Ashley Whillans

Ashley Whillans

Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School

Ashley Whillans is an assistant professor in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit, teaching the Motivation and Incentives course to MBA students and Negotiations to executives.

Her research investigates whether and how intangible incentives, such as experiential and time-saving rewards, affect employee motivation and well-being. In both 2015 and 2018, she was named a Rising Star of Behavioral Science by the International Behavioral Exchange and the Behavioral Science and Policy Association. In 2016, she co-founded the Department of Behavioral Science in the Policy, Innovation, and Engagement Division of the British Columbia Public Service Agency. Her research has been published in top academic journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of ScienceOrganizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, Nature Human Behavior, and Science Advances and popular media outlets including Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Her first book “Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time & Live a Happier Life” was published in October 2020 by Harvard Business Publishing. Professor Whillans earned her BA, MA, and PhD in Social Psychology from the University of British Columbia.

Prior to joining HBS, she was a visiting scholar and guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her dissertation research on time and happiness won the 2017 CAGS Distinguished Dissertation Award for being the single best PhD thesis in Canada across the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.