Robert S. Atkin
Clinical Professor Emeritus of Business Administration
Image of the Cathedral of Learning



Robert S. Atkin, associate professor in the Katz Graduate School of Business, joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1986 after 12 years on the faculty of the Graduate School in Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, four of which were spent as its associate dean. Prior to entering the academic world, he worked for Union Carbide, State Farm Insurance, and Bell Labs. Author/coauthor of more than 25 published articles, 20 tech reports, and six book chapters, and coeditor of one book (Absenteeism, about which Personnel Psychology said, “Serious students and researchers . . . should view this book as mandatory”), he has also been principal or coprincipal investigator on more than $1M of funded research. His more recent research concerns the finances of U.S. labor unions. A visiting faculty member at University College Dublin in the fall terms of 2000, 2001, and 2002, he has also taught MBA courses at the Czech Management Center and at Comenius University (Slovakia), in addition to numerous short courses in both the United States and abroad. Designer and developer in the mid-1990s of the first course for freshmen in Pitt’s College of Business Administration, he is the proud recipient of several teaching awards.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Managing in Complex Environments
  • Human Resources Business Policy (University College Dublin)
  • Operations Management (University College Dublin)

Awards and Honors

Various teaching awards

Professional Service and Activities

Consulting activities have involved public and private sector clients in the United States, Japan, and other countries.


  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh
  • M Mgmt Sci, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • BEng, Stevens Institute of Technology

Recent Publications

Masters, M. and Atkin, R. “Local Union Officers’ Donations to a Political Action Committee.” Industrial Relations (Canada), 1996, 51(1), 40-61.

Masters, M. and Atkin, R., “The Finances of Major U.S. Unions.” Industrial Relations, 1997, 30 (October), 489-506.

Masters, M. and Atkin, R., “How Should Wellington and Her Colleagues React to the Potential Formation of a Union?” Harvard Business Review, 1998, May/June, 7-8.

Academic Area

Organizations and Entrepreneurship

Personal Interests

Avid reader (history and plays); sommelier, garde-mange, and line cook at Chez Monique (one of Pittsburgh’s brilliant, if occasional, dining experiences).