Skip to the main content

Leslie K. John is a Marvin Bower Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.

Much of Professor John’s research falls in the domain of the psychology of privacy decision-making, where novel information technologies have vastly expanded our ability to share personal information. These technologies satisfy, and fuel, our innate desires for communication, interaction, and self-representation. They raise many new exciting opportunities for firms and consumers alike. But they are also fueled by large amounts of personal data, which presents a host of privacy challenges. Professor John seeks to understand when and why our decisions about our personal information are prone to errors and biases. Beyond the interpersonal consequences of people’s decisions to share or withhold information, she seeks to understand consumers’ reactions to firms’ increasing knowledge of their personal attributes. Broadly, the goal of her research is to shed insight into how both consumers and firms alike can better navigate the digital world. Her work has been published in leading academic journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science, Management Science, The Journal of Marketing Research, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. It has received media coverage in outlets including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Time Magazine. She has received numerous awards, including from the Association for Psychological Science and the Marketing Science Institute; and was named a Wired Innovation Fellow.