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Niro Sivanathan

Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour

BA (Queen’s), MSc (Queen’s), PhD (Northwestern)

Dr Niro Sivanathan’s research and teaching have received international recognition.  His research explores how the psychology of the self – specifically our motivation to maintain the integrity of the self – influences decision-making. In addition, he explores how social hierarchy, through the psychological experience of power and status, regulates our judgment and behaviours.

His work has been presented at leading international conferences and published in the top international journals in the field of Management and Psychology, such as: Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, Administrative Science Quarterly, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Psychological Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.  His research has also garnered international press coverage at CNN, Financial Times, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Sunday Times and Forbes.

Before joining the London Business School in 2008, Niro was a visiting Assistant Professor at the Johnson School of Management, at Cornell University, and recently has been a visiting Scholar at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr Sivanathan earned his PhD in Management & Organisations from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He also holds an MSc in Management and a BA in Psychology (Honours) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.


Low-status aversion: The effect of self-threat on willingness to buy and sell

Pan C; Pettit NC; Sivanathan N; Blader SL

Journal of Social Applied Psychology 2014 November Vol 44:11 p 708-716


From glue to gasoline: How competition turns perspective takers unethical

Pierce J R; Kilduff G J; Galinsky A D; Sivanathan N

Psychological Science 2013 Vol 24:10 p 1986-1994

Rising stars and sinking ships: Consequences of status momentum

Pettit N C; Sivanathan N; Gladstone E; Carson Marr J

Psychological Science 2013 Vol 24:8 p 1579-1584

The remarkable robustness of the first-offer effect: Across culture, power, and issues

Gunia B C; Swaab R I; Sivanathan N; Galinsky A D

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 2013 Vol 39:12 p 1547-1558


Power and overconfident decision-making

Fast N J; Sivanathan N; Mayer N D; Galinsky A D

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 2012 March Vol 117:2 p 249-260

The eyes and ears of status: How status colors perceptual judgement

Pettit N C; Sivanathan N

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 2012 Vol 38:5 p 570-582


Retribution and emotional regulation: The effects of time delay in angry

Wang C; Sivanathan N; Narayanan J; Bauer M; Bodenhausen G; Murnighan J

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 2011 Vol 116:1 p 46-54

Something to lose and nothing to gain: The role of stress in the interactive effect of power and stability risk taking

Jordan J; Sivanathan N; Galinsky A D

Administrative Science Quarterly 2011 Vol 56:4 p 530-558

The plastic trap: Self-threat drives credit usage and status consumption

Pettit N C; Sivanathan N

Social Psychological and Personality Science 2011 Vol 2:2 p 146-153


A clean self can render harsh moral judgment

Zhong C B; Strejcek B; Sivanathan N

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2010 Vol 46:5 p 859-862

Protecting the self through consumption: Status goods as affirmational commodities

Sivanathan N; Pettit N C

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2010 Vol 46:3 p 564-570


Illusory control: A generative force behind power’s far-reaching effects

Fast N J; Gruenfeld D H; Sivanathan N; Galinsky A D

Psychological Science 2009 Vol 20:4 p 502-508

The good the bad and powerful

Sivanathan N

Business Strategy Review 2009:20 p 36-38

The insider succession trap

Galinsky A D; Gunia B; Sivanathan N

Forbes magazine 2009

Vicarious entrapment: Your sunk costs, my escalation of commitment

Gunia B C; Sivanathan N; Galinsky A D

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2009 Vol 45:6 p 1238-1244


Getting off on the wrong foot: the timing of breach and the restoration of trust

Lount R B; Zhong C; Sivanathan N; Murnighan J K

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 2008 Vol 34:12 p 1601-1612

Harnessing power to capture leadership

Galinsky A D; Jordan J; Sivanathan N

In Hoyt C L; Goethals G R; Forsyth D R (eds), Leadership at the crossraods: Psychology and leadership (Vol 1), 2008

Power gained, power lost

Sivanathan N; Pillutla M M; Murnighan J K

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 2008 Vol 105:2 p 135-146

The promise and peril of self-affirmation in de-escalating commitment

Sivanathan N; Molden D; Galinsky A; Ku G

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 2008 Vol 107:1 p 1-14


Predicting workplace aggression: A meta-analytic approach

Hershcovis S; Turner N; Barling J; Arnold K A; Dupre K; Inness M; Leblanc M; Sivanathan N

Journal of Applied Psychology 2007:92 p 228-238


Transformational leadership, employee safety behaviors and workplace injuries

Sivanathan N; Turne N; Barling J; Stride C B; Axtell C M; Davies S

Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings 2005


Poor leadership

Kelloway E K; Sivanathan N; Francis L; Barling J

In Barling J, Kelloway E K & Frone M R, eds.,Handbook of Work Stress, Sage Publications, 2004, pp. 89-112.

Transformational leadership and well-being

Sivanathan N; Arnold K; Turner N; Barling J

In Linley A; Joseph S, eds, Positive Psychology in Practice, Wiley, 2004, pp. 241-255


Emotional intelligence, moral reasoning and transformational leadership

Sivanathan N; Fekken G C

Leadership and Organization Development Journal 2002:23 p 198-204


  • Negotiations and Bargaining


  • Decision-Making

  • Influence and Persuasion

  • Negotiations and Bargaining


  • Leadership and Organisations


  • Fundamentals of Business Research (Philosophy of Science)

Research Awards

  • Best Teacher Award for MBA, London Business School 2014 

  • Best Teacher Award for MiM (Runner-up), London Business School 2010 

  • Excellence in Teaching “4.5 Club”, Johnson School of Management 2008 

  • Doctoral Fellowship, Social Science Humanities Research 2004-2007 

  • Excellence in Ethics Dissertation Proposal Competition Award, University of Notre Dame Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide

  • Doctoral Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management 2007 

  • Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management Meetings 2007 

  • Best Paper Finalist & Proceedings, Academy of Management Meetings 2006 

  • Graduate Travel Scholarship, Australian Research Council & Economic Decision Network 2006 

  • Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management Meetings 2005 

  • Visiting Graduate Scholar Grant, International Foundation for Experimental Economics 2004 

  • International Positive Psychology Fellow Travel Grant, Gallup Organization 2003 

  • Queen’s School of Business Scholarship, Queen’s University 2002 

  • R. Samuel McLaughlin Fellowship, Queen’s University 2001-2002 

  • Geoffrey Wood Award, Queen’s University 2001-2002 

  • Queen’s Graduate Award, Queen’s University 2001-2002 

  • Dean’s Honor List for Graduating Class, Queen’s University 2001

Research Interests

  • Psychology of self in judgment and decision making
  • Power and status
  • Ethics
  • Trust
  • Negotiations.