Janet Duck

Color portrait of Janet Duck

Clinical Professor

Department Office of the Dean
Office Address 220 Business Building
Phone Number 717-215-0975
Email Address jmd226@psu.edu

Download Photo Personal Website

Janet Duck is a clinical professor of management and organization and director of excellence in teaching & learning, at the Smeal College of Business. Additionally, Janet is the faculty chair for the Online MBA (OMBA), led by Smeal. As the academic lead for Professional Graduate Programs (PGP) and the OMBA she is responsible for portfolio-wide integration of academic innovation & development through implementation of the Creative Team Model (CTM) involving collaborative efforts with lead faculty, teaching support specialists (TSS) and instructional designers. Janet is also responsible for the development and teaching of graduate courses in the OMBA related to team performance, change management, organizational development, and leadership communications.

Given her extensive years of experience teaching in the graduate online space, Janet’s current role focuses on elevating the online teaching and learning experience through collaborative teaching models. This portfolio-wide initiative is driven by her work with learning analytics which utilizes a unique analytical design approach to course innovation. This approach seeks to inspire and support desired student behavior in the classroom and is based on a data-informed innovation process. Janet has taught at the graduate-level since joining Penn State in 1997, and has authored courses and taught in the graduate, online classroom since 2003. She has over 15 years of industry experience in areas including change management, team development, and organizational culture and development in both domestic and international markets. She earned her Ph.D. in Workforce Development from Penn State and an MBA from Lebanon Valley College. Janet has published in areas such as trust and collaboration in virtual teams, self-efficacy in team formation, and effectiveness and interactions in online teaching and learning.

Janet was awarded outstanding faculty repeatedly since 2007 and was featured in the New York Times for her early work in the future of online classrooms. She co-leads the efforts of the OMBA academic and steering committees and serves on related committees for the PGP Smeal portfolio.


Duck, J., (2020). Committed to Innovation: A director of excellence in teaching and learning coordinates a collaborative culture of academic innovation at Penn State's Smeal College. BizEd, AACSB International, December, 2020.

Parente, D. H., J. Duck, X. Zhao, J. Fizel. Collaboration: Leading and learning by example. Merlot Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 3(2), June 2007. http://jolt.merlot.org/vol3no2/parente.htm (2007).

Duck, J. & Fekula, M (2009). Experimental Exercises in the Online Environment. Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (CD), 10th Edition.

Duck, J. & Parente, D. (2008). How do we get to tomorrow? The path to online learning. Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL), Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (CD), 9th Edition.

Potosky, D. & Duck, J. (2007). Forming teams for classroom projects. Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL), Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (CD), 8th Edition. * Nomination for Best Paper Award.

Duck, J. (2006). Making the connection: Improving team performance through behavioral assessment profiling and behavioral cues. Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL), Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (CD), 7th Edition.

Duck, J. (2005). Creating dynamic interaction in a virtual world: add value to online classrooms through live e-learning and collaboration. Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL), Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (CD), 6th Edition.

Duck, J. (2007). Establishing trust in online procurement auctions (Peer double-blind refereed book chapter). (Edited by Diane H. Parente) Best Practices for Online Procurement Auctions, New York: Idea Group Publishing, Information Science Reference – ISR.

Duck, J. (2007). Team-Based Cultures and Individual Rewards: Can we support a team-based culture with individually-based rewards. (Edited by Peg Thoms and Mike Walden). In Battlegrounds: Business, Greenwood Publishing Group.

Papers presented at refereed/non-refereed conferences:

Duck, J., The Analytical Design Model for Course Revision: Data-Informed Course Design, COGBE Annual Conference, 2021.

Duck, J., Harnessing the power of Learning Analytics in Graduate Online Education. Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), January, 2020. AZ

Duck, J., & Cameron, B., Understanding Markets and Driving Curricular Change: An integrated portfolio approach. MBA Roundtable Curricular Innovation Symposium, November, 2019. MI.

Duck, J., Evaluating the Role of the Team Advisor: A model for structured virtual team collaboration. Educause: Midwest Regional Conference, 2013. Chicago IL

Duck, J. Developing Trust and Collaboration in a Virtual Team Environment, PSU World Campus Convocation, 2012. State College, PA

Keynote speaker: University of Nebraska, National Distance Learning week, Strategies for Teaching in the Online Environment, November 2010. http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/114/1068

Parente, D. H., J. Duck, X. Zhao. Modeling collaboration in an online environment: The technology, the courses, the instructors and the output. Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium, 2009, Annual meeting, University Park, PA.

Parente, D., Duck, J. & Lee, P. Doing well in online teaching: The making of an online instructor. Academy of Management, 2007 Annual meeting, Philadelphia.

Duck, J. (2002). The analysis of the production industries technology competencies for south central Pennsylvania as perceived by manufacturing professionals. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

Courses Taught

BA 596 – Individual Studies (1)

BA 836 – Global Immersion (1)
Exploration of the opportunities and the challenges of doing business in another economic region. B A 536 Global Immersion (2)Global Immersion is designed around a visit to another economic region. In the past. MBA students have visited such countries as Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Turkey, and Singapore. In each country, students visit both local and multinational businesses to understand how a business gets established and run in another country; students also meet with industry and government officials to get their perspectives on the economic policies of the country. Each Immersion is coordinated by a faculty leader who plans the visit so as to appeal to a wide range of student interests.

Overview of concepts, applications, and research on group and team processes and performance in an organizational context.This course provides students with an understanding of team processes and performance as well as other current issues that affect interpersonal dynamics in the workplace. This course provides an overview of the concepts of groups and teams as related to process and performance in organization. The course will blend theory, research, and practice to enable students to create, manage, and participate in teams more effectively. Broad topic areas include team design, context, and process. Specific areas of focus include learning orientation; group process skills; managing emotions, diversity, and conflict in groups; various workplace teams (e.g., virtual, cross-functional); and designing effective teams.

This course provides students with an overview of current theories and practices of organizational communication through the application and understanding of organizational change models. The primary aim is to enhance written, oral, and graphic communication by applying, assessing, and presenting organizational change assessments in team and individual forums. The course focuses on developing an understanding of the paradigm shift necessary to achieve organizational transformation and re-conceptualization of management principles through effective and efficient communication.

IMBA 544 – Human Resources (3)
Processes and issues related to staffing and retaining human resources.

IMBA 523 – Org Development (2)
Analysis and assessment of conceptual models, systems, and decision processes for organizational development, intervention and change; transformation and reengineering processes. IMBA 523 Organizational Development, Intervention and Change (2) This course will analyze organizational models using current theory and case study application to discuss the topics surrounding organizational development, intervention and change. The course focuses on the human and social aspects of the organization as a way to improve the "fit" between individuals and the organization and between the organization and the environment. This analysis and assessment helps to improve the organization's overall performance and stakeholder satisfaction. The course emphasizes the use of Organization Development (OD) as one of the most effective approaches to introduce changes to organizations and to facilitate intervention. The course elaborates on knowledge and techniques from the behavioral sciences to create a learning environment through increased trust, open confrontation of problems, employee empowerment and participation, knowledge and information sharing, the design of meaningful work, cooperation and collaboration between groups and the full use of human potential.

BUS 500 – Negot, Comm, Teams (2)
Experience-based learning approach to developing effective teams and work organizations; emphasis on developing reflective thinking and interpersonal skill sets. BUS 500BUS 500 Negotiation, Communication, Teamwork (2) This course provides students with an enhanced understanding of their own behavior, the behavior of others, and the capability to deal more effectively with people and groups in organizations. Primary emphasis is placed upon application of experiential learning theory in developing the ability to perform well as a member of a team, and also in facilitating team effectiveness. As adult learners, students are empowered to become active creators of their own learning, and working with the

MNGMT 511 – Org Behavior (2)
Individual and group behavior in organizations' motivation, performance, rewards, satisfaction, decision processes, conflict; job and organizational design; structure and culture. The field of organizational behavior is intended to further our understanding of human behavior in work and organizational contexts. The field draws upon research emanating from any social science discipline (e.g., psychology, social psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.) that might offer insight as to how individuals and groups function effectively within work contexts. The overall goal is 1) to explore how individuals' work experience can be made more satisfying and personally fulfilling to them, and 2) to explore how organizations can manage and shape human behavior in ways that optimize organizational effectiveness and organizational goal accomplishment. Particular emphasis is placed upon the study of individual and group-level dynamics within organizations, including topics such as motivation, individual differences, ethics, emotional intelligence, group dynamics, decision-making, stress, power and politics, leadership, and organizational culture and structure.

WFED 880 – Group Facilitation (3)
This course provides students with necessary skills to facilitate small groups and teams. WF ED 880 Facilitating Groups and Teams (3) This course acquaints students with the role of facilitator and provides a comprehensive introduction to facilitation. Small group facilitators focus on group process and help groups work collectively to accomplish common goals. The course will build student skills in facilitation, acquaint students with the competencies of facilitation, review the role of facilitation in small group situations, and explore current research and practice in small group/team facilitation. The course examines theoretical and practical perspectives of facilitation and provides opportunities to practice facilitation techniques and build facilitation skills.

MGMT 523 – Organizational Change: Theory and Practice (3)
Analysis of research, theory, and practice in dynamics of organizational change. Research literature reviewed for evaluation of concepts and methods.

BUSAD 597A – Organizational Power and Politics (3)
Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently; several different topics may be taught in one year or semester.

MGMT 501 – Behavioral Science in Business (3)
Application of behavioral science concepts and analytical methods to problems in business organizations. Analysis of administrative behavior and decision making.

BUSAD 597B – Conflict Resolution (3)
Examine culture and design in contemporary organizations.

BUSAD 597C – Organizational Power & Politics (3)
Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently; several different topics may be taught in one year or semester.

B A 517 – Communication Skills for Management (3)
Development of communication skills required for management; audience awareness, style, individual and group presentations.

B A 596 – Individual Studies (3)
Creative projects, including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

Selected Publications

Duck J., Fekula M., no. 10, 2009
Duck J., no. 9, 2008
Duck J., (Greenwood Publishing Group.), no. 2007, 2007
Duck J., (Idea Group Publishing, Information Science Reference – ISR.), 2007
Duck J., Parente D., Fizel J. L., vol. 3, no. 2, 2007, jolt.merlot.org/vol3no2/parente.htm
Duck J., Potosky D., 2007