- Cross-Cultural Negotiation
- Cultural Intelligence
- Cross-Cultural Management & Psychology
Lynn Imai is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Ivey Business School. She obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Hon. BSc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto.
Professor Imai’s expertise focuses on societal cultures and their impact on human behaviours in a variety of workplace contexts including negotiations, conflict management, teams, motivation & performance management, and ethics. She has assessed and coached more than a thousand students on their leadership skills, with emphasis on developing self-awareness and sharpening their cultural intelligence for superior business performance.
At Ivey, Professor Imai has taught in the undergraduate Honours Business Administration (HBA), Master of Science (International Business and Analytics streams), CEMS Master of International Management (CEMS MIM), and PhD programs. Particularly in the MSc program, she has taken a leadership role in designing and running the Ivey Global Lab, an 8-week practicum that places students at companies in developing economies (India, Peru, Vietnam) so they can gain immediate emerging market consulting experience for top management clients.
Professor Imai’s teaching has received national press coverage, and her research has appeared in top-tier academic journals and various media outlets including Forbes Magazine, Fast Company (Co. Design), The Globe and Mail, Psychology Today, as well as various reports published by Harvard Law School.
Outside of Ivey, Professor Imai counsels students, mid-career professionals, and executives on their careers and mental health in private practice. Professor Imai was raised in Japan, US, Canada, and Belgium, and is bilingual in English and Japanese.
- PhD Group Behaviour (Core)
- MSc / CEMS MIM Ivey Global Lab (Core)
- MSc / CEMS MIM Global Management Practices (Core)
- HBA2 Cross-Cultural Management (Elective)
- HBA2 Peru Study Trip (Elective)
- HBA1 Leading People in Organizations (Core)
- Ph.D. (Industrial/ Organizational Psychology, University of Maryland)
- M.A. (Industrial/ Organizational Psychology, University of Maryland)
- Hon. BSc. (Psychology Research Specialization, University of Toronto)
Recent Refereed Articles
Shteynberg, G.; Gelfand, M. J.; Imai, L.; Mayer, D. M.; Bell, C., 2017, "Prosocial Thinkers and The Social Transmission of Justice", European Journal of Social Psychology, June 47(4): 429 - 442. Abstract: Feeling the sting of another’s injustice is a common human experience. Drawing on the motivated information processing model (De Dreu & Carnevale, 2003), we explore how individual differences in social motives (e.g., high vs. low collectivism) and epistemic motives (e.g., high vs. low need for closure) drive individuals’ evaluative and behavioral reactions to the just and unjust treatment of others. In two studies, one in the laboratory (N 78) and one in the field (N 163), we find that the justice treatment of others has a more profound influence on the attitudes and behaviors of prosocial thinkers, people who are chronically higher (vs. lower) in collectivism and lower (vs. higher) in the need for closure. In all, our results suggest that chronically higher collectivism and a lower need for closure work in concert to make another’s justice relevant to personal judgment and behavior.
Link(s) to publication:
Shan, W.; Keller, J.; Imai, L., 2016, "What’s a masculine negotiator? What’s a feminine negotiator? It depends on the cultural and situational contexts", Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, February 9(1): 22 - 43. Abstract: Gender-related categorization is a key feature of the literature on gender in negotiation. While previous literature has typically focused on general context-free traits such as warmth and competence, we examine how people categorize specific negotiation goals and behaviors as masculine and feminine across the U.S. and China in two different negotiation contexts, thereby illustrating the role of cultural and situational context in gender-related categorization. Results from two studies (one qualitative and one quantitative) revealed that while American participants categorized competitive goals and behaviors as masculine and cooperative goals and behaviors as feminine across both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) negotiation contexts, Chinese participants had a different pattern depending on the negotiation context. In B2C contexts, Chinese participants categorized competitive goals and behaviors as feminine and cooperative goals and behaviors as masculine. In B2B contexts, Chinese participants made further distinctions, categorizing competitive goals and behaviors that are socially inappropriate as feminine, but competitive goals and behaviors that are socially appropriate, and cooperative goals and behaviors, as masculine. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Link(s) to publication:
Gelfand, M. J.; Brett, J. M.; Gunia, B. C.; Imai, L.; Huang, T. J.; Hsu, B. F., 2013, "Toward a Culture-by-Context Perspective on Negotiation: Negotiating Teams in the United States and Taiwan", Journal of Applied Psychology, June 98(3): 504 - 513. Abstract: Within the United States, teams outperform solos in negotiation (Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996). The current research examined whether this team advantage generalizes to negotiators from a collectivist culture (Taiwan). Because different cultures have different social norms, and because the team context may amplify the norms that are salient in a particular culture (Gelfand & Realo, 1999), we predicted that the effect of teams on negotiation would differ across cultures. Specifically, we predicted that since harmony norms predominate in collectivist cultures like Taiwan, the team context would amplify a concern with harmony, leading Taiwanese teams to negotiate especially suboptimal outcomes. In support, 2 studies showed that Taiwanese teams negotiated less-optimal outcomes than Taiwanese solos. We also used a moderated-mediation analysis to investigate the mechanism (Hayes, 2012), documenting that the interactive effect of culture and context on outcomes was mediated by harmony norms. By showing that the same situational conditions (team negotiations) can have divergent effects on negotiation outcomes across cultures, our results point toward a nuanced, sociocontextual view that moves beyond the culture-as-main-effect approach to studying culture and negotiations.
Link(s) to publication:
Imai, L.; Gelfand, M. J., 2010, "The Culturally Intelligent Negotiator: The Impact of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) on Negotiation Sequences and Outcomes", Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, July 112(2): 83 - 98. Abstract: Although scholars and practitioners have repeatedly touted the importance of negotiating effectively across cultures, paradoxically, little research has addressed what predicts intercultural negotiation effectiveness. In this research, we examined the impact of cultural intelligence (CQ) on intercultural negotiation processes and outcomes, controlling for other types of intelligence (cognitive ability and emotional intelligence), personality (openness and extraversion), and international experience. Transcripts of 124 American and East Asian negotiators were coded for sequences of integrative information behaviors and cooperative relationship management behaviors. CQ measured a week prior to negotiations predicted the extent to which negotiators sequenced integrative information behaviors, which in turn predicted joint profit, over and beyond other individual differences. Additional analyses revealed that the level of integrative sequencing was more a function of the lower-scoring than the higher-scoring negotiator within the dyad. Other individual difference characteristics were not related to effective intercultural negotiation processes. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Honours & Awards
- University Student Council Honour Roll, Excellence in Teaching in Business, Western University, 2017
- Most Cited Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Articles Since 2009/2010
- ScienceDirect's Top 25 Hottest Articles in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- Ten Advances in Psychological Science in 2010, Psychology Today
- Two-Time Eric Jackman Scholar in Psychology, University of Toronto (2002, 2003)
- Visiting Adjunct Term Lecturer, Smith School of Business, Queens University (Kingston, ON) – Global Virtual Teams
- Executive Leadership Development & Education, Centre for Creative Leadership (Greensboro, NC)
- Course Instructor/Teaching Assistant, University of Maryland (College Park, MD) - Statistics, Research Methods, Negotiation, Psychology