Despite his youth, Assistant Professor of Management Sam Yam is an accomplished academic with research papers in top journals, such as the Academy of Management Review and Journal of Applied Psychology. Now at National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, he is known for bringing humour into traditionally dry Business Ethics lectures. He also takes pride in being a friend and mentor to his students. “Sometimes I think I learn just as much from my students as they learn from me,” he says.

Hong Kong-born Yam’s research interests span religion, philosophy and politics, and he enjoys engaging in debates relating to Hong Kong-Mainland relations, immigration and Christian theology. “I have a curious mind and research is what I do 24/7. I am glad that someone is paying me to pursue my intrinsic interest,” he says.

At the moment, he is passionate about studying the dark side of being ethical. “In a study of CEOs in China, we find, surprisingly, that highly moral CEOs lead less creative firms as they tend to implement rules that prevent individual employees to ‘think outside the box’. A ton of extant research suggests that moral leaders produce positive outcomes, but my ongoing work is the first to demonstrate the dark side of that,” Yam explains.