Lifetime Achievement Award


2020 Award

Ian Mitroff is Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California. Globally he is highly respected and well-known for his work on crisis management, but within the Management, Spirituality and Religion Interest Group at the Academy of Management he is revered for being a pioneer in the field of workplace spirituality. 

In 1994 he co-authored, with Richard Mason and Christine Pearson, a landmark article in The Academy of Management Executive titled “Radical Surgery: What Will Tomorrow’s Organizations Look Like?” In this article he proposed that organizations be structured around five new organizational entities: (1) a Knowledge/Learning Center, (2) a Recovery/Development Center, (3) a World Service/Spiritual Center, (4) A World Class Operations Center, and (5) a Leadership Institute. This is most likely the first mention of anything having to do with organizations and spirituality in an Academy of Management Journal. 

Five years later, in 1999, Ian and Elizabeth Denton published their groundbreaking study on organizational spirituality titled A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America: A hard look at spirituality, religion, and values. This study remains one of the most cited studies in the MSR field, if not THE most cited study. Ian has published in the field consistently. Besides his scholarship, Ian was willing to use his legitimacy and credibility with the leadership of the Academy of Management to help MSR get formal recognition as a special interest group. Over the years he has given numerous scholarly presentations and led PDWs at MSR meetings including most recently giving a research presentation with Elizabeth Denton at the 2019 MSR Research Consortium. 

Ian has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion (JMSR) and has published key articles in the journal. In 2014, Ian was profiled in Sandra Waddock’s book Intellectual Shamans: Management Academics Making a Difference for his contribution to the field of management, spirituality and religion. 

In summary, Ian Mitroff was one of the earliest scholarly pioneers in the field of MSR, and he has made several major contributions, both scholarly and politically. He has a long and steady history of involvement with our community and therefore MSR is proud to honor Ian Mitroff for a lifetime of meaningful achievements in our field.