2018 Top 50 Undergraduate Professors: Ozias Moore, Lehigh University

Ozias Moore

Assistant Professor of Management

Lehigh University, College of Business and Economics

For Lehigh University management professor Ozias Moore, academic research centers on team dynamics. Think team composition, multi-teaming, team decision-making, and related topics. With his acute understanding of these areas of organizational behavior and human resource management, Professor Moore’s classroom becomes a living testament to what he studies.

“On the first day of his Organizational Behavior class, he emphasized the fact that his classroom and office settings are places of what he likes to call ‘psychological safety,’” one student recalls. “He is extremely conscious of allowing every and anyone to share their opinions without fear of being judged negatively.” Says another, “Each student was treated like a colleague of his in the professional world.”

Described as energetic and approachable, Moore helps students connect theory to practice, with projects studying real problems in real organizations and having practicing professionals in class so students can hear how organizational behavior translates to applications in workplaces such as Deloitte. This year he won Lehigh’s student-nominated Award for Teaching Excellence.

Age: Young at heart  

Education: PhD in Human Resource Studies, Cornell University; MS in Human Resource Studies, Cornell University; MSE in Technology Management, University of Pennsylvania; BS in Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh

At current institution since: 2016

List of courses you currently teach: Managing and Leading People in Organizations (Organizational Behavior)

Twitter handle: @OziasMoore

What professional achievement are you most proud of? In 2016, I was awarded the Cornell University Provost Fellowship and the Lee Hakel “Top-Rated” Graduate Student Scholarship by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology for my research on Multiple Team Membership. More recently, I received the 2018 Lehigh University College of Business and Economics Teaching Excellence Award.

“I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…” When I was a master’s student at University of Pennsylvania, I also worked as a graduate research assistant. I loved this experience and it changed my career direction. Additionally, I went to the PhD Project conference for prospective doctoral students, learned more about pursuing a career as a Business School Professor, and walked away knowing it was the path for me.

“One word that describes my first-time teaching…” Electrifying  

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? In general, my research provides much needed theoretical clarification, important empirical evidence, and practical implications on the phenomenon of multiple team membership (MTM). I focus particularly on how emergent states mediate the effects of MTM on team outcomes. Thus far, the most interesting implications of this research are that not only does MTM negatively impact team performance and individual member reactions but also that the MTM configuration makes a difference. Although theoretically important, the practical implications should not be overlooked. For example, my multi-level approach should draw managers’ attention to the enabling conditions associated with multi-teaming effectiveness.

What is your most memorable moment as a professor? I was very touched when votes from my undergraduate students resulted in receiving the 2018 Lehigh University College of Business and Economics Teaching Excellence Award.

Since you first started teaching, how has business education changed? Greater emphasis is now placed on developing community-engaged learning pedagogies that will simultaneously provide students with hands-on experience and impact the public good.

“If I weren’t a business school professor, I would be…” I would own a management consulting firm or practice law as an intellectual property attorney.

“Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a professor” Explained the art and importance of knowing when to say “no” and how to say “no.”

Name of the professor you most admire and why: This is a tough question to answer. I have and continue to be blessed by so many incredible professors and mentors who inspire, encourage, and support me including my former PhD advisor, Brad Bell and undergraduate finance professor, Vijay Gondhalekar.

What do you enjoy most about teaching undergraduate business students? Given that undergraduates are making decisions that launch life-long careers, I feel extremely fortunate to play positive a role in their intellectual journey. I enjoy most their intellectual curiosity, creativity, diverse range of perspectives, energy, and fearless ambition.  

What’s the biggest challenge? Over the course of the semester, my greatest challenge is helping students learn how to manage critical team processes such as conflict resolution, social loafing, psychological safety, and building trust; thus, creating high-performing teams.

What is the most impressive thing one of your undergraduate students has done? Wow, there are too many to name one. I am most impressed when former students cannot wait to share with me how my course or advice helped to make a positive difference in their summer internships, careers, and overall ability to engage in thorough problem analysis.

What is the least favorite thing one has done? One student violated the code of academic integrity by cheating on his/her final exam.

Since you’ve been teaching, how have students changed over the years? I now see a more diverse body of students, stronger collaborations with alumni, global industry partners, and the local community.

What does a student need to do to get an A in your class? Actively participate in class discussions by thoughtfully integrating concepts and sharing new insights. The outstanding student not only understands the key organizational behavior theories but also applies evidence-based analysis to real-world situations and business problems.

“When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as …” transparent (with clear expectations) as well as challenging, but fair.

If your teaching style/classroom experience had a theme song, what would it be? “We Are the Champions” by Queen

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: Motivated

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Disengaged

“If my students can think critically and be willing to take calculated risks, then I’ve done my job as their professor.” 

Fun fact about yourself: I made it to the third-round audition for The Apprentice, a reality television game show.

What are your hobbies? I love to travel and attend cultural events.

How did you spend your summer? I worked on a revise and resubmit, engaged in ongoing research projects, presented at the Academy of Management Annual Conference, and took a short vacation.  

Favorite place to vacation: Martha’s Vineyard

Favorite book: So many. I love to read. I find reading motivational books a great way to reflect on my goals. A few that I tend to reread: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, and The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt.

Favorite movie and/or television show: Men of Honor, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist: Neo Soul

Bucket list item #1: To walk on the moon.

What’s the biggest challenge facing business education at the moment? The greatest challenge is in developing and implementing strategies to increase faculty diversity in business schools.

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…” Challenging students to apply their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to address the most pressing local and global business issues.

“And much less of this…” Students can be obsessed with and stressed about their grades instead of focusing their energies on the learning process and how that and their ideas can impact the world around them.

Looking ahead 10 years from now, describe what “success” would be like for you? In short, I would describe personal success as contributing to the advancement of theory, the betterment of society, and seeing my former students as successful business leaders.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.