Sarah Otner

Dr. Sarah Otner FHEA CMBE FRSA is a Research Fellow in the Department of Management at Imperial College Business School, and a Visiting Lecturer at ESMT Berlin.

She is also an Affiliate Fellow of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College London, and an alumna and current affiliate of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Dr. Otner earned a Ph.D. in Management (Organisational Behaviour) and an MSc.Res. in Organisational & Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an A.B. (cum laude) in Psychology from Harvard College.

Dr. Otner is a behavioral scientist focused on how individuals gain and maintain social status for themselves, and how they judge deservingness to allocate social status to others. Her research focuses on awards and prizes, and especially the design of, and the mechanisms that drive, competitions. Her current work involves peer effects among elites, and invisible status effects during blinded judging. She has studied the Nobel Prize in Physics, popular book awards, and innovation challenges. Her research has been published in The Journal of Management Inquiry, Psychological Bulletin, and Network Science. Dr. Otner uses the theories of status and competition in order to identify pathways to impact for society to solve its “wicked problems”, especially inequality.

Dr. Otner is part of the Innovation Caucus (a joint task force between the Economic and Social Research Council & Innovate UK), a charitable trustee of The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust, and a member of the Rotary Club of Surbiton.