Areas of Expertise (3)
Organizational Culture and Firm Performance
Norms in Diverse Groups
Leadership and the Impact of Leader Attributes on Team Performance
Jennifer Chatman is the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management and a faculty member in the Management of Organizations (MORS) Group at Berkeley Haas. In her research, teaching, and consulting work, she focuses on how organizations can leverage culture for strategic success and how diverse teams can optimize performance. Her award-winning research has shown, for example, how emphasizing innovation in the context of a strong culture increases firms' financial success, how narcissistic leaders create organizational cultures lower in collaboration and integrity, and how norms to cooperate can cause members to blur differences among them, even if those differences are useful for group performance—suggesting that collaboration should be calibrated in diverse teams.
Chatman is the Co-Director of the Berkeley Culture Initiative, the Associate Dean for Learning Strategies at the Haas School of Business, an Editor for the journal Research in Organizational Behavior, and runs the Leading Strategy Execution Through Culture executive education program. She has served in many other leadership roles at Haas and UC Berkeley over the years. Chatman earned her PhD at Berkeley Haas, and her BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley.
Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley: PhD, Business Administration
UC Berkeley: BA, Psychology
Honors & Awards (15)
Member of Berkeley Haas "Club 6" for high teaching scores (2019 & each year since 1993)
Named on Poets & Quants “World’s Best B-School Professor” list (2012)
Cheit Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence, Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program (2007)
Cheit Teaching Award Honorable Mention, FTMBA, EWMBA & PhD programs (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, 2nd place, Kellogg Graduate School of Management Evening MBA program (1991)
"Outstanding Publication in Organizational Behavior," Academy of Management
For "Chatman, J. A., Greer, L. L., Sherman, E., & Doerr, B. (2019). Blurred lines: How the collectivism norm operates through perceived group diversity to boost or harm group performance in Himalayan mountain climbing. Organization Science, 30(2), 235-259."
This award recognizes one paper chosen from those published in the OB domain in a particular year.
Harvard Business School Paul Lawrence Seminar Speaker
"This seminar is “intended to “bring a luminary in the field of Organizational Behavior to Harvard Business School to honor the life, scholarship, and legacy of Paul Lawrence.”
“Best Paper of the Year” Runner Up, The Leadership Quarterly
For “O’Reilly, C., Chatman, J., & Doerr, B. (2018). See you in court: How CEO narcissism increases firms’ vulnerability to lawsuits. The Leadership Quarterly, 29 (3): 365-442."
“Best Paper of the Year,” Group and Organization Management
For “The Promise and Problems of Organizational Culture: CEO Personality, Culture, and Firm Performance.”
Inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Management
“Most Influential Paper Award,” 1997-2000, Academy of Management, Conflict Management Division
For “Being different yet feeling similar: The influence of demographic composition and organizational culture on work processes and outcomes” published in Administrative Science Quarterly, 1998, 43 (4): 749-780.
For the article that “made the most important contribution to improving the practice of management,” in California Management Review for “Leading by Leveraging Culture.”
L.L. Cummings Scholar Award, Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division
Awarded for “outstanding achievement to one researcher in early mid-career.”
Administrative Science Quarterly Award for Scholarly Contribution
For “the article that had the most impact on the field of organizational behavior over the past five years,” for Mixing and matching people and organizations: Selection and socialization in public accounting firms.
Schwabacher Research Award, Haas School of Business
Ascendant Scholar Award, Western Academy of Management
Best Paper Award, Academy of Management Organization and Management Theory Division
For “Assessing the relationship between industry characteristics and organizational culture: How different can you be?”
Outstanding Paper Based on a Dissertation Award, Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division
For “Mixing and Matching People and Organizations: Selection and Socialization in Public Accounting Firms.”
Phi Beta Kappa
Selected External Service & Affiliations (14)
- Simpson Manufacturing (NYSE: SSD) Board of Directors Outside Director (2004 – present), and Chair of the Compensation and Leadership Committee (2009 – present)
- Prospect Sierra School (Trustee, Chair of Compensation Working Group) - 2006-present
- Young Presidents Organization (YPO) faculty member (2017-present)
- Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Faculty Board Member (2011 – present)
- Healthcare Business Women’s Association, Advisory Board Member (2011 – 2014)
- The Trium Group, Academic Affiliate (2004 – present)
- Ashesi University, Ghana, Africa Advisory Board Member (1999 – 2005)
- UC Berkeley Center for Health Research Advisory Board Member (2003 – 2006)
- Center for Executive Development at Haas Advisory Board Member (1996 – 1998)
- East Bay Outreach Program, University of California Faculty Advisor (1995 – 1999)
- Editorial Boards: Academy of Management Annual Reviews Editorial Committee (2005 – 2007); Academy of Management Journal (1989 – 1993); Academy of Management Review (1997 – 1999; 2002 – 2009); Administrative Science Quarterly (1992 – 2002); Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior (2013-2016); California Management Review (1994 – present) Journal of Applied Psychology (1998 – 1999); The Leadership Quarterly (2017 to present)
- Association Memberships: Fellows of the Academy of Management (inducted 2006); Academy of Management American Psychological Association; American Psychological Society; Society for Organizational Behavior
- Executive Development (partial list): Leading High Performance Cultures (faculty director); Berkeley Executive Leader Program (former faculty director); Women's Executive Leader Program; New Manager Boot Camp; various custom programs
- Consulting (partial list): Cisco Systems, Clorox, The Coca-Cola Company, Conoco-Phillips, Daimler (Mercedes), Draper, Richards, Kaplan Foundation, Franklin Templeton Investor Services, Gallo Winery, Genentech, Goldman Sachs, Kaiser Permanente, Mars Inc., New York Life, Novartis, OSIsoft, PG&E, Pixar, Portland Trail Blazers, Prudential, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Qualcomm, Raiders Football, Roche, Salesforce, Sandia National Laboratory, Schneider Electric, Sony, Statoil, Wolters Kluwer, United Capital, U.S. Treasury
Positions Held (2)
At Haas since 1993
2019 – present, Associate Dean of Learning Strategies, Berkeley Haas
2019 – present, Editor, Research in Organizational Behavior
2018 – present, Founder and Co-Director, Berkeley Haas Culture Initiative
2001 – present, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management
2001 – 2004, Director, Haas School of Business PhD Program
2001 – 2002, Marvin Bower Fellow, Harvard Business School
1997 – 2000, Harold Furst Professor of Management Philosophy and Values, Haas School of Business
1993 – 2001, Assistant and Associate Professor, Haas School of Business
1987 – 1993, Assistant and Associate Professor of Organization Behavior, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
1991 – 1992, Visiting Associate Professor and Research Psychologist, Institute of Personality and Social Research and Visiting Professor, Haas School of Business
Corporate and Organizational Boards
2004 – present, Simpson Manufacturing (NYSE: SSD) Board of Directors Outside Director, and Chair of the Compensation and Leadership Committee (2009 – present)
2006 - present, Prospect Sierra School (Trustee, Chair of Compensation Working Group)
Young Presidents Organization (YPO) faculty member (2017-present)
2011 – 2014, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Faculty Board Member
2011 – 2014, Healthcare Business Women’s Association, Advisory Board Member
2004 – present, The Trium Group, Academic Affiliate
1998 – 2006, BrassRing Systems Inc. Advisory Board Member
2001 – 2004, Thinkshed Advisory Board Member
2002 – 2006, Unicru Advisory Board Member, formerly Guru Worldwide
1999 – 2005, Ashesi University, Ghana, Africa Advisory Board Member
2003 – 2006, UC Berkeley Center for Health Research Advisory Board Member
1996 – 1998, Center for Executive Development at Haas Advisory Board Member
1995 – 1999, East Bay Outreach Program, University of California Faculty Advisor
1998 – 1999, Institute for Management Studies Advisory Board Member
Media Appearances (15)
People who sell for multilevel marketing companies look wildly successful on Facebook, but the reality is much more complicated
Business Insider online
"Multilevel marketing companies do have some similarities to cults," said Prof. Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management. It's the way they use personal relationships to recruit as well as target people who are at a vulnerable point in their lives. "Even more than it being a job and a source of income, it's a source of relationship gratification," she said.
The new CEO of $3.9 billion Snowflake says there's no room for 'distractions' like employee activism in his mission to fight Amazon and Microsoft
"One thing we know about the current generation of employees, particularly in Silicon Valley and tech, is that there is an orientation toward social issues" that they expect "will be addressed within corporate settings," said Berkeley Haas Prof. Jennifer Chatman.
What mountain climbing expeditions tell us about teamwork
Fast Company online
A paper coauthored by Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, found that when the goal is simply to summit a mountain a collectivistic focus within the group is essential. But when circumstances turn dire and the goal shifts to mere survival, then differences within a group ought to be exploited.
What Aspects of Company Culture Matter Most for Your Next Job
Thrive Global online
A job-seeker's approach to evaluating company culture should be mindful. Prof. Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, defines culture as “a set of norms and values that are widely shared and strongly held throughout the organization.”
Measuring culture in leading companies
MIT Sloan online
This analysis looks at company culture through the lens defined by Prof. Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, that explains culture as "a set of norms and values that are widely shared and strongly held throughout the organization."
What climbing expeditions tell us about teamwork
Stanford Business online
When is a mountain like a workplace? Research co-authored by Prof. Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, found that when the goal is simply to summit a mountain, a collectivistic focus within the group is essential. But when circumstances turn dire and the goal shifts to mere survival, then differences within a group ought to be exploited.
Uber rang in its IPO with champagne and mimosas. Then the hangover began.
Washington Post online
Uber has been working on cleaning up its image, but fallout from its alcohol-fueled IPO celebration parties put its toxic workplace culture back in the headlines. By relaxing the rules for the celebrations, Uber may have stepped into a situation of its own making. “Most organizations get into trouble at exactly a moment like this,” said Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Professor of Management. “They are viewing it as an exception" to their new rule.
Why people stay with the same company for decades
Financial Times online
A new piece of research from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford business school, has looked into what helps people fit into companies and what makes them stay.
How narcissistic CEOs put companies at risk
Self-obsessed CEOs are more likely to get their company named as a defendant in lawsuits, according to research by Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management. And they're not inclined to settle, even when their chance of winning isn't strong.
6 words and phrases you should immediately ban from your vocabulary
"Jargon masks real meaning. People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others," Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, told Forbes in an earlier interview quoted here.
Are narcissistic CEOs bad for business?
Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, says you don't have to be a narcissist to be a founder. But, "entrepreneurs are almost selected based on having delusions of grandeur, thinking up things that haven't existed before and having confidence in those visions," she said.
What does Tesla look like without Elon Musk?
Jennifer Chatman compares Tesla's scandal-hit head to another innovator: Steve Jobs. "He eventually learned how to be a better leader," she said. "I think he was still narcissistic, but he learned how to channel his creative genius into organizational effort.”
Research: a narcissistic CEO gets your company in trouble
MT Magazine (Dutch)
Research by Jennifer Chatman has found that narcissistic CEOs often expose their company to potentially disastrous lawsuits. This is compounded by the fact that they are not inclined to be risk-takers and don't like to be given advice.
Tech workers demand CEOs stop doing business with ICE, other U.S. agencies
Tech workers from Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have been putting pressure on their CEOs. It's unusual employee behavior that Jennifer Chatman, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, says is tech company specific. "They encourage people to challenge and debate," she said. "They encourage people to test the status quo."
Inside Uber's effort to fix Its culture through a Harvard-inspired 'university'
“They’re prevalent in large organizations, but what’s unique about Uber is that they’re small. And it’s unusual that a small organization would take on this expense,” said Jennifer Chatman, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Selected Papers & Publications (12)
Stein, D., Schatz, D., Schroeder, J., & Chatman, J.
Lu, R., Chatman, J., Goldberg, A., & Srivastava, S.
Canning, E., Murphy, M., Emerson, K., Chatman, J., Dweck, C, & Kray, L.
Chatman, J. & Choi, A
O'Reilly, C. & Chatman, J.
Chatman, J. & Gelfand, M.
Chatman, J., Greer, L., Sherman, E., & Doerr, B.
O’Reilly, C., Doerr, B., & Chatman, J.
Chatman, J. & O’Reilly, C.
Goncalo, J., Chatman, J., Duguid, M., & Kennedy, J.
Chatman, J., Caldwell, D., O’Reilly, C., & Doerr, B.
O'Reilly, C., Doerr, B., Caldwell, D., & Chatman, J.
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