Carnegie Mellon University

Catherine Shea

Catherine Shea

Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory

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  • TEP - Tepper Building - Room 5107
  • 412-268-5942
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Catherine Shea is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University. She currently serves on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Discoveries and Organization Science, and reviews for a number of psychology, sociology, and management journals.

Professor Shea’s research examines selection processes in organizations. Her research investigates how and why individuals form connections with others from a motivational perspective. That is, how an individual’s goals and motivations influence who they reach out to in their networks, and how they structure their social world during goal pursuit. Her research is published in a variety of top academic journals including Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision ProcessesPsychological Science, the Academy of Management JournalSocial Networks, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Her unpublished work-in-progress examines social selection questions related to gender and diversity, social networks, goals, interpersonal processes, and job interviews. She employs multiple methodologies in her research including social network analysis, experiments, archival data analysis, and interviews, and enjoys studying multi-level processes in organizations (e.g., how psychological processes can aggregate to create structural outcomes).

Professor Shea’s research has been featured in various media outlets including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NBC, Psychology Today, Scientific American Mind, the Globe and Mail, Health Magazine, and the Huffington Post. Her research has won numerous awards including an American Psychological Association’s Best Dissertation Award.

Prior to joining Tepper, Professor Shea was a post-doctoral fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and an Assistant Professor at the Odette School of Business, University of Windsor, Canada. She has taught Negotiations, Leading High Impact Teams, Introduction to Organizational Behavior, and Research Methods in undergraduate, MBA, PhD., and Executive programs. As part of her teaching, Professor Shea and her students have completed consulting engagements for over 50 start-ups and not-for-profit organizations. She received her Ph.D. in Management from Duke University, and undergraduate and master’s degrees from Queen’s University, Canada.


  • Duke University - Ph D - 2013
  • Queen's University - MS (Organizational Behaviour) - 2006
  • Queen's University - BA (Commerce) - 2005


Motivation, Goals, Social Networks, Social Perception, Diversity, Selection and Recruitment, Interpersonal Processes


Awards and Honors

  • Academy of Management Discoveries - Outstanding Reviewer (2023)
  • Responsible Research in Management Award - Finalist (2021)
  • Xerox Junior Faculty Chair (2018-2019)
  • Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability - Best Paper (2015)
  • J. Richard Hackman Award for the Dissertation that Most Significantly Advances the Study of Groups - Honorable Mention (2014)
  • International Association for Conflict Management - Best Poster Award (2014)
  • American Psychological Association - Best Dissertation Award (2014)
  • Haynes Prize for Most Promising Young Scholar - Finalist (2014)

University Service

  • OBT Seminar Series, Co-Organizer (2017 - )
  • Salancik Dissertation Award, Committee Member, Reviewed dissertation proposals (2017 - 2017)

Professional Activities

  • Academy of Management Discoveries, Editorial Board Member (2018 - )