Katherine Klein of The Wharton School on diversity


The Wharton School
Edward H. Bowman Professor

Professor Katherine Klein is the Edward H. Bowman Professor of Management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to Wharton, Katherine was on the faculty of the University of Maryland and a visiting professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

An awardwinning organizational psychologist, Katherine has conducted extensive field research regarding a range of topics including team leadership, climate, conflict, social networks and effectiveness; organizational change and technology implementation; employee diversity; and employee responses to stock ownership and stock options. She has taught executive education, studied, and consulted with a variety of forprofit and nonprofit organizations including Charles Schwab, Rohm and Haas, North American Scientific, Medtronic, The Baltimore Shock Trauma Center, Penn Vet, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Korean Management Association.

Her research has been published in numerous top journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, the Academy of Management Journal, and the Academy of Management Review. A former associate editor of the Journal of Applied Psychology, she is currently an associate editor of Administrative Science Quarterly. Katherine is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science.

Katherine’s current research interests include race in organizations; leadership succession and social network change; and Rwanda’s reconciliation and reconstruction following the 1994 genocide.

Research Interests

Over the years, my research and writing have focused primarily on the following topics:

Levels of Analysis Issues in Organizational Theory and Research Leadership, Diversity, Teams and Social Networks Innovation and Technology Implementation Employee Ownership: ESOPs and Employee Stock Options Other Topics


Neil Andy Cohen and Katherine Klein (Working), Individual differences, social network centrality and leadership emergence.

Neil Andy Cohen and Katherine Klein (Working), Leaders’ social networks and attributions of leadership style: Untangling the direction of causality.

David R Lebel, Nancy Rothbard, Katherine Klein, Steffanie L. Wilk, Gina Dokko (Working), The Way You Do the Things You Do: How Extraversion and Conscientiousness Shape the Consequences of Individual Innovation.

M. Schulte, N.A. Cohen, Katherine Klein (2012), The Coevolution of Network Ties and Perceptions of Team Psychological Safety , Organization Science, 23, p. 564.

Abstract: Which comes first—team social networks or emergent team states (e.g., team climate)? We argue that team members’ social network ties and team members’ climate perceptions coevolve over time as a function of six reciprocal and cooccurring processes. We test our conceptual framework in a 10month longitudinal study of perceptions of team psychological safety and social network ties in 69 work teams and find considerable support for our hypotheses. Our main results suggest that perceptions of psychological safety predict network ties. The more psychologically safe team members perceive their team to be, the more likely they are to ask their teammates for advice and to see them as friends, and the less likely they are to report difficult relationships with them. At the same time, network ties predict psychological safety. Team members adopt their friends’ and advisors’ perceptions of the team’s psychological safety and reject the perceptions of those with whom they report a difficult relationship. Our framework and findings suggest that conceptual models and tests of unidirectional or teamlevel effects are likely to substantially misrepresent the mechanisms by which network ties and emergent team states coevolve.

Katherine Klein, A.P. Knight, J.C. Ziegert, B.C. Lim, J.L. Saltz (2011), When team members’ values differ: The moderating role of team leadership , Organizatiional Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 114: 2536.

Abstract: Integrating theory and research on values, diversity, situational strength, and team leadership, we proposed that team leadership moderates the effects of values diversity on team conflict. In a longitudinal survey study of national service teams, we found significant, but opposite, moderating effects of taskfocused and personfocused leadership. As predicted, taskfocused leadership attenuated the diversity–conflict relationship, while personfocused leadership exacerbated the diversity–conflict relationship. More specifically, taskfocused leadership decreased the relationship between work ethic diversity and team conflict. Personfocused leadership increased the relationship between traditionalism diversity and team conflict. Team conflict mediated the effects of the interactions of leadership and values diversity on team effectiveness.

Neil Andy Cohen, M. Schulte, Katherine Klein (2008), Which comes first: The Coevolution of Team Network Ties and Perceptions of Team Psychological Safety , Organization Science, Revise and resubmit.

D. A. Harrison and Katherine Klein (2007), What's the difference? Diversity constructs as separation, variety or disparity in organizations , Academy of Management Review, 32: 11991228.

Abstract: Research on organizational diversity, heterogeneity, and related concepts has proliferated in the past decade, but few consistent findings have emerged. We argue that the construct of diversity requires closer examination. We describe three distinctive types of diversity: separation, variety, and disparity. Failure to recognize the meaning, maximum shape, and assumptions underlying each type has held back theory development and yielded ambiguous research conclusions. We present guidelines for conceptualization, measurement, and theory testing, highlighting the special case of demographic diversity

B. C. Lim and Katherine Klein (2006), Team mental models and team performance: A field study of the effects of team mental model similarity and accuracy , Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27: 403418.

Abstract: We conducted a field study of 71 action teams to examine the relationship between team mental model similarity and accuracy and the performance of realworld teams. We used Pathfinder to operationalize team members’ taskwork mental models (describing team procedures, tasks, and equipment) and teamwork mental models (describing team interaction processes) and examined team performance as evaluated by expert team assessment center raters. Both taskwork mental model and teamwork mental model similarity predicted team performance. Team mental model accuracy measures were also predictive of team performance. We discuss the implications of our findings and directions for future research.

Katherine Klein, J. C. Ziegert, A. P. Knight, Y. Xiao (2006), Dynamic delegation: Shared, hierarchical and deindividualized leadership in extreme action teams , Administrative Science Quarterly, 50: 590621.

Abstract: This paper examines the leadership of extreme action teams—teams whose highly skilled members cooperate to perform urgent, unpredictable, interdependent, and highly consequential tasks while simultaneously coping with frequent changes in team composition and training their teams’ novice members. Our qualitative investigation of the leadership of extreme action medical teams in an emergency trauma center revealed a hierarchical, deindividualized system of shared leadership. At the heart of this system is dynamic delegation: senior leaders’ rapid and repeated delegation of the active leadership role to and withdrawal of the active leadership role from more junior leaders of the team. Our findings suggest that dynamic delegation enhances extreme action teams’ ability to perform reliably while also building their novice team members’ skills. We highlight the contingencies that guide senior leaders’ delegation and withdrawal of the active leadership role, as well as the values and structures that motivate and enable the shared, ongoing practice of dynamic delegation. Further, we suggest that extreme action teams and other “improvisational” organizational units may achieve swift coordination and reliable performance by melding hierarchical and bureaucratic rolebased structures with flexibilityenhancing processes. The insights emerging from our findings at once extend and challenge prior leadership theory and research, paving the way for further theory development and research on team leadership in dynamic settings.

Katherine Klein and A. P. Knight (2005), Innovation implementation: Overcoming the challenge , Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14: 243246.

Abstract: In changing work environments, innovation is imperative. Yet, many teams and organizations fail to realize the expected benefits of innovations that they adopt. A key reason is not innovation failure but implementation failure—the failure to gain targeted employees’ skilled, consistent, and committed use of the innovation in question. We review research on the implementation process, outlining the reasons why implementation is so challenging for many teams and organizations. We then describe the organizational characteristics that together enhance the likelihood of successful implementation, including a strong, positive climate for implementation; management support for innovation implementation; financial resource availability; and a learning orientation.

Sage Publications/Robert McDonald Advancement of Organizational Research Method, 2012 Description

For: Harrison, D. A. & Klein, K. J. (2007).  What’s the difference?  Diversity constructs as separation, variety, or disparity in organizations.  Academy of Management Review, 32, 11981228.

Administrative Science Quarterly Scholarly Contributions Award, 2012 Description

For: Klein, K. J., Ziegert, J. C., Knight, A. P., Xiao, Y.  (2006).  Dynamic delegation:  Shared, hierarchical, and deindividualized leadership in extreme action teams.  Administrative Science Quarterly, 50, 590621

Fellow, Academy of Management, 2011 Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for the Best Publication in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2008 Saroj Parasuraman Award for the Outstanding Publication in Gender and Diversity, 2008 Fellow, Association for Psychological Science, 2008 Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for the Best Publication in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2001

The Secret of Rwanda: Pushing Leadership down the Line, Knowledge@Wharton 06/06/2012

Knowledge @ Wharton

  • Does Gender Diversity on Boards Really Boost Company Performance?, Knowledge @ Wharton 05/18/2017
  • First Book: A Novel Model for Social Enterprises, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/15/2017
  • Why Combining Forprofit and Philanthropic Investment Can Succeed, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/30/2016
  • The Year of the Lie, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/22/2016
  • Banking with a Public Benefit, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/20/2016
  • Beyond Commodities: How African Multinationals Are Being Transformed, Knowledge @ Wharton 05/09/2016
  • Meet Africa’s First Tech ‘Unicorn’ — Are More to Come?, Knowledge @ Wharton 04/05/2016
  • Instead of Treating Society’s Ills, Bobby Turner Wants a Cure, Knowledge @ Wharton 01/28/2016
  • How Ben & Jerry’s Got Bought Out Without Selling Out, Knowledge @ Wharton 01/15/2016
  • Will the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Change Philanthropy?, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/16/2015
  • Digital Immortality and the Future of Humanity, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/03/2015
  • Reinventing Rwanda: A Conversation with President Paul Kagame, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/22/2015
  • Rebuilding Rwanda’s Shattered Economy From the Ground Up, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/22/2015
  • Is Cultural Fit a Qualification for Hiring or a Disguise for Bias?, Knowledge @ Wharton 07/16/2015
  • How Do Social Entrepreneurs Know They Are Doing Good?, Knowledge @ Wharton 07/10/2015
  • One Entrepreneur’s Plan to Transform Africa, Knowledge @ Wharton 06/17/2015
  • Why Bridgeway Capital Gives Away 50% of Profits to Charity, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/19/2015
  • The Oneforone Business Model: Avoiding Unintended Consequences, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/16/2015
  • Does Social Impact Demand Financial Sacrifice?, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/02/2014
  • When to Come Out: The Challenges Facing Gay CEOs, Knowledge @ Wharton 07/28/2014
  • Bringing Israeli Innovation to Africa, Knowledge @ Wharton 01/13/2014
  • UST Global’s Sajan Pillai: Creating a New Era of ‘Social Capital’, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/20/2013
  • Meditation’s Next Frontier: Improving Customer Service, Knowledge @ Wharton 07/26/2013
  • The New Philanthropists: More Sophisticated, More Demanding — and Younger, Knowledge @ Wharton 04/24/2013
  • Why Mindfulness and Meditation Are Good for Business, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/27/2013
  • The Secret of Rwanda: Pushing Leadership down the Line, Knowledge @ Wharton 06/06/2012
  • Wanted: A President Who Can Lead During a Time of ‘Daunting’ Challenges, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/01/2008
  • CEO Succession: Has Grooming Talent on the Inside Gone by the Wayside?, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/28/2007
  • Workplace Loyalties Change, but the Value of Mentoring Doesn’t, Knowledge @ Wharton 05/16/2007
  • Something Old, Something New: How Will Microsoft’s Changing of the Guard Play Out?, Knowledge @ Wharton 06/28/2006
  • Is Your Team Too Big? Too Small? What’s the Right Number?, Knowledge @ Wharton 06/14/2006
  • Brand Rehab: How Companies Can Restore a Tarnished Image, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/21/2005
  • Clash of the Titans: When Top Executives Don’t Get Along with the Team, Knowledge @ Wharton 01/12/2005
  • Teamwork in a Shock Trauma Unit: New Lessons in Leadership, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/06/2004

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