Christopher Michaelson

Associate Professor, Ethics and Business Law

Minneapolis Campus
1000 LaSalle Ave
Terrence Murphy Hall 451I
Minneapolis, MN 55403

B.A., Philosophy, Northwestern University
M.A., Ethics/Aesthetics, University of Minnesota
Ph.D., , University of Minnesota

See publications in UST Research Online

After earning his Ph.D. in philosophical ethics and aesthetics from the University of Minnesota, Christopher Michaelson joined PricewaterhouseCoopers' New York office in 1998 as one of the first five consultants in a small ethics advisory practice that is now part of a global risk consulting network with thousands of professionals. A few years into his consulting career, he took a full-time lectureship at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania while maintaining a part-time leadership role at PwC.

In 2005, he joined the business and society faculty of the New York University Stern School of Business. He has remained on the NYU faculty and with PwC since moving home to Minneapolis in 2006. Currently, Michaelson is an associate professor of ethics and business law at the University of St. Thomas. His research uses art and narrative to explore work values in a rebalancing global economy and has appeared in top management, ethics and other disciplinary journals as well as in major practice and trade publications. He speaks frequently to academic, executive and student audiences. His clients have included major private sector multinationals as well as multilateral financial institutions, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Summer 2015 Courses
Summer 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Fall 2015 Courses
Fall 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
BETH 650 - 201 Compliance Programming - T - - - - - 1800 - 2100 SCH 407
Description of course Compliance Programming : CRN: 42890
Compliance and ethics management is a complex management process that requires program design that supports management's objectives, coordinated activities to be operated across functions and geographies, and performance measurement to reasonably assure effectiveness and a return on management's investment. This course will engage participants' personal knowledge and experience- in dialogue with instructors and guests from industry with law and business backgrounds- to explore assessment, communication and training, investigations and discipline, reporting and disclosure, auditing and monitoring, and remediation), leading practices relating to these program elements, and how to measure effectiveness (from the perspectives of both ethics and economics). The course will also use case method and other practical examples to explore the familiar distinction between compliance-based and integrity-based programs as a link to the course, "Ethical Culture."
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
BETH 741 - 367 Ethics and Leadership See Details * *
Description of course Ethics and Leadership : CRN: 42894
Registration is restricted to EXECUTIVE MBA students only
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
TMH 3010800-120019 Sep '15
TMH 4600800-120010 Oct '15
TMH 4600800-120007 Nov '15
TMH 4600800-120010 Dec '15
TMH 4600800-120012 Dec '15
LAWS 730 - 01 Compliance Programming - T - - - - - 1800 - 2100 MSL 334
Description of course Compliance Programming : CRN: 43195
Compliance and ethics management is a complex management process that requires program design that supports management's objectives, coordinated activities ot be operated across functions and geographies, and performance measurement to reasonably assure effectiveness and a return on management's investment. This course will engage participants' personal knowledge and experience- in dialogue with instructors and guests from industry with law and business backgrounds- to explore the following themes: program design frameworks and key elements (including risk identification and assessment, communication and training, investigations and discipline, reporting and disclosure, auditing and monitoring, and remediation), leading practices relating to these program elements, and how to measure effectiveness (from the perspectives of both ethics and economics). The course will also use case method and other practical examples to explore the familiar distinction between compliance-based and integrity-based programs as a link to the course, "Ethical Culture."
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
J-Term 2016 Courses
J-Term 2016 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Academic and Professional Positions
  • Director, Global Advisory Practice (Performance Improvement), PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, Minneapolis (2008 - present)
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, St Paul / Minneapolis (2012 - present)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2008 - 2012)
  • Director, U.S. Advisory Practice (Performance Improvement), PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, New York (2006 - 2008)
  • Adjunct Faculty, New York University - Leonard Stern School of Business, New York (2006 - 2007)
  • Adjunct Instructor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2006 - 2007)
  • Senior Manager, Advisory Practice (Finance,Ops, Risk & Compliance), PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, New York (2000 - 2006)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, New York University - Leonard Stern School of Business, New York (2005 - 2006)
  • Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, Philadelphia (2002 - 2005)
  • Manager, Global Risk Mgmt Solutions, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, New York (1998 - 2000)
  • Instructor of Management Ethics (adult degree program)., Manhattan College, Bronx (2000 - 2000)
  • Senior Associate, Financial Advisory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, New York (1998 - 1998)
  • , Independent Consultant, New York (1996 - 1997)
  • Program Associate, National Education Association/National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, Washington (1993 - 1994)

Professional Memberships
  • Academy of Management
  • Modern Language Association
  • Society for Business Ethics

Professional Service
  • Burroughs Community School PTA,
  • Business Ethics Quarterly, Reviewer
  • Business and Professional Ethics Journal,
  • Children's Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota,
  • International Society for Business Ethics and Economics, Officer
  • Journal of Business Ethics,
  • Nobel Peace Prize Forum Planning Committee,
  • Ramsey Middle School PTA,
  • Sage Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society,

Public Service
  • Burroughs Community School, Member
  • Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, Committee Member

Publications
  • Gerde, V., & Michaelson, C. M. (forthcoming). Institutional constraints and enablers: An introduction to the special topic forum on extreme operating environments. Business and Society,
  • Michaelson, C. M. (forthcoming). A novel approach to business ethics education: Exploring how to live and work in the 21st century. Academy of Management Learning and Education Journal,
  • Michaelson, C. M., Pratt, M. G., Grant, A. M., & Dunn, C. P. (forthcoming). Connecting business ethics and organization studies. Journal of Business Ethics Education,
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2015). How reading novels can help management scholars cultivate ambiculturalism (Dialogue). Academy of Management Review, (40)(1), pp. 147-149
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2015). Accounting for meaning: On §22 of David Foster Wallace's the pale king. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, (29), pp. 54-64
  • Michaelson, C. M., & Gerde, V. (2015). How to live without certainty, without being paralyzed by hesitation. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, (33)(2-3), pp. 205-209
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2014). The competition for the tallest skyscraper: Implications for global ethics and economics. Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Journal, (IV),
  • Michaelson, C. M., Pratt, M. G., Grant, A. M., & Dunn, C. P. (2014). Meaningful work: Connecting business ethics and organization studies. Journal of Business Ethics, (121)(1), pp. 77-90
  • Glac, K., & Michaelson, C. M. (2012). What is a good answer to an ethical question?. Journal of Business Ethics Education, (9)(1), pp. 233-258
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2012). Cantor Fitzgerald and September 11. Journal of Business Ethics Education, (9), pp. 411-420
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2011). Morally differentiating responsibility for climate change mitigation: An analogy with Tolstoy's 'master and man'. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, (30)(1-2), pp. 113-136
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2011). Whose responsibility is meaningful work?. Journal of Management Development, (30)(6), pp. 548-557
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2011). Reading leaders' minds: in search of the canon of 21st century. Asian Journal of Business Ethics,
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2010). Revisiting the global business ethics question. Business Ethics Quarterly, (20)(2), pp. 237-251
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2010). Business and/as/of the humanities. Journal of Business Ethics Education, (7), pp. 201-212
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2010). The importance of meaningful work. MIT Sloan Management Review, (51)(2), pp. 12-13
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2009). Teaching meaningful work: Philosophical discussions on the ethics of career choice. Journal of Business Ethics, (6), pp. 43-67
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2009). Meaningful work and moral worth. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, (28)(1-4), pp. 27-48
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2008). Work and the most terrible life. Journal of Business Ethics, (77)(3), pp. 335-345
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2008). Moral luck and business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, (83)(4), pp. 773-787
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2006). Compliance and the illusion of ethical progress. Journal of Business Ethics, (66), pp. 2-3
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2005). Meaningful motivation for work motivation theory. Academy of Management Review, (30)(2),
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2005). I want your shower time! Drowning in work and the erosion of life. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, (24)(2), pp. 7-26
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2005). Dealing with swindlers and devils: Literature and business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, (58)(4),
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2004). Business and ethics after September 11. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, (12)(1-2),

Books and Chapters
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2015). Normal 2014: Selected Works from the First Annual David Foster Wallace Conference. In E. Brutton, C. Kampmeier, and A. Kontos (Ed.), David Foster Wallace's love-hate relationship with consumer capitalism. Gilson, Illinois: USA: Lit Fest Press
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2014). Wiley Encyclopedia of Management - Business Ethics. World economic forum. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2014). Wiley Encyclopedia of Management - Business Ethics. Terrorism. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2014). Wiley Encyclopedia of Management - Business Ethics. Moral luck. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2013). Aesthetics and Business Ethics. In D. Koehn and D. Elm (Ed.), Literature and the canonical values of capitalism Ch. 4 (pp. 37-50). Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2009). Normative Theory and Business Ethics. In Jeffrey Smith (Ed.), Values and capitalism (pp. 195-208). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2007). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. In Robert W. Kolb (Ed.), Reputation management (pp. 1820-1823). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2007). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. In Robert W. Kolb (Ed.), Moral luck (pp. 1426-1428). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2007). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. In Robert W. Kolb (Ed.), Humanities and business ethics (pp. 1081-1084). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2007). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. In Robert W. Kolb (Ed.), Ethics and the tobacco industry (pp. 794-799). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2007). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. In Robert W. Kolb (Ed.), Terrorism (pp. 1068-2071). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Research Interests
  • Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
  • Risk Management
  • Globalization
  • Meaningful Work

Presentations
  • "In search of a generally accepted definition of 'meaningful work'" May Meaning Meeting - Yale University, Litchfield, Connecticut, May 01, 2015
  • "Making work meaningful" National Association of Asian MBA's, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 01, 2015
  • "Making work meaningful" UST Power Lunch, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 01, 2015
  • "What CEO's think about business ethics" Ethics Resource Center Fellows Program, Arlington, Virginia, January 01, 2015
  • "Narratives of Capitalism" University of Florida Center for the Humanities in the Public Sphere, Gainesville, Florida, November 01, 2014
  • "Business students should read great novels: The power of words for management education" AOM - Academy of Management, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 01, 2014
  • "Do we have to do meaningful work?" Society of Business Ethics, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 01, 2014
  • "Business in the work and world of David Foster Wallace" David Foster Wallace Conference, Bloomington, Illinois, May 23, 2014
  • "Trying to get back what I never actually had" David Foster Wallace Conference, Bloomington, Illinois, May 23, 2014
  • "Business in the work and world of David Foster Wallace" May Meaning Meeting, Owatonna, Minnesota, May 01, 2014
  • "Is meaningful work moral work?" OCB Faculty Research Symposium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 01, 2014
  • "Business novels and good characters: Using novels in professional responsibility" New York University Business and Society Program, New York, New York, March 01, 2014
  • "A normative theory of meaningful work" SIOP - Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Houston, Texas, May 01, 2013
  • "A normative theory of meaningful work" OCB Faculty Research Symposium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 01, 2013
  • "Meaning-based job-related well-being: Related but separate from job satisfaction." SIOP- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Houston, Texas, April 01, 2013
  • "Meaningful work and Confucian virtue" Society for Business Ethics, Boston, MA, August 01, 2012
  • "The rise of the rest: The competition for the world's tallest skyscraper and its implications for global ethics and economics" ISBEE - International Society for Business, Economics, and Ethics World Congress, Warsaw, Poland, July 01, 2012
  • "Economic ethics in literature and film" New York University Stern School of Business Paduano Symposium, New York, NY, May 01, 2012
  • "Moral hazard and pediatrics" American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities, Minneapolis, MN, October 01, 2011
  • "Is moral impartiality a business ethics requirement?" Society for Business Ethics, San Antonio, TX, August 01, 2011
  • "Business in extreme operating environments: Do we have a theory on that?" Academy of Management, San Antonio, TX, August 01, 2011
  • "Meaningful work through the lens of literature" May Meaning Meeting, Sundance, UT, May 01, 2011
  • "Meaningful work and business ethics" New York University Stern School of Business Paduano Symposium, New York, NY, May 01, 2011
  • "Reflections on meaningful work" Social Business - The Norwegian and American Experiences, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, April 01, 2011
  • "Reading leaders' minds: In search of the canon of 21st century global capitalism" Shanghai International Conference, Center for Business Ethics, Shanghai, China, September 01, 2010
  • "The capitalist canon" Society for Business Ethics, Montreal, Canada, August 01, 2010
  • "Whose responsibility is meaningful work?" Academy of Management, Montreal, Canada, August 01, 2010
  • "Whose responsibility is meaningful work?" Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, Barcelona, Spain., May 01, 2010
  • "Business and/as/of the humanities" University of St. Thomas Aesthetics & Ethics Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 01, 2009
  • "What is a good answer to an ethical question?: Helping students find their moral voices" Society for Business Ethics, Chicago, Illinois, August 01, 2009
  • "Meaningful work and the good life: A framework for understanding meaningful work" Academy of Management, Chicago, Illinois, August 01, 2009
  • "Teaching meaningful work: Philosophical discussions on the ethics of career choice" Society for Business Ethics, Anaheim, California, August 01, 2008
  • "Have you read a good code lately? Critical theory, codes of ethics, and management practice" Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, Jacksonville, Florida, February 01, 2006
  • "Executive compensation and moral luck" Society for Business Ethics, Atlanta, Georgia, February 01, 2006
  • "Working through unthinkable risks and contingency plans" Treasury and Risk Management Magazine Governance & Risk Conference, New York, New York, January 01, 2006
  • "Bringing the power of film to business Ethics research and teaching" Academy of Management, Atlanta, Georgia, January 01, 2006
  • "I want your shower time! Drowning in work and the erosion of life" Markkula Center Accountable Corporation Conference, Santa Clara, CA, January 01, 2005
  • "Purpose, values, and organizational integrity" International Conference Promoting Business Ethics, New York, New York, January 01, 2005
  • "Ethics as a Compliance Requirement: The Illusion of Ethical Progress" Institute for Business & Professional Ethics conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 01, 2004
  • "Challenging the Scholarship-Practice Divide in Business Ethics" Society for Business Ethics, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 01, 2004
  • "A Cantor's prayer for meaningful work" International Society for the Study of Work & Organizational Values, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 01, 2004
  • "Business and Ethics After September 11" Conference on Ethics in the Financial Services after Sarbanes-Oxley, Minneapolis, MN, January 01, 2004
  • "Return on Investment' (poem)" Academy Arts Exhibit, of the Academy of Management, New Orleans, LA, January 01, 2004
  • "If There is a Sense of Reality, There Must be a Sense of Possibility: Literature, Moral Imagination, and Business" Society for Business Ethics, Seattle, Washington, August 01, 2003
  • "'If There is a Sense of Reality, There Must be a Sense of Possibility: Literature, Moral Imagination, and Business" Conference on Moral Imagination, U of M - Minneapolis, MN, January 01, 2003