My research explores a variety of topics, approached largely from the standpoint of psychological research on human judgment and decision making. My most recent empirical research includes exploring the foundations of happiness and meaning, creativity, trust and distrust within organizations, organizational and social paranoia, as well as the determinants of cooperation and conflict in social systems. I also study presidential judgment and decision making, as well as decision making in other interesting real world contexts, including the entertainment industry, U.S. intelligence agencies, and medical settings. Additionally, I have done extensive research on judgment and decision making in negotiation and leadership contexts. Finally, I study the antecedents and consequences of social and organizational identities, with an emphasis on how such identities shape judgment and decision making.
My teaching spans more than 30 years at Stanford, and includes developing the first research-based negotiations course at the business school in 1985, followed by the first research-based course on group decision making and group processes. Additionally, I have developed original electives on happiness and meaning (for both MBAs and undergraduates), creativity, identity and story-telling, paths to power (co-developed with Jeffrey Pfeffer), leadership in the entertainment industry (co-developed with Bill Guttentag), and the “genius and folly” of great leaders. I have also taught in over 40 executive programs at Stanford and Harvard, including Stanford’s flagship executive program for senior executives, Harvard Kennedy Schools’ program for senior government leaders, and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.