In the US, Asians are commonly viewed as the “model minority” in business academia. Some inspiring initiatives intended to help ethnic minorities attain tenure and deanship exclude Asians from participating, perhaps because Asians are assumed to be already successful. I challenge this assumption by revealing a “Bamboo Ceiling” in tenure, full professorship, and deanship in US business schools. I analyze a 10-year panel of tenure-track professors and deans at top-100 US business schools. Although Asians appear well represented at first glance, a stark contrast emerges once I distinguish between East Asians (e.g., ethnic Chinese) and South Asians (e.g., ethnic Indians): Among all ethnicities, East Asian faculty are the least likely to be tenured professors, full professors, and deans. Although South Asians are overall well represented among tenured professors, full professors, and deans, few of them are women. To understand these puzzling patterns, I construct large-scale datasets to test potential contributing factors: (a) educational background, (b) faculty recruitment bar, (c) research productivity and impact, (d) teaching evaluations, (e) social media activities and mentions, and (f) invited seminar talks. As one of the largest endeavors to examine ethnic and gender disparities in business schools, this study contributes to research and practice on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This seminar is organized by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) and co-sponsored by the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, which is an inter-university consortium among Harvard, MIT and Tufts, dedicated to connecting rigorous research and scholarship with deep understanding of practice.
Jackson Lu is the Sloan School Career Development Professor and an Associate Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He studies culture and globalization through two distinctive research streams. His first research stream examines the “Bamboo Ceiling” experienced by Asians despite their educational and economic achievements in the United States. His second research stream elucidates how multicultural experiences (e.g., working abroad, intercultural friendships) shape outcomes key to organizations, including leadership, creativity, and ethics.
Jackson has published in top general science journals (Nature Human Behaviour, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), management journals (Academy of Management Annals, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science), and psychology journals (Annual Review of Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science). His research has been featured in over 200 media outlets in different languages (e.g., BBC, The Economist, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, NPR, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Washington Post).
He has received prestigious awards and honors, including 40 Best Business School Professors Under 40, 30 Thinkers to Watch, NLS Rising Star Award from the Academy of Management, Early Career Award from the International Association for Conflict Management, Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science, and SAGE Emerging Career Trajectory Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Jackson received his PhD from Columbia Business School.
Speakers and Presenters
Jackson G. Lu, Associate Professor, Work and Organization Studies, MIT Sloan School of Management