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Amy Edmondson      

Novartis Professor of Leadership & Management at Harvard Business School

Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, where she has taught for 19 years. The Novartis Chair was established to enable the study of human interactions that lead to the creation of successful business enterprises for the betterment of society. Edmondson’s research examines leadership, learning and innovation in teams and organizations, and has been published in more than 70 articles in journals and books, and in more than 30 Harvard teaching cases. Her research, teaching, and consulting on these issues has occurred in the contexts of health care delivery, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, financial services, government agencies, and consumer product companies. Her emphasis is on teaming – the activities of collaborative work across boundaries – rather than on stable team structures. She teaches courses on leadership and organizational learning and has served on 32 doctoral committees.

In 2003, the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior Division selected Professor Edmondson for the Cummings Award for outstanding achievement in early mid-career, and in 2000 recognized her article, “Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams,” with the annual award for best published paper in the field, which she also received in 2012 for her article with James Detert, “Implicit theories of voice.” Her article with Anita Tucker, “Why Hospitals Don’t Learn from Failures: Organizational and Psychological Dynamics That Inhibit System Change” received the 2004 Accenture Award for significant contribution to management practice. Her books – "Teaming: How organizations learn, innovate, and compete in the knowledge economy" (Jossey Bass, 2012) and "Teaming to Innovate" (Jossey-Bass 2013) – translate her research into practical advice for managers. In 2011 and 2013 she was selected for the biannual Thinkers50 list of influential thinkers in management.

Before her academic career, Edmondson was Director of Research at Pecos River Learning Centers, where she worked with founder and CEO Larry Wilson to design and implement organizational change programs in a variety of Fortune 100 companies. In the early 1980s, she was Chief Engineer for architect/inventor Buckminster Fuller, and her book "A Fuller Explanation" (published by Birkhauser 1987; Van Nostrand Reinhold 1998, and Emergent World 2009) clarifies Fuller’s mathematical contributions for a non-technical audience. Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, AM in psychology, and AB in engineering and design from Harvard University.

Speech Topics

What Is a Learning Organization?

Innovation in Teams and Organizations

Collaborative Work Environments and Innovation

Speaking Topics:

  • Decision Making
  • Error and Failure
  • Innovation, Integration & Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Learning & Performance Management
  • Learning Culture
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Organizational learning
  • Psychological Safety
  • Social Capital, Trust & Culture
  • Talent Management
  • Teaming


The World's Top 50 Leadership and Management Thinkers - Forbes

Leadership Award: Liu Chuanzhi: The Chairman of Lenovo Group now the second-largest computer group in the world; Amy Edmondson: The Novartis ...

Why Leaders Need to Rethink Teamwork - Forbes

Today's teams are not well-designed for today's work, argues Professor Amy Edmondson. She recommends and explains a new approach called "teaming."

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