Rady School of Management, UC San Diego

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Executive Development Social Networks

Global Emergence

About the Program

Technology-driven companies are dependent on the contributions of engineers, scientists and others who comprise the all-important intellectual assets of the company. Executives need to be mindful of the leadership of these “gold-collared” workers and their unique motivational and operational needs. This is not an easy task in these challenging times of rapid transformation in corporations and organizations around the world. This course will enable participants to better establish a management style and workplace culture that fosters job satisfaction among gold-collar workers, thereby enabling them to focus on the generation of intellectual assets that will lead the company to future success.


This course is appropriate for any executive or manager who works with or oversees gold-collar workers.



Course runs from 7:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.. Registration fee includes course materials, campus parking and continental breakfast.

Josh Pingel
Program Manager


Participants in Managing the Gold-Collar Worker will learn about:

  • A new reward structure for gold-collar workers
  • How to better retain scientists and engineers
  • How to foster a culture that nurtures gold-collar workers
  • Management practices for interacting with and motivating gold collar workers

Related Courses


This interactive course will help participants to:

  • Understand how gold-collar workers drive intellectual capital companies
  • Learn the difference between star and average performers
  • Understand what motivates gold-collar workers
  • Reflect upon the difference between 'millennials' and previous generations of gold-collar workers


Robert Kelley is an adjunct professor at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Kelley has been a senior management consultant with the Stanford Research Institute, a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School, worked for the consulting division of Ernst and Young and also ran his own business.

Currently, he splits his time among teaching, writing and consulting. Besides teaching in Tepper’s MBA program, he is also a regular faculty member in executive education programs around the country and a well-regarded consultant to companies such as 3M and Bell Labs as well as several governmental organizations. His educational background includes post-doctoral work at the Harvard Business School, a Ph.D. from Colorado State University, an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from Drake University.

He coined the now widely used terms “gold-collar worker” and “followership” in his groundbreaking books “The Gold Collar Worker” and “The Power of Followership.” The New York Post selected his “How to be a Star Performer at Work” as the number one best business book of the entire 1990s. His articles have appeared in The Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal and his work has been featured in international media.