• Phone: 617-353-6397
  • E-Mail:  mbarton@bu.edu
  • Office: 623
  • Office Hours: By Appointment
  • Address: Boston University School of Management
    595 Commonwealth Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215

Profile Summary

Michelle Barton is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University’s School of Management where she teaches executives and MBAs. Her research considers how people and organizations manage uncertain, dynamic events as they are unfolding. Drawing from a variety of empirical settings, including wildland fire-fighting, high tech entrepreneurship and military operations, she focuses on practices that facilitate awareness and interpretation of unfolding events and the capacity for flexible and adaptive response. Her work bridges the domains of crisis management, organizational learning and technology innovation.

  • Education Open or Close

    Ph D, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, Management and Organizations, 2010.

    BA, Pomona College, Psychology, 1992.

  • Current CoursesOpen or Close

    GSM ES707 F1 Managing Career Growth

    GSM OB712 F1 Managing Organizations and People

  • PublicationsOpen or Close

    Journal Articles:

      Barton, M., Bunderson, J., Barton, M., Barton, M., Bunderson, J., Barton, M., (2014). Assessing member expertise in groups: An expertise dependence perspective. Organizational Psychology Review,

      Kahn, W. A., Barton, M., Fellows, S., (2013). Organizational Crises and the Disturbance of Relational Systems. Academy of Management Review, 2(38), 377-396.

      Leonard, D., Barton, G., Barton, M., (2013). Make Yourself an Expert - How to Pull Knowledge from the People around You. Harvard Business Review, 91(4), 127-131.

      Barton, M., Sutcliffe, K., (2010). Learning when to stop momentum. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(3), 69-76. Cambridge, MA.


      Barton, M., Sutcliffe, K., (2009). Overcoming dysfunctional momentum: Organizational safety as a social achievement. Human Relations, 62(9), 1327-1356.

      Black, A., Sutcliffe, K., Barton, M., (2009). After-action reviews - Who conducts them?. Fire Management Today, 3(69), 15-17.

      Black, A., Sutcliffe, K., Barton, M., Dether, D., (2008). Assessing high reliability practices in the wildland fire community. Fire Management Today, 2(68), 24-35.

      Barton, M., Sutcliffe, K., (2008). Mindfulness as an organizational capability: Evidence from wildland firefighting. Revue für postheroisches Management,

      Thompson, S., Barton, M., (1994). Ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes toward the environment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2(14), 149-157.

    Book Chapters:

      Leonard, D., Barton, M., (2013). Knowledge and the Management of Creativity and Innovation. In M.Dodgson, D. Gann and N. Phillips (Eds.) Handbook of Innovation Management, : Oxford University Press.


      Barton, M., (2011). "Entering Wonderland: Connecting through Negative Capability Research Alive" Exploring Generative Moments in Doing Qualitative Research, Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.


      Barton, M., Bunderson, J. S., (2010). "Status and expertise in groups" Status, Organization and Management., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


      Barton, M., Ashford, S., (2007). Identity based issue-selling. In A. Bartel, S. Blader & A. Wrzesniewski (Eds.), Identity and the modern organization., Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


  • Research PresentationsOpen or Close

    Invited Lectures:

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), Center for Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning, Overcoming Dysfunctional Momentum, United States Military Academy, West Point. (September 24, 2013).

      Barton, M., (Presenter and Author), Boston Medical School Grand Rounds, Learning when to stop momentum. (July 16, 2012).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), Senior Leader Conference, US Army, Overcoming dysfunctional momentum, Army Northern Regional Medical Command, Kentucky, USA. (May 25, 2011).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), International High Reliability Organizing Workshop, Managing momentum in crisis events, New Orleans, LA. (2010).

      Barton, M., (Panelist), Immigration and Customs Enforcement Innovation Summit, Group Innovation, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.. (August 21, 2007).

    Accepted Lectures:

      Barton, M., (Author Only), Sutcliffe, K., (Presenter & Author), Timothy, V., (Author Only), Theodore, D., (Author Only), High Reliability Organizing Conference, Performing Under Uncertainty: The roles of anomalizing and proactive sensemaking in wildland firefighting, Fort Worth, Texas. (March 28, 2014).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), The Davis Conference on Qualitative Research, Productive Disruptions, Davis, California. (March 22, 2014).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), Academy of Management, Productive Disruptions: Military handoffs as opportunities for mindful sensemaking. (September 24, 2013).

      Barton, M., (Presenter and Author), Vogus, T., (Author Only), Sutcliffe, K., (Author Only), Fourth International Symposium on Process Organization Studies, Enabling Fluid Awareness for Resilient Performance, Kos, Greece. (June 20, 2012).

      Barton, M., (Author Only), National Academy of Management Meeting, Efficient realignment: Managing uncertainty and equivocality in the entrepreneurial process, Academy of Management, Boston, MA. (August 11, 2012).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), National Academy of Management Meeting, Shaping entrepreneurial opportunities. Presented as part of the symposium “Transitions in understanding: Exploring how understanding evolves in dynamic contexts.”, San Antonio, TX. (August 2011).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), Bunderson S., (Presenter & Author), National Academy of Management Meeting, Assessing relative member expertise in groups: An expertise dependence perspective, Academy of Management, Chicago, IL. (2009).

      Barton, M., (Presenter and Author), National Academy of Management Meeting, The Emergence of entrepreneurial opportunities, National Academy of Management, Chicago, IL. (2009).

      Barton, M., (Author Only), Bunderson, J. S., (Presenter & Author), Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, Status and expertise in groups, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, New Orleans, LA. (2009).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), Christianson, M., (Presenter & Author), National Academy of Management Meeting, Studying complex interdependent work: A methodological toolkit. PDW. National Academy of Management Meeting, Anaheim, CA.Barton, M.A., National Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA. (2008).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), Sutcliffe, K., (Author Only), National Academy of Management Meeting, Overcoming dysfunctional momentum, National Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA. (2008).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), National Academy of Management Meeting, Attributing task expertise in temporary teams, National Academy of Management, Philadelphia, PA. (2007).

      Barton, M., (Presenter & Author), National Academy of Management Meeting, Resilient response: The role of collective knowledge, National Academy of Management, Atlanta, GA. (2006).

  • Conference ActivitiesOpen or Close

      Academy of Management, Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division, Executive Committee, Representative-at-Large, Committee Member. (August 2012 - August 2015).

  • Editorial And Review ActivitiesOpen or Close

    Barton, M., Academy of Management MOC Division Papers, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers, International. (2008 - 2013).

    Barton, M., Human Relations, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers, Academic. (2012 - 2013).

    Barton, M., Administrative Science Quarterly, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers, International, Academic. ( - 2011).

    Barton, M., Academy of Management Journal, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers, Academic. ( - 2011).

    Barton, M., Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers. ( - 2011).

    Barton, M., Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers. ( - 2010).

    Barton, M., Strategic Management Journal, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers. ( - 2009).

    Barton, M., Organization Studies, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Papers. ( - 2008).

  • Academic, Military and Professional PositionsOpen or Close

    Product Director, eLearning, Harvard Business School Publishing. (2001 - 2004).

    responsible for the vision, strategy and management of the Leadership and Management Development product lines, globally


    Producer/Project Manager, Harvard Business School Publishing. (1994 - 2000).
    Co-founded and developed the eLearning business at Harvard Business School Publishing.


    Associate, Boston Consulting Group. (1992 - 1994).

  • Awards and HonorsOpen or Close

    Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management - MOC Division, Research. (August 4, 2012).

    Finalist for Outstanding Practitioner-Oriented Publication in OB, Academy of Management, Research. (August 2011).

    For the article, "Learning When to Stop Momentum"


    Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan, Research. (September 1, 2010).
    This is a 12- month fellowships awarded to the top doctoral candidates in the entire University.


    Kauffman Fellowship, Kauffman Foundation, Research. (2008).
    Provided for attendance at the Kauffman Fellowship Seminar in Entrepreneurship (1 week)