Bob Sutton – Organization and Management Specialist

Bob Sutton

All startups and small companies aspire to grow bigger. As a company begins to grow, organizational structure becomes important. It provides guidance and clarity on many issues, especially human resource and management issues. Without a formal structure, employees will be confused as who they officially report to in different situations. Without this hierarchy, it becomes unclear as to who has the final responsibility. An organization needs a leader who directs and is in control of all aspects of the operations of the organization. However, today’s organization leader constantly faces changing trends, technologies, customer preference, and competitors. Bob Sutton is an expert that can help these organizations and leaders.

Introducing Bob Sutton, Professor

Professor Robert Sutton received his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan. As a doctoral student, he taught organizational behavior class to undergraduates at the University of Michigan. In 1983, Bob Sutton started teaching at Standford University, and for more than 35 years, is a Professor of Management Science and Engineering, and Professor of Organizational Behavior. He is also an academic director of two executive education programs: Customer-Focused Innovation, where students learn about cutting-edge social science frameworks and design thinking techniques; and the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate, where executives enroll to discover new ways of thinking and acting to solve the biggest business challenges.

School/Program Co-founder

Bob Sutton also co-founded the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, which helps accelerate entrepreneurship education at Stanford, and around the world. It is a lab that creates and delivers courses to students, and offers extracurricular programs to the Stanford community. The faculty create research on high-impact technology ventures that provides resources for educators, entrepreneurs, and organizations. He also co-founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, known as the d school. It is a place for explorers and experimenters at Stanford University, where it helps people develop their creative abilities.

Best-selling Author

Professor Sutton is a specialist in organizational change, leadership, innovation, the links between managerial knowledge and organizational action, scaling excellence, and workplace dynamics. He has several books, some of which have been listed as best sellers. The books No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss are New York Times Bestsellers. Scaling Up Excellence is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller, and Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense was selected by The Globe and Mail as the best business book of 2006. Other books he authored/co-authored are The Knowing-Doing Gap, Weird Ideas That Work, and his latest work, The Asshole Survival Guide, which ranks as among the top 100 books in two Business and Money categories in Amazon.

Blogger and Keynote Speaker

Bob Sutton has published over 150 articles and chapters in many peer-reviewed management journals and news outlets, including Harvard Business , McKinsey Quarterly, New York Times, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal. As a Gallup Senior Scientist, he advises on performance management in the workplace. He is a LinkedIn Influencer, and blogs in Twitter at Work Matters. He has also guested on several podcasts, such as the IDEO Futures Podcast, the a16z Podcast, The Art of Charm Podcast, and in HBR. Bob has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches and seminars to various gatherings. He is available for seminars and presentations throughout the US and internationally. More details are available about his speaking engagements at BigSpeak.

Project Leader

Together with Professor Hayagreeva Rao, Professor Sutton launched The Friction Project, whose multi-pronged mission includes understanding the causes and cures for destructive organization friction. The project started when after launching their co-written book Scaling Up Excellence, many readers shared stories about how organizations hinder, frustrate and exasperate their own executives, front-line employees, customers and others. For the next couple of years, the professors will be focusing on this project, talking with, teaching, studying, and trying to help people deal with organizational friction.

Helping People Avoid, Outwit, and Deal with Workplace Assholes

Every year, during the ending of his introduction to organizational behavior class at Stanford, Bob Sutton passes a list to students about the things that he believes, and a brief comment about each one of these beliefs. It contains many opinions related to the class, but also drew on his general perspective in life. He has since placed it online, is regularly updated, and can be read on LinkedIn. One item on the lists advises that if people are plagued by an asshole, or a pack of them, they should make a clean getaway if they can. If they cannot, they can still develop a strategy to protect themselves and their fellow victims, to preserve their dignity and spirit, and to fight back.

Share Article


Jose Maria Delos Santos Avatar
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.
This email address is invalid.
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.
This email address is invalid.

Demos, trials & More information

Check out our library of 60+ pm books