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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

John E. Sawyer

Photograph Image of John Sawyer
Title Professor of Management, Associate Provost, Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness
Office 334 Hullihen Hall


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.


  • Ph.D. in industrial & organizational psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1987
  • M.A. in industrial & organizational psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1985
  • M.A. in educational counseling, California State University, Fresno, 1979
  • B.A. in psychology, California State University, Long Beach, 1977

Select Publications

  • 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.

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.

Curriculum Vitae

Download John Sawyer’s CV (PDF)