January 16, 2020

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

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

Robert E. Quinn
Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus
Co-Founder, Center for Positive Organizations

About the talk

The field of Positive Organizational Scholarship asks what people, groups, and organizations are like when at their very best. Researchers in the field scientifically examine the best of the human condition. This means researchers use science to learn from excellence. For 18 years, Quinn has been teaching executives how to understand and apply these accumulating scientific findings. In the process, he has become increasingly aware that in the world of practice, like the world of science, most people do not attend to or learn from excellence. They learn from failure while seeking to reproduce order.

In this participative session, Quinn will explore three questions:

  1. What does it mean to learn from excellence?
  2. How does learning from excellence alter leadership and culture?
  3. What can we do to learn from and create social excellence?

About Quinn

Robert E. Quinn is the Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. His research and writing focus on purpose, leadership, culture, and change. He is one of the co-founders of the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship and a co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations.

In terms of research, he is in the top 1% of professors cited in organizational behavior textbooks. He has published 18 books. As a teacher, Quinn is the recipient of multiple awards. In a recent global survey, he was named one of the top speakers in the world on the topic of organizational culture and related issues. Last year, his talk on personal purpose went viral on Facebook and has been viewed over 16 million times.


Gretchen Spreitzer, Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration; Professor of Management and Organizations


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.

See all Positive Links events