For UConn’s Lucy Gilson, Business and Research Are a Natural Fit

Lucy Gilson meeting with students.
Although she's associate dean at the School of Business, Lucy Gilson says she's still very much a professor at the school. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

When people question whether the research done at the UConn School of Business is “real,” Lucy Gilson fights back.

“People say to us, ‘You’re not curing cancer. You’re not helping a plane stay in the air,’” says Gilson, associate dean of faculty and outreach for the School.

But what UConn business researchers are doing includes determining the ideal group of people for a mission to Mars, helping teams work together more effectively, studying leadership tactics for maximum impact, and analyzing corporate investment strategies in certain economic climates, among many others, she says.

“Is that curing cancer? Maybe not,” Gilson says. “But is that helping the business world succeed? Absolutely.”

Communicating the impact that UConn School of Business research makes on the global business community is among Gilson’s charges in her associate dean role, to which she was appointed in fall 2019.

While her purview has expanded, Gilson says she is still very much a professor, dedicated to teaching and research. Named among the most highly cited researchers in the world by the Web of Science Group in November, Gilson’s areas of expertise include leadership, team effectiveness, and creativity.

Gilson’s recently published work includes studies on the importance of professional familiarity in virtual teams and the balance between standardization and creativity.

She recently talked with Julie Bartucca of the UConn 360 podcast about how her research can help businesses and how women can help each other in the male-dominated business world.

Listen to her describe her work here: