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High Performance Teamwork: Engagement and Creativity (July 22, 2013) at Kellogg MBA Ops Retreat

Biography

Kellogg School of Management
J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations, Professor of Management & Organizations, Director of Kellogg Team and Group Research Center, Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

Leigh Thompson is the J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the director of the Kellogg Team and Group Research Center, the Kellogg Leading High Impact Teams Executive program, and co-director of the Constructive Collaboration Executive program and the Negotiation Strategies Executive program.  In addition, she is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Northwestern.

Her research focuses on negotiation skills and strategies_, _group decision making, creativity, and analogical reasoning. Her most recent research projects include investigations of divergent versus convergent thinking on negotiation performance; mindfulness and negotiation performance; gender and the use of ethically-questionable negotiation strategies, embarrassment and pride and their effects on creativity; and how analogical reasoning improves negotiation performance.

She has published more than 130 research articles and chapters in edited books. She has authored 9 books_: _Stop Spending, Start Managing (Harvard Business Review, 2015); Making The Team (6th edition, Pearson); The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator (6th edition, Pearson, 2015);  Creative Conspiracy The New Rules of Breakthrough Collaboration (Harvard Business Review, 2013); The Truth About Negotiations (2nd edition, Pearson 2013);  Shared Knowledge in Organizations (with David Messick and John Levine); Organizational Behavior Today (2008); Negotiation: Theory and Research (2006); and The Social Psychology of Organizational Behavior: Essential Reading (2003).

Additionally, she has recently created five on-line video series:

(1) Talks at Google, Authors at Google: Stop Spending, Start Managing:  Strategies to Transform Wasteful Habits on February 16, 2017 and with more than 1,800 views. In this interactive session Thompson shares key insights from her book (co-authored with Dr. Tanya Menon), Stop Spending, Start Managing:  Strategies to Transform Wasteful Habits.  The talk, like the book, is organized around 5 traps that can ensnare even the most sophisticated business people and leaders. Often our managerial strengths get us into these traps!  Thompson provides insights in how to break down "wicked problems" and find workable solutions, saving dollars, time and resources for your organization. Research proven solutions are outlined to the below traps:

  • The Expertise Trap: reusing old solutions on current problems
  • The Winners Trap: wasting additional resources into failing projects
  • The Agreement Trap: avoiding conflict to feel like a team player
  • The Communication Trap: creating talk and noise around the problem
  • The Macromanagement Trap: organizing talented people without conducive conditions

 

(2)  "High Performance Collaboration:  Leadership, Teamwork and Negotiation," (Coursera MOOC) rated 4.8/5 and with more than 22,500 enrolled. This program was developed and launched in late 2015 and is part of a five-class Northwestern-wide specialization through Coursera and is designed to teach aspiring managers how to develop and expand their leadership skills in dynamic business environments.  In 2016 the Capstone was developed and launched. 

(3) Teamwork 101: This is a 4-part, sub-hour series that includes: Designing Teams for Success; Optimizing Team Decision Making; People Skills and Emotional Intelligence; and Creativity and Innovation in Teams. 

(4) Negotiation 101:  This is a 4-part, sub-hour series that includes: What can go wrong? What must go right?; How to prepare effectively; Claiming Value; and Creating Value.

(5)  Video Shorts (4 videos): these are energetic, professionally-animated videos, each less than 4 minutes in length that describe a common managerial problem, and provide research-based solutions for busy managers.

  1. Brainwriting: How to neutralize the loudmouths
  2. High Performance Negotiation Skills for Women
  3. Managing Virtual Teams
  4. Is Your Team Slacking? (What to Do)

Kellogg Research Partners (KRP) was established in 2017 as a partnership between students in Executive Education programs and Kellogg Ph.D. candidates.  The goal is for our talented and creative Ph.D. candidates to work with managers and executives to address key questions and challenges facing their organizations.  Meaningful and applied research studies are conducted with their employees / managers to inform and impact their businesses.

Thompson is a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and International Journal of Conflict Management.  She has served on the selection panel of the Decision, Risk and Management Program at the National Science Foundation and its program review committee.  She was named a fellow of the American Psychology Society and is a memeber of the Academy of Management, American Psychological Association, Judgement and Decision Making Society, and Society for Experimental Social Psychologists.

 

Areas of Expertise Creativity and Innovation
Cross-cultural Negotiations
Group Decision-Making
Group Dynamics
Innovation
Leading High-Impact Teams
Negotiations
Psychology
Teams

Education PhD, 1988, Northwestern University

MA, 1984, University of California, Santa Barbara

BS, 1982, Northwestern University

Academic Positions J. Jay Gerber Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations, Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001-present

Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, 1995-present

John L. & Helen Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Management and Organizations, Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1995-2001

Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 1994-1995

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Washington, 1988-1992

Adjunct Associate Professor, Management & Organization, School of Business, University of Washington, 1993-1995

Associate Professor of Psychology, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Washington, 1992-1995

Honors and Awards Highly Commended paper award in the International Journal of Conflict Management, Emerald Literati Network

Best Poster, International Association for Conflict Management

Best Student Proposal Award, Academy of Management Meetings

Editorial Positions Editorial Board Member, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1993

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 2002-2008

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 1997-2006

Editorial Board Member, Kellogg Journal of Organizational Behavior, 1997

Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Conflict Management, 1992

Editorial Board Member, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process, 1991-2010

Editorial Board Member, Group Decision and Negotiation, 1990-2003

Education Academic Positions Honors and Awards Editorial Positions

Read about executive education

Cases

Thompson, Leigh and Jeffery Loewenstein. Forthcoming. Open for learning: Low familiarity cases and general questions foster knowledge transfer. Academy of Management Learning.

Gentner, Dedre, Jeffrey Loewenstein and Leigh Thompson. 2003. Learning and Transfer: A General Role for Analogical Encoding. Journal of Educational Psychology. 95(2): 393-408.

Teaching by examples and cases is widely used to promote learning, but it varies widely in its effectiveness. The authors test an adaptation to case-based learning that facilitates abstracting problem-solving schemas from examples and using them to solve further problems: analogical encoding, or learning by drawing a comparison across examples. In 3 studies, the authors examined schema abstraction and transfer among novices learning negotiation strategies. Experiment 1 showed a benefit for analogical learning relative to no case study. Experiment 2 showed a marked advantage for comparing two cases over studying the 2 cases separately. Experiment 3 showed that increasing the degree of comparison support increased the rate of transfer in a face-to-face dynamic negotiation exercise.

Loewenstein, Jeffrey, Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner. 2003. Analogical Learning in Negotiation Teams: Comparing Cases Promotes Learning and Transfer. Academy of Management Learning & Education. 2(2): 119-127.

We used structure-mapping theory (Gentner, 1983) to study learning in negotiation teams. We instructed some teams to compare two training cases and identify a key negotiation principle; other teams were given the same two cases to study and analyze separately. Teams who compared the two cases during the training period were more likely to transfer a key value-added strategy to a novel face-to-face, two-party negotiation situation than were teams who analyzed the same two cases separately. In fact, analyzing cases separately was no better than no training at all. Teams of negotiators showed comparable levels of knowledge transfer to solo negotiators.

Wade-Benzoni, Kimberly A., Andrew J. Hoffman, Leigh Thompson, Don A. Moore, James J. Gillespie and Max H Bazerman. 2002. Contextualizing ideologically-cased negotiations: uncovering barriers to wise resolution. Academy of Management Review. 27(1): 41-57.

While traditional behavioral decision theory as applied to negotiation sheds light on some of the barriers encountered in negotiations, it does not fully account for many of the difficulties and failures to reach settlement in ideologically-based disputes. In this paper, we identify a number of factors that differentiate ideologically-based negotiations from other types of negotiation, and advance a perspective that takes into account the value-laden and institutional contexts in which they occur. We illustrate our ideas by applying them to the organizationally relevant example of environmental disputes.

Thompson, Leigh, Jeffrey Loewenstein and Dedre Gentner. 2000. Avoiding missed opportunities in managerial life: Analogical training more powerful than individual case training. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 82(1): 60-75.

We examined the ability of Masters of Management students to transfer knowledge gained from case studies to face-to-face negotiation tasks. During a study phase, students either read two cases and gave advice to the protagonist in each case, (Advice condition), or derived an overall principle by comparing two cases, (Comparison condition). Management students in the Comparison condition were nearly three times more likely to transfer the principle in an actual, face-to-face bargaining situation than those in the Advice condition. Further, content analysis of students' open-ended responses revealed that the quality of the advice given in the Advice condition did not predict subsequent behavior, whereas the quality of the principles given in the Comparison condition did predict successful transfer to the negotiation situation. Perhaps most striking is the fact that not a single person in the Advice condition drew a parallel between the two cases, even though they were presented on the same page. We conclude that the value of examples is far greater if analogical comparisons among examples are encouraged. We propose that this simple and cost-effective method can substantially improve the benefits of professional training and education.

Murnighan, J. Keith, Linda Babcock, Leigh Thompson and Madan M. Pillutla. 1999. The Information Dilemma in Negotiations: Effects of Experience, Incentives, and Integrative Potential. International Journal of Conflict Management. 10(4): 313-339.

This paper investigates the information dilemma in negotiations: if negotiators reveal information about their priorities and preferences, more efficient agreements may be reached but the shared information may be used strategically by the other negotiator, to the revealers' disadvantage. We present a theoretical model that focuses on the characteristics of the negotiators, the structure of the negotiation, and the available incentives; it predicts that experienced negotiators will outperform naive negotiators on distributive (competitive) tasks, especially when they have information about their counterpart's preferences and the incentives are high--unless the task is primarily integrative, in which case information will contribute to the negotiators maximizing joint gain. Two experiments (one small, one large) showed that tire revelation of one's preferences was costly and that experienced negotiators outperformed their naive counterparts by a wide margin, particularly when the task and issues were distributive and incentives were large. Our results help to identify the underlying dynamics of the information dilemma and lead to a discussion of the connections between information and social dilemmas and the potential for avoiding inefficiencies.

Loewenstein, Jeffrey, Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner. 1999. Analogical Encoding Facilitates Knowledge Transfer in Negotiation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 6(4): 586-597.

Information learned in academic settings has a distressing tendency to be left behind in the classroom. Learning in one situation often fails to transfer to a similarly structured situation (e.g., Gentner, Rattermann, & Forbus, 1993; Gick & Holyoak, 1980). However, comparing two or more instances that embody the same principle promotes abstraction of a schema that can be transferred to new situations. In two lines of research, we examined analogical encoding on knowledge transfer in negotiation situations. In Experiment 1, undergraduates were more likely to propose optimal negotiation strategies, and less likely to propose compromises (a sub-optimal strategy), when they received analogy training. In Experiment 2, business school students who drew an analogy from two cases were nearly three times more likely to incorporate the strategy in the training cases into their negotiations than students given the same cases separately. For novices and experienced participants, the comparison process can be an efficient means of abstracting principles for later application.

Thompson, Leigh and David Schonthal. 2017. "Setting the stage for creativity: upstream, midstream, and downstream." In Strategy and communication for innovation, edited by Pheffermann, N. and Gould, J., 17-27. Springer, 3rd.

The most common question we get as researchers and practitioners is: how to instigate creativity in teams and organizations? Some managers are focused downstream, on the development of a product; others are focused upstream—such as how to start thinking big. However, managers often forget about the mid-stream process. In this chapter, we combine insights from scientific research with actual examples and case studies to identify specific stage-setting processes that leaders and managers need to take in order to keep the raft moving through the mid-stream rapids and get downstream, and finally ashore. We point out the key challenges at each point in the creative river and how to leverage the talents of the team and organization.

Thompson, Leigh and Brian Lucas. Forthcoming. "Judgmental Biases in Conflict Resolution and How to Overcome Them." In The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, edited by Morton Deutsch, Peter Coleman, and Eric Markus, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.

Written for both the seasoned professional and the student who wants to deepen their understanding of the processes involved in conflicts and their knowledge of how to manage them constructively, this book provides an understanding for managing conflicts at all levels interpersonal, intergroup, organizational, and international. Each chapter focuses around a central case or illustration of the practice with a discussion for both training and direct intervention. This new edition includes companion downloadable chapters and new information on conflict resolution and IT, social networks, schools, families, environment and much more.

Thompson, Leigh and Taya Cohen. 2012. "Metacognition in teams and organizations." In Social metacognition: Frontiers of social psychology, edited by Pablo Brinol and Kenneth DeMarree, 283-302. New York, New York: Psychology Press.

Metacognition is cognition about cognition, thinking about thinking, knowing about knowing, and feeling about thinking (Alter & Oppenheimer, 2009; Petty, Brinol, Tormala, & Wegener, 2007; Schwarz, Sanna, Skurnik, & Yoon, 2007). In the case of teams and groups, metacognition is team members thinking about how their team processes information, works on problems, and feels about the team process (Hinsz, 2004; Hinsz, Tindale, & Vollrath, 1997). Similarly, the the case of organizations, metacognition is members of organizations thinking about how their organization functions and feels about the way their organization functions. We use the distinction between primary and secondary cognition to guide out review (Petty et al., 2007). Primary thoughts are those that occur at a direct level of cognition and involve people's initial associations. Following a primary thought, people can also generate secondary thoughts (i.e., metacognitions) that occur as reflections on the first-level thoughts or the processes that generated the primary thoughts. In their review, we focus on people's cognitions and feelings about groups, teams, and their organizations. We situate our review with regard to people as they interact with and work in teams and business organizations, as opposed to people cognizing about crowds or aggregates with whom they have no social or organizational relationship. Unfortunately, literature search using the phrases "metacognition and organizations," "metacognitions and teams," and "metacognition and groups" yielded very little (see Hinsz, 2004, for an exception). Yet, organizational behavior (OB) researchers resonate to the idea that managers, leaders, and their teams contemplate their thinking, behavior, and each other. Our thesis is that metacognition is alive and well in OB; it simply operates under a variety of banners (including transactive memory, shared mental models, group reflexivity, and so on) that paradoxically do not recognize one another. Throughout our review, we explore the following questions: Does metacognition help or hurt teams? Do metacognitive processes naturally emerge and develop or are they something that can be taught, leveraged, and trained?

Thompson, Leigh and Jeffery Loewenstein. Forthcoming. Open for learning: Low familiarity cases and general questions foster knowledge transfer. Academy of Management Learning.

Gentner, Dedre, Jeffrey Loewenstein and Leigh Thompson. 2003. Learning and Transfer: A General Role for Analogical Encoding. Journal of Educational Psychology. 95(2): 393-408.

Teaching by examples and cases is widely used to promote learning, but it varies widely in its effectiveness. The authors test an adaptation to case-based learning that facilitates abstracting problem-solving schemas from examples and using them to solve further problems: analogical encoding, or learning by drawing a comparison across examples. In 3 studies, the authors examined schema abstraction and transfer among novices learning negotiation strategies. Experiment 1 showed a benefit for analogical learning relative to no case study. Experiment 2 showed a marked advantage for comparing two cases over studying the 2 cases separately. Experiment 3 showed that increasing the degree of comparison support increased the rate of transfer in a face-to-face dynamic negotiation exercise.

Loewenstein, Jeffrey, Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner. 2003. Analogical Learning in Negotiation Teams: Comparing Cases Promotes Learning and Transfer. Academy of Management Learning & Education. 2(2): 119-127.

We used structure-mapping theory (Gentner, 1983) to study learning in negotiation teams. We instructed some teams to compare two training cases and identify a key negotiation principle; other teams were given the same two cases to study and analyze separately. Teams who compared the two cases during the training period were more likely to transfer a key value-added strategy to a novel face-to-face, two-party negotiation situation than were teams who analyzed the same two cases separately. In fact, analyzing cases separately was no better than no training at all. Teams of negotiators showed comparable levels of knowledge transfer to solo negotiators.

Wade-Benzoni, Kimberly A., Andrew J. Hoffman, Leigh Thompson, Don A. Moore, James J. Gillespie and Max H Bazerman. 2002. Contextualizing ideologically-cased negotiations: uncovering barriers to wise resolution. Academy of Management Review. 27(1): 41-57.

While traditional behavioral decision theory as applied to negotiation sheds light on some of the barriers encountered in negotiations, it does not fully account for many of the difficulties and failures to reach settlement in ideologically-based disputes. In this paper, we identify a number of factors that differentiate ideologically-based negotiations from other types of negotiation, and advance a perspective that takes into account the value-laden and institutional contexts in which they occur. We illustrate our ideas by applying them to the organizationally relevant example of environmental disputes.

Thompson, Leigh, Jeffrey Loewenstein and Dedre Gentner. 2000. Avoiding missed opportunities in managerial life: Analogical training more powerful than individual case training. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 82(1): 60-75.

We examined the ability of Masters of Management students to transfer knowledge gained from case studies to face-to-face negotiation tasks. During a study phase, students either read two cases and gave advice to the protagonist in each case, (Advice condition), or derived an overall principle by comparing two cases, (Comparison condition). Management students in the Comparison condition were nearly three times more likely to transfer the principle in an actual, face-to-face bargaining situation than those in the Advice condition. Further, content analysis of students' open-ended responses revealed that the quality of the advice given in the Advice condition did not predict subsequent behavior, whereas the quality of the principles given in the Comparison condition did predict successful transfer to the negotiation situation. Perhaps most striking is the fact that not a single person in the Advice condition drew a parallel between the two cases, even though they were presented on the same page. We conclude that the value of examples is far greater if analogical comparisons among examples are encouraged. We propose that this simple and cost-effective method can substantially improve the benefits of professional training and education.

Murnighan, J. Keith, Linda Babcock, Leigh Thompson and Madan M. Pillutla. 1999. The Information Dilemma in Negotiations: Effects of Experience, Incentives, and Integrative Potential. International Journal of Conflict Management. 10(4): 313-339.

This paper investigates the information dilemma in negotiations: if negotiators reveal information about their priorities and preferences, more efficient agreements may be reached but the shared information may be used strategically by the other negotiator, to the revealers' disadvantage. We present a theoretical model that focuses on the characteristics of the negotiators, the structure of the negotiation, and the available incentives; it predicts that experienced negotiators will outperform naive negotiators on distributive (competitive) tasks, especially when they have information about their counterpart's preferences and the incentives are high--unless the task is primarily integrative, in which case information will contribute to the negotiators maximizing joint gain. Two experiments (one small, one large) showed that tire revelation of one's preferences was costly and that experienced negotiators outperformed their naive counterparts by a wide margin, particularly when the task and issues were distributive and incentives were large. Our results help to identify the underlying dynamics of the information dilemma and lead to a discussion of the connections between information and social dilemmas and the potential for avoiding inefficiencies.

Loewenstein, Jeffrey, Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner. 1999. Analogical Encoding Facilitates Knowledge Transfer in Negotiation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 6(4): 586-597.

Information learned in academic settings has a distressing tendency to be left behind in the classroom. Learning in one situation often fails to transfer to a similarly structured situation (e.g., Gentner, Rattermann, & Forbus, 1993; Gick & Holyoak, 1980). However, comparing two or more instances that embody the same principle promotes abstraction of a schema that can be transferred to new situations. In two lines of research, we examined analogical encoding on knowledge transfer in negotiation situations. In Experiment 1, undergraduates were more likely to propose optimal negotiation strategies, and less likely to propose compromises (a sub-optimal strategy), when they received analogy training. In Experiment 2, business school students who drew an analogy from two cases were nearly three times more likely to incorporate the strategy in the training cases into their negotiations than students given the same cases separately. For novices and experienced participants, the comparison process can be an efficient means of abstracting principles for later application.

Thompson, Leigh and David Schonthal. 2017. "Setting the stage for creativity: upstream, midstream, and downstream." In Strategy and communication for innovation, edited by Pheffermann, N. and Gould, J., 17-27. Springer, 3rd.

The most common question we get as researchers and practitioners is: how to instigate creativity in teams and organizations? Some managers are focused downstream, on the development of a product; others are focused upstream—such as how to start thinking big. However, managers often forget about the mid-stream process. In this chapter, we combine insights from scientific research with actual examples and case studies to identify specific stage-setting processes that leaders and managers need to take in order to keep the raft moving through the mid-stream rapids and get downstream, and finally ashore. We point out the key challenges at each point in the creative river and how to leverage the talents of the team and organization.

Thompson, Leigh and Brian Lucas. Forthcoming. "Judgmental Biases in Conflict Resolution and How to Overcome Them." In The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, edited by Morton Deutsch, Peter Coleman, and Eric Markus, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.

Written for both the seasoned professional and the student who wants to deepen their understanding of the processes involved in conflicts and their knowledge of how to manage them constructively, this book provides an understanding for managing conflicts at all levels interpersonal, intergroup, organizational, and international. Each chapter focuses around a central case or illustration of the practice with a discussion for both training and direct intervention. This new edition includes companion downloadable chapters and new information on conflict resolution and IT, social networks, schools, families, environment and much more.

Thompson, Leigh and Taya Cohen. 2012. "Metacognition in teams and organizations." In Social metacognition: Frontiers of social psychology, edited by Pablo Brinol and Kenneth DeMarree, 283-302. New York, New York: Psychology Press.

Metacognition is cognition about cognition, thinking about thinking, knowing about knowing, and feeling about thinking (Alter & Oppenheimer, 2009; Petty, Brinol, Tormala, & Wegener, 2007; Schwarz, Sanna, Skurnik, & Yoon, 2007). In the case of teams and groups, metacognition is team members thinking about how their team processes information, works on problems, and feels about the team process (Hinsz, 2004; Hinsz, Tindale, & Vollrath, 1997). Similarly, the the case of organizations, metacognition is members of organizations thinking about how their organization functions and feels about the way their organization functions. We use the distinction between primary and secondary cognition to guide out review (Petty et al., 2007). Primary thoughts are those that occur at a direct level of cognition and involve people's initial associations. Following a primary thought, people can also generate secondary thoughts (i.e., metacognitions) that occur as reflections on the first-level thoughts or the processes that generated the primary thoughts. In their review, we focus on people's cognitions and feelings about groups, teams, and their organizations. We situate our review with regard to people as they interact with and work in teams and business organizations, as opposed to people cognizing about crowds or aggregates with whom they have no social or organizational relationship. Unfortunately, literature search using the phrases "metacognition and organizations," "metacognitions and teams," and "metacognition and groups" yielded very little (see Hinsz, 2004, for an exception). Yet, organizational behavior (OB) researchers resonate to the idea that managers, leaders, and their teams contemplate their thinking, behavior, and each other. Our thesis is that metacognition is alive and well in OB; it simply operates under a variety of banners (including transactive memory, shared mental models, group reflexivity, and so on) that paradoxically do not recognize one another. Throughout our review, we explore the following questions: Does metacognition help or hurt teams? Do metacognitive processes naturally emerge and develop or are they something that can be taught, leveraged, and trained?

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