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Isaac Smith

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources,
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Isaac Smith joined the Marriott School of Business in 2019 after spending 5 years as a faculty member at Cornell University. His research examines the morality and ethics of organizations and the people within them, with a particular focus on three primary questions:

(1) What are the causes and consequences of (un)ethical behavior?
(2) What motivates and inspires people to develop moral character--and otherwise fulfill their potential?
(3) How can businesses and organizations help battle the world's social ills, such as poverty?

His work has been published in top-tier academic and practitioner journals, such as Organization Science, Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Harvard Business Review, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Isaac's research has been covered by various media outlets, including BBC World Service Radio, Businessweek, Forbes, NPR's Hidden Brain Podcast, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has taught MBA and undergraduate courses focused on organizational behavior, ethics, leadership, and teams, and in 2016 he was recognized as one of the "40 under 40 Most Outstanding MBA professors" by Poets&Quants for his teaching at Cornell. Isaac has also worked with and consulted for a number of Fortune 100 companies in the financial services and high-tech industries, and he has spent time in both Mongolia and Thailand working with nonprofit organizations dedicated to reducing poverty and promoting economic self-reliance.


  • PhD, Organizational Behavior, University of Utah, 2014
  • MBA, OB/HR, Brigham Young University, 2007
  • BA, English & Economics (majors), Political Science (minor), Brigham Young University, 2004

Selected Publications



  • Assistant Professor, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 2014–2019
  • Senior Consultant, Hitachi Consulting, 2007–2009


  • Early Career Scholarship Award, Brigham Young University, 2023
  • Research in Practice Award, Management Department, BYU Marriott School of Business, 2021
  • Teaching Honor Roll, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 2017
  • 40 under 40 most Outstanding MBA Professors, Poets&Quants, 2016
  • Clifford H. Whitcomb Faculty Fellowship, Cornell University, 2015
  • Research featured in the "Top 10 Insights from the Science of a Meaningful Life in 2013", The Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley, 2014
  • Doctoral Student Teaching Excellence Award, University of Utah, 2013
  • Research Honorarium, Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership, 2013


  • Mongolian

Professional Citizenship

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Editorial Review Board Member, 2022–0
  • Society of Business Ethics, Ethics Dissertation Award, Committee/Council Member, 2022–0