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J. Keith Murninghan, the Harold H. Hines Jr. Distinguished Professor of Risk Management, died Friday, June 3 at age 67.

Organizational behavior scholar J. Keith Murnighan dies at 67

Organizational behavior scholar J. Keith Murnighan dies at 67


Visit Kellogg Insight for a sampling of J. Keith Murnighan's research into human and organizational behavior.
6/6/2016 – J. Keith Murnighan, the Harold H. Hines Jr. Distinguished Professor of Risk Management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, died Friday, June 3 at age 67.

Murnighan joined the faculty in 1996 and went on to serve as a leading member of Kellogg’s intellectual community, pioneering groundbreaking research in behavioral game theory and making seminal contributions to the fields of conflict resolution, management and organizational studies.

Throughout his career, Murnighan penned more than 130 academic articles and seven books, including The Dynamics of Bargaining Games, Bargaining Games: A New Approach to Strategic Thinking in Negotiations and Social Psychology in Organizations: Advances in Theory and Research.

His last book, Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader, was published by Portfolio/Penguin Books in 2012.

“Keith was a prolific and profound writer and a dedicated and award-winning teacher with great skill and an unusual ability to engage students in the classroom,” said Dean Sally Blount '92. “His intellect and vibrancy will be deeply missed by all of us in the Kellogg community.”

His many accomplishments include receiving the International Association of Conflict Management’s (IACM) Lifetime Achievement Award, the Distinguished Educator Award from the Academy of Management, and an honorary doctorate from the University of London. Keith was most proud of his many doctoral students who are now professors at leading management schools throughout the world. He was broadly viewed as one of the nicest, smartest and most interesting people in his field.

In announcing the lifetime award, IACM President Anne Lytle ’94 praised Murnighan for raising the profile of organizational behavior as a discipline in business school education.

“Not only has he been a prolific researcher and writer, but has done so in a variety of disciplines and across a wealth of topics, demonstrating incredible flexibility in his intellectual accomplishments,” Lytle said in a 2015 interview. “Keith’s research has been some of the most creative and widely read in our field.”

In addition to his research and teaching, Murnighan was an active consultant and trainer who worked with major corporations, including Aon, Ernst & Young, Kraft, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur and the Young Presidents Organization, among others.

Prior to joining Kellogg, Murnighan taught at the University of Illinois and the University of British Columbia. He also had visiting appointments at the London Business School and Duke University, and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Murnighan earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in psychology from Purdue University.

A memorial service was held this past June.