Faculty & Staff Directory


Picture of Dr. John Sumanth

Dr. John Sumanth

Assistant Professor of Management & Organizational Behavior; Center Associate, CLC; James Farr Fellow

John Sumanth is the James Farr Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Wake Forest University School of Business. Prior to Wake, John spent two years on the faculty at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. An award-winning teacher, John has been recognized for his outstanding performance in the classroom at multiple institutions (Wake, SMU, UNC) including receiving the Senior Class Teaching Award for 2013-2014.

John's broad areas of research interest and expertise are in leadership, employee voice/ upward communication, trust and the role of power and status in organizational hierarchies. To date, his work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Organizational Psychology Review. John serves as an invited reviewer for the Academy of Management Journal and the Academy of Management's annual conferences. He is a member of the Academy of Management's Organizational Behavior (OB) and Social Issues in Management (SIM) Divisions, the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). He has presented his work at the annual Academy of Management meetings, SIOP, INFORMS and the International Conference on Productivity and Quality Research (ICPQR).

John holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), an MBA in marketing and management from the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida and a B.S. in industrial engineering (cum laude) from the University of Miami (FL). He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key, Tau Beta Pi and the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the University of Miami's highest honor.

Prior to academia, John spent nearly a decade working in a number of high-profile strategic planning, marketing, and R&D positions for large, multi-national corporations in the insurance, global tourism and fast food industries. His extensive experience working closely with senior-level executives and government officials includes spending time coaching high-potential ExxonMobil executives as part of their Leadership Development program.

Leadership, Employee Voice, Creativity & Innovation, Power & Status, Negotiations

  • Ph D, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Organizational Behavior) - 2011
  • MBA, University of Florida (Marketing) - 1999
  • BS, University of Miami (Industrial Engineering) - 1997

Research Interests

  • Leadership, Employee Voice, Trust, Power and status in organizational hierarchies

Teaching Interests

  • Organizational Behavior, Leadership, Negotiations, & Ethics

  • Gok, K. ,  Sumanth, J. ,  Bommer, W. ,  Demirtas, O. ,  Arslan, A. ,  Eberhard, J. ,  Ozdemir, A. , &  Yigit, A. (2017). You May Not Reap What You Sow: How Employees' Moral Awareness Minimizes Ethical Leadership's Positive Impact on Workplace Deviance . Journal of Business Ethics, | more information
  • Cerne, M. ,  Sumanth, J. , &  Skerlavaj, M. (2016). Everything in moderation: Authentic leadership, leader-member exchange and idea implementation. In M. Skerlavaj, M. Cerne, A. Dysvik, & A. Carlsen (Ed.), Capitalizing on Creativity at Work: Fostering the Implementation of Creative Ideas in Organizations Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. | more information
  • Hofmann, D. A. , &  Sumanth, J. (2015). Get Your Employees to Make Better Suggestions. Harvard Business Review, | more information
  • Sumanth, J. , &  Hannah, S. (2014). Developing leadership capacity: An integration and exploration of ethical and authentic leadership antecedents . In Linda Neider & Chester Schriesheim (Ed.), Advances in Authentic and Ethical Leadership (pp. 25-74). Charlotte, NC: Research in Management. | more information
  • Hannah, S. ,  Sumanth, J. ,  Lester, P. , &  Cavarretta, F. (2014). Debunking the False Dichotomy of Leadership Idealism and Pragmatism: Critical Evaluation and Support of Newer Genre Leadership Theories. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35 (5), 598-621. | more information
  • Fragale, A. ,  Sumanth, J. ,  Tiedens, L. , &  Northcraft, G. (2012). Appeasing equals: Lateral deference in organizational communication. Administrative Science Quarterly, 57 (3), 373-406. | more information
  • Sumanth, J. , &  Cable, D. M. (2011). Status and organizational entry: How organizational and individual status affect justice perceptions of hiring systems. Personnel Psychology, 64 (4), 963-1000. | more information
  • Sumanth, J. ,  Mayer, D. M. , &  Kay, V. S. (2011). Why good guys finish last: The role of justification motives, cognition, and emotion in predicting retaliation against whistleblowers. Organizational Psychology Review, 1 (2), 165-184. | more information
  • Grant, A. M. , &  Sumanth, J. (2009). Mission possible: The performance of prosocially motivated employees depends on manager trustworthiness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94 (4), 927-944. | more information

  • 2014 - Senior Class Teaching Award, Wake Forest University - School of Business
  • 2011 - Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2011 - Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management, Social Issues in Management Division
  • 2011 - SMU H.O.P.E Professor (Honoring Our Professors' Excellence), Southern Methodist University
  • 2009 - Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior Division
  • 1997 - Iron Arrow Honor Society, University of Miami
  • 1997 - Omicron Delta Kappa, University of Miami