John W. Boudreau

Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist


John Boudreau is Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization and a Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Effective Organizations, at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. He is recognized worldwide as one of the leading evidence-based visionaries on the future of work and organization, through breakthrough research on the bridge between work, superior human capital, leadership and sustainable competitive advantage. His research has received the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior New Concept and Human Resource Scholarly Contribution awards. His large-scale research studies and focused field research addresses the future of work and the global HR profession, work automation, HR measurement and analytics, decision-based HR, executive mobility, HR information systems and organizational staffing and development. His work is featured in Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fast Company and Business Week, Talent Management,, and NPR, among others.  His scholarly research is published in Management Science, Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Asia-Pacific Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Human Relations, Industrial Relations, and Journal of Human Resources Costing and Accounting.

Research Partners & Clients

Dr. Boudreau consults and conducts executive development with companies worldwide that seek to maximize their readiness for the future of work and organization evolution, by optimizing the strategic impact of superior people and human capital strategies. He works with companies as diverse as early-stage startups, to non-profit organizations, to some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, including Boeing, Corning, Frito-Lay, GE, Hartford, IBM, Mattel, Merck, Microsoft, Novartis, Royal Dutch Shell, Sun Microsystems, Unilever, the United Nations, and Williams-Sonoma. He was an architect and the first Visiting Director of Sun Microsystems’ unique Research and Development Laboratory for Human Capital.

Professional Work

He is the recipient of the 2018 Heneman Career Achievement Award from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management, and the 2013 Michael Losey award from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for excellence in research that has enhanced the human resource profession. His research received the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior New Concept and Human Resource Scholarly Contribution awards. He received the 2009 Chairman’s Award from the International Association for Human Resources Information Management (IHRIM) for lifetime achievement in human resource information management. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and American Psychological Association. He co-authored a best-selling textbook on human resource management that reached its eighth edition including Chinese, Czech, Spanish and other translations.

The recipient of the General Mills Award for teaching innovations at Cornell University, Dr. Boudreau founded the Central Europe Human Resource Education Initiative, connecting American HR professionals and academic researchers with faculty and students in the Czech and Slovak Republics. A strong proponent of corporate/academic partnerships, Dr. Boudreau helped to establish and then directed the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS), at Cornell University, where he was a professor for over 20 years, before his current position as Research Director for the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Boudreau is a strategic advisor to a wide range of organizations, including early-stage companies, global corporations, government and military agencies, and non-profit organizations. He founded and led CHREATE, the Global Consortium to Reimagine HR, Employment Alternatives, Talent and the Enterprise. He has served as a Foundation Trustee of the National Academy of Human Resources, and serves on the Transformational Investment Capacity Committee of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and on the Board of i4cp and PlayWorks. He is a strategic advisor to the leadership teams of Viridis Learning and Total Brain. He has served as a member of the board of advisors the Human Resource Planning Society and WorldatWork. He chaired the Advisory Board of the California Strategic HR Partnership, a silicon-valley HR executive consortium, and served as an advisor to the Saratoga Institute, a global source of human capital benchmarking and performance measures. He has been elected to the executive committees of the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Download Dr. Boudreau’s CV

Connect with John on LinkedIn

For more information of CHREATE (The Global Consortium to Reimagine HR, Employment Alternatives, Talent, and the Enterprise), click here.

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Online Columns

Boudreau is a regular contributor to Talent Management online with his Thinking Ahead column. Additionally, he writes for and (Harvard Business Review).

Audio and Video Interviews

See all books by John Boudreau.


BBA – New Mexico State University

MSIA – Purdue University

PhD – Purdue University

Contact Information

Recent Research

HR Leaders Must Accelerate Preparations for the Future Digital Organizations

New evidence from the Center for Effective Organizations’ Global HR Excellence survey suggests HR leaders must move faster to prepare for the fast-emerging digital organization.

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Beyond “Upskilling”: Measuring the Climate for Work Automation with the “Work Automation Index”

With all the attention to enhancing the skills of workers to cope with work automation, CEO affiliate Dr. Benjamin Schneider, and Dr. John Boudreau realized that organizations are overlooking pivotal elements to work automation success.

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The Future HR: Five Essential but Overlooked Questions

The future of HR is inextricably entwined with the future of work, leadership, society and organizations. It has long been insufficient to consider the future of HR strictly from the perspective of changes in the HR function, its organization, its operating model and its technology. Such questions are important, but HR leaders and their constituents (non-HR leaders, investors, workers, policy-makers and others) must consider the future of HR through more fundamental questions about the future of work.

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Optimizing Work Automation: Getting Past the Hype

Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau will present findings from their forthcoming book, Reinventing Jobs, with Harvard Business Press. They will describe a new set of tools to answer these daunting questions.

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HR Analysts: Unleash Your Inner Storyteller

John Boudreau shares how telling a story is well-recognized as essential to HR analytics and acknowledges that “insight” is at the top of the data analytics pyramid after data becomes information. HR analytics systems even offer pre-programmed storylines with deeper analysis.

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