David R. Hekman

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David R. Hekman (born 1978) is an associate professor of organizational leadership and information analytics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.[1] Hekman's research focuses on improving organizational health, including the demographic pay gap[2] and the demographic power gap.[3] His work has been written about in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, and Forbes.[2][4][5][6][7]


In 2000, Hekman was hired by aerospace manufacturing company Goodrich Corporation. In 2002, he began teaching business at the University of Washington.[8] In 2005, Hekman was hired as a consultant to Mark Emmert, University of Washington president.[9]

In 2007, Hekman was hired as a research faculty in the University of Washington School of Public Health.[10] He taught health care management and strategic management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2008 to 2012.[11] He now teaches organizational behavior at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Hekman's research focuses on improving organizational health by minimizing organizational problems and increasing workplace virtues. Hekman has examined the pay disparity between white men and women and minorities,[2] finding that customers who viewed videos featuring a black male, a white female, or a white male actor playing the role of an employee helping a customer were 19 percent more satisfied with the white male employee's performance.[2] In a second study, he found that white male doctors were rated as more approachable and competent than equally well performing women or minority doctors.[4][5][6][7]

Hekman has also shown that female and nonwhite executives who promote diversity tend to be penalized with lower performance ratings.[12] This article helps explain the persistence of the demographic power gap within organizations. Women and minorities may feel discouraged from hiring and promoting individuals who look like them because they are subconsciously aware that their bosses will judge them harshly for doing so. [13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Hekman also examined physicians' attachment to their employers, physician technology resistance, and health care quality,[20][21] finding that an employee's weak attachment is socially contagious, ultimately leading coworkers to leave the organization.[22][23]

Hekman has also studied how to promote virtue in the workplace. He observed that leader humility involves leaders modeling to followers how to grow by engaging in the three behaviors of admitting weaknesses, appreciating followers' strengths, and modeling teachability.[24][25][26] He identified four main types of workplace courage: standing up to authority, uncovering mistakes, structuring uncertainty, and protecting those in need.[27]


  1. ^ "David Hekman". CU Boulder. 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Hekman, David R.; Aquino, Karl; Owens, Brad P.; Mitchell, Terence R.; Schilpzand, Pauline; Leavitt, Keith (2009). "An Examination of Whether and How Racial and Gender Biases Influence Customer Satisfaction". Academy of Management Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  3. ^ Hekman, D.R.; Johnson, S.K.; Foo, M.D.; Yang, W. (March 3, 2016). "Does diversity-valuing behavior result in diminished performance ratings for nonwhite and female leaders?". Academy of Management Journal. 60 (2): 771–797. doi:10.5465/amj.2014.0538.
  4. ^ a b Bakalar, Nicholas (June 23, 2009). "A Customer Bias in Favor of White Men". The New York Times. p. D6.
  5. ^ a b Vedantam, Shankar (June 1, 2009). "Caveat for Employers". The Washington Post. p. A8.
  6. ^ a b Jackson, Derrick (July 6, 2009). "Subtle, and stubborn, race bias". Boston Globe. p. A10.
  7. ^ a b Lake Effect. National Public Radio (radio).
  8. ^ "Course Catalog". University of Washington. 2002.
  9. ^ Roseth, Robert. (2005) "Emmert launches leadership initiative.[permanent dead link]" University Week, April 7, 2005.
  10. ^ "Faculty Personnel Status Report" (PDF). University of Washington. January 17, 2008.
  11. ^ "Schedule of classes". University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Hekman listed as BUS ADM 600 and BUS ADM 720 instructor.
  12. ^ Johnson, S.K.; Hekman, D.R. (March 23, 2016). "Women and Minorities are Penalized for Promoting Diversity". Harvard Business Review.
  13. ^ Lam, B. (April 2016). "A Workplace-Diversity Dilemma: What if the employees best positioned to hire undervalued minority candidates are … white men?". The Atlantic.
  14. ^ O’Brien, S.A. (March 24, 2016). "Promote diversity? You could get dinged at work". CNN.
  15. ^ Peck, E. (2016). "Apparently, There's A Place In Hell For Women Who DO Help Each Other". The Huffington Post.
  16. ^ Hill, A. (July 2014). "Women promoting women: Damned if they do, damned if they don't". Financial Times.
  17. ^ Feintzeig, R. (July 21, 2014). "Women Penalized for Promoting Women, Study Finds". The Wall Street Journal.
  18. ^ Goldberg, Hannah (July 22, 2014). "Why It's Hard for Women to Promote Other Women". Time.
  19. ^ McGregor, J. (July 23, 2014). "For women and minorities, advocating for diversity has a downside". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ Hekman, D.R.; Steensma, H.K.; Bigley, G.A.; Hereford, J.F. (2009). "Combined Effects of Organizational and Professional Identification on the Reciprocity Dynamic for Professional Employees". Academy of Management Journal. 52 (3): 506–526. doi:10.5465/amj.2009.41330897. Archived from the original on 2009-01-04.
  21. ^ Hekman, D.R.; Steensma, H.K.; Bigley, G.A.; Hereford, J.F. (2009). "Effects of Organizational and Professional Identification on the Relationship Between Administrators' Social Influence and Professional Employees' Adoption of New Work Behavior". Journal of Applied Psychology. 94 (5): 1325–1335. doi:10.1037/a0015315. PMID 19702374.
  22. ^ Felps, W.; Mitchell, T.R.; Hekman, D.R.; Lee, T.M; Harman, W.; Holtom, B (2009). "Turnover Contagion: How Coworkers' Job Embeddedness and Coworkers' Job Search Behaviors Influence Quitting". Academy of Management Journal. 52 (3). doi:10.5465/amj.2009.41331075. Archived from the original on 2009-01-04.
  23. ^ Glass, Ira (December 18, 2008). Ruining It for the Rest of Us. This American Life. Chicago Public Radio. Archived from the original (radio) on 2009-04-21.
  24. ^ Owens, B.; Hekman, D.R. (2012). "Modeling How to Grow: An Inductive Examination of Humble Leader Behaviors, Outcomes, and Contingencies" (PDF). Academy of Management Journal. 55 (4): 787–818. doi:10.5465/amj.2010.0441.
  25. ^ Makovsky, K. (February 16, 2012). "What Makes a Good Leader?". Forbes Magazine.
  26. ^ Villarica, H. (January 2012). "Study of the Day: Humble Leaders Are Better Liked and More Effective". The Atlantic.
  27. ^ Schilpzand, P.; Hekman, D.R.; Mitchell, T.R. (October 2014). "An Inductively-Generated Typology and Process Model of Workplace Courage". Organization Science. 26: 52–77. doi:10.1287/orsc.2014.0928.

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