Sean Martin Profile Headshot

Sean Martin

Associate Professor of Business Administration


FOB 138

Areas of Expertise

Leadership, Social Class, Ethics

Education: B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; MBA: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo; Ph.D., Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Sean Martin is an associate professor at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. His research addresses how organizational and societal contexts affect the leader-follower dynamic. His research appears in top academic journals including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Business Ethics, and Organizational Psychology Review. His work has also been featured in outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNBC, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Harvard Business Review, Boston Globe, and Comedy Central.  

At Darden, Sean teaches the required first-year course on Leading Organizations in the MBA program, elective courses on the topic of leadership development in the MBA and Executive MBA program. He also regularly teaches in executive education and speaks to practicing managers about topics related to leadership, motivation and engaging people from different walks of life. Before Darden, he taught in the undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral programs at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.

Martin obtained his PhD and an MS in Management from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University, his MBA from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and his BA in Global Studies and Spanish from the University of California at Santa Barbara.


Selected Publications

Martin, S.R., Lee, J.J., & Parmar, B.L. (in press). Social distance, trust and getting "hooked": A phishing expedition. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Martin, S. R., & Côté, S. (2019). Social class transitioners: Their cultural abilities and organizational importance. Academy of Management Review, 44, 618-642.

McClean, E., Martin, S. R., Emich, K. J., & Woodruff, T. (2018). The social consequences of voice: An examination of voice type and gender on status and subsequent leader emergence. Academy of Management Journal, 61, 1869-1891.

Martin, S. R., Innis, B.* & Ward, R.* (2017). Social class, leaders and leadership: A critical review. Current Opinion in Psychology, 18, 49-54.

Martin, S. R., Côté, S., & Woodruff, T. (2016). Echoes of our upbringing: How growing up wealthy or poor relates to narcissism, leader behavior, and leader effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 59, 2157-2177.

Martin, S. R. (2016). Stories about values and valuable stories: A field experiment of the power of narratives to shape newcomers’ actions. Academy of Management Journal, 59, 1707-1724.

Martin, S. R., Kish-Gephart, J., Detert, J. R. (2014) Blind forces: Ethical infrastructures and moral disengagement in organizations. Organizational Psychology Review, 4(4), 295-325.

Kish-Gephart, J., Detert, J., Treviño, L. K., Baker, V., and Martin, S. (2014) Situational influences on moral disengagement: The roles of personal gain and harm to others. Journal of Business Ethics, 125, 267-285.

Detert, J., Burris, E., Harrison, D., and Martin, S. (2013) Voice flows to and around leaders: Is more always better for unit performance? Administrative Science Quarterly, 58, 4, 624-668.