2016 Blake Ashforth


Sponsored by Annual Reviews on behalf of Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior

The OB Division's Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes senior scholars who have contributed to our discipline throughout their careers. The 2016 recipient of this award is Blake Ashforth.

Here is his acceptance address:

Blake Ashforth is a Professor of Management and holds the Horace Steele Arizona Heritage Chair at Arizona State University.

As the award committee and nominators aptly noted:
Blake is one of the most productive and influential scholars across a range of organizational behavior topics. He has made original, important, and lasting contributions to organizational scholarship concerning identity and identification, emotions in the workplace, the normalization of corruption in organizations, newcomer adjustment, labeling, burnout, and related topics. Since earning his doctorate in 1986, Blake has published 79 peer-reviewed journal articles, 42 of which are either sole-authored or first authored. In addition, Blake has authored 24 book chapters, a highly-cited book, won 4 best paper awards, and his work has been reprinted in numerous volumes. His work has been cited over 38,000 times, with current citations running at more than 4000 a year. His empirical work is characterized by its focus on crucial issues facing people in organizations and its depth of analysis. His theoretical work is characterized by its recurrent capacity to open new and hitherto unknown or neglected areas for further thinking and research. As one committee member commented, Blake has virtually invented several now taken-for-granted subject domains in the organizational sciences. Blake's work manages to connect social psychological issues to issues of organizational functioning. His work speaks not just to the psychology of individuals but also to the social arenas in which people are employed, seek meaning, engage in role transitions, experience tyranny, resist corruption, and see colleagues burning out. Blake is a past chair of the OB Division of the Academy of Management and continues to contribute each year to a range of activities including the doctoral consortium and the new member PDW. He is an inspiration to junior scholars because he shows that exciting, relevant research can and should be theoretically motivated and empirically rigorous. Blake's impact is felt not just through his written word or public presentations. He is also an outstanding colleague and friend. He takes time for people, providing his attention, good advice, and genuine interest in their work and lives. He continues to work at the frontier of knowledge, showing how a career can build and grow and make spaces for others to contribute and to flourish.
Many thanks to the award committee: Martin Kilduff (Chair), Linda Trevino, Anne O'Leary-Kelly and Gary Johns.