Dan Denison

Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization

Daniel R Denison is Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization. His work on organizational culture and business performance is well known around the world.

Prior to joining IMD in 1999, Denison was an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the University of Michigan Business School, teaching in MBA, PhD, and Executive Education programs.

Denison has taught and lived in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, and anthropology from Albion College and his PhD in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan.

His research, teaching, and consulting focuses on organizational culture and leadership and the impact they have on the performance and effectiveness of organizations and has shown a strong relationship between organizational culture and business performance metrics such as profitability, growth, customer satisfaction, and innovation. He has consulted with many leading corporations regarding organizational change, leadership development, and the cultural issues associated with mergers and acquisitions, turnarounds, and globalization.

Denison’s books include Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations: Aligning Culture and Strategy (written with IMD colleague Robert Hooijberg) and Corporate Culture and Organizational Effectiveness. He is also the author of the Denison Organizational Culture Survey and the Denison Leadership Development Surveys. His articles have appeared in leading journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Denison has primarily been involved in partnership programs with IMD Learning Network companies such as Canon, Deloitte, PMI, Shell, DuPont, and Metso. These custom-designed programs are targeted to transform the organizations and individuals who lead them and are designed to meet the challenges the companies face. He is also Chairman of Denison Consulting, LLC, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan with offices in Europe and Asia.

Academic publications
Managing stakeholders in team-based innovation: The dynamics of knowledge and trust networks
Team-based innovation requires a balance of creative and pragmatic processes both within teams and between teams and their organizational stakeholders. However, prior research has focused primarily...
1 January 2013
Linking organizational culture and customer satisfaction: Results from two companies in different industries
Customer CentricityCultureOrganizational Behavior
This article presents a test of the relationship between organizational culture and customer satisfaction using business-unit data from two different companies. The first study examines 32 regional...
1 January 2008
Culture in family-owned enterprises: Recognizing and leveraging unique strengths
Family BusinessCultureOrganizational BehaviorPerformance Measurement
This articles describes a quest to determine if family business culture is stronger and promotes better performance than cultures found in nonfamily firms. If family business cultures are found to ...
1 March 2004
Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness: Is Asia different from the rest of the world ?
CultureOrganizational DesignOrganizational Behavior
One of the most difficult challenges for the field of international management is the application of theories and models developed in one part of the world to understand phenomena that occur in ano...
1 January 2004
Acknowledging and extending Hoy's quibbles
Organizational BehaviorCulture
Daniel Denison replies to Wayne Hoy's Dialogue comment on his 1996 article on organizational climate and organizational culture. ¦
1 January 1997
From chimneys to cross-functional teams: Developing and validating a diagnostic model
Organizational DesignOrganizational Behavior
This article develops a framework for studying cross-functional teams in organizations that focuses on three domains: organizational context, internal process, and outcome measures. The framework w...
1 August 1996
Organizational contexts and the interpretation of strategic issues: A note on CEOs' interpretations of foreign investment
Organizational BehaviorCompetitivenessTop TeamInvestment
The relationship between organizational context and the interpretation of strategic issues is explored by examining the hypothesis that CEOs' interpretations of foreign investment in the US are inf...
1 July 1996
What is the difference between organizational culture and organizational climate?: A native's point of view on a decade of paradigm wars
Organizational BehaviorOrganizational DesignCulture
Organizational culture researchers have applied quantitative survey methods and identified comparative "dimensions" of culture in a way that appears to contradict some of the original foundations o...
1 July 1996
Insight for Executives
Change intelligence: Use the power of CQ to lead change that sticks (Book review)
Barbara Trautlein’s new book on change intelligence addresses this challenge by giving us something very useful. The book is a simple and practical explanation of why change intelligence is critica...
1 January 2014
Competing efficiently and effectively in China
Competing efficiently and effectively in China
China Culture Economics Politics
Differences in corporate culture do not only stem from geography, nationality, language or culture; corporate culture starts with the organization itself – its structure and its own unique characte...
17 January 2013
How is the culture in your company?
Performance MeasurementCulture
Every organization, from the smallest family business to the biggest global corporation, has its own unique culture. This culture reflects the accumulated wisdom of the organization’s people over i...
7 July 2010
Culture change at Tsingtao
1 February 2008
Managing corporate culture at Henkel: Applying the Denison organizational culture survey
This case study presents a detailed account of Henkel's recent efforts at building their corporate culture and aligning their most valuable resource - their people - with the principles and objecti...
1 January 2007
Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations
Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations
Change Management Competitiveness Culture Leadership Strategy
Filled with case studies from firms such as GT Automotive, GE Healthcare China, Vale, Dominos, Swiss Re Americas Division, and Polar Bank, among others, this book combines twenty years of research ...
1 January 0001