A native of New Jersey, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations Corinne Bendersky was raised in a household of academics, where family conversations “tended to be pretty heady,” she says. “From a young age, I developed a healthy skepticism about assertions that were made by the media and taught in school that didn’t have rigorous empirical support or theoretical grounding,” she explains.
Thoughts of pursuing a law degree after graduating with honors from Oberlin College took a turn when Professor Bendersky realized that she was more intrigued with conducting research about the types of conflict resolution interventions and practices that were most effective in organizations. That interest lead to a Ph.D. program at MIT Sloan School of Management, where she earned an interdisciplinary degree that spanned industrial relations and organizational behavior.
The call to UCLA Anderson stemmed from the school’s Management and Organizations area that focused on the same intellectual mix as her academic training. Here she studies work teams and examines conflict experience and management, as well as the process through which status (socially conferred respect) is negotiated, evolves over time and affects both individual performance and team effectiveness outcomes. She finds these research topics fascinating, primarily because they are so pervasive and can have both detrimental and beneficial impacts on individuals and teams.
With an inherent love for teaching, Professor Bendersky finds the greatest rewards when students relay an outcome from something they learned in class that they tried at work or with their study groups at school. What she equally enjoys about her field “… is that non-academic friends can relate to these issues, and I can give them simple, practical advice about how to manage conflicts better—listen carefully—and attain and maintain high status—convey high competence and deliver on the expectations you set.”
Head to Bendersky’s UCLA Anderson page for more on her research interests and publications.