Faculty & Staff Directory


Picture of Dr. Sean Hannah

Dr. Sean Hannah

J. Tylee Wilson Chair in Business Ethics; Professor of Management; Senior Research Associate, CLC

Sean holds the Tylee Wilson Chair, an Endowed Chair at the School of Business at Wake Forest University (WFU), and is a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He leads research, teaches in the MBA program, and is the senior scholar in WFU's Center for Leadership and Character. Sean is an experienced senior leader with 26 years of experience leading large and complex organizations. His research is published in the premier management and applied psychology journals, which he synthesizes with his practical leadership experience to engage students in the classroom as well as organizations and their leaders to enhance their capabilities. He conducts executive education, consulting, and executive coaching engagements with successful organizations in the US, Europe, and China. He was recently recognized by the Academy of Management (AOM), the international professional body for management scholars, amongst its 19,000-plus members to receive the 2017 Practice Impact Award to recognize his contributions to managerial and organizational practices, and in 2018 was selected for Fellow status with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology as well as the Association for Psychological Science.

He focuses on the study of leader development, exemplary leadership and its positive effects, character development and behavioral ethics, the building of high performing teams, strategic thinking, and crisis leadership.

Dr. Hannah holds a PhD in Management from the U. of Nebraska, MBA from Syracuse U., Masters of Arts in Public Administration from Syracuse U., Masters in National Security Studies from the Marine Corps U., and Bachelor of Political Science from California State U.

He sits on the editorial boards of four journals and has published over 60 papers including in premier management and applied psychology journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Management, the Journal of Organizational Behavior; and many others.

Prior to his appointment to WFU, he served as the founding Director of the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) at West Point -- The United States Military Academy, in NY. CAPE is the Army's overall proponent and subject matter experts for the profession, ethics, and character-based leader development. He previously served as the Director of Leadership and Management Programs at West Point. Dr. Hannah has served in command and staff positions in units in Europe, Cuba, Panama, Southwest Asia, and the United States as an Airborne Ranger qualified Infantry Officer. He served in combat with the lead unit of 3d Armored Division in Desert Storm, where his unit was awarded the Valorous Unit Award, and in other contingency operations such as Operation Sea Signal (Panama and Cuba), and the command cell for Joint Task Force Los Angeles (LA Riots). He was in the Pentagon on 9/11 and immediately after the attack was assigned as the Budget Director of Resource Services-Washington, the Army organization that sustained the highest casualty level in the attack, and led the reconstitution of that organization and its processes and systems to reestablish a $32 billion dollar budget. He has served from the lowest tactical levels to the highest strategic levels, having served on the staffs of two Chiefs of Staff of the Army and an Assistant Secretary of the Army. Upon his retirement from the Army as a Colonel he was awarded his 44th military decoration and was inducted in the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.

Professor Hannah's expertise is in leader development, character development and behavioral ethics, strategic thinking, building high performance teams, and leadership in extreme contexts and crisis situations.

  • Ph D, University of Nebraska (Business Management) - 2006
  • MA, Syracuse University- 2002
  • MA, Marine Corps University (National Security Studies) - 2000
  • MBA, Syracuse University- 1997
  • BA, California State University (Political Science) - 1986

Research Interests

  • Leadership Development
  • Ethical and Authentic Leadership
  • Character Development
  • Ethical Culture
  • Leadership in Extreme Contexts
  • Leader Identity, Complexity, Self-Efficacy, and Courage

Teaching Interests

  • Leadership
  • Character Development
  • Business Ethics
  • Organizational Behavior

  • Schaubroeck, J. M. ,  Peng, A. C. , &  Hannah, S. (Forthcoming). The Role of Peer Respect in Linking Abusive Supervision to Follower Outcomes: Dual Moderation of Group Potency. Journal of Applied Psychology.
  • Hannah, S. ,  Schaubroeck, J. M. , &  Peng, A. C. (Forthcoming). Transforming followers' value internalization and role self-efficacy: Dual processes promoting performance and peer norm-enforcement. Journal of Applied Psychology.
  • Cavarretta, F. L. ,  Trinchera, L. ,  Choi, D. O. , &  Hannah, S. (Forthcoming). When "It Depends" Amounts to More Than Simple Contingent Relationships: Three Canonical Forms of Inversions. . Journal of Organizational Behavior.
  • Moss, S. E. ,  Song, M. ,  Hannah, S. ,  Wang, Z. , &  Sumanth, J. (Forthcoming). 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.
  • Beaudoin, C. ,  Cianci, A. ,  Hannah, S. , &  Tsakumis, G. (2019). Bolstering managers' resistance to temptation via the firm's commitment to corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 157, 303-318.
  • Hannah, S. ,  Thompson, R. L. , &  Herbst, K. C. (2018). Moral identity complexity: Situated morality within and across work and social roles. <

  • 2018 - Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
  • 2018 - Fellow, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • 2017 - 2017 Practice Impact Award, Academy of Management
  • 2013 - Cowan Faculty Research Award , School of Business, Wake Forest University
  • 2012 - Army Achievement Medal (Awarded 4 Times), U.S. Army
  • 2012 - Army Commendation Medal (Awarded 5 times), U.S. Army
  • 2012 - Meritorious Service Medal (awarded 4 times), U.S. Army
  • 2012 - National Defense Service Medal (Awarded 2 Times), U.S. Army
  • 2012 - Legion of Merit, U.S. Army
  • 2011 - Inducted into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame, 2011, United Stated Army
  • 2010 - Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Department of Defense
  • 2005 - Army Service Ribbon, U.S. Army
  • 2005 - Inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honors society, 2005, Omicron Delta Kappa
  • 2005 - Overseas Service Ribbon (Awarded 2 Times), U.S. Army
  • 2002 - American Society of Military Comptrollers award for education, training, and development, 2002, American Society of Military Comptrollers
  • 2001 - Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management andComptroller) award for outstanding educator, 2001, Secretary of the Army
  • 2001 - Superior Unit Award, U.S. Army
  • 2001 - Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) award for outstanding educator, 2001, Secretary of Defense
  • 1998 - Army Staff Identification Badge, U.S. Army
  • 1997 - Beta Gamma Sigma, Business Honors Society, Syracuse University MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma
  • 1995 - Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, U.S. Coast Guard
  • 1995 - Humanitarian Service Medal (Awarded 2 Times), U.S. Army
  • 1995 - Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Department of Defense
  • 1991 - Bronze Star Medal, U.S. Army
  • 1991 - Combat Infantryman Badge, U.S. Army
  • 1991 - Kuwait Liberation Medal, Government of Kuwait
  • 1991 - Kuwait Liberation Medal, U.S. Army
  • 1991 - Saudi Arabian Liberation Medal, Government of Saudi Arabia
  • 1991 - Saudi Arabian Liberation Medal, U.S. Army
  • 1991 - Southwest Asia Service Medal (with 3 bronze stars), U.S. Army
  • 1991 - Valorous Unit Award, U.S. Army
  • 1988 - Army Ranger Tab , U.S. Army
  • 1988 - Expert Infantryman Badge, U.S. Army
  • 1987 - Airborne Parachutist Badge, U.S. Army