Shu Zhang

Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Faculty of Business


Shu Zhang





Teaching and research interest

Shu Zhang is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar of Management at Columbia Business School. Her research primarily focuses on how a precedent affects decisions and behaviors. In particular, she adopts motivational and social cognitive lenses to study the implications of following a precedent for organizational leaders and managers. One stream of her research investigates the self-regulatory motivation behind repeating a precedent, such as the managing methods used by a former boss or a prior decision made by oneself, even when the precedent is unpleasant, ineffective, or unethical. In another stream of research, she studies how concepts associated with one's home culture, such as language and communication style, set a precedent that automatically interferes with processing of concepts associated with a host culture. Her current work also bridges these two streams of research by evaluating the role of self-regulation in cultural essentialism, a source of preference for the precedent culture and resistance to new cultures. Dr. Zhang's research appears in academic journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Journal of Management, and has been featured in media outlets such as Science, Psychological Science, Scientific American, Wall Street Journal, and Huffington Post. Dr. Zhang has taught courses at graduate and undergraduate levels at Columbia University. Her teaching interests include Organizational Behavior, Leadership, Negotiation, Cross-Culture Management, and Social Psychology. Dr. Zhang attained her BA in Accounting from Tsinghua University, Beijing, and her PhD in Management from Columbia University.

Courses taught