University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Robert E. Quinn

Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus in Business Administration | University of Michigan


Robert E. Quinn is the Margaret Elliot Tracy Professor Emeritus at Michigan Ross. His research and writing focus on purpose, leadership, culture, and change. He is one of the co-founders of the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship and a co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations. He is in the top 1% of professors cited in organizational behavior textbooks.

Quinn has published 18 books. His volume, Deep Change, is a long-term best seller. His book, The Best Teacher in You, won the Ben Franklin Award designating it the best book in education. His latest book is The Positive Organization: Breaking Free of Conventional Cultures, Constraints, and Beliefs. In 2019, he will publish The Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counterintuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose Driven Organization.

Quinn is particularly known for his work on the competing values framework, which has been used by thousands of organizations. His paper, “Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership,” was selected by the Harvard Business Review as one of the ten Must Reads On Managing Yourself.

In terms of teaching and speaking, Quinn is the recipient of multiple teaching awards. As a speaker, his objective is to inspire positive change and he does this by adapting to the needs of the audience in real time. He has one of the highest rates of repeat invitations in the speaking industry. His recent talk on purpose went viral and has been viewed by over 15 million people.

Session: The Purpose-Driven Organization

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