05 Sep 2018

Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Organizational Behavior from Academy of Management

Teresa Amabile
Photo: Russ Campbell

BOSTON—Teresa Amabile, a Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School and its Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration, Emerita, has been selected by the Organizational Behavior (OB) Division of the Academy of Management as the 2018 winner of its Lifetime Achievement Award. Established in 2005, the award recognizes senior scholars who have made exceptional contributions to the organizational behavior discipline throughout their careers.

To be eligible for the award, an individual must have completed his or her PhD at least twenty years ago and be an outstanding scholar who has published in the most important journals and conducted research that has had a significant impact on the field of organizational behavior. Recipients must have contributed not only through their scholarship but through their service to the field.

According to the OB Division’s award committee, “To a great degree, Teresa Amabile can be considered to have ‘created’ the field of creativity within organizations as we know it today, providing both the fundamental theoretical foundations and the rigorous approach to measurement that have guided creativity research for over 30 years.

“Her work has shown how creativity is a central element of human experience and also an important driver of effectiveness in organizational contexts. Her record displays a remarkable range of methods and settings, from deductive laboratory studies to inductive work conducted in organizations.

“Although Professor Amabile’s contributions are remarkable,” the committee continued, “it is clear that she has also facilitated and inspired the work of many other scholars, providing an intellectual framework that has allowed for progress in many other areas by emphasizing creativity as a common concern.”

Members of the award committee also lauded Amabile’s dedication to doctoral students and young scholars, noting that “her record is overflowing with accounts of her selfless approach and the passion, confidence, and inspiration she instills in young scholars. She exemplifies the type of scholar this award is meant to recognize.”

Amabile’s current research investigates how life inside organizations can influence people and their performance as well as how people approach and experience the transition to retirement. Originally focusing on individual creativity, her research expanded to encompass individual productivity, team creativity, and organizational innovation. Her 40-year program of research on how the work environment can influence creativity and motivation yielded a theory of creativity and innovation; methods for assessing creativity, motivation, and the work environment; and a set of prescriptions for maintaining and stimulating innovation.

A longtime member of Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneurial Management Unit, Amabile is the author or coauthor of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work; Creativity in Context; and Growing Up Creative, as well as more than 150 scholarly papers, chapters, case studies, and presentations. Her work has also been published in the Harvard Business Review. In addition, she created the second-year MBA elective course Managing for Creativity and taught several courses to first-year MBA students in the School’s Required Curriculum.

She serves on the editorial boards of Creativity Research Journal, Creativity and Innovation Management, and Journal of Creative Behavior.


Cullen Schmitt

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.