Organizational Behavior Unit, Harvard Business School
Ting Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School, where she teaches the Leadership and Organizational Behavior course (LEAD) in the Required Curriculum.
Zhang examines the topics of expertise and ethics. In the domain of expertise, she studies the cognitive and emotional barriers that prevent experts from being able to understand novices’ experiences. Using experimental methods, she explores actions that both experts and novices can take to mitigate the curse of expertise, enabling experts to be more helpful. In particular, she investigates how helping experts rediscover the experience of inexperience enables experts to understand the challenges that novices face. These findings have implications for how experts advise, teach, and mentor novices, and how novices can help experts give more effective and encouraging advice. Her research also shows that individuals often do not see the value of documenting their everyday reflections and experiences in part because they believe they will be able to remember these experiences in the future. As a result, individuals forgo opportunities to reflect as novices and thereby preclude their more expert selves in the future from having the opportunity to rediscover these novice experiences.
In the domain of ethics, she studies interventions that help individuals navigate ethical challenges at work. She examines interventions that push individuals to think beyond the immediately obvious solutions available in the present moment. When individuals grapple with moral dilemmas, she finds that asking "What could I do?" instead of "What should I do?" helps individuals find solutions that integrate seemingly incompatible moral imperatives.
Her research has been published in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Management Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and Research in Organizational Behavior and covered in media outlets including The Atlantic, New York Times, and The Washington Post. Zhang has received awards for her research, including the William H. Newman Award and Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division Best Paper based on Dissertation Award.
Zhang earned an A.B. in Economics and Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. Prior to joining HBS, she was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Management Division at Columbia Business School, where she taught Managerial Negotiations.