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Christopher Michaelson

Professor, David and Barbara Koch Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

  • Education
  • B.A., Philosophy, Northwestern University 
    M.A., Ethics/Aesthetics, University of Minnesota 
    Ph.D., Ethics/Aesthetics, University of Minnesota
  • Research Interests
  • Business ethics, humanities and business, meaningful work

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.


  • 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 §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 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
  • 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

  • Academy of Management
  • European Group for Organization Studies
  • Modern Language Association
  • Society for Business Ethics
  • 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
  • Burroughs Community School, Member
  • Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, Committee Member
  • Temple Israel, Board Member

  • 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)