Leadership Research

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

Faculty Innovation Grants in Research and Education

The Bauer Leadership Center, in collaboration with WashU Leads, will provide grants to support faculty to innovate in research and education. 

As a start, in Spring 2024, we will provide educational grants to support tenure track and teaching track faculty to develop a new course or add a module to an existing course on relevant topics. The focus for this round will be undergraduate courses which involve first year students for the 2024–25 academic year.

We encourage proposals from any discipline. Sample topics with focus on self-discovery and insights:

  • Purpose and its implications for one’s life and career
  • Understanding and developing one’s strengths and character, to grow as a leader
  • Exploring leaders and the meaning for oneself
  • Exploring values, and how to use them to have positive impact
  • Developing ethical thinking and the capacity to use it
You may already be teaching a course that includes these topics. If so, we are interested in how you will bring the topic to the forefront.  Apply here.

Research and Case Work Seed Funding

The Bauer Leadership Center supports WashU Olin PhD students by providing them with funding and resources to enhance their leadership research. For more information about funding, contact bauerleadership@wustl.edu.

Daehyeon (Dae) Kim

Daehyeon (Dae) Kim
Daehyeon (Dae) Kim

Daehyeon (Dae) Kim is a PhD candidate in organizational behavior at WashU Olin Business School with an interest in social exchange research.  His research investigates how leaders can effectively organize people to take a successful collective action, which is challenging due to people's desire to free ride. Finding ways for leaders to better influence people to participate in a collective action based on data-driven evidence is crucial as the world has been facing various issues that demand effective collective actions to resolve them.

Thanks to the support from the BLC, I was able to present my work at the International Conference of Psychological Science this past March 2023. In addition to receiving great feedback on my work, I connected with scholars from Europe and Asia and learned about different academic work environments.

—Daehyeon (Dae) Kim

Jung Hyun (Julie) Lee

Jung Hyun (Julie) Lee
Jung Hyun (Julie) Lee

Jung Hyun (Julie) Lee is a candidate in Organizational Behavior at Olin Business School with an interest in how employees’ family caregiving responsibilities could affect work outcomes.

The Bauer Leadership Center has a goal to develop values-based leaders. One thing needed by leaders is to understand and engage their employees. Employees with caregiving responsibilities at home face discrimination in employment opportunities and career development (Henle et al., 2020). However, caregiving for family members could be a learning opportunity for employees to become more reflective, generative and empathetic–a potential that leaders and organizations can tap into and benefit from. With the data-driven approach, this research can show that embracing employees with family caregiving responsibilities can increase overall organizational effectiveness, which proves that values-based leadership can turn the values into profit while responding to societal challenges.

Global Consortium of Leadership Centers

In an effort to advance the science and practice of leadership, the Bauer Leadership Center co-founded a global consortium of leadership center directors. The inaugural summit was held in the Netherlands in November 2018 and the Bauer Leadership Center hosted a second gathering in November 2019. Sessions in 2020 and 2021 were held virtually. In 2022, the conference took place at the Crown Prince Frederik Center for Public Leadership at Aarhus University. The summer 2023 conference was at Goethe University.

The Bauer Center will present some of our recent research and will join in discussing best practices in leadership with center directors from around the world. The consortium includes representatives from INSEAD (France, Singapore), Goethe University (Frankfurt), University of Groningen (Netherlands), Aarhus University (Denmark), Leiden University (Netherlands), London Business School, Utrecht University (Netherlands) and Washington University Olin (United States).

Contributing Faculty

The Center highlights faculty members whose research is relevant to its mission of advancing the science and practice of values-based leadership.

Professor Stuart Bunderson co-authored an article with leadership center directors from institutions including Duke, Wake Forest, Rice, NYU, Rotterdam, INSEAD and several others. The article, entitled “Walking Our Evidence-Based Talk: The Case of Leadership Development in Business Schools,” was recently published in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. This paper examines the challenges leadership centers face in implementing evidence-based management practices in their programs. The authors interviewed directors of top leadership centers across 60 business schools in the United States and Europe and concluded there is still work to be done in order to fully “walk the talk” of evidence-based leadership development in business schools. Read the article “Walking Our Evidence-Based Talk: The Case of Leadership Development in Business Schools.”

The Bauer Leadership Center partnered with Professor Anjan Thakor and the Wells Fargo Center for Finance and Accounting Research to examine the role of organizational higher purpose in promoting banking performance and stability. Read “Higher purpose, banking and stability” in the Journal of Banking and Finance.

The Bauer Leadership Center partnered with Vrity Inc. to study values and brand-related purchasing behaviors among consumers of different generations and how these were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our research shows that consumers care about brand values more than ever. It’s not enough to simply make a good product; today’s brands need to do right by the customer, their employees, and the community.” –Stuart Bunderson (Savat, 2021). Read the research summary on the Olin Blog and listen to the On Principle podcast interview of Olin alumnus Jason Wang, BSBA ’09, about using his business as a force to create positive change. It features research from this study as well as an interview with Professor Bunderson. Or read the full paper “Consumer Values and Brand Purchasing: Generational and COVID-19 Effect” (PDF).

Additional examples of our faculty’s recent contributions:

Campagna, R., Dirks, K. T., Knight, A. P., Crossley, C., & Robinson, S. L. (2020). On the relation between felt trust and actual trust: Examining pathways to and implications of leader trust meta-accuracy. Journal of Applied Psychology, 105, 994-1012.

Dirks, K.T., Sweeney, P.J., Dimotakis, N. et al. (2021) Understanding the Change and Development of Trust and the Implications for New Leaders. J Bus Ethics.

Gray, S.M., Bunderson, J.S., Van der Vegt, G.S., Rink, F., & Gedik, Y. (Forthcoming). Leveraging Knowledge Diversity in Hierarchically Differentiated Teams: The Critical Role of Hierarchy Stability. Academy of Management Journal.

Gray, S. M., Knight, A. P., & Baer, M. (2020). On the emergence of collective psychological ownership in new creative teams. Organization Science, 31, 141-164.

Moungt, M., & Baer, M. (Forthcoming). CEOs' Regulatory Focus and Risk-Taking When Firms Perform Below and Above the Bar. Journal of Management.

Tost, L. P., Hardin, A. E., Robertson, J. W., & Gino, F. (In-Press). Different roots, different fruits: Gender-based differences in cultural narratives about perceived discrimination produce divergent psychological consequences. Academy of Management Journal.

Ziegert, J. C., Knight, A. P., Resick, C. J., & Graham, K. A. (2022). Addressing performance tensions in multiteam systems: Balancing informal mechanisms of coordination within and between teams. Academy of Management Journal, 65, 158-185.

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