January 17, 2018

‘Harvard Business Review’ honors Paul Zak with Warren Bennis Prize

Paul Zak
Economic sciences, psychology, and management Professor Paul Zak was named winner of the 2018 Warren Bennis Prize for his article "The Neuroscience of Trust." The prize honors the previous year's best “Harvard Business Review” article on leadership and is presented jointly by HBR and the USC Marshall School of Business. This 2016 photo shows Zak teaching a sample class during a CGU’s Open House.

Who had the year’s best Harvard Business Review article on leadership? Paul Zak, CGU professor of economic sciences, psychology, and management and director of the university’s Center for Neuroeconomics Studies.

Zak is this year’s recipient of the Warren Bennis Prize, which was named in honor of the successful leadership scholar and professor in USC’s Marshall School of Business, for his article “The Neuroscience of Trust” published in HBR‘s 2017 January-February issue.

HBR made the announcement on the publication’s Facebook page, adding that the award is jointly given by HBR and the Marshall School.


“Winning the Warren Bennis award for best leadership article in the Harvard Business Review is a tremendous honor,” said Zak. “Professor Bennis is recognized as the most important leadership scholar in the 20th century, and my research showing leaders how to create high-trust, high-performance organizations has many parallels with Bennis’ writings. I thank Harvard Business Review and USC for recognizing the value of my work to the practice of leadership.”

Zak’s article discusses how the creation of successful, employee-centric cultures in companies is directly tied to creating cultures of trust (a topic Zak also explores in his most recent book, The Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies).

“In my research I’ve found that building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference,” Zak wrote in his article. “Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance.”

Zak’s award-winning article can be read on the current issue of HBR.