Building for Success

PROVO, Utah – Jul 02, 2020 – BYU Marriott assistant professor of strategy Timothy Gubler grew up building things. “From a young age and throughout my schooling, I crawled through attics pulling electrical wire, worked into the night installing electrical outlets and switches, and designed electrical circuitry for my family’s electrical contracting business,” he says. While he’s no longer working in the family business, his passion for building today extends to researching and teaching business strategy.

After graduating with a degree in economics from BYU in 2008, Gubler pursued a PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. Not long after starting his program, a faculty member suggested he work with an industrial laundry company to look at how company policies impacted worker productivity. One of the papers looked at a wellness program. He found that productivity increased significantly when employees made positive changes to their physical health. “The paper was the first paper to use objective health and productivity measures that could causally link people's improvements in health to productivity improvements,” he says. The paper was recently named by the Financial Times to their list of top one hundred business papers making a societal impact.

Gubler says his work with the industrial laundry company played a role in shaping his research identity. “Individuals are the building blocks of firms, and more research needs to be done on how individuals intersect with firm strategy,” he says. He has since done research on residential real estate agents and with emergency medical services personnel. His real estate papers focused on how social relationships influence real estate transactions, and also how agent expertise can be built by working with social connections. After graduating from Washington University, Gubler continued his research as an assistant professor of management at the University of California, Riverside from 2015–2019. His research has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, and the New York Times among other notable media outlets.

When Gubler received an offer to teach at BYU Marriott, the school’s unique mission was a major draw for him to come back to BYU. “The idea of teaching at a university that is focused on helping people to be disciples of Christ and people of character appealed to me,” he says. Since joining BYU Marriott in 2019, Gubler has been impressed by the bright and dedicated students that he’s met. Gubler says his goal is to help push forward the University’s unique mission and to help students on their journey to professional success while growing and succeeding as individuals. “A common thread that runs through much of what drives me is that I love to build things,” he says. “I love to build research. I love to build the school. I love to build students by giving them knowledge, tools, and experiences.”

Gubler shares that he wants to build a legacy with his students that will go on to impact the world. “I want my students to be people that are able to make a difference in the world, their families, their communities, and the organizations that they work for,” he says. “I hope that my students learn skills like critical thinking and problem solving while at BYU Marriott as part of the process of learning how to be a disciple of Christ and a businessperson.”

While Gubler strives to answer important research questions and to give his students building blocks to be successful and faithful people, he also loves his role as a husband and father and enjoys any moment he is able to spend with his family. He additionally loves to build things at home and to spend time exploring the outdoors.

As Gubler looks toward the future, he sees great things for BYU and its students. “The brightest days are ahead for everyone here, so this is an exciting time to be at BYU and to be engaged in its mission,” he says. “Working with students who are going to be future leaders in the world and the church is a wonderful opportunity. BYU Marriott is an exciting place to be, and I'm thrilled to be here!”

BYU Marriott assistant professor of strategy Timothy Gubler
Timothy Gubler
Timothy Gubler and his family
Timothy Gubler and his family. Photo courtesy of Timothy Gubler.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce