Paul Goodman & His Work


Paul Goodman was an acclaimed psychologist, author, researcher, and filmmaker who first joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1972. He went on to become a tenured professor of industrial administration and psychology in 1979 and the honorable Richard M. Cyert Professor of Organizational Psychology in 2000.

During his influential years at Carnegie Mellon, Paul made great efforts to expand the global reach of the university. As a professor and a filmmaker, he sought creative ways to connect students with work and technology in both local and international contexts. As Mark Kamlet, provost and executive vice president at Carnegie Mellon, asserts, “He was successful in developing strategic partnerships in Asia, Latin and South America, the Middle East and South Africa. He has been a champion of the university around the world, helping to expand Carnegie Mellon’s reach and influence while raising education standards in developing countries.” Some of his initiatives abroad included the exploration of environmental issues and technological development at leading universities in Brazil and Chile, the establishment of a program designed to improve the quality of engineering schools in India, the development of a program to build a leadership institute facilitating Jewish-Arab co-existence in Israel, and the building of a new School of Information Systems in Singapore.

While Paul strongly emphasized global awareness in his teaching and research, he was also dedicated to exploring the theme of work in the local Pittsburgh community. He aimed to draw attention to the crucial value in everyday people who worked daily to improve our economy and social well-being, despite being largely unrecognized for their essential contributions. His exploration of workers in action granted him the opportunity to not only learn more about different business strategies, but also to embark on exciting projects using his favorite teaching tool – filmmaking. Among more than 20 educational films and documentaries that he produced, he highlights the important but often overlooked work of individuals such as a nurse, a factory worker, a glass blower, a fisherman, and a women’s rowing team.

Paul shares his global business research and strategies with us not only through the nine books and dozens of articles he has published, but also through short films and full-length documentaries that offer insight into the daily lives of international workers and their ideas for economic development. Through a variety of media, he shows us how important, multidisciplinary work improves our local and global societies in numerous ways. ideas that impact.

In the 1980s, Paul Goodman produced 20 educational short films, in addition to two feature-length documentaries, as a part of “The Changing Nature of Work” series. Created for the classroom, these films show how global development and technological expansion are changing the nature of workplace demographics and methods of production, featuring commentary from a variety of workers in local, national, and global contexts.

"The Changing Nature of Work" series is now available for viewing on the Carnegie Mellon Library website.