• About Me

    I study how people respond to adversity at work and how they can leverage it to succeed. 


    I'm an Assistant Professor of Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. My research examines how people endure, respond, and persist when experiencing adversity at work. I have two primary streams of research related to adversity: one on motivation, primarily focusing on underdogs and the impact of low expectations, and another on behavioral ethics, investigating how employees respond to the adversity of unethical behavior in their organizations.


    To understand these topics, I conduct my research using multiple methods (e.g., field and lab experiments, longitudinal surveys, and semi-structured interviews) with leaders and employees in Fortune 500 corporations, job seekers at reemployment centers, and entrepreneurs who are seeking to bring new culturally contentious initiatives to the marketplace. My work has been published in academic journals such as the Academy of Management Journal and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and featured in outlets such as the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Athletic, and NPR's Hidden Brain. At Wharton, I teach the MBA core course on the Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership (MGMT 610) and an elective course on Power and Politics in Organizations for undergraduate, MBA, and executive education programs.


    I completed my Ph.D. in Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and earned a BA in Economics and Philosophy from The University of Western Ontario. Before Covid-19, I enjoyed karaoke-ing to hip-hop music (Kanye! Drake!), cheering for Toronto and Michigan sports, traveling to new countries, and eating at both fancy and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Philly (i.e., the best pound-for-pound food city in America) with my wife, Salimah, and our toddler (who is becoming a foodie). During Covid-19, we enjoy roaming the streets of Philly with our toddler in his Uppababy Vista...because, you know, it's kind of hard to travel and dine out right now.


    To visit my faculty page at Wharton, please click here.

  • Research

    Below is a selection of my published papers. For a recent copy of my curriculum vitae (CV), please click here or contact me.

    Nurmohamed, S., Kundro, T. G., & Myers, C. M. 2021. Against the odds: Underdog versus favorite narratives to offset prior experiences of discrimination. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    McDonnell, M. H., & Nurmohamed, S. in press. When are organizations punished for misconduct? A review and research agenda. Research in Organizational Behavior.


    Cobb, J. A., Keller, J. R., & Nurmohamed, S. in press. How do I compare? The effect of work-unit demographics on reactions to pay inequality. ILR Review. (Authors listed alphabetically).

    Kundro, T. G., & Nurmohamed, S. 2021. Understanding when and why cover-ups are punished less severely. Academy of Management Journal. 64: 873-900.

    Nurmohamed, S. 2020. The underdog effect: When low expectations increase performance. Academy of Management Journal. 63: 1106-1133.

    Yip, J. A., Schweitzer, M. E., & Nurmohamed, S. 2018. Trash-talking: Competitive incivility motivates rivalry, performance, and unethical behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 144: 125-144.

    Mayer, D. M., Nurmohamed, S., Treviño, L. K., Shapiro, D. L., & Schminke, M. 2013. Encouraging employees to report unethical conduct internally: It takes a village. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 121: 89-103.

    Grant, A. M., Nurmohamed, S., Ashford, S. J., & Dekas, K. 2011. The performance implications of ambivalent initiative: The interplay of autonomous and controlled motivations. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116: 241-251.

  • Collaborators

    Below are a few of my recent collaborators. If you are interested in doing a PhD in Organizational Behavior at Wharton, we invite you to apply to our PhD program. Please note that all applications are handled centrally within the department, not by individual faculty.

  • Flipside Collective

    flipside /ˈflip ˌsīd/ [noun]

    1: a reverse or opposite side, aspect, or result.

    2: the reverse or less known side of a pop single record; the B-side


    I created the "Flipside Collective" to engage UPenn students who are interested in conducting research on how individuals overcome barriers and obstacles they face at work and in their careers. As shown above, the term "flipside" is defined as the reverse or opposite of a result, and in music, it traditionally referred to the B-side of a record (i.e., Side B of a 45 rpm phonograph record) that was less widely known. In our group, we seek to theorize and identify features that elicit the opposite of conventional theory in the study of organizational behavior. Active projects in our collective include studying when do low expectations foster success at the workplace, as well as how do employees and job seekers use the barriers and obstacles they face to their advantage.


    Responsibilities include helping with study design, conducting literature reviews, and providing feedback on research papers. If you are a student and interested in conducting research with us, please visit the University of Pennsylvania's Workday website for available positions.

  • Contact

    Please use the contact form below to reach out to me. I'm happy to answer questions that you have.


    Also, I am currently available to serve as a speaker or even conduct research in your organization. If you are interested, please let me know, and you will be sent my current rates.