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Kevin Kniffin

Visiting Assistant Professor


Kniffin is an applied behavioral scientist interested in the mechanisms that facilitate and/or disrupt cooperation within groups. His work draws on multiple disciplines and his study-sites have included sports teams, new automobile dealerships, and firehouses.

Research Focus

Kniffin's core research interests involve the nature and effects of cooperative and competitive dynamics within small groups (e.g., work teams). He has contributed original research to publications including The Leadership Quarterly, Group and Organization Management, Human Performance, and the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. In neighboring disciplines, Kniffin has also contributed original research to the leading evolutionary psychology journals -- Human Nature and Evolution and Human Behavior -- as well as Economics Letters, Contemporary Economic Policy, and Applied Economics Letters. Kniffin's research has been featured by outlets including Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and numerous magazines and newspapers. He has also been a guest on a wide array of television and radio programs, including The Wall Street Journal Digital Live and MSNBC.

Teaching Focus

In the classroom, Kniffin enjoys "meeting students where they are" by engaging students' experiences in the pursuit of studying evidence-based principles of individual and organizational behavior. Kniffin employs an interdisciplinary approach to both Organizational Behavior (AEM 3245) and Leadership and Management in Sports (AEM 3320/6325).

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • Persistent Effects of Hiring Priority: The myth of the rejected underdog. Academy of Management. August 2015. Academy of Management. Vancouver, BC.
  • Team Sports as a Formative Environment for Group-Serving Values? Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup). July 2015. Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup). Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Boundary Spanning in Academia. Science of Team Science. June 2015. Science of Team Science. Bethesda, MD.
  • Cooperating Over Food and Fire: Organizational Benefits of Commensality Among Firefighters. Science of Team Science. June 2015. Science of Team Science. Bethesda, MD.
  • Priced for Winners. Association for Psychological Science . May 2015. Association for Psychological Science. New York, NY.