Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Senior Fellow in Business Ethics

James O'Toole

James O'Toole is director of the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. Previously he was the Daniels Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. He began his career at the USC business school in 1973 where he held the University Associates' Chair of Management, served as Executive Director of the Leadership Institute, and editor of New Management magazine.

O'Toole's research and writings have been in the areas of leadership, ethics, and corporate culture.  He has addressed dozens of major corporations and professional groups, and has over one hundred published articles. Among his sixteen books, Vanguard Management was named "One of the best business and economics books of 1985" by the editors of Business Week.  His latest books are Creating the Good Life (2005), The New American Workplace (with Edward Lawler, 2006), Transparency (with Warren Bennis and Daniel Goleman, 2008) and Good Business (editor, with Don Mayer, 2010).   

O'Toole received his Doctorate in Social Anthropology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar (in 1966 he became the first USC undergraduate to be chosen from California for that honor). He served as a Special Assistant to Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Elliot Richardson, as Chairman of the Secretary’s Task Force on Work in America, and as Director of Field Investigations for President Nixon's Commission on Campus Unrest. He has served on the Board of Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and as editor of The American Oxonian magazine.  From 1994-97 O'Toole was Executive Vice President of the Aspen Institute, and later, Mortimer J. Adler Senior Fellow at the Institute.  He also has served as Chair of the Booz/Allen/Hamilton Strategic Leadership Center, and is currently a Senior Fellow at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

O’Toole has won a Mitchell Prize for a paper on economic growth policy. Recently, he was named one of the “100 most influential people in business ethics” by the editors of Ethisphere, one of “the top 100 thought leaders on leadership” by Leadership Excellence magazine.