Kristin Cullen-Lester

Assistant Professor

Kristin Cullen-Lester


Dr. Kristin Cullen-Lester is an Assistant Professor of Management in the C.T. Bauer College of Business. Her research focuses on relational aspects of leadership, including leaders' social networks and the role of organizational networks in shared leadership, complex collaboration, and implementing change. Her research is published in many peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Management, The Leadership Quarterly, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior. Recently, her paper, Incorporating networks into leadership development: A conceptual model and evaluation of research and practice, won the best paper published in 2017 in The Leadership Quarterly. In addition to publishing in academic journals, she also disseminates her research through practitioner-focused outlets including a 2016 issue of TD at Work that provides guidance to managers on the best ways to lead when there is too much change.

Dr. Cullen-Lester was guest editor of The Leadership Quarterly special issue on Collective and Network Approaches to Leadership in 2016 and currently is on the editorial boards of The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Journal of Business and Psychology. Prior to joining the Bauer College, she was a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a Financial Times top 5 global provider of executive education. There she led the center's R&D efforts integrating networks and leadership. Dr. Cullen-Lester continues to work with CCL as an affiliated researcher and advisor in these areas. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial/Organizational psychology from Auburn University.


Research Interests

  • Leadership
  • Intra-organizational networks
  • Executive Teams
  • Political and social skills
  • Collaboration
  • Organizational Change


Selected Publications

  • Cullen, K. L., Gerbasi, A., & Chrobot-Mason, D. 2018. Thriving in central network positions: The role of political skill. Journal of Management, 44: 682-706.
  • Cullen-Lester, K. L., Maupin, C., & Carter, D. 2017. Integrating networks into leadership development: A conceptual model and evaluation of research and practice. The Leadership Quarterly, 28: 130-152. *Best paper published in LQ*
  • Cullen-Lester, K. L., Gerbasi, A., & White, S. 2016. The promise and perils of workplace connections: Insights for leaders about workplace networks and well-being. In W. A. Gentry, C. Clerkin, P. L. Perrewé, C. C. Rosen, & J. R. B. Halbesleben (Eds.), Research on Occupational Health and Well-being, vol. 14 The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress: 61-90. Bingley, UK: Emerald
  • Cullen-Lester, K. L., Leroy, H., Gerbasi, A., & Nishii, L. 2016. Energy's role in the extraversion (dis)advantage: How energy ties and task conflict help clarify the relationship between extraversion and proactive performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37, 1003-1022.
  • Cullen-Lester, K. L., Woehler, M. L., & Willburn, P. 2016. Network-based leadership development: A guiding framework and resources for management educators. Journal of Management Education, 40: 321- 358.
  • Chrobot-Mason, D., Gerbasi, A., & Cullen-Lester, K. L. 2016. Predicting leadership relationships: The importance of collective identity. The Leadership Quarterly, 27: 298-311.


Academic Associations & Editorial Boards

  • Leadership Quarterly
  • Journal of Organizational Behavior
  • Journal of Business and Psychology


Contact Info

MH 310F
No Web Site Currently


  • MANA 3335 Introduction to Management and Organizational Behavior



Ph.D. Auburn University
M.S. Auburn University
B.S. University of Toronto