Michelle Buck
Michelle L. Buck

Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

Print Overview

Michelle Buck is a Clinical Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  She has previously served as the School’s first Director of Leadership Initiatives from 2006 to 2013, designing and coordinating opportunities for personal leadership development to complement the School’s academic curriculum.  She has also served as academic director of numerous Kellogg executive programs, including partnership programs with Fundacao dom Cabral in Brazil, programs for Latin American executives with Seminarium, as well as customized, company-specific programs.

Professor Buck teaches graduate and executive courses in leadership and negotiations.  Her work in personal leadership development focuses on the importance of self-reflection and the awareness of strengths, weaknesses, values, purpose, and aspirations as foundational elements of effective leadership and of management education.   Her teaching also addresses the role of leadership communication in motivating and engaging others, and leadership as a relationship and the dynamics of leading and following.  Professor Buck teaches Negotiations as a process of effective communication and creative problem solving, in which people are able to transform perceived conflict into new opportunities. 

In executive teaching, academic direction, and consulting, Professor Buck has worked with organizations including:  Banco de Mexico, Baxter International, Canadian Council for International Cooperation, Chicago Public Schools, Ernst & Young, Exelon, the FBI, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC Bank, Merck Frosst Canada, Mitsui & Co., Odebrecht, Petro Canada, and YPO Latin America.  She has worked extensively in the contexts of private sector business, government, nonprofit executives, and leaders of family businesses, and has presented her work in North and Latin America, Europe, and Japan.

Her current interests include vitality and wellbeing as critical elements of effective leadership, courageous conversations, the use of arts-based learning in innovative leadership education, and projects emerging from travel to Rwanda, focused on transformational leadership and the pursuit of prosperity.  In early 2014, she will co-lead an international course and trip to East Africa.

Professor Buck previously was an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at McGill University, teaching in their MBA programs in Montreal and Tokyo.  She served as Module Director in the McGill-McConnell Program for National Voluntary Sector Leaders, an executive-level leadership development program for senior leaders of the non-profit sector in Canada, designed to facilitate leaders in creating a “more compassionate, sustainable society.”  She was awarded the McGill University Faculty of Management Distinguished Teaching Award in both 2001 and 1996.  She also previously taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Olin School of Business at Washington University, where she was named Teacher of the Year in the MBA Program, earning their Reid Teaching Award, in 1995.  Professor Buck has a PhD and MA in Social Psychology from Princeton University, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. 

Professor Buck’s commitment in all of her work is to inspire and empower others to unleash new possibilities for themselves, for others and the communities in which they find themselves.  Her work focuses on designing innovative, inspiring, and important learning experiences that transform lives by providing purpose, passion, and possibility.  In addition to her professional activities, Michelle enjoys dance, music, photography, and travel, with strong interests in Latin America and Africa.

Areas of Expertise
Organizational Learning
Print Vita
PhD, 1993, Social Psychology, Princeton University
MA, 1990, Social Pyschology, Princeton University
BA, 1988, Psychology, University of Michigan, High Distinction

Academic Positions
Academic Director, Executive Education, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001-present
Clinical Professor, Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001-present
Director, Leadership Initiatives, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001-present
Assistant Professor, Organizational Behavior, Faculty of Management, McGill University, 1995-2001
Visiting Assistant Professor, Organizational Behavior, John M. Olin School of Business, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1994-1995
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dispute Resolution Research Center, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1992-1994
Visiting Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1992-1994

Print Research
Research Interests
Leadership, negotiations, conflict management, organizational learning and alternative work arrangements

Buck, Michelle L.. 2004. Succession and Failure: A Commentary. Harvard Business Review. 82(6): 31-42.
Buck, Michelle L., Mary Dean Lee, Margaret Williams, Shelley MacDermid and Sharon Leiba-O'Sullivan. 2002. Contextual Factors in the Success of Reduced Load Work Arrangements Among Managers and Professionals. Human Resource Management. 41(2): 209-223.
Buck, Michelle L., Mary Dean Lee and Shelley MacDermid. 2001. Alternate Work Arrangements Among Professionals and Managers: Rethinking Career Development and Success. Journal of Management Development. 20(4): 305-317.
Buck, Michelle L., Mary Dean Lee and Shelley MacDermid. 2000. Organizational Paradigms of Reduced Load Work: Accommodation, elaboration, transformation. Academy of Management Journal. 43(6): 1211-1226.
Buck, Michelle L. and Dale T. Miller. 1994. Reactions to incongruous negative life events. Social Justice Research. 7(1): 29-46.
Miller, Dale T., Brian Taylor and Michelle L. Buck. 1991. Gender gaps: Who needs to be explained?. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 61(1): 5-12.
Book Chapters
Buck, Michelle L., Mary Dean Lee and Shelley MacDermid. Forthcoming. "Designing Creative Carrer and Creative Lives through Reduced-Load Work Arrangements." In Career Creativity: Explorations in the Remaking of Work, edited by Maury Peiperl, Michael Arthur, N. Anand, 77-100. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Lee, Mary Dean, Shelly M. MacDermid and Michelle L. Buck. 2002. "Reduced load work arrangements: Response to stress or quest for integrity of functioning." In Gender, work stress, and health, edited by D.L. Nelson and R.J. Burke, 169-190. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Buck, Michelle L.. 2000. "Reduced load work and the experience of time among professionals and managers: Implications for personal and organizational life.." In Time in organizational behavior: Trends in Organizational Behavior, edited by C.L. Cooper & D. Rousseau, vol. 7, Toronto: John Wiley & Sons.
Buck, Michelle L.. "Book Review of Leadership Insight by Nancy J. Adler." Academy of Management Learning and Education.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Leadership, negotiations and conflict management, alternative work arrangements and organizational learning
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) (INTL-473-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: International Business

This course offers students an opportunity to learn about non-U.S. business environments within an innovative and flexible framework that combines traditional classroom-based learning with structured in-country field research. From its inception in 1989 as one class of 34 students covering the Soviet Union, the program has grown to become a cornerstone of the Kellogg experience for many students. The school currently sponsors 13 GIM courses composed of approximately 400 students traveling to 15 countries. Evanston full-time students gain admission to GIM classes through the bidding process in the fall quarter. Classroom instruction is held during the winter quarter, followed by two weeks of field research abroad and seminar presentations of written student reports during the spring quarter. (TMP and EMP GIM classes sometimes follow different schedules.) GIM courses are organized by student leaders under the guidance of a faculty adviser. If you would like to become a GIM student leader, please contact the IBMP office for more information.

Managerial Leadership (formerly MGMT-468-0) (MORS-468-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Management & Organizations.

This course is designed to help students understand the character and challenges of leadership as it exists and can exist in various organizational settings. It is intended to provide insights into the demands of leadership and explore how leadership skills can be developed and applied most effectively. Interaction with guest lecturers provides an opportunity to observe and dissect various approaches to leadership. The objective of the course is to help students prepare for, and make them more sensitive to, continuing opportunities for improving their own managerial and leadership capabilities.