Brian Gunia: Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

My NativeAdVantage:


I am an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. I hold a PhD in management from Northwestern University. My research focuses on simple interventions that can improve people's effectiveness and ethicality in the workplace. It has been published in several academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Psychological Science. My research has also been featured in popular media outlets like The Economist, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. I have received several awards for his research and teaching, and I am the founder of the Carey School’s Business in Government Initiative. Previously, I worked as a consultant at Deloitte.

What do you do best?

I translate esoteric but critically-important psychological research findings into a format that individuals in organizations can readily understand and use. In the process, I hope to help improve their daily organizational lives.

What makes you the best?

I don’t claim to be the best; there are plenty of talented people who effectively translate between the research and organizational worlds. But I think I occupy a unique niche by translating cutting-edge research on negotiation and ethical decision-making. And I ensure I’m the best I can be by continuing to care about the organizational implications of research, in addition to the research implications of research.

How will you stay the best?

I will work as hard as my biology permits. To do that, I will continue to apply a rule that has served me well in the past: whenever I feel like I’m tired and can’t do anything more for the day, I always try to do one more thing. This hard work, implemented via the "one more thing" rule, will ultimately make me the best I can be.

What are your aspirations: business & personal?

Personal: Walk the entire Appalachian Trail in one stretch, without spraining either of my ankles.

Business: Have a measurable, and measured, impact on the lives of people in organizations.

What fascinates you?

Politics: I never met a Sunday-morning talk show that didn’t transfix me.

Favorite Motto?

Don’t do it if it doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about it if I can’t control it.

Favorite People?

Anyone who has a Gunia in their last name (or maiden name).

Favorite Places?

I love traveling to Ireland. Closer to home, I love bicycling around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Favorite Products?

If I’m not on a diet, Kraft Macaroni n’ Cheese.

Current Passions?

Writing my blog, called “Life’s Negotiable,” which offers research-based solutions to real-life problems. You can find it here:

Most challenging moment?

When a snowstorm made me one day and 15 minutes late for my job talk at Johns Hopkins University. The faculty knew about the one day but not the 15 minutes. Having to collect myself, launch my computer, and give a confident presentation in front of 20 annoyed strangers was not easy. Luckily, they ultimately cut me some slack and made a job offer.

Biggest disappointment - how did you/will you overcome it?

When I got my first rejection from an academic journal, less than 24 hours after submitting the paper. My advisors helped me to see that rejection is the most likely outcome of any submission, and that a quick rejection was a gift. I overcame by incorporating the feedback and continuing to refine the paper (using the “one more thing” rule mentioned above). It was ultimately accepted and is now one of my favorites: it shows that new decision-makers often exacerbate the failures of the person they are replacing (see: Rejections still hurt, of course, but I now try to see them as part of the learning and developmental process.

Biggest success?

When I was selected as the top jazz trombonist among Illinois’ high school students.