Michelle C. Bligh is a professor of organizational behavior in the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University. Her research interests focus on organizational culture and the role of leaders in influencing and changing corporate cultures, particularly in post-merger organizations. In addition, her research interests include charismatic leadership, interpersonal trust, and political and executive leadership.
She received her BA in Anthropology from Pomona College before receiving her MS and PhD in Management & Organizational Behavior from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Bligh has helped a variety of public and private-sector organizations assess and improve their effectiveness in the areas of leadership development, organizational culture, and change management. Through the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College, the Center for International Leadership in Buffalo, New York, and the Center for Leadership Innovation and Mentorship Building (CLIMB) at California State University San Marcos, she has worked in a number of industries, including local and state law enforcement, consulting, health care, and real estate.
Her work has been published in Journal of Applied Psychology, Leadership, Employee Relations, The Leadership Quarterly, Applied Psychology: An International Review, Group and Organization Management, Journal of Managerial Psychology, and The Journal of Business Ethics, and she was awarded the 2003 Sage Outstanding Paper Award for Research Methods.
She serves on the editorial review board of The Leadership Quarterly and is co-editor of a 2007 special issue of Applied Psychology: An International Review on follower-centric approaches to leadership. She recently co-edited a book titled Follower-Centered Perspectives on Leadership: A Tribute to the Memory of James R. Meindl as part of the Leadership Horizons series.
Co-edited with Ronald E. Riggio. When Near Is Far and Far Is Near: Exploring Distance in Leader-Follower Relationships. Psychology Press, 2012.
Co-authored with Michele M. Schlehofer, et al. “Navigating Public Prejudices: The Impact of Media and Attitudes on High-Profile Female Political Leaders.” Sex Roles 65, no. 1 (2011): 69–82.
Co-authored with Jeffrey C. Kohles and Rajnandini Pillai. “Romancing Leadership: Past, Present, and Future.” The Leadership Quarterly 22 (2011): 1058–77.
Co-authored with Jeffrey C. Kohles and Rajnandini Pillai. “Crisis and Charisma in the California Recall Election.” In Leadership, Sage Library of Business & Management Vol. 4, edited by David Collinson, et al. London, UK: Sage, 2011.
Co-authored with Ban Al-Ani and Agness Horspool. “Collaborating with ‘Virtual Strangers’: Towards Developing a Framework for Leadership in Distributed Teams.” Leadership 7, no. 3 (2011).
Co-authored with Birgit Schyns. “Leading Question: Contemporary Issues Surrounding the Romance of Leadership.” In Political Leadership, Sage Library of Political Science. London, UK: Sage, 2011.
Leadership & Followership