Dr. Mary Crossan, BA, MBA, PhD

Professor at the Ivey Business School, Western University and Co-Founder of Virtuosity Character

Dr. Mary Crossan is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Strategic Leadership at the Ivey Business School, Western University. Mary’s passion for the past four decades has been to address the most pressing problems facing individuals and organizations and to uncover the “atomic particles” at their core. Leveraging the incredible synergistic insights arising from research, teaching and application, her ground-breaking research and innovative, yet practical application in education and organizations, provide the unique insights and expertise that underpin the work of Leader Character Associates. She was recognized for her life-time career achievement by the Academy of Management, receiving the 2023 Award for Distinguished Educator.

She has published over 100 articles, several books and is amongst the most highly cited researchers in her field. Her research on leadership character, organizational learning and strategic renewal, and improvisation is published in the top management journals including the Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Leadership Quarterly and Organization Science. Her article on “Developing Leadership Character in Business Programs” was awarded the Outstanding Article of the Year for 2013 in the Academy of Management Learning and Education. The book “Developing Leadership Character” is a culmination of the team’s research on leader character with the forthcoming book “The Character Compass: Transforming Leadership for the 21st Century” providing practical insight into what it takes to develop leader character and embed it in organizations.

Apart from her expertise in leader character, her decades of research into strategic renewal, organizational agility and improvisation have proven to be critical in understanding how to embed leader character in organizations. In a joint venture with The Second City, she developed a management video entitled Improvise to Innovate. Her textbook “Strategic Analysis and Action” is widely used in strategy courses. She has been identified as one of the top 40 case-writers in the world with her Starbucks business case selling over 100,000 copies to business schools worldwide. Her research, teaching, and consulting have provided her with exposure to a variety of companies and industries in North America, Europe and Asia.