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Lee Newman


Lee Newman


Dean of IE School of Human Sciences & Technology


Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour

Lee Newman’s work centers on positive leadership, and in particular, on translating and applying behavioral science to help professionals optimize their performance in the workplace.  “Imagine an organization in which employees at all levels are able to out-think the competition… literally, over and over again.  This is a company with a behavioral advantage,” he says, “My professional mission is to help individuals and companies achieve this type of advantage”.

Professor Newman’s research, teaching and professional mission focus on two areas of Positive Leadership:

Rethinking Thinking

Behavioral science has demonstrated a wide range of fundamental limitations in human cognition.  Professor Newman is interested in how these “mindware” limitations and related biases lead to reflexive, incomplete ways of thinking and unproductive ways of behaving — in the leadership and quick decision situations that managers face every day.  In this area, Prof. Newman teaches executive workshops, graduate courses and undergraduate courses in behavioral decision making and psychology for managers.  His most recent research in this area looks at how cognition and emotion interact to drive risky decisions based on experience.

Behavioral Fitness

“We don’t go the gym for a day and leave physically fit,” says Professor Newman, “and likewise, we don’t go to work one day intending to change our behavior, and end the day behaviorally fit”.  Research in positive psychology and the behavioral sciences provides a roadmap for how people can develop the workplace behaviors that matter most for their long term professional success.  His work centers on the concept of “behavioral fitness” which combines the science of habits and self-control with new self-tracking technologies and learning techniques such as mindfulness practice.  In this area, he teaches executive workshops and graduate courses in positive leadership and behavioral change.

Prior to pursuing a career in academia, Dr. Newman served as an Engagement Manager in the Chicago office of McKinsey & Company.  As a consultant, he worked with clients in the area of operations re-engineering, and organizational performance improvement. In this role he developed corporate-wide performance improvement processes and designed and led successful training programs to help managers analyze and improve bottom line results. His industry experience includes mining, industrial goods, and consumer packaged goods. Following his role as consultant, Dr. Newman founded and served as a senior manager in two technology companies in New York City. In these roles he gained extensive experience in the design and development of interactive technologies, including innovative tools in the area of Human Resources.

Academic Background

• D. in Psychology and Computer Science, University of Michigan, USA

• Certificate in Cognitive Science & Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Michigan, USA

• B.A. in Strategy and Systems Dynamics, MIT Sloan School of Management, USA

• M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

• B. in Engineering, Brown University, USA

Academic Experience

• 2013 – Present: Dean of Innovation and Behavior, IE Business School

• 2010 – Present: Dean, IE School of Social & Behavioral Sciences

• 2003 – Present: Professor of Behavioral Science, IE University and IE Business School

Corporate Experience

• 1992 – 1995: Engagement Manager. McKinsey & Company, Chicago

• 1995 – 1999: Founder & Chief Operating Officer. Brainstorm Interactive, New York

• 1999 – 2002: Founder & EVP Product Development, HR One, New York