Hans Hansen helped design and build the country’s first permanent death penalty defense team. As a management professor, he conducted a six-year ethnographic study of how the death penalty operates in practice, seeking to understand the inner workings of the death penalty and strategize new ways to fight this “appalling institution”. Hans is a Narrative Theorist and works with criminal defense attorneys in death penalty cases. When Texas seeks death in capital trails, it gets it over ninety percent of the time. Out in West Texas, where Han’s story begins, the State gets death almost ninety-eight percent of the time. Since Hans formed this team, only one person has received a death penalty sentence.
Hans is an Associate Professor of Management at Texas Tech and is an Embrey Human Rights fellow at SMU. He is also the Director of the Center for Innovative Organizations. For much of the last decade, his research focus has been on using narrative theory to lead change. He has helped design and build death penalty defense teams in Texas, and has changed the way lawyers approach death penalty defense, forever changing the landscape of the death penalty in Texas. His research articles have been published in the Journal of Management Studies, Human Relations, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Inquiry, and even Law Reviews. He is co-editor of the Sage Handbook of New and Emerging Approaches to Management and Organizations. Dr. Hansen has held positions at the Kellogg School of Management, Stanford University, Copenhagen Business School, and Victoria University New Zealand. Hans teaches Organizational Theory, Creativity, and Qualitative Research Methods for the undergraduate, MBA, and PhD programs.