Dee Birnbaum

Associate Professor of Business

After completing a B.A. in music performance (cello) and working as a hospital administrator in New York City, I returned to school to pursue an M.B.A. in industrial/organizational psychology and a Ph.D. in business. Before joining Rhodes in 1991, I taught graduate courses in health care management programs at the University of Kansas and Tulane University. My outside interests focus on Middle Eastern and Central Asian cultures.


In BUS 361 – Management of Organizations, we focus on motivation, leadership and organizational design. I use an evidence-based learning approach to explore how scientific research helps us to find out what we actually know. By studying the classical theories of management and examining to what extent scientific evidence supports these theories, we learn what managers have been taught to think and where the gaps are between what managers think they know and what they really know. The evidence-based approach will help students to make management decisions based on valid evidence (as they progress up the corporate ladder) rather than on fads, trends and rules of thumb.

BUS 466 – Personnel and Human Resource Management is a much narrower course focusing on the use of research-based applications to design and implement personnel systems. We study methods for designing compensation, selection, performance appraisal and training programs.

BUS 463 – International Management applies some of the more successful approaches we study in BUS 361 and BUS 466 to international companies. To do this, we must study the essence of culture and how it affects employee motivation, organizational design and implementation of strategy. We also look at supplementary programs that are needed to prepare managers for working cross-culturally.


My research focuses on the interplay between occupational and organizational socialization in shaping an individual’s idea of what his or her occupational role should be. Because of my prior experience in healthcare, I have studied these issues in health care organizations.


Below is a list of the publications that are most central to my research program and some recent directions I have pursued:


Somers, M.J., Finch, L. & Birnbaum, D. Marketing Nursing as a Profession: Integrated Marketing Strategies to Address the Nursing Shortage. Health Marketing Quarterly, 2010, 27, #3, pp 291+.

Birnbaum, D. & Somers, M.J. Pre-vocational Experience and post-Entry Behavior: Occupational Influences on Job Attitudes and Turnover. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1991, 21, 508-523.

Birnbaum, D. & Somers, M.J. The Meaning and Measurement of Occupational Image Subculture for the Nursing Role. Work and Occupations, 1989, 16, 200-213. 


Birnbaum, D. & McKinney, C.N. Dirty Work Revisited. Proceedings, Southwest Academy of Management. Houston, April, 2008.


Somers, M.J. & Birnbaum, D. Profiles of Work Commitment & Work Outcomes. National Academy of Management, Montreal, August, 2010.


B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook
M.B.A., Baruch College
M.Phil. and Ph.D., City University of New York