James R. Detert, University of Virginia Darden School of Business | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

James R. Detert, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Workplace courage: Turning good stories into good social science

Workplace courage: Turning good stories into good social science


Jim Detert (UVA – Darden; jdetert@virginia.edu)


Courage is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous concepts in the world. It has been written about extensively in philosophy, religion, throughout the humanities and, more recently, in psychology. Despite this, our understanding of “workplace courage” remains quite limited. This is an important gap, as those who teach leadership know that students/practitioners are compelled by a lay belief that courage is linked to leader effectiveness and other important outcomes. But, whether this is true, or what we might do to help leaders develop their courage if it is true, cannot meaningfully be addressed until we answer more basic and fundamental questions about workplace courage as a social science construct. In this talk I will therefore quickly review my motivations for studying workplace courage, the very limited extant literature, and then present results from several studies undertaken (using multiple methods and a total sample over 6,000) to begin shedding light on the construct of workplace courage and how this construct might be pursued in future research. I am particularly interested in discussing with you how we might address the “perspective problem” more directly and satisfactorily in future research on courage and many other organizational constructs.


Note: You may choose to review the 2017 Annals paper on workplace courage in advance, but it is not necessary. The talk will be “self-contained”.

Contact Information:
Lila Robinson    ler6@case.edu

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to noon
Peter B. Lewis Building Room 05
11119 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106-7235
United States
Speaker(s): James Detert, PhD
Sponsored by: WSOM Design & Innovation and Organizational Behavior Depts.
Detert & Bruno - Workplace Courage - Annals 2017


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