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My research revolves around the theme "being different" in terms of "sociocultural categories" including culture, ethnicity, gender and ideology. I am interested in how such differences play out for both individuals and firms in an increasingly globalised (also de-globalising) world. My current research focuses on understanding how individuals and firms can transcend their socio-cultural boundaries and collaborate across organisational, national and symbolic boundaries.
This stream of research investigates gender and gender diversity in the workplace. Key findings: Using a large dataset of British workplaces (the WERS data), the number dynamic between men and women was explored to explain job satisfaction and organisational commitment of women and men in the workplace (Lee & Peccei, 2007; Peccei & Lee, 2005; Peccei & Lee, 2003). The relevant theories including the similarity-attraction, social identity and self-categorisation, and group competition theory, provide an only partial explanation to the data: that is, the relevant theories seem to explain well the male and high-status (high-income) sample, but not the female and low-status (low-income) sample (Lee & Peccei, 2007). Another study with a large international sample of female and male expatriates working for multinational corporations (Lee, Chua, Miska & Stahl, 2017) echoes the above intriguing conclusion such that the existing research framework to understanding (predominantly male) expatriates' turnover intentions does not provide an adequate explanation for the female expatriates' turnover intentions. Key take-away message: 1. It highlights the psychological mechanism of social integration of women and low-status individuals in the workplace might be different from the one of men and high-status individuals (Lee & Peccei, 2007). 2. Thus rather than dismissing "gender differences" from a politically-charged mindset, our findings warrant a nuanced approach to gender research, which includes identifying a unique explanatory mechanism that might operate in women's work and employment journey including international career (Lee, Chua, Miska & Stahl, 2017).
Emerging technologies and increasing economic interconnectedness enable people and workplaces to connect and collaborate across organisational, cultural and national boundaries. This development inevitably shakes up the way organisations are structured and managed, therefore new theories are urgently needed to understand the new-era work, workplace and work relationships. This stream of research investigates what new constructs and theories should be explored to understand the new-era work and relationships, especially from the perspectives of individual differences and social capital. The latest research includes: 1) Generalised Social Exchange as a key mechanism to understand new-era workplace relationship. 2) Practising "cultural transcendence" drawing from multiculturalism and multilingualism as an emerging cultural and cognitive capital to bridging and bonding beyond physical and symbolic boundaries.
Work occupies, arguably, the biggest part of life for individuals in the 21st century. Individuals shape, consolidate, challenge, and change their attitudes and values in life through interacting with others at the workplace. At a time when the external societal and global environment strains intergroup politics, workplace dynamic both reflects (Lee & Reade, 2015) and responds to such externally-generated strains (Reade & Lee, 2019. This stream of research investigates the dynamic between the inside and outside sociopolitics and how firms and the leaders of firms can influence/contribute to the betterment of global society by facilitating positive intergroup experiences within the workplace.