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Chai, Dae Seok Associate Professor


My research agenda includes three interrelated strands: (a) expatriation effectiveness, (b) leadership in diverse cultural contexts, and (c) workforce development (Training, Organization Change) in an international context.

My first research strand focuses on cultural adjustment and developmental needs of populations on the cultural border who have been doubly marginalized by culture, ethnicity, gender, social status, or a combination of these factors. For example, international students are consistently underrepresented and report great difficulty integrating both academically and socially. To help these doubly marginalized population, I have examined relationships among their cultural adjustment, engagement, antecedents, and outcomes in U.S. and Japanese universities. The findings guide administrators to make informed decisions and policies and strategically allocate resources and help faculty and staff better understand the unique challenges facing international students to directly advise and help them.

My second research strand focuses on leadership in diverse cultural contexts. Despite the significance of culturally embedded leadership practices, most research has implemented extant leadership theories based on western cultural contexts without critically discussing implications for the local culture. I led a collaborative research team to conduct research on leadership effectiveness in Korea. Building on these findings, I also conducted a cross-cultural study (the U.K. and Korea) and a cross-sectional comparative study (public and private sector).

My third research strand is workforce development in an international context. I collaboratively developed an interdisciplinary team with faculty members in STEM fields. Although research has documented the need for cultural competence, it has not been a strong focus in undergraduate STEM education. To address these needs, we developed and submitted an NSF proposal to design a global exposure undergraduate course implementing innovative learning activities and assignments. Through this course, STEM students will learn how other countries come up with innovative engineering solutions and how cultural characteristics play critical roles in understanding and solving engineering problems. This experience will also benefit students, faculty, employers, and industry partners by engaging key stakeholders in dialogue and training around skills for a global workforce.

These collaborations have led to multiple refereed articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. These works also led to invitations to share the findings and implications at institutions in the U.S., Korea, and Japan. My scholarship has also been recognized internationally with awards, the Outstanding Assistant Professor Award from the University Council of Workforce Human Resource Education, the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) through its Early Career Scholar Award and Cutting Edge Awards.

HR job title

  • Associate Professor