Ron Johnson

Instructor of Management and Organization
Department: Management and Organization
Office: 371 Business Building
Phone: 814-863-6695
Fax: 814-863-7261
Member of Faculty Since: 1996


Ron Johnson is an Instructor in the Management and Organization Department in the Smeal College of Business. He has been teaching graduate and undergraduate classes at Penn State since 1993. Mr. Johnson’s focus is on leadership competencies, managerial communication, team and professional development. Over 1000 graduate students from 60 countries have taken his 1-year leadership/communication training sequence (MBA, MHA, MMM). He has consistently received the highest teaching rating from these groups for 18 years. In addition, he teaches junior/senior honors classes in leadership and communication, has provided teaching and training for college faculty and doctoral students, taught in Penn State’s Executive Development Program’s and consulted with leaders in Fortune 1000 companies.

Mr. Johnson’s work in leadership and communication includes a broad spectrum of management development skills. His teaching on leadership competencies includes corporate social responsibility, ethical decision-making, sustainability, diversity, personality (Myers-Briggs certified), emotional intelligence, coaching, team building/training and career development for managers.  In communication he focuses on all aspects of professional communication including the use of visual communication and technology. A significant part if his work involves personal coaching to aspiring managers (over 1000 students and thousands more in corporate consulting).  He is currently developing the content for a new Smeal course (BA 342) focusing on sustainability, ethics and social responsibility (launches fall 2011). This course is taken by all Smeal students as a core requirement for graduation.

Prior to his appointment to Smeal’s Management and Organization Department he held a joint appointment in Penn State’s College of Engineering and Smeal College of Business developing Master of Manufacturing Management students.  As part of his work in preparing Manufacturing students for careers in large scale manufacturing Mr. Johnson has visited 250+ manufacturing sites around the country in the past 15 years. He is in contact monthly with individuals in these companies giving him a unique perspective into manufacturing trends and issues.  Some of those companies include Toyota Motors, Gulfstream Aerospace, Xerox, Proctor & Gamble, JLG Industries, Alcoa, Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett Packard, Carpenter Technology, Eaton Cutler-Hammer, Kraft Foods and many more.  In addition, he has help host hundreds of mangers at bi-annual manufacturing conferences at Penn State focusing on manufacturing leadership and sustainability.

Mr. Johnson is a long time member of The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM). He has been a speaker at conferences such as the ASTD National Leadership Conference, the Total Quality Forum, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, and many regional business and academic gatherings. Recently, he spoke to Space Shuttle scientists and engineers for NASA on leadership.

Prior to his work in education and leadership/communication, Mr. Johnson was the Executive Vice President for a privately held construction company for ten years.  In that position he had profit/loss responsibility, generated millions of dollars in business, and supervised up to 75 direct reports (hiring and firing responsibilities). His family lives on a working farm in central Pennsylvania.


Leadership competencies, communication, team and professional development


MHA, Penn State,  1997 
MBA, Penn State,  1992 
BS Mgmt., Oral Roberts,   


BA 342, CSR, Ethics & Sustainability
MGMT 301, Introduction to Management