Sean Martin

Sean Martin

Donald and Lauren Morel 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 is the Donald and Lauren Morel Associate Professor at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. His award-winning research addresses questions related to leadership, organizational culture, and how societal contexts affect leaders and followers.  His work appears in the top academic journals including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin among others, and has been awarded with the Wells Fargo Award for Research Excellence and recognized on the Responsible Research in Business Management Honor Roll. This work has also been featured in popular outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNBC, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Time Magazine, Harvard Business Review, and the Boston Globe.  
Sean regularly works with executives, managers, and front-line employees to teach and conduct research on topics related to principled leadership, employee voice, social class differences, organizational culture, communication, employee integration and motivation. He has worked across a diverse range of industries including governmental organizations, creative firms, tech and IT firms, manufacturing, insurance organizations, financial institutions, and labor services. 
At Darden, Sean teaches leadership and leadership development topics in the residential and executive MBA programs at Darden, as well as in Darden’s numerous executive education programs.  
Sean obtained his PhD and MS in Management from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. He received 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.