Jessica A. Kennedy

Jessica A. Kennedy

Assistant Professor of Management

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

Power and Status, Ethics, Gender

Subject Areas

Organization Studies


Lending her expertise to Wall Street Journal, New York Times, BusinessWeek, and other news outlets, Jessica Kennedy’s work on ethical behavior, hierarchies, and gender is relevant for any organization. 

Awards & Accomplishments

Kennedy has earned several research awards, including Best Article in 2016 from Business Ethics Quarterly, Owen's Research Productivity Award in 2017, and the INFORMS/Organization Science Best Dissertation Proposal in 2011.


Professor Kennedy serves on the Editorial Board of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and the Journal of Management.


Professor Kennedy has published in outlets such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Research in Organizational Behavior, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Business Ethics Quarterly.


At Vanderbilt, Professor Kennedy teaches Negotiation as well as Leading Teams and Organizations for the MBA program.

Research Interests

Professor Kennedy’s research lies at the intersection of three distinct yet inter-related topics: power and status hierarchies, ethical behavior, and gender. Her research has been published in top academic and practitioner journals of Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Ethics. Recent studies by Kennedy have found that holding higher-ranking positions can blind people to unethical practices they are responsible for stopping, gender differences in moral identity can help to explain why and when women negotiate more ethically than men, and that political correctness norms can enable creative performance in diverse (but not homogeneous) groups.


PhD, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkley, 2012

BS, summa cum laude, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2004

Select Publications


Rank and PD

Kennedy, J. A., & Anderson, C. (2017). Hierarchical rank and principled dissent: How holding higher rank suppresses objection to unethical practices. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 139, 30-49.

Moral identity

 Kennedy, J. A., Kray, L. J., & Ku, G. (2017). A social-cognitive approach to understanding gender differences in negotiator ethics: The role of moral identity. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 138, 28-44.  

ASQ - PC norms

Goncalo, J. A., Chatman, J. A., Duguid, M. M., & Kennedy, J. A. (2015). Creativity from constraint? How the political correctness norm influences creativity in mixed-sex work groups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 60, 1-30.


Gender ROB

 Kennedy, J. A., & Kray, L. J. (2015). A pawn in someone else's game? The cognitive, motivational, and paradigmatic barriers to women's excelling in negotiation. Research in Organizational Behavior, 35, 3-28.

Dignity BEQ paper

Kennedy, J. A., Kim, T. W., & Strudler, A. (2016). Hierarchies and dignity: A Confucian communitarian approach. Business Ethics Quarterly, 26, 479-502.

JBE - Mindsets and deception

Haselhuhn, M. P., Kray, L. J., Schweitzer, M. E., & Kennedy, J. A. (in press). Perceptions of high integrity can persist after deception: How implicit beliefs moderate trust erosion. Journal of Business Ethics.



OBHDP - Gender and deception

Kray, L. J., Kennedy, J. A., & Van Zant, A. B. (2014). Not competent enough to know the difference? Gender stereotypes about women’s ease of being misled predict negotiator deception. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 125, 61-72.

JESP - Gender and trust

Haselhuhn, M. P., Kennedy, J. A., Kray, L. J., Van Zant, A., & Schweitzer, M. E. (2014). Gender differences in trust dynamics: Women trust more than men following a trust violation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 56, 104-109.

Status and Overconfidence II

Kennedy, J. A., Anderson, C., & Moore, D. M. (2013). When overconfidence is revealed to others: Testing the status-enhancement theory of overconfidence. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 122 (2), 266-279


Gender and ethical compromises

Kennedy, J. A., & Kray, L. J. (2013). Who is willing to sacrifice ethical values for money and social status? Gender differences in reactions to ethical compromises. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5 (1), 52-59.

Status and Overconfidence I

Anderson, C., Brion, S., Moore, D. M., & Kennedy, J. A. (2012). A status-enhancement account of overconfidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103 (4), 718-735.


Micropolitics Chapter

Anderson, C., & Kennedy, J. A. (2012). A micropolitics model of status hierarchies in teams. In E. Mannix & M. Neale (Eds.), Research in managing groups and teams (Vol. 15, pp. 49-80). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

PC Norms chapter RMGT

Chatman, J. A., Goncalo, J. A., Kennedy, J. A., & Duguid, M. M. (2012). Political correctness and group composition: A research agenda. In E. Mannix, & M. Neale (Eds.), Research on managing groups and teams (Vol. 15, pp. 161-183). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Harvard Leadership Chapter

Chatman, J. A. & Kennedy, J. A. (2010).  Psychological perspectives on leadership.  In N. Nohria, & R. Khurana (Eds.), Leadership: Advancing the discipline (pp. 159-182).  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.