D. Christopher Kayes

Learning Partner

Dr. Chris Kayes (Ph.D., Case West­ern Reserve Uni­ver­si­ty) is pro­fes­sor and chair of the Man­age­ment Depart­ment at The George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty School of Busi­ness. He has also served as inter­im dean of the university’s School of Busi­ness, where he led the school’s finan­cial turn­around. He is a senior fel­low at the Cen­ter for Excel­lence in Pub­lic Lead­er­ship at The George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty. He is author or coau­thor of four books: Con­tem­po­rary Orga­ni­za­tion­al Behav­ior (Pear­son), Orga­ni­za­tion­al Resilience: How Learn­ing Sus­tains Orga­ni­za­tions Through Cri­sis, Dis­as­ter, and Break­down (Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press), The Learn­ing Advan­tage: Six Prac­tices of Learn­ing-Direct­ed Lead­er­ship (Macmil­lan), and Destruc­tive Goal Pur­suit: The Mt. Ever­est Dis­as­ter (Macmil­lan).

Dr. Kayes’s research on learn­ing, lead­er­ship and orga­ni­za­tions has appeared in 25 peer-reviewed pub­li­ca­tions. One paper received the first most sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the prac­tice of man­age­ment award by the Orga­ni­za­tion­al Behav­ior Divi­sion of the Acad­e­my of Man­age­ment. In addi­tion, his analy­sis of the 1996 Mt. Ever­est climb­ing dis­as­ter won a Best Paper Award from the jour­nal Human Rela­tions, and his exten­sion of expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing the­o­ry was nom­i­nat­ed for the first Best Paper Award in the Acad­e­my of Man­age­ment Learn­ing and Edu­ca­tion jour­nal. His research has been fea­tured in The Econ­o­mistWash­ing­ton­ianWall Street Jour­nal, NPR, BBC, Bloomberg TV, Busi­ness Insid­erThe Sun­day Times of Lon­don, and Psy­cholo­gies. Focus­ing on how lead­ers learn in the face of com­plex and nov­el sit­u­a­tions, he has stud­ied learn­ing, lead­er­ship and team­work in a vari­ety of set­tings in an effort to uncov­er hid­den sources of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty in orga­ni­za­tions and iden­ti­fy ways that lead­ers build con­ti­nu­ity in times of change and tur­moil. His unique approach to goals and goal set­ting was fea­tured in Oliv­er Burkeman’s book The Anti­dote: Hap­pi­ness for Peo­ple Who Can’t Stand Pos­i­tive Think­ing.

Pro­fes­sor Kayes was select­ed by the U.S. Depart­ment of State’s Bureau of Inter­na­tion­al Infor­ma­tion Pro­grams to film a video series as part of Pres­i­dent Obama’s Young African Lead­ers Ini­tia­tive. He received the Out­stand­ing Teach­ing Award from George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty School of Busi­ness exec­u­tive edu­ca­tion stu­dents. He has taught at uni­ver­si­ties around the world, includ­ing the Sin­ga­pore Insti­tute of Man­age­ment; the Zagreb School of Eco­nom­ics and Man­age­ment in Croa­t­ia; the Helsin­ki School of Eco­nom­ics in Fin­land; the Stock­holm School of Eco­nom­ics in Riga, Latvia; the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hull in the Unit­ed King­dom; and Holy Spir­it Uni­ver­si­ty in Beirut, Lebanon. He fre­quent­ly con­ducts inten­sive mul­ti­day sem­i­nars to devel­op lead­ers and deliv­ers keynote address­es on var­i­ous lead­er­ship and learn­ing topics.

Dr. Kayes has con­sult­ed with a vari­ety of orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing Northrop Grum­man, Amer­i­can Research Insti­tute, WMS Gam­ing, Human Cap­i­tal Sin­ga­pore, Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health, Fan­nie Mae, Ora­cle, Eric­s­son, Bank of New York Mel­lon, Pen­sion Ben­e­fits Guar­an­tee Cor­po­ra­tion, Sin­ga­pore Work­force Devel­op­ment Agency, Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion, U.S. Depart­ment of Defense, U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, U.S. Judi­cia­ry, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy.