Scott DeRue

Recognize risks to nurture emerging leaders, CPO researchers write

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty associates Susan J. Ashford and Scott DeRue co-authored the Harvard Business Review article “Why Capable People Are Reluctant to Lead.”

The article examines new research into why promising employees fail to assume leadership opportunities and suggests strategies managers can use to nurture emerging leaders.

Based on their research, Ashford, DeRue and their co-authors identify three kinds of risk that deter people from leading: risk to interpersonal relationships, image risk and the risk of being blamed for failure.

“By recognizing the risks that potential leaders face and managing their perceptions of those risks, organizations can nurture leadership contributions from more people in more places — ultimately supporting both the organizations’ own growth and that of their people,” the researchers write.

Ashford is the Michael & Susan Jandernoa Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan.
DeRue is the Edward J. Frey Dean of Business and Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business at the University of Michigan.

In Washington Post, Scott DeRue explains benefits of tuition free courses for Ross alums

Michigan Ross and its inventive Alumni Advantage program are featured in a Washington Post Wonkblog post. In the article, “In the future, college never really ends,” Dean Scott DeRue explains how Ross is leading the way in our new age of “perpetual education” with a program that offers tuition free courses for all Ross graduates.

Scott DeRue is Edward J. Frey Dean of Business, Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business, and a faculty associate at the Center for Positive Organizations.

How can positive workplaces solve global challenges?

Scott DeRue
Edward J. Frey Dean, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business
Faculty Associate, Center for Positive Organizations
University of Michigan

About the talk

To set the tone for an inspiring 2017-18 Positive Links Speaker Series, Michigan Ross Dean Scott DeRue will answer questions about why and how positive workplaces are essential in solving the global challenges of our generation. DeRue will sit down with Ariana Almas, a +LAB Fellow and second-year MBA student, and answer your questions.

To allow time for a generative discussion, please share your questions when you register for this free event. Already registered and want to ask another question? Send your additional questions to

Need some inspiration for your questions? Read this July 2017 Huffington Post blog by Chris White, “Why Positive Organizations Matter.”

About DeRue

Scott DeRue is the Edward J. Frey Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He is also the Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business and a faculty associate at the Center for Positive Organizations.

DeRue joined Michigan Ross in 2007, taking on multiple leadership roles across the school over time. Prior to his deanship, DeRue served as the associate dean for Executive Education, professor of management, director of the Sanger Leadership Center, and faculty director of the Emerging Leaders Program.

With a background in private equity, management consulting, and academia, DeRue believes that business is the most powerful force for economic and social impact—and it is the responsibility of Michigan Ross to develop the next generation of business leaders. He is an award-winning researcher and instructor, and is widely considered a thought leader in business education and action-based learning.

Driven by the Ross mission to create a better world through business, DeRue is committed to Michigan Ross producing ground-breaking ideas that elevate the positive impact of business in society, and developing leaders who drive change and innovation to improve our world.

Prior to joining Ross, DeRue worked at the Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte). He received his PhD in management from Michigan State University and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ariana Almas, MBA Candidate

Ariana Almas, MBA Candidate

Ariana Almas

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to positively impact others. In fact, I performed stand-up comedy in my 3rd grade talent show because, at the time, I thought the best way to positively impact others was to make them laugh. Though I still enjoy a good laugh, as I grew older, I began to channel this passion into impacting communities.

In college, I created my own major to study challenges communities face and how to combat those challenges through business, policy, and design. After college, I decided to explore this passion more in-depth by establishing my career in the nonprofit sector. I worked primarily in the workforce development space, having spent the past three years supporting young adults from disadvantaged communities gain access to career opportunities in corporate America.

Now at Ross, I’m focusing my studies on social impact and human capital, in an effort to combine my passions for social justice and workforce development. I supported an international NGO for my Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP), worked with social entrepreneurs and small businesses during Ross Open Road, and completed my internship working on diversity & inclusion projects at Microsoft.

All of these experiences combined have allowed me to explore the many ways in which you can positively impact others. In my mind, there was no better place to pursue these experiences than Michigan Ross, a program that is known for its focus on social impact and for being the birthplace of Positive Organizational Scholarship.


Gretchen Spreitzer, faculty director of the Center for Positive Organizations; Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration; Professor of Management and Organizations


The Center for Positive Organizations thanks Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2017-18 Positive Links Speaker Series.


Click here to support the Center for Positive Organizations and keep these events free and open to all.

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Scott DeRue pens Forbes op-ed about leading in trying times

Michigan Ross’ Dean Scott DeRue wrote an op-ed for Forbes titled, “How leaders bring an organization together in a time of divisiveness.”

In the article, he shares five strategies, such as team balance and reminders of common identity (like physical artifacts), for leaders to consider when attempting to unite their organizations. DeRue’s suggestions compliment the Center for Positive Organizations’ collection of community-contributed essays designed to offer reflections and inspirations for Leading in Trying Times.

Scott DeRue inspired by Ross students

Inspired By Our Students: What Are You Grateful For?









Students at the Ross School of Business created a gratitude wall, allowing a space to offer small notes of thankfulness. Michigan Ross Dean Scott DeRue, penned a blog about the positive contributions of the gratitude wall. The proven benefits of the gratitude wall extend beyond the ten-foot-high feature, and are rooted in positive organizational scholarship, namely Kim Cameron’s research on gratitude.

Among the positive contributions, DeRue lists improved  “well-being, work performance, and relationships… more positive mood, improved sense of being connected to others and much more.” DeRue concluded, “The Gratitude Wall is a powerful forum that I encourage you to contribute to and support,” and offered a few of his own notes of gratitude.

Scott DeRue is the Edward J. Frey Dean of Business and a Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and a faculty associate at the Center for Positive Organizations.

David Mayer and Scott DeRue in Harvard Business Review

Why are some whistleblowers vilified and others celebrated? An eponymous article in the Harvard Business Review by David Mayer, seeks to answer that question and draws on research by Mayer, Maddy Ong, Scott DeRue, and Ned Wellman. The researchers found that an individual’s place in an organization affects colleagues’ responses to their actions. Although lower-ranking individuals often draw their coworkers’ disapproval by speaking out, higher-ranking individuals are generally seen as leaders whose actions set the standard. Mayer explains that “leaders have a critical responsibility both to speak up and to create a culture where employees are accountable to one another and the organization to report wrongdoing.”

David Mayer is an associate professor of management and organizations and a faculty member at the Center for Positive Organizations. Scott DeRue is Edward J. Frey Dean of Business, Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business, and a faculty associate at the Center for Positive Organizations.

D. Scott DeRue named new dean of the Ross School of Business

D. Scott DeRue will be the new Edward J. Frey Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, effective July 1. His five-year appointment was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

DeRue currently is the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration, associate dean for executive education, and professor of management and organizations in the Ross School.

He replaces Dean Alison Davis-Blake, who is stepping down after five years of service and will return to the faculty.

“Scott’s deep knowledge of leadership and the value of continuous learning are evident in his research and teaching and will contribute to his effectiveness as dean of the Ross School,” says Provost Martha Pollack.

“Under his leadership, the school will build on its already impressive contributions to business education at every level and achieve even greater distinction.”

DeRue earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with high honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in business administration from Michigan State University.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the ninth dean of the Ross School of Business. In my nine years at Ross, I have come to cherish our commitment to excellence and community of students, alumni, faculty, staff and corporate partners,” says DeRue.

“I am excited about the future and look forward to working with our community to build on our success and propel Michigan Ross into the future. Go Blue!”

Prior to academia, DeRue had a successful career spanning private equity investments, management consulting and luxury yachts. In 2003, he enrolled as a doctoral student, lecturer and research assistant at Michigan State. During this time, he received a University Distinguished Fellowship and Lewis Quality Award from Michigan State University.

DeRue joined the Ross School as an assistant professor of management in 2007 and was promoted to professor with tenure in 2013.

During this time, he held multiple appointments in the Ross School, including Bank One Corporation Assistant Professor of Business Administration, faculty director of the Emerging Leaders Program, the Stein Research Scholar, faculty director of the Sanger Leadership Center, and the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration.

In 2014, he was appointed associate dean for executive education, and later assumed responsibility for the part-time MBA and executive MBA programs. In this role, DeRue led the executive education organization to its best performance in more than a decade.

He also designed and delivered custom leadership development programs for executive clients throughout the world, including Fortune 500 companies, global professional service firms, international governments and technology startups. These programs focus on vision, power and influence, interpersonal and relational skills, team development, change management, and personal growth and development.

In 2011, Poets and Quants, a website dedicated to the coverage of business schools, highlighted DeRue as one of the top 40 business professors under the age of 40. He also has been recognized as one of 50 most influential business professors in the world by in 2013.

By Kim Broekhuizen, Public Affairs. Republished from The University Record.