Abhijeet K. Vadera
Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian School of Business
“Despite teaching night classes, professor Abhijeet always brings joy into the class by making it engaging and challenging. He also has a very lively personality and it makes him very approachable. I look forward to sitting in his class again.” – Kenneth Ng
Abhijeet K. Vadera, 43, is Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources at Singapore Management University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business.
He strongly believes in evidence-based management and integrates research-based principles, strategies, and tools into his teaching. He primarily teaches Ethics and Corporate Responsibility to undergraduate students and Negotiations to post-graduate students in the MBA and Master of Human Capital Leadership programs as well as at SMU. He has also taught a range of topics in executive development programs at various organizations across the globe. At SMU, he has received the MHCL Best Instructor Award in 2022, MBA Most Outstanding Professor award in 2018, UG Excellent Teacher award in 2021, and has been on the Dean’s Teaching Honour List every year.
His research focuses on constructive (creativity and innovation) and destructive (such as ethics, white-collar crime) deviance in the workplace. He has also published in leading academic as well as practitioner-oriented periodicals. Prior to joining academia, he was a manager of human resources at his family’s construction firm.
At current institution since what year? 2015
Education: B.E. (Civil); PGP in Management; PhD (Business Administration)
List of Undergraduate courses you teach: Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…I got completely fascinated with the organizational behavior core course in my PG programme. I had always enjoyed teaching but recognizing that business school professors can ask and (try to) answer interesting and practically relevant research questions as well as share that knowledge with their students convinced me that this was the profession for me.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? Currently, I am most excited about a series of projects on moral challenges, which entail understanding how, when, and why people challenge moral transgressions at work. In one project (with Ann Tenbrunsel, Lily Morse, and Noriko Tan), we found that people who are in lower positional power can effectively challenge moral transgressions at work when they have some personal power. What we discovered is that people who are low in positional power engage in moral challenges when they believe that they have personal power; however, these challenges are effective only when they actually have personal power at work. Also, people with low positional power do challenge moral transgressions, but in subtle ways such as gossiping about and ostracizing the transgressor.
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… Wedding planner or tour guide
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? Hmmm…I am not sure. I believe it is being genuinely interested in what students have to say and ensuring that they feel heard and respected.
One word that describes my first time teaching: Preparation
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: that is an exciting profession to be a part of!
Professor I most admire and why: The list is long…Hayagreeva Rao, Madan Pillutla, Michael Pratt, Ruth Aguilera, and the list goes on…They are brilliant instructors and amazing human beings as well.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? How pragmatic they are…they often want to know how to apply whatever we discuss in class to their workplace.
What is most challenging? How pragmatic they are.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Discourteous
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as…Always trying to be lenient, but can never be.
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies? Exploring new neighborhoods in Singapore; Travelling; Watching TV shows while enjoying takeout.
How will you spend your summer? This summer, I plan to teach for a bit, host some dear friends visiting me from the US, and then travel to India to see family and Australia to hang out with my dear friends.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: My parents’ home in Mumbai, Goa, and Bangkok!
Favorite book(s): To kill a mockingbird
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? I just finished watching Brooklyn 99. Before that, I watched Schitt’s Creek for the first time. I hope both of these shows need no introduction!
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? My favorites change often. I am currently listening to Fujii Kaze. I chanced upon his music on YouTube and have found it difficult to stop listening to his work
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…try to find a stronger voice in policy making
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at…incorporating evidence-based management practices at work
I’m grateful for…the love and support of my family, friends, colleagues, and students.
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