Nicholas Pearce
Nicholas A. Pearce

Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations

Print Overview

Dr. Nicholas Pearce serves as an award-winning Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and as the founder and chief executive officer of The Vocati Group, a global executive advisory services firm. He is a leading scholar, lecturer, and trusted strategic adviser on values-driven leadership, collaboration, and change in organizations. He has served leaders of corporations, social impact organizations, governments, and communities of faith on six continents, including Abbvie, Advocate Health Care, Allstate Foundation, Aon Hewitt, Archdiocese of Chicago, Boston Scientific, BP, Capital Group, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago United, Chicago Urban League, Council of State Governments, Cristo Rey Schools, Deluxe, DiversityInc, The Episcopal Church, FMC, Google, The Heads Network, Hearst, Jones Lang LaSalle, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KIPP Foundation, KPMG, McDonald's, Monsanto, NASA, Nike, Northwestern Medicine, Novartis, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Perkins Coie, Philanthropy Club of Chicago, The PrivateBank, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Sicredi, Surge Institute, Teach for America, Unitarian Universalist Association, United States Department of State, United States Olympic Committee, USG, Whirlpool, WomenHeart, Women's Foodservice Forum, Young Presidents' Organization, and ZS Associates.

Dr. Pearce also serves as Assistant Pastor of Chicago's historic Apostolic Church of God, where he is responsible for overseeing Christian education and discipleship for Apostolic's 15,000-member congregation. He is emerging as one of his generation's most trusted and influential voices, with a ministry that has already impacted tens of thousands of lives across cultural, generational, and denominational boundaries. He is also deeply committed to civic engagement and philanthropy, serving on the boards of the Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago Community Trust's African American Legacy Fund, ACCESS Community Health Network, and Seminary Co-Op Bookstores.

Dr. Pearce has been a Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago since 2015 and has also been named one of Chicago's 40 Game Changers (under 40) by WVON/Ariel Investments, a Galbraith Scholar by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Public Voices Faculty Fellow by The OpEd Project, and Kellogg's MSMS Professor of the Year (2015). He has also been honored for excellence by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Mustard Seed Foundation, Wentcher Foundation, National Black MBA Association, and Union League Club of Chicago. He and his award-winning work have been featured in global media outlets including The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Chicago TribuneThe Chronicle of Philanthropy, Crain's Chicago Business, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Marketplace, MSNBC, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time,, and The Washington Post.

Dr. Pearce holds the Ph.D. in Management & Organizations from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the S.B. in Chemical Engineering & Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a concentration in Religious Studies earned in conjunction with Harvard Divinity School.

Connect with him on Twitter @napphd and learn more at

Areas of Expertise
Nonprofit Management
Organizational Change
Organizational Culture
Organizational Learning
Organizational Structure and Relationships

Print Vita
Ph.D, 2012, Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
M.S., 2009, Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
S.B., 2007, Chemical Engineering and Management, Concentration in Religious Studies, School of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Academic Positions
Clinical Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2016-present
Clinical Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-2016
Visiting Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations, Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-2013

Other Professional Experience
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Vocati Group, 2017-present
Assistant Pastor, Apostolic Church of God, 2012-present
Aon Hewitt Global Diversity and Inclusion Consulting Practice, 2012-2012
Northwestern University Center for Leadership, 2011-2012
Research Associate, MIT Sloan School of Management, 2005-2007
Deloitte Consulting, LLP, 2004-2005

Honors and Awards
Professor of the Year Award, Russell Fellows Program, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
Fellow, Leadership Greater Chicago
Named one of Chicago's 40 Game Changers Under 40, Ariel Investments/WVON
Northwestern Public Voices Faculty Fellow, The OpEd Project
H. Naylor Fitzhugh PhD Fellowship Award, National Black MBA Association
Harvey Fellow, Mustard Seed Foundation
John Kenneth Galbraith Scholar, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government

Print Research
Research Interests

Leadership, Organizational change, Diversity & inclusion, Values-based organizations, Megachurches, Vocation

Perkins, Susan E., Katherine W. Phillips and Nicholas A. Pearce. 2013. Ethnic Diversity, Gender, and National Leaders. Journal of International Affairs. 67(1): 85-104.
King, Brayden and Nicholas A. Pearce. 2010. The Contentiousness of Markets: Politics, Social Movements, and Institutional Change in Markets. Annual Review of Sociology. 36: 249-267.
Livingston, Robert and Nicholas A. Pearce. 2009. The Teddy-Bear Effect: Does Having a Baby Face Benefit Black Chief Executive Officers?. Psychological Science. 20: 1229-36.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "Ram Probably Should've Read MLK's Whole Speech Before Using It in an Ad." Fortune.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "Why Did the Golden Globes Snub So Many Female Directors?." Fortune.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "NFL's anthem protest rule would create new problems."
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "CEOs now have the upper hand with Trump."
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "Here’s Where Travis Kalanick Really Went Wrong with Uber’s Harassment Claims." February 23, 2017.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "The Patriots’ Bill Belichick Inspires His Team by Calling Them This." Fortune, February 3, 2017.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "What Aged Leaders Can Learn From Japanese Emperor Akihito’s Desire To Step Down." Fortune, August 27, 2016.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "Hacking Tech’s Inclusion Pledge: It’s More Than a Numbers Game." Chicago Tribune, August 24, 2016.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "What Wall Street Can Learn From Asian Airlines' Diversity Problem." Fortune Magazine, April 2016.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "The World Is Still Sexist, and Jennifer Lawrence Is Proof." Fortune, October 2015.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "The Discrimination Debate: Why It Hurt Starbucks but Worked for Apple." Fortune, April 2015.
Pearce, Nicholas A.Susan E. Perkins and Katherine W. Phillips. "Women Presidents Outperform Their Male Counterparts in Complex Economies." Huffington Post, January 31, 2014.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "The Leadership Lessons of Nelson Mandela.", December 12, 2013.
Pearce, Nicholas A.. "The Challenge of the 'New Black Church'."

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

Leadership in organizations, Values-based leadership, Organizational culture, Diversity & inclusion, Motivation, Influence, Generational differences, Collaboration & teams, Negotiation, Church leadership & administration

Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Leadership in Organizations (MORS-430-0)
This course provides students with the social science tools needed to solve organizational problems and influence the actions of individuals, groups and organizations. It prepares managers to understand how to best organize and motivate the human capital of the firm, manage social networks and alliances, and execute strategic change. This is accomplished through knowledge of competitive decision making, reward system design, team building, strategic negotiation, political dynamics, corporate culture and strategic organizational design.

Leading and Managing Diverse Organizations (MORS-462-5)

**This course was formerly known as MORS 462-B**

Today's global marketplace is more diverse than ever before - on multiple dimensions. Leaders need specific tools & techniques to effectively understand, lead, and leverage others in these increasingly complex, more diverse organizations and markets. This course blends theoretical and practical, evidence-based insights to provide you with proven strategies & frameworks to successfully harness the power of diversity in organizations and markets.

Negotiations Fundamentals (MORS-472-5)
This course is designed to provide the fundamentals of negotiation strategy and to improve students' skills in all phases of negotiation. The course provides an understanding of prescriptive and descriptive negotiation theory as it applies to two party negotiations, team negotiations, resolution of disputes, agents and ethics, and management of integrative and distributive aspects of the negotiation process. The course is based on a series of simulated negotiations in a variety of contexts. Attendance at every class meeting is mandatory.

Leadership in Organizations (MORSL-420-0)
The Leadership in Organizations course is designed to enhance your ability to effectively build and lead high-performing organizations. This introductory course will integrate fundamental insights from the behavioral & social sciences to provide you with a set of strategies & techniques to build social capital, build & leverage diverse teams, navigate complex organizational dynamics, and execute strategic change in organizations.

Leadership in Organizations (MORSM-430-0)

Executive Education
Advanced Marketing Management

For executives navigating an ever-changing marketing landscape, this program gives participants practical knowledge of marketing management tools and how to implement them into a successful strategy.

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Driving Organizational Change

Use your own real-life challenges as a platform for putting the latest theories and tools for organizational change management into practice. Learn how to build business agility and organizational resilience — the cornerstones of driving ongoing change.

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Leading Into the Future: Managing in a Changing World

As the world of business changes at breakneck speed, executives must stay at the forefront of management thinking and practice. This program delivers a wealth of new knowledge and insights for managing change with confidence in the 21st century.

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Leading Into the Future: Managing in a Changing World

As the world of business changes at breakneck speed, executives must stay at the forefront of management thinking and practice. This program delivers a wealth of new knowledge and insights for managing change with confidence in the in 21st century.

View Program