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Developing Star Performers

Course Number:



Robert Kelley,




Organizational Behavior and Theory

Course Description

This seminar will explore two topics: 1) Understanding the role of star performance and high productivity in both career development and organizational success. 2) Learning how to develop star performance and high productivity. A major premise of the course is that star performers are made, not born. The difficulty is that workers often do not know how to achieve star performance. Many believe that it results primarily from innate talents or political game playing. Or, they engage in a trial-and-error approach that frequently leads to disappointing productivity results and undermines their self-esteem. In contrast, this course will focus on the work strategies and behaviors that star performers use to distinguish themselves. Students will learn what they need to do for their own development and, if time permits, what they can do to help develop subordinates/co-workers. ** NOTE: This is an experimental course bringing field based research to the classroom. It is a work in progress, building upon previous versions taught at Tepper. To the instructor's knowledge, no course like it exists in any MBA program.   This course will integrate research and skill development. It will take an "active learning" approach requiring 1) high personal introspection/reflection/learning via outside class homework activities/readings and 2) high interaction during class where students will share their knowledge/learnings/insights/experiences with each other. This means that students must attend, come prepared, and participate in each class. 


Lecture: 100min/wk and Recitation: 50min/wk