Sandra Cha is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Brandeis International Business School. She teaches in the masters and undergraduate business programs, and she has been featured as “Professor of the Week” in the Financial Times.
Professor Cha conducts research on leadership and identity, focusing on two aspects: leading through shared values (which are a core component of identity) and leading in the context of demographic diversity. First, many organizations emphasize shared values—ranging from quality to mutual respect to the environment—in an attempt to inspire employees and focus them on strategic priorities. Values-based leadership can motivate and coordinate employees, without impinging on the autonomy needed for excellent performance under changing conditions. Second, in an era of rapid workforce diversification, individuals who are (or wish to become) leaders must be able to work effectively across lines of difference.
Professor Cha’s research has appeared in publications including the Journal of Applied Psychology and Harvard Business Review. She has received multiple awards for her research, including two awards from the Academy of Management, the Accenture Award for a significant contribution to management, and an approximately $100,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Professor Cha holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, awarded jointly by Harvard Business School and the Harvard Psychology Department. She also earned an M.A. in Social Psychology and a B.A. in Psychology (magna cum laude) from Harvard University. Her past homes include La Paz, Bolivia; Manila, Philippines; and Washington, D.C.
Harvard University, Ph.D.
Harvard University, M.A.
Harvard University, B.A.
- Roberts, Laura M., and Cha, Sandra. "Sources of strength: Mobilizing minority racial, ethnic, and cultural identities as resources." Positive organizing in a global society: Understanding and engaging differences for capacity building and inclusion. Ed. L. M. Roberts, L. P. Wooten, and M. N. Davidson. Routledge, 2016
- Roberts, Laura M., Cha, Sandra. E., and Kim, Sung S.. "Strategies for managing impressions of racial identity in the workplace." Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 20. 4 (2014): 529-540.
- Roberts, Laura M., Cha, Sandra E., Hewlin, Patricia F., and Settles, Isis H. "Bringing the inside out: Enhancing authenticity and positive identity in organizations." Exploring positive identities and organizations: Building a theoretical and research foundation. Ed. L. M. Roberts & J. E. Dutton. New York: Routledge, 2009. 149-169.
- Schaubroeck, John, Lam, Simon S. K., and Cha, Sandra E. "Embracing transformational leadership: Team values and the impact of leader behavior on team performance." Journal of Applied Psychology 92. 4 (2007): 1020-1030.
- Cha, Sandra E., and Edmondson, Amy C. "When values backfire: Leadership, attribution, and disenchantment in a values-driven organization." The Leadership Quarterly 17. 1 (2006): 57-78.
- Chatman, Jennifer A., and Cha, Sandra E. "Using organizational culture as a leadership tool." Next generation business handbook: New strategies from tomorrow’s thought leaders. Ed. S. Chowdhury. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. 22-38.
- Chatman, Jennifer A., and Cha, Sandra E. "Leading by leveraging culture." California Management Review 45. 4 (2003): 20-34.
- Edmondson, Amy C., and Cha, Sandra E. "When company values backfire." Harvard Business Review 80. 11 (2002): 18-19.
- (2013) Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division
- (2012) Financial Times Professor of the Week
- (2010) Academy of Management Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division “Diamond in the Rough Award”
- (2009) Principal Investigator on $99,976 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
- (2004) Accenture Award
- (2003) Academy of Management Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division Best Student Paper Award
- (2003) Harvard University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Dissertation Fellowship