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University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC                       2018-present
Kenan-Flagler Business School
Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior

& Crist W. Blackwell Scholar

Faculty Chair of Full Time MBA Program (2019-20)


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC                       2011-2017
Kenan-Flagler Business School
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior

& Parr Center for Ethics Fellow

(*Maternity leave - 2012)


Duke University, Durham, NC                                                 2015-2017
Fuqua School of Business
Visiting Asst. Prof. of Mgmt. & Org.

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA                                      2010-2013
Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
Research Fellow


Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA                            2010-2013
Women and Public Policy Program
Research Fellow

Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA                                   2009-2010 
Program on Negotiation
Graduate Research Fellow



Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior                                          2011 
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT


M.S. in Finance                                                                       2005 
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering                                         2001 
Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India


JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS (* Denotes equal contribution)



Leigh, A., & Desai, S.D. (2022).  What’s race got to do with it? The interactive effect of race and gender on negotiation outcomes. Organization Science, 34(2), 935-958.

Desai, S. D., & Kouchaki, M. (2017). Moral symbols: A necklace of garlic against unethical requests. Academy of Management Journal, 60(1), 7-28. [Lead Article]


Desai, S. D., & Kouchaki, M. * (2015). Work-report formats and overbilling: How unit-reporting vs. cost reporting increases accountability and decreases overbilling. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 130, 79-88.

Kouchaki, M. *, & Desai, S. D. * (2015). Anxious, threatened, and also unethical: How anxiety makes individuals feel threatened and commit unethical acts. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(2), 360-375.


Desai, S. D., Chugh, D., & Brief, A. P. (2014). The implications of marriage structure for men’s workplace attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors toward women. Administrative Science Quarterly, 59(2), 330-365.


Gino, F., & Desai, S. D. (2012). Memory lane and morality: How childhood memories promote prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(4), 734-758.


Desai, S. D., Sondak, H., & Diekmann, K. A. (2011). When fairness neither satisfies nor motivates: The role of risk aversion and uncertainty reduction in attenuating and reversing the fair process effect. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116, 32-45.






Desai, S. D. (2016). To stop bad behavior, display a virtuous quote. Harvard Business Review, 34-35. 


Desai, S. D. (2011). Adults behave better when teddy bears are in the room. Harvard Business Review, 30-31.


Desai, S. D., Brief, A. P., & Williamson, R. B. (2010). Task design. In R. J. Corsini (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Psychology (4th Ed.). NY: John Wiley.


Desai, S. D., Brief, A. P., & George, J. (2009). Meaner managers: A consequence of income inequality. In R. Kramer, M. Bazerman, & A. Tenbrunsel (Eds.), Social decision making: Social dilemmas, social values, and ethical judgments (pp. 315-334). NY: Taylor & Francis.





University of Buffalo, New York. May 2023.

Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Women & Public Policy Program. Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 2022.

Harvard Law School. Program on Negotiation. Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 2022.

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, College Park, Maryland, March 2020.

Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden, November 2019.

European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), Berlin, Germany, November 2019.

INFORMS Faculty Workshop, University of Washington, Foster School of Business, October 2019.

Duke University, New Directions in Leadership Research, Fuqua School of Business, Durham, NC, June 2019.

5th Symposium on Ethics and Social Responsibility, Keynote speaker, Lisbon, Portugal, June 2019.

ISCTE-Instituto Universario de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, June 2019.

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management, Nashville, TN, April 2018.
The Parr Center for Ethics at UNC (in conjunction with the Philosophy, Politics, & Economics Talk Series), Chapel Hill, NC, April 2018.
New York University, Stern School of Business, New York City, March 2018.

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College at Hanover, October 2017.

Osmania University, Department of Management, Hyderabad, India, September 2017.

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Arison School of Business, Tel Aviv, Israel, July 2017.

Darden School of Business at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, March 2017.

SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy, March 2017.

INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, January 2017.

Ross School of Business at University of Michigan in Ann-Harbor, MI, November 2016.

Anderson School of Business at University of California at Los Angeles, CA, October 2016.

London Business School, London, UK, November 2016.

University College London, London, UK, November 2016.

McCombs School of Business at University of Texas at Austin, TX, October 2016.

Action Design, Durham, NC, June 2016.

Google re:Work conference, Mountainview, CA, April 2016.

Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame, IN, April 2016.

Harvard Business School at Harvard University in Boston, MA, February 2016.

Ross School of Business at University of Michigan in Ann-Harbor, MI, October 2015.

Indian School of Business, Women in Business Workshop, Hyderabad, India, September 2015.

Asper School of Business at University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, April 2015.

Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, September 2014.

Indian School of Business, Women in Business Workshop, Mohali, India, September 2014.

Punjab Engineering College, PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, September 2014.

Indian School of Business, Dept. of Organisational Behaviour, Hyderabad, India, September 2014.

Carolina Women in Business, Chapel Hill, NC, November 2013.

Fine Arts League of Cary, Cary, NC, February 2012.

Indian Institute of Science, Dept. of Management, Bangalore, India, December 2011.

University of North Carolina, Dept. of Soc. Psych., Chapel Hill, NC, November 2011.

IBM Center for Social Software, Cambridge, MA, November 2011.  

Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal, October 2011.

Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal, October 2011.

The Catalyst, New York, NY, June 2011.

Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA, April 2011.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, February 2010.

London School of Economics & Political Science, London, UK, November 2009.




Harvard Business Review, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune,  The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review Blog Network, Retailwire, International Business Times, NineMSN, Management Team, The Motley Fool, United Press International, Indian Express, Business News, Business Mirror, all Street Journal, Forbes, Outlook Business, Science + Religion Today, Global Toy News, The Irish Times, Slate (France), Femina (France), The Harvard Gazette, The Slate (France), Women Now (Spain), The National Post, The Toronto Star, CBC News, As it happens, CBC Radio Show, Vecci News, The Nation (Thailand), The Economic Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail, The Board Builder, The Huffington Post, The Fiscal Times, The Marker – Haaretz, The Financial Times, Think Progress,  The Harvard Business Review Blog Network, The Huffington Post, Daily Mail, The Flow, The Australian Financial Review, The American Bar Association Journal,  Jezebel,  Forbes, Washington DC’s We act Radio WPWC 1480AM, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post UK, MainStreet TBS eFM Radio 101.3FM, Public Management, CBS MoneyWatch, Boston Public Radio (WGBH), International Job Times, Fortune, News Chief, The Reporter, Gao Kao, The Times of India, Carolina Women, Christianity Today, Science and Religion, Scientific American, National Black Women’s Network. Arming the Donkeys (with Dan Ariely), The Denver Post, One thing new, Talking Cranes, CNN Opinion, Harvard Business Review BlogPost, Les Affaires, Harvard Business Review Blog Network/The Daily Stat,  NBC News, Gestion, Emol, Belelu, BPS Occupational Digest, BPS Research Digest, LetteraF, HuffPost Parent, HBR Blog --The Daily Stat, Wirtualna Polska, Personnel Today, NY Magazine, Financial Times, BBC, Smart Company, Metro UK, Seattle Times, Tech Times, KTRH News Radio, The Economist, Fast Company, Carreira Mundo, NDTV, The Statesman, The Telegraph.



Research Initiative Grant from the The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2021).

Kenan Institute Research Grant (2021)

MBA Teaching All Star Award, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

Judge, 2019 INFORMS/Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition

University Research Council's Junior Faculty Development Award (2014-2015)

Center for International Business Education & Research Mini Grant (2013-2014) 

Research Fellowship, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University (2010-2013)

Research Fellowship, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School (2010-2013)

IACM Graduate Student Scholarship (2010)

Graduate Research Fellowship, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School (2009-2010)

Mariner S. Eccles Graduate Fellowship in Political Economy (2008-2009)

Finalist, ASPEN Dissertation Proposal Award (2008)

National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) Research Initiative Grant # 168 (2006-2008)

Graduate Travel Award, Australian Research Council EDN (2008)

Conference Scholarship, Ethical Dimensions in Business, University of Notre Dame (2008)

Travel Award, International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (2006)

Graduate Travel Award, Western Academy of Management (2006)





Behavioral Ethics, Organization Studies, Justice, Diversity, Decision-Making.






Gender at Work Conference, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA (GaW 2015-present).

OB Junior Faculty Workshop, Academy of Management Meetings at Philadelphia, PA (AOM 2014). 

Negotiations and Decision Making: Trust, Emotions, Ethics, and Morality Workshop, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA (TEEMs 2010).

Ethical Dimensions in Business: Perspectives from the Business Academic Community, Notre Dame at South Bend, IN (EDB 2008).

CM Doctoral Student Consortium, Academy of Management Meetings at Anaheim, CA (AOM 2008).

Behavioural Economics: Theory, Experiment and Policy Workshop at Melbourne, Australia (EDN 2008).

OB Doctoral Student Consortium, Academy of Management Meetings at Philadelphia, PA (AOM 2007).

Internal Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics’ 12th Visiting Graduate Student Workshop at Arlington, VA (IFREE 2006).

Stanford Institute of Theoretical Economics Workshop at Stanford, CA (SITE 2004, 2010). 






Managerial Decision Making, Ethical Leadership, Managerial Negotiations, Leading & Managing, Power & Influence, Change Management.






Desai, S. D. (2009). The Buena Vista condo. In R. J., Lewicki, B. Barry, & D. M. Saunders (Eds.), Negotiation: Readings, Cases, and Exercises (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.



TEACHING EXPERIENCE (MBA, Master of Accounting, PhD & Undergraduate Programs)



Managerial Decision Making (Elective) - MBA 840, Spring 2016-17; BUSI 490, Spring 2016-17, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Special Topics in Organizational Behavior (Elective) - PhD BUSI 858, Spring 2017, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Leading & Managing (Core Course) - MBA 801, Fall 2016, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Ethical Leadership (Core Course) – MBA 802, Spring 2012-15, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Negotiations (Elective) - MAC 880, Spring 2015-17; MBA 822, Spring 2013-14, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Responsible Leadership (Core Course, PGP) - MBA, Fall 2014 -present, Indian School of Business at Mohali/Hyderabad

Managing Organizations & Leading Change (Core Course, PGP MAX) - MBA, Fall 2017 -present, Indian School of Business at Hyderabad

Human Behavior in Organizations (Undergraduate) – MGT 3680, Fall 2007, University of Utah     

Personal Financial Planning and Insurance (Elective) - MBA 615, Summer 2005, Westminster College, SLC, Utah


TEACHING EXPERIENCE (Executive Education Programs)




Strategic Decision Making 

Business Ethics 


Women in Business & Negotiations 

Power & Influence 

Behavioral Foundations of Change Management 
Leading High Performing Teams 

Influencing Stakeholders through Emotional Intelligence 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Veteran Affairs SLC, EDI, BHRP, Novozymes, Progressive Insurance, ExxonMobil, Volvo-Eicher, Bajaj FinServ, JSW Steel, 2U, Institute of Defense & Business, American Financial Services Association, SunBelt Rentals, Lowes, ExxonMobil, Anderson Automotives, CommScope, Constellation Brands, Avance, CRG Evolve, Cornerstone, Ferguson, Fortune, Huber, Kroger, NC Dept. of Public Safety, Marriott, Mechanical Contractors, Southern Wines & Glazers, Textron, Water & Waste Water Management






Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Human Relations, Negotiation Journal, Consciousness and Cognition, Cognition and Emotion


Academy of Management Conference

International Association for Conflict Management Conference





IBM, Zappos, American Financial Services Association, Veterans Affairs, IDB

Gapingvoid, iDecisionGames



Academy of Management
International Association of Conflict Management
Society for Judgment and Decision Making

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
International Society for Justice Research





Bisexual, she, hers


United States of America
India (Overseas Citizen of India)


Proficient: English, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi
Basic: Punjabi, Spanish


Oil painting, Poetry

Desai in UNCs first annual report.jpg
Seated Business Formal.jpg
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