UCL School of Management

Sunny Lee

Deputy Director (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion)
Associate Professor
Phone number
(0)20 3108 6015
(internal 56015)
Office location
Level 38, 1 Canada Square
Rm N3


I work as an associate professor of organizational behavior(OB) and the head of diversity at the UCL School of Management. I earned a B.A. in English Literature from the Seoul National University, a M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in OB from the London Business School. Before entering academia, I worked as a consultant at Accenture, LG Ad, and Hewlett Packard for about several years.

Since I joined the School in 2014, I have taught negotiation courses to broad audience including masters and MBAs at UCL, Peking University, London Business School and Met Police Officers. As the Athena SWAN lead and the head of diversity at the School, I am committed to making our School a diverse and  positive place where talents can thrive, and people feel happy and included.

Please find more about me @LinkedIn.


My research focuses largely on two topics: gender differences in the workplace; and biases in organizational decision making. I hope to contribute the ethos of diversity and fairness through my research. First, I have examined whether and why men and women react differently to the same work events such as workplace competition, negotiations, networking, and failures. For the second stream of my research, I have mainly looked at how evaluators’ stereotypical beliefs and selfish motives can bias their recruitment or promotion decisions. 

My work has been published in prestigious academic journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Discoveries, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, etc. My research has been also featured by BBC Radio, ITV, The Financial Times, The Guardian, and other global media outlets. 

Please find more about my research @Google Scholar

PhD supervisor:

PhD supervisor to:

Research projects

Interdependence and organizational decisions

How and why do organizational decision makers, in personnel decisions, differently evaluate candidates from different social groups?
Selected publications
Kniffin, K. M., Narayanan, J., Anseel, F., Antonakis, J., Ashford, S. P., Bakker, A. B., . . . Vugt, M. V. (2020). COVID-19 and the workplace: Implications, issues, and insights for future research and action. Am Psychol. doi:10.1037/amp0000716 [link]
Lee, S., Kesebir, S., Qiu, J., & Pillutla, M. (2020). Same-sex peer norms: implications for gender differences in negotiation. In M. Olekalns, J. Kennedy (Eds.), Research Handbook on Gender and Negotiation Research Handbooks in Business and Management series. England: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi:10.4337/9781788976763 [link]
Kesebir, S., Lee, S. Y., Elliot, A. J., & Pillutla, M. M. (2019). Lay beliefs about competition: Scale development and gender differences. Motivation and Emotion, 43 (5), 719-739. doi:10.1007/s11031-019-09779-5 [link]
Lee, S. Y., Moore, C., Kim, K., & Cable, D. (2017). The advantage of being Oneself: The role of applicant self-verification in organizational hiring decisions. Journal of Applied Psychology. doi:10.1037/apl0000223 [link]
Lee, S. Y., Kesebir, S., & Pillutla, M. M. (2016). Gender differences in response to competition with same-gender coworkers: A relational perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110 (6), 869-886. doi:10.1037/pspi0000051 [link]
Lee, S., Pitesa, M., Pillutla, M., & Thau, S. (2015). When beauty helps and when it hurts: An organizational context model of attractiveness discrimination in selection decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 128, 15-28. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.02.003 [link]
Lee, S. Y., Pitesa, M., Thau, S., & Pillutla, M. (2014). Discrimination In selection decisions: Integrating stereotype fit and interdependence theories. Academy of Management Journal. doi:10.5465/amj.2013.0571 [link]
Inesi, M. E., Lee, S. Y., & Rios, K. (2014). Objects of desire: Subordinate ingratiation triggers self-objectification among powerful. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 53, 19-30. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2014.01.010 [link]
Lee, S. Y., Birkinshaw, J., Crilly, D., & Bouquet, C. (n.d.). How do firms manage strategic dualities? A process perspective. Academy of Management Discoveries, in press. doi:10.5465/amd.2014.0123 [link]