David Peterson


Assistant Professor, Business Management, MBA Program
Year Started at JMU: 2016
Contact Info

  • Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 2013
  • M.S., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 2011
  • B.A., Psychology (Minor in Business Management), Brigham Young University-Idaho, 2009
Professional Interests

My research is generally guided by my curiosity with two questions: Why do people create new things—new music, new machines, new laws, new keyrings? Why do people react to what leaders say and do, given the general lack of effective mind-control techniques? 

My teaching in these areas revolves around inviting students to be inflexibly curious in their appreciation of how people work at work. Sometimes I do this by telling the stories of research discoveries. This is also part of a ploy to persuade them of the virtues of rigorous scientific inquiry paired with creative exploration.

Personal Interests
  • Doing anything with my family
  • Watching talented people perform on the stage, field, court, page, screen, or broken-down cardboard boxes.
  • Fashioning wood into useful and occasionally mildly handsome thingamajigs.
  • Experiencing nature, especially when large bodies of water are involved.
  • Those moments when you discover something that changes how you see a dozen other things.
Courses Taught
  • MGT 320: Management of Innovation and Technology
  • MGT 405: Topics in Management for Non-Majors
  • MBA 608: Interpersonal Leadership & Managing Organizational Behavior
  • MGT 357: Evidence Based Decision Making
Positions Held
  • 2016-present, Assistant Professor, Management, College of Business, James Madison University
  • 2013-2016, Assistant Professor, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
  • 2009-2013, Graduate Assistant & Instructor, University of Oklahoma
Professional Background
  • Management consultant (clients include OG&E Energy Corp, Oklahoma City; University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, Coventry, UK; Trulia; LifeBridge Health; St. Louis University RePAIR Program).
  • Former choreographer, small business owner, gymnastics coach.
Awards and Recognitions
  • MBA Graduate Teaching Award, JMU, 2017
  • Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence nominee, PhD Program, University of Warwick, 2015
  • Warwick Ventures research grant award, Warwick Business School 2014-2015
  • Recognition of Teaching Excellence, MBA Program, Warwick Business School, 2014
  • Global Research Priorities Funds, Warwick Business School, 2014
  • Invited guest, BBC Business Daily, “Negotiation for Dummies,” 2013
  • Invited guest, BBC Breakfast, “Social exclusion at school and preparing children for the world of work,” 2013
  • Co-Advisor, Madison Entrepreneurs, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, James Madison University
  • Volunteer, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Moderator/Panelist, Escape Velocity, Museum of Science Fiction annual conference
Key Publications

Peterson, D.R. (forthcoming). “Are Satisfied Employees Productive or Productive Employees Satisfied? How Leaders Think About and Apply Causal Information.” In M.D. Mumford (Ed.). Leader Thinking Skills: Capacities for 21st Century Leadership. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Thiel, C. E., Hardy, J. H., Peterson, D. R., Welsh, D. T., Bonner, J. M. (2018). Too Many Sheep in the Flock? Span of Control Attenuates the Influence of Ethical Leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication.

Thiel, C. E., Griffith, J. A., Hardy, III, J. H., Peterson, D. R., Connelly, S. (2018). Let’s Look at This Another Way: How Supervisors Can Help Subordinates Manage the Threat of Relationship Conflict. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 25(3), 368-380

Robledo, I., Peterson, D.R., & Mumford, M.D. (2012). "Leadership of scientists and engineers: A three- vector model." Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32, 371-388.

Peterson, D.R., Barrett, J.D., Hester, K.S., Robledo, I.C., Hougen, D.F., Day, E.A. & Mumford, M.D. (2013). "Teaching people to manage constraints: Effects on creative problem-solving." Creativity Research Journal, 25, 335-347.

Mumford, M.D., Hester, K.S., Robledo, I., Peterson, D.R., Day, E.A., Hougen, D.F., & Barrett, J. (2012). "Mental models and creative problem-solving: The relationships of objective and subjective attributes." Creativity Research Journal, 24, 311-330.

Caughron, J.J., Peterson, D.R., & Mumford, M.D. (2011). "Creativity training." In M.A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Creativity: Second Edition (pp. 481-487). Oxford, England: Elsevier.

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