Michelle Buck
Michelle L. Buck

Clinical Professor of Leadership

Print Overview

Michelle Buck is Clinical Professor of Leadership at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  She 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's courses focus on the ways that leaders maximize their own performance and unleash the potential of others by addressing 1) how self-reflection and self-awareness of one's identity, values and purpose serve as foundations of effective leadership; and 2) how leaders engage and inspire others and set them up for success.  She teaches modules on leadership narrative and storytelling, creating cultures of courageous conversations, and the dynamics of leading and following.   She uses the arts, including music, photography and dance, for experiential learning in leadership.  Professor Buck also teaches Negotiations as a process of effective communication and creative problem solving, helping people to transform perceived differences and conflict into new opportunities.  In 2014, Professor Buck co-led an international MBA course and trip to East Africa, including a private meeting for MBA students with President Paul Kagame. 

In executive teaching, academic direction, and consulting, Professor Buck has worked with private, public, family business and nonprofit organizations including Banco de Mexico, Boise Cascade, Canadian Council for International Cooperation, CDW, Chicago Public Schools, Ernst & Young, the FBI, HP, Mitsui & Co., Petro Canada, The Coca Cola Company, Whirlpool Corporation, YPO Latin America and Zurich Insurance.  She has presented her work in North and Latin America, Europe, and Japan.

Professor Buck previously taught at Washington University in St. Louis, and at McGill University in Montreal and Tokyo.  She won "Professor of the Year" awards in the MBA programs at both schools.  While at McGill University, 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." 

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. 

Michelle'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
Director, Leadership Initiatives, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001-present
Clinical Professor, Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001-present
Academic Director, Executive Education, 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
Visiting Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1992-1994
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dispute Resolution Research Center, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1992-1994

Print Research
Research Interests

Leadership, Story and narrative, Negotiations, Conflict management

Buck, Michelle L.. 2004. Succession and Failure: A Commentary. Harvard Business Review. 82(6): 31-42.
Buck, Michelle L., MaryDean 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., MaryDean 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., MaryDean 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
Lee, MaryDean, 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., MaryDean 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.
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 (personal leadership development, employee motivation and engagement, courageous conversations, leadership as relationship), negotiations and conflict management

Executive Education
Advanced Management Program

For high-potential executives with enterprise-level responsibilities, this condensed, immersive experience — enhanced throughout with executive coaching — focuses on developing senior executive leadership agility, driving innovation, identifying growth opportunities and equipping your organization for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st-century.

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Leading Family Enterprises

For both established and aspiring leaders of a family-owned business, this program focuses on how to lead the family and the enterprise, manage the strategic and personal pressures inherent in such complex entities and strike an optimal balance between family and work obligations.

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The Soul of Leadership

Master a new approach to the possibilities of leadership in this unique and inspirational leadership development experience led by renowned thought leader Deepak Chopra. Leave with practical tools and insights for realizing your full leadership potential.

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Women's Senior Leadership Program

Kellogg created this special leadership program for women executives to equip top female talent to break through the barriers that have historically impeded their career development and empower them to take their place at the highest levels of corporate leadership.

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