Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior
Sreedhari Desai is an award-winning, tenured Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and a Crist W. Blackwell scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Kenan Flagler Business School). Previously, she was a faculty fellow at the Parr Center for Ethics at the UNC and a visiting Assistant Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Before joining UNC, she was a research fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (Harvard University) and at the Women and Public Policy program (Harvard Kennedy School). She obtained her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at the David Eccles School of Business in the University of Utah. She did her undergraduate studies at the Punjab Engineering College in the field of Metallurgical Engineering, and earned an M.S. degree in Finance from the University of Utah. In her research, she explores how and when the playing field ceases to be level for women and minorities, and how we can create a more equal and better-performing workplace. She also examines context-based interventions aimed at improving ethical decision making.
Sreedhari is the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and grants, most notable among them being a research fellowship by the Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation and a Research Initiative Grant offered by the National Stock Exchange of India, Mariner S. Eccles Graduate Fellowship in Political Economy, MBA Teaching All-Star award (several times in a row), a finalist for the ASPEN dissertation proposal award, CIBER mini grant from UNC's Center for International Business Education and Research, and UNC's University Research Council Junior Faculty Development Award.
Sreedhari's work has been published in academic outlets such as the Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, and received extensive media coverage from journals such as the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Forbes, the Boston Globe, NineMSN, the Irish Times, the Financial Times, the Toronto Star, the Indian Express, the MotleyFool, the Huffington Post, the Economic Times, the Christian Science Monitor, to name a few.
Sreedhari teaches MBA courses in leadership, management, decision making, and negotiations, and teaches graduate level courses in the Master of Accounting program as well as the Ph.D. program. She studies socially charged issues like race, gender, and sexual orientation, and brings these normally undiscussed issues into the MBA classroom. Her goal is to inspire business students to be fearless in tackling important societal issues both inside and outside the classroom.
As an international keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, and consultant on negotiation, strategic decision making and diversity, Sreedhari is a trusted advisor and partner to numerous high-performing private sector organizations, as well as military leaders. One of the most highly-rated faculty in Executive Development, Sreedhari has engaged with both domestic and international clients, such as the US Navy, the US Army, the US Air Force, FORSCOM, Veteran Affairs, Sunbelt Rentals, Kroger’s, Marriott, ExxonMobil, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, American Financial Services Association, Textron, Institute of Defense & Business, Commscope, NC DHHS, CSX Bioenergy, Water & Wastewater, Ferguson, Vulcan Materials, IBM, Amgen, Novozymes, Arthur Andersen, and many more. She also has expertise and interest in women’s leadership, and regularly speaks on diversity, negotiation, advocacy, and advancement for women and under-represented minorities in organizations.