Faculty & Staff Directory


Picture of Dr. John Sumanth

Dr. John Sumanth

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

Dr. John J. Sumanth is the James Farr Faculty Fellow, an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and an Associate at the Center for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University's School of Business. Prior to joining Wake, John spent two years as 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 at multiple institutions (Wake, SMU, & UNC) for teaching excellence.

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, Journal of Business Ethics, Personnel Psychology, the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Organizational Psychology Review. John serves as an Editorial Board Member for the Academy of Management Discoveries journal, and an invited reviewer for the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Business & Psychology and the Academy of Management's annual conferences. He 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 and INFORMS conferences.

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. 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, tourism (cruise) and fast food industries. His extensive corporate consulting experience includes coaching, teaching and mentoring coaches and student-athletes (e.g., Wake Forest Athletics), senior-level executives (e.g., ExxonMobil, Royal Caribbean, Wells Fargo) and top US military officers and government personnel (e.g., Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations, Veterans Affairs) on how to enhance their leadership effectiveness.

Leadership, Employee Voice/Communication, 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, 146 (2), 257-277. | 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

  • 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 - 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Employee Feedback, Business News Daily | more information
  • March 17, 2015 - CMO CONSEGUIR BUENA RETROALIMENTACIN DE TUS EMPLEADOS, Mundo Executivo | more information