

Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership  online


Patrick Noonan nominated for the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and Atlanta-based Turknett Leadership Group for the 11th Annual Turknett Leadership Character Awards recognizing individuals who represent the best in leadership character in Georgia.

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Coffee With… Patrick Noonan

emorybusiness.com  online


Russian-born Daria Makhoukova 06MBA had lived in the United States for just two years before enrolling in Goizueta. After tackling the tough world of investment banking in New York, she welcomed the school’s nourishing spirit and the chance to start shaping a career in consulting under the guidance of faculty like Patrick Noonan, professor in the practice of decision and information analysis and associate dean for management practice initiatives. Now a strategy expert and manager of global forces at McKinsey & Co, Makhoukova recently stopped by Goizueta to catch up with Noonan and to discuss the impact of digital technologies on consulting.

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