michelle barton portrait

Michelle Barton, PhD

Associate Professor of Practice
Academic AreaManagement & Organization

Dr. Michelle Barton is an Associate Professor of Practice at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School with expertise in organizational and team resilience, managing uncertainty, and interpersonal effectiveness during adversity.

Dr. Barton’s work examines how groups manage dynamic and uncertain situations as they are unfolding. Drawing from wildland firefighting, high tech entrepreneurship, expedition racing and military operations, her research considers how groups make sense of ambiguous situations, how they coordinate, learn and share knowledge in the midst of confusion and how they mitigate and recover from adversity. She is especially focused on the relational dynamics that enable these practices. Dr. Barton’s research has appeared in Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, BMJ – Leader, Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies, The Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Human Relations, Organizational Psychology Review and several edited collections. She has presented her work at venues such as NASA, the U.S. Army Medical Command, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, West Point, Children’s Hospital Association and Boston Medical Center among others.

In addition to her University teaching, Dr. Barton runs workshops on leading in volatile environments, and coaches executives in accelerated learning and knowledge-sharing practices. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Barton spent ten years with Harvard Business Publishing, where she was a co-founder of their eLearning business and the global Product Director for Leadership and Management Development programs. While there, she helped produce over 20 interactive learning programs for managers. Prior to that, she was an Associate at the Boston Consulting Group.


  • PhD, Management & Organizations, University of Michigan
  • BA, Psychology, Pomona College


  • Barton, M.A., and Sutcliffe, K.M. (2023) “Enacting Resilience: Adventure racing as a microcosm of resilience organizing,” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.
  • Sutcliffe, K.M., Mayo, A.T., Myers, C.G., Barton, M.A., and Szanton, S.L. (2022) “Comment on Kunzler et al. (2022) ‘Interventions to foster resilience in nursing staff: a systematic review and meta-analyses of pre-pandemic evidence’,” International Journal of Nursing Studies, Vol. 135 (Nov).
  • Barton, Kahn, Maitlis & Sutcliffe, (2022) “Stop Framing Wellness Programs around Self-Care,” Harvard Business Review, April
  • Christianson, M., and Barton, M.A. (2021) Sensemaking in the Time of COVID-19. Journal of Management Studies.
  • Barton, M.A., Christianson, M., Myers, C.G., and Sutcliffe, K. (2020), Resilience in action: leading for resilience in response to COVID-19. BMJ Leader
  • Barton, M.A. & Kahn, W.  (2019), Group resilience: The place and meaning of relational pauses. Organization Studies, 40 (9), 1409-1429.
  • Kahn, W., Barton, M., Fisher, C., Heaphy, E., Reid, E. & Rouse, E. (2018), The geography of strain: organizational resilience as a function of intergroup dynamics. Academy of Management Review, 43 (3), 1-21.
  • Barton, M.A., Sutcliffe, K., Vogus, T., and DeWitt, T.  (2015), Performing under uncertainty: Contextualized engagement in wildland firefighting. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 23 (2), 74-83.
  • Barton, M.A., & Bunderson, J.S. (2014). Assessing member expertise in groups: An expertise dependence perspective, Organizational Psychology Review, 4 (3), 228 – 257.
  • Kahn, W., Barton, M.A., & Fellows, S. (2013). Organizational Crises and the Disturbance of Relational Systems.  Academy of Management Review.
  • Leonard, D., Barton, G.B., & Barton, M.A. (2013). Make Yourself an Expert – How to pull knowledge from the people around you. Harvard Business Review, April.



  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • Foundations of Innovative Leadership
  • Behavioral Science: Leading Change