Doctoral Student

Sujin Jang

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.

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.

  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.