Ron Johnson

Color portrait of Ron Johnson

Associate Teaching Professor

Department Management and Organization
Office Address 418 Business Building
Phone Number 814-863-6695
Email Address rgj102@psu.edu

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Ron Johnson is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Management and Organization Department (M&O) in the Smeal College of Business with 20+ years experience working with students and managers at Fortune 1000 companies.

Expertise

Professor R. Johnson is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Management and Organization (M&O) Department in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. He has been teaching graduate and undergraduate classes at Penn State since 1993. His current core responsibilities encompass leadership development for almost all Smeal undergraduates. Some 1,500–2,000 students complete his MGMT 301 course each year introducing them to the world of business. Subjects taught include leadership, ethics, organizational structure, strategy, managerial controls, planning, culture, innovation, change, individual behavior, global business and teams.

In addition, Professor Johnson is responsible for 1,500–2,000 upper-level students in the College’s “Global Leadership Competency” course, BA 342. The course theme is the intersection of business and responsibility. Competencies taught include ethics, sustainability, diversity and social responsibility. All four represent critical tools in a leader’s toolbox today. MGMT 301 & BA 342 are core courses all business students complete on their path to an undergraduate degree.

Professor Johnson has won numerous awards from the College for his work with students, including the Rise Above Faculty Ethics Award (top faculty member in ethics) and the Smeal Faculty Sustainability Award (top faculty in sustainability), and was nominated for the Fred Brand Teaching Award (top overall instructor). In addition, student organizations routinely have recognized his work with their groups (e.g., National Honor Society and Mortar Board).

In addition to undergraduates, he has taught over 1,000 graduate students from 70 countries in a 1-year leadership/communication training sequence (MBA, MHA, MMM). His focus is on leadership competencies, managerial communication, and team and professional development. He has consistently received the highest teaching rating from these groups for 20+ years. Additionally, he has taught junior/senior honors classes in leadership and communication, provided teaching and training for college faculty and doctoral students, taught in Penn State’s Executive Development Programs and consulted with leaders in Fortune 1000 companies.

Prior to his appointment to Smeal’s M&O Department, Professor Johnson held a joint appointment in Penn State’s College of Engineering and Smeal College of Business working with Master of Manufacturing Management students on leadership. In this role he visited 400+ manufacturing sites around the country. He is in contact monthly with individuals in these companies, giving him a unique perspective into business trends and issues. Among these companies are Toyota Motors, Gulfstream Aerospace, Xerox, Procter & Gamble, Alcoa, Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett Packard, Carpenter Technology, Eaton Cutler-Hammer, Kraft Foods, Ferrari, Siemens, IBM, Google, and Boeing, as well as many more. In addition, he has helped host hundreds of managers at bi-annual manufacturing conferences at Penn State focusing on leadership and sustainability.

Professor Johnson’s work in the sustainability space includes serving on the Smeal College of Business Sustainability Strategic Planning team and the Smeal Sustainability Council, and he is a host for the Smeal Industry Advisory Board (PepsiCo, Walmart, DuPont, Hershey, IBM, Verizon, Interface Carpet, International Paper, Siemens, SKF, and others). He teaches sustainability to thousands of business students and groups on and off campus. He is the founding advisor for the Smeal Net Impact Undergraduate Chapter, which is routinely named a top national chapter for sustainability. In addition, he has worked with Net Impact to develop the Smeal Citizenship Conference, an annual conference that brings together thought leaders, companies and students to learn about sustainability, social responsibility and integrity.

Professor Johnson is a long-time member of The Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD) and the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM). He has been a speaker at conferences such as the ASTD National Leadership Conference, the Total Quality Forum, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and National Society of Black Engineers, as well as at many regional business and academic gatherings. He has spoken to Space Shuttle scientists and engineers for NASA on leadership.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from ORU and MBA and MHA degrees from Penn State and has done Ph.D. coursework in leadership, also at Penn State. Prior to his work in education, he served as the Executive Vice President for a privately held construction company. In that position he had profit/loss responsibility, generating millions of dollars in business. In addition, he had a supervisory role with numerous direct reports (hiring and firing responsibilities). Today you’ll find him and his family living on a working farm in central Pennsylvania.

Education

Master of Health Administration (MHA), The Pennsylvania State University, 1997

MBA, The Pennsylvania State University, 1992

BS, Management, Oral Roberts University, 1981

Courses Taught

BA 342 – Res/Sustn/Ethc Bus (3)
Course examines actions taken by corporations that impact global citizenship, environmental sustainability, and the economic stability of international societies. It further looks at relationships, rights, and responsibilities between businesses, business decision-makers and their stakeholders. B A 342 Socially Responsible, Sustainable and Ethical Business Practice (3) Businesses and other large organizations have come to influence nearly all aspects of life in contemporary industrialized societies. The actions taken by businesspeople have major impacts on individuals and on society as a whole. Conversely, the expectations of citizens and their representative bodies (e.g., governments, communities, unions, interest groups) influence a wide range of corporate actions. Students of B A 342 will examine these relationships, rights, and responsibilities between businesses, business decision-makers and their stakeholders. As students enter their field of study, this course will introduced them to current ethical, social responsibility and sustainability issues that face business practitioners within their field and across related disciplines. Each business function – accounting, finance, marketing, risk, supply chain, human resource policies, etc. – has relationships and responsibilities within the larger social environment. This course considers commonalities across the business functions and teaches students to think broadly about how a business fits into a more complex web of relationships within society. The course begins with an overview of the corporation’s place and role in society as well as key concepts in understanding why knowledge related to corporate governance, ethics, sustainability and social responsibility issues is critical to professional managers’ responsibility and long-term career success. The stakeholder model is reviewed along with the study and application of ethical decision-making frameworks to current ethical dilemmas. Sustainability and global responsibility are introduced within the context of government regulation versus responsible stewardship. The closing section of the course provides thought and discussion on issues facing business practitioners across key business functions.

MGMT 301 – Basic Mgmt Concept (3)
MGMT 301 exposes undergraduate students to the fundamental principles and basic concepts of management, with emphasis on organizational design, management processes, leadership, motivation, and managing teams and individuals in a global business environment. Understanding these principles and concepts is extremely important for students preparing for and entering the business profession. Managers plan, organize, lead, and control. These functions provide a foundation for MGMT 301 and are included in all course topics and modules. Typical modules include: An Overview of Management; Strategy and Structure; Organizational Behavior; and Group/Organizational Dynamics. The overview of management focuses on the manager's role and function, decision making, ethics, and managerial oversight. Topics covered in a strategy and structure module will include culture, environmental influences, strategy, organizational structure, globalization, and innovation. Organizational Behavior focuses on how decision making is influenced by various stakeholders who have formal and informal authority and control in a business. What motivates individuals and who are leaders in an organization is discussed along with group dynamics. Understanding team processes, conflict, adaptation to change, and various levels of group and one-on-one communication is important and will be covered by reviewing traditional management strategies and structures along with discussions on current and evolving management issues. Students may earn credit towards graduation for only one of the following; BA 304, MGMT 301, MGMT 301H, or MGMT 301W.

SCM 399 – Foreign Studies (3)
Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction. This course was in Florence, Italy.

A S M 392 – Contextual Integration of Leadership Skills for the Technical Workplace (2)
To develop corporate leadership skills in technically focused students in a contextual manner.

QMM 597 – Special Topics (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.

A S M 391 – Contextual Integration of Communication Skills for the Technical Workplace (2)
To develop corporate communication skills in technically focused students in a contextual manner.

QMM 891 – Leadership & Communication Skills for Manuf. Managers (variable)
Applied principles of managerial, visual, and written communication that support the needs of manufacturing leaders.

B E 391 – Contextual Integration of Communication Skills for the Technical Workplace (2)
To develop corporate communication skills in technically focused students in a contextual manner.

B E 392 – Contextual Integration of Leadership Skills for the Technical Workplace (2)
To develop corporate leadership skills in technically focused students in a contextual manner.

A B E 391 – Contextual Integration of Communication Skills for the Technical Workplace (2)
To develop corporate communication skills in technically focused students in a contextual manner.

QMM 591 – Leadership & Communication Skills for Manuf. Managers (variable)
Applied principles of managerial, visual, and written communication that support the needs of manufacturing leaders.

A S M 496 – Independent Studies (variable)
Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

A B E 392 – Leadership & Communication Skills for Managers (2)
To develop corporate leadership skills in technically focused students in a contextual manner.

A S M 497A – Leadership and Communications for Managers (2)
Provide technically focused students leadership training and written and verbal communication skills essential for success in the workplace.

A S M 497B – Leadership & Communication Skills for Managers (2)
Formal courses given infrequently to explore, in depth, a comparatively narrow subject which may be topical or of special interest.

A B E 497A – Leadership & Communication Skills for Managers (2)
Formal courses given infrequently to explore, in depth, a comparatively narrow subject which may be topical or of special interest.

A B E 497B – Leadership & Communication Skills for Managers (2)
Special topics course.