Gabrielle Adams

Gabrielle Adams

Associate Professor of Public Policy, Business Administration, and Psychology

Education & Training
PhD, Business Administration (Organizational Behavior), Stanford University Graduate School of Business
BA, Psychology, Philosophy, Colby College

Gabrielle Adams is an associate professor of public policy and business administration at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and in the Darden School of Business’s Leadership and Organizational Behavior area. Adams studies the processes and dynamics that give rise to ‘good’ decisions, policies and conditions in organizations. Her research focuses on psychological inefficiencies: the factors that cause friction and prevent people from understanding other viewpoints or making sound decisions. Why is it so difficult to resolve interpersonal conflict? Why do attempts to resolve ethical transgressions backfire? Her recent research on design and problem-solving shows that when improving ideas, objects or situations, people default to considering what they might add, but only occasionally and effortfully consider what they could subtract.

Her research has been published in journals such as Nature, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. It has also been the subject of articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Harvard Business Review, and covered on NPR, the BBC and CBC.

Adams teaches courses on leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; change; interpersonal and group dynamics; power, status, and influence; and negotiations. She has also taught executive education programs for both public and private sector organizations. Professor Adams received UVA's All-University Teaching Award in 2021 and was named one of the 40 Best Business School Professors Under 40 by Poets & Quants.

She also serves as a non-executive director/advisor of BrandsEye, Names & Faces and VEL, and is an affiliate of ideas42.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Colby College and her doctorate in business administration (organizational behavior) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.