Sujin Jang

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Doctoral Student

Sujin Jang is a Ph.D. Candidate in the joint Organizational Behavior and Social Psychology Program at Harvard. Her research examines the dynamics of cross-cultural interactions, particularly in the context of multicultural teams. In her dissertation, she develops and tests theory on cultural brokerage, the act of facilitating cross-cultural interactions. 

Sujin has taught and facilitated courses on Leadership and Organizational Behavior in the Harvard Psychology Department and at Harvard Business School, and as an invited lecturer in the International Spark Program (Republic of Georgia) and at Dubrovnik International University (Croatia). 

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Sujin graduated with highest honors from Yonsei University with a B.A. in Business Administration. She also studied at New York University’s Stern School of Business as a member of the International Business Exchange Program. She holds an M.A. in Social Psychology from Harvard University, and is expected to obtain her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior in May, 2014.

Featured Work

  1. [Dissertation Research] Bringing Worlds Together: Cultural Brokerage in Multicultural Teams

    My dissertation (2013 Organization Science/ INFORMS Dissertation Proposal Competition Finalist) examines the dynamics and creative performance of multicultural teams. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, I introduce the concept of "cultural brokerage," the act of facilitating cross-cultural interactions, and test how cultural brokerage influences team performance. 

    In an inductive interview study with 65 executives and managers, I find that culturally experienced members of multicultural teams voluntarily engage in cultural brokerage on an ad-hoc basis, without formal appointment. I further find that both cultural insiders (those with deep knowledge of the specific cultures involved) and cultural outsiders (those with little knowledge of the specific cultures involved) engage in cultural brokerage, but that they do so in different ways.

    In a follow-up experiment of 83 global teams using a novel online paradigm, I find that cultural insiders broker by compensating (managing cultural differences on behalf of other members), while cultural outsiders broker by empowering (enabling other members to manage cultural differences). Ultimately, both types of brokerage were shown to enhance team creativity. When it comes to team viability, however, high empowering, coupled with a low level of compensating, led to the highest performance. 

    A field study is currently underway to explore cultural brokerage in the context of a global firm, and examine the boundary conditions of the theory. 

    By highlighting an important yet previously undocumented role that members of multicultural teams fulfill, this work provides a unique perspective on how multicultural teams can overcome the challenges and reap the benefits of cultural diversity. 

  2. [Teaching] Lessons in Leadership: The International Spark Program

    Since 2011, I have been involved in the International Spark Program, a non-profit organization dedicated to building the next generation of leaders in post-Soviet countries. I have had the fortune of teaching Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the International Summer School in the Republic of Georgia in 2011 and 2012, and have served as a member of the Advisory Board based in Cambridge, MA since 2011. 

    The International Spark Program was recently profiled in Harvard Magazine- click on the picture to read more about this initiative.

Publications

Journal Articles

  1. Beyond Individual Creativity: The Superadditive Benefits of Multicultural Experience for Collective Creativity in Culturally Diverse Teams

    Although recent research has consistently demonstrated the benefits of multicultural experience for individual-level creativity, its potential advantages for collective creativity in culturally diverse teams have yet to be explored. We predicted that multicultural experience among members of a collective would enhance joint creativity in a superadditive fashion. Using a two-step methodology that included both individual and dyadic brainstorming sessions, we found that even after controlling for individual creativity, multicultural experience had a superadditive effect on dyadic creativity. Specifically, dyads performed best on a creative task in terms of fluency, flexibility, and novelty—three classic dimensions of creativity—when both dyad partners had high levels of multicultural experience. These results show that when it comes to multicultural experience, the creative whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Implications for diversity research are discussed.

    Keywords: Creativity; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Tadmor, Carmit, Patricia Satterstrom, Sujin Jang, and Jeffrey Polzer. "Beyond Individual Creativity: The Superadditive Benefits of Multicultural Experience for Collective Creativity in Culturally Diverse Teams." Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 43, no. 3 (April 2012): 384–392.

Book Chapters

  1. Building Intercultural Trust at the Negotiating Table

    This chapter examines the challenges of intercultural negotiation with a focus on the critical role of trust. Building trust is crucial for successful negotiations between cultures, yet intercultural negotiations are often characterized by a lack of trust. We discuss what trust is, why it matters, and why it is so difficult to establish in intercultural negotiations. We then offer guidelines for building trust in intercultural negotiations with an emphasis on cultural intelligence-the capacity to adapt effectively across cultures.

    Keywords: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation; Trust; Adaptation;

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin, and Roy Y.J. Chua. "Building Intercultural Trust at the Negotiating Table." In Negotiation Excellence: Successful Deal Making, edited by Michael Benoliel. World Scientific, 2011.

Working Papers

  1. Bringing Worlds Together: Cultural Brokerage in Global Teams: (Job Market Paper)

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin. "Bringing Worlds Together: Cultural Brokerage in Global Teams: (Job Market Paper)." Working Paper, August 2013.
  2. We're Halfway There? Transitions and Creativity in Work Teams

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin, Colin M. Fisher, and J. Richard Hackman. "We're Halfway There? Transitions and Creativity in Work Teams." Working Paper, April 2013.
  3. From Seeing Dots to Perceiving Social Cues: Mapping the Relationship between Visual Processing and Social Perceptiveness

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin, George Alvarez, and J. Richard Hackman. "From Seeing Dots to Perceiving Social Cues: Mapping the Relationship between Visual Processing and Social Perceptiveness." Working Paper, August 2012.

Presentations

  1. Cultural Brokerage in Cross-Cultural Collaborations

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin. "Cultural Brokerage in Cross-Cultural Collaborations." In Understanding the Dynamics of Cross-Cultural Interactions. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Lake Buena Vista, FL, August 2013.
  2. Bringing Worlds Together: Cultural Brokerage in Multicultural Teams

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin. "Bringing Worlds Together: Cultural Brokerage in Multicultural Teams." Paper presented at the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research Conference, Atlanta, GA, USA, July 2013.
  3. Why, When, and How Task Groups Transition

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin, Colin M. Fisher, and J. Richard Hackman. "Why, When, and How Task Groups Transition." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, August 2012.
  4. We're Halfway There? A Closer Look at Midpoint Transitions in Small Task Groups

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin, Colin M. Fisher, and J. Richard Hackman. "We're Halfway There? A Closer Look at Midpoint Transitions in Small Task Groups." Paper presented at the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research Conference, Chicago, IL, USA, July 2012.
  5. From Seeing Dots to Perceiving Social Cues: Mapping the Relationship between Visual Processing and Social Perceptiveness

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin, George Alvarez, and J. Richard Hackman. "From Seeing Dots to Perceiving Social Cues: Mapping the Relationship between Visual Processing and Social Perceptiveness." Paper presented at the Transatlantic Doctoral Conference, London Business School, London, UK, May 2011.
  6. You Are Who You Befriend: Spillover Effects of Online Identities

    Citation:

    Jang, Sujin, Lakshmi Ramarajan, and Jeff Polzer. "You Are Who You Befriend: Spillover Effects of Online Identities." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, August 2010.
  7. The Influence of Multiculturalism and Self-verification on Creativity in Culturally Diverse Dyads

    Citation:

    Tadmor, Carmit, Patricia Hernandez, Sujin Jang, and Jeff Polzer. "The Influence of Multiculturalism and Self-verification on Creativity in Culturally Diverse Dyads." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago, August 2009.

    Research Summary

  1. Overview

    My research examines the dynamics of cross-cultural collaboration. As organizations, teams, and networks become more global, understanding cross-border collaboration is becoming increasingly crucial. I explore the fascinating and consequential dynamics that emerge when collaboration involves people from different cultures coming together. In doing so, I utilize the pairing of qualitative and quantitative methods, particularly interviews and experiments, to yield a richer and more rigorous understanding of cross-cultural collaborations. My research agenda can be broadly categorized into two streams: one that examines cross-cultural collaboration at the team level, and another that focuses on the experience of working across cultures at the individual level.

    Keywords: organizational behavior; global collaboration; individuals and teams; creativity;

  2. Bringing Worlds Together: Cultural Brokerage in Multicultural Teams (Dissertation)

    Multicultural teams are becoming increasingly prevlaent and crucial for organizational success, yet they face many challenges that stem from their cultural differences. How can multicultural teams mitigate the risks of working across cultures and harness the creative benefits of cultural diversity? 

    In my dissertation, I take a unique approach to answering this question by introducing the concept of "cultural brokerage", the act of facilitating cross-cultural interactions. 

    In an inductive interview study, I find that culturally experienced members of multicultural teams actively engage in cultural brokerage, without formal appointment. 
    Further, I find that both cultural insiders (those with deep knowledge of the specific cultures involved) and cultural outsiders (those with little knowledge of the specific cultures involved) engage in cultural brokerage, but that they enact this role in different ways.

    In an online experiment of global teams, I examine the antecedents and outcomes of cultural brokerage in a creative team task. I find that cultural insiders are more likely to engage in compensating, managing cultural differences on behalf of other members, while cultural outsiders are more likely to broker by empowering, enabling other members to understand and manage cultural differences. I find that both types of cultural brokerage enhance team creativity under different conditions.

    Keywords: cultural brokerage; multicultural teams; cross-cultural collaboration; creativity;

  3. When Cultural Worlds Collide: Investigating the Cross-Cultural Multiple Audience Problem

    Today, many individuals have social networks that span cultural boundaries. For example, you may have a network of colleagues in China, friends and family in the U.S., and a group of childhood friends in Greece. Chances are, you are probably comfortable interacting with each of these groups separately. But what happens when your different cultural worlds come together? 

    In this project, I examine the behavioral and affective responses to the collision of cultural worlds. I find that this is an anxiety-provoking situation that causes many individuals to become paralyzed or withdraw. Since individuals adjust their behavior (and in some cases, their identities) in the presence of others from different cultural groups, the simultaneous presence of multiple cultural groups makes it difficult to adhere to one cultural schema and raises concerns about being perceived as inconsistent or even inauthentic. 

    Using qualitative and quantitative methods, I explore this phenomenon across various contexts, including social gatherings (e.g., multicultural wedding receptions), professional collaborations (e.g., cross-cultural joint ventures), and in online platforms (e.g., Facebook).

    Keywords: cross-cultural networks; multiple audience problem; managing multiple identities;

  4. Fitting In Without Giving In: Addressing the Effectiveness-Authenticity Dilemma in Cross-Cultural Interactions

    In this project, Andy Molinsky and I examine the process of adapting to a new culture as it unfolds in specific episodes. A common assumption in practice and research is that when faced with a new cultural context, one needs to either adopt the cultural scripts of the new culture (i.e., the “When in Rome” approach) or abide by the cultural scripts of their own culture (i.e., the “To Thine Own Self be True” approach). 

    In this paper, we question this assumption and explore different and novel ways of recombining elements of one’s own culture with a foreign culture, such that one can be both effective and authentic in a new cultural environment. 

    Keywords: cultural adaptation; cross-cultural dynamics; Authenticity;

    Teaching

  1. Overview

    Sujin has developed and led courses on Leadership and Organizational Behavior as an invited lecturer in the International Spark Program (Republic of Georgia) and Dubrovnik International University (Croatia). She has also served as a Teaching Fellow for the Social Psychology of Organizations course at the Harvard Psychology Department (Course Head: J. Richard Hackman), as a Teaching Fellow for the MBA Leadership Course at Harvard Business School (Course Head: Jeffrey T. Polzer), and as a facilitator for the Executive Education Course on Leading Change and Organizational Renewal at Harvard Business School (Course Head: Michael Tushman).

    Keywords: organizational behavior; leadership; teams; decision making; negotiation;

    Awards & Honors

  1. Sujin Jang: Winner of the 2013 Organization Science/INFORMS Dissertation Proposal Competition

  2. Sujin Jang: Winner of the 2007 Doctoral Research Fellowship from the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. Established in 1974 to support talented young scholars, the program enables selected students to pursue and successfully complete their doctorates at leading overseas research universities. This fellowship is granted without obligations, to allow students to fully devote themselves to their studies.

  3. Sujin Jang: Winner of the 2009 Allport Grant for doctoral research, the 2011 Knox Grant for doctoral research, and the 2012 Stimson Grant for research-related travel through the Harvard Psychology Department.

  4. Sujin Jang: Winner of the 2004 Honors Fellowship at Yonsei University. Established in 2003 to develop outstanding academic leaders, this program grants a full university scholarship and provides one on one faculty mentoring to select students who are at the top of their entering class each year.

Area of Study

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Psychology