Dejun “Tony” Kong, an associate professor in the Department of Management & Leadership at the C. T. Bauer College of Business, has recently earned a prestigious Ascendant Scholar Award 2019 from the Western Academy of Management. According to the past president of the Academy, the group of candidates for the award this year was very strong.
Some of the country’s most influential management scholars, such as Jay Barney, Talya Bauer, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Tom Lee, Alan Meyer, Jone Pearce, Gretchen Spreitzer and Roy Suddaby, have been honored with the annual award that recognizes exceptional achievements in research, teaching and service in the early stages of their academic career. The award recognizes contributors in the field with “a professional trajectory that looks very promising for the future.”
Kong’s research on trust, positive organizational behavior and workplace diversity is centered on a desire to help people be more cooperative and pro-social such that they can be more productive collectively, he said.
“I’m really interested in how to make people think more about society at large, rather than just thinking about their personal benefit or profit. How can we make our world a better place to live and work, how can we make business’s more responsible, how do we make individuals more pro-social and cooperative? And by doing so, we can actually make our workplace more productive and also healthier,” Kong said.
His research has documented findings related to trust in leadership and negotiations and across cultures; idiosyncratic employment arrangements; the impact of gratitude, humor, passion, and mindfulness at work; and ethnic minority employees’ well-being.
Kong joined Bauer in 2015 after earning a PhD degree in business administration from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and teaching at the University of Richmond (Virginia). He serves on multiple editorial review boards (Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Leadership Quarterly, and Journal of Trust Research), was a guest editor of the Journal of Trust Research special issue on trust in negotiations and repeated bargaining, and is an ad-hoc reviewer for many well-regarded management and psychology journals. Kong has received awards for his teaching and research, and published a book, “Leading Through Conflict: Into the Fray,” in 2016.
Kong has taught classes in organizational behavior and conflict management to undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. students at Bauer. In Spring 2019, he will teach Regional Issues in Global Management: Asia for the study abroad program (China). In Summer 2019, he will lead an Executive MBA International Business Residency in Chile and Argentina designed to enhance executives’ cross-cultural competence.
“The award was a surprise and a great holiday gift,” Kong said. “It is recognition of what I have done during the past six/seven years and is an encouragement for me to make more contributions to the community in the future.”
By Julie Bonnin