John Sawyer

Professor of Management,
Associate Provost,
Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness

Department: Business Administration
Campus Address: 334 Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-2021


Dr. John Sawyer is the Associate Provost for Institutional Research and Effectiveness, and is Professor of Management in the Department of Business Administration, Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics. As Associate Provost Dr. Sawyer leads a team of 7 professionals who gather and analyze institutional and comparative data to inform critical University decisions.  The IRE team conducts research on a wide array of issues related to higher education and the effectiveness of the University of Delaware.  Dr. Sawyer teaches Organizational Behavior and Organizational Development & Change at the graduate level.

Over the past decade Sawyer’s research has focused on team performance in science and technology organizations, and applications of human judgment in team decision making and negotiations. His research has been published in top academic journals in business (e.g., Academy of Management Review and Journal of Organizational Behavior), applied psychology (Personnel Psychology and Journal of Applied Psychology), decision processes (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes), and engineering management (IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management).

Dr. Sawyer has conducted research on organizational and work group culture at Dow Chemical, virtual teams at Cisco Systems, and R&D Management with DuPont Corporation, and has provided training and development consulting with companies such as AstraZeneca, DuPont Pharma, Hercules, Genentech, Delmarva Power, and Warner-Lambert.

Dr. Sawyer serves on the editorial boards of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, and Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, and is past member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Management, and the Academy of Management Journal.  He has served on the advisory panels of the National Science Foundation, Social & Behavioral Science Directorate, Innovation & Organizational Change, and Human & Social Dynamics programs; and on the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.


University of Delaware:

Institutional Research and Effectiveness

2013-2015: Interim Associate Provost

Office of Graduate and Professional Education

2009-2012: Associate Provost for Professional Education

2008-2009: Faculty Fellow, Director of Professional Education Initiatives

Department of Business Administration

2004-2005 & 2007-2012: Founding Director, MS in Organizational Effectiveness, Development & Change

2001-2006: Department Chairperson

1998-2001: Management Area Head


B.A. – Psychology, California State University, Long Beach, 1977

M.A. – Educational Counseling, California State University, Fresno, 1979

A.M. -  Industrial & Organizational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1985

Ph.D. – Industrial & Organizational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1987

Curriculum Vitae



Conlon, D. E., Pinkley, R. L., & Sawyer, J. E. (2014). Getting something out of nothing: Reaping or resisting the power of a phantom BATNA.  In N. M.Ashkanasy, R. Ayoko, & K. A. Jehn (Eds.) Handbook of Conflict Management.

Griffith, T.L., & Sawyer, J.E. (2010). Multilevel Knowledge and Team Performance.  Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(7) 1003-1031. DOI: 10.1002/job.660

Griffith, T.L., & Sawyer, J.E. (2010). Research Team Design and Management for Centralized R&D.  IEEE Transactions in Engineering Management, 57(2), 211-224.

Cadiz, D.M., Sawyer, J.E., & Griffith, T.L. (2009). Developing and Validating Field Measurement Scales for Absorptive Capacity and Experienced Community of Practice.  Educational and Psychological Measurement, 69(6), 1035-1058.

Griffith, T. L., & Sawyer, J. E. (2006) Supporting technologies and organizational practices for the transfer of knowledge in virtual environments. Group Decision and Negotiation, 15(4), 407-423.

Sawyer, J. E., Houlette, M. A., & Yeagley, E. L. (2006). Decision performance and diversity structure: Comparing faultlines in convergent, crosscut, and racially homogeneous groups.  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 99(1), 1-15.

Donatello, J. M., & Sawyer, J. E. (2004) ROAM: The research opportunity assessment model for targeted innovation.  International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 1(1), 93-113.

Griffith, T.L., Sawyer, J.E., & Neale, M.A. (2003) Virtualness and knowledge in teams: Managing the love triangle of organizations, individuals and information technology.  MIS Quarterly, 27(2), 265-287.

Ferry, D. L., Kydd, C. T., & Sawyer, J. E., (2001).  Measuring facets of media richness. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 41(4), 69-78.

Sawyer, J. E., Latham, W. R., Pritchard, R. D., & Bennett, W. R., Jr. (1999). Analysis of work group productivity in an applied setting: Application of a time series panel design. Personnel Psychology, 52, 927-967.

Sawyer, J. E., Kernan, M. C., Conlon, D. E., & Garland, H. (1999). Responses to the Michelangelo computer virus threat: The role of information sources and risk homeostasis theory. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29, 23-51.

Woodman, R. W., Sawyer, J. E., & Griffin, R. W. (1993). Toward a theory of organizational creativity. Academy of Management Review, 18, 293-321.

      Reprinted in C. L. Cooper (Ed.). Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior, Volume 3, 2002. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Sawyer, J. E. (1993). Judgment of nonlinear contingencies and applications of contingencies to organizational behavior. In N. J. Castellan (Ed.) Individual and group decision making: Current issues (pp. 65-86). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Sawyer, J. E. (1992). Goal and process clarity: Specification of multiple constructs of role ambiguity and a structural equation model of their antecedents and consequences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 130-142.

Sawyer, J. E., (1991). Hypothesis sampling, construction, or adjustment: How are inferences about nonlinear monotonic contingencies developed? Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 49, 124-150.

Sniezek, J. A., May, D. R., & Sawyer, J. E. (1990). Social uncertainty and interdependence: A study of resource allocation decisions in groups. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 46, 155-180.

Sawyer, J. E., (1990). Effects of risk and ambiguity on judgments of contingency relations and behavioral resource allocation decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 45, 85-110.

Sawyer, J. E., (1988). Measuring attitudes across job levels: When are scale scores truly comparable? Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 42, 324-342.

Awards & Honors

Dow Electronic Materials. “Safety Culture: Plan, implementation and test of a safety culture intervention at Dow Electronic Materials.” February – November, 2012.

Delaware Valley Innovation Network (DVIN) Innovation Investment Education and Outreach grant. “Professional Science Masters in Biotechnology Program Development.  June – December 2009.

NSF SES-0422772, "Collaborative Research: Knowledge, Innovation, and Virtual Work in Science and Engineering Organizations," July, 2004 - December, 2007.

NSF DGE-0221651, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program "Multidisciplinary Graduate Program in Biotechnology." under the direction of  Mary J. Wirth, Abraham M. Lenhoff, John E. Sawyer, John F. Rabolt, Mary C. Farach-Carson.  FY 2003-2008.

Anderson Consulting. "The effects of information presentation technology on information processing attention, learning and influence in group decision-making." September 1999-May 2001.

CERT, College of Business and Economics, University of Delaware. "Information Sharing and Integration in Culturally Diverse Cross-Functional Groups." June 1999-August 1999.

Delaware Public Policy Institute. "Choices for Delaware: A Study of Major Trends in Key Industries. (with Michael Pohlen).  February 1998 - October 1998.

Center for Information Systems Management, Education, and Research (CISMER), University of Delaware. "Effective Problem Solving with Group Systems V" June 1, 1994 through August 31, 1994.

General University Research Grant, University of Delaware. "Shared Values, Task Strategies and Product Development Team Effectiveness". June 1, 1993 through August 31, 1993.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Advanced Research Program. "Judgments of Non-linear Contingencies by Individuals and Groups". January 1, 1990 through August 31, 1991.

Editorial Boards

  • Editorial Board, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, June 1, 2010-July 1, 2013.

  • Editorial Board, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, July 1, 2007-June 30, 2013

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 2004-present

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 2008 - present

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Management, 1999-2002.

  • Guest Editorial Board, Academy of Management Journal, Special Research Forum: Change and Development Journeys into a Pluralistic World, 1999

  • Guest Editorial Board, Academy of Management Journal, Special Research Forum: Innovation and Organizations, 1996.


  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior – BUAD870
  • Organizational Development and Change – BUAD872
  • Organizational Development Professional Project Seminar – BUAD898
  • Business Consulting Practicum -  BUAD899
  • Multidisciplinary Biotechnology (joint Ph.D. MBA with UD Chemistry Department)

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.5 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Club, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Undergraduate scholarships, made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends, enable us to support promising scholars. Here, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his mother, Leni Markell, join recipients of the William Markell Scholarship (center), which benefits students in Accounting and MIS.

The Institute for Financial Services Analytics is a collaboration between the Lerner College, UD's College of Engineering and JPMorgan Chase, and hosts events for academics and the business community designed to address consumer analytics and industry applications.

All Lerner College departments offer discovery learning experiences and emphasize data-based analytics to enrich the student experience. Here, students at Vita Nova, our award-winning restaurant run through HRIM, joined professional chefs and winemakers in hosting a 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival event.

Lerner College faculty - like Meryl Gardner, whose research on foods and moods was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

  • Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics
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