Family life and community were inspirations for Thomas DeLong’s 30-year career in organizational behavior. Watching family dynamics and groups, he says, helped create an interest in how organizations and groups function. After receiving his doctorate in industrial supervision from Purdue, DeLong embarked on a career full of teaching and research. His academic activities have helped countless students, colleagues, and practitioners learn more about how leaders at all levels can make a difference and enhance business practices and organizational outcomes.
His career has included research, teaching, and administrative activities at Brigham Young University and the Harvard Business School. He also served as managing director and chief development officer for Morgan Stanley Group where he was responsible for human capital, global expansion, and organizational alignment. In addition to numerous case studies, presentations, and journal articles, DeLong is a co-author of two books including When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance, which was published in 2007.
DeLong strives “to become the kind of person that I admonish my students to be,” he says. He also attributes his success to mentors, such as Professor Jim Windle, throughout his career. DeLong was influenced by Windle’s understanding of human behavior and his ability to listen.
Outside of work, DeLong enjoys spending time with his family, jogging, theatre, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, Vineeta Vijayaragharan.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2010.