What We Do

The Behavioral Science & Policy Center (BSPC) promotes the application of rigorous behavioral science research to public- and private-sector policy making, and disseminates this work to a broad audience. BSPC unites a community of scholars in various behavioral science and policy disciplines, and facilitates interactions among behavioral scientists, policy analysts, and leaders from public, non‐profit, and private policy sectors. Our goal is to encourage and disseminate innovative policy solutions that serve the public interest and are derived from the study of individual, group, and organizational behavior.

Founder: Sim Sitkin
Director, Behavioral Science & Policy Center
Vice President, Behavioral Science & Policy Association
Founding Co-Editor, Behavioral Science & Policy

Sim Sitkin is Professor of Management, Director of the Behavioral Science & Policy Center, and Faculty Director of the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at Duke University. Previously at Duke, he served as Area Head for the Management and Organizations Department, Faculty Director of Fuqua’s Health Sector Management Program, and Staudenmeyer Research Fellow. Professor Sitkin has also been Academic Director at Duke Corporate Education and on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and the Free University of Amsterdam. He is a Founding Partner of Delta Leadership, Inc. 

He received a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University, an Ed.M. in Educational Administration from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Clark University. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management in 2010 and the Society for Organizational Behavior in 2013. 

His research focuses on leadership and control systems and their influence on how organizations and their members become more or less capable of change and innovation. He is widely known for his research on the effect of formal and informal organizational control systems and leadership on risk taking, accountability, trust, learning, M&A processes, and innovation. His research has appeared in such publications as Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, and Harvard Business Review. His most recent co-edited book is Organizational Control (Cambridge University Press, 2010). 

Sitkin’s research has been funded by NSF and other government agencies and foundations. He has received the AMR Best Paper award twice—in 2007 for “Cognitive underpinnings of institutional persistence and change: A framing perspective” (with E. George, P. Chattopadhyay, & J. Barden) and in 2012 for “The paradox of stretch goals: Pursuit of the seemingly impossible in organizations” (with K. See, C. Miller, M. Lawless & A. Carton) and is the recipient of research awards from the Academy of Management, the National Communication Association, Society for Organizational Learning, and the International Network of Trust Research. 

Sitkin is Vice-President of the Behavioral Science & Policy Association and Founding Co-Editor of Behavioral Science & Policy.  Also, he is Co-Editor of the Academy of Management Annals, Consulting Editor of Science You Can Use, and Advisory Board Member of the Journal of Trust Research, having previously served on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management, as Senior Editor of Organization Science, and as Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior. He has worked as a consultant and executive educator with many large and small corporations, nonprofits and government organizations worldwide.