A tip for Bruce Harreld as he adjusts to academic culture

The newly-appointed president of the University of Iowa, J. Bruce Harreld, said yesterday,

“I will be the first to admit that my unusual background requires a lot of help, a lot of coaching,” Harreld told reporters after the Iowa Board of Regents voted unanimously to give him the job. “And I’m going to turn to a whole lot of people that were highly critical and really tough on me the other day and ask them if they would be great mentors and teachers (to me). And I suspect and hope all of them will.”

Others are better-equipped to help Harreld adapt to a leadership role at a research university, a setting where he has never worked, aside from some adjunct teaching.

But having spent some time in academic culture, I offer Harreld this suggestion: stop passing yourself off as the sole author of published works to which others contributed.

Page 2 of the resume Harreld submitted when applying for the University of Iowa presidency lists the following publications:


“Leading Proactive Punctuated Change”, book chapter in Leading Sustainable Change: An Organizational

Perspective, Oxford University Press, 2015

“Executing Strategy”, book chapter in Core Curriculum Strategy Reading, Harvard Business School Press, 2014

“Six Ways to Sink a Growth Initiative”, Harvard Business Review, June 2013

“Jamba Juice”, case series, Harvard Business Press, 2013

“Goorin Brothers Hats”, case series, Harvard Business Press, 2012

“Felipe Calderon: Leading with Light and Power”, case series, Harvard Business Press, 2011

“Chrysler Fiat 2009”, case series, Harvard Business Press, 2010

“Dynamic Capabilities at IBM: Driving Strategy into Action”, California Management Review, August 2009

“Executing Strategy: A Background Note”, Harvard Business Press, 2009

“Financial Myopia in a Systems Business”, case, Harvard Business Press, 2009

“Organizational Ambidexterity: IBM and Emerging Business Opportunities”, California Management Review, August 2007, winner of Accenture Award for best business article of the year

“New Mindset for Growth During Crisis”, Financial Executive, 2009

Online searches quickly revealed that other scholars also contributed to most of those works. Perhaps in the business world it’s acceptable to present yourself as the sole author of collaborative writing, but in academic settings, people are expected to credit their co-authors. Harreld doesn’t need to take my word on this; he can ask his future colleagues in the business college where his contract promises him a tenured position, pending faculty approval.

Harreld was the sole author of the following works on his resume: the “Executing Strategy” book chapter, the “Executing Strategy” background note listed further down the page, and “Finance Myopia in a Systems Business.”

I was not able to find an online reference to the Goorin Brothers Hats case study.

Additional authors should have been named for the other works on the resume: Harreld, Bruce, with [other names], or listing authors in the order they appeared in the published work (usually either in alphabetical order, or with the primary author first and co-authors after).

For instance, the “Leading Proactive Punctuated Change” chapter appears in that book’s table of contents as written by “Michael Tushman, Charles O’Reilly and Bruce Harreld,” suggesting that Harreld was not the primary author.

“Six Ways to Sink a Growth Initiative” was published as the work of Donald L. Laurie and J. Bruce Harreld. Ditto for “New Mindset For Growth During Crisis.”

Harreld co-authored the case study on Jamba Juice with Christian Karega.

He co-authored the Felipe Calderon case study with David Lane.

He co-authored the Chrysler Fiat case study with Paul W. Marshall and David Lane.

The paper on “Dynamic Capabilities at IBM” was a collaborative piece by Harreld, Charles A. O’Reilly III, and Michael L. Tushman.

The award-winning piece on “Organizational Ambidexterity: IBM and Emerging Business Opportunities” should properly be cited as the work of Charles A. O’Reilly III, J. Bruce Harreld, and Michael L. Tushman.

UPDATE: One of the co-authors Harreld failed to credit, Donald Laurie, had nothing but praise for his former colleague’s work at IBM in an interview with Ryan Foley of the Associated Press.

SECOND UPDATE: Vanessa Miller reported for the Cedar Rapids Gazette on September 4,

Harreld did not make tenure a condition of his employment and has said he “will not seek tenure,” according to UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck.

The new president should still use proper attribution when listing his publications, especially since others were apparently the principal authors of many papers listed on Harreld’s resume.

About the Author(s)


  • A liar and plagarist.

    The only advice he needs is quit.

  • More on Bruce Harreld Biosketch

    There are at least two issues here:

    1. There was a head hunting company that initially submitted this bio in question. That organization was sloppy in not double checking with Bruce Harreld that the bio is/was correct if that is the one submitted to that company. Also, the Board and search committee are also responsible for a serious review, which apparently did not happen. All were sloppy.

    2. If you have followed the on campus broad questioning of Bruce Harreld that included this topic. He apologized to that broader audience that he was sloppy and should have double checked this information submitted.

    Apparently the head hunters, boards, search committee and Bruce Harreld did not pursue the rigors characteristic of either academic searchers/appointments or major scholarly/scientific searches/appointments.

    We also see these kind of sloppiness in the national political realm, sadly.

    All that being said we need to now examine and witness how Bruce Harreld establishes himself humbly as one responsible for vision, goal setting, and marketer of a world class university such as The University of Iowa, taking it to another level of excellence. Part of the vision and goal to be set are those that will indeed try to take The UI to that next level rather than merely as things are now. And was he indeed, in part, such a person at his prior high level positions such as at IBM? Moreover, the currently academic leaders at UI (VP’s, deans, chairs/heads) need to proactively work with the new president to make this happen. If this is not done, then sadly we are just back to square one.