Janis Forman

Profile photo of Janis Forman
“As an educator, I aim to listen more than to profess. As a researcher, I have a longstanding interest in the power of story, both personal and organizational.”

Director, Management Communication for Field Studies Programs, Adjunct Full Professor of Management

(310) 206-8086

Areas of Expertise

  • Communications




Janis Forman is the founder and director of the Management Communication Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In this capacity, she teaches communication strategy and practices in the full-time and executive MBA programs. She trains a staff who teach communications across the curriculum, which is designed to assist UCLA Anderson students with their verbal and written communication skills.

She has served as a faculty advisor for more than a hundred MBA "living cases," which are extended international strategic studies for multinational companies that include Microsoft, Hughes, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Disney, and for startup firms in Austria, Australia, Chile, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, New Zealand and the United States. The fully employed MBA program and the Global Access Program (GAP), in which she teaches business planning and investor communications, have been ranked first in the nation by Business Week. She was a founding faculty member of the GAP program.

Forman was named outstanding researcher by the Association for Business Communication. The award is based on her entire publication record and its pivotal role in extending research in her discipline and in educating managers. She is the recipient of numerous awards for research, including fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Center for International Business Education and Research, the Council of Public Relations Firms and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Forman's book, The Power of Corporate Communication, written with Tuck School Professor Paul Argenti, won the Distinguished Publication Award for 2003 from the Association for Business Communication. She has published four other books, including The Random House Guide to Business Writing, and numerous articles in publications such as Journal of Business Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Corporate Reputation Review and Strategy & Business. She is a frequent presenter at international research and business forums and serves on the board of the Association for Business Communication.

Forman is the author of Storytelling for Business: The Authentic and Fluent Organization (Stanford University Press, 2013), which was nominated for the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Business Communication. Her current research focuses on storytelling ("When Stories Create an Organization's Future," Strategy & Business; "Leaders as Storytellers: Finding Waldo," Business Communication Quarterly), as well as on the related subjects of the role of communication in the implementation of organizational strategy ("The Communication Advantage" in Hatch et al., The Expressive Organization [Oxford University Press], featured as one of the outstanding articles in management in The Financial Times Book of Management) and the role of storytelling and translation in producing effective strategic communications ("More than Survival: The Discipline of Business Communication and the Uses of Translation," Journal of Business Communication).

She is the founder and faculty director for the Executive Education Program on Advanced Strategic Management for European and Asian-based corporate communication professionals and has served as a consultant to a wide variety of organizations, including PepsiCo, Cap Gemini/Ernst & Young, Invesco, Knapp Communications, Colony Capital, Johnson & Johnson, ITT Corporation, the MTA and BBDO. She has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, UC San Diego's Rady School of Business and the University of Lugano.



Ph.D., Rutgers College