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Dustin J. Sleesman - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Dustin J. Sleesman

Associate Professor, Management | University of Delaware


Dr. Sleesman studies the psychology of decision-making, negotiation and conflict resolution, as well as team effectiveness.






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The Delaware Way -  Dustin Sleesman Who Negotiates and When? Individual and Group-level differences in Negotiation Behavior and Outcomes




Dustin J. Sleesman is an associate professor of management and UD-SWUFE Joint Institute Fellow at the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware. He received a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and a B.S. and B.A. from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Sleesman conducts research in multiple areas. First, he studies the psychology of decision-making, including why people become committed to their decisions and how biases can influence them. Second, he focuses on negotiation and conflict resolution – and especially how they are affected by our thoughts and perceptions. Third, Dr. Sleesman studies team effectiveness, such as understanding how the motivation and personality of team members influence their interactions.

His research has been published in leading academic journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Annals, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, The Leadership Quarterly and Journal of Applied Psychology. It has also been cited in various media outlets, such as Forbes, HuffPost, MIT Sloan Management Review, The European Business Review, Philanthropy Journal, La Tercera (Santiago, Chile), Delaware Public Radio WDPN-TV Wilmington/Philadelphia and Cheddar TV.

He has received several awards and recognition for his research, including the UD-SWUFE Joint Institute Fellowship in 2022, the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award and the Dean’s Office Research Recognition Award” from the Lerner College of Business and Economics in 2019, and the Best Empirical or Theoretical Paper Award from the Conflict Management division of the Academy of Management in 2017.

Dr. Sleesman is very passionate about his teaching and impact on students. He teaches in both the graduate and undergraduate programs and offers courses in negotiation and conflict resolution, organizational behavior and a specialty course on management skills for engineers and scientists. He also provides customized training and development workshops for various organizations.

Industry Expertise (5)

Professional Training and Coaching

Corporate Training



Management Consulting

Areas of Expertise (6)


Teamwork Dynamics



Conflict Resolution


Media Appearances (5)

Johnson & Johnson And Tesla Show Importance Of Restoring The Public’s Trust After A Crisis

Forbes  online


Dustin Sleesman is a professor of business administration at the University of Delaware. He noted that, “A trust-building crisis response is thoughtful and transparent, providing a detailed account of the situation and how the company plans to resolve the matter. It shouldn’t be in the form of an ad hoc tweet, subject to the current mood of the CEO. Public relations departments sometimes get a bad rap, but they serve an important function for organizations – especially in times of crisis.

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What To Do When Employees Go Public With Work-Related Complaints

Forbes  online


Dustin Sleesman is an associate professor of management in the Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware. He said, “... the reality is that employees often don’t want to bring their concerns to the attention of their managers for a variety of reasons. It could be due to a lack of communication or trust—or even fear of backlash. Sure, the squeaky wheel may get the grease, but it may also get replaced with another wheel.

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Potential pitfalls of self-managed teams

University of Delaware UDaily  online


Self-managed, bottom-up, self-directed, semi-autonomous: these buzzwords for new team structures have been trending across the business world in recent years. Whether it is attributed to cost-cutting or the spirit of collaboration, many companies have been opting for these new management models over the top-down approaches of the past. However, according to new research from University of Delaware Professor Dustin Sleesman, managers need to watch out for some unexpected pitfalls of self-managed teams as companies diversify.

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How to Leverage Potential Opportunities During a Negotiation

Cheddar News  online


Dustin Sleesman, assistant professor of business administration at the University of Delaware, joins 'Your Cheddar' to discuss how you can use an unknown alternative to shift the power dynamic in a job negotiation.

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The power of counteroffers

University of Delaware UDaily  online


Whether you are interviewing for a job or closing on a home, power is a central tool in negotiations. Research from professors of management John Sawyer and Dustin Sleesman at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics shows that an alternative offer can shift the power dynamic in a negotiation, even if that alternative hasn’t actually been offered.

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Articles (7)

Gender, Pay Transparency, and Competitiveness: Why Salary Information Sometimes, but Not Always, Mitigates Gender Gaps in Salary Negotiations

Group Decision and Negotiation

2023 Although pay transparency is a widely accepted remedy for the gender pay gap, research has devoted little attention to the specific types of salary information that are available to job seekers and whether the framing of this information moderates gender differences in negotiation outcomes. We first conducted an exploratory study to investigate whether men and women differ in how much they rely on and perceive the usefulness of various sources of salary information.

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From Microbe to Metaphor: Virus-Like Problems in Organizations

Frontiers in Psychology

2023 Despite the important role of problem-solving in organizations, our understanding of the fundamental nature of problems is limited. To generate insights and discussion on this topic, we introduce the metaphor of a “virus-like” problem, which is a special kind of problem that often escapes the awareness of organizational leaders. Virus-like problems differ from other problems in organizations because, just like actual viruses, they are hidden, their source is difficult to identify, and they can quickly spread to others.

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Sticking with Programs That Do Not Work: The Role of Escalation of Commitment in Schools

Prevention Science

2023 Schools are the most common site to implement evidence-based prevention programs and practices (EBPs) to improve behavioral and mental health outcomes among children and adolescents. Research has highlighted the critical role of school administrators in the adoption, implementation, and evaluation of such EBPs, focusing on the factors they should consider during the adoption decision and the behaviors needed for successful implementation.

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Leader Intuition: Good or Bad for Multiteam System Performance? The Roles of Information Load and Introversion

Group & Organization Management

2022 Some leaders tend to use their intuition to think and make decisions more than others do. This individual difference (i.e., an intuitive cognitive style) may have important implications for the collectives of people they lead. Unfortunately, scholars lack a clear understanding of the conditions under which intuition is effective, especially in the context of large and complex organizational structures such as multiteam systems (MTSs).

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Responses to Phantom Alternatives: The Role of Truthful, Exaggerated, Deceptive, and False Statements

Academy of Management Proceedings 2022

2022 Three studies investigated negotiators’ (e.g., recruiters) reactions to counterparts (e.g., candidates) with phantom alternatives (i.e., alternatives that may or may not materialize). Study 1 examined how recruiters’ perceived power and offers are influenced by candidates’ likelihood of obtaining a phantom alternative offer. We found that candidates who have no alternative or an unlikely alternative received significantly lower offers than those with a likely or certain alternative, and power mediated the relationships.

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Hierarchical leadership versus self-management in teams: Goal orientation diversity as moderator of their relative effectiveness

The Leadership Quarterly

2019 Within team leadership literature much attention has been given to the role of authority differentiation (the degree to which responsibility for decision-making is vested in a limited number of team members). However, contingencies associated with its effectiveness remain largely unclear. Building on authority differentiation, substitutes for leadership, and social hierarchy literatures, we propose that teams low in authority differentiation (self-managing teams) require that team members are aligned in their goal orientations.

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Pushing through the tension while stuck in the mud: Paradox mindset and escalation of commitment

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

2019 After investing resources in a course of action that is currently failing, individuals face the difficult and complex decision of how to respond to it. Extant research indicates that this situation entails a paradoxical tension: individuals feel compelled to continue the failing course, while also feeling pulled to respond to its negative feedback. I argue that individuals with a paradox mindset (i.e., the extent to which they accept and are energized by tensions) will respond to the situation by developing a sense of optimism about being able to successfully work through it.

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Accomplishments (6)

MBA Teaching Award Honorable Mention, Lerner College of Business and Economics (professional)


UD-SWUFE Joint Institute Fellowship. Lerner College of Business and Economics (professional)


Best Paper Proceedings, Conflict Management Division, Academy of Management (professional)


Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. Lerner College of Business and Economics (professional)


Keynote Speaker, Executive Reception, Delaware BioScience Association (professional)


Outstanding Research Award, Department of Business Administration (professional)


Education (3)

Michigan State University: PhD, Organizational Behavior & Human Resource Management 2012

The Ohio State University: BS, Business Administration 2007

The Ohio State University: BA, Psychology 2007

Affiliations (2)

  • Academy of Management (AOM)
  • International Association for Conflict Management (IACM)

Event Appearances (5)

Intrapsychic process model of serial negotiations: The influence of past, present, and future alternatives

36th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Conflict Management  Thessaloniki, Greece

The ingredients of transformation: Towards a theory of free energy in teams

83rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management  Boston, Massachusetts

Pushing through the tension: Paradox mindset and escalation of commitment

79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management  Boston, MA

Do women face backlash for negotiating assertively or aggressively? Re-examining gender and assertiveness in negotiation

32nd Annual Meeting of the International Association for Conflict Management  Dublin, Ireland

The pursuit of fairness: How fairness salience influences escalation of commitment

78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management  Chicago, IL