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Jail Theory of Leadership | Marvin Washington | TEDxUAlberta


Alberta School of Business
Associate Dean of Executive Education at University of Alberta

Marvin Washington is the Academic Director in the Executive Program and the Alberta Health Services Executive Leadership program with the Executive Education Faculty at the Alberta School of Business. Dr. Washington’s research, teaching, and consulting focus is on processes of organizational and institutional change. With regards to his academic research, he is most interested in processes and dynamics labeled institutional work. Institutional work refers to “purposive action of individuals and organizations aimed at creating, maintaining and disrupting institutions “ (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006: 215, emphasis original ). From this line of inquiry, he has examined a diverse set of institutions such as college sports, Italian lawyers, women’s professional sports, and megachurches. His most recent work was published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice with Evelyn Micelotta.

With regards to turning his theory into practice, he has worked with a variety of organizations on strategy, change, and leadership issues. He was part of a large scale change initiative with the United States Postal Service and the Country of Botswana. He is the author of two books on leadership and organizational change: Pack Leadership: Lessons from the Wild Dogs of Africa (with Stephen Hacker), and Successful Organizational Transformation: The Five Critical Elements (with Stephen Hacker and Marla Hacker.

Marvin has taught undergraduates, graduates, and executives during his 12 year tenure at the University. Dr. Washington has worked with a variety of organizations such as Bayer, Core Mark, Stantec, Enbridge, AIMCo, Blue Cross, YMCA, Delnor, Crowe Mackay, Parkland Fuels, Syncrude, and SportChek, many ministries and departments in the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton.

Dr. Washington, has won two MBA awards for teaching excellence, and was awarded the 2013 McCalla Professorship for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Alberta. He was also the 2017 recipient of the University of Alberta’s Last Lecture Series which is given to the professor that University students and alumni think was the most impactful during their time at the University.

He currently is the Academic Director in the Executive Program and the Alberta Health Services Executive Leadership program with the Executive Education Faculty at the Alberta School of Business

Dr. Washington has worked with government and industry leaders in the Countries of Botswana and Mexico as well as the states of Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and Oregon. Prior to life in Academia, Marvin was a manufacturing manager for Procter and Gamble where he was responsible for Zest Bar Soap.

When not teaching, researching, or consulting, Marvin can be found hanging out with his two sons (both students at the University of Alberta) or coaching basketball.


Ph.D. in Organization Behavior and Sociology, Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management 1999

BS in Industrial Engineering, Northwestern University 1989


Adjunct Professor, Physical Education & Recreation

Research Research Interests

My current research interests are at the intersection of strategic management and organization theory. I have two foci to my research. The first is conflict at the organizational or institutional level of analyses. The second focus of my research seeks to understand how status and reputation processes impact organizational success. I have had papers published in the Academy of Management, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Journal of Sport Management, and Sport Management Review.

In addition, I have published a book on leadership and teams: Pack Leadership, lessons from the Wild Dogs of Africa, and have just finished a book on Organizational Transformation: Five Ingredients Needed for Successful Organizational Transformation.

Teaching Teaching Interests I teach classes in strategic management, organizational and institutional change to undergraduates, MBA and PhD students. I also teach classes in sport management, sport marketing and understand amateur and collegiate sport delivery systems. I have taught executive education courses in organizational change and in leadership.

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