S. Amir Kohan, SHRM-CP specializes in decentralizing the role of leadership in organizations to enhance the ability of employees to work productively toward common goals, and the managerial and institutional changes needed to build more sustainable enterprises—those businesses that foster social and natural as well as economic well-being. Amir’s work articulates a cornerstone position of human values in the workplace: namely, that vision, purpose, reflectiveness, and systems thinking are essential if organizations are to realize their potential. He has worked with leaders in business, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, nonprofits, and organized labor, in a wide range of organizations from start-ups to fortune 500. 


Research Interests:

Amir’s ongoing research interests include leading through change, especially in the context of Belongingness, and Resilience. Studies in Organizational Effectiveness & Development, Leadership & Navigation Competency, Operations, and Human Behavior and Decision-Making.

Expertise / Activities: 

Behavioral economics is a field that combines insights from psychology, economics, and neuroscience to understand how people make decisions. In the context of HR, this means understanding how employees and job candidates make decisions about their careers, their work, and their relationships with their colleagues.

One of the key insights of behavioral economics is that people are not always rational decision-makers. Instead, they are influenced by a variety of cognitive biases and heuristics that can lead them to make suboptimal decisions. For example, people may be more motivated by short-term rewards than long-term goals, or they may be more influenced by social norms than by objective information.

By understanding these biases and heuristics, HR professionals can design policies and practices that are more effective in achieving their goals. For example, they can use behavioral nudges to encourage employees to save more for retirement or to adopt healthier behaviors. They can also use behavioral insights to design more effective training programs or to improve the recruitment process.

Another important application of behavioral economics in HR is in the area of diversity and inclusion. Research has shown that people are often biased against those who are different from themselves, whether it be in terms of race, gender, or other factors. By understanding these biases and designing interventions to overcome them, HR professionals can create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Overall, the use of behavioral economics in HR is still in its early stages, but there is growing recognition of its potential to improve organizational outcomes. Whether it be through designing more effective policies and practices, improving diversity and inclusion, or enhancing the overall employee experience, the insights of behavioral economics can help HR professionals to achieve their goals and drive organizational success.