Jeannette A. Colyvas is clinical faculty and associate professor (by courtesy) of Management and Organizations at Kellogg School of Management. Professor Colyvas also holds several faculty and advisory appointments at Northwestern, including tenure-line appointments in the Learning Sciences, Human Development and Social Policy, and the joint program in Learning and Computer Sciences at the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP). She is also faculty and executive board member of the Northwestern Institute for Complex Systems (NICO), faculty associate at the Institute for Policy Research (IPR), faculty advisory councilmember for the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, faculty advisory councilmember for the undergraduate Business Institutions Program (BIP), and courtesy faculty at the Department of Sociology. She is also the Director of Undergraduate Programs at SESP. Professor Colyvas received her PhD from Stanford University and her B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Professor Colyvas is interested in the organization and design of environments that facilitate the creation and use of socially and economically important knowledge. Her work is animated by three persistent puzzles: why so many different kinds of innovations—from technologies to management practices to social interventions--become broadly adopted but never develop the foundation to persist; why some innovations are not widely implemented despite their demonstrated effectiveness or formal authorization; and why so many innovations remain largely unnoticed without the opportunity to facilitate meaningful change.
For decades, Professor Colyvas has examined these puzzles in the context of biomedical innovation and the ongoing interaction among university, industry, and government science. Her work has analyzed the processes and effects of the blending of academic and industry practices on the production of science and scientists, notably in the context of increasing patenting, licensing, and start-up activity emanating from academic labs and in the context of research, funding, and publishing emanating from firms. Through training and collaboration with former and current graduate students, Professor Colyvas’ work extends to several social policy settings—such as education, housing security, and restorative justice--that grapple with inequalities, unrealized social change, or the meaningful and sustainable adoption of effective interventions. Professor Colyvas has published in journals as diverse as Management Science, Sociological Theory, Research Policy, Organization Science, Minerva, and American Journal of Education. Support for her research has come from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Merck Foundation, and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Professor Colyvas has won several awards for her mentoring and instruction at Northwestern. She currently teaches courses related to leadership and organizational change at the undergraduate, MBA, doctoral, and executive levels. In addition, Professor Colyvas has over 15 years of experience developing education materials, teaching, and outreach for leaders of cultural, arts, social service, and for-profit organizations seeking to increase their social impact in economically and organizationally sustainable ways. In this capacity, she has worked with over 100 different organizations to help them leverage and build their networks, forge alliances for mutual benefit, and develop metrics that meaningfully track their strategic objectives.