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Social-Organizational Psychology
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Warner Burke

Topics of Interest:

Learning agility, leadership development, organization culture & climate, multi-rater feedback, and authentic leadership

Workgroup Members:

  • Warner Burke, Ph.D.
  • Alex Devarona, U.S. Army Fellow
  • Lauren Catenacci, Ph.D. Student
  • Ginevra Drinka, Ph.D. Student
Current Research & Projects:

This workgroup is interested in various areas of organizational behavior, particularly leadership, culture and climate, managing change, and multi-rater feedback in the workplace. Recently, the workgroup has been focusing on the concept of learning agility, the capacity to learn flexibly and rapidly in new and different situations. The work consists of establishing a behavioral measure of learning agility, including the requisite requirements of reliability and all forms of validity.

Also of interest has been a series of studies testing the validity of the Burke-Litwin model of organizational performance and change. These studies have addressed the relationships of culture to climate, leadership behavior and management practices to climate, and leadership behavior to organizational performance. Using multivariate statistics such as regression, linear (and some nonlinear) relationships, and how certain dimensions of the model influence other dimensions are being measured and analyzed.

Students in the workgroup are also working on organizational survey projects, creating new measures of executive leadership, and analyzing large datasets.

Learning Agility

Learning Agility, of burgeoning interest in the field of organizational development, may be used to predict and understand how some leaders learn and develop more quickly than others. In 2012, Dr. Burke, along with several of his doctoral students, published a white paper with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) outlining their theory on Learning Agility. Since that time, many organizations have come forward and sought out Dr. Burke and his students and asked to use their Learning Agility tool, which is still under development.  Dr. Burke hopes to use the finished Learning Agility tool for leadership development with organizations while also allowing researchers access to the tool in order to continually improve our collective understanding of the construct in the future.  To contact Dr. Burke's research team about the state of the tool as well as potential future collaboration, please contact Ginevra Drinka, a doctoral student researcher, at

Past Projects:

OD Practitioner Values study

Representative Publications & Panels:

Mitchinson, A., Gerard, N.M., Roloff, K.S., & Burke, W.W. (2012). Learning agility: Spanning the rigor-relevance divide. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 5, 287-290.

Mitchinson, A., Gerard, N.M., Roloff, K.S., & Burke, W.W. (2012). Learning about learning agility. Best Paper Proceedings of the 2012 Meeting of the Academy of Management, Boston, MA.

Burke, W.W. (2012) Influential research and practice in ODC dynamics (panelist). Academy of Management Annual Meeting. August 6, Boston, MA.

Fudman, R., Roloff, K.S., Shull, A.C., Church, A.H., & Burke, W.W. (2013). Attitudes, motivators, values, and activities in the organizational sciences symposium, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, Houston, TX.

Shull, A.C., Church, A.H., & Burke, W.W. (2013). Attitudes about the field of organization development 20 years later: The more things change, the more they stay the same. In A.B. (Rami) Shani, W.A. Pasmore, R.W. Woodman, & D.A. Noumair (Eds.) Research in organizational change and development, Vol. 21 (pp. 1-28). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd.