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Dr. Sandra Spataro Professor of Management

Dr. Sandra Spataro, Professor of Management

“People are hard to manage. The different ways people react to managerial direction can be one of the biggest challenges leaders face.”

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior – Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, 2000
  • M.A. in Sociology – Stanford University, 1988
  • B.A. in Economics – Stanford University, 1988

Career Highlights:

I co-authored two books: “Unstuck: A Tool for Yourself, Your Team, and Your World” in 2004 and “Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life” in 2019. Gained tenure in 2014, full professor in 2019.

In which online degree program do you teach?


Which classes do you teach online?

MGT 620: Leading Organizational Change, MGT 621: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Why did you start teaching?

My purpose in life is to help people become their best selves. Teaching is my chosen path to fulfill that purpose.

What advice would you give to those considering this online MBA program?

Online is great in terms of flexibility and agility. It requires initiative and self-sufficiency. If you are prepared to be your own navigator through the technology, you can have a wonderful experience.

What do you want students in your courses to learn? What is the learning outcome or objective?

In my leadership course, I want students to learn along two tracks: (1) what the research tells us about effective leadership, especially leading change and (2) what their own leadership style, voice, and strengths are. In my negotiations course, I want students to learn the essentials of effective negotiation and conflict management skills.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in business?

In the management field, people are most successful when they know their authentic strengths and use them, along with emotional and social intelligence, to form strong ties with coworkers.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in business face today?

People are hard to manage. You can't put them in spreadsheets or Gantt charts. The different ways people react to managerial direction can be one of the biggest challenges that leaders face.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Aside from my books (grin), I would suggest learning leadership from “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Don Quixote.”

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know about you.

I'm a Californian, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. The Redwood forests in that region are my favorite place on earth!

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