Ronald Fry, PhD, MS, BS

Department of Organizational Behavior
Weatherhead School of Management

Teaching Information

Teaching Interests

  • organization change & development
  • group dynamics
  • sustainable enterprise
  • leading change
  • appreciative inquiry
  • team building

Recent Courses

  • Developing Interpersonal Skills for Managers
  • Global Citizenship and Multi-Cultural OD: International Study Tour
  • Group and Interpersonal Analysis
  • Leading Change: The Organization

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Large systems change
  • Strength-based change methodology
  • Group dynamics
  • Positive affect in group and system change
  • Business as agent for world benefit

Awards and Honors

Values Driven Leadership Award
Benedictine University Center for Values Driven Leadership

External Appointments

  • Executive Board and Program Chair, ODC Division, Academy of Management. 2005 - Present
  • Advisory Board and Visiting Faculty, New Zealand Institute of Management. 1981 - Present
  • Committee Chair, Acting Department Chair, 2019
  • Guest Speaker, Provost Leadership Forum, 2019
  • Faculty Advisor, School of Medicine: Center for Community Health Integration, 2018 - 2019
  • Board of Advisors of a Company, D. L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, Burlington, Vermont, 2018 - 2021
  • Program Organizer, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Washington DC, DC, 2018 - 2020
  • Program Organizer, Cleveland Rising Economic Growth Summit, Cleveland, OH, 2018 - 2019
  • Committee Chair, Appointments Committee, 2017 - Present
  • Committee Member, IoT Collaborative, 2017 - 2020
  • Program Organizer, MOOC Course on Appreciative Inquiry, 2015 - 2016
  • Committee Chair, T Alfred Distinguished Service Award Committee, 2014
  • Committee Chair, Weatherhead Outstanding PhD Research Award, 2014
  • Reviewer, Journal Article, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 2014
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, International Management Review, 2014
  • Committee Chair, India-MPOD Program Faculty Director, 2012 - 2016
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2012 - Present
  • Workshop Organizer, Sustainable Cleveland 2019, Cleveland, OH, 2012
  • Committee Chair, Dean Search Committee, 2011 - 2012
  • Chairperson, Weatherhead School Dean Search Committee, 2011 - 2012
  • Committee Member, Fowler Center Advisory Board, 2010 - Present
  • Committee Chair, Appointments, 2010 - 2015
  • Committee Member, Provost committee on Corporate Engagement, 2010
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, 2010 - Present
  • Editor, Journal Editor, Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences - Special Issue, 2010 - 2012
  • Guest Speaker, Hathaway Brown School: Education Innovation Summit, Shaker Heights, OH, 2010
  • Program Organizer, Belgium Learning network for Talent Development, Genk, 2010
  • Guest Speaker, Global Forum Latin America, Curitiba, 2010
  • Workshop Organizer, Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), Cleveland, Ohio, 2010
  • Committee Chair, India-MPOD, 2009 - 2016
  • Program Organizer, Global Forum for Business As Agent for World Benefit, 2009
  • Workshop Organizer, Sustainable Cleveland 2019, Cleveland, Ohio, 2009 - Present
  • Workshop Organizer, Jewish Community Federation, Cleveland, Ohio, 2009 - 2010
  • Editor, Journal Editor, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2008 - 2012
  • Program Organizer, Academy of Mgt,, ODC Division Program Chair, 2008 - 2009
  • Chair, Department Chairman, 2007 - 2013
  • Committee Chair, Department of Organizational Behavior, 2007 - 2013
  • Officer, President/Elect/Past, Academy of Management, ODC Division , 2006 - 2010


“Inquiring into Appreciative Inquiry: A conversation with David Cooperrider and Ronald Fry.” (2018) Grieten, S. Lambrechts, F., Bouwen, R., Huybrechts, J., Fry, R. and D Cooperrrider, Journal of Management Inquiry. Sage Publishing

Fry, R. (2018). In David Szabla, William Pasmore, Mary Barnes, and Asha Gipson (Ed.), Richard Beckhard: Pioneer Thinker in Organization Development   New York, NY: Palgrave - Macmillan

“An Appreciative Inquiry into Business as Agent for World Benefit.” (2017) Fry, Ronald, AI Practitioner, 19 (2), 9-16

“Mirror Flourishing and the Positive Psychology of Sustainability+.” Cooperrider, D. L., Fry, R. E. Journal of Corporate Citizenship (46), 3-12.

“Appreciative Inquiry Research Notes: Deepening Our Understanding of Power of the AI Discovery Phase.” (2015) Fry, Ronald, AI Practitioner, (17 (3), 68-71.


  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author)  Belgian Learning Network fro Building Positive Institutions, "Strength-based leadership of Flourishing Organizations", Kessels & Smit, Antwerp. (2020).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author)  Master Class for IFAI Facilitators, "Igniting Cooperation for Ecological Transformation through Appreciative Inquiry", Institut Francais Appreciative Inquiry (IFAI), Paris. (2019).
  • Fry, R.  PhD Program in Public Health, "Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry", University of Chicago-Illinois, Chicago - online. (2019).
  • Fry, R.  ASTHO Leadership Forum, "Positive Change Leadership: Leading from Strengths to Unleash Workforce Capacity", Association of State and Territorial Health Organizations (ASTHO), Puerto Rico. (2019).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author), Verma, N. (Presenter Only)  World Appreciative Inquiry Conference, "Authenticity in the Practice of AI", Institut Francais d'Appreciative Inquiry, Nice, France. (2019).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter Only), Stavros, J. (Presenter & Author), Torres, C. (Presenter & Author)  World Appreciative Inquiry Conference, "Conversation is the Heart of Organizing: AI Meets Complexity Theory", Institut Francais d'Appreciative Inquiry, Nice, France. (2019).
  • Fry, R.  CWRU Alumni Weekend, "Complexity Theory Meets OD: Radical Ideas for Leading Change in Today’s Organizations", WSOM - MPOD Program, CWRU Campus. (2018).
  • Fry, R.  MPOD Alumni Reunion, "Creating Conversations that Make a Difference", CWRU Alumni weekend, CWRU Campus. (2018).
  • Fry, R.  MPOD Webinar, "Complexity Theory Meets OD: Radical Ideas for Leading Change in Today’s Organizations", WSOM-MPOD Program, Internet. (2018).
  • Fry, R.  Sustainable and Flourishing Villages and Cities in the Mid Nordic Region, "Building Collaborative Capacity through Appreciative Inquiry", Mid-Sweden University, Trondheim, Norway. (2018).
  • Fry, R.  French Appreciative Inquiry Practitioners Conference, "Appreciative Leading and Being in Daily Life", Insititut Francais d'Appreciative Inquiry, Paris. (2018).
  • Fry, R.  Univ. Chicago-Illinois Doctorate in Public Health - Webinar, "Appreciative Inquiry: Unleashing Cooperative Capacity for Positive Change", University of Chicago-Illinois, Chicago. (2018).
  • Fry, R.  NEOMED Leadership Development Program, "Appreciative Leadership: Unleashing Cooperative Capacity for Positive Change", Northeast Ohio Medical University, Warren, Ohio. (2018).
  • Fry, R.  Belgian Learning network for High Engagement Organizations, "Appreciative Leadership for a Flourishing Enterprise", Belgian Learning Network, Ghent, Belgium. (2017).
  • Fry, R.  NEOMED Leader Development Program, "Appreciative Leadership: Unleashing Cooperative Capacity for Positive Change", Northeast Ohio Medical University, (2017).
  • Fry, R.  Flanders Tourism Learning Network, " Re-Thinking Why and How Human Systems Change", Flanders Government, Ghent, Belgium. (2016).
  • Fry, R.  10th Anniversary Conference of Peter Drucker Society of South Korea, "Leveraging the Voice of Peter Drucker to Enable Businesses as Agents for World Benefit", Peter F Drucker Society of S Korea, Seoul. (2016).
  • Fry, R.  Master Class in Appreciative Inquiry, "New Frontiers in Appreciative Inquiry", Institut d'Appreciative Inquiry Francais, Paris. (2016).
  • Fry, R.  NEOMED Leader Development Program, "Appreciative Leadership: Unleashing Cooperative Capacity for Positive Change", Northeast Ohio Medical University, (2016).
  • Fry, R.  Leaders Luncheon, "From Good conversations to Generative Connections: Transforming Organizations through AI", Balance Human Resources, Ghent, Belgium. (2014).
  • Fry, R.  BCCL (Times of India) Leader Development Programme, "Leading Sustainable Change", Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India. (2014).
  • Fry, R.  Indian Academy of Management, "Re-thinking How Human systems Change: Welcome to the Strengths Revolution!", IIM Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India. (2013).
  • Fry, R.  IFTDO National Congress, "Magnifying Strengths for Sustainable Change", Indian Federation of Training & Development Organizations, Delhi, India. (2013).
  • Fry, R.  National HRD Conference, "Unleashing Cooperative Capacity through Strength-based Leadership", NHRD India, Hyderabad. (2012).
  • Fry, R.  AACN National Meeting, "Igniting Positive Change and Innovation through Leveraging Strengths: An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry", American Association of Nursing Colleges, Washington, DC. (2012).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter Only)  South Korea National HRD Congress, "Building Cooperative Capacity through Appreciative Inquiry", Ministry of Employment and Labor & HRD Service of Korea, Seoul, South Korea. (2012).
  • Fry, R.  Cleveland Clinic: Leading Health Care Program, "Leveraging Strengths to Lead Collaboration, Innovation, and Change ", Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH. (2012).
  • Fry, R.  World Appreciative Inquiry conference, "Generative Engagement: Going beyond the Positive for Transformational Change", Network of AI Professional, Ghent, Belgium. (2012).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author)  Hathaway Brown School's Education Innovation Summit 2011, "Sustainability Through Strength", Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, OH. (2011).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter Only)  Lubrizol/Weatherhead Alumni Breakfast, "Igniting Positive Change through leveraging Strengths", WSOM & Lubrizol, Wickliffe, OH. (2011).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter Only)  University Hospitals Faculty Enrichment Program, "Leveraging Strengths to Build Individual and Organizational Capacity", University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH. (2011).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author)  Academy of Management Annual Meeting, "Designing a Green Sity on a Blue Lake: Cleveland's Sustainability Journey", Academy of Management, San Antonio, TX. (2011).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author)  Cleveland Clinic Leading in Health Care Program, "Building Cooperative Capacity through Strengths-Based Change", Cleveland clinic, Cleveland, OH. (2011).
  • Fry, R.  Provost Leadership Retreat, "Building Cooperative Capacity in Academic Departments", CWRU Office of the Provost, Cleveland, Ohio. (2010).
  • Fry, R.  European Appreciative Inquiry Network, "Appreciative Inquiry and Strength-based Change: Where To Next?", BLED School of Management, Bled, Slovenia. (2010).
  • Fry, R.  Resilient Thinking, "Driving Positive Change through the Questions We Ask", Flemish Quality Management Center, Gent, Belgium. (2009).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author)  16th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference, "Strength-based Stakeholder Engagement through Appreciative Inquiry", Washington Law School, Washington Mediation Association, Seattle. (2009).
  • Fry, R.  Global Forum Latin America, "Business Engagement for a Sustainable Future: Lessons from the BAWB World Inquiry", Federation of Industries, Parana, Brazil, Curitiba, Parana., Brazil. (2009).
  • Fry, R.  International Institute of Municipal Clerks, "High Engagement through Strength-based Leadership: Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry", Institute of Municipal Clerks, Chicago. (2009).
  • Fry, R. (Presenter & Author), Sharma, G. (Presenter & Author)  Leading Ways to Social Responsibility & Sustainability, "the World Inquiry Project: Analyses of Impact of Innovations to Create Mutual Benefit for Business and Society", Mandel Center, WSOM & Fowler Center, Cleveland, Ohio. (2009).


Doctor of Philosophy
Organization Studies and Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Master of Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science
Systems Engineering
University of California at Los Angeles

Additional Information

As a co-creator of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) theory and method, Ronald Fry, PhD, works with groups, organizations and institutions around the world to increase their cooperative capacity in order to engage the whole system in strategic thinking, planning and change. His research interests focus on the factors and dynamics that foster system-wide, positive change, and he continues to develop insights on large group dynamics, appreciative leadership, multi-stakeholder strategic planning, and business as an agent for world benefit.

His books include Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity, with Frank Barrett, and Appreciative Team Building, with Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom and Jay Cherney. He also co-edited Appreciative Inquiry and Organizational Transformation: Reports From the Field (Quorum, 2001). Fry’s work also appears in such journals as Journal of Corporate Citizenship, AI Practitioner, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, NZ Management, and Quality Management in Healthcare.

Fry has developed and conducted a Certificate Program in Appreciative Leadership and Organizational Capacity Building for over 150 leaders of voluntary social change organizations from more than 30 countries. With David Cooperrider, he co-directs the Weatherhead School of Management Certificate Program in Appreciative Inquiry in Positive Business and Society Change. He is an advisory board member and chief editor of the Fowler Center for Business as Agent of Work Benefit’s AIM2Flourish global inquiry into business innovations for business and society benefit. He has facilitated AI applications in a variety of systems including World Vision, Lubrizol, Roadway Express, US Navy, Genesis Health System, and Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Fry has served as a visiting faculty to Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, Katholieke University in Leuven, Belgium and to the Administrative Staff College of India. He has been honored with the Case Western Reserve University Award for Outstanding Teacher in the Professional Schools. In 2004, he was awarded the Weatherhead School’s Lifetime Service Award. He is the chair and faculty director of the Master of Positive Organization Development and Change (MPOD)-India Program. He also facilitates the annual summits for Sustainable Cleveland 2019.

Fry received both his doctorate and MS from the A.P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since joining the faculty at Case Western Reserve in 1978, he has taught courses on organizational behavior, organization change and development; group dynamics; sustainable enterprise; leading change; appreciative inquiry; and team building.

PhD, A.P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1978
MS, A.P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971
BS, University of California at Los Angeles, 1969

Initially Appointed: 1978