Necessary Conversation: Gretchen Spreitzer – Thriving in the New World of Work

Please join the International Humanistic Management Association for a conversation with Gretchen Spreitzer (Ross School of Business). She will present her latest insights on thriving and work.

Date: Monday, December 3
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00pm (EDT)
Location: Web conferencing, details will be sent before the event once your RSVP is received

This Necessary Conversation is sponsored by the Donahue Center for Business Ethics & Social Responsibility in the Manning School of Business at UMass-Lowell.

Topic for this Conversation:  Thriving in the New World of Work

From Gretchen, “I have been interested in how facets of the new world of work influence the potential for workers to thrive.  In today’s work environment, more people are working in nonstandard jobs (contract, temps, freelance), are working outside of a normal office environment (home, coworking space, coffee shop), and being potentially on call 24/7 (especially mediated by phone, text, email, chat).  These facets provide opportunities for enhanced thriving for some but also create constraining influences on thriving for others.  We’ll discuss some of these dynamics in the call.”



About Gretchen Spreitzer (

Gretchen Spreitzer is the Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (RSB).  She joined the Michigan faculty in 2001 after spending nine years on the faculty at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.  She was also a Visiting Professor at the Australian School of Business in Sydney in 2008.

Her research focuses on employee empowerment and leadership development, particularly within a context of organizational change and decline.  Her most recent research is examining how organizations can enable thriving, especially in contexts dealing with the new world of work such as coworking spaces.  This is part of a new movement in the field of organizational behavior, known as Positive Organizational Scholarship (

Based on extensive field research, she has authored many articles on contemporary issues in organizational behavior in leading journals such at the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. She is the co-author of seven books:

  • How to Be a Positive Leader (2014) with Jane Dutton
  • The Best Teacher in You (2014) with Bob Quinn, Kate Heynoski and Michael Thomas.
  • The Oxford Handbooks of Positive Organizational Scholarship (2012) with Kim Cameron.
  • The Leader’s Change Handbook:  An Essential  Guide to Setting Direction and Taking Action (1999) with Jay Conger and Edward Lawler,
  • The Future of Leadership:  Speaking to the Next Generation (2001) with Warren Bennis and Thomas Cummings,
  • A Company of Leaders:  Five Disciplines for Unleashing the Power in Your Workforce (2001) with Robert Quinn,
  • Leadership (2003) with Kimberly Perttula.

Gretchen is the faculty director of the Center for Positive Organizations and previously directed the Ross Leadership Initiative.  She teaches electives on Leading Organizational Change for MBAs and BBAs, and the Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP) Program.  She also has been a core faculty member in the Leading the Positive Organization, Management of Managers, and Emerging Leaders Executive Education Programs at Michigan as well as many custom programs.

She serves on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Organizational Dynamics.  She has been elected to leadership positions in several professional organizations including the Academy of Management (where she was on their Board of Governors and was division chair of the Organization Development and Change Division) and the Western Academy of Management (where she served as President).  Gretchen has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Mangement and was awarded the Western Academy of Management’s Ascendant Scholar award for early career contributions, the JMI Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Martin Trailblazer award in conjunction with the Positive Organizational Scholarship Faculty at Michigan.