Payal Sharma

Assistant Professor, Lee Business School
Expertise: Power, Leadership, Stress


Payal Sharma is a qualitative researcher who studies and teaches about power dynamics in organizations. Her current projects are focused on the hip-hop and rap music industry and the National Football League (NFL). Her prior research has examined topics including how leaders are impacted by stress and trauma, opportunities and challenges embedded in empowering leadership, and
workplace mistreatment processes.

She has been an invited speaker across a range of industries including health care, higher education, hospitality, information technology, and law. Her work has been published in outlets such as Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Group and Organization Management.

Before coming to UNLV, she was a visiting faculty member at the Wharton School of Business.


  • Ph.D., Organizational Behavior, University of Maryland, College Park
  • M.A., Higher Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.A., Organizational Management, The George Washington University
  • B.A., History, University of California, San Diego
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of California, San Diego

Search For Other Experts On

business development

Payal Sharma In The News

MIT Sloan Management Review
Many remote leaders who feel constrained, drained, and isolated are just getting in their own way.
Jake Gallen's Guest List Podcast
Dr. Payal Sharma is an Assistant Professor at UNLV teaches courses focused on Leadership and Power Dynamics, who has a Ph.D in Organization Behavior from the University of Maryland.
Torch Podcast
Welcome to a Bonus Q&A with Dr. Payal Sharma! We answer real-life workplace conundrums – AKA office politics questions – that were submitted by listeners via Instagram.
Torch Podcast
Power and politics go hand-in-hand in the workplace. Much of the wasteful energy we see unfold from office politics may relate to old trauma, old stories that leaders carry from their home to the office. Trauma seeps its way into the workplace, and at times into the threads of leadership if they are not acknowledged and addressed. Dr. Payal Sharma, a field researcher who studies power and stress in organizations, shares her tips and findings with us. We discuss types of power, how personal trauma can play out at work, how to prime yourself to feel more powerful, and how to manage up when dealing with a difficult boss.

Articles Featuring Payal Sharma

Man on rock gazing at lighthouse in the ocean with storm, thunder, lightening and waves in dark
Research | March 26, 2020

UNLV management professor Payal Sharma and mindset expert James Silvas explore ways trauma can provide opportunities and shape us.