Jennifer Jordan

Jennifer Jordan
Leaders in today’s society need to constantly learn, unlearn and relearn. They know that they have to learn. The challenge is how to unlearn and relearn. In working with leaders, my aim is to facilitate that process.
Jennifer Jordan

Jennifer Jordan is a social psychologist and a digital transformation and business ethics expert. Her teaching, research and consulting focus on ethics, digital leadership, influence and power. In 2019 she was named by Poets&Quants as one of the world’s leading business school professors under 40.

Jordan says leaders in today’s world are faced with massive changes that are disrupting organizations’ business models and society more generally, such as digitalization, the COVID-19 pandemic, and pressures to decarbonize and meet new ESG standards. They therefore have to find ways to manage uncertainty, while simultaneously leading transformations.

She believes the best approach is to create psychological safety by fostering an experimental mindset and empowering others, so that the value of team diversity is captured and responsibility is shared.

Leaders need to constantly “unlearn” old ways of doing things and “relearn” new behaviors in order to adapt to the perpetual change and disruption of today’s world, but at the same time they should also identify previous approaches that remain relevant, to ensure that they do not “throw out the leadership baby with the organizational bathwater” as they manage the transformation of their organizations, she says.

Jordan has received specialized training and certifications in lie and truthfulness detection, as well as in conflict resolution within organizations, and she has delivered custom programs and consultancy services for a wide range of companies, including Barilla, KONE, Shell, DSM, Cisco, Loomis, Pfizer, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Rolls Royce, Zurich Insurance, Honda, Nexthink, UBS, Siemens, Electrolux and AIA Insurance.

At IMD, she is Director of the Leadership Skills for the Digital Age (LSDA), Leading in the Digital Age (LDA) and Leadership Essentials (LE) open programs, and she directs the leadership stream for the MBA program.

Her work has appeared in numerous scientific journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Management, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Psychological Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Applied Social Psychology and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

She is also a member of the editorial boards of the journals Leadership Quarterly and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

When Poets&Quants included her on its ‘Best 40 under 40’ list in 2019, it said her research was in such demand that she had been cited almost 1,500 times by other academics.

She has also had several articles published in Harvard Business Review, and her work has been cited in mainstream publications, from The New York Times to Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.

She co-edited one of the seminal scientific books on wisdom, Handbook of Wisdom: Psychological Perspectives, and was a contributor to the books Leadership at the Crossroads: Psychology and Leadership and The Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom.

Before joining IMD in 2016, Jordan was Associate Professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and a post-doctoral fellow at the Kellogg School of Management and Tuck School of Business in the United States. She served as a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin during her doctoral research.

Selected publications

Finding the right balance – and flexibility – in your leadership style (Harvard Business Review, 2022)

How shadow boards bridge generational divides (Harvard Business Review, 2022)

Every leader needs to navigate these 7 tensions (Harvard Business Review, 2020)

Antecedents of leaders’ power sharing: The roles of power instability and distrust (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2020)

Why you should create a “shadow board” of younger employees (Harvard Business Review, 2019)

Reaching the top and avoiding the bottom: How ranking motivates unethical intentions and behavior (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2016)

Someone to look up to: Executive-follower ethical reasoning and perceptions of ethical leadership (Journal of Management, 2013)

Striving for the moral self: The effects of recalling past moral actions on future moral behavior (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2011)

Something to lose and nothing to gain: The role of stress in the interactive effect of power and stability on risk taking (Administrative Science Quarterly (2011)



Named on Poets&Quants ‘Best 40 under 40’ list of leading business school professors (2019)

Nominated for Thinkers50 Radar list of management thinkers to watch in the year ahead (2019)


BS (Psychology)

Arizona State University

MS (Psychology)

Yale University



Yale University


PhD (Psychology)

Yale University

Orchestrating Winning Performance
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Leadership Skills for the Digital Age
Explore key competencies and skills you need to lead effectively in a globally connected and constantly changing world.
Leadership Essentials
Unleash your leadership potential, uncover how to use power and influence effectively, and manage a high-performing team.
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Jennifer Jordan's Publications
Cyna Pharma: Reaping the Rewards of Perseverance (B)
Case study
Cyna Pharma: Reaping the Rewards of Perseverance (A)
Case study
Escape the shackles of a fixed mindset to unleash growth