Photo of Adam Grant

Adam Grant

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

Links: CV, Personal Website, TED talk: The surprising habits of original thinkers

Contact Information



Adam Grant has been recognized as Wharton's top-rated teacher for five straight years, and as one of the world's 25 most influential management thinkersthe 100 most creative people in business, the top 40 business professors under 40, HR's most influential international thinkers, and Malcolm Gladwell's favorite thinkers.


Adam is the author of two New York Times bestselling books translated into 34 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 what it takes to be original 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 Google, the NBA, Merck, Goldman Sachs, Disney Pixar, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, BCG, Amex, the United Nations, 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 been honored with 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 based on The Apprentice in which students have raised over $325,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while developing leadership, influence, networking and collaboration skills.

Media Coverage

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 FoundationHe 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. 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. He serves on the Lean In board and authored a New York Times series on women and work with Sheryl Sandberg, including Speaking while female and Madam C.E.O., get me a coffee. For more details, see


  • J. I. Menges, Danielle Tussing, A. Wihler, Adam Grant (2016), When Job Performance is All Relative: How Family Motivation Energizes Effort and Compensates for Intrinsic Motivation, Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming.
  • Rob Cross, Reb Rebele, Adam Grant, "Collaborative overload" in Harvard Business Review.
  • Adam Grant, Mark Bolino (2016), The bright side of being prosocial at work, and the dark side, too: A review and agenda for research on other-oriented motives, behavior, and impact in organizations, Academy of Management Annals  
  • Alexander J. Rothman, Peter M. Gollwitzer, Adam Grant, David T. Neal, Paschal Sheeran, Wendy Wood (2015), Hale and hearty policies: How psychological science can create and maintain healthy habits, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10, 701 - 705.
  • Adam Grant, "Friends at work? Not so much" in The New York Times.
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant, "How men can succeed in the boardroom and the bedroom" in The New York Times.
  • Adam Grant, Sheryl Sandberg, "Madam CEO, get me a coffee" in The New York Times.
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant, "Speaking while female" in The New York Times.
  • Adam Grant, Sheryl Sandberg, "When talking about bias backfires" in The New York Times.
  • Adam Grant, Justin Berg, Daniel Cable (2014), Job titles as identity badges: How self-reflective titles can reduce emotional exhaustion, Academy of Management Journal, 57 (4), 1201 - 1225.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, "Raising a moral child" in The New York Times.
  • Adam Grant, "Outsource inspiration". In Putting Positive Leadership in Action: Bringing Out the Best in Work Organizations, edited by Jane Dutton, Gretchen Spreitzer, (2014).  
  • Adam Grant, "A solution for bad teaching" in The New York Times.
  • Amir Erez, Adam Grant (2014), Separating data from intuition: Bringing evidence into the management classroom, Academy of Management Learning & Education, forthcoming.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant (2013), Rocking the boat but keeping it steady: The role of emotion regulation in employee voice, Academy of Management Journal, 56, 1703 - 1723.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Nancy Rothbard (2013), When in doubt, seize the day? Security values, prosocial values, and proactivity under ambiguity, Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 810 - 819. doi: 10.1037/a0032873.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, "Why men need women" in The New York Times.
  • Adam Grant, "Work and the art of motivation maintenance". In Psychology and the Real World (2nd ed.), edited by Morton Gernsbacher, (2013).  
  • Adam Grant, "You, an idea thief? Say it isn't so" in The Wall Street Journal.
  • Adam Grant (2013), Rethinking the extraverted sales ideal: The ambivert advantage, Psychological Science, 24 (6), 1024 - 1030.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, "Turning the tables on success" in strategy+business.
  • Philip Tetlock, Ferdinand Vieider, Shefali Patil, Adam Grant (2013), Accountability and ideology: When left looks right and right looks left, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 122, 22 - 35.  
  • Adam Grant, "In the company of givers and takers" in Harvard Business Review, April, 90-97.  
  • Sharon Arieli, Adam Grant, Lilach Sagiv (2013), Convincing yourself to care about others: An intervention for enhancing benevolence values, Journal of Personality, (forthcoming).  Abstract
  • Scott Sonenshein, Jane Dutton, Adam Grant, Kathleen Sutcliffe, Gretchen Spreitzer (2013), Growing at work: Employees’ interpretations of progressive self-change in organizations, Organization Science, 24: 552-570.    Abstract
  • Christopher Michaelson, Michael Pratt, Adam Grant, Craig Dunn (2013), Meaningful work: Connecting business ethics and organization studies, Journal of Business Ethics, 121, 77 - 90.    Abstract
  • Lara Aknin, Elizabeth F. Dunn, Ashley Whillans, Adam Grant, Michael Norton (2013), Making a difference matters: Impact unlocks the emotional benefits of prosocial spending, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, (forthcoming).  Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Shefali Patil (2012), Challenging the norm of self-interest: Minority influence and transitions to helping norms in work units, Academy of Management Review, 37: 547-568.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant (2012), Giving time, time after time: Work design and sustained employee participation in corporate volunteering, Academy of Management Review, 37: 589-615.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant (2012), Leading with meaning: Beneficiary contact, prosocial impact, and the performance effects of transformational leadership, Academy of Management Journal, 55: 458-476.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Jane Dutton (2012), Beneficiary or benefactor: The effects of reflecting about receiving versus giving on prosocial behavior, Psychological Science, 23: 1033-1039.    Abstract
  • Daniel C. Feiler, Leigh P. Tost, Adam Grant (2012), Mixed reasons, missed givings: The costs of blending egoistic and altruistic reasons in donation requests, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48: 1322-1328.    Abstract
  • Andrew Molinsky, Adam Grant, Joshua D. Margolis (2012), The bedside manner of homo economicus: How and why priming an economic schema reduces compassion, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119: 27-37.    Abstract
  • Sabine Sonnentag, Adam Grant (2012), Doing good at work feels good at home, but not right away: When and why perceived prosocial impact predicts positive affect, Personnel Psychology, 65: 495-530.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, "The unbearable lightness of meetings" in Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship.
  • Adam Grant, Timothy Pollock (2011), From the Editors: Publishing in AMJ?Part 3: Setting the hook, Academy of Management Journal, 54: 873-879.  
  • Adam Grant, Francesca Gino, David Hofmann (2011), Reversing the extraverted leadership advantage: The role of employee proactivity, Academy of Management Journal, 54, 528 - 550.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, James Berry (2011), The necessity of others is the mother of invention: Intrinsic and prosocial motivations, perspective-taking, and creativity, Academy of Management Journal, 54, 73 - 96.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Barry Schwartz (2011), Too much of a good thing: The challenge and opportunity of the inverted-U, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 61 - 76.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Jihae Shin, "Work motivation: Directing, energizing, and maintaining effort (and research)". In Oxford handbook of motivation, edited by R.M. Ryan, (2011), 505 - 519.  
  • Adam Grant, Justin Berg, "Prosocial motivation at work: When, why, and how making a difference makes a difference". In Oxford handbook of positive organizational scholarship, edited by K. Cameron, G. Spreitzer, (2011), 28 - 44.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Francesca Gino, David Hofmann, "Stop stealing the spotlight: The perils of extraverted leadership" in European Business Review, May-June, 29-31.  
  • Adam Grant, Samir Nurmohamed, Susan J. Ashford, Kathryn Dekas (2011), The performance implications of ambivalent initiative: The interplay of autonomous and controlled motivations, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116, 241 - 251.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, David Hofmann (2011), It's not all about me: Motivating hospital hand hygiene by focusing on patients, Psychological Science, 22, 1494 - 1499.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, David Hofmann (2011), Outsourcing inspiration: The performance effects of ideological messages from leaders and beneficiaries, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116, 173 - 187.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, David Hofmann (2011), Role expansion as a persuasion process: The interpersonal influence dynamics of role redefinition, Organizational Psychology Review, 1, 9 - 31.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Francesca Gino, David Hofmann, "The hidden advantages of quiet bosses" in Harvard Business Review, December, 28.  
  • Justin Berg, Adam Grant, Victoria Johnson (2010), When callings are calling: Crafting work and leisure in pursuit of unanswered occupational callings, Organization Science, 21 (5), 973 - 994.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Francesca Gino (2010), A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98: 946-955.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Sabine Sonnentag (2010), Doing good buffers against feeling bad: Prosocial impact compensates for negative task and self-evaluations, Organizatiional Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 111: 13-22.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Yitzhak Fried, Tina Juillerat, "Work matters: Job design in classic and contemporary perspectives". In APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, edited by S. Zedeck, (2010), I: 417 - 453.  
  • Adam Grant, Amy Wrzesniewski (2010), I won’t let you down… or will I? Core self-evaluations, other-orientation, anticipated guilt and gratitude, and job performance, Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 108 - 121.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Yitzhak Fried, Sharon Parker, Michael Frese (2010), Putting job design in context: Introduction to the special issue, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31, 145 - 157.    Abstract
  • Bradley Wright, Adam Grant (2010), Unanswered questions about public service motivation: Designing research to address key issues of emergence and effects, Public Administration Review, 70, 691 - 700.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Kimberly Wade-Benzoni (2009), The hot and cool of death awareness at work: Mortality cues, aging, and self-protective and prosocial motivations, Academy of Management Review, 34, 600 - 622.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Sharon Parker (2009), Redesigning work design theories: The rise of relational and proactive perspectives, Academy of Management Annals, 3: 317-375.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, David Mayer (2009), Good soldiers and good actors: Prosocial and impression management motives as interactive predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors, Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 900 - 912.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, John Sumanth (2009), Mission possible? The performance of prosocially motivated employees depends on manager trustworthiness, Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 927 - 944.    Abstract
  • David Hofmann, Zhike Lei, Adam Grant (2009), Seeking help in the shadow of a doubt: The sensemaking processes underlying how nurses decide who to ask for advice, Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 1261 - 1274.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Sharon Parker, Catherine Collins (2009), Getting credit for proactive behavior: Supervisor reactions depend on what you value and how you feel, Personnel Psychology, 62, 31 - 55.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Toby Wall (2009), The neglected science and art of quasi-experimentation: Why-to, when-to, and how-to advice for organizational researchers, Organizational Research Methods, 12, 653 - 686.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, "We commit when we give" in Sustainable Enterprise Quarterly.
  • Adam Grant (2009), Putting self-interest out of business? Contributions and unanswered questions from use-inspired research on prosocial motivation, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2, 94 - 98.  
  • Adam Grant, Andrew Molinsky, Joshua Margolis, Melissa Kamin, William Schiano (2009), The performer’s reactions to procedural injustice: When prosocial identity reduces prosocial behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39, 319 - 349.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Jane Dutton, Brent Rosso (2008), Giving commitment: Employee support programs and the prosocial sensemaking process, Academy of Management Journal, 51: 898-918.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant (2008), Does intrinsic motivation fuel the prosocial fire? Motivational synergy in predicting persistence, performance, and productivity, Journal of Applied Psychology    Abstract
  • Adam Grant (2008), The significance of task significance: Job performance effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions, Journal of Applied Psychology, 93: 108-124.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant (2008), Employees without a cause: The motivational effects of prosocial impact in public service, International Public Management Journal    Abstract
  • Adam Grant (2008), Designing jobs to do good: Dimensions and psychological consequences of prosocial job characteristics, Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 19 - 39.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Susan J. Ashford (2008), The dynamics of proactivity at work, Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 3 - 34.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Jane Dutton, Brent Rosso, "That’s important! Making a difference with organizational research". In Sage handbook of new & emerging approaches to management & organization, edited by D. Barry, H. Hansen, (2008), 451 - 452.  
  • Joshua D. Margolis, Adam Grant, Andrew Molinsky, "Expanding ethical standards of HRM: Necessary evils and the multiple dimensions of impact". In Human resource management: Ethics and employment, edited by A.H. Pinnington, R. Macklin, T. Campbell, (2007), 237 - 251.  
  • Adam Grant (2007), Relational job design and the motivation to make a prosocial difference, Academy of Management Review, 32, 393 - 417.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Elizabeth M. Campbell, Grace Chen, Keenan Cottone, David Lapedis, Karen Lee (2007), Impact and the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior, Organizatiional Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 103: 53-67.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Marlys Christianson, Richard Price (2007), Happiness, health, or relationships? Managerial practices and employee well-being tradeoffs, Academy of Management Perspectives, 21, 51 - 63.    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Elizabeth M. Campbell (2007), Doing good, doing harm, being well and burning out: The interactions of perceived prosocial and antisocial impact in service work, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 80, 665 - 691.    Abstract
  • Yitzhak Fried, Adam Grant, Ariel Levi, Michael Hadani, Linda Slowik (2007), Job design in temporal context: A career dynamics perspective, Journal of Organizational Behavior    Abstract
  • Adam Grant, Brian R. Little, Susan D. Phillips, "Personal projects and organizational lives: When personal projects are not merely personal". In Personal project pursuit: Goals, action, and human flourishing, edited by B.R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, S.D. Phillips, (2006), 221 - 246.  
  • Brian R. Little, Adam Grant, "The sustainable pursuit of core projects, including this one: Retrospect and prospects". In Personal project pursuit: Goals, action, and human flourishing, edited by B.R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, S.D. Phillips, (2006), 403 - 444.  
  • Peter Anderson, Ruth Blatt, Marlys Christianson, Adam Grant, Christopher Marquis, Eric Neuman, Scott Sonenshein, Kathleen Sutcliffe (2006), Understanding mechanisms in organizational research: Reflections from a collective journey, Journal of Management Inquiry, 15, 102 - 113.    Abstract
  • Gretchen Spreitzer, Kathleen Sutcliffe, Jane Dutton, Scott Sonenshein, Adam Grant (2005), A socially embedded model of thriving at work, Organization Science, 16, 537 - 549.    Abstract

Awards And Honors

In The News

Knowledge @ Wharton


Adam Grant teaches MBA and undergraduate courses in leadership and teamwork, negotiation, and organizational behavior. At the executive level, he teaches these topics and classes on organizational change, networks and social capital, and motivating and engaging employees.



  • MGMT238 - Organizational Behavior

    Management 238 is an organizational behavior course, examining individual, interpersonal, and group effectiveness at work. Topics range from decision- making, motivation, and personality to networks, influence, helping, leadership, teamwork, and organizational culture. The learning method is heavily experiential, with a focus on applying key principles to the human side of management in role-play exercises, simulations, and group projects in local organizations. This course requires the instructor's permission. Registration is by application only; Penn In Touch requests will not be processed. The link to the application form will be available on the Management Department's website:, beginning March 14, 2016. The deadline for applications is March 25, 2016 at 5 PM. Students will be notified after April 1, 2016 regarding the status of their application.

  • MGMT610 - Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership

    Management 610 is the first core course in the MBA Program and it cannot be waived The first week of the fall term (in August) is dedicated to this formative and foundational experience. This course focuses on developing students' knowledge and skill set for teamwork and leadership. It is meant to be an intense immersion experience that draws strongly on the pedagogy of the Wharton Teamwork and Leadership Simulation, a team-based, highly interactive simulation that was custom-designed specifically to allow students to experience the core concepts they learn in this class. The three goals of thiscourse are for students to learn: 1. Leadership behaviors: how to enact the skills that contribute to a team's effective performance. 2. Team dynamics: how to be an effective team member, as well as how to best design work teams; 3. Organizational awareness: understanding organizational culture.