Christopher Michaelson

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., Ethics/Aesthetics, University of Minnesota

See publications in UST Research Online

Christopher Michaelson is David A. and Barbara Koch (pronounced "coach") Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility at the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business. As a scholar and business advisor, he explores how meaning and purpose in life and at work can improve our own and others' lives. Throughout his career, Christopher has built bridges between scholarship and practice. After earning his Ph.D. in philosophical ethics and aesthetics from the University of Minnesota in 1997, he helped launch a business ethics advisory practice, which became part of a global risk consulting network, in the New York office of a Big Four firm. He served on the editorial boards of ten CEO surveys and as the firm's Strategy Officer to the World Economic Forum on projects examining the role of business in society. A few years into his consulting career, Christopher took a full-time lectureship at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania while keeping a foot in practice. In 2005, he joined the Business and Society faculty of the New York University Stern School of Business, on which he has remained since moving home to Minneapolis in 2006. He came to St. Thomas in 2008 and is also an affiliate faculty member of the University of Minnesota's Center for Bioethics. He is the Humanities and Business Ethics Section Editor of the Journal of Business Ethics, on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Learning & Education, and on the Executive Committee of the International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics.

Fall 2018 Courses
Fall 2018 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
BETH 601 - 804 Business Ethics See Details * *
Description of course Business Ethics : CRN: 43064 3 Credit Hours
This course will enhance the student's ability to recognize, understand, and express the ethical dimensions of the situations and decisions they may expect to face as professionals. It will provide the knowledge essential to making sound decisions in business and seek to develop the skills and commitments required to navigate complex ethical issues successfully. In pursuit of these ends the course will make use of a spectrum of materials and pedagogies, which may include lectures, discussions of readings from classic and contemporary authors, examination of cases, and experimental exercises.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
SCH 4211300-1700- - - R F S -
-- - - - - - -
BETH 741 - 370 Ethics and Leadership See Details * *
Description of course Ethics and Leadership : CRN: 42899 3 Credit Hours
Registration is restricted to EXECUTIVE MBA students only
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
SCH 4210800-092013 Sep '18
-- - - - - - -
SCH 4211421-154014 Sep '18
SCH 4210800-142015 Sep '18
SCH 3020800-120013 Oct '18
SCH 4210800-120009 Nov '18
SCH 4210800-100010 Nov '18
SCH 4211300-170006 Dec '18
SCH 4211300-170007 Dec '18
J-Term 2019 Courses
J-Term 2019 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
MGMT 714 - 201 Strategic Sustainability See Details * *
Description of course Strategic Sustainability : CRN: 10230 3 Credit Hours
Sustainability can be understood as a moral imperative for business organizations to cultivate values that prioritize the long-term well-being of society and the environment. The pressure for sustainable development also has significant strategic implications, as opportunities exist for firms of all sizes and types to profitably identify, develop, and deploy technologies, products, and services that contribute to sustainable practices and resource use. This course examines the intersection of these imperatives in theory and in practice. It focuses on how sustainability impacts and is impacted by corporate mission and strategy, and the functional decisions driven by mission and strategy. Concepts related to sustainability from a variety of disciplines including ecology and environmental science, ethics and social justice, economics, and history are discussed and deployed in relation to practical experiences and examples. Prerequisites: NONE.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
SCH 3150900-160005 Jan '19
-- - - - - - -
SCH 3150900-160012 Jan '19
SCH 3150900-160019 Jan '19
SCH 3150900-160026 Jan '19
SCH 3150900-160002 Feb '19
Spring 2019 Courses
Spring 2019 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
HONR 480 - 01 HONORS Seeking Meaning & Money - - W - - - - 1525 - 1700 MHC 211
Description of course HONORS Seeking Meaning & Money : CRN: 21550 2 Credit Hours
These interdisciplinary seminars are intended to develop integrating insights through an analysis of topics chosen from different disciplines. Often they are taught by two faculty members or by a visiting lecturer who holds one of the endowed chairs at the university.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
Academic and Professional Positions
  • David A. and Barbara Koch Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul / Minneapolis (2015 - present)
  • Adjunct Faculty, New York University - Leonard Stern School of Business, New York (2006 - present)
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, St Paul / Minneapolis (2012 - present)
  • , University of Minnesota - Center for Bioethics, (2016 - present)
  • Director, Global Advisory, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, Minneapolis (2008 - 2016)
  • 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 Instructor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2006 - 2007)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, New York University - Leonard Stern School of Business, New York (2005 - 2006)
  • Senior Manager, Advisory Practice (Finance,Ops, Risk & Compliance), PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, New York (2000 - 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
  • European Group for Organization Studies
  • Modern Language Association
  • Society for Business Ethics

Professional Service
  • Academy of Management Learning & Education,
  • Aspen Business and Society Program First Movers Fellowship Program,
  • Burroughs Community School PTA,
  • Business Ethics Quarterly, Reviewer
  • Business and Professional Ethics Journal,
  • Children's Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota,
  • Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota - Organizational Ethics Committee,
  • International Society for Business Ethics and Economics, Officer
  • International Society of Business, Ethics, and Economics,
  • Journal of Business Ethics,
  • Nobel Peace Prize Forum Planning Committee,
  • Ramsey Middle School PTA,
  • University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics,

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

Publications
  • Michaelson, C. M. (forthcoming). A list of novels for teaching business ethics in the 21st century. Management Teaching Review, (2)(3), pp. 235-249
  • 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. (2017). Virtual special issue on humanities and business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics,
  • Brunnquell, D., & Michaelson, C. M. (2016). Moral hazard in pediatrics. The American Journal of Bioethics, (16)(7), pp. 29-38
  • Finnegan, A., Klein, M., Michaelson, C. M., & White, S. W. (2016). Can business help to cultivate peace and wellbeing? A pedagogical case study. Business, Peace & Sustainable Development, (2016)(8), pp. 55-69
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2016). Business in the work and world of David Foster Wallace. Journal of Management Inquiry, (25)(2), pp. 214-222
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2016). Useless and disinterested: How literature makes us better. American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, (7)(2), pp. 95-96
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2016). A novel approach to business ethics education: Exploring how to live and work in the 21st century. Academy of Management Learning and Education Journal, (15)(3), pp. 588-606
  • Gerde, V. W., & Michaelson, C. M. (2015). Institutional constraints and enablers: An introduction to the special topic forum on extreme operating environments. Business and Society, (55)(7), pp. 927-933
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2015). How reading novels can help management scholars cultivate ambiculturalism. Academy of Management Review, (40)(1), pp. 147-149
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2015). Executive compensation and moral luck. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, (34)(2), pp. 237-258
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2015). Accounting for meaning: On ยง22 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 for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Journal, (IV), pp. 20-27
  • 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). Whose responsibility is meaningful work?. Journal of Management Development, (30)(6), pp. 548-557
  • 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). Reading leaders' minds: in search of the canon of 21st century. Asian Journal of Business Ethics, (1)(1), pp. 47-61
  • 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. (2010). Revisiting the global business ethics question. Business Ethics Quarterly, (20)(2), pp. 237-251
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2009). Meaningful work and moral worth. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, (28)(1-4), pp. 27-48
  • 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. (2008). Moral luck and business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, (83)(4), pp. 773-787
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2008). Work and the most terrible life. Journal of Business Ethics, (77)(3), pp. 335-345
  • 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),
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2001). Is business ethics philosophy or sophism?. Business Ethics: A European Review, (10)(4), pp. 331-339

Books and Chapters
  • Michaelson, C. M. (forthcoming). Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work. Do we have to do meaningful work?. Oxford University Press
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2018). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. Quality of life. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2018). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. Collectivism. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2018). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. Aesthetics. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications
  • Michaelson, C. M., & Gini, A. (2018). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. Work-life balance. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications
  • 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. Moral luck. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons
  • 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. (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.), 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.), 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.), Terrorism (pp. 1068-2071). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
  • Michaelson, C. M. (2001). Philosophy and Everyday Life. Philosophy out of the cave (pp. 214-221). New York, New York: Seven Bridges Press

Research Interests
  • Business ethics
  • Humanities and business
  • Meaningful work

Presentations
  • "Changemaking design studio: Integrating meaning and purpose into classrooms, campuses, and careers" Ashoka Exchange, Boston, Massachusetts, January 01, 2018
  • "Stories of meaningless work" Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, Chicago, Illinois, January 01, 2018
  • "Instrumentality, identity, and omnipresence of work" Society for Business Ethics Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, January 01, 2017
  • "A moral absolutist definition of meaningful work" Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, January 01, 2017
  • "Insights on the ethics of calling through the eyes of close relations" Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 01, 2017
  • "A meta-narrative story of organizational stories: A review and typology" Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California, January 01, 2016
  • "Portraits of grief: Loved ones' perceptions of the place of work in the good life" Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California, January 01, 2016
  • "A living list of stories for teaching business ethics" Society for Business Ethics, Anaheim, California, January 01, 2016
  • "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
  • "Teaching professional responsibility with novels" Society for Business Ethics Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, January 01, 2015
  • "What is meaningful work?" Society for Business Ethics Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, January 01, 2015
  • "Narratives of Capitalism" University of Florida Center for the Humanities in the Public Sphere, Gainesville, Florida, November 01, 2014
  • "Do we have to do meaningful work?" Society of Business Ethics, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 01, 2014
  • "Business students should read great novels: The power of words for management education" AOM - Academy of Management, 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
  • "Meaning-based job-related well-being: Related but separate from job satisfaction." SIOP- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Houston, Texas, April 01, 2013
  • "A normative theory of meaningful work" OCB Faculty Research Symposium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 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 and business ethics" New York University Stern School of Business Paduano Symposium, New York, NY, May 01, 2011
  • "Meaningful work through the lens of literature" May Meaning Meeting, Sundance, UT, 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