Better Know A Faculty: Dr. Amy Randel, Organizational Behavior

Throughout the remainder of the year, the Better Know A Faculty series will shed some extra light on the outstanding faculty of San Diego State’s Sports MBA program. These interviews and stories have been compiled throughout the last few years by various Sports MBA classes. This edition of Better Know A Faculty will feature Dr. Amy Randel written by Johnny Du, SMBA ’13.




Our Better Know A Faculty series (finally) continues with Associate Professor Amy Randel. Dr. Randel has been with SDSU’s College of Business Administration since 2005, after spending the prior six years at Wake Forest University. She earned her Ph.D. in management up the road at UC Irvine. With several peer-reviewed publications to her record, earlier this year she published her first book highlights Organizational Behavior in business.

A former volleyball player during her undergraduate days at Brown, Dr. Randel teaches BA 651: Organizational Behavior, one of four core “foundation” courses that kick off the curriculum each year.

In each session of class, we covered different OB topics, from motivation to creativity to leadership styles to cultivating changes. In most cases, the lecture and discussion would be accompanied by an exercise or game to complement our dialogues, for example, the “Brainwriting” you see below, or a more restricted version of Einstein’s riddle to test our teamwork and communication. Our coursework culminated in presentations on our analysis of survey results received from employees at local sports-related companies on their views of their workplace culture.

Here are her responses to our famed Faculty Five Questions. Thanks a lot, Dr. Randel!

1) When did you start teaching in the program? How did the opportunity come about?

I started teaching in the program in the Fall of 2008. My experience as a college athlete (volleyball) as well as my Ph.D. in organizational behavior (OB) made teaching the OB class in the program seem like a perfect fit.

2) What do you enjoy most about teaching in the Sports MBA program?

I feel fortunate to teach students who are passionate about their future working in sports and who come from all over the world to attend this program. The organizational analysis projects I assign, which give students hands-on experiences in sports organizations with employee surveys accompanied by an interview with a leader in each company, are rewarding to be involved with as well.

3) In your respective course, what are the main takeaway(s) you are hoping the cohort gets (or got, if the course has completed)?

In any job that graduates have after leaving this program, they will encounter organizational behavior issues. I hope students leave my class with frameworks, skills, and knowledge to excel as leaders in their careers. It is my goal to help students be well-equipped to be better bosses & more effective team members, sharper thinkers about the challenges that organizations face, and more creative on the job. Students also should be able to analyze employee survey data, diagnose organizations’ strengths and weaknesses, and produce value-added recommendations as a result of the projects assigned in my class.

4) Someone walks up, says they have been offered admission into SMBA and asks you “Why should I enroll?” Your response is:

Congratulations! This program is one of the few in the world that offers a MBA specifically geared towards a career in sports. You will not only have a MBA at the conclusion of this program, but you will have developed a state-of-the art network in sports.  You will work hard, but it will position you well to enter the competitive sports industry.  San Diego has a lot to offer in sports and, of course, you can’t beat living in San Diego during the program. Going through the program with a cohort that for the rest of your life will be contacts that are relevant to your preferred industry is a great feature. I hear the cushy chairs are pretty awesome too. 🙂

5) Your (hopefully inspirational and uplifting) sports movie of choice is…? Because…?

I have to go with Rocky because it’s the classic story of the underdog prevailing through hard work and determination.


Originally post on the San Diego State SMBA Class of 2013 blog