The challenge was to summarize his doctoral thesis on how Chinese managers manage anger when exercising leadership… in a mere 180 seconds. Jean Sébastien Goulet, who is completing a PhD in Administration – Management at HEC Montréal, passed it with flying colours. The doctoral candidate came in third at the Ma thèse en 180 secondes competition of the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas).

Crédit photo : Hombeline Dumas

At the end of the competition which took place on the evening of May 4, during the Journées internationales de la culture scientifique—Science and You, Jean Sébastien Goulet was awarded a $750 prize by Acfas for a remarkable performance combining clarity, brevity and humour. The researcher, who is also a lecturer at HEC Montréal, had been chosen last April to represent the School at the national final of Ma thèse en 180 secondes, a competition inspired by the Three Minute Thesis, created in Australia in 2008.

Jean Sébastien Goulet prepared very diligently—rehearsing nearly 200 times, he said—for this delicate exercise which leaves no room for improvisation. “I had to find the right words, the correct syllables, which can be articulated well, to say everything without taking too long,” he explains. The key to his success lay in having chosen to present an actual case of one of the managers he had met in China during his research, and whose analysis helped to identify the anger management mechanisms specific to the leaders of that culture.

You can view Jean Sébastien Goulet’s performance at the Ma thèse en 180 secondes competition here (starting at about the 49th minute).