John Carroll received a B.S. in physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard. He taught in the psychology departments of Carnegie-Mellon University and Loyola University of Chicago and was a visiting associate professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business prior to joining the Sloan School of Management faculty in 1983.
Prof. Carroll has published four books and numerous articles in several areas of social and organizational psychology. Much of his research has focused on individual and group decision-making, the relationship between cognition and behavior in organizational contexts, and the processes that link individual, group, and organizational learning. Prof. Carroll is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society.
Prof. Carroll has conducted research on the promotion of safety in high-hazard industries such as nuclear power, chemical processing, and health care. He has focused on: (1) self-analysis and organizational learning processes including incident reviews, root cause analysis, and corrective action programs and (2) safety culture as supported by leadership, cross-boundary communication, and systems thinking. He recently led a research team funded by the National Science Foundation to work collaboratively with the Sustainability Consortium, a cross-industry grouping of companies working on sustainable business practices (environmental and social sustainability) linked to the Society for Organizational Learning.
He has consulted to several nuclear power utilities on issues of self-analysis of management, operations, and safety culture. He served for four years on an advisory team reporting to the Board of Trustees of Northeast Utilities, the largest electric utility in New England. During this time, the company responded to novel regulatory requirements to demonstrate a safety conscious work environment following allegations of safety violations by employees. He has also advised the Harvard Surgical Simulation Center on several research projects.
Prof. Carroll teaches the Team Project course in the MIT Sloan Master's program that requires students to identify and analyze ongoing change initiatives in organizations through interviews, observation, and document search. He also teaches leadership, teams, and decision making in a variety of programs including executive education.
Most recently he has served as research director for the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center's (SSRC) PTSI Project.