Melissa J. Williams, Ph.D.

I am an assistant professor of Organization & Management at Goizueta Business School, Emory University. I previously completed postdoctoral training at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a PhD in social psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

My program of research focuses broadly on what happens when power and hierarchy meet social identity, including gender, race, and culture. I am currently (2016) pursuing the following research lines:
  • Whether dominant men and women are liked by others, and whether this varies according to the type of dominance expression.
  • When and how power causes leaders to exploit their subordinates or engage in sexual harassment.
  • How and why looking more stereotypical or prototypical of your racial group affects educational and career outcomes.
  • How stigmas change over time, both consciously and nonconsciously
  • How people come to view race as sociocultural and dynamic rather than biological and static.
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 stereotypes of gay (vs. straight) women and men influence their perceived suitability for leadership (with Gabby Lopiano)
  • How responsibility attributions for the actions of children differ across cultures (with Tianyu He)
I teach the core Organizational Behavior course in the BBA program at Goizueta Business School.
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 2017. Strong candidates are encouraged to apply and/or to contact one of us for more information.
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.