Chip Heath

Professor Emeritus, Organizational Behavior
+1 (650) 736-1754

Chip Heath

The Thrive Foundation for Youth Professor of Organizational Behavior, Emeritus

Academic Area:

Research Statement

Chip Heath’s research focuses on two general areas: What makes ideas succeed in the social marketplace of ideas, and how can people design messages to make them stick? How do individuals, groups, and organizations make important decisions and what mistakes do they make?


Heath is the Thrive Foundation for Youth Professor of Organizational Behavior, Emeritus at Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research examines why certain ideas — ranging from urban legends to folk medical cures, from Chicken Soup for the Soul stories to business strategy myths — survive and prosper in the social marketplace of ideas. A few years back, Heath designed a course, now a popular elective at Stanford, that asked whether it would be possible to use the principles of naturally sticky ideas to design messages that would be more effective. The material from that course, How to Make Ideas Stick, has been taught to hundreds of students including managers, teachers, nonprofit leaders, doctors, journalists, venture capitalists, product designers, and film producers.

Heath is the coauthor (along with his brother, Dan) of a book titled Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, published by Random House in January 2007.

Heath’s research has appeared in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Cognitive Psychology, Journal of Consumer Behavior, Strategic Management Journal, Psychological Science, and Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. Popular accounts of his research have appeared in Scientific American, Financial Times, Washington Post, Business Week, Psychology Today, Vanity Fair, NPR, and a National Geographic television show.

Heath has taught courses on organizational behavior, negotiation, strategy, international strategy, and social entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Stanford, Heath taught at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He received his BS in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University and his PhD in psychology from Stanford.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Psychology, Stanford, 1991
  • BS in Industrial Engineering, Texas A&M, 1986

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 2000
  • Fuqua School, Duke, 1997–2000
  • University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, 1991–97


Journal Articles


Stanford Case Studies

In the Media

Insights by Stanford Business