Inaugural OB Division Award for Societal Impact

Sponsored by Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and the OB Division



The 2020 recipient from the OB Division Award for Societal Impact is

Laura Morgan Roberts from the University of Virginia


Scholarly work with societal impact is both scientifically credible and useful to society; it produces societally beneficial knowledge that aims to make the world a better place.  This work will often address, but is not limited to, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, for example: health and well-being, income and social inequality, and the preservation of the environment. In order to both recognize and incentivize such work in organizational behavior, the OB Division is inviting nominations for a new award: The OB Division Award for Societal Impact.


This award recognizes a body of work, rather than a single conference submission or published article, given that scholarship addressing grand societal problems is often incredibly challenging, unfolding over many years of persistence.  It may be published in traditional research outlets; however, it can also be evidenced in monographs, policy papers, books, curriculum, or interventions that may not receive recognition in other forums.  Yet, through its application of organizational behavior scholarship, it has the potential to change the world.


To be eligible for this award, the scholar’s work must: (1) Address problem(s) that relate to timely and important societal challenges in the business, economic, societal or environmental spheres that fall within the domain of organizational behavior, (2) Provide actionable knowledge or insights for potential policies or practices to improve the well-being of people (employees, customers, suppliers) beyond business and economic success, (3) Demonstrate strong credibility, (4) Be useful for policy or practice within the domain of organizational behavior (i.e., relevance for managers, employees, business, or society).


An Award Committee comprised of organizational behavior scholars and practitioners will assess the nominations using these criteria and recommend a winner to be announced at the 2020 OB Division Award Ceremony at the Academy of Management Annual Conference.  For the OB Division Societal Impact Award, please send a letter of nomination along with the nominee’s curriculum vita to Cristina Gibson (cristina.gibson[at] by January 17th, 2020.