Faculty Feature: Q & A with Hee Man Park

Our newsletter features a faculty member question and answer section where you can learn more about our professors' research projects, ongoing studies, and hobbies! This month, get to know Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management Hee Man Park.

Hee Man Park is an assistant professor of human resource management. Dr. Park earned his doctorate in management and HR from The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business and a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University. 

What are your areas of expertise and research, and how did you decide to focus on those areas? 

"My research focuses on the social environment in organizations, specifically how leader behaviors and interpersonal relationships affect employee performance, well-being, and commitment. My first research stream examines why supervisors engage in hostile behaviors and how their detrimental effects differ by various situational factors. In my second research stream, I examine the benefits and costs of social relationships and social networks.

"My previous work experience as an HR professional has sparked my interest in these topics. Working in leadership development center and corporate HR office of large IT companies, I realized that key organizational problems often stem from employees’ social relationships with their supervisors and colleagues." 

How does your research provide insight into elements that affect the workforce?

"Formally appointed managerial leaders play an important role in achieving organizational goals. Although organizations attempt to hire and develop effective leaders systematically, some leaders behave intentionally or unconsciously in ways that are detrimental to their organizations. My research has direct implications for leadership development by helping HR practitioners find ways to discourage supervisors’ hostile behaviors and reduce their harmful effects.

"My research also has implications for performance management by suggesting how organizations achieve their goals through positive relationships. Seemingly positive social relationships come with costs (e.g., emotional draining) or may reinforce inequality in organizations. My research helps HR professionals by identifying both positive and negative aspects of interpersonal relationships and demonstrating how relational factors influence employee’s commitment and performance."

What current projects have you been working on?

"My current research projects regarding leadership examine the role of supervisor incivility in the context of delegation and how subordinates’ voice behavior may trigger supervisors’ hostile reactions. 

"I am also currently examining how the effects of arbitrator social networks on career outcomes differ by arbitrator gender and whether racial disparity in terms of access to occupational privilege exist and how it affects employees’ health and attitudinal outcomes. In these research studies, I use various methodologies including surveys, lab studies, and national panel data."

Why do you think it is important to understand and study these things? How do societies, businesses, or communities benefit from your research? 

"A significant proportion of the U.S. workers have experienced supervisors’ hostile behavior, and its cost to the U.S. corporations was estimated $23.8 billion dollars. I believe that we can build fair and effective workplaces by considering both the positive and negative sides of leadership and interpersonal relationships. As developing positive relationships among organizational members requires a deliberate and sophisticated approach, I hope to contribute to business communities and society by studying these important topics."  

What are some of your hobbies outside of work? 

"I love playing and watching tennis. During the pandemic, my daughter learned to play tennis, so it became a family sport! State College is such a great place for bikers and hikers, so I also enjoy riding from my house to campus."

December 11, 2020