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Darla Moore School of Business

Ph.D. alumna continuing management theories research, joins faculty at Detroit university

Aug. 6, 2020

Moore School Ph.D. graduate Xing Liu joined the faculty at Wayne State University as an assistant professor after graduating in May 2020.

With a passion for scholarship and a desire to become an influential management researcher, Liu said she is thankful to the Moore School for helping her gain the ability and skills to research independently and lead research projects. She added that the ability to receive and give constructive criticism is another skill that she acquired during her time at the Moore School.

“I have also gained teaching skills and the skills to effectively communicate with students, provide useful feedback to students and help them succeed,” Liu said. “My goal is to become a good teacher, who can help students thrive in school and get them prepared for their future career.”

Liu is originally from Tianjin, China, and became interested in management theories when she translated an American organizational behavior textbook during her master’s program. Eager to continue exploring organizational behavior and how people think and behave in their work, Liu decided to pursue a Ph.D. in management.

“I had a very clear idea of my research interests – team diversity and faultlines – when I applied for doctoral programs five years ago,” Liu said. “I chose the Moore School because I wanted to work with Dr.  Sherry Thatcher, who is one of the most influential scholars in the area of identity, team diversity and faultlines.”

Having spent the past five years researching those areas, Liu’s dissertation topic explains how introducing newcomers to diverse teams affects team creativity and individual information seeking behaviors.

“I chose this topic because I have been very interested in understanding the individual and team processes associated with member change in diverse teams,” Liu said.

Liu explained that prior research indicates that newcomers to teams adjust to their new work environment through seeking information from their co-workers, and Liu’s research asks questions about when newcomers are more likely to seek information when they join diverse teams.

“I am curious to explore factors that affect newcomers’ information seeking and when teams may benefit more from having newcomers with respect to team creativity,” Liu said. “My dissertation provides insights on how managers can better onboard their new employees as well as how teams may benefit more from having new employees. With this knowledge, mangers will be able to improve newcomers’ task-related outcomes such as task performance, job satisfaction and team creativity.”

Appreciative of the camaraderie and support she has been exposed to during her Ph.D. program, Liu said that both the Moore School’s faculty and other Ph.D. students have always encouraged her to continue with her research goals and education.

“[The faculty] are always willing to help me become a good researcher and be able to pursue the career that I dream about,” Liu said. “They are great scholars, nice people, supportive and inspiring mentors.  The students in the program are very supportive and nice, too. We always go to each other for answers when we have a question or are confused, need a second opinion regarding a research idea or want some feedback for our presentation or research ideas.”

Ready and inspired to continue to share her research and passion with the academic community, Liu said she is excited to better connect her research with companies’ needs and help them solve their problems.

-Erin Mooney

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.