Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Diversity (LEAD)


LEAD lecture series

The LEAD speaker series brings in leading academic researchers and industry professionals to share their knowledge and insight of topics related to leadership, ethics, and diversity. These events are open to all members of the university community.

2014-2015 LEAD speakers

Nov 3: Miguel Unzueta, UCLA Anderson School of Business 

Diversity as Subjective Perception

2-3 p.m. in the Jubilee building, room 135


Diversity is a frequently studied topic in organizational behavior yet very few studies within OB have examined the manner in which lay audiences understand diversity.  My research suggests that the desire to protect the interests of one's racial ingroup motivates White-Americans to define diversity broadly – i.e., as either entailing minorities’ high numerical and/or their hierarchical representation in an organization – while motivating Asian- and African-Americans to define diversity specifically – i.e., as entailing both minorities’ numerical and hierarchical representation.  Moreover, the fact that diversity is an ambiguously defined concept creates the possibility that diversity is a “malleable” concept capable of being used to either attenuate or enhance racial inequality.  My research suggests that people construe diversity in a manner consistent with their social dominance motives when exposed to ambiguous information concerning an organization’s level of diversity.  Specifically, anti-egalitarian participants broaden their diversity construal to include non-racial (i.e., occupational) heterogeneity when racial heterogeneity is low.  Egalitarian participants, on the other hand, broaden their diversity construal to include non-racial heterogeneity when racial heterogeneity is high.  The inclusion of occupational heterogeneity in diversity perceptions allows people across the spectrum of social dominance orientation to justify support for or opposition to hierarchy-attenuating affirmative action policies.  In all, this work suggests that diversity may not have a fixed meaning and that without a specific delineation of what the concept means in particular contexts, diversity may be construed in a manner consistent with people’s psychological motivations.

In pictures:


Nov 10: Celia Moore, London Business School

The Advantage of Being Oneself: The Role of Self-Verification in Successful Job Search 

12-1 p.m. in the Jubilee building, room G31. 


Presenting oneself accurately and authentically is not an obvious strategy for job seekers. Selective or strategic self-presentational tactics are more common, and also appear to be a successful way of obtaining job offers. However, these self-presentation strategies contradict a fundamental human desire to self-verify—that is, to present oneself in a way that accurately reflects who one really is. The present study explores whether individuals who strive to self-verify flourish or flounder on the job market. Using placement data from two very different field samples, we found that self-verification striving helped high-quality (but not low-quality) applicants differentiate themselves from their competition and earn job offers. A third study in a mock-interview setting explored the mechanisms behind this effect, and finds that candidates who strive to self-verify fake less during their interviews. In turn, interviewers perceived these candidates as more authentic, and consequently evaluated them as more employable. Taken together, our results suggest that authentic self-presentation is an unidentified route to success on the job market for high-quality candidates. We explore implications for job applicants, organizations, and the labor market.

In pictures:


Nov 24: Aneeta Rattan, London Business School 

What Happens After Prejudice in the Workplace? How Minorities’ Mindsets Affect Their Outlook on Future Social Relations 

4-5 p.m. in the Fulton building, Room 211 .


Organizations are increasingly concerned with successfully fostering social diversity. Toward this end, research has focused chiefly on trying to reduce prejudice or biased behavior. But what happens when prejudice inevitably occurs? Research also needs to focus on recovery and repair of social relations—that is, how targets of prejudice can move forward when someone expresses overt prejudice in their workplace. We hypothesized that when targets of bias confront prejudice with a growth (vs. fixed) mindset, the belief that others can change, they remain more open to repairing relations. Studies 1-2 used hypothetical workplace scenarios to expose participants to someone who expressed bias; Study 3 elicited retrospective accounts of workplace bias from African American employees. Across studies, only those with a growth mindset expected positive consequences from confronting the prejudice. Importantly, over time, these more positive expectations were associated with reports of improved relations with perpetrators of bias and greater workplace satisfaction (Study 3). In contrast, those with a fixed mindset failed to view the perpetrator of bias as redeemable even when given evidence of change (Study 2). Thus, fostering a growth mindset might be a key ingredient in successful workplace diversity by making possible the repair of relations following bias.

In pictures:


Dec 1: Ekaterina Netchaeva, Bocconi University

More than just a pretty face? The professional motivations behind the lipstick effect.

12-1 p.m. in the Jubilee building, room G36.


The phenomenon of increased spending on beauty products specifically during recessionary periods has been termed as the “lipstick effect”, with its motivation attributed to women’s desires to enhance their attractiveness to potential mates who can provide financially (Hill, Rodeheffer, Griskevicius, Durante, & White, 2012). In this paper, we propose that in recessionary periods, women also purchase beauty products to enhance their professional image. Consistent with our reasoning, we find that the motivation to appear professional acts as an additional driver of the lipstick effect. Furthermore, given the research suggesting that professional and romantically attractive looks are distinct from one another, we examine which of the two looks – professional or attractive – dominates in poor economic conditions. We find that, when concerned with the economy, women more frequently elect to improve their professional image over their attractiveness. We conclude by discussing the implications and suggesting directions for future research.

In pictures:


Dec 9: Stuart Maddocks, Managing Partner, Clemorton

Leadership as a business: Lessons learned through interaction.

4-5 p.m. in the Fulton building, room 106.


For the last 12 years we have been working every day to help leaders shape the way that they lead. Our job is stimulating, challenging, and ultimately rewarding. Yet the journey is fraught with dangers, obstacles and frustrations which affords us all the chance to learn from every person that we come across and every experience that we immerse ourselves in.

In Pictures


Jan 5: Kimberly Rios, Ohio University

Negative stereotypes affect religious believers' and non-believers' task performance, self-perceptions, and interpersonal interactions.

4-5 p.m. in the Jubilee building, room G35.


The present research focuses on negative stereotypes about religious believers (e.g., Christians) and non-believers (Atheists) in the United States, and the behavioral consequences of these stereotypes. In the first part of my talk, I will show that stereotypes about Christians being less competent in science are pervasively recognized by both Christians and non-Christians, as well as openly endorsed by non-Christians. Awareness of these stereotypes in turn causes Christians to underperform in scientific domains and disidentify with science in general. Using different manipulations of stereotype awareness and different measures of scientific performance, my studies demonstrate that Christians perform less well on scientific tasks and identify less with science than do non-Christians when negative stereotypes of their group are made salient, but exhibit equivalent science performance and identification when the stereotypes are explicitly removed. In the second part of my talk, I will discuss one study suggesting that Atheists can also be vulnerable to negative stereotypes about their ingroup. Specifically, given the widespread societal stereotypes of Atheists as amoral and untrustworthy, Atheists (but not Christians) behave more altruistically in a trust game when paired with an outgroup [Christian] than ingroup [Atheist] partner, so long as they are concerned about their interpersonal reputations (operationalized by scores on the Need to Belong scale). Implications of these results for the underrepresentation of Christians in scientific fields, the conditions under which negative stereotypes of Atheists are perpetuated versus disconfirmed, and interpersonal interactions between religious believers and non-believers will be addressed.

In Pictures


Feb 2: Ana Guinote, University College London

Social Power Increases Reliance on Experiential Information

12-1pm in the Jubilee building, room G22


Past research on the effects of social power on judgment and decision making has primarily focused on declarative knowledge, for example, the extent to which power holders rely on heuristics. The role of subjective experiences has been neglected. I will present research on the domains of emotions, bodily feelings, and cognitive experiences showing that social power increases reliance on feelings and subjective experiences. Studies on negative emotions will demonstrate that power holders more readily express these emotions compared to other individuals. Work on cognitive experiences will show that power increases reliance on experiences that accompanies thought generation to construe judgments.  Studies focusing on bodily experiences will reveal that power holders are more guided by bodily experiences, compare to their less powerful counterparts. Together these findings converge to indicate that powerful individuals flexibly construe their judgments and actions based on their gut feelings and momentary subjective experiences, rather than being solely guided by rational and stable knowledge structures.  

Feb 9: David Rast III, University of Sheffield

Intergroup Leadership: Leading Across Conflicting Social Identities

12-1pm in the Jubilee building, room G22


Leaders are often tasked with bringing conflict-ridden subgroups together to achieve organizational goals. Conflicts regularly revolve around self-contained subgroups with distinct social identities. The challenge is to avoid provoking a subgroup identity threat. Two studies tested a new formal theory of intergroup leadership (Hogg, van Knippenberg & Rast, 2012), which argues that effective intergroup leadership requires the leader to develop and promote an intergroup relational identity – a social identity defined in terms of the cooperative and mutually promotive relationship between subgroups. Two studies tested the key proposition of this theory: promoting an intergroup relational identity will yield greater trust for intergroup leaders when their subgroup identity is threatened, but less trust when groups are not threatened. Studies 1 and 2 generally supported the hypotheses. These studies clearly demonstrate that promoting a collective identity during a subgroup identity threat is an ineffective leadership strategy, whereas endorsing an intergroup relational identity is a more effective leadership strategy.  Results will be discussed in terms of the all too common tightrope leaders must walk when confronted with the delicate nature of intergroup relations.

Feb 16: Steven Belke, Vice President and Head of Supply Chain Operations EMEA, Starbucks

 12-1 p.m. in Arts A Building, room A05

Feb 25: Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, London

2 - 3 p.m. in the Jubilee building, room 144.

Mar 9: Martin Davidson, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

12-1pm in the Jubilee building, room G22

Mar 16: Michelle Ryan, University of Exeter

Uncovering the Glass Cliff: Examining the precariousness of women’s leadership positions

12-1pm in the Jubilee building, room G22


Research into the glass cliff examines what happens when women (and other minority groups) take on leadership roles in increasing numbers. Extending the metaphor of the glass ceiling, 'the glass cliff' describes the phenomenon whereby individuals belonging to particular groups are more likely to be found in leadership positions that are associated with a greater risk of failure and criticism. This talk will describe a decades worth of research which has uncovered the phenomenon of the glass cliff looking at archival research into company performance, experimental laboratory studies, and interviews with female leaders. We will also examine some of the underlying psychological processes: stereotypes, support networks, and organisational strategy. Implications for gender equality initiatives and for women who are aiming for leadership roles will be discussed.


Michelle Ryan is a Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology at the University of Exeter, UK and a (part-time) Professor of Diversity at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. At the University of Exeter she is the Dean of Postgraduate Research and Director of the University of Exeter Doctoral College. She currently holds a British Academy mid-career fellowship examining the role of identity in determining perception of work-life balance. She is involved in a number of other research projects. With Alex Haslam, she has uncovered the phenomenon of theglass cliff, whereby women (and members of other minority groups) are more likely to be placed in leadership positions that are risky or precarious.  Research into the glass cliff was named by the New York Times as one of the top 100 ideas that shaped 2008. 

April 9: Mark Mortensen, INSEAD 

The Team Unbound: Rethinking Teams in today’s global work environment

12.30 - 2pm in the Jubilee building, room G30


There is little question that the large multi-disciplinary body of scholarship on organizational teams has helped us to understand, predict, and improve upon team dynamics. At the same time, the increased dynamism, competitiveness, and scope of today’s global work environment is exerting pressures on organizational teams that may be fundamentally changing not only the dynamics of those teams but even how they are defined. In this work I explore some of the critical differences between our understanding (both scholarly and in practice) of teams and the types of teams we frequently find in the field. With a focus on team boundaries and sense of “boundedness” I consider boundary fluidity, overlap, ambiguity, and disagreement as four critical departures from the characterization of teams found in much of our existing theory. I suggest that to address the issues that arise when theories based on well-bounded teams are applied to unbounded- or weakly-bounded teams, we would benefit from considering boundedness not as a definitional element of the team, but as a dimension along which teams can and often do vary. Importantly, this implies three core shifts in our thinking: from approaching and differentiating teams on the basis of their membership to doing so on the basis of their task, from viewing teams as stable entities to viewing them as states in an ongoing process, and from viewing them as self-contained to viewing them as inextricably linked to the broader social system in which they are situated. I discuss the benefits and costs of changing how we think about teams, compare this proposed shift with other approaches to rethinking the construct of “team,” and provide guidelines for making this transition.

April 13: Taya Cohen, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University 

Moral Character in the Workplace

12-1 p.m. - in the Jubilee building, room G22 


Moral character can be conceptualized as an individual’s disposition to think, feel, and behave in an ethical versus unethical manner, or as the subset of individual differences relevant to morality. Using data from two three-month diary studies and a large cross-sectional survey, we developed a tripartite framework for understanding character and its relationship to harmful and helpful work behaviors. According to the model, character contains motivational, ability, and identity elements. The motivational element is consideration of others—referring to a disposition toward considering the needs and interests of others, and how one’s own actions affect other people. The ability element is self-regulation—referring to a disposition toward regulating one’s behavior effectively, specifically with reference to behaviors that have positive short-term consequences but negative long-term consequences for oneself or others. The identity element is moral identity—referring to a disposition toward valuing morality and wanting to view oneself as a moral person. Consistent with our model, cognitive moral development and emotionality were found to be relatively undiagnostic of moral character as compared to individual differences associated with consideration of others (e.g., honesty-humility, empathic concern, guilt proneness), self-regulation (e.g., conscientiousness, self-control, consideration of future consequences), and moral identity (e.g., moral identity-internalization). Low-moral-character employees committed harmful work behaviors (i.e., counterproductive acts) more frequently and helpful work behaviors (i.e., organizational citizenship acts) less frequently than high-moral-character employees, according to their own admissions and coworkers’ observations. Low-moral-character adults also committed more delinquent behavior and had more lenient attitudes toward unethical negotiation tactics as compared to high-moral-character adults. By showing that individual differences have consistent, meaningful effects on employees’ behaviors, after controlling for demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, income) and basic attributes of the work setting (e.g., enforcement of an ethics code), our results contest situationist perspectives that de-emphasize the importance of personality. Moral people can be identified by self-reports in surveys, and these self-reports predict consequential behaviors months after the initial assessment. 


April 27: Daniel Effron, London Business School

 Do As I Say, Not As I’ve Done: Suffering for a Misdeed Reduces the Hypocrisy of Advising Others Against It

12-1pm in the Jubilee building, room G36


People who have indulged in misdeeds may want to help others avoid making the same mistake, but their advice is frequently unwelcome because preaching against what one has practiced can seem hypocritical. In this presentation, I discuss research showing that paying a price for wrongdoing can grant people the standing, or legitimacy, to advise against it. Six experiments examined how people felt about giving, receiving, and observing advice to avoid transgressions and bad habits such as employee fraud, sexual impropriety, and procrastination. Third-party observers and advisees thought that it was more legitimate for someone to advise against a misdeed that he himself had committed if he had suffered for it than if he had not. These perceptions of legitimacy in turn reduced advisees’ anger and derogation about receiving the advice. Anticipating such reactions, advisors felt more comfortable inveighing against their past misdeeds when they had paid a price for them than when they had not. Advisors who were particularly concerned with self-presentation (i.e., high self-monitors) also strategically highlighted this price when they were known to have advised against their misdeed. Additional results suggest that suffering for one’s misdeeds can legitimize advising against them by making the advice seem well-meaning and helpful rather than judgmental and “preachy.”  The studies also ruled out alternative explanations based on expertise and persuasiveness. Together, these results demonstrate how one’s past behavior and its consequences can liberate or constrain advice-giving. We discuss how the findings can be leveraged to help people learn from others’ mistakes.

May 13:  Mario Simon, CEO, Millward Brown

Diversity and 21st Century Business

12-1pm in the Jubilee building, room G31.


Technological advancements over the last 100 years have created an unprecedented level of abundance in the world. A byproduct of that advancement has been the emergence of an exceptional degree of complexity, which will only accelerate in years to come. Preconceived, prepackaged and narrow competencies, skillsets, and attitudes will not be able to respond to such a continually evolving environment. Therefore, diversity is an ever increasing asset to businesses in this new reality of unpredictable future outcomes. 

May 18: Michelle Duguid, Olin School of Business, Washington University-St. Louis
TBD: Paul Reid, Director, Black Cultural Archves (BCA) Museum

LEAD lecture series: in pictures

2013-2014 LEAD speakers

Colin Jackson, Olympic Medalist, World-Record Athlete; Entrepreneur; BBC Anchorman
Photo of Colin Jackson

Dare to Dream: Lessons for sports, business, and life, 9 October 2013

Frederic Nze, CEO, Oakam Bank

Photo of Frederic NzeCan giving credit to the “poor” be a good thing?, 23 October 2013

Quinetta Roberson, Professor, Villanova University, USA 


Selin Kesebir, Assistant Professor, London Business School, UK

 Selin Kesibir A Linguistic Marker of Women's Public Relevance: Word Order in Conjoined Phrases, 27 November2013

Eric Uhlmann, Associate Professor, INSEAD, Singapore 

Eric UhlmannThe Right Man for the Job? Gender Stereotyping and Moral Biases in Leadership Judgments, 25 October 2013

Anne-Marie Ward, Professor, Queen's University, UK
Anne Marie Ward, Ulster Business SchoolDo gendered boards in community organisations have superior financial management?, 10 December 2013


Hilary Oliver, Head of Performance and Reward, HSBC
Chia Tsay, Assistant Professor, University College London, UK
Michelle Hebl, Professor, Rice University, USA