2021 Best Undergraduate Professors: Christopher P. Long, Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John’s University

Christopher P. Long

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John’s University 

 “Dr. Long is one of the best, if not the best, professors at St. John’s University. Having him as a professor in the Executive and Residence Program has molded my intellectual ability to constantly think outside the box as a student and even more so in my professional career … He is the epitome of a professor that inspires students to apply their wisdom and knowledge as they navigate life.” – Alexis Tovar, student

Christopher P. Long is the Paul Naughton Associate Professor of Management at The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University in New York City. He’s been at St. John’s since 2017. He is also a major in the United States Army Reserve.

He has a PhD in Management from Duke University, a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Honors Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of Connecticut. He currently teaches Management & Organizational Behavior; Leading Organizations; Leading Organizational Change; Organization Theory and Design; Strategic Management; Organizational Management Analysis and Consulting. 

He is the director and teaches in St. John’s Executive-in-Residence Program (EIRP), a working consulting firm built around the school’s top undergraduate and MBA students. This program will graduate over 100 students this year who collectively will complete almost 40 consulting projects. Dr. Long developed the program’s Alumni link with over 3,000 EIRP graduates, and recruited executives such as Bill Janetschek, former chief financial officer of KKR, to teach and mentor students. 

“This is a true experiential education program where students learn how to conduct in-depth, strategically focused management consulting engagements for prominent NYC-based organizations,” he tells Poets&Quants.    

St. John’s Dean Norean R. Sharpe recruited Long from Georgetown University where he won the Joseph F. Lemoine Award for Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Excellence. His research is focused on how leaders create empowered workforces and issues affecting the psychological health and overall efficacy of military personnel. His work has been published in journals such as Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, American Journal of Psychology, Advances in Strategic Management and others

“Chris is a top-ranked educational leader who produces positive and lasting impacts on the lives of his students,” Dean Sharpe writes in her nomination. “In the classroom, Chris uses perspectives from this work to create world-class experiential learning environments for students.”


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…I picked up a Harvard PhD catalog and read the PhD in Organizational Behavior description.  From that moment, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?   To date, I have focused my research on generating new insights on the dynamics of leadership, performance management systems, trust, and fairness, within both traditional organizations and new organizational forms. In my research, I examine how leaders create contexts within which individuals can achieve high levels of performance on multiple dimensions and relational outcomes like satisfaction and commitment. Much of my current work focuses on how leaders balance their efforts to apply organizational controls, foster trust, and promote fairness because these three outcomes comprise fundamental elements of effective leadership.  

My most significant discoveries involve how leaders systematically integrate their efforts to apply controls with the efforts they take to demonstrate their trustworthiness and promote fairness as well as the performance and relational outcomes these combinations of activities produce.  These issues have important implications for leadership and organizational design because how leaders integrate their activities significantly affect employees’ control, fairness, and trust perceptions.  They also impact organizational capacities to achieve a wide range of strategic performance objectives.  

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… This is a tough question because I am very fortunate to be researching issues that I am highly interested in and working in a profession that I absolutely love.   One primary reason why I love my job is that I am in a position to generate fundamental insights that can directly and positively impact people in all types of organizations.   

However, if I were not a business school professor, I would probably be working on these same issues in a management consulting environment or at the strategic level of a business or governmental organization.  

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? My first answer is that I care about and believe in our students, but this is a hallmark of Tobin professors, so that I don’t stand out for that.

I think the best answer is that I bring a strategic focus to everything I do in the classroom.  For example, I focus on communicating the strategic importance of leadership and organizational behavior topics.  I also encourage students to enjoy the learning experience but also to think strategically about how it can increase their capabilities to create exceptional environments for their employees.  The goal of all this is to push them in a developmental way to exceed their expectations of themselves and what they can do.  It is also to help them create significant impacts on business and society. 

One word that describes my first time teaching: Exhilarating 

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: How amazing it would be to work in New York City.   The experience of being here has far exceeded my expectations.  The research opportunities are seemingly limitless and this environment presents exceptional opportunities for students. 

Professor I most admire and why: I have learned important lessons from several of my Professors: 

  1. My Dad, Richard P. Long: a Professor and former Head of the Civil Engineering Department at UCONN.  He has a enormous intellect and is a person of impeccable integrity.  
  2. Richard Hiskes: Former UCONN Political Science Professor.  He taught me how to present complicated concepts in accessible ways and also how to care for your students. 
  3. Mark Moore: Management Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School.  He taught me great lessons on management and how organizations can be used to serve the public good. 
  4. Sim Sitkin: Leadership Professor at Duke’s Fuqua School.  From him I learned many things including how to thoughtfully engage students in ways that empower them. 


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Their professional focus and the desires they have to make huge impacts on the world 

What is most challenging? Having the time to do everything I want with the students.  

In one word, describe your favorite type of student:  Take-charge: Students who are focused and committed to doing their best. 

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student:  Apathetic: These students miss great opportunities to expand themselves and learn how to give to others 

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair and highly developmental.  Grades are mechanisms that can help motivate students to find the “greatness” that is in them. 


What are your hobbies? Being the best husband and father I can be, cycling (bicycle racing), general fitness (running, rowing, lifting), traveling, film, following and analyzing politics and world events.   I am also an Army Reserve Officer.  Technically, this is a job.  However, I enjoy this so much it feels like a hobby. 

How will you spend your summer? I will be engaged in some heavy-duty research efforts and I am writing a book.  In between, I will be doing some traveling with my family and enjoying the summer in our hometown of Greenwich, CT. 

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Any place new.  I love adventures 

Favorite book(s): I am always reading.  Whatever is helping me push my knowledge and understanding forward currently is my “favorite.”  

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? I have many: Star Wars, Wall Street, The Big Short, The Godfather, Saving Private Ryan are just a few.  I love the HBO Series Band of Brothers which recounts the experiences of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division’s experiences in WWII.   It is amazing what all of those men experienced, endured and sacrificed.  

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I was a musician in my younger days.  So, I can appreciate all types of music.  I also love listening to the soundtracks of some select movies. 


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Experiential learning.  These types of learning environments can be challenging to organize and manage.  When done well, they create maximum impact for students.  The push to hybrid and on-line learning is creating interesting spaces for experiential learning opportunities. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Listening to their people, and then explaining what they are doing and why they are doing it.  This is essential to building trust.  Organizations that provide their employees voice and are more transparent about their plans will have more luck leading the post-COVID workforce.  

I’m grateful for…  My wife, Jennifer, and my daughters, Audrey and Ingrid.  Being a professor is a large time commitment.  I could not do it without their support. My parents from whom I learned the value of hard work, my faith, integrity, and generosity. Those in the academic, professional, and military communities who have supported me along the way. The opportunities that St. John’s has given me, especially the opportunity to lead the EIRP program. The St. John’s Alumni who provide amazing support to Tobin and to the program I lead. My strong desire to push and do my best each and every day. The opportunity to research and teach issues about which I care deeply.  


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