About

Welcome to the Center for Positive Organizations

Nearly 20 years ago, we pioneered a new field of inquiry at Michigan Ross—Positive Organizational Scholarship—that sought to understand the characteristics, practices, and principles that create a thriving organization.

In 2002, we founded the Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business to provide a focus and impetus for scholarship and teaching. Over the years, we’ve developed engaging opportunities to spark debate, compel action, and inspire further research.

In the process, we ignited a global movement to create highly effective workplaces where people thrive. Today, CPO is the preeminent hub for the science and practice of thriving organizations.

We are a powerful force for ideas and transformation. Our research and its practical application are helping to shape important conversations and to develop today’s students into tomorrow’s change agents. Our work has been covered in The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and many others.

Organizations as varied as the Cleveland Cavaliers, General Motors, Google, the National Intelligence Agencies, and Oracle have invested in and are applying positive principles based on our work.

While our impact has been far-reaching and powerful, our mission now requires renewed focus. Yesterday’s organizational models are being disrupted. Stress and challenges to our well-being are depleting people and organizations. New ways of thinking that unlock the potential of people and work systems to solve complex problems are more critical than ever, and the Center for Positive Organizations is uniquely positioned to lead the way.

With the business excellence that only Michigan Ross can bring, we have pioneered the science and practice of thriving organizations, and we intend to remain at the forefront of innovation and scholarship. We will continue to inspire and enable change.

Join us in our commitment to a thriving world.


Wayne Baker
Faculty Director, Center for Positive Organizations


Our Mission

We build a better world through the science and practice of thriving organizations.

Carrying out this mission challenges and inspires us every day.

We occupy a unique position at the nexus of a world-class university, with access to cutting-edge research and the next generation of purpose-driven leaders, and a community of people who are eager to see organizations and people thrive. We have the opportunity to cross-fertilize ideas and collectively work towards the goal of making the world a better place.

Emboldened with a transformative purpose and renewed energy, we look forward to fulfilling our mission and the mission of Michigan Ross.


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