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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School
Bobbi Thomason, PhD Assistant Professor of Applied Behavioral Science

Bobbi Thomason, PhD

Assistant Professor of Applied Behavioral Science
Graziadio Business School


Bobbi's research explores how individuals of traditionally under-represented social categories work and pursue their careers globally. She is particularly interested in how individuals overcome inequality and social hierarchies in order to attain career rewards and resources, including leadership positions, financial compensation and social status. Her research also considers how individuals shape the social structures (e.g. organizations, families) around them in the process of attaining career rewards and resources. The first stream of her research is focused on gender, a category that creates stark hierarchies in the world of work. Bobbi's work contributes to existing scholarship by focusing on how women overcome barriers to their career ascension and by exploring how gender intersects with other identities, such as nationality. Within the second stream of her research, she explores the implications of other social categories in individuals' work and careers. Within this second stream, she is particularly interested in the experience and perception of "locals" in the global employment market.

Bobbi has worked in conflict management consulting and as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School. She is the International Researcher for Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead and a contributor to the Lean In Foundation. Bobbi and her work have been featured in national and international media, including The Huffington Post, Business Insider, PRI's "The World", Smithsonian Magazine and KQED.


  • PhD, Stanford University, Management Science and Engineering

  • MA, Columbia University, Eastern European Studies

  • BSFS, Georgetown University, International Politics, concentration in Policy Processes (cum laude)

May Al-Dabbagh, Hannah Riley Bowles, and Bobbi Thomason*. "Status Reinforcement in Emerging Economies: The Psychological Experience of Local Candidates Striving for Global Employment." Organization Science. 2016.

Sara Vaerlander, Pamela Hinds, Bobbi Thomason, Brandi Pearce and Heather Altman. "Enacting a Constellation of Logics: How Employees Recontextualize Practices in Global Organizations." Academy of Management Discoveries. 2016.

Bobbi Thomason. "Managing Spouses and Supervisors on the Way to the C-Suite: Women Executive's Relational Strategies for Enacting Ideals" (under review at Organization Science)

Hannah Riley Bowles, Bobbi Thomason, and May Al-Dabbagh, "Do Men Always Ask?", invited submission in preparation for Harvard Business Review Online

Bobbi Thomason and Christopher Marquis. "Leadership and The First and Last Mile of Sustainability." Ivey Business Journal. September/October 2010.

Bobbi Thomason. "The Potential of Women in Management & Organizations." The Excellent Organization, April-June 2015. Tehran, Iran.

Bobbi Thomason. "Conclusion: The Internet of Women's Role in Catalyzing Global Gender Equality." The Internet of Women: Accelerating Cultural Change, Eds. Nada Anid, Laurie Cantileno, Monique Morrow and Rahilla Zafar. September 2016.

Hannah Riley Bowles, Bobbi Thomason, and Julia Bear. "Career Negotiations: Expanding the Lens of Research Beyond Salary." (in preparation for submission to Administrative Science Quarterly)

Brandi Pearce, Pamela Hinds, Bobbi Thomason, Sara Vaerlander and Heather Altman. "Who Moved My Office?" (in preparation for submission to Management Science)

Bobbi Thomason, "I'm Not a Driver, I'm an Entrepreneur: Uber Drivers in Sub-Saharan Africa Reach Towards Global Employment" (data analysis phase)

Bobbi Thomason, "Shedding Local Status for Cosmopolitan Identity" (data collection phase)

Bobbi Thomason and Chiara Trombini, "Affirming Women's Negotiation Competence" (data collection phase)

Hannah Riley Bowles and Bobbi Thomason. "Using Research to Generate Advice for Women: Examples from Negotiation Research" in Selection and Assessment of Women and Men as Business Leaders: Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions, Eds. Isabell M. Welpe, Prisca Brosi, Lisa
Ritzenhöfer and Tanja Schwarzmüller. 2015.

Bobbi Thomason. Memories of Gottschee: An Oral History of Fidelity and Fragility (2010), published in
collaboration with the Gottscheer Association of New York.