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Ivey professor Mary Crossan wins Academy of Management’s Distinguished Educator Award

Aug 8, 2023

Mary Crossan

Mary Crossan, MBA ’85, PhD ’91.

Mary Crossan, MBA ’85, PhD ’91, a professor of General Management and Strategy and a Distinguished University Professor, has received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Academy of Management for outstanding contributions to management education throughout her career.

The Academy of Management (AOM) is the oldest and largest professional association for scholars of management and organizations and the Distinguished Educator Award honours individuals who have excelled in teaching, developing doctoral students, and/or fostering new teaching innovations or methods.

Crossan’s award was announced at the recent AOM annual meeting in Boston, Mass.  In a video address, Paul Spee, Chair of the AOM’s Career Achievement Awards Committee, cited Crossan’s achievements in developing new teaching methods, materials, and research in the areas of leadership and strategy, which he said have had wide reach and impact. Some examples of this include creating the Leader Character Practitioner Certification Program and the Leader Character Insight Assessment as well as a case series tracking strategy as a pattern of action. Crossan has also developed 11 doctoral students, published research on organizational learning and improvisation, and written more than 50 cases, including the best-selling Starbucks case, which has topped the case charts for decades.

Influencing practice through research

In the video address (see below), Crossan told how she almost pursued a career in consulting instead of academia because she questioned whether she could have the impact and influence on practice through her research that she longed for. But she said she’s glad she went the academia route after all because it has been immensely gratifying, and she’s now inspired by the difference educators can make.

“I made the choice to try and chart a path that’s often not encouraged or immediately awarded in our profession and I discovered [social psychologist] Kurt Lewin was right: there’s nothing more practical than a good theory,” she said. “Whether it was organizational learning, improvisation, or now the call to elevate character alongside competence in higher education and organizations, the virtuous cycle of seeking to make a difference in practice through innovative teaching and research is something I believe we can and need to do.”