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Michael Useem

William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management

Editor, Wharton Leadership Digest

Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management

Research Interests: catastrophic and enterprise risk management., corporate change and restructuring, leadership, decision making, and governance

Links: Personal Website

Contact Information

Address: 2103 SH-DH, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 898-7684




PhD, Harvard University; MA, Harvard University; BS, University of Michigan.

Academic Appointment:

William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management, 1997-. Director, Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management, 1996-.

Recent Consulting:

Numerous programs on leadership, decision making, governance, and change with companies and organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, including Abbott, American Express, Cargill, CEO Academy, Cisco, Coca-Cola, DuPont, Estee Lauder, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Morgan Stanley, New York Fire Department, Northrop Grumman, Petrobras, Pew Charitable Trusts, Samsung, Sprint, 3M, The New York Times, Toyota, Verizon, United Nations, U.S. Government, and World Economic Forum.



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  • Michael Useem, Harbir Singh, Peter Cappelli, Jitendra Singh (2015), "Indian Business Leadership: Broad Mission and Creative Value", The Leadership Quarterly
  • Michael Useem (2015), “From Classwide Coherence to Company-Focused Management and Director Engagement,” , Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 43.
  • Michael Useem, Howard Kunreuther, Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Leadership Dispatches: Chile's Extraordinary Comeback from Disaster (2015).
  • Michael Useem, Andrea Useem (2014), “Exceptional Frontline Performance: Learning from the Medal of Honor Tradition", Organizational Dynamics
  • Michael Useem, Rodrigo Jordán, Matko Koljatic (2011), “How to Lead During a Crisis: Lessons from the Rescue of the Chilean Miners", MIT Sloan Management Review, V. 53, no. 1, Fall, 2011, pp. 1-7.
  • Michael Useem (2010), “Four Lessons in Adaptive Leadership", Harvard Business Review, November, 2010.  Abstract  Related Materials
  • Jitendra Singh, Peter Cappelli, Harbir Singh, Michael Useem, The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders are Revolutionizing Management, Harvard Business Press (2010).  Related Materials
  • Peter Cappelli, Harbir Singh, Jitendra Singh, Michael Useem (2010), "Leadership Lessons From India", Harvard Business Review, 90-97.  Abstract
  • Michael Useem, Harbir Singh (2010), “The India Way: Lessons for the U.S.", Academy of Management Perspectives, 24 (2), 6 - 24.
  • Michael Useem (2006), “Oversight and Delegation in Corporate Governance: Deciding What the Board Should Decide", Corporate Governance
  • Michael Useem (2006), "How Well-Run Boards Make Decisions,", Harvard Business Review  Abstract
  • Michael Useem, The Go Point: When It’s Time to Decide, Crown Business/Random House (2006).  Related Materials
  • Michael Useem, James Cook, Larry Sutton (2005), "Developing Leaders for Decision Making Under Duress: Wildland Firefighters in the South Canyon Fire and Its Aftermath", Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2005, pp. 461-485.  Abstract
  • Michael Useem, Paul Asel, Jerry Useem, eds., Upward Bound: Nine Original Accounts of How Business Leaders Reached Their Summits, Crown Business/Random House (2004).
  • Michael Useem, Leading Up, Crown Business/Random House (2003).
  • Michael Useem, The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All, Random House (1998).
  • Peter Cappelli, Laurie Bassi, David Knoke, Harry C. Katz, Paul Osterman, Michael Useem, Change at Work, Oxford University Press (1996).
  • Michael Useem, Investor Capitalism: How Money Managers are Changing the Face of Corporate America, Basic Books/HarperCollins (1996).
  • Michael Useem, Executive Defense, Harvard University Press (1993).
  • Michael Useem, Thomas A. Kochan, eds., Transforming Organizations, Oxford University Press (1992).
  • Michael Useem, Peter Doeringer et al., eds., Turbulence in the American Workplace, Oxford University Press (1991).
  • Michael Useem, Liberal Education and the Corporation: The Hiring and Advancement of College Graduates, Aldine de Gruyter (1989).
  • Michael Useem, The Inner Circle: Large Corporations and the Rise of Business Political Activity, Oxford University Press (1984).

Awards And Honors

  • Core teaching Award WEMBA East, 2011
  • Core teaching Award WEMBA West, 2011
  • Graduate Division Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2004
  • MBA Core Teaching Award, 2003-2009
  • MBA for Executives Program Teaching Award, 2003-2011
  • MBA for Executives Program Teaching Award, 2000-2001
  • MBA Core Teaching Award, 1993-2000
  • Graduate Division Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1992-2001
  • Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award for Teaching Excellence in the Graduate Division, 1992

In The News

Knowledge @ Wharton



  • MGMT610 - Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership

    At every level of an organization, teamwork and leadership are required for organizational success. Teamwork and leadership have always been critical to society, but they have acquired new significance in recent years during this era of heightened uncertainty, restructuring, and change. The tenor of leadership has changed as well. Many organizations are flattening their hierarchies and building work teams, with "command and control" leadership giving way to facilitation and empowerment. Format: This course focuses on developing your knowledge and skill set for teamwork and leadership. This course ismeant to be an intense immersion experience that draws strongly on the pedagogyof the "Wharton Teamwork and Leadership Simulation," a team-based, highly interactive, simulation that was designed specifically to allow you to experience the core concepts you will learn in this class. The simulation is based on research evidence and on specific business cases and outcomes. The simulation is strongly interwoven with your classroom experience and cutting edge and theory to give you a rich understanding of teamwork and leadership principles.

  • MGMT611 - Managing Established Enterprises

    The management of large, established enterprises creates a range of multi-facet challenges for the general manager. A general manager needs to understand the internal workings of a firm, how to assess and create a strategy,an how to take into account increasing, globalization. While these issues are distinct, they are very much intertwined. As a result, this course will provide you with an integrated view of these challenges and show you that successful management in the 21st century requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy.