Proven value, expertise, attracts generals, foreign leaders to Benedictine's OD program

June 6, 2017

Lisle, Illinois ~ Imagine traveling more than 14,000 kilometers – that’s 8,700 miles after conversion – to speak to and learn from icons.

That’s what a dozen citizens from Southeast Asia will do this summer. But they aren’t going to Hollywood, they are coming to a small suburb in Chicago to see two professors.

That’s the type of star power Benedictine University’s Peter Sorensen, Ph.D., and Therese Yaeger, Ph.D., command at home and abroad due to their global expertise and longevity in the field of Organization Development (OD).

The visitors from overseas, who include CEOs of multinational corporations and foreign dignitaries, will attend a workshop to garner insights from Sorensen and Yaeger about OD trends and best practices.

The workshop is a precursor to the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, which is the premier conference for academics, scholars, professionals and students in the field of management, scheduled for August 4-8 in Atlanta. The Academy has more than 18,000 members in more than 100 countries.

“They all heard about Peter and Therese and Benedictine University's OD program,” said LeeHsing Lu, Ph.D., who is organizing the visit.

Lu is the associate dean of the Graduate School of Business and program director for the Ph. D. in Organization Development Program at Assumption University of Thailand. Lu founded the Asia OD Network in 2006 after earning a Ph.D. in Organization Development at Benedictine in 2005.

“The students are excited to meet Peter and Therese because of their reputation in the field of OD,” Lu said. “They will give their thoughts about what OD should be now and in the future, and insights into the Academy of Management prior to the conference.”

Benedictine's OD program is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a leader in providing education toward managing the human side of enterprise, which includes global interdependence, workforce diversity and the management of change – the hallmarks of excellent managers and leading-edge companies.

The OD program prepares individuals for high-level careers including human resources, health care, consulting, research, business, higher education and public administration. The value of OD in the world today cannot be overstated.

According to the Academy of Management, successful organizations must continually redesign their interfaces connecting their organizations to new opportunities that can have dramatic impacts on shaping their communities and ultimately the national and global economy.

In advance of their dissertations, students are required to submit papers and panel discussions for presentations at international conferences that are overseen by some of the most influential thinkers in the fields of business, leadership and OD. This has been a key component of the program for years.

“We find that this really gives students the opportunity to make a significant and lasting contribution to the ever-growing scope of research on the kinds of strategies and characteristics that are indicative of better leaders and organizations,” said Sorensen, professor and department chair of OD at Benedictine.

Graduates of the program have become successful leaders and change agents at global organizations such as CNN Worldwide, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Kraft Foods Group, Inc., Motorola Solutions, Inc., McDonald’s Corp., and other Fortune 500 organizations such as Boeing Co., General Electric Co. and General Motors Co.

For the latest from Sorensen and Yaeger, visit


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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