Ryan Smerek

Ryan Smerek

Associate Professor, MS in Learning and Organizational Change Program
Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, MS in Learning and Organizational Change Program

Annenberg Hall
Room 133
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-0001
Phone: (847) 467-0831


Over the last decade, Ryan has researched, taught, and published in the areas of learning and new executives, decision-making, innovation, and organizational learning. He is the author of Organizational Learning and Performance: The Science and Practice of Building a Learning Culture (Oxford University Press). In the book, Ryan explains mindsets that foster learning, how “big picture thinking” or understanding the “why” behind our actions fosters learning, and the social norms needed to foster innovation and creativity. Before coming to Northwestern University, Ryan taught organizational behavior as an Assistant Professor at Hiram College. He also worked at Denison Consulting — a culture and leadership assessment firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Curriculum Vitae

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Year Degree Institution
2009 PhD University of Michigan
2004 EdM Harvard University
2000 AB Dartmouth College

Selected Publications

Smerek, R. E. (2017). Organizational Learning and Performance: The Science and Practice of Building a Learning Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gruber, D. A., Smerek, R. E., Thomas-Hunt, M. C., & James, E. H. (2015). The real-time power of Twitter: Crisis management and leadership in an age of social media. Business Horizons: 163-172.

Smerek, R. E. (2014). Why people think deeply: Meta-cognitive cues, task characteristics, and thinking dispositions. in M. Sinclair (ed.), Handbook of Research Methods on Intuition (pp. 3-14). Edward Elgar.

Nieminen, L., Smerek, R. E., Kotrba, L. & Denison, D. R. (2013). What does an executive coaching intervention add beyond facilitated multisource feedback? Effects on leader self-ratings and perceived effectiveness. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 24(2): 145-176.

Smerek, R. E. (2013). Sensemaking and new college presidents: A conceptual study of the transition process. Review of Higher Education, 36(3): 371-403.
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Smerek, R. E. (2011). Sensemaking and sensegiving: An exploratory study of the simultaneous 'being and learning' of new college and university presidents. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 18(1): 80-94.
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Smerek, R. E. (2010). Cultural perspectives of academia: Toward a model of cultural complexity. in J. C. Smart (ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Vol. 25 (pp. 381-423). Springer.
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Smerek, R. E. & Peterson, M. W. (2007). Examining Herzberg's theory: Job satisfaction among non-academic employees at a research university. Research in Higher Education, 48(2): 229-250.
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Accelerating Learning and Performance

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Cognitive Design

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MS_LOC 461

Capstone 1: Intro to Research Methods

Last Updated: 2018-09-05 10:12:06