Class of 1965 Wharton Professor of Management
Professor of Psychology
Research Interests: work motivation and success, originality and non-conformity, generosity and helping, job design and meaningful work, leadership and culture
Adam is the author of two New York Times bestselling books translated into 35 languages. Originals, on how individuals champion new ideas and leaders fight groupthink, is a #1 national bestseller and one of Amazon's best books of February 2016. Give and Take, on why helping others drives our success, was named one of the best books of 2013 by Amazon, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal-- as well as one Oprah's riveting reads and Harvard Business Review's ideas that shaped management.
Teaching, Speaking, Consulting, and Leadership
Adam received a standing ovation for his 2016 TED talk on the surprising habits of original thinkers and was voted the audience's favorite speaker at The Nantucket Project on the success of givers and takers. His speaking and consulting clients include Facebook, Google, the NBA, Merck, Goldman Sachs, Disney Pixar, Johnson & Johnson, BCG, Amex, the U.S. Army and Navy, and the World Economic Forum, where he has been honored as a Young Global Leader. At Wharton, he has received the Excellence in Teaching Award for all of his classes and earned the Goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty MBA Teaching Award. He is the founder and host of the Authors@Wharton speaker series, and co-director of Wharton People Analytics. He has designed experiential learning activities in which students have raised over $325,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while developing leadership, influence, networking and collaboration skills. He is a passionate feminist who writes on women and work with Sheryl Sandberg, including Speaking while female and Madam C.E.O., get me a coffee. He serves on the Lean In board and the Defense Innovation Advisory Board at the Pentagon.
Adam has been profiled twice on the Today Show and in the New York Times magazine cover story, Is giving the secret to getting ahead? His studies have been highlighted in books such as Quiet by Susan Cain, Drive by Daniel Pink, Thrive by Arianna Huffington, A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and David and Goliath by Gladwell. He is a contributing op-ed writer on work and psychology for the New York Times, where his articles on Raising a moral child and How to raise a creative child have each been shared over 300,000 times on social media.
Adam received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Michigan in organizational psychology, finishing it in less than three years, and his B.A. from Harvard University, magna cum laude with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa honors, and the John Harvard Scholarship for highest academic achievement.
Adam's research focuses on generosity, motivation and meaningful work, championing new ideas, personality traits like introversion-extraversion, and leadership, collaboration, culture, and organizational change. He has earned numerous prestigious awards for distinguished scholarly achievement, including the Cummings Scholarly Achievement Award for early-to-mid-career contributions from the Academy of Management, the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award and the Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for the best publication in the field from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. He has published more than 60 articles in a wide range of leading management and psychology journals, and his pioneering research has introduced evidence-based techniques that increase performance and reduce burnout among engineers and sales professionals, enhance call center productivity, and motivate helping and safety behaviors among doctors, nurses, and lifeguards.
At Wharton, Adam was granted tenure while still in his twenties. (If you were confused by his title, he did not graduate in 1965-- his chaired professorship was endowed by the Wharton class of 1965.) Before graduate school, he worked at Let’s Go Publications, where he set multiple company records for advertising sales and earned the Manager of the Year award. He is a former junior Olympic springboard diver and performed for over a decade as a magician. For more details, see www.adamgrant.net