March 11, 2020

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Michigan Ross Campus, Ross Building, 701 Tappan, Robertson Auditorium, Ann Arbor

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Wayne Baker
Robert P. Thome Professor of Business
Faculty Director, Center for Positive Organizations

About the talk

The greatest barrier to generosity isn’t that people are unwilling or unable to help, but that people don’t ask for what they need. Requests drive the giving-receiving cycle. Drawing on his new book, All You Have To Do Is Ask, Baker describes the four asking-giving styles, how to assess your style, how to overcome the obstacles to asking, how to make effective requests, and how to figure out who to ask. He will present several tools that individuals, teams, and organizations use to create a robust culture of workplace generosity. In-person attendees will have the opportunity to use the tools in real time.

About Baker

Wayne Baker is Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is also Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan and Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social Research. He currently serves as Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations.

His teaching and research focus on social capital, social networks, generosity, positive organizational scholarship, and values. His management and leadership articles appear in venues such as Harvard Business Review, Chief Executive Magazine, and Sloan Management Review. His latest book, All You Have To Do Is Ask, will be published in January 2020.

He puts his knowledge into practice as a frequent guest speaker, management consultant, and as an advisor and board member of Give and Take Inc., developers of the Givitas collaborative technology platform.

Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago business school. He earned his PhD in sociology from Northwestern University and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University.


Dave Mayer, Jack D. Sparks-Whirlpool Corporation Research Professor


The Center for Positive Organizations thanks University of Michigan Organizational Learning, Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lisa and David (MBA ’87) Drews, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2019-20 Positive Links Speaker Series.

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