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Faculty Profile: Sandra Cha

Sandra Cha

Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Brandeis International Business School

Diversity management, Values-driven leadership, Organizational behavior.

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 diversity management and values-driven leadership in 21st-century organizations. Her work on diversity management examines how individuals manage their own identities—such as by expressing, suppressing, or acting upon various facets of who they are—in demographically diverse organizations. Bringing one’s “whole self” to work can be challenging, especially for cultural minorities from historically lower status identity groups, such as women and racial minorities. Cultural minorities often face negative stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, which can undermine organizational performance and individual careers. Thus, the management of diverse identities is a critically important issue for 21st-century organizations, as workforces around the world diversify at unprecedented rates.

Her work on values-driven leadership examines how leaders can inspire and motivate employee performance by appealing to shared values such as quality, respect for employees, or social responsibility. Corporate values have become an increasingly powerful leadership tool at a time when traditional sources of meaning and identity, such as religious institutions, have been eroded. Further, shared values can help to focus employees on a company's strategic priorities, motivating and coordinating employees without impinging on the autonomy needed for excellent performance under changing conditions.

Professor Cha’s research has been published or is forthcoming at journals including Organization Science, the Academy of Management Annals, the Journal of Applied Psychology, The Leadership Quarterly, and Harvard Business Review. She has received multiple awards for her research, including the Accenture Award for a significant contribution to management.

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; Montreal, Canada; and Washington, D.C.

Harvard University, Ph.D.
Harvard University, M.A.
Harvard University, B.A.


Awards & Honors:
  • (2018) Honoree, Brandeis Senior Week Faculty & Staff Appreciation Event. Recognized by seniors as having “assisted, mentored, and inspired them throughout their time at Brandeis.”
  • (2016) Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division
  • (2013) Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division
  • (2012) Professor of the Week, Financial Times
  • (2010) Diamond in the Rough Award, Academy of Management Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division
  • (2009) Principal Investigator, $99,976 grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • (2004) Accenture Award
  • (2003) Best Student Paper Award, Academy of Management Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division
  • (2003) Winner, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Dissertation Fellowship Competition