Research, teaching and service define my professional life. Two qualities define much of my work. I’m fascinated by cross-level relationships: the influences between and among individuals, organizations, and society really engage me. And as romantic as it may sound, I think we are all called to try to leave the world a better place. The desire to better understand these cross-level relationships, done with a clear eye on enhancing our well-being, animates nearly everything I do.


Looking back, I see that at least three broad themes define my research life. I investigated the relationship between individuals and organizations for many years. My early work on managerial and organizational cognition was fueled by a desire to understand how cognitive heuristics might blind leaders to their decision environments and in so doing, leave them vulnerable to mistakes that could bring harm to their organizations. I then shifted gears to look more directly at firms and their governance practices. I considered whether and how leaders’ self-dealing might be responsible for problematic firm performance. In time, I realized that I simply assumed that wealth creation would best serve society. And so, I moved to take a closer look at the fundamental questions of corporate governance — what is the purpose of a corporation and to whom is it accountable? I am now interested in how and how well corporations serve society.


My teaching mirrors my research. While I have always focused squarely on my students, I used to help prepare them “only” to lead their organizations. I now try to help them lead prosperous organizations, prosperous organizations that serve society. I taught the core MBA management and organization course for years. Focusing even more directly on improving their personal effectiveness, I taught an elective course on negotiation and conflict resolution for many years JimWalshandstudents1as well. More recently, I developed an undergraduate elective course called “The Corporation in Society.” While I've offered a version of the course to MBA and PhD students, my primary focus of attention is the college senior.

Committed to action-based learning for almost twenty-five years now, I am eager to work with students on projects that directly connect business to societal well-being (particularly in a global setting). I've worked with MBA project teams in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Holland, India, Ireland, Peru, Russia, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as throughout the United States. For example, I worked with students to help organizations deliver better eye care to the people of India and better prenatal care to the people of Bangladesh, to enhance the education of factory workers in Bangladesh and to expand their labor rights in Cambodia, and to help the people of Rwanda capture more of the wealth in coffee's value chain. I have also taken my undergraduate students out of the classroom (to China, Detroit, Ghana, and Rwanda) a number of times in an effort to help them directly appreciate how business affects, and is affected by, society.


In addition to serving my Dartmouth and Michigan communities, I've also worked for my profession. Honored to receive the Academy of Management's Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Service in 2013, I have helped to edit the Academy of Management Annals, the Academy of Management Review, Organization Science and the Strategic Management Journal. I served as the Academy of Management’s 65th president and the 17th Dean of its Fellows Group. All of this work has given me some perspective on the contemporary state of our profession, a topic that has also drawn my attention in recent years.

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PHD, Northwestern University
MA, University of Chicago
MA, Columbia University
BA, State University of New York at Albany

Curriculum Vita


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© 2016 James P. Walsh