Professor Andrew Knight presents his research on managing millenials.

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​Leadership Research

The Bauer Leadership Center is dedicated to supporting the research and scholarly activities of our faculty by providing tools and resources that enhance leadership research and allow our faculty to remain at the forefront of research excellence.

Research and Case Work Seed Funding

The Center provides support for research and casework on issues that relate to leadership and ethics. For more information contact bauerleadership@wustl.edu.

International Consortium of Leadership Centers

The Bauer Leadership Center has helped create a global consortium of organizations dedicated to advancing the science and practice of leadership. In 2018, our inaugural summit will convene to discuss best practices in developing leaders and explore global research collaborations. A global network of leadership centers consisting of INSEAD, LBS, Harvard, Groningen, Utrecht, Aarhus, and Frankfurt will explore ways to develop ideas for a larger, international research project on leadership and performance.

Academic Conferences

The Center facilitates dialogue on emerging trends in values-based leadership by sponsoring conferences with leading academics from across the globe.

The Bauer Leadership Center cosponsored the INGRoup Academic Conference on July 20-22, 2017. The conference attracts scholars from different disciplines who study problems within work groups and teams, including questions of leadership and values.

Contributing Faculty

The Center highlights faculty members whose research is relevant to its mission of advancing science and practice. Examples include:

Professor Stuart Bunderson and Bret Sanner, assistant professor of management, Shenandoah University, challenged the prevailing view that hierarchies are perceived as an obstacle to innovation. Their research suggests that hierarchy, when used in the right way and at the right time, can be critical for team learning and innovation. “To ask when hierarchy is important to team learning and innovation is really the same as asking when it is useful to have informal leaders driving the process.”

Publication: The Truth about Hierarchy,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2018 issue. Olin Faculty: Stuart Bunderson, co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center and George and Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics and Governance

video Professors Radhakrishnan Gopalan and Todd Milbourn shed light on the costs of linking compensation to performance targets. While linking executive compensation to specific performance goals is an accepted and widely used practice that provides strong incentives to top management intended to make pay contracts more transparent, the researchers have discovered a dark side to performance-based contracts. Based on analysis of executive pay and performance at the 750 largest firms by market capitalization between 1998-2012, they discover what happens when managers try to game the system to meet, beat, or lowball performance goals.

Publication: Comp Targets That Work, Harvard Business Review, September–October 2017; and “Compensation Goals and Firm Performance,” Journal of Financial Economics, Volume 124, Issue 2, May 2017. Olin Faculty: Todd Milbourn, Hubert C. and Dorothy R. Moog Professor of Finance; Radhakrishnan Gopalan, professor of finance; John Horn, senior lecturer in economics. Coauthors: Benjamin Bennett, Air Force Institute of Technology; Carr Bettis, Arizona State University.

Professor Markus Baer coauthored research demonstrating that competition between teams is stimulating to the creativity of teams composed largely or exclusively of men but detrimental to the creativity of groups composed exclusively of women. Their study also revealed that within-group collaboration was responsible for this effect—groups of women collaborated less and groups composed of men collaborated more as competition between groups heated up.

Publication: Intergroup Competition as a Double-edged Sword: How Sex Composition Regulates the Effects of Competition on Group Creativity, Organization Science, 892–908, December 2013. Olin Faculty: Markus Baer, associate professor of organizational behavior. Coauthors: Roger T. A. J. Leenders, Tilburg University; Greg R. Oldham, Tulane University; Abhijeet K. Vadera, Indian School of Business.

video Professor Lamar Pierce has examined how firm investments in technology-based employee monitoring impact both misconduct and productivity. The study used detailed theft and sales data from 392 restaurant locations of five firms that adopted a theft monitoring information technology (IT) product. Implementation not only reduced theft but also increased employee productivity—server tips increased by $0.58 per hour, suggesting that without the additional income from theft, the servers focused on increased efforts toward productivity. Pierce believes these findings can be applied to other workplaces and industries where managerial solutions such as IT monitoring can realign incentives, dramatically reduce corrupt behavior, and benefit both firms and employees.

Publication: Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology on Employee Corruption and Productivity, Management Science, Vol 61, Issue 10, 2299-2319, May 2015. Olin Faculty: Lamar Pierce, professor of strategy. Coauthors: Andrew McAfee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Daniel C. Snow, Brigham Young University.