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Ian O. Williamson - UC Irvine. Irvine, CA, US

Ian O. Williamson

Dean of the Paul Merage School of Business | UC Irvine


Ian O. Williamson is a globally recognized expert in the area of human resource management.



Ian O. Williamson Publication



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UCI Podcast: What's next in business?



Ian O. Williamson was appointed dean of The UCI Paul Merage School of Business on January 1, 2021. Prior to joining the Merage School, he served as pro vice-chancellor and dean of commerce at the Wellington School of Business and Government at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Williamson received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in business from Miami University. He has served as a faculty member at Melbourne Business School, Rutgers Business School, the Zurich Institute of Business Education, the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and Institut Teknologi Bandung.

Williamson is a globally recognized expert in the area of human resource management. His research examines the impact of “talent pipelines” on organizational and community outcomes. Williamson has assisted executives in over 20 countries across six continents enhance firm operational and financial outcomes, improve talent recruitment and retention, enhance firm innovation and understand the impact of social issues on firm outcomes.

Williamson’s research has been published in leading academic journals (e.g. Academy of Management Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology) and has been covered by leading media outlets across the world. He has served on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Academy Management Review, Academy of Management Education and Learning, Journal of Management and Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal and Journal of Management.

He is a past recipient of the Academy of Management (AOM) Education Division Best Paper Award for his research on high performing teams, the AOM Human Resource Division Best Paper Award for his research on the effect of employee mobility on firm performance and the AOM Ralph Alexander Best Dissertation Award for his research examining the top management team (TMT) selection decisions of Fortune 500 firms. He is a recipient of the AOM Best Practices Mentoring Award for his role as the founding President of the Management Faculty of Color Association (MFCA). He also received the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School Outstanding PhD Student Award.

Areas of Expertise (14)

Social Networks

Organizational Theory

Human Resource Management


Workplace Motivation

Diversity in the Workforce

Talent Pipelines

Future of Work

Talent Management

Workplace Innovation

Employee Retention


Strategic Human Resource Management

People Management

Accomplishments (4)

Melbourne Business School Senior Executive MBA Teaching Award (professional)


CPA Australia/ABDC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business Education Collaboration (professional)

2016 Business/Higher Education Round Table

University of Melbourne Award for Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education (professional)


Management Education Division of the Academy of Management Best Paper Award (professional)


Education (2)

Miami University: B.S., Management 1994

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D., Organizational Behavior 2000

Affiliations (4)

  • Octane : Board Member
  • Insper (São Paulo, Brazil) International Advisory Board : Member
  • Leave No Veteran Behind : Advisory Board Member
  • RAUSP Management Journal : Editorial Board Member

Media Appearances (10)

Hustle Culture vs. Quiet Quitting: How Bosses Can Walk the Line

Success Magazine  online


Ian Williamson, dean of the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine, predicts a workplace landscape in 2024 of “continued evolution toward more holistic work environments, thanks to a continued shortage of workers and a continued diversification in the workforce.” He adds, “This will increase expectations on employers to consider how they can best create inclusive environments that meet the expectations of a wide range of employees.”

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UCI business school helps fuel local tech industry

Irvine Standard  online


Ian O. Williamson, dean of UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business …. [has] worked in 30 foreign countries and researched how diverse perspectives help drive innovation. Williamson elaborated on the nexus between diversity and innovation in a recent interview. … What is the business school doing to encourage local innovation? “One major initiative is our New Venture Competition, which has more than 350 participants this year. The winners get seed money to launch their firms,” [Williamson said.]

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OC’s Black Business Leaders Have an Outsized Impact

Orange County Business Journal  online


Ian Williamson in early 2021 was appointed dean of UCI’s Merage School of Business. Dean Williamson offered this when asked about the impact of the school he oversees: “The UCI Paul Merage School of Business’s goal is to create the skilled and diverse workforce needed to support the economic and social well-being of Orange County. From top-ranked graduate and undergraduate programs to programs for local high school students like the Future Leaders Initiative, our aim is to increase access to a world-class education.”

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Diversity the Pipeline with Inclusive Excellence

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business  online


Dean Ian Williamson writes: “A future-ready workforce has the potential to generate benefits that ripple through the entire region. Recognizing this, the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine, is focused on building a diverse, talented, and qualified pipeline of talent right in our own backyard. We call this approach Inclusive Excellence. It’s a core principle driving the transformation of the broader business landscape. We believe it can serve as a model for other business schools that want to develop talent that meets the demands of today and tomorrow.”

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Office Etiquette 101

KABC  tv


Making a good first impression for an entry-level job is key – that involves clothing and workplace manners. We’re seeing more colleges and universities provide classes to teach about office etiquette. So, joining us live now is Ian Williamson, Dean of UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business ... “Well, I think it’s important to appreciate that we’ve gone through perhaps the greatest transformation of the workplace in the last four years since we went from factory work to office work. And so, etiquette – in terms of what is expected – the customs are brand new,” says Williamson.

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2023 Innovator of the Year Award Nominees: Ian Williamson

The Orange County Business Journal  online


Ian Williamson was appointed dean of The University of California Irvine Paul Merage School of Business on January 1, 2021, and is globally recognized in the area of human resource management. His research focuses on how organizations and communities can develop strong talent pipelines that support positive outcomes. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

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Status Update: Judges chosen for Dragon Challenge at UC Irvine

The Orange County Register  online


The Dragon Kim Foundation has announced the judges for its 2022 Dragon Challenge competition. They include Dean Ian O. Williamson from UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business and José E. Feliciano and Kwanza Jones, co-founders of the Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano Initiative.

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2022 Innovator of the Year Award Nominees

Orange County Business Journal  online


Ian Williamson, Dean of The UCI Paul Merage School of Business

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Apodaca: Elon Musk isn’t always right. Take for, for example, his attitude toward remote work

Daily Pilot  online


As I expected when I questioned him about remote work, the picture is more complex than the binary, all-or-nothing scenario that Musk’s policy suggests. Rather than looking at the issue from a standpoint of remote versus in-person, Williamson sees it more as one of workers seeking greater flexibility and mobility.

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Black Management Association Conference Will Address Racial Wealth Gap and Forge New Partnerships

Newswise  online


“The Black Management Association was formed to ask big questions and build community,” said Ian O. Williamson, dean of the Merage School. “Their first in-person conference is not only an opportunity to address systemic inequities such as the wealth gap, but also a chance to forge connections and change the way we see the world.”

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Event Appearances (5)

Illustrating DEIB as it relates to Societal Impact

AACSB Global Diversity & Inclusion Summit  


Leading in the era of COVID

International Conference on Management in Emerging Markets  


Empowering Students by Showing up in New Ways

AACSB Global Diversity & Inclusion Summit  


Building a More Diverse and Inclusive Business School

AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting  


Social Sustainability

University of Antwerp International Week on Sustainability  


Articles (5)

The Effect of HRM Practices on Employment Outcomes in Indigenous Social Enterprises

Journal of Social Entrepreneurship

2021 Indigenous economic development is a critical area of focus for many communities globally. Indigenous social enterprises play an important role in enhancing economic development by providing employment opportunities for Indigenous community members.

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Quadruple Helix Approach to Achieve International Product Quality for Indonesian Food SMEs

Journal of the Knowledge Economy

2021 The food and beverage industry represents a promising industry for significant economic growth in developing economies. However, a critical barrier to the food and beverage industry realizing this potential in developing countries is achieving international food quality standards.

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Toward a Business Resilience Framework for Startups


2021 Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the disruption of the global economic sector, including for startup businesses. This encourages entrepreneurs to carry out a continuous innovation process to become more ambidextrous and continue to innovate in an effort to futureproof their business. The paper aims to provide a business resilience framework by exploring capability (innovation ambidexterity, dynamic capability, and technology capability), behavior (agile leadership), and knowledge (knowledge stock) in startup businesses.

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Trust Consensus Within Culturally Diverse Teams: A Multistudy Investigation

Journal of Management

2020 Despite tremendous progress toward understanding trust within teams, research has predominately conceptualized team trust as a shared group construct, focusing almost exclusively on trust magnitude (i.e., mean level of trust) while ignoring trust dispersion (i.e., within-team differences in trust). As a result, we know little about this critical property of team trust, its determinants, and independent impact on team outcomes.

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The future of feedback: Motivating performance improvement through future-focused feedback

PloS one

2020 Managerial feedback discussions often fail to produce the desired performance improvements. Three studies shed light on why performance feedback fails and how it can be made more effective. In Study 1, managers described recent performance feedback experiences in their work settings. In Studies 2 and 3, pairs of managers role-played a performance review meeting. In all studies, recipients of mixed and negative feedback doubted the accuracy of the feedback and the providers’ qualifications to give it.

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