Thomas Cummings

Affiliate Research Scientist
Professor of Management and Organization

Tom Cummings is a leading expert in designing high-performing organizations and strategic change. He has published more than 20 books, including Handbook of Organization Development and Organizational Development and Change, and more than 60 articles. He has served on the editorial board or as editor for 10 journals, including Academy of Management Review. He received best paper awards in 1990 and 1994, and in 2007 received a Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Human Resource Management. Professor Cummings served as President of the Academy of Management, the leading professional organization for scholars in management and organization.

Recent Research

How Organization Agility Produces Sustained Performance: Bringing Coherence to Diverse Conceptual Perspectives (Download)

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Why and how organizations change – especially in competitive and dynamic environments – are central questions in organization theory and strategic management. Organization agility (OA) has emerged as a construct to describe the way organizations adapt quickly to continuous disruption and change, and theories explaining how OA works and produces performance outcomes have proliferated.

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Rebellion and Revolution in Strategic Planning (or "Building a Strategic Architecture")

Larry Greiner (USC) and Tom Cummings (USC) share that strategy consultants, managers and scholars have long relied on formal strategic planning to embody and implement their more abstract concepts of strategic management.

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4-D Theory of Strategic Transformation: When New CEOs Succeed and Fail

Larry Greiner, Thomas Cummings, and Arvind Bhambri discuss how there is no honeymoon for most new CEOs these days. Instead, they are challenged immediately by their boards to make major changes and improve financial performance. Entering with strong mandates for change, new CEOs frequently launch strategic transformation initiatives.

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Organization-Learning Disorders Conceptual Models and Intervention Hypothesis

This paper by William M. Snyder and Thomas G. Cummings presents a conceptual model that proposes how organization-learning disorders influence organization performance.

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The Effects of a Shift-System Innovation on a Turnover and Absenteeism: A Naturally Occurring Field Experiment

In this paper by Thomas G. Cummings and Mark A. Kizilos, the impact of a participatively designed 12-hour shift system on employee turnover and absenteeism was examined in a naturally occurring field experiment.

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