I am a Professor of Leadership at IE Business School in Madrid (Spain). Prior to IE, I was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University and have taught at some of the world´s leading business schools. I was previously Professor of International Management at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada, and a Visiting Professor at Lancaster University Management School in the UK, Concordia University in Canada and ESMT -the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin.

My life changing event was being the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to complete my graduate studies at Harvard University. This was an inflexion point in my life in many ways – from a modest background to an elite backdrop, from psychology to business, and from a local community to an international context. Ten years later, I addressed new Fulbrighters to share experiences and build an international network.

My work bridges psychology and business with a focus on authentic leadership. Througth this lens I aim to understand how the world’s great leaders reinvent themselves and their organizations for better future.

I offer insights and practical strategies to improve leadership effectiveness, increasing employee wellbeing while enhancing companies growth and innovation.

Looking a variety of leaders, from executives of multinational firms, to start up founders, from political leaders, to sport leaders, I have developed research-based frameworks, business cases and tools to help executives develop their authentic self.

My Credentials

  • Ph.D. Organizational Behavior. State University of New York at Buffalo (where my thesis on leadership and diversity was a finalist in the Best Dissertation Award in the United States).
  • Fulbright Scholar. Psychology Applied to Business. Harvard University, USA.
  • Master. Psychology. Clark University, USA.
  • B.A. Psychology. Universidad Autonoma of Madrid, Valedictorian, Spain.

Latest Publications

  • Mayo, M., van Knippenberg, D., Guillen, L., & Firfiray, S. 2016. Team Diversity and Categorization Salience: Capturing Diversity-Blind, Intergroup Biased, and Multicultural Perceptions. Organizational Research Methods, v.19(3),433-474.
  • Firfiray, S., & Mayo, M. 2016. The Lure of Work-Life Benefit: Perceived Person-Organization Fit as a Mechanism Explaining Job Seeker Attraction to Organizations. Human Resource Management.
  • Mayo, M., Gomez-Mejia, L., Firfiray, S., Berrone, P., & Villena, V. 2016. Leader Beliefs and CSR for Employees: The Case of Telework Provision. Leadership & Organizational Development Journal. v.37(5), 609-634.
  • Guillen, L., Mayo, M., & Korotov, K. (2015). Is leadership a part of me? A leader identity approach to understanding the motivation to lead. The Leadership Quarterly, 26: 802-820.

Business Cases

Leadership Renewal:

The Spanish Royal Family. IE Business Case (in progress).

Leadership in Construction:

PERI-Spain IE Business Case RH1-013-A-I (A), RH1-013-B-I (B) and RH1-013-C-I (C). IE Second Best Business Case Award, 2004.

Work-Life Dilemmas:

Music International Publishing, IE Business Case C01-106 (A) and C01-106 (B), 2005.

Margarita Mayo photo

Awards and Recognitions

My work has appeared in leading journals -including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Organizational Research Methods, Human Resource Management, The Leadership Quarterly and Journal of Vocational Behavior– and has been presented in international conferences worldwide.

My work has also appeared in international media, such as the Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Forbes, The Economic Times of India and The Toronto Globe and Mail.

A research award winner at the Center for Creative Leadership, the Academy of Management, INFORMS, and the Emerald Group, I was selected as one of the world’s next generation thought leaders in the Next Generation Business Handbook.

Public Speaking

As an award winner for teaching excellence in 2010 and 2013 at IE, I frequently give keynote speeches and run seminars for organizations such as Cambridge University, Fulbright, Industry Disruptors, Accerlomittal, Gonvarri, PERI-Group, URSA-Iberica, Indra, Morgan Stanley, Banesto, Telefonica, BES, Plus Ultra Insurance, Nuclear Security Council, Graphic Controls and Human Resources Associations.

If you want to book me as  a speaker, click on my Speaking Page

Media Apperances

A personal interview appeared in the May 2013 edition of the Financial Times – Women at Business Schools.

Margarita Mayo in Financial times

More in the Media page

Video at IE

My Hobbies

Outside of work, I enjoy modern and ballroom dancing, especially tango. I like to use dance as a metaphor for leadership as collaborative choreography. Just like tangueros, leaders and followers negotiate roles to deliver a beautiful dance.

I also enjoy triathlon – swimming, biking and running which I further use to enrich my executive coaching and MBA classes. See my blog post on My First Triathlon.