Isaac H. Smith

Isaac H. Smith

  • Assistant Professor

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Interdisciplinary Theme

  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Research

Faculty Expertise

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Ethics
  • Morality
  • Motivation and Inspiration


Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management


Cornell Directory Entry


Isaac H. Smith is an assistant professor of management and organizations at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. His research examines the morality and ethics of organizations and the people within them, with a particular focus on three primary questions: (1) what are the causes and consequences of (un)ethical behavior; (2) what motivates and inspires people to be their best selves--and otherwise fulfill their potential; and (3) how can businesses and organizations help battle the world's social ills, such as poverty?

His work has been published in academic journals, such as Organization Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Business Ethics, and others. His research has been covered by various media outlets, including BBC World Service Radio, Businessweek, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Scientific American, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. In 2015, Professor Smith was awarded the Clifford H. Whitcomb Faculty Fellowship by the Johnson School, and he was named one of the "40 Best Business School Professors Under 40" by Poets & Quants in 2016.

Professor Smith received his PhD in business administration (organizational behavior) from the University of Utah, and he earned an MBA and BA from Brigham Young University. He has worked with and consulted for a number of Fortune 100 companies in the financial services and high-tech industries, and he has also spent time in both Mongolia and Thailand, working with nonprofit organizations dedicated to reducing poverty and promoting economic self-reliance.

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors (2016) Poets&Quants
  • Clifford H. Whitcomb Faculty Research Fellowship (2016) Cornell University
  • Teaching Honor Roll (2016) Johnson School, Cornell University

Recent Courses

  • NMI 5000 - Directed Reading and Research
  • NBA 6700 - Leadership, Ethics and Organizations
  • NCC 5040 - Leading Teams

Academic Degrees

  • PhD University of Utah, 2014
  • MBA Brigham Young University, 2007
  • BA Brigham Young University, 2004