2016 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Adam Kleinbaum, Tuck School of Business

Adam Kleinbaum Tuck

Adam Kleinbaum

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

At just 39 years old, Adam Kleinbaum has commanded the attention of thought leaders from around the world and he’s become one of the most sought after minds in management education. The focus of his studies: Social network structures both inside and outside of organizations. Kleinbaum’s work has examined the evolution of social networks within organizations, how these networks come about, and the neuroscience behind them.

Since obtaining his Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard in 2008, Kleinbaum has given close to 35 conference presentations to share his expertise and present his research. His talks are given here and abroad in regions ranging from Philadelphia and Fontainebleu to Toronto and Tel Aviv. Frequently, you’ll also find his analysis of social networks featured in popular press.

Age: 39

At current institution since: 2009

Education: DBA in Management, Harvard Business School, 2008

Courses you currently teach: Social Networks in Organizations; Leading Individuals and Teams; Technology & Entrepreneurship in Israel (a travel course)

Professor you most admire: There are so many, but I picked two good ones to advise my dissertation. Mike Tushman is a scholar and a mensch who has inspired me in many facets of my career and my life. And I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Toby Stuart about people, organizations, and research.

“I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when…In my second job after college, I worked at a financial services firm. One day, as I was reading a book on management, it occurred to me that someone made their living doing research and writing about organizations.  After that, I was totally focused on applying to grad school and making the jump – even if the dot.com bubble hadn’t burst. And no offense, bankers, but being a business school professor really is the greatest job in the world.”

“If I weren’t a b-school professor…I might be a rabbi, which is probably not as different from being a business school professor as it may seem.”

Most memorable moment in the classroom or in general as a professor: Celebrating the wedding of two students who started dating in my seminar.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? The calls that I sometimes get from alumni to tell me how they’ve used the content from my course in their careers and asking me to talk through a situation they’re currently facing.

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor? Getting to know an amazing new cohort of students in my core class every fall.

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? Grading their final exams.

Fun fact about yourself: My second most important degree (after my doctorate, arguably) is a “Masters of Mixology.” I used it to work as a bartender in college and it’s definitely the gift that keeps on giving.

Favorite book: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Good food for thought about the choices we make and our reasons for making them.

Favorite movie: Rocky

Favorite type of music: Classic rock. My wife points out that I haven’t really updated my playlist since college.

Favorite television show: Seinfeld. But there is no airing of grievances in my classroom.

Favorite vacation spot: Tel Aviv

What are your hobbies? When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I like to work on my vintage bike.

Twitter handle: @akleinb

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…a fully self-contained recruiting season, so that students can focus completely on their job searches, then set them aside and focus on academics. Also, free coffee.


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