Michael Sacks

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  • Associate Professor in the Practice of Organization & Management
  • Vice Provost, University Strategies in Office of the Provost

Mailing Address:

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322


Michael Sacks currently serves as Emory’s Vice Provost for University Strategies. In this role, Michael is responsible for creating Emory’s strategic plan for the future. He is also tasked with helping to guide university-level strategies that integrate multiple school initiatives towards common objectives.

Professor Michael Sacks joined the Goizueta Business School faculty in fall 2000 after completing his Ph.D. in Organization Behavior and Sociology in the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. As an Associate Professor in the Practice of Organization & Management, Michael teaches core organizational behavior, strategy, and leadership classes across all of our programs. In addition, Michael is heavily engaged in Emory Executive education, serving as faculty director for several of our open enrollment and custom programs. Michael also recently served as Interim Associate Dean and Director of the Evening MBA Program.

Michael's research explores how entrepreneurs use social capital to negotiate economic opportunities. His most recent work investigates how social networks heighten entrepreneurial access to venture capital money, and how the management of social capital affects future funding and ultimate economic profits. Other projects have been published in outlets including Research in the Sociology of Organizations, American Behavioral Scientist, Negotiation Journal, Business Communications Quarterly, and The Financial Times. Michael is on an interdisciplinary team that recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to form the Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program in collaboration with Georgia Tech University.


  • Michael Alan Sacks (forthcoming), "Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs," in Cunningham, Isabella, Golson, J. Geoffrey (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Advertising and Society, Sage Publications.
  • Steve Walton and Michael Alan Sacks (forthcoming), "Perception and Process Analysis: Teaching Kristen's Cookie Company from a Behavioral Point of View," In Elliot Bendoly (Ed.) Behavioral Operations Handbook.
  • Michael Alan Sacks (2014), "Six Degrees of Separation," in Wherry, Frederick F., Golson, J. Geoffrey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Economics and Society, Sage Publications.
  • How Many 'Friends' Do You Need? Teaching Students How to Network Using Social Media, with Nikki Graves, Business Communications Quarterly, 75: 80-88, 2012
  • Cognitive Biases in Decision-Making, in Vicky Smith (Ed.), Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia. Sage Publications, 2013
  • Reducing Human Error in Revenue Management Decision-Making, with Elliot Bendoly, E&Y Performance, 2012
  • "Concession in Negotiations," in Encyclopedia of Global Business, Sage Publications, 2008
  • The Social Structure of Entrepreneurial Financing: Stratification and the Differential Liability of Newness in U.S. Venture Capital, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 2002
  • Turning Disputes into Corporate Advantage, with Andy Lewis, Financial Times, Reprinted in Mastering People Management (edited by James Pickford, Prentice Hall, 2002), November 26, 2001
  • Global Institutions and Networks: Contingent Change in The Structure of World Trade Advantage, 1965-1980, with Marc Ventresca and Brian Uzzi, AAmerican Behavioral Scientist, 43 (3), 2000
  • Stateness and System in the Global Structure of Trade: A Network Approach to Assessing Nation Status, Questioning Geopolitics: Political Projects in a Changing World System, edited by Georgi M. Derluguian and Scott Greer, Greenwood Press, 2000
  • The Structuration of Interfirm Ties: The Case of Stick Versus Switch Decisions, Embedded Organizations: Sociological Conceptions on Organizational Evolution in Three Transitioning Economies, edited by Rueyling Tzeng, Peter Lang Publishing, 2000
  • Broadening the Evaluation of Dispute Resolution: Context and Relationships Over Time, with Kara Reichert and Trexler Proffitt, Negotiation Journal, 15 (4), 1999

Working Papers

  • Embeddedness is Not an Option: Social Capital and Escalation of Commitment in Real Options Investments, with Russ Coff and Kevin Laverty, under review at Strategic Management Journal
  • Revisiting the Weberian Iron Cage: A Diversity-Centered Approach to Studying Organizational Structure, with Rodney Lacey

Areas of Specialization

  • Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership Development
  • Organizational change
  • Strategic Decision-making
  • Social Networks

Achievements and Honors

  • Outstanding Teaching Award: Kellogg Graduate School of Management
  • College of Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year, Northwestern University
  • University Teaching Fellow: Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, Northwestern University

Memberships and Activities

  • Certified 360o feedback, Birkman Method, and other professional coaching tools
  • Academy of Management: Organizational Management and Theory, Entrepreneurship, Conflict Management, Social Issues in Management, Gender and Diversity in Organizations
  • American Sociological Association: Economic Sociology, Organizations, Occupations and Work, Conflict Management

Selected Consulting Clients

  • ADP
  • Alston & Bird
  • Bard
  • Bayer Pharmaceuticals
  • BBA Aviation
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises
  • Delta Air Lines
  • First Data
  • Genuine Parts
  • Global Payments
  • Hanson Brick
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group
  • Kilpatrick Townsend
  • KPMG
  • MailChimp
  • Mead Johnson Nutrition
  • Microsoft
  • Newell Rubbermaid
  • SunTrust
  • Turner Broadcasting


  • Ph.D. Organization Behavior and Sociology, Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 2001
  • Master's Organization Behavior and Sociology, Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 1996
  • Bachelor's Arts in Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 1993