S. Mercedes McBride-Walker | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

S. Mercedes McBride-Walker

S. Mercedes McBride-Walker
PhD Organizational Behavior, 2015 - Present

Mercedes McBride received her Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University and is now a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Organizational Behavior in the Weatherhead School of Management of Case Western Reserve University. Mercedes has worked for and consulted with Fortune 500 companies and coached for leadership development for many years before transitioning to academia.

Curriculum Vita

MS, Pepperdine University, 2013
BA, University of Washington, 1992

Interests and Courses


Mercedes’ research agenda includes narrative research at the individual, team, and organizational levels employing qualitative methodologies such as grounded theory and methods, which include the case research method. Her first stream of research is in ‘<i>Fear Narratives’.</i> She studies experiences of fear at work and has found that “fears” (e.g., fear of failure) are actually narratives of self-doubt. This suggests that rather than “fears” being something that are hard-wired, in fact what she calls ‘Fear Narratives’ are constructed—and therefore malleable—stories of doubt and uncertainty; managers and employees can shift the conversation to be more productive. The findings also point to a clear process at work when the ‘Fear Narrative’ is exposed during a perceived threatening exchange involving asymmetrical power. Mercedes’ second stream of research centers on <i>team and organizational narratives</i>. In her dissertation, she employs the case research method to study organizational tensions (e.g., dualities, dialectics, dilemmas) in complex systems and the degree to which collective narrative construction mitigates tensions and the associated competing demands.


Managing People & Organizations, Organizational Theory, Behavior in Organizations, Performance & Rewards

Recent Courses and Syllabi

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Selected Publications


  • Stephens, J. P. (Author Only), McBride, S. X. (Presenter & Author) Academy of Management Meeting, "Leading MTSs: Unpacking the challenges of balancing external and internal system demands", Academy of Management, Boston, MA. (2019).
  • McBride-Walker, S. SMA 2018, "A Crack in the Armor: Understanding the Narratives of Fear and Uncertainty at Work", Southern Management Association of the Academy of Management, Lexington, KY. (2018).
  • McBride-Walker, S., Stephens, J. P. Relational Coordination Research Collaborative Roundtable, "Getting On the Same Temporal Page: Constructing Timely Communication in Role-Based Relationships For Project Commitment and Success ", Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. (2018).
  • Kim, H., McBride-Walker, S. Academy of Management, "Benefits & Challenges of Studying Discrete Emotions", Academy of Management - Organizational Behavior, Chicago, IL. (2018).
  • McBride-Walker, S. (Presenter & Author) Academy of Management, "Fear of Incompetence: A New Motive for Being a Good Citizen? Impression Management as a Theoretical Framework for Understanding Fear as a Motivation for Non-Task Performance", Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior Division, (2017).
  • McBride-Walker, S. (Presenter & Author) Academy of Management, "Unconstrained by Fear: Reallocating Our Resources to Enable Meaningful Interfaces at the AOM Conference", Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior Division, (2017).
  • Van Oosten, E. B. (Presenter & Author), McBride-Walker, S. (Presenter & Author) SIOP 2017, "How coaching relationships influence leader effectiveness outcomes.", Society of Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Orlando, FL. (2017).
  • McBride-Walker, S. (Presenter & Author) Academy of Management, "Unconstrained by Fear: Reallocating Resources Toward a More Meaningful Conference Experience", Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior Division, Anaheim, CA. (2016).
  • McBride-Walker, S. EMONET X, "Toward a Working Definition of the Construct of Fear in the Management Sciences", EMONET, Rome, Italy. (2016).

Academic and Professional Activities

  • International Coaching Federation. 2020 - Present
  • Academy of Management. 2014 - Present
  • WorldatWork. 2003 - Present
  • Reviewer, Conference Paper, Academy of Management, 2018
  • Committee Member, Admissions Committee, 2016


  • Best Doctoral Student Paper - OB Track - for SMA 2018, Southern Management Association of the Academy of Management. (2018).
  • Best Overall Doctoral Student Paper for SMA 2018, Southern Management Association of the Academy of Management. (2018).