Robert Yawson

School of Business, Quinnipiac University United States


Robert M. Yawson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Management and the Graduate Programs Assessment Coordinator at the School of Business, Quinnipiac University, CT. Robert serves on the Faculty Senate. He is the Chair of the University Education Committee; member of the University Research Policies Committee, member of the University Learning Assessment Council, and member of the Board of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students. Robert has been awarded the prestigious Center of Excellence Award in Teaching, won the Faculty Scholar of the Year Award, and the James Marshall Award for Service.

Robert has a BS in Chemistry and MPhil in Biochemistry, University of Ghana; Post Graduate Certificate in Food Management, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; MS in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; and Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, University of MN.

Prior to joining QU, he worked as Quality Control Officer of S. C. Johnson Wax (Ghana) Ltd.; General Manager of Animens Industries Limited, Ghana; Scientific Secretary and later as Head of Administration (HR) of the Food Research Institute (FRI), Ghana; a Research Analyst for the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota (BBAM); Instructor at the University of MN; and a Senior Research Fellow with the International Consulting firm, pfc Social Impact Advisors. Robert has consulted for the World Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and has worked on several multilateral and bilateral projects in Africa. As a Research Analyst for the BBAM, Robert worked with a team of Consultants from Deloitte, LLC on the Destination 2025 project: a state-wide 20-year visioning initiative and roadmap to help give clarity to the nature and timing of investments that are needed for MN to sustain a long-term competitive position in the biosciences industry.

Robert is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences and several other professional bodies. Robert serves as an Associate Editor of the Organization Management Journal, Associate Editor of the Human Resource Development Quarterly, Associate Editor of the International Journal of Business and Systems Research, and Editorial Board Member of the Advances in Developing Human Resources. He has served as the Track Chair Editor of the Organization Development and Change Track of the 2015 Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Conference in the Americas, the Associate Proceedings Editor of the 2016 Conference, the Proceedings Editor of the 2017 Conference, and the Program Chair of the 2018 Conference. Robert was the Track Chair Editor of the Business Strategy Track of the 54th Annual Eastern Academy of Management 2017 Conference and the Track Chair Editor for the Leadership Track of the 56th Annual Conference in 2019. Robert also serves as an Associate Editor for the Social Issues in Management Division of the Annual Academy of Management Conferences.

Robert is a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Human Resource Development; member of the Board of Governors of the Eastern Academy of Management; and member of the Executive Committee of the Public and Nonprofit Division of the AoM as the Chair of the 2019 Best Book Award Committee. He has also served on the Wayne R. Pace Book of the Year Committee of the AHRD since 2014. In 2015, Robert served as Grant Applications Reviewer for the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space.

Robert has over 80 publications including peer review papers in several leading academic journals. His current research is on using the "wicked problem construct" for leading OD & Change, and using systems approach to human resource development for emerging technologies.

Subject Areas
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The Dead Goat Syndrome in Organisations

The use of metaphors to explore the connection between theory and practice in organization and leadership studies has proven to be highly effective. This paper discusses the dead goat syndrome (DGS) as a benchmark in discussing the importance of metaphor in organization life and to identify the various leadership types that conform to the DGS metaphor. The dead goat syndrome emanates from a popular Ghanaian metaphor literary meaning a goat that is already dead does not fear to be thrust with a knife. Using this metaphor, we present a new lens for looking at leadership effectiveness and identify the basis for certain leadership behaviors in organizations. We illuminate some definitions of metaphor by briefly reviewing the literature on the classical views on metaphors, metaphors in organizational theory development, and how the DGS metaphor can be utilized to identify certain leadership behaviors in organizations.

Collective impact: dialogue at the interface of the colliding systems of philanthropy

Collective impact as a collaborative effort arose from the acknowledgment that existing methods and development approaches were incapable of addressing large-scale and long-term societal problems, the so-called wicked problems. By creating a model of the ecosystem of organizations around a particular issue, a funder can understand who else is working in the same space, identify potential allies, and anticipate political or economic challenges that might arise. In a case study to assess the developmental impacts of foreign aid and developmental programs on women and children in one of the poorest districts in Ghana, we developed an approach through which collective impact can be initiated and evaluated. Through the life of Lamisi Seidu, a typical, poor, rural Ghanaian woman, we tell the symbolic story of poor women living in rural, peri-urban, and urban areas all over the world. We examine what defines collective impact, how such initiatives are structured, and the challenges in creating collective impact initiatives that achieve successes that are both long-lasting and large scale. We also discuss the landscape mapping approach we developed

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