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Gerald F. Davis

Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration and Associate Dean for Business+Impact

Ross School of Business


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Chris White

Managing Director, Center for Positive Organizations; Adjunct Faculty in Management & Organizations

Ross School of Business




This class is about creating positive change without authority in organizations. It will provides students with a practical toolkit for driving social and environmental change from within established organizations, while advancing core business objectives. It draws on the first-hand experiences of intrapreneurs who have created business lines and organizational changes that are both financially viable and achieve outcomes beyond profits. 


"It is rare in business school to find a class that so effectively couples big ideas with means of practical action. I left intrapreneurship inspired to create positive change within organizations and empowered with tools and ideas to do it. I continue to find new applications for what I learned all the time. As an aspiring change agent in my organization, intrapreneurship has been, by far, the most impactful course from my graduate school career."

- Brianna Brazell

University of Michigan MBA/MS '17





Jerry Davis received his PhD from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and taught at Northwestern and Columbia before moving to the University of Michigan, where he is the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Sociology. He has published widely in management, sociology, and finance. Books include Social Movements and Organization Theory; Organizations and Organizing; Managed by the Markets; Changing your Company from the Inside Out: A Guide for Social Intrapreneurs (with Chris White); and The Vanishing American Corporation.

Davis’s research is broadly concerned with the effects of finance on society, changes in the corporate economy, and new forms of organization. Recent writings examine whether there exist viable organizational alternatives to shareholder-owned corporations in the United States, and how these might be brought into existence in a way that enhances democracy and human well-being.


Chris White leads the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan. The Center helps leaders build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people through ground-breaking research, educational programs, and organizational partnerships.

At the Ross School of Business, White co-developed and teaches the MBA class on Social Intrapreneurship: creating positive change without authority. He also teaches in the Executive Education program on building positive organizations, and selling internally. White is co-author of a book on the topic through Harvard Business Review Press, entitled Changing Your Company From the Inside Out.

White has been leading and consulting to purpose-driven organizations for more than 15 years. His career has spanned the non-profit, corporate, and philanthropic sectors. His work has been featured by outlets including Fast Company, Inc., Forbes, CBS, The Huffington Post, and Talent Management Magazine




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