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Find out more about some of our PhD graduates.

  • Jennifer Marr, Scheller College of Business Georgia Tech

    Dissertation title: Slipping down the ladder: The individual and social consequences of status loss

    Bio: My research is focused in two main areas – status dynamics and motivation in organizations. In status dynamics I am seeking to understand the psychological and behavioral consequences that individuals experience from changes (e.g., status loss) and differences (e.g., inequality) in organizational status hierarchies. On motivation, I explore how an individual’s motivational goals can sometimes lead to counterproductive behavior at work. I take a multi-method approach to studying these phenomena: (a) laboratory experiments, (b) field studies and quasi-experiments in organizations, and (c) archival studies. My research has been awarded two Best Paper Awards at the Academy of Management Conference, it has been published in top academic journals including Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Psychological Science, and it has been profiled in various media outlets including The Washington Post and The Financial Times.

    Why LBS: I decided to complete my PhD at London Business School because LBS is ranked as one of the top business schools globally, it is located in a diverse and exciting world-class city, and there are many exceptional scholars in the Organizational Behavior (OB) area. During my PhD, I was inspired by the interesting and important research being done by the faculty in the OB group, and I was motivated by their willingness to work collaboratively with PhD students. The OB faculty supported my research interests, but also challenged me to grow as a scholar. I learned (and continue to learn) a great deal from the faculty with whom I worked, and I will always be grateful for the time and effort they invested in me at such a critical stage in my academic career.

    Sample publications:

    Marr, J.C., & Thau, S. (2014). Falling from great (and not so great) heights: How initial status position influences performance after status loss. Academy of Management Journal.
    Pettit, N. C., Sivanathan, N., Gladstone, E., & Marr, J.C. (2013). Rising stars and sinking ships: Consequences of status momentum. Psychological Science.
    Marr, J.C., Thau, S., Aquino, K., & Barclay, L. (2012). Do I want to know? How the motivation to acquire relationship threatening information in groups contributes to paranoid thought, suspicion behavior, and social rejection. OBHDP, 117, 289-297.

  • Rellie Rozin, Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

    Dissertation: Preference for discretionary vs. rule-based allocation systems 

    Research interests: allocation systems, social exclusion, fairness and justice, status, ethical behavior, hiring decision biases, emotions.

    Bio: I study decision making in the social context. In my research I seek to explore how people may deviate from decisions/behaviors that are rational from a pure profit maximization perspective (traditional economics) to satisfy needs that relate to their social world, such as the need to maintain status in the group and the need to belong to the group. Within this broad umbrella I study managerial decision making with regards to preference and use of discretion vs. rules in allocation situations, trust and ethics, as well as hiring decision biases. In particular I am interested in situations in which people end up behaving in a way that is self defeating for their purposes. I am a great believer in the mixed methods approach and I aim to use a variety of methods in my research, including laboratory experiments, field studies and archival data analysis. Prior to my doctoral studies at LBS I have completed my masters degree in industrial psychology from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and my undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology from Tel Aviv University.

    Why LBS: LBS was such a strong and forming experience for me. The ability to work with wonderful people such as Madan Pillutla, my advisor, and other faculty on my committee (Stefan Thau and David Faro) as well as other great faculty who were competent, supportive and empowering, was just amazing. I feel I have received strong foundations to be able to think (and implement) as an independent scholar who can succeed in our field. It is not only the outcome, but also the process that has been extremely meaningful and satisfying. Beyond that, LBS (and also London generally) is such a diverse environment, one that you can hardly get in other institutions and places. I have also had a wonderful cohort of other PhD students, in which cooperation and mutual support were core values. This helped me tremendously in going through the challenging journey of PhD studies.


    Derfler-Rozin, R., Moore, C., & Staats, B. (in press). Reducing Organizational Rule Breaking through Task Variety: How Task Design Supports Deliberative Thinking. Organization Science
    Thau, S., Derfler-Rozin, R., Pitesa, M., Mitchell, M., & Pillutla, M. (2015) Unethical for the sake of the group: Risk of exclusion and pro-group unethical behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(1), 98-113.
    Rafaeli, A., Erez, A., Ravid, S., Derfler-Rozin, R., Efrat, D., & Rozilio, R. (2012). When customers exhibit verbal aggression employees pay the cognitive costs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(5), 931-950
    Derfler-Rozin, R., Pillutla, M., & Thau, S. (2010). Social reconnection revisited: The effects of social exclusion risk on reciprocity, trust, and general risk-taking. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 112(2), 140-150
    Rafaeli, A., Sagy, Y., & Derfler-Rozin, R. (2008). Logos and initial compliance: A strong case of mindless trust. Organization Science,19(6), 845-859

  • Sun Young Lee, UCL School of Management

    Dissertation: The role of expected social interdependence and candidate social membership in selection decisions


    Research interest: Effects of interpersonal competition on perceptions and behaviors at workplace; evaluators’ biases in personnel decisions; gender differences in workplaces


    Bio: Dr. Sun Young (Sunny) Lee is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the UCL School of Management.

    Her research focuses on understanding the effects of interdependence (e.g., competition, cooperation) among organizational members on individuals’ perceptions, behaviors, and performance.

    Her work has been published in international academic journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Discoveries, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

    She earned a B.A. in English language and literature from the Seoul National University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Organisational Behaviour from the London Business School. Before she started her Ph.D. program, she worked at Accenture as business analyst and at Hewlett Packard as marketing program manager.


    Why LBS?

    The most valuable and rewarding experience in the OB group at LBS was everyday interactions and collaboration with smart and friendly faculty members and fellow doctoral students. From the first year I joined the group, I got a number of chances to work with different faculty members and fellow students on interesting projects, which was a great learning opportunity and source of my later publications. The faculty members in my group were willing to give doctoral students help even when they did not supervise or collaborate with us. Also the doctoral students in my group despite our very busy work schedule had such friendly and cooperative relationships in and outside work. When I started to develop some research ideas, I could simply brainstorm more on them with other students. We organized regular students-only seminars to help each other on different projects and research ideas. Outside work, we also spent some time together over lunch, dinner, drinks or jogging in Regent's Park.

    I also benefited a lot from a wide scope of doctoral courses at LBS, which I believe are of top quality. Chances to meet many renowned and young professors from all over the world through regular research seminars was also a great experience I had at LBS.


    1. Lee, S. Y., Kesebir, S., & Pillutla, M. M. (2016). Gender differences in response to competition with same-gender coworkers: A relational perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110 (6), 869-886. doi:10.1037/pspi0000051
    2. Lee, S., Pitesa, M., Pillutla, M., & Thau, S. (2015). When beauty helps and when it hurts: An organizational context model of attractiveness discrimination in selection decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 128, 15-28. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.02.003
    3. Lee, S. Y., Pitesa, M., Thau, S., & Pillutla, M. (2014). Discrimination In selection decisions: Integrating stereotype fit and interdependence theories. Academy of Management Journal. doi:10.5465/amj.2013.0571
    4. Inesi, M. E., Lee, S. Y., & Rios, K. (2014). Objects of desire: Subordinate ingratiation triggers self-objectification among powerful. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 53, 19-30. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2014.01.010
    5. Lee, S. Y., Birkinshaw, J., Crilly, D., & Bouquet, C. (n.d.). How do firms manage strategic dualities? A process perspective. Academy of Management Discoveries, in press. doi:10.5465/amd.2014.0123