Michael Pratt
O’Connor Family Professor
Management & Organization Department, Carroll School of Management
Boston College

Related Research Interests

My research on positive relationships is largely focused on the repairing and strengthening of broken relationships. For example, Kurt Dirks and I have argued for new ways of restoring interpersonal trust when you start from the premise that all trusting relationships involve some sort of ambivalent feelings and cognitions. This builds on my earlier work on how ambivalent relationships can be transformed to create relational commitment and identification.

Camille Pradies and I have further extended this line of work to connect ambivalence with wisdom, creativity, and openness to change. Another example of relationship reparation  research is my work with Marlena Fiol and Ed O’Connor on managing intractable identity conflicts. Here, we examine how groups who have been locked over time in a state of “mutual disidentification” (I define myself, in part, by not being you) may come to work together. We have focused much of our attention on repairing relationships between physicians and hospital administrators.

Related Publications

  • Pratt, M.G., Fiol, C.M., O’Connor, E., & Panico, P. (forthcoming). Promoting Positive Change in Physician-Administrator Relationships: Lessons for Managing Intractable Identity Conflicts. To appear in K. Golden-Biddle & J. Dutton (Eds) Exploring Positive Social Change and Organizations.  New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Pratt, M.G. & Pradies, C.  2011.  Just a Good Place to Visit?: Exploring Positive Responses to Ambivalence.  K. Cameron & G. Spreitzer (Eds.),  Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship (pp. 924-937). Oxford University Press.
  • Fiol, C.M., Pratt, M.G., and O’Connor, E.  2009. Managing Intractable Identity Conflicts. Academy of Management Review, 34 (1): 32-55.
  • Pratt, M.G. & Dirks, K.  2007. Rebuilding Trust and Restoring Positive Relationships: A Commitment Based View of Trust.  In J. Dutton & B. Baggins, (Eds.) Exploring Positive Relationships at Work: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation (pp. 117-158). Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Pratt, M.G. & Rosa, J. A.  2003.  Transforming Work-Family Conflict into Commitment in Network Marketing Organizations.  Academy of Management Journal, 46(4): 395-418.
  • Pratt, M.G. 2000. The Good, the Bad, and the Ambivalent: Managing Identification Among Amway Distributors. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45(3): 456-493.
  • Pratt, M.G. and Doucet, L.  2000. Ambivalent Feelings in Organizational Relationships. S. Fineman (Ed.), Emotions in Organizations, Volume II (pp. 204 – 226).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.