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Shefali Patil - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin, TX, US

Shefali Patil Shefali Patil

Assistant Professor, Department of Management | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business


Decision Making in High-Stakes, Mission-Driven Organizations; Org. Behavior, Learning and Change; Social Psychology


Areas of Expertise (11)

Decision Making Organizational Behavior Social Psychology Organizational Learning Organizational Change Workplace Psychology Workplace Culture Workplace Politics Team Learning Group Dynamics Accountability Systems


Shefali V. Patil is an educator and researcher who studies decision making in high-stakes, mission-driven organizations, particularly those in the military, law enforcement, emergency medical rescue, and humanitarian aid sectors. She is particularly interested in how employees balance their fiduciary duties toward their organizations and their responsibilities toward the beneficiaries of their work. Of late, she is engaged in a multi-site research program examining the effects of body worn cameras (BWCs) on police officer decision making, and behaviors in their communities.

Patil is an assistant professor of management at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin.

She is published in scholarly journals, and has received a number of research grants from both the McCombs School and Wharton School of Business.





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Education (2)

Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., Management 2014

Stern School of Business, New York University: B.S., Management and Organizations; and Marketing 2008

Summa Cum Laude

Media Appearances (3)

Empathetic cops struggle more with public criticism

Futurity  online


In the study, which appears in Administrative Science Quarterly, officers’ ideology—liberal or conservative—determined how well they weathered perceived animosity and lack of appreciation from the public, says author Shefali V. Patil, assistant professor of management at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

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When some police feel misunderstood, it can impact their performance

The Conversation  online


Amid a string of fatal police shootings of unarmed black citizens, the Pew Research Center ran a massive study in 2017 of 8,000 U.S. police officers asking them about their experiences.

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How are Police Officers Affected by Public Scrutiny?

Texas Standard  online


Shefali Patil, an organizational psychologist at the University of Texas, studies how employees react within their work environment. After a 2017 Pew Research study found that a majority of police officers believe the public doesn’t understand the risks and safety concerns they face, Patil became interested on how police officer job performance is being affected by public criticism.

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Articles (7)

Proactivity Despite Discouraging Supervisors: The Powerful Role of Prosocial Motivation Journal of Applied Psychology


Although considerable research demonstrates that employees are unlikely to be proactive when they view their supervisors as discouraging this type of behavior, we challenge the assumption that this is true for all employees. Drawing on motivated information processing theory, we argue that prosocial motivation can spark employees to be proactive even when supervisors are perceived as discouraging.

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Accountability Systems and Group Norms: Balancing the Risks of Mindless Conformity and Reckless Deviation Behavioral Decision Making


In dynamic task environments, decision makers are vulnerable to two types of errors: sticking too closely to the rules (excessive conformity) or straying too far from them (excessive deviation). We explore the effects of process and outcome accountability on the susceptibility to these errors.

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Organizational Identification and Workplace Behavior: More Than Meets the Eye Research in Organizational Behavior


We present a framework of the behavioral consequences of organizational identification as well as observers’ reactions to them. Our framework highlights two distinct motivational orientations that underlie organizational identification, one that reliably leads to conformist work behaviors and one that may lead to deviant work behaviors that violate the status quo to advance organizational interests.

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Punctuated Incongruity: A New Approach to Managing Trade-Offs Between Conformity and Deviation Research in Organizational Behavior


Micro and macro scholars alike have long warned about “incongruent” work environments that sow confusion by sending inconsistent normative signals to employees. We argue that these warnings rest on the debatable assumption that employees do not have cognitive bandwidth and emotional resilience to do more than single-mindedly pursue internally consistent goals.

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Accountability and Ideology: When Left Looks Right and Right Looks Left Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes


Managers face hard choices between process and outcome systems of accountability in evaluating employees, but little is known about how managers resolve them. Building on the premise that political ideologies serve as uncertainty-reducing heuristics, two studies of working managers show that:(1) conservatives prefer outcome accountability and liberals
prefer process accountability in an unspecified policy domain.

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Challenging the Norm of Self-Interest: Minority Influence and Transitions to Helping Norms in Work Units Academy of Management Review


We present a minority influence framework that specifies how norms can shift in response to a challenger's consistent modeling, advocating, or inquiring about helping behavior, contingent on prosocial impact, status, similarity, work unit agreeableness and openness.

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Being There: Work Engagement and Positive Organizational Scholarship The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship


In this chapter, we examine the psychological state of employee work engagement. Our objective is to provide an overview of the engagement construct, clarify its definition, and discuss its behavioral outcomes. We discuss the development of the work engagement construct, which has led to many inconsistencies among scholars about its definition.

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