Carl Watson | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Carl Watson

Carl Watson
PhD Management - Designing Sustainable Systems, 2022 - Present
Doctor of Business Administration, 2020 - Present

Carl Watson is the VP of Transformation, Organizational Strategy, and Culture at Nike, Inc. As a business leader, he is energized by working with teams who wrestle with big, gnarly challenges necessary to thrive in turbulent environments. His experience spans leading teams of Marines, consulting on business strategy, coaching top leadership teams, and building the organizational capability needed to achieve bold aspirations. Previously, Carl Watson was the Global Head of Organizational Development and Culture Activation at Microsoft. Carl studies behavioral strategy, researching the social-structural micro-foundations of organizational adaptation. Carl holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, and is currently a Ph.D. student in Management at the Weatherhead School of Case Western Reserve University.

MBA, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
MA, University of Michigan, 1996
BA, Claremont McKenna College, 1994

Interests and Courses


Carl studies behavioral strategy, connecting organizational psychological micro-foundations of strategic management. His current research program focuses on the challenges that dynamic environments exert on organizations and how new roles and structures (e.g., Chief Transformation Officers) drive strategic renewal practices to help firms respond to these adaptive pressures. Given the expectation for continued or increased turbulent environments, there is increasing urgency for evidenced-based practice for creating and sustaining adaptive organization structures. Carl's early research focused on scaling individual perceptions and cognition to shared perceptions. This early work on leadership and collective efficacy was some of the first multi-level, hierarchical linear models published in social and organizational psychology.

Recent Courses and Syllabi

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Selected Publications


  • Watson, C. B. (Presenter & Author), Chemers, M. M. (Author Only) Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, "The rise of shared perceptions: A multilevel analysis of collective efficacy", Organizational Behavior Division, San Diego, CA. (1998).
  • Watson, C. B. (Author Only), Winter, . G. (Presenter & Author) Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, "Motivation and leadership performances: An archival study of Woodrow Wilson", International Society of Political Psychology, Krakow, Poland. (1997).
  • Watson, C. B. (Presenter & Author), Chemers, M. M. (Author Only), Preiser, N. (Author Only) Annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, "Collective efficacy: A multi-level analysis", American Psychological Society, San Francisco, CA. (1996).
  • Watson, C. B. (Presenter & Author), Chemers, M. M. (Author Only) 103rd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, "The resilience of confident and optimistic leaders", American Psychological Association, New York, NY. (1995).


  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, (1994).