Americans cherish the idea of the truly self-made man or woman. So why does an elite pedigree often win the day when it comes to hiring for the top jobs? What prevents managers from rewarding those who make the leap from one social class to another, and more importantly, what are we missing when we favor the well born? Professor Sean Martin, an expert in social class and leadership, discusses why the lack of opportunities for social class transitioners means businesses are missing opportunities to hire employees with incredibly valuable skills for the workplace.

About the Expert

Sean Martin

Donald and Lauren Morel Associate Professor of Business Administration

An expert in leadership, social class and ethics, Martin’s research addresses how organizational and societal contexts impart values and beliefs onto leaders and followers, and how those values influence their behaviors and experiences. His work has been featured in top academic journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics and Organizational Psychology Review, as well as mainstream media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Harvard Business Review and Comedy Central. 

Prior to joining the Darden faculty, Martin taught at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. 

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; MBA, California Polytechnic State University; Ph.D., Cornell University Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management