In this edition of faculty spotlight Dr. Pauline Schilpzand, Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business, shares her research interests and experience as a 2017 Excellence in Family Business Awards judge.

Can you share a little about your background and experience (and any connection to family business, if applicable)?

My connection to family business started with my father who started his own business (security system development and installation) in the Netherlands. As a family, we watched the company grow and we understand the commitment it takes to start, manage, and strengthen a company. There was never the expectation that one of his 3 children would take over the company, though. His succession plan involved leaving control to the qualified employees that he worked with for many years. The company was eventually successfully sold to Honeywell. This background has given me great admiration for the effort, skill, and persistence it takes to be an entrepreneur.

What are your current research interests?

Currently I research diversity practices in organizations, effective  leadership styles, and interpersonal dynamics at work (specifically how people treat each other in the workplace influences productivity and helpfulness). The aim of my research is always to identify ways that can make organizations better places to work.

You were a judge for the 2017 Excellence in Family Business Awards. Did you take away any new insights or observations about family business from that experience?

Being a judge for the 2017 Excellence in Family Business Awards was such an exciting opportunity. Being able to learn about the unique practices that make so many family businesses successful was a real privilege. Being in this role also showed all of us that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Oregon. I hope to be invited to help with this important award ceremony again in the future.

Which courses do you teach in the College of Business, and are you involved in any other College activities?

In the College of Business I teach project management courses. Business practices are often made up of a series of projects that aim to either improve operations, involve trying a new practice or system, or involve addressing a risk event or taking advantage of an opportunity. Projects really permeate how companies are run on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, learning how to effectively execute and control projects is a very important business skill. I really enjoy giving students of all levels the tools to be more successful in completing projects on time, with the right scope and within budget.


Dr. Pauline Schilpzand is an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business at Oregon State University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Project Management & Team Dynamics, and a Ph.D seminar in Research Methods. Pauline received her Ph.D. in Management from the University of Florida. Her research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Management, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior.