Hayley Blunden - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Hayley Blunden

Doctoral Student

Hayley H. Blunden is a doctoral student in Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School.  She studies the dynamics of interpersonal communication and how the communication strategies employees choose impact their wellbeing, work performance, and experiences.  She is particularly interested in advice relationships and virtual interactions.  Hayley additionally serves as an Instructor of Management and Communication at the Harvard Extension School.

Hayley has worked in a variety of organizational contexts and sectors.  She has held positions in internal strategy, consulting, and finance, and has experience working in organizations of all sizes, ranging from a small startup to a Fortune 100 firm.  Hayley earned her BA in Economics from The University of Virginia and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Working Papers
  1. Seeker Beware: The Relational Costs of Advice-Seeker Decisions

    Hayley Blunden, Jennifer M. Logg, Alison Wood Brooks, Leslie John and Francesca Gino

    Prior advice research has focused on understanding when and why people rely on (or ignore) advice and how this impacts judgment accuracy; little is known about the interpersonal consequences of the advice-seeking process. In this paper, we investigate the interpersonal consequences when an advisor believes his or her advice will be ignored. We find that advisors interpersonally penalize seekers perceived to ignore their advice because such dismissal threatens advisors’ sense of self-worth, leading them to judge seekers more harshly. Moreover, these effects are compounded by advisor expertise: expert advisors are more likely to punish seekers who ignore their advice than are non-expert advisors. We further find this effect drives advisor reactions to one of the most widely-recommended advice-seeking strategies: seeking advice from multiple advisors to leverage the wisdom of crowds. Advisors negatively judge and interpersonally distance themselves from seekers who they learn consulted others, an effect which is mediated by perceptions that their own advice will not be followed. Advice seekers fail to anticipate this negative relational impact, exposing them to unanticipated adverse consequences of their advice-seeking decisions. These findings challenge previous recommendations for optimal advice seeking behavior.

    Keywords: advice; advice seeking; expertise; impression management; wisdom of crowds; Interpersonal Communication; Behavior; Experience and Expertise; Perception; Judgments;


    Blunden, Hayley, Jennifer M. Logg, Alison Wood Brooks, Leslie John, and Francesca Gino. "Seeker Beware: The Relational Costs of Advice-Seeker Decisions." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 18-084, February 2018.  View Details