Stephen Lee Brings Organization Leadership Expertise to MISE Department

By Sue McMurray

Stephen Lee is a people person. As a scholar and researcher, he’s most interested in studying the nuances of workplace behaviors—from cooperative and supportive to gossipy and self-absorbed. For himself, he prefers a collegial work environment, which is what drew him to Carson College’s Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship.

Lee joined the management faculty as an assistant professor in 2023. He teaches the college’s “Introduction to Business” class and conducts organizational behavior research.

“Stephen’s research interests align well with his commitment to help others learn,” says Robert Crossler, department chair. “His teaching in this class is foundational to what we expect students to accomplish during their business degree program.”

In a recent publication, Lee says people have a natural tendency to compare themselves to others, especially if it is someone—like a coworker—who seems similar. He suggests several steps for employees to deal with workplace emotions, including analyzing feelings without ruminating on them, changing response to feelings of jealousy and envy, understanding the envy can either hurt or motivate you, and taking responsibility for your own emotions.

“Learning is the most rewarding aspect of this field,” Lee says. “For myself, that could be finding something unexpected or figuring out a potential solution to a puzzling research question.”

The path to an academic career

Lee spent four years working as a business associate and associate consultant at ZS Associates, a management consulting and technology firm focused on transforming health care, after graduating from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He then earned his doctorate in organizational behavior at the University of Washington Foster School of Business and completed a post-doctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.

Since 2021, he’s published three journal articles and has one in press with Personnel Psychology.

Lee has earned seven awards recognizing his teaching, research, and scholarship, including the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior Divisions Best Reviewer Award. He’s a member of the Academy of Management and the American Psychological Association.

“In terms of teaching, I hope that I can contribute to shaping the next generation of business students and help them as they navigate their career decisions,” Lee says. “In terms of research, I hope to contribute to the department’s reputation for research excellence.”