Cornell University

International Programs

117 Ives Hall, 607-254-7255

Faculty Profile

Lisa Dragoni

Lisa DragoniProfessor Lisa Dragoni joined the Human Resource Studies Department of the ILR School as an Assistant Professor in July of 2007. Currently, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on leadership development and training and employee development. She has previously taught courses on negotiations, organizational strategy, and management and organizational theory while on the faculty at the University of Iowa and as an instructor at the University of Maryland. In addition, while at the University of Maryland, she worked as an executive coach with a small cadre of executive MBA students to guide them in their leadership development.

Professor Dragoni’s interest in leadership and employee development carries over into her research. During her tenure as a consultant and trainer prior to entering academia, she became intrigued with how different organizational practices, such as job assignment and mentoring, could have a profound effect on leadership development with minimal cost to the organization. These early career experiences shaped the basis of her current research agenda which centers on understanding the impact of primarily three types of HR practices performance management, job assignments, and mentoring programs. Her current research agenda explores these themes.

In one of her current projects, she explores how mentoring programs assist newly-appointed managers to better transition into the managerial ranks. This particular project is funded by a grant from CAHRS and she is currently searching for an organizational partner with whom to collaborate.

In another project, she examines how executives’ work experiences, personality, and intellectual horsepower relate to their leadership effectiveness. Results show that a breadth of experience is positively related to leadership effectiveness after holding years of experience, personality and cognitive ability constant. She is working to expand this work by examining the international experience of executives.

Another example of Professor Dragoni’s work focuses on how leadership affects employee perceptions, motivations, learning behaviors and performance. Studied in a banking setting, she examines how leaders create specific types of work-group climates which in turn affect employee motivation and performance. Results indicate that a work-group climate for learning is related to an employee’s motivation to learn only when an employee has a good relationship with his/her manager.Further,this motivation to learn translates into an employees’engagement in learning behaviors only after they have worked with their manager for a substantial length of time.

Prior to academia, Professor Dragoni worked for eight years in both the non-profit and profit sectors, and most notably, consulted with and trained over 6,000 employees, managers, and executives on various human resource management topics, including: work-place diversity; discrimination and harassment issues; strategic planning; and human resource planning. She hopes that her involvement in CAHRS will provide similar opportunities to collaborate with organizations. 

Dragoni’s prior research has appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology,and she has presented her work at numerous national conferences. She is a member of the Academy of Management, the American Psychological Association, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Business from the University of Maryland, her M.A. in Women’s Studies and Public Policy from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and her B.A. in Business Management from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Lisa lives on South Hill in Ithaca, New York, with her husband, Dan, and her daughter, Madelyn. She enjoys cooking, yoga, and spending time with friends and family.


- Lisa Dragoni

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