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Ryan Outlaw - Indiana University, Kelley School of Business. Indianapolis, IN, US

Ryan Outlaw Ryan Outlaw

Assistant Professor of Management | Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Indianapolis, IN, UNITED STATES

Management expert, focusing on information exchange within corporate contexts


Ryan Outlaw is an assistant professor of management at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. His research interests include gossip, organizational justice, and trust.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Information Exchange



Education (3)

University of Georgia: PhD, Information Exchange 2015

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge: MBA 2009

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge: BS 2005

Articles (3)

Pacification or aggravation? The effects of talking about supervisor unfairness.

Academy of Management Journal

Baer, M. D., Rodell, J. B., Dhensa-Kahlon, R. K., Colquitt, J. A., Zipay, K., Burgess, R., & Outlaw, R. (In press).

Pacification or aggravation? The effects of talking about supervisor unfairness.

What will the boss think?: The impression management implications of supportive relationships with star and project peers

Personnel Psychology

2015 Although impression management scholars have identified a number of tactics for influencing supervisor evaluations, most of those tactics represent supervisor-targeted behaviors. This study examines the degree to which employees form supportive relationships with peers for impression management purposes. In so doing, we explore this intriguing question: Will employees gain more from forming supportive relationships with “stars” (i.e., top performers who are “on the fast track” in the organization) or “projects” (i.e., “works in progress” who need help and refinement to perform well)? We examined this question in 2 field studies. Study 1 included 4 sources and 2 time periods; Study 2 included 2 sources and 3 time periods. The results showed that supportive relationships with both stars and projects seemed to represent impression management opportunities, insofar as they predicted supervisor positive affect and perceptions of employee promotability. Impression management motives only predicted supportive relationships with stars, however, not projects. Relationships with projects were driven by prosocial motives not concerns about managing images. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications of our results for the managing of impressions and peer relationships.

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Uneasy lies the head that bears the trust: The effects of feeling trusted on emotional exhaustion

Academy of Management Journal

2015 The construct of feeling trusted reflects the perception that another party is willing to accept vulnerability to one’s actions. Although this construct has received far less attention than trusting, the consensus is that believing their supervisors trust them has benefits for employees’ job performance. Our study challenges that consensus by arguing that feeling trusted can be exhausting for employees. Drawing on Stevan Hobfoll’s conservation of resources theory, we develop a model in which feeling trusted fills an employee with pride—a benefit for exhaustion and performance—while also increasing perceived workload and concerns about reputation maintenance—burdens for exhaustion and performance. We test our model in a field study using a sample of public transit bus drivers in London, England. Our results suggest that feeling trusted is a double-edged sword for job performance, bringing with it both benefits and burdens. Given that recommendations for managers generally encourage placing trust in employees, these results have important practical implications.

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