Susan Ashford

Michael & Susan Jandernoa Professor of Management and Organizations; Management and Organizations Group Chair | University of Michigan 

Susan (Sue) Ashford is the chair of the Management and Organizations group at Michigan Ross where she holds the Michael & Susan Jandernoa Professorship in Management and Organizations. She was previously on the faculty of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and received her MS and PhD degrees from Northwestern University.

Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, and New York magazine have all highlighted Sue’s research in articles featuring the strategies middle managers use to sell their ideas in organizations and the strategies of those who work independently or outside of organizations use to create a viable and vital work life. Her leadership research is featured in Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast podcast and her gig-worker research is highlighted in both Adam Grant’s WorkLife and Stew Friedman’s Work and Life podcasts. A number of top academic outlets have published her research on leadership development and leader effectiveness, middle management voice and issue selling, job insecurity, and individual proactivity. Outlets include the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of Applied Psychology.

In 2002, Sue was named a Fellow of the Academy of Management, and in 2017 she was awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contributions to Management. Sue has served as an Associate Editor for the Academy of Management Journal and currently serves on its editorial board.

Sue has held a variety of leadership positions at Michigan Ross. In addition to her current position as chair of the Management and Organizations group, she served as an Associate Dean from1994 to 1995, as the school’s Senior Associate Dean from 1998 to 2002, and as the Associate Dean for Leadership Programming and the Executive MBA from 2006 to 2010. She led the establishment of the school’s Executive MBA program and was the faculty director of that program from 2002 to 2012. She also led the establishment of the Ross Leadership Initiative (now Sanger Leadership Center) and served as its faculty director from 2006 to 2010.

Sue’s passion is using her teaching and research to help people be maximally effective in their work settings, with an emphasis on self-leadership, proactivity, change from below, and leadership and its development. Her classes at Michigan Ross focus on negotiation skills in the Executive MBA program, a capstone leadership course in the Weekend MBA program, and the Emerging Leaders Program in Ross’ Executive Education program. She also teaches for the “Leading Women Executives” program for the Corporate Leadership Center, the “Ascending to the C-Suite” program for Inforum, and for various companies.

Session: A New Lens for Leadership: Learnings in a Complex Year



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