Ovul Sezer

Ovul Sezer

  • Assistant Professor

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Interdisciplinary Theme

  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Research

Faculty Expertise

  • Management and Organizations
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Behavioral Research
  • Impression Management


Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration


Cornell Directory Entry


Övül Sezer is an assistant professor of management and organizations. Her research focuses on impression (mis)management—the mistakes we make when we want to impress others. We all think we know how to make a positive impression, and we can easily spot the mistakes others make, but when it comes to our own missteps, we tend to be blithely oblivious. Sezer identifies these mistakes and investigates how we can better navigate our social world. How can we signal that we are both competent and likable? How can we brag wisely? How can we give valuable feedback in a way that strengthens our relationships rather than harming them? How can we network less awkwardly? Her research identifies useful strategies for making better impressions.

Sezer's research has been featured in top management and psychology journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Harvard Business Review and covered in leading media outlets including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • World's Best 40 Under 40 Business School MBA Professors (2020) Poets & Quants
  • Article of the Year (2021) Harvard Business Review
  • Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research (2016) Harvard Business School

Recent Courses

  • HADM 1150 - Organizational Behavior and Leadership Skills
  • HADM 3960/HADM 7960 - Seminar in Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion

Academic Degrees

  • PhD Harvard Business School, Harvard University, 2017
  • AB Harvard University, 2010