Melissa J. Williams, Ph.D.

I am an associate professor of Organization & Management at Goizueta Business School, Emory University, and an affiliated faculty member in Emory's Department of Psychology. I trained at the University of California, Berkeley (PhD) and the Stanford Graduate School of Business (postdoc).

My program of research focuses broadly on what happens when power and hierarchy meet social identity, including gender, race, and culture. I am currently (2017) pursuing the following research areas:
  • When and how power causes leaders to behave selfishly, including sexually harassing subordinates
  • How and why having a physical appearance that is more stereotypical of your racial group affects educational and career outcomes
  • How stigmas spread and change over time
I'm also working on the following projects with PhD students:
  • How cultural differences in communication styles affect Asian-Americans' ascent to leadership (with Sarah Lee)
  • How having a stigma can yield positive outcomes like resilience and empathy, as well as negative ones (with Gabby Lopiano)
  • How stigmas spread more readily in some cultures than others (with Tianyu He)
I teach the core Organizational Behavior course in the BBA program at Goizueta Business School, and a doctoral course in Social Psychology.
Open positions:
Doctoral Students. The micro-oriented researchers in the Organization & Management area at Goizueta (including me, Emily Bianchi, Jill Perry-Smith, and Erika Hall) will likely accept one or more Ph.D. students for fall 2018. Strong candidates are encouraged to apply and/or to contact one of us for more information. I am currently the Ph.D. coordinator for the O&M area.
Research Assistants. If you have interest in the above research topics and are considering graduate school in psychology or organizational behavior, please contact me for information about current openings. Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis.