Portrait image for Robert M. McCann

Robert M. McCann

Adjunct Professor of Management and Organizations; Director, Leadership Communication Program
"Communicate better. Lead better."
(310) 794-5461
Areas of Expertise:
  • Age Diversity
  • Ageism
  • Asia
  • Communications
  • Cross-Cultural Issues
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership
  • Leadership Development
  • Organizational Communication
  • Persuasion
  • Social Psychology in Thailand and South East Asia


Robert M. (Bob) McCann has been creating, directing and teaching Leadership and Management Communication courses across virtually all of UCLA Anderson’s MBA degree programs since coming to UCLA in 2010. He also teaches courses that include: Entrepreneurship; Global Leadership; Persuasion & Leadership; Leading & Doing Business in Thailand; and Doing Business in Southeast Asia in Anderson’s EMBA, FEMBA and full-time MBA programs.

Dr. McCann holds his primary faculty appointment at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and a secondary appointment at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Concurrently he is deeply engaged in many of UCLA Anderson’s executive education programs and annually teaches undergraduate classes in communication, global leadership and entrepreneurship at the University of Hong Kong.  He is also the Faculty Director and/or Learning Director for multiple programs at UCLA Anderson Executive Education, including Anderson’s PGPX and PGP Pro programs in India and the USA, the Executive Program in Advanced Leadership and Management, and the Geffen School of Medicine Executive Leadership Program.    

Head of an active consulting business, McCann specializes in the training of executives and professionals in persuasion, leadership, workplace diversity and all aspects of the strategic use of communication in business settings. Some of the companies for which he has provided service include: Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Fox Entertainment Group, Marriott International, Johnson & Johnson Health Care, MTR (Hong Kong), CUHK (Hong Kong), UCLA Hospital, College Board, Pfizer, Novartis, Nestlé and Schering-Plough.

McCann’s research interests, which include workplace ageism, leadership, intergroup communication, cross-cultural communication and age diversity, can be traced back to his father, who at age 94 continues to put in 40-hour weeks as an executive in the printing industry. “My father is not alone,” McCann says. “Either by choice or necessity, older individuals around the world are working well into their so-called retirement years in numbers greater than ever before. And they are thriving. My dad and other such workers are the inspiration for my research on older workers.”

The research McCann conducts is relevant to pressing societal issues and has strong practical implications. Some of his recent work on the communicative dimensions of age biases was recently utilized in a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on age discrimination. He has also served as principal investigator on UCLA’s multiyear Center for International Business and Education Research (CIBER) grant.

McCann's work has been published in several major refereed communication journals and has won numerous research awards. For more than a decade, he has served on the executive editorial board of the  Journal of Asian Pacific Communication. His latest book, titled  Ageism at Work: The Role of Communication in a Changing Workplace, is available in Spanish, Catalan and English.

A frequent media consultant in the areas of management communication, leadership, workplace ageism and age diversified workplaces, McCann has appeared on  National Public Radio and in  Bloomberg BusinessWeekUS News and World ReportChicago TribuneThe  New York TimesGQEsquireThe Atlanta Journal ConstitutionThe Capital Times and  International Herald Tribune.

McCann lived in Asia for nearly 20 years, most of which were spent in Thailand, where he worked both in academia (at the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University) and in the private sector, where he helped spearhead Diageo's relationship marketing efforts in Asia for the Johnnie Walker line of products. He also worked in international banking in Karachi, Pakistan, and London, England.

At present McCann holds the chair of the UCLA Thailand Executive Committee and serves on the faculty advisory committee of UCLA's Center for Southeast Asian Studies. He is the former associate dean for global initiatives at UCLA Anderson.

McCann has received several teaching awards and dean's commendations around the globe, including the prestigious "Golden Apple" Teaching Award.



Ph.D. Communications, UC Santa Barbara

M.A. Applied Linguistics, UCLA

B.A. International Studies, Emory University



McCann, R.M. (2019). Aging and Organizational Communication. Oxford Bibliographies in Communication. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756841-0236. New York: Oxford University Press.

McCann, R.M. (2019). IECHYD DA. In J. Harwood, J. Gasiorek, H. Pierson, J.F. Nussbaum, & C. Gallois (Eds.), Language, Communication, and Intergroup Relations: A Celebration of the Scholarship of Howard Giles (pp. 36-38). New York: Routledge.

McCann, R.M. (2017).  Communication, Aging, and Culture. In H. Giles and J. Harwood (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Intergroup Communication. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.753. New York: Oxford University Press.

McCann, R.M. (2017). Aging and organizational communication.  In H. Giles and J. Harwood (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Intergroup Communication. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.472. New York: Oxford University Press.

Honeycutt, J. & McCann, R.M. (2017). Imagined Interactions.  In H. Giles and J. Harwood (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Intergroup Communication.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Bakar, H., & McCann, R.M. (2017). Workgroup diversity: Surface-level actual similarity and deep-level perceived similarity in leader-member relationship communication. Corporate Communications: An International Journal.

McCann, R.M., Giles, H., & Ota, H. (2017). Aging and Communication across Cultures. In L. Chen (Ed.), Handbooks of Communication Science: Vol. 9. Intercultural communication (pp. 289-307). Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton.  

Keaton, S.A., McCann, R.M., & Giles, H. (2017). The Role of Communication Perceptions in the Mental Health of Older Adults: Views from Thailand and the United States. Health Communication, 32(1), 92-102.  

McCann, R.M. (2016). Intergenerational Communication Challenges in the Workplace. In J.H. Waldeck & D.R. Seibold (Eds.), Consulting That Matters: A Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners, pp. 345-353. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.  

Bakar, H., & McCann, R.M. (2016). The Mediating Effect of Leader-Member Dyadic Communication Style Agreement on the Relationship between Servant Leadership and Group-Level Organizational Citizenship Behavior. Management Communication Quarterly, 30, 32-58 . 

Bakar, H., & McCann, R.M. (2015). An Examination of Leader-Member Dyadic Politeness of Exchange and Servant Leadership on Group Member Performance. International Journal of Business Communication, doi: 2329488415597517.  

Bakar, H., & McCann, R.M. (2015). A Longitudinal Examination of the Effects of Self Perceived Leader-Member Dyadic Communication Differentiation and Perceived Group Member Performance: Does Ethnicity Make a Difference? International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 47, 56-68.  

Keaton, S.A., & McCann, R.M. (2014). Thailand. In T.L. Thompson and G.J. Goeffrey (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Health Communication, 3:1385-1387. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.  

Abu Bakar, H.A., & McCann, R.M. (2014). Matters of demographic similarity and dissimilarity in supervisor-subordinate relationships and workplace attitudes. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 41, 1-16. (lead article)  

McCann, R.M., & Keaton, S. (2013). A cross cultural investigation of age stereotypes and communication perceptions of older and younger workers in the USA and Thailand. Educational Gerontology, 39, 1-16. (lead article)  

Stohl, C., McCann, R.M., & Bakar, H.A. (2013). Conflict in the global workplace. In J. Oetzel & S. Ting-Toomey (Eds.), The Sage handbook of conflict: Integrating theory, research, and practice, [2nd Edition], pp. 827-853. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.  

Ota, H., McCann, R.M., & Honeycutt, J. (2012). Inter-Asian variability in intergenerational communication. Human Communication Research, 36, 172-198.  

McCann, R.M., Honeycutt, J., & Keaton, S. (2010). Toward greater specificity in cultural value analyses: The interplay of intrapersonal communication affect and cultural values in Japan, Thailand, and the United States. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 39, 157- 172.  

Giles, H., McGllrath, M, Mulac, A., & McCann, R.M. (2010). Expressing age salience: three generations' reported events, frequencies, and valences. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 206, 73-91 . 

McCann, R.M., Giles, H., & Goenawan, F. (2009). Toward an understanding of age salience across generations: The role of media, interpersonal, and physical triggers. In T.J. Riyanto, L.S. Limanta, & D. Setiawan (Eds.) Media in a Fast-Changing World (pp. 138-150). Siwalankertio, Indonesia: Petra Christian University.  

Kellermann, K., & McCann, R.M. (2008). Mindlessness and automaticity. The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 7, 3131-3134. Blackwell Publishing.  

Honeycutt, J., & McCann (2008). Predicting intrapersonal communication satisfaction on the basis of imagined interactions in the Pacific Rim. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 37, 1, 25-42.  

McCann, R.M., & Giles, H. (2007). Age differentiated communication in organizations: Perspectives from Thailand and the USA . Communication Research Reports, 24, 1-12. (lead article).  

McCann, R.M., & Honeycutt, J. (2006). A cross-cultural analysis of imagined interactions . Human Communication Research, 32, 274-301.  

McCann, R.M. & Giles, H. (2006). Communication with people of different ages in the workplace: Thai and American data . Human Communication Research, 32, 74-108.  

McCann, R.M., Dailey, R., Giles, H., & Ota, H. (2005). Beliefs about intergenerational communication across the lifespan: Middle age and the roles of age stereotyping and filial piety. Communication Studies, 56, 293-311.  

McCann, R.M., Cargile, A., Giles, H., & Cuong, B.T. (2004). Communication ambivalence towards elders: Data from North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the U.S.A. Journal of Cross- Cultural Gerontology, 19, 275-287.  

McCann, R.M., Kellermann, K., Giles, H., Gallois, C., & Viladot, M.A. (2004). Cultural and gender influences on age identification. Communication Studies, 55, 88-105.  

McCann, R.M., Ota, H., Giles, H., & Caraker, R. (2003). Accommodation and nonaccommodation across the lifespan: Perspectives from Thailand, Japan, and the United States of America . Communication Reports, 16 (2), 69-91 (lead article/winner of WSCA Milton Dickens Award for best article in Communication Reports from 2001-2003).  

Metzger, M.J., Flanagin, A.J., Eyal, K., Lemus, D.R., & McCann, R.M. (2003). Credibility for the 21st century: Integrating perspectives on source, message, and media credibility in the contemporary media environment. Communication Yearbook 27, 293-335.  

McCann, R.M. & Giles, H. (2002 ). Ageism and the workplace: A communication perspective. In Todd D. Nelson (Ed.) Ageism, (pp. 163-199). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  

Giles, H., McCann, R.M., Ota, H., & Noels, K. (2002). Challenging intergenerational stereotypes: Across eastern and western cultures. In M.S. Kaplan, N.Z. Henkin, & A.T. Kusano (Eds.), Linking Lifetimes: A Global View of Intergenerational Exchange (pp. 13-28). Honolulu: University Press of America, Inc.  

Giles, H., Ballard, D., & McCann, R.M. (2002). Perceptions of intergenerational communication across cultures: An Italian case. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 95, 583-591.  

Harwood, J., Giles, H., McCann, R. M., Cai, D., Somera, L. P., Ng, S. H., Gallois, C., & Noels, K. (2001). Older adults' trait ratings of three age-groups around the Pacific Rim. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 16, 157-171.  

Giles, H., Liang, B., Noels, K., & McCann, R.M. (2001). Communicating across and within generations: Taiwanese, Chinese-Americans, and Euro-American's perceptions of communication. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 11, 161-176.  

McCann, R.M. (2000). Being an Older Woman: A Study in the Social Production of Identity, by I. Paoletti. Reviewed in Journal of Sociolinguistics, 4, 486-491. (book review)


Work in Progress

McCann, R.M., Keaton, S, Ota, H., & Giles, H. (in progress). A reliable and well-fitting model of intergenerational communication perceptions compared across and within cultures in the US, UK, Japan and Taiwan. .

McCann, R.M., Keaton, S., Singelis, T., Ota, H., Williams, A., Yeh, Y-H., & Giles, H. (in progress) Filial piety and horizontal and vertical individualism-collectivism as predictors of intergenerational communication beliefs: A cross-cultural analysis among young adults in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and Wales.


McCann, R.M. (2012 and 2013 English editions). Ageism at work: The role of communication in a changing workplace, Editorial Aresta, Girona, Spain. (English version)

McCann, R.M. (2012 Catalan and Spanish editions). Discriminació laboral per raons d'edat. ISBN : 9788497886130. Editorial Aresta, Girona, Espana. (Catalan version); Discriminación laboral por razones de edad. ISBN: 9788497889841. Editorial Aresta, Girona, Espana. (Spanish version).

McCann, R.M. (1999; 2002; 2003). Banking English, Bangkok, Thailand: Bank of Ayudhya.  

McCann, R.M. (1992-2005; reprinted annually). Situations in Business English, Bangkok, Thailand: Chulalongkorn University Press.