Beyond the Bio: Michael Hartmann

December 10, 2014 | Hamilton, Ontario
Contributed by Colin Carmichael, Manager of Public Relations

Michael_Hartmann_fullIn a few sentences, please summarize your academic/business career leading up to you joining DeGroote.

Prior to coming to DeGroote I was deputy dean at the Manchester Business School for 5 years and prior to that was assistant dean at the Rotman School of Management for 9 years.

What is the most interesting place/event/moment that your career has led you to?

It is very difficult to pick out a few of the most “interesting” moments in my career as I have had the privilege of meeting and collaborating with so many interesting people from a very wide spectrum of professional backgrounds, organizations and cultures. What I find interesting is that despite all of this diversity I often find myself engaged in teaching, research and consulting activities which touch on very consistent organizational themes – how to lead, how to create value, how to transition strategy to getting things done in the real world.

Why academia? What led you to teach?

I think I am curious by nature and therefore enjoy the opportunity given academics to think, reflect and create.  I especially like the opportunity to engage others in this process as it introduces me to new ideas and challenges me to think about how these ideas translate into practice.

What is your ‘bold prediction’ in your field for the next year or so? (or five years, or ten)

There are a few recent articles and books that reflect my thinking on the state of higher education and the contribution that business school can and should play in helping to develop the next generation of business leaders.  There is an article in Fast Company called “How EduPunks are Transforming American Higher Education” which speaks to our need to embrace change and ever so often ask the question, why have we always done it this way?  I also believe that b-school need to better prepare students for a work environment that will increasingly value digital literacy together with the ability to think, lead and manage across multiple boundaries.

What is the first thing your students learn about you that isn’t in your academic bio?

When I was living in Europe I caught the surfing bug and had the chance to surf in a bunch of interesting places even in the cold waters of Northwest Wales not far from my home.

What excites you about your current research interests?

My current research interests focus on the leadership capabilities associated with understanding and tackling complex multi-stakeholder challenges.   It links to the work I have developed with colleagues at the Centre for Creative Leadership on how organizations can incorporate societal issues into their business strategy and operations.

Michael Hartmann is a professor of Human Resource Management at the DeGroote School of Business and the current Principal of the Directors College, a joint-venture partnership between DeGroote and the Conference Board of Canada.

He has taught graduate degree programs (MSC, MBA, EMBA) in the areas of leadership, governance, change management and international HRM for leading business schools in the UK, China, and Canada. His current research interests focus on topics of leadership, governance and business innovation.

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