Faculty & Staff Directory

Picture of Dr. John Sumanth

Dr. John Sumanth

Associate Professor of Management, James Farr Fellow in Leadership and Organizational Development, Associate, ACLC

John Sumanth is the James Farr Fellow and Associate Professor of Management at the Wake Forest University School of Business. His research focuses on issues of employee communication (voice/feedback/whistleblowing), leadership/trust, and status. To date, his research has appeared in several of the premier management/applied psychology journals in the field (e.g., Harvard Business Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics). In addition, his research has been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal and Business News Daily. John is a member of the Academy of Management's Organizational Behavior (OB) and Research Methods (RM) Divisions, the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and has presented his work at the annual Academy of Management, SIOP, Wharton OB Junior Faculty and INFORMS conferences.

Prior to academia, John spent nearly a decade working in several high-profile strategic planning, marketing, and R&D positions for Fortune 1000 multi-national firms in the insurance, global tourism (cruise) and fast food industries. John is an award-winning teacher and has extensive corporate consulting experience, including coaching, teaching and mentoring assistant coaches and student-athletes (e.g., Wake Forest Athletics), senior-level executives (e.g., ExxonMobil, Royal Caribbean, Wells Fargo, Huber Engineered Woods) and top US military officers and government leaders (e.g., Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations, Veterans Affairs). John holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, an MBA in Marketing and Management from the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering (cum laude) from the University of Miami. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key, Tau Beta Pi and Iron Arrow, the University of Miami's highest honor.

Employee Communication (Voice/Feedback/Whistleblowing), Leadership/Trust, Status, Motivation, Teams, 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

  • Employee Communication (Voice/Feedback/Whistleblowing), Leadership/Trust, Status

Teaching Interests

  • Organizational Behavior, Leadership, Negotiations

  • Hofmann, D. A.,  Sumanth, J. J. (Forthcoming). A Growth Strategy that Creates and Protects Value. Harvard Business Review.  | more information
  • Sumanth, J., Hannah, S., Herbst, K. C.,  Thompson, R. L. (Forthcoming). Generating the moral agency to report peers' counterproductive work behavior in normal and extreme contexts: The generative roles of ethical leadership, moral potency, and psychological safety. Journal of Business Ethics.  | more information
  • Sumanth, J., Cerne, M., Hannah, S.,  Skerlavaj, M. (2023). Fueling the Creative Spark: How Authentic Leadership and LMX Foster Employees' Proactive Orientation and Creativity. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies  | more information
  • Babalola, M., Gok, K., Sumanth, J. J., Chandrashekhar, L., , L. V., Decoster, S., Bansal, A.,  Coskun, A. (2022). Enhancing Employees' Duty Orientation and Moral Potency: Dual Mechanisms Linking Ethical Psychological Climate to Ethically?Focused Proactive Behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior  | more information
  • Moss, S. E., Song, M., Hannah, S., Wang, Z.,  Sumanth, J. (2020). The duty to improve oneself: How duty orientation mediates the relationship between ethical leadership and followers' feedback seeking and avoiding behavior. Journal of Business Ethics  | more information
  • 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, 146 (2),  257-277.  | more information
  • Cerne, M., Sumanth, J.,  Skerlavaj, M. (2016). Everything in moderation: Authentic leadership, leader-member exchange and idea implementation.  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 .  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

  • 2022 - Winston-Salem Evening MBA Teaching Award, Wake Forest University - School of Business
  • 2020 - Winston-Salem Evening MBA Teaching Award, Wake Forest University - School of Business
  • 2018 - Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Discoveries
  • 2018 - T.B. Rose Fellowship in Business, Wake Forest University - School of Business
  • 2018 - Most Impactful Research Project, Wake Forest University - School of Business
  • 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

  • July 17, 2017 - How to encourage candor in your office , Journal of Accountancy| more information
  • February 10, 2017 -| more information
  • March 17, 2015 - CÓMO CONSEGUIR BUENA RETROALIMENTACIÓN DE TUS EMPLEADOS , Mundo Executivo| more information
  • March 17, 2015 - 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Employee Feedback , Business News Daily| more information