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Northwestern School of Communication

Leslie DeChurch

Department Chair; Professor
Leslie DeChurch

Leslie DeChurch’s research investigates teamwork and leadership in organizations. She is Professor of Communication Studies, and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. She is President and Chairperson of the Board of INGRoup, the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research.

Professor DeChurch leads the ATLAS lab: Advancing Teams, Leaders, and Systems. ATLAS explores the dynamics through which teams form, and how these dynamics affect their performance as teams, and their ability to work as larger organizational systems (multiteam systems). ATLAS conducts laboratory and online experiments, meta-analytic integrations, and field studies of teams and leaders to understand their core organizing processes. Such processes include: leadership networks, team cognition, team conflict and motivation, and team information sharing.

DeChurch’s research seeks to build high-functioning teams that work in scientific innovation, space exploration, healthcare, and the military. The ATLAS research portfolio is currently supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes for Health (NIH), National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA), and Army Research Office (ARO). Her work has appeared in outlets including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP), Journal of Management (JoM), Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP), and Leadership Quarterly (LQ). She is co-editor of Multiteam Systems: An Organization Form for Dynamic and Complex Environments and recently served on the National Research Council Committee on The Context of Military Environments. She has contributed to several National Research Council Committees on teamwork issues ranging from measurement to innovation. She was awarded an NSF CAREER to explore Leadership for Virtual Organizational Effectiveness.

DeChurch holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Society of Industrial & Organizational Psychology (SIOP).


  • PhD, Florida International University, Miami, FL
  • MS, Florida International University, Miami, FL
  • BS, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

Recent Awards and Honors

  • Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), 2016
  • Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), 2016
  • Fellow of the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology (SIOP), 2016
  • President & Chairperson of the Board of INGRoup (Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research), 2016-2020
  • Top Paper Award in the Group Communication Division of the National Communication Association (2015). Murase, Asencio, McDonald, Poole, DeChurch, & Contractor, The effect of entrainment of group processes on multiteam system effectiveness
  • Best Conference Poster Award at the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup; 2015). Asencio, Huang, Sawant, DeChurch, Contractor, & Murase, Enabling teams to self-assemble: The MyDreamTeam builder
  • Thank a Teacher Awards (2015, 2016). Georgia Tech Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning (CETL)
  • NSF CAREER (2011-2017). Leadership for virtual organizational effectiveness


  • Team Leadership & Decision Making
  • Collaborative Leadership