Management for the masses: IU business professor to debut weekly column Nov. 18

Indiana University Kelley School of BusinessWhen I tell people I’m a Management professor, I occasionally hear, “What can you teach me? Managing people is just common sense.” The comment makes my teeth grind. To paraphrase the French writer Voltaire, “Common sense just ain’t so common.”

Research is clear: people don’t leave companies. They leave bosses. While strong managers produce profits for their organizations, poor managers cause employee turnover, lost productivity, poor customer service, and employee theft. The irony is that most supervisors aren’t aware of these consequences. They also don’t know what to do better.

That’s where this column comes in.

I’m Carolyn Goerner. I’ve been on the faculty of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington since 2000. Prior to that, I worked as a human resource manager and consultant in California. I have graduate degrees from IU and The Ohio State University (in Management & Human Resources). I’ve taught undergraduate, graduate, and working professional students in a variety of classroom contexts. I’ve consulted with companies on matters ranging from developing managerial bench strength to enhancing negotiation skills. My passion for this work comes from my deep belief that good management makes a difference in the performance of companies and the lives of employees.

I have amazing colleagues across the globe who have done exceptional research to determine the practices and principles that make for effective supervision. While their work is interesting and informative, it doesn’t often get translated from “research journal-ese” into practical tips for working managers. My goal with this column is to transfer academic knowledge into practical strategies for you. Each week, I’ll present a different study and discuss its usefulness for your business.

I’m excited to provide a weekly forum where we can explore management ideas together. If you have questions or suggestions for topics, I’d love to hear them! You can reach me at

Carolyn Goerner is a Professor of Management at Indiana University-Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business. E-Mail:

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