The George Washington University
School of Business: Management

D. Christopher Kayes, PhD.

Professor of Management,
Interim Dean, School of Business

Phone: (202) 994-4795
Office: Funger Hall 313


Dr. Chris Kayes (Ph D. Case Western Reserve University) is a professor of management at the School of Business and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is author or co-author of five current and forthcoming books including Destructive Goal Pursuit: The Mt. Everest Disaster (Macmillan), The Learning Advantage: Six Practices of Learning Directed Leaders, (Macmillan), Contemporary Organizational Behavior in Action, (Pearson), and Continuity: The Breakdown and Rebuilding of Learning in Organizations (Oxford University Press).

Dr. Kayes has consulted with organizations around the world including National Institutes of Health, Fannie Mae, Oracle, Ericsson, Bank of New York Mellon, Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation, Federal Aviation Administration, The US Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, US Judiciary, US Army, and US Navy. He has taught at universities around the world including Singapore Institute of Management, Zagreb School of Economics and Management, Helsinki School of Economics, and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia, University of Hull, UK, and Holy Spirit University, Beirut Lebanon. He frequently conducts intensive multi-day seminars to develop leaders and delivers keynote addresses on various leadership topics. He has taught in the Professional Service Firm Degree program, Human Resource Development Program, Senior Executive Service Development program, Executive MBA program, and the World Executive MBA program.

Dr. Kayes's research on learning, leadership, and the destructive pursuit of goals received the first most significant contribution to the practice of management award by a division of the Academy of Management. His analysis of the 1996 Mt. Everest climbing disaster also won a best paper award from Human Relations. His research has appeared in over 30 academic papers in highly recognized journals and has appeared on BloombergTV, The Sunday Times of London, and other news outlets. His research focuses on how leaders learn in the face of complex and novel situations. He has studied leadership and teamwork in a variety of settings as he seeks to uncover hidden sources of vulnerability in organizations to identify ways that leaders build continuity in times of change and turmoil.

He was born and raised in the shadow of the steel mills in Northwest Indiana and worked as a stockbroker and a corporate trainer prior to joining academia. He lives with his two sons, wife, and a Brittany Spaniel in the suburbs between Washington DC and Baltimore.

Selected Publications


  1. Elsbach, K. , Kayes, A. B. , & Kayes, D. C. under contract. Contemporary Organizational Behavior in Action. Prentice-Hall. Manuscript due June 2012.
  2. Kayes, D. C. The breakdown and rebuilding of learning in organizations. Oxford University Press. Manuscript due December 2012.
  3. Kayes, D. C. , & Kayes, A. B. 2011. The Learning Advantage: The six practices of learning directed leaders. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  4. Kayes, D. C. 2006. Destructive Goal Pursuit: The Mt. Everest Disaster. Palgrave- Macmillan
  5. Kayes, D. C. 2008. O Desafio Da Lideranca: Aprendendo com o Desastre no Monte Everest. (Trans.) Cynthia Cortes de Barros e Azevedo. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Editora Novo Conceito.


  1. Ameli, P. & Kayes, D. C. 2011. Triple-loop learning in a cross-sector partnership: The DC Central Kitchen partnership. The Learning Organization, 18, 3, 175-188.
  2. Yamazaki, Y. , & Kayes, D. C. 2010. Learning and work satisfaction in Asia: A comparative study of Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian managers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 21, 12, 2271-2289.
  3. Yamazaki , Y. , & Kayes, D. C. 2007. Expatriate learning: Exploring how Japanese managers adapt in the United States. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18, 8, 1373-1395.
  4. Kayes, D. C. , Stirling, D. , Neilsen, T. 2007. Building Organizational Integrity. Business Horizons, 50, 1, 61-70.
  5. Reprinted in Social and Environmental Impact Network. Social Impacts of Business eJournal. The Aspen Institute. 7/12/2007
  6. Reprinted in Dansk Indkobs og Logistik Forum. Access at:
  7. Kayes, D. C. 2006. From climbing stairs to riding waves: An overlapping waves approach to critical thinking in groups. Small Group Research, 37, 6, 612-630.
  8. Kayes, D. C. 2006. Organizational corruption as theodicy. Journal of Business Ethics, 67, 51-62.
  9. Kayes, A. B. , Kayes, D. C. , & Yamazaki, Y. 2006. Transferring knowledge across cultures: A learning competencies approach. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 18, 4, 87-100.
  10. Kayes, D. C. , Kayes, A. B. , & Yamazaki, Y. 2005. Essential competencies for cross-cultural knowledge absorption. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 20, 7, 578-589.
    - Reprinted in Essential competencies for cross-cultural knowledge absorption Absorption and Application of Management Knowledge, Gerhard Fink and Nigel Holden (ed.), Emerald Group Publishing.
  11. Kayes, D. C. 2005. Internal validity and reliability of Kolb's Learning Style Inventory version 3 (1999). Journal of Business and Psychology, 20, 2, 249-257.
  12. Kayes, D. C. 2005. The destructive pursuit of idealized goals. Organizational Dynamics, 34, 4, 391-401.
    - Awarded the most significant contribution to the practice of management in the field of Organizational Behavior. Organizational Behavior Division. Academy of Management. First Time Awarded, 2005.
  13. Kayes, A. B. , Kayes, D. C. , & Kolb, D. A. 2005. Experiential learning in teams. Simulation & Gaming, 36, 3, 330-354.
  14. Kayes, A. B. , Kayes, D. C. , & Kolb, D. A. 2005. Developing teams using Kolb's Team Learning Experience. Simulation & Gaming, 36, 3, 355-363.
  15. Bailey, J. , Sass, M , Swiercz, P. M. , Seal, C. , & Kayes. D. C. 2005. Teaching with and through teams. Student-written, instructor-facilitated case writing and the signatory code. Journal of Management Education, 29, 1, 39-59.
  16. Kayes, D. C. 2004. The 1996 Mt. Everest climbing disaster: The breakdown of learning in teams. Human Relations, 57, 10, 1236-1284.
    - Awarded best paper by editors, 2004
    - Most downloaded article, 2005
  17. Yamazaki , Y. , & Kayes, D. C. 2004. An experiential approach to cross-cultural learning: A review and integration of success factors in expatriate adaptation. Academy of Management Learning Education, 3, 4, 354-379.
    - Lead article, December 2004
  18. Kayes, D. C. & Kayes, A. B. 2003. Management development 'through the looking glass': Management education gone awry. Journal of Management Education, 27, 6, 694-710.
  19. Kayes, D. C. 2003. Proximal team learning: Lessons from United Flight 93 on 9/11. Organizational Dynamics, 32, 1, 80-92.
  20. Kayes, D. C. 2002. Experiential learning and its critics: Preserving the role of experience in management learning and education. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 1, 2, 137-149.
    - Nominated for Best Paper, AMLE 2002-2003
    - Lead article for December 2002
    - First accepted peer review article for Journal
  21. Kayes, D. C. 2002. Dilemma at 29,000 feet: An exercise in ethical decision-making based on the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster. Journal of Management Education, 26, 3, 307-321.
  22. Druskat, V. U. , & Kayes, D. C. 2000. Learning versus performance in short term project teams. Small Group Research, 31, 3, 328-353.


  1. Allen, N. , & Kayes, D. C. 2011. Leadership development in dynamic and hazardous environment: Company Commander learning through Combat. In Anne Mc Kee & Michael Eraut (Eds.). Learning Trajectories, innovation and identity for professional development. Series: Innovation and Change in Professional Education, Vol. 7. New York: Springer.
  2. Kayes, D. C. 2009. The problem with performance: Conditions for team learning. In (Eds.) P. Kamur, P. Ramsey, & B. Mackie, Learning and Performance Matters. World Scientific Publishing Company.
  3. Kayes, D. C. 2007. Institutional barriers to experiential learning. In (Eds.) M. Reynolds & R. Vince, Experiential Learning and Management Education. Oxford University Press.
  4. Kayes, D. C. , & Kayes, A. B. 2006. Learning style composition in teams: Implications for assessment. In (Eds.) Sims, R. & Sims, E. Learning Styles and Learning: A Key to Meeting the Accountability Demands in Education. Nova Press.
  5. Kayes, D. C. 2004. The limits and consequences of experience-absent reflection: Implications for learning and organizing. In (Eds.), M. Reynolds & R. Vince, Organizing Reflection. Ashgate Publishing.
  6. Kayes. D. C. 2002. Conversational learning in organization and human resource development. In A. Baker, P. Jensen & D. Kolb (Eds.), Conversational learning: An experiential approach to knowledge creation. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
  7. Kolb, A. , Baker, A. , Jensen, P. , & Kayes, D. C. 2002. The practice of conversational learning in higher education. In A. Baker, P. Jensen , & D. Kolb (Eds.), Conversational learning: An experiential approach to knowledge creation. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
  8. Kayes, D. C. 2002. Sociological issues in human resource development. In (Eds.), M. Marquardt, UNESCO-sponsored Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. Human Resources and Their Development.
  9. Druskat, V. U. , & Kayes, D. C. 1999. The antecedents of team competence: Toward a fine-grained model of self-managing team effectiveness. In (Eds.), M. Neale and E. Mannix, Research on Groups and Teams, Vol. 2. JAI Press: Greenwich, CT.


  1. Kayes, A. B. , & Kayes, D. C. 2007. Learning. In (Eds), J. Bailey & S. Clegg. International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies. Sage Publications.
  2. Kayes, D. C. , & Raelin, J. 2007. Goal setting. In (Eds), J. Bailey & S. Clegg. International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies. Sage Publications.
  3. Kayes, D. C. , & Burnett, G. 2007. Team learning. In (Eds), J. Bailey & S. Clegg. International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies. Sage Publications.
  4. Kayes, D. C. 2007. Lacanian Psychoanalysis. In (Eds), J. Bailey & S. Clegg. International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies. Sage Publications.
  5. Bailey, J. , & Kayes, D. C. 2005. Learning, individual. In (Eds.), Nigel Nicholson, Pino G. Audia, & Madan M. Pillutla. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management, 2nd Ed. Vol. XI. London: Blackwell, pp. 213-215.



Primary Topics of Interest: Leadership, Learning, Organizational Behavior, Teams, Psychodynamics

Additional Topics: Organizational Development, Organizational Change, Leadership Development, Qualitative Research, Government and Business

Industries of Interest: Financial Services, Federal Government, Consulting, Education Industry

Geographical Areas: North America, Asia, European Union, Eastern Europe

Current Research: Learning (and its breakdown) during crisis