PhD Student’s Research on Power and Dissent Reaches Competition Finals

Jessica Kennedy, PhD 11, has been selected as a finalist in one of the most prestigious competitions for doctoral students researching organizations.

Kennedy's proposal, titled “Power and Dissent: Implications for Ethics in Organizations,” was selected from 83 entries to the INFORMS/Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition. Kennedy and the seven other finalists will present their research at the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) annual fall conference on Nov. 12 in Charlotte, N.C.

Kennedy's proposal focuses on how advancing to a higher rank in an organizational hierarchy affects people’s willingness to disagree with the majority opinion, values, or actions expressed by the group. She proposes that advancement may lead people to adopt the morality of the group, decreasing the likelihood that they will dissent.

“I chose the topic because it has important theoretical and practical implications,” Kennedy says. “It makes theoretical contributions to the power and status, socialization, and behavioral ethics literatures in organization science.”

The proposals were judged by 91 scholars on soundness of theory, contribution to the field of organization science, and methodological rigor, along with boldness and innovation. During the conference, the finalists will present their research to eight judges, who also will provide feedback.

Kennedy, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, hopes to attain a business school faculty position after completing her PhD in May.

Jessica Kennedy, PhD 11