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Esther Sackett with Top Undergraduate Business Professors Badge

Esther Sackett with Top Undergraduate Business Professors Badge

Prof. Esther Sackett named one of Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors

Assistant Professor of Management, Esther Sackett, recognized for her "innovative and student-centered teaching style" in Poets&Quants annual international list.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (December 11, 2022) 

Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Management, Esther Sackett, who has been named as one of the Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors by Poets&Quants. The honor, from Poets&Quants' fifth annual list, came in the form of nominations from hundreds of students, alumni, colleagues, and school deans - both nationally and internationally - and is based on a weighted consideration of research (30%) and teaching (70%).

“Despite the fact that the class was held entirely online, it was evident that Professor Sackett deeply cared about the well-being and success of each and every student in the course,” said a nominating student. “She makes every student feel heard and supported, while still pushing us to engage critically with the course material. I not only learned skills that will apply directly to my future career, but I also learned a great deal about my own personal leadership and teamwork styles.”

Prior to academia, Sackett spent six years working in the healthcare industry, doing program development and evaluation in hospitals and nonprofits. Her research investigates the interpersonal dynamics of collaboration and motivation at multiple levels of analysis. She has been published in journals such as Organization Studies, Research in Organizational Behavior, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, Frontiers in Psychology, and Management Teaching Review. 

The majority of my research is at the intersection of collaboration and motivation – how do people navigate their multiple goals within and across the teams they are on?,” Sackett shared. “One of the biggest insights that I try to emphasize in my work is that it is necessary to think about teams as being embedded in larger motivational systems. On any team, team members’ behavior is affected by all of the goals they are pursuing – not just the goal of a particular team. Yet, we often think about goal alignment too narrowly. I’m trying to change that.”

With an emphasis on the combination of personal and professional development, Sackett was noted for her “genuine care and attention to her students” inside the classroom, where she currently teaches Flourishing at Work and Management and Organizations. Within the Leavey School of Business, Sackett was also recently recognized with the 2022 Outstanding Faculty Award from the ACE Leadership Program – nominated by and voted for by students.

I see my role as a facilitator of learning, rather than a deliverer of content, and I try to cultivate a learning environment where students can also develop personally and professionally,” said professor Sackett. Part of being a good contributor to a team or an organization is learning how to balance work with the rest of our lives and proactively communicate with others to manage expectations. I recognize that my students are whole humans beyond the classroom, with personal challenges, families, and other commitments. I trust them to make appropriate choices for themselves and emphasize the importance of communication and asking for help, rather than being punitive. This leads to mutual trust and better learning, too.”

Read Prof. Esther Sackett’s full Poets&Quants recognition >>>

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

About Leavey School of Business

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the most dynamic business environments in the world, the Leavey School of Business combines academic excellence in the 450-year Jesuit tradition, with an energetic, innovative spirit that typifies the region. Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business offers one of the nation's best graduate business programs ranked No. 13 Executive MBA by U.S. News & World Report, No. 19 ranked Evening MBA by U.S. News & World Report, and No. 9 ranked Online MBA by Poets&Quants. Our Undergraduate Business programs rank in the Top 10% in the nation, ranked No. 67 by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit

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