Joe Raelin is an international authority in collaborative leadership development and work-based learning. He holds the Asa S. Knowles Chair of Practice-Oriented Education at Northeastern University and is also Professor of Management and Organization Development at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. He was formerly Professor of Management at the Wallace E. Carroll School of Management at Boston College. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research has centered on human resource development, focusing in particular on executive and management education through the use of action learning. Joe is a prolific writer with some 170 chapters and articles appearing in the leading management journals and the publisher of nine books. Among the latter are: The Clash of Cultures: Managers Managing Professionals, considered now to be a classic in the field of professionals and bureaucracy (Harvard Business School Press, 1991), the latest edition of Work-Based Learning: Bridging Knowledge and Action in the Workplace (Jossey-Bass, 2008), Creating Leaderful Organizations: How to Bring Out Leadership in Everyone (Berrett-Koehler, 2003), and to accompany the latter, The Leaderful Fieldbook: Strategies for Developing Leadership in Everyone (Nicholas-Brealey, 2010).
Joe is also a management consultant with some forty years of experience working with a wide variety of organizational clients. His principal practice over the past 20 years has been helping companies establish leadership development programs using “leaderful” action learning methodology, a management development approach that encourages managers and executives to collectively learn and lead in the midst of their very practice rather than in the classroom. Among his many honors, he received the 2010 David Bradford Outstanding Educator Award from the OBTS Teaching Society for Management Educators. What intrigues him is the profound transition in leadership development that occurs when we think of leadership not as a set of traits to be found in individuals but as the activities of groups of practitioners working together on a collective practice. So, he and his colleagues are launching a new movement called “leadership-as-practice.” Thought about in this way, leaderful development is more about what we can do as change agents to develop leadership in our multiple communities than to augment the heroic traits of any one person.