Ronald Purser, Ph.D.

BUS 349
(415) 338-2380
Office Hours: 
No Summer 2017 Office Hours

Ronald Purser is professor of management in the College of Business at San Francisco State University, and an adjunct faculty member and Benedictine University, Fielding Institute, and Colorado Technical University.

Prior to this, he was a tenured professor and graduate program director at the Center for Organization Development at Loyola University of Chicago.

Professor Purser earned his Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and his B.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University.

He is past division chair for the organization development and change division of the Academy of Management. He has published over 60 refereed journal articles and book chapters on high performance work systems, design of new product development organizations, environmental management, social creativity, and participative strategic planning.

In addition, Professor Purser is co-author and co-editor of five books including 24/7: Time and Temporality in the Network Society (Stanford University Press, 2007) ,The Search Conference: A Powerful Method for Planning Organizational Change and Community Action (Jossey-Bass, 1996), Social Creativity, Volumes 1 & 2 (Hampton Press, 2000), andThe Self-Managing Organization (The Free Press, 1998). His book, The Self Managing Organization, was selected as one of the Top Ten Management Books for 1998 by the Management General mega-website. His research has been featured in such places as Fortune, The Washington Post, and Training magazines. His guest editorial article, "Shallow versus Deep Organization Development and Environmental Sustainability" appeared in the Journal of Organizational Change Management won the 1995 Best Paper Literati Club Awards for Excellence.

His new book, Creativity in Organizations, will be published by SAGE Publishing in 2009. Professor Purser has been an active consultant and researcher in both the private and public sector. Some of his major clients in the private sector have included Amoco, Andersen Consulting, Eastman Kodak, Exxon Chemicals, General Electric, Metal Container, Polaroid, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, Storage Technology, Syncrude Canada, United Airlines, Whirlpool, and Xerox. Public sectors clients have included Office of the Governor (Delaware), Calgary Board of Education, Symphony Orchestra Institute, Office of the Governor (Mississippi), The Nature Conservancy, Illinois Board of Education, Illinois Public Leadership Forum, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Prior to his academic career, he was a journeyman industrial electrician at Pullman-Standard and a number of other factories in the Chicago area. He also worked as an engineering draftsman assistant at the Abex Corporation, a production line operator at a pharmaceutical plant, and as a mental health technician at psychiatric hospitals in California, Illinois and Ohio.

His other interests and hobbies include avid reading, amateur (ham) radio, playing electric guitar at local Bay Area blues jams, hiking, weight training, qiqong, Tai Chi, Buddhism, and meditation.

  • B.A. (1985), Sonoma State University
  • Ph.D. (1990), Case Western Reserve University
Research Interests: 
  • Time in Organizations
  • Creativity
  • Employee Participation
  • Change
Honors and Awards: 
  • Distinguished Service Award, Academy of Management (2002)
Professional Associations: 
  • Academy of Management
  • International Society for the Study of Time (ISST)
  • American Association of Higher Education (AAHE)
  • International Network for Time in Management and Organizations (InTiMo)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)