Faculty & Research

Mary Crossan

Mary Crossan

Professor, General Management


Contact Information


Crossan teaches in the undergraduate, MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Programs. Her research on organizational learning, strategy, leadership character and improvisation has been widely published in such journals as the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, the Journal of Management Studies, Leadership Quarterly and Organization Dynamics. She has extended her research to management practice through a collection of over 50 cases, many of which have been published in a book she co-authored entitled Strategic Management: A Casebook. She is also an author of the Strategic Analysis and Action textbook. In a joint venture between the Ivey Business School and the Second City Improvisation Company, she developed a management video entitled "Improvise to Innovate" which extends traditional concepts of strategic management to development tools and techniques for more innovative, flexible and responsive strategic action. Her research, case-writing and consulting have provided broad exposure to companies around the world. She has worked with HSBC, Mattel Asia, Bank of Montreal, TD Bank Financial Group, CIBC, Sears Canada, Sun Life and Grand & Toy. Her case on Starbucks has been Ivey's top selling case for many years.


  • Strategic Analysis and Action (MBA, Executive MBA)
  • Transformational Leadership (MBA)
  • Leadership Under Fire (HBA)

Selected Publications

  • Crossan, M., Mazutis, D., Seijts, G., Gandz, J.; “Developing Leadership Character in Business Programs”. Academy of Management Learning and Education, vol.12, no. 2,  265-284, 2013.
  • Crossan, M., Mazutis, D., Seijts, “In Search of Virtue: The Role of Virtues, Values and Character Strengths in Ethical Decision Making”. Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 113, no. 4, 567-581, 2013.
  • Crossan, M.; Gandz, J.; Seijts, G. “Developing Leadership Character” Ivey Business Journal, January - February, 2012.
  • Gandz, J.; Crossan, M.; Seijts, G.; Reno, M. “Leadership Character and Corporate Governance” Ivey Business Journal, May 2013.reprinted in Institute of Corporate Directors, vol. 167, 15-21, 2013.
  • Crossan, M.; Byrne, Alyson. “Linking Candour to Leadership Character with Gen. Rick Hillier” Ivey Business Journal, November 2013.
  • Crossan, M., Mauer, C., White, R.E.; Reflections on the 2009 Decade Award: Do we Have a Theory of Organizational Learning? Academy of Management Review, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 446-460, July 2011.
  • Maurer, C.; Bansal, T.; Crossan, M.; Creating Economic Value Through Social Values: Introducing a Culturally Informed Resource-Based View, Organization Science, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 432-448, March-April 2011.
  • Crossan, M.; Gandz, J.; Seijts, G.; Cross-Enterprise Leadership: Business Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, Wiley, September 2010, 320 pages.
  • Gandz, J.; Crossan, M.; Seijts, G.; Stephenson, C. (with research assistance from Daina Mazutis) Leadership on Trial: A Manifesto for Leadership Development. 2010.
  • Crossan, M.; Apaydin, M.; A Multi-Dimensional Framework of Organizational Innovation: A Systematic Review of the Literature, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 1154-1191, September, 2009.
  • Jansen, J.; Vera, D. Crossan, M. Strategic Leadership for Exploration and Exploitation: The Moderating Role of Environmental Dynamism, Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 5-18, February, 2009.
  • Crossan, M.; Vera, D.; Nanjad, L.; Transcendent Leadership: Strategic Leadership in Dynamic Environments, Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 569-581, October, 2008.
  • Crossan, M.; Gandz, J.; Seijts, G.; The Cross-Enterprise Leader, Ivey Business Journal, July-August, 2008.
  • Crossan, M.; Bansal, P.; Killing, J.P.; White, R.E.; Zietsma, C.; Strategic Management: A Casebook; eighth edition, Pearson Prentice-Hall, July 2007.
  • Crossan, M.; Olivera, F.; Cross-Enterprise Leadership: A New Approach for the 21st Century, Ivey Business Journal, May-June, 2006.
  • Dutta, D.; Crossan, M.; Understanding Opportunity Recognition Using the "4I" Model of Learning, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, July, pp. 425-449, 2005.
  • Vera, D. Crossan, M.; Improvisation and Innovative Performance in Teams, Organization Science, Vol. 16, No. 3, May-June, pp. 203-224,  2005.
  • Bapuji, H.; Crossan, M.; From Questions to Answers: Reviewing Organizational Learning Research, Management Learning, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 397-417, 2004.
  • Crossan, M.; Vieira Da Cunha, J.; Vera, D.; Pina E Cunha, M. Time and Organizational Improvisation, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 129-145, 2005.
  • Crossan, M.; Fry, J.N.; Killing, J.P. Strategic Analysis and Action; sixth edition, Pearson Prentice-Hall, August 2004.
  • Vera, D.; Crossan, M.; Theatrical Improvisation: Lessons for Organizations, Organization Studies, June (5), 727-751, 2004.
  •  Vera, D.; Crossan, M.; Strategic Leadership and Organization Learning, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, April, pp. 222-240, 2004.
  • Crossan, M.; Altering Theories of Learning and Action: An Interview with Chris Argyris. Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 17, No. 2, May, pp. 40-46, 2003.
  • Crossan, M.; Chris Argyris and Donald Schon's Organizational Learning: There is No Silver Bullet. Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 17, No. 2, May, pp. 38-39, 2003.
  • Crossan, M. Tiemessen, I.; Organizational Learning and Strategic Renewal. Strategic Management Journal, Vol 24, No. 11, November, pp. 1087-1105, 2003.

Research/Course Development

  • Strategic Analysis and Action
  • Improvisation and Strategy
  • Organizational Learning and Strategic Renewal
  • Developing and Executing Strategies
  • Leadership and Character


  • Bell Canada: Engineering Economics - Ottawa; Installation Foreman - Barrie, Toronto; Construction - London; Human Resource Management - London
  • Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics - Ottawa
  • Department of Finance - Ottawa
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP): Human Resource Management - Ottawa; Criminal Investigations, Ottawa



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