Robert I. Sutton

Professor (by courtesy), Organizational Behavior

Professor of Organizational Behavior (by courtesy)

Professor of Management Science and Engineering, School of Engineering
Academic Area:

Additional Administrative Titles

Co-Director, Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate
Co-Director, Customer-Focused Innovation

Research Statement

Robert Sutton focuses on evidence-based management, the links (and gaps) between managerial knowledge and organizational action, innovation, and organizational performance. His research style emphasizes the development of theory and recommendations for practice on the basis of direct observation of organizational life and interviews with executives, managers, engineers, and other organization members.

Bio

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering and a Professor of Organizational Behavior (by courtesy) at Stanford.  Sutton has been teaching classes on the psychology of business and management at Stanford since 1983. He is co-founder of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization, which he co-directed from 1996 to 2006.  He is also co-founder of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (which everyone calls “the d school”).

Sutton studies innovation, leadership, the links between managerial knowledge and organization action, scaling excellence, and workplace dynamics.  He has published over 100 articles and chapters on these topics in peer-reviewed journals and the popular press. Sutton’s books include Weird Ideas That Work: 11 ½ Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation, The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Firms Turn Knowledge into Action (with Jeffrey Pfeffer), and Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management (with Jeffrey Pfeffer).  The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t  and Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…. and Survive the Worst are both New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.  His latest book, Scaling-Up Excellence: Getting to More without Settling for Less (with Huggy Rao), was published in 2014.  It is a Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller and was selected as one of the best business books of the year by Amazon, the Financial Times, Inc., The Globe and Mail, and Library Journal.

Professor Sutton’s honors include the award for the best paper published in the Academy of Management Journal in 1989, the Eugene L. Grant Award for Excellence in Teaching, selection by Business 2.0 as a leading “management guru” in 2002, and the award for the best article published in the Academy of Management Review in 2005. Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense was selected as the best business book of 2006 by the Toronto Globe and Mail.  In 2008, Sutton was named as one of 10 “B-School All-Stars” by BusinessWeek, which they described as “professors who are influencing contemporary business thinking far beyond academia.”  The American Management Association selected Sutton as one of the top 30 leaders who most influenced business in 2014 (ranked 10th on their list).”  The London Business School selected Sutton for the 2014 Sumantra Ghoshal Award “for rigour and relevance in the study of management.” Sutton is a Fellow at IDEO and academic director of three Stanford executive education programs: Leading for Strategic Execution, Customer-Focused Innovation, and the new online Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.  

 

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Univesity of Michigan, 1984
  • MA, University of Michigan, 1981
  • BA, University of California at Berkeley, 1977

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford since 1983
  • Professor of Organizational Behavior, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, July 1997-June 1998
  • Professor, Stanford University, 1992-present
  • Associate Professor, Stanford University, 1989–1992
  • Assistant Professor, Stanford University, 1983–1989
  • Research Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, currently
  • Codirector, Center for Work, Technology, and Organizations, 1996–present
  • Associate Director of the Stanford Center for Organizations Research, 1988-1991

Publications

Journal Articles

Books

Book Chapters

Teaching

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