Katherine (Kat) K. Bae (she/her/hers)
PhD Candidate in Management & Organizations
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
I am a PhD candidate in the Management and Organizations area at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. I received my BA in psychology magna cum laude from Northwestern University and completed an honors thesis.
How can leaders be effective and maintain their well-being?
My research program explores this tension via two broad streams. The first stream studies how basic psychological attributes (e.g., dominance and prestige; agency and communion) linked to fundamental social motives influence leadership effectiveness. To this end, I adopt foundational social-psychological (i.e., evolutionary and cognitive) frameworks to advance the literature on leadership. I aim to uncover how these leader attributes impact leaders’ decision making and cognitive processing as well as consequential follower outcomes with implications for leadership effectiveness, like followers’ willingness to share negative feedback with leaders, desire to lead, and commitment to leaders. The second stream then examines how leading impacts leaders themselves. Here, I aim to extend theories of leadership by shifting the focus of outcomes from followers to leaders. I study how engaging in quintessential leading behaviors, such as motivating employees, affects leaders’ own outcomes, including their experiences of well-being. For example, in my dissertation I investigate how one form of leading—motivating employees via pep talks—affects leaders’ subsequent emotions and energy.
I use a variety of research methods, including interactive laboratory and field experiments and survey-based field research (e.g., multiwave surveys, experience-sampling studies, multisource surveys).
The precautious nature of prestige: When leaders are hypervigilant to subtle signs of social disapproval
Case, C. R., Bae, K. K., Larsen, K. T., & Maner, J. K. (2021). The precautious nature of prestige: When leaders are hypervigilant to subtle signs of social disapproval. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120(3), 694–715.
Individual differences in sadness coherence: Associations with dispositional affect and age
Wu, D. J., Svoboda, R. C., Bae, K. K., & Haase, C. M. (2020). Individual differences in sadness coherence: Associations with dispositional affect and age. Emotion, 21(3), 465–477.
Drivers of desire for social rank
Mitchell, R. L., Bae, K. K., Case, C. R., & Hays, N. A. (2020). Drivers of desire for social rank. Current opinion in psychology, 33, 189-195.
To lead or to be liked: When prestige-oriented leaders sacrifice group performance
Case, C. R., Bae, K. K., & Maner, J. K. (2018). To lead or to be liked: When prestige-oriented leaders prioritize popularity over performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115(4), 657–676.
Featured on The Wall Street Journal: The dangers of wanting to be a popular boss (May 2019)
Featured on The Boston Globe: As leadership styles lean kinder, how do bosses make unpopular decisions? (November 2018)
Featured on Ross Thought in Action: To lead or be liked: Choose wisely to succeed (May 2018)
Featured on The New York Times: Bossy vs. Buddy: Two leadership styles, each with its place (October 2016)
Featured on Psychology Today: What Kind of a Leader Are You? The pros and cons of dominance versus prestige (June 2016)
I have taught the following course and was the recipient of the Thomas W. Leabo Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence (Teaching rating: 4.9/5, ~80 students per section):
This course teaches students basic concepts in the behavioral sciences that can improve their abilities to lead and manage in organizations. Frameworks for individual, team, and organizational behavior are presented and discussed in the context of real-world cases. Group projects provide practice in problem-based teamwork and in applying the frameworks in practice.
*MO 300 is a required introduction to management course for all Junior BBAs
I was a teaching assistant for the following course:
I was a classroom activity facilitator for the following courses: