Jeffrey Pfeffer

Professor, Organizational Behavior
+1 (650) 723-2915

Jeffrey Pfeffer

The Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior

Academic Area:

Research Statement

Jeffrey Pfeffer has published extensively in the fields of organization theory and human resource management. His current research focuses on the effects of work environments on human health and well-being, power and leadership in organizations, evidence-based management, the knowing-doing gap, and how thinking of time like money affects people’s choices about spending time in ways that promote unhappiness.


Jeffrey Pfeffer is The Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business where he has taught since 1979. He is the author or co-author of 15 books including:

  • Dying for a Paycheck:  How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—And What We Can Do About It,
  • Leadership B.S.: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time;
  • The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First;
  • Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t;
  • The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge Into Action;
  • Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management
  • And more than 150 articles and book chapters.

Dr. Pfeffer received his BS and MS degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and his PhD from Stanford. He began his career at the business school at the University of Illinois and then taught at the University of California, Berkeley. Pfeffer has been a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School, Singapore Management University, London Business School, Copenhagen Business School, and for the past 14 years a visitor at IESE in Barcelona.

From 2003-2007, Pfeffer wrote a monthly column, “The Human Factor,” for the 650,000-person circulation business magazine, Business 2.0 and from 2007-2010, he wrote a monthly column providing career advice for Capital, a leading business and economics magazine in Turkey.  Pfeffer has also written for, BNET, the Washington Post,, and is an Influencer on LinkedIn.

Pfeffer currently serves on the advisory board for Collective Health, and on the board of the nonprofit Quantum Leap Healthcare. In the past he has served on the boards of Resumix, Unicru, and Workstream, all human capital software companies, Audible Magic, an internet company, SonoSite, a NASDAQ company designing and manufacturing portable ultrasound machines, Berlin Packaging and the San Francisco Playhouse, a non-profit theater. 

Pfeffer has presented seminars in 40 countries throughout the world as well as doing consulting and providing executive education for numerous companies, associations, and universities in the United States.

Jeffrey Pfeffer has won the Richard D. Irwin Award presented by the Academy of Management for scholarly contributions to management and numerous awards for his articles and books. He is listed in the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame and as one of the most influential HR thinkers by HR Magazine. In November 2011, he was presented with an honorary doctorate degree from Tilburg University in The Netherlands.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Business Administration, Organizational Behavior, Stanford University, 1972
  • MS in Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1968
  • BS in Administration and Management Science, Carnegie Mellon University, 1968

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 1979
  • Tommie Goh Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship, Singapore Management University, Winter 2006
  • Visiting Professor, IESE Business School, Spring 2006
  • Advanced Institute of Management Visiting Professor, London Business School, Fall 2005
  • Thomas Henry Carroll-Ford Foundation Visiting Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, 1981–82
  • Assistant-Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley, 1973–79
  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, 1971–73

Awards and Honors

  • BP Faculty Fellow in Global Management for 2021–22
  • Hank McKinnell-Pfizer Inc. Faculty Fellow for 2015–16
  • Honorary Doctorate, Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 2011
  • Richard D. Irwin Scholarly Contributions to Management Award, Academy of Management, 1989
  • Terry Book Award, Academy of Management, 1984


Journal Articles

Jeffrey Pfeffer
Academy of Management Perspectives
November 2023 Vol. 37 Issue 4
Erin Frey, Gabrielle S. Adams, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Peter Ronald Belmi
Journal of Management
January 2023 Vol. 49 Issue 1 Pages 196–236
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Sara Singer, Martin Stepanek
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
May 2022 Vol. 64 Issue 5 Pages 370–376
Arthur S. Jago, Nathanael Fast, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Journal of Business Ethics
January 2022 Vol. 175 Issue 2 Pages 413–425
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Organizational Dynamics
January 2022 Vol. 51 Issue 1 Pages 1–10
Charles A. O’Reilly, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Personality and Individual Differences
November 2021 Vol. 182
Charles A. O’Reilly, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Personality and Individual Differences
April 2021 Vol. 172
John R. Adler, Jr., Hong Do, Jeffrey Pfeffer
February 2021 Vol. 13 Issue 2
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stacie Vilendrer, Grace Joseph, Jason Kim, Sara Singer
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
November 2020 Vol. 62 Issue 11 Pages E601–E610
Jieun Pai, Sanford E. DeVoe, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
November 2020 Vol. 161 Pages 158–175
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Dan Witters, Sangeeta Agrawal , James K. Harter
Academy of Management Discoveries
October 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 3 Pages 325–340
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Academy of Management Discoveries
April 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 1
Arthur S. Jago, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Journal of Business Ethics
November 2019 Vol. 160 Issue 1 Pages 71-87
Peter Belmi, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Journal of Organizational Behavior
October 2018 Vol. 39 Issue 8 Pages 990-1007
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Academy of Management Discoveries
2018 Vol. 4 Issue 1 Pages 94-96
Jeffrey Pfeffer
People & Strategy
October 2016 Vol. 39 Issue 4 Pages 32-35
Peter Belmi, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Journal of Applied Psychology
May 2016 Vol. 101 Issue 5 Pages 702-720
Joel Goh, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stefanos Zenios
Management Science
March 13, 2016 Vol. 62 Issue 2 Pages 608-628
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Journal of Management Studies
January 25, 2016 Vol. 53 Issue 4 Pages 663-669
Jeffrey Pfeffer
The Academy of Management Perspectives
November 1, 2013
Sanford E. DeVoe, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Byron Y. Lee
2013 Vol. 66 Issue 5
Sanford E. DeVoe, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
April 2010 Vol. 36 Issue 4 Pages 470–483
Sanford E. DeVoe, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
September 2007 Vol. 104 Issue 1 Pages 1–13
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Christina T. Fong, Robert B Cialdini
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
November 2006 Vol. 32 Issue 10 Pages 362-74
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert I. Sutton
Harvard Business Review
January 2006
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Human Resource Management
May 20, 2005 Vol. 44 Issue 2 Pages 123–128
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert I. Sutton
Harvard Business Review
May 1999 Pages 135-142


Jeffrey Pfeffer
Harper Business
March 20, 2018
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Harper Business
New York
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Harvard Business School Press
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert I. Sutton
Harvard Business School Press
Charles A. O’Reilly, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Harvard Business School Press
August 1, 2000
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert I. Sutton
Harvard Business School Press
December 3, 1999
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Harvard Business Review Press
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Oxford University Press
New York
June 5, 1997
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Harvard Business School Press
March 1996
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Harvard Business Review Press
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Marshfield, MA
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Gerald Salancik
Harper & Row

Working Papers

Jeffrey Pfeffer, Sally Blount, Gyorgy Hunyady, John Jost 2003

Academic Publications

Jeffrey Pfeffer, Leanne Williams
McKinsey Quarterly
December 8, 2020


Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Advance your skills, career, and network with the Asian Leadership Program, the first program of its kind from a leading business school.
Transform your leadership, build community, and explore the complexities of showing up authentically in the Black Leaders Program.
Learn about cutting-edge social science frameworks and design thinking techniques in a unique partnership between Stanford GSB and
Learn how to diagnose and react to organizational dynamics, build power, and increase your influence to amplify your impact.
Gain general management training — combining conceptual knowledge with individual experiences — and increase your impact in the nonprofit sector.
Develop your leadership style, create an action plan and inspire innovation in your team, your company, and the world.
Leverage diverse research, proven methodologies, and design thinking for change management in this collaboration between Stanford and Harvard.
Gain a competitive advantage using Silicon Valley models and mindsets to recruit, retain, and inspire people for performance and growth.
Reinvigorate and ramp up your professional journey and evolve as a leader in our flagship executive program.
Transform knowledge into impact and drive innovation and change in your organization with Stanford LEAD, our flagship online business program.

Stanford Case Studies

Jeffrey Pfeffer
Charles O'Reilly, Jeffrey Pfeffer, David Hoyt, Davina Drabkin
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Megan Anderson
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Megan Anderson
Harold Grousbeck, Joel Peterson, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Alex Tauber
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee, II
Victoria Chang, Charles O'Reilly III, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Victoria Chang, Charles O'Reilly III, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Victoria Chang
Victoria Chang, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Victoria Chang
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Victoria Chang
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Victoria Chang
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Victoria Chang, Kimberly Elsbach
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Victoria Chang, Kimberly Elsbach
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Charles O'Reilly III, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Charles O'Reilly III, Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Jeffrey Pfeffer

Stanford University Affiliations

  • Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences 1998-1999

Service to the Profession

  • Fellow, Academy of Management
  • Member, Industrial Relations Research Association

Editorial Board

  • Administrative Science Quarterly

In the Media

Insights by Stanford Business

December 12, 2023
’Tis the season for personal and professional growth.
December 07, 2023
Communication. Power. Technology. Finance. This year’s podcast roundup has something for everyone.
April 27, 2023
None of us are getting any younger. That could be a huge opportunity.
April 27, 2023
People around the world are living, working, and learning longer. Get ready to upgrade your old ideas about longevity.
December 12, 2022
Eleven articles to help you work, lead, and collaborate better.
December 06, 2022
Our favorite episodes from the past year delve into business topics from workplace communication and power to technology, finance, and economics.
December 05, 2022
“Layoffs kill people,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer. And they don’t cut costs or improve productivity.
November 04, 2022
Author David Gelles says former GE CEO Jack Welch spurred era of “profits over people.”
July 29, 2022
Want your team to feel better and work better? Create a volunteer program.
July 07, 2022
The latest books from Stanford GSB faculty and lecturers.
June 06, 2022
Jeffrey Pfeffer says that rising to the top requires a willingness to break rules — and competence is often overrated.
June 03, 2021
In this podcast episode, we discuss the body language and word choices that can help you “power up” or “power down” your communication.
October 14, 2020
Cultivate your network and think strategically to rise in your career.
October 13, 2020
Motivating teams requires ambition, confidence, and empathy.
September 03, 2020
A new study shows that workers’ pay structure — hourly vs. salaried — affects how they perceive and spend their downtime.
April 30, 2020
For employers, best practices during a pandemic are no different than before: take care of your people.
April 17, 2020
Here’s a curated collection from the archives that offer self-care wisdom and helpful life lessons during a period of worldwide stress.
February 03, 2020
People believe corporations are less ethical than people, even when the crimes are the same.
December 03, 2018
From tips for career satisfaction to an economist’s stint as an Uber driver, here are the stories that caught our readers’ attention.
November 07, 2018
When money is on the line, a new study finds, people give less weight to social warmth.
April 19, 2018
Stanford GSB professors recommend their favorite books and articles related to the concept.
March 15, 2018
A new book examines the massive health care toll today’s work culture exacts on employees.
March 08, 2018
Why a Stanford-trained entrepreneur sees gold in all that red tape.
December 05, 2017
15 Stanford business professors recommend books for those long winter nights.
August 21, 2017
Stanford GSB professors suggest a reading list of articles and books related to the concept.
June 01, 2017
Whether it’s now or later, people opt for guaranteed gains or losses when ambiguity reigns.
April 18, 2017
A new study reveals spikes in stress when employees are told to think of time as money.
December 12, 2016
Long commute? Spend the time listening to these 10 Stanford Business stories.
August 30, 2016
Stanford GSB professors suggest articles and books related to the concept of “equity.”
July 11, 2016
Confronted by their mortality, men, more than women, seek power to ease their anxiety.
June 06, 2016
Our inclination to rationalize low acts by high-status people has deep psychological roots.
February 25, 2016
Researchers analyze workplace health to find inequalities.
December 19, 2015
Explore Stanford Business stories from 2015, including pieces on technology, finance, and work-life balance.
September 29, 2015
Power skills and behaviors matter for career success.
September 09, 2015
Advice given to leaders is too often based on the ideal world, not reality.
April 30, 2015
Those in the know share where to go to learn more about reward and related topics.
March 19, 2015
A professor of organizational behavior describes how you can increase your influence at work.
February 23, 2015
Stanford scholars identify 10 work stressors that are destroying your health.
February 20, 2015
Repaying favors is the norm in our personal lives, but not in the workplace.
December 11, 2014
Explore 10 Stanford Business stories from 2014, including pieces on happiness and networking.
May 21, 2014
How to connect to the people who matter.
March 24, 2014
A professor of organizational behavior says office power dynamics are part of our DNA.
January 06, 2014
New research by Stanford GSB Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer shows that the more money we earn, the more money we want.
June 07, 2013
A professor of organizational behavior argues that “human sustainability” may pay off too.
April 01, 2009
A professor of organizational behavior says companies spend too much time on polar bears and not enough on people.
September 01, 2007
Research shows bonuses and incentives are nice gestures of recognition, but aren't effective to drive behavior.
August 01, 2006
Studies show that those who are paid hourly think of time as a commodity.
August 01, 2006
Recent research shows having an agent or recruiter negotiate a deal for you makes you seem more likeable — and can get you a better deal.
April 01, 2006
The Southwest Airlines chairman and former CEO explains the business philosophy that has his company thriving in the brutal airline industry.
June 01, 2005
A professor of organizational behavior says senior leaders need to understand how their mental models of business affect organizational performance.
September 15, 2003
Even some well-established practices may be counterproductive
November 01, 1999
Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton explore how companies can turn talk into action, and why promoting internal competition may not help.
September 01, 1997
A study reveals the tendency of leaders to inflate the worth of work produced with their direct oversight.

School News

September 03, 2021
The basic lessons of this perennially popular class are simple. Putting them into practice is not.
March 27, 2019
These Stanford GSB women are changing their industries and their communities.
October 06, 2017
What do an adman and an investigative reporter have to teach us about corporations and society? Visiting experts challenge assumptions.
September 28, 2017
Gentry Magazine learns how Stanford Professor Jennifer Aaker and Lecturer Naomi Bagdonas, MBA ’15 are bringing humor to the classroom and business world.
April 07, 2016
Since 1968, Stanford GSB has recognized lifelong achievement in management, leadership, and community service with the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award.
February 22, 2016
One recent participant in a Stanford Executive Education program discovered that changing the world begins with educating himself.
April 01, 2008
The first official GSB library didn’t formally open until 1933; it was tightly wedged into a portion of Jordan Hall that doubled as a classroom.
June 01, 2006
Major changes in the content and delivery of management education through its MBA Program will be implemented in fall of 2007.