Francis J. Flynn

Paul E. Holden Professor of Organizational Behavior

Codirector of the Executive Leadership Development Program: Analysis to Action

James & Doris McNamara Faculty Fellow for 2013-14

Phone: (650) 724-0312


Personal Homepage:

CV: FlynnCV

Academic Areas: Organizational Behavior

Professor Flynn’s research focuses on interpersonal relations in organizations. In particular, he studies three topics of interest: (1) How employees can develop healthy patterns of cooperation; (2) How the negative impact of racial and gender stereotyping in the workplace can be mitigated; and (3) How people can emerge as leaders and assume positions of power in organizations. His work bridges the fields of management and social psychology, leading to scholarly as well as practical insights on organizational life.


Francis (Frank) Flynn received his PhD in Organizational Behavior from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2000-2006, he served as an Assistant and then as an Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, joining the GSB in September 2006. A winner of multiple teaching awards, Professor Flynn’s courses focus on leadership issues, particularly how young managers can learn to navigate complex political environments and build interpersonal influence.

Professor Flynn’s research investigates issues of employee cooperation, diversity in work groups, and leadership in organizations. His recent work considers how employees can develop healthy patterns of cooperation and whether the influence of gender stereotypes on workplace dynamics can be mitigated. His scholarly articles appear in more than a dozen publications that span the fields of management and social psychology. He currently sits on the editorial boards of Administrative Science Quarterly and Academy of Management Journal.

Professor Flynn has worked for the Department of Commerce in the International Trade Administration, the Institute for Business and Economic Development, and the Institute for Urban and Regional Development. He has provided executive education for various companies, including Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Standard & Poor’s, Genentech, and Merrill Lynch, training that focuses on improving employee decision making and interpersonal leadership skills.

Frank is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He lives close to the Stanford campus with his wife, Christina, and his three sons, Colin, Jack, and Aiden.

Academic Degrees

PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 2001; Business, MS, University of California, Berkeley, 1999; BBA, University of Notre Dame, 1994.

Professional Experience

At Stanford since 2006. Class of 1967 Associate Professor of Business, Columbia Business School; Columbia University, 2006; Associate Professor of Business, Columbia Business School, Columbia University, 2004-2006; Assistant Professor of Business, Columbia Business School, Columbia University, 2000-2004.

Selected Publications

  • Structure, identity, and solidarity: A comparative field study of direct and generalized exchange: Administrative Science Quarterly, 2012
  • When feeling bad means feeling good: Guilt-proneness, work effort, and affective commitment: Journal of Applied Psychology, 2012
  • Do you two know each other? Transitivity, homophily, and the need for (network) closure: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2010
  • Who’s with me? False consensus, brokerage, and ethical decision making in organizations: Academy of Management Journal, 2010
  • Psyched up or psyched out: The impact of coactor status on individual performance: Organization Science, 2010

Courses Taught

  • GSBGEN 554: Savvy: Crafting Effective Communication
  • OB 206: Organizational Behavior
  • OB 278: MSx: Organizational Behavior



  • Associate Editor: Administrative Science Quarterly
  • Member: Academy of Management
  • Member: American Psychological Association