UCL School of Management

Sunny (Sun Young) Lee

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


I am an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the UCL School of Management.

I earned a B.A. in English language and literature from the Seoul National University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the London Business School. Before I started my Ph.D. program, I worked at Accenture as business analyst and at Hewlett Packard as marketing program manager.


My research focuses largely on two topics: gender differences in the workplace and biases and stereotyping in organizational decision making.

Going beyond the question of whether men and women are treated differently in the workplace, I have examined whether men and women might respond differently to the same work events such as workplace competition, failures, rejections, and networking.

For the second stream of my research, I have mainly looked at how evaluators’ stereotyping based on a person’s race, age, and appearance can bias their recruitment or promotion decisions. I also have looked at how the expected relationship between the evaluator and the job candidate might lead to suboptimal personnel decisions to the organization.

My work has been published in international academic journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Discoveries, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, etc.

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
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]