Michalle Mor Barak, PhD

Title(s)Dean's Professor of Social Work and Business, Chair, Dept. of Social Change and Innovation
SchoolSchool of Social Work
Phone+1 213 740 2002
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    MICHALLE E. MOR BARAK is in the vanguard of a new breed of social work and management experts focusing on global workforce diversity. In her award-winning book, Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace (SAGE, 2nd edition, 2011), she proposed an original model for creating an "inclusive workplace"– one that helps businesses, as well as public non-profit organizations integrate with society via expanding circles of inclusion at the organizational, community, state/national and international levels. The book has won the CHOICE award from the Association of College and University Libraries and the Academy of Management's Terry Book Award for "the most significant contribution to management knowledge."

    Her scholarly publications were among the first to introduce the construct of inclusion to the discourse about global diversity management through ground-breaking research. Two measurement scales that Mor Barak and her research team established and validated — the Mor Barak Inclusion-Exclusion Scale and the Diversity Climate Scale — have been widely used in for-profit and non-profit research and in corporate employee surveys.

    Her current research projects focus on diversity, work-family balance, social support and corporate social responsibility. They examine the impact of organizational culture on job satisfaction, organizational commitment and retention. Her studies test theoretically based models in both non-profit and for-profit organizations nationally and internationally.

    Mor Barak's research demonstrates that diversity management and inclusion, when adopted as key business strategies, represent more than just doing the right and moral thing. They also constitute good business. Diversity management is essential if corporations are to adapt to an increasingly diverse workforce, and it gives them a competitive advantage in recruitment, retention, customer relations, marketing and developing a positive corporate image. All of this, in turn, translates into profits and, more importantly, adds to the common good for employees, their families and their communities.

    An internationally renowned scholar, Mor Barak has led conferences on diversity at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy, as well as at the Borchard Foundation's Chateau de la Bretesche in France. She received numerous awards of distinction, including the Fulbright award, Lady Davis award for international exchange scholars, University of California Regents Award, and Sterling C. Franklin Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.

    Ranked #4 among the top 100 authors of the most influential articles in the social work discipline over the past decade based on overall and yearly citations, Mor Barak conducted a meta-analysis study (in collaboration with former doctoral students Amy Levin and Jan Nissly) that examined retention in the child welfare and social work workforce. She has conducted several longitudinal studies examining the effects of diversity and quality of supervision on retention among child welfare workers.

    Mor Barak mentors and works closely with doctoral and master's students who are active participants in her research projects and co-authors of many of her publications. In recognition of her contributions as a mentor to students, she won the Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring. She also provides leadership for the USC School of Social Work's Social Work and Business in a Global Society concentration, as well as the university's joint MBA/MSW dual-degree program, with the goal of creating a new breed of boundary-crossing professionals with joint social work and business education, who can initiate programs to help workers, families and communities while improving organizational effectiveness of both non-profit and for-profit organizations.

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Barak ME. The inclusive workplace: an ecosystems approach to diversity management. Soc Work. 2000 Jul; 45(4):339-53. PMID: 10932933.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Mor-Barak ME. Major determinants of social networks in frail elderly community residents. Home Health Care Serv Q. 1997; 16(1-2):121-37. PMID: 10168487.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Mor-Barak ME. The meaning of work for older adults seeking employment: the generativity factor. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1995; 41(4):325-44. PMID: 8821243.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Mor-Barak ME, Scharlach AE, Birba L, Sokolov J. Employment, social networks, and health in the retirement years. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1992; 35(2):145-59. PMID: 1399075.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Mor-Barak ME, Scharlach AE, Tynan M, Birba L, Garcia G, Sokolov J. Golden oldies: striking a balance in retiree health care. Bus Health. 1991 Apr; 9(4):56, 58, 60. PMID: 10111136.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Mor-Barak ME. Social support and coping with stress: implications for the workplace. Occup Med. 1988 Oct-Dec; 3(4):663-76. PMID: 3067397.
      View in: PubMed