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Richard L. Daft

Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Professor of Management, Emeritus and Principal Senior Lecturer

Subject Area(s): Communications, Organization Studies

A noted expert in organization behavior and organization design, Richard Daft has published 12 books, dozens of articles, and presented at more than 45 universities around the world. He also developed and managed the Center for Change Leadership, is a former Associate Dean at Owen, served as an editor at two leading journals, participated in more than $500,000 in research grants, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Management.

  • Professor Daft is among the most highly cited academics in the fields of economics and business. Richard Daft is studying high performance mental models - which include cognitive models of high performing managers - and examining high performance management systems.
  • He is also studying transactional vs. transformational communication and methods of using transformational communication to engage people in organizational change. Prof. Daft joined the Owen faculty in 1989 from the University of Michigan, where he was the William Davidson Visiting Professor of Organizational Behavior.
  • He has been involved in management development and consulting for companies and organizations such as the American Banking Association, Bell Canada, Bristol-Myers Squibb, J.C. Bradford & Company, Ford Motor Company, Pratt & Whitney, USAA, First American National Bank, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Central Parking Systems, Performance Food Group, the National Science Foundation, Northern Telecom, State Farm Insurance, the United States Air Force, the United States Army, and Vanderbilt Medical Center.

B.S., University of Nebraska, 1967
M.B.A., University of Chicago, 1971
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1974

Research Interest(s):
Leadership mental models, change management and the design of performance-driven systems for large organizations.

Area(s) of Expertise:
Leadership, transformational communication and change management.


 New Management Competencies; The Owen Manager, Winter, 2003, 20-21.  
"Across the Great Divide: Knowledge Creation and Transfer Between Practioners and Academics," Academy of Management Journal, 2001, in press (with Sara Rynes and Jean Bartunek).
Organizational Behavior (Dryden Press, 2001) (with Ray Noe)
Essentials of Organization Theory (South-Western, 2001)
Talking about Organization Science: Debates, Discourse, Dialogues, and Directions (Sage, 2000) (with Peter Frost and Arie Lewin)
Fusion Leadership: Unlocking the Subtle Forces that Change People and Organizations (Barrett Koehler, 1998) (with Robert H. Lengel)
"How to Manage Chaos," 1997 Handbook of Business Strategy (Faulkner & Gray) (with Robert Lengel).
"Competing Values in Organizations: Contextual Influences and Structural Consequences," Organization Science, 1996 7(5), 557-576 (with Victoria Buenger, Edward Conlon, Jeffrey Austin).
"No More Tears," Journal of Management Education," 19 (February) 1996, 31- 34.
Organization Theory: Cases and Applications, 4th ed. (St. Paul: West, 1995) (with Richard Sharfman)


 The Executive and The Elephant, Jossey-Bass, John Wiley & Sons, 2010
Understanding Management 3rd ed. Dryden Press, 2004) (with Dorothy Marcic)
Organization Theory and Design, 8th ed. (South-Western, 2004)
Management, 6th ed. (Chicago: Dryden Press, 2003)

Presentation(s) and Proceeding(s):

"Designing Organizations and Transforming Organizational Cultures for Creating World Class Organizations," Conference on Leading and Managing Human Resources from a Strategic Perspective: Focus on the Service Sector in India, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi, India, 2003.
"Using the Fusion Approach to Integrate Diverse Corporate Cultures into One, " Conference on International Corporate Restructuring, Seoul, Korea, June 1998.
"Electronic Technologies in Teaching Organization Theory," panel presentation, Academy of Management Meetings, August 1998.
"Organizational Innovation: Is our Understanding Progressing? Is it contributing to Practice? Discussant, Academy of Management Meetings, August 1998.

Podcast(s) & Video:

Video about The Executive and the Elephant