Catarina Fernandes - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Catarina Fernandes

Doctoral Student

Catarina R. Fernandes is a PhD Candidate in the Organizational Behavior program at the Harvard Business School. She studies how status, power and leadership emerge in teams in organizational contexts, and how they influence behaviors and team performance. In her dissertation she is exploring the dynamic nature of status across groups, in particular whether and how it varies for an individual across groups and contexts, and the behavioral and performance implications of such contrasts and changes in status. In a related project she is looking at the role of status disagreements in teams (the extent to which team members have distinct perceptions of what the hierarchy looks like), namely how it emerges in multicultural contexts and its impact on team performance. Methods-wise, Catarina enjoys working with field and archival data from organizational settings, as well as conducting studies in the lab.

Catarina holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Nova School of Business & Economics in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work experience includes general management consulting and human capital consulting, in both Europe and the United States.
Book Chapters
  1. Diversity in Groups

    Catarina Fernandes and Jeff Polzer

    Diversity has the potential to either disrupt group functioning or, conversely, be the source of collective creativity and insight. These two divergent perspectives pose a paradox that has held the attention of scholars for many years. In response, researchers have marshaled evidence to specify the conditions under which diversity leads to more positive outcomes and explain why it does so under these conditions. After describing these foundational perspectives and more recent work that addresses this paradox, we outline several promising directions for research in this domain. We encourage researchers to develop integrative theoretical explanations, use new technologies to gain insight into group processes, study diversity in the context of virtual interaction, and take advantage of opportunities for cross-disciplinary research.


    Fernandes, Catarina, and Jeff Polzer. "Diversity in Groups." In Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource, edited by Robert A. Scott and Stephen M. Kosslyn. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Electronic.  View Details