- Associate Professor
- Director of the Cornell University Academic Leadership Series
- Behavioral Economics and Decision Research
- Behavioral Research
- Decision Making
- Organizational Behavior
- Critical Thinking
- Conflicts of Interest
- Advice and Influence
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Professor Sunita Sah's research focuses on ethics, influence, and advice. Specific topics include trust, advisor-advisee relationships, conflicts of interest, institutional corruption, transparency, disclosure, improving decisions, influence, compliance, and defiance. In particular, Professor Sah researches why we comply with bad advice and how disclosure policies can backfire. Using a multi-method approach of laboratory and field experiments as well as qualitative analysis and utilizing large real-world archival data sets, Professor Sah incorporates organizational behavior, psychology, and behavioral economics theory to study different aspects of the advisor-advisee relationship.
Professor Sah holds a Ph.D. and MS in organizational behavior from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA with distinction from London Business School, an MB ChB (UK equivalent to the US MD) in medicine and surgery, and a BSc (Hons) in psychology from the University of Edinburgh.
Professor Sah's work has been published in top academic journals in management, science, medicine, law, economics, and psychology, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA Internal Medicine, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Psychological Science. Her work has also been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Nature, BBC News, Financial Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Boston Globe, and National Public Radio, as well as BBC World Television and national radio stations.
Professor Sah recently served as a Commissioner on the National Commission of Forensic Science and on the Human Factors Committee for the National Institute of Science and Technology Forensic Science Standards Board. She is currently on the advisory board of the American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services, the editorial board of the Behavioural Public Policy Journal, the advisory committee of The Productivity Institute, the scientific advisory board of the Behavioral Economics in Health Network, and an Officer at the International Behavioural Public Policy Association.
Professor Sah has won best paper awards from the Academy of Management, Society of Business Ethics, Society of Judgment and Decision-Making, and Society of Personality and Social Psychology, as well as scholar awards from the Russell Sage Foundation, Harvard University, Kellogg School of Management, and the Medical Research Council.
Professor Sah was previously the KPMG Professor of Management Studies at the University of Cambridge in the UK and held academic positions at Georgetown, Duke, and Harvard Universities in the US. Before entering academia, Professor Sah worked as a medical doctor for the UK's National Health Service, subsequently becoming a senior consultant and European marketing director at IMS Health Consulting and then managing director [CEO] of Organisational Dynamics Ltd.
- Sah, Sunita. "The Professionalism Paradox: Professionalism Increases Vulnerability to Conflicts of Interest"Academy of Management Perspectives. (forthcoming).
- Sah, Sunita. "Conflict of Interest Disclosure as a Reminder of Professional Norms: Clients First!"Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 154 (2019): 62-79
- Rose, Susannah; Sah, Sunita; Dweik, Raed; Schmidt, Cory; Mercer, MaryBeth; et al. "Patient responses to physician disclosures of industry conflicts of interest: A randomized field experiment"Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 166 (2021): 27-38
- Sah, Sunita; Read, Daniel. "Mind the (information) gap: Strategic nondisclosure by marketers and interventions to increase consumer deliberation"Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 26.3 (2020): 432-452
- Jatoi, Ismail; Sah, Sunita. "Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Overuse of Healthcare Services: Need for Reform"Canadian Medical Association Journal. 191.11 (2019): 297-298
- Sah, Sunita; Loewenstein, George; Cain, Daylian. "Insinuation anxiety: Concern that advice rejection will signal distrust after conflict of interest disclosures"Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 45.7 (2019): 1099-1112
- Sah, Sunita; Malaviya, Prashant; Thompson, Debora. "Conflict of interest disclosure as an expertise cue: Differential effects of automatic versus deliberative processing"Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 147 (2018): 127-146
- Bell, S.; Sah, Sunita; Albright, T.; Gates, J.; Denton, B.; Casadevall, A. "A call for more science in forensic science"Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115.18 (2018): 4541-4544
- Sah, Sunita. "Policy Solutions to Conflicts of Interest: The Value of Professional Norms"Behavioural Public Policy. 1.2 (2017): 177-189
- Hwong, Alison; Sah, Sunita; Lehmann, Lisa. "The Effects of Public Disclosure of Industry Payments to Physicians on Patient Trust: A Randomized Experiment"Journal of General Internal Medicine. 32.11 (2017): 1186-1192
Awards and Honors
- Mid-Career Achievement Award (2022) Health Care Management, Academy of Management
- Honorary Fellow (2022) University of Cambridge
- Initiative Award (2021) Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
- Visiting Scholar Fellowship (2020) Russell Sage Foundation
- Elected Fellow (2020) Society for Personality and Social Psychology
- NCC 5050/NCCY 5050 - Critical and Strategic Thinking
- NMI 5000 - Directed Reading & Research
- NCCW 5040 - Managing and Leading in Organizations
- NBAE 6660 - Negotiations
- PhD Carnegie Mellon University, 2010
- MS Carnegie Mellon University, 2010
- MBA London Business School, 2005
- MBChB (MD) University of Edinburgh, 1997
- BS University of Edinburgh, 1994