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Rousseau Receives Career Award from Academy of Management

Denise Rousseau remembers sitting among colleagues at a 1983 conference and watching an academic giant merit the Academy of Management’s inaugural award for career contributions to the field.

“My husband, Paul Goodman, was a longtime Carnegie Mellon faculty member as well, and he used to tell me that one day I would win this. And I pooh-poohed the idea for a very simple reason: Because [longtime faculty member and former dean] Herb Simon was the first winner,” Rousseau recalled.  “I was there when he gave his speech. I was about 12 years old. . . or not.”

Rousseau_resize2 jpgAt its California conference Aug. 8, the Academy of Management will honor Rousseau – H.J. Heinz II University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy, and a dual appointment at the Heinz College and the Tepper School of Business – with its 2016 award for scholarly contributions to management.

Rousseau thinks back to Simon, winner of a 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics, a 1975 A.M. Turing Award in computing, the National Medal in Science in 1986 and the American Psychological Association’s lifetime achievement award in 1993. And she is humbled.

“This is so amazing,” she said. “It is truly an honor to be recognized in this way.”

She marks the fourth woman to receive this award in its 35 years of existence and the first Carnegie Mellon recipient since Simon in 1983. Simon served as professor and once dean of the then-Graduate School of Industrial Management later renamed the Tepper School, co-founded the School of Computer Science (he and colleague Allen Newell helped to discover artificial intelligence) and worked on campus until his death in 2001.

However, several former Carnegie Mellon professors and graduates went on to receive this prominent Academy of Management award: 

  • James March, Stanford, received the award in 1984. He was a Carnegie Mellon faculty member in psychology and industrial administration from 1953-64.
  • Oliver Williamson (MSIA ’62, Ph.D. ’63), California, received the award in 1988. He was named a Nobel Laureate in 2009.
  • Bill Starbuck (MSIA ’59, Ph.D. ’64), Oregon, received the award in 2005.
  • Max Bazerman (MSIA ’78, Ph.D. ’79), Harvard, received the award in 2014.

Rousseau’s work in the field centers upon evidence-based management and workers’ impact: human resource strategies, changing the psychological contract in employment, and the effects of organizational culture on performance.

She is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and British Academy of Management. She also serves as the Dean of Fellows for the Academy of Management, which bestowed her in 2010 with its distinguished lifetime service award and twice -- in 2006 and 1996 -- with its George Terry Book Award for the best management book. Rousseau serves on editorial boards of five scholarly journals and has received honorary doctorates from universities in Greece and Estonia.

Goodman, her husband, was a 2001 winner of the Academy of Management’s distinguished educator award and a renowned organizational psychologist, researcher, author and filmmaker at Carnegie Mellon until his death in early 2012.

“On behalf of everyone in the Heinz College community, I’d like to congratulate Denise for this prestigious and well-deserved honor,” said Ramayya Krishnan, dean of the Heinz College and William W. and Ruth F. Cooper Professor of Management Science and Information Systems. “Denise has mentored countless numbers of our students in her time at Heinz, helping them develop into valued employees, colleagues, and leaders in their respective fields. As a thought leader in the area of organizational behavior and its effect on policy, she has been at the forefront of developing evidenced-based management into a foundational practice at top-notch, international organizations representing a wide variety of industries.”

“This career award from the Academy of Management is a fitting tribute to the significant contributions that Denise has made to the understanding of organizations and the practice of management,” said Robert Dammon, dean and professor of financial economics at the Tepper School. “Over her career, she has established herself as a true thought leader in the field of organizational behavior and its impact on business.  All of us here at the Tepper School congratulate Denise on this well-deserved recognition and honor.”