Derek Lief

PhD Candidate in Business Administration (Strategy) and Political Science | University of Michigan Ross School of Business

About Me

My name is Derek Lief and I am a fifth year doctoral student at the University of Michigan where I am pursuing a joint PhD in Strategy (through the Ross Business School) and Political Science (through the college of Literature, Arts, and Sciences).  My research focuses primarily on the effect of religion on firm performance, and is segmented into three main parts. In the first, I attempt to develop the construct of organizational religiosity (OR) by establishing its theoretical validity and defining a quantitative measure for it. In the second, I focus on factor markets, where I study how OR impacts the employer-employee match at the organizational boundary (the “outside effect”) in terms of the reservation wage, and worker behavior within the firm’s boundary (the “inside effect”) in terms of employee contributions. Finally, my work focuses on OR in product markets, where I consider how higher levels of OR prevent the firm from competing in certain markets, while providing opportunities in others.

While the main focus of my research is the effect of religion on firm performance, I also work examining the effect of other non-pecuniary incentives and their effect at the boundary of the firm. Specifically, I study how various expressions of corporate purpose affect the attraction of human captital at the boundary of the firm. 

Prior to graduate school, I held a variety of positions. From 2008 - 2012, I worked for FTI Consulting, Inc. in San Francisco, followed by time at Stanford University in the Department of Economics as a Senior Researcher. I then moved to the Middle East where I worked for multiple NGOs in Israel, served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan and taught mathematics at King's Academy, also in Jordan. 

I hold a BA (with honors) in History, with a minor in Economics, from Haverford College, and an MPP and MA in Middle Eastern and North African Studies, both from the University of Michigan.

You can find my CV here.