Robert J. House, professor emeritus of management, died of heart failure on November 1, 2011, at the age of 79.
In 1988 he was appointed the Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor Endowed Chair of Organization Studies at the Wharton School. He retired in 2010.
Dr. House received his PhD degree in management from Ohio State University in 1960. Before coming to Penn, he held faculty appointments there and at the University of Michigan and City University of New York. A native of Toronto, he joined the University of Toronto in 1973 as Shell Professor of Organizational Behavior, and was pivotal in the establishment of the school's PhD program. From 1986 to 1988, Dr. House was the Secretary of State Professor of Organizational Effectiveness at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
A prolific writer, he authored more than 130 journal articles and many book chapters. His articles have been reprinted in numerous anthologies. He is a cofounder of the premier leadership journal, Leadership Quarterly, where he also served as executive editor. Dr. House received the Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contribution to Management, and four awards for outstanding publications. The awards were conferred by the Academy of Management and the Canadian Association of Administrative Sciences. He also authored two papers, which are Scientific Citations Classics.
Dr. House was the principal investigator and founder of the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) Research Program at Wharton from 1993 through 2003. Among his major contributions is that he recently founded a non-profit foundation to sustain the GLOBE Project beyond his tenure including a board of directors and a constitution. While involved with GLOBE he visited universities in 38 countries. He had also been a visiting scholar or visiting professor at 14 universities, most of which are in Europe or Asia.
He was a Fellow of the Academy of Management, American Psychological Association, and Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology. He served as chairperson of the Academy of Management Division of Organizational Behavior between 1972-73 and president of the Administrative Science Association of Canada (1985-86).
Dr. House's major research interests were the role of personality traits and motives as they relate to effective leadership and organizational performance, power and personality in organizations, leadership, and the implications of cross-cultural variation for effective leadership and organizational performance.
He is survived by his wife, Tessa; his children, Danny, Tim and Mary; his five
grandchildren, Ken, James, Gabe, Jessica and Jared; and his two sisters, Mary
Lou and Diane.