Research Overview


Within my broad interest in informal organizational structures and inequality, I focus on several more specific research streams. First, I examine how advantageous social networks, such as connections with high-status others, result in an unexpected status loss for women – thus presenting an obstacle to overcoming the gender status gap – and can elicit unethical behaviors. Second, I study how individuals’ perceptions of where others stand in their groups’ status structures—and the accuracy of those perceptions—shape their social networks, performance, and group effectiveness. Third, I explore novel determinants of performance-detracting power struggles and status conflict in teams, such as the combination of diversity and resource scarcity and mental representations. Fourth, I explore how the two core bases of hierarchy—status and power—are perceived and internalized differently, thereby shaping individuals’ fundamental needs, self-concepts, well-being, and group engagement. Altogether, my work bridges literatures on inequality and hierarchy, social networks, gender, diversity, and group dynamics. 



Yu, S., Kilduff, G. J., & West, T. (2022). Status acuity: How the ability to accurately perceive status hierarchies reduces status conflict and benefits group performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, in press.

Yu, S., & Greer, L. L. (2022). The role of resources in the success or failure of diverse teams: Resource scarcity activates negative performance-detracting resource dynamics in social category diverse teams. Organization Science, in press.

Fernandes, C., Yu, S., Howell, T., Brooks, A., Kilduff, G. J., & Pettit, N. C. (2021). What is your status portfolio? Higher status variance across groups increases interpersonal helping but decreases intrapersonal well-being. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 165, 56-75.

Yu, S., & Kilduff, G. J. (2020). Knowing where others stand: Accuracy and performance effects of individuals’ perceived status hierarchies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 119, 159–184.

Yu, S. & Blader, S. (2020). Why does social class impact subjective well-being? The role of status and power. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 46, 331–348.

Yu, S., Greer, L.L., Halevy, N., & van Bunderen, L. (2019). On ladders and pyramids: Hierarchy’s shape determines relationships and performance in groupsPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45, 1717-1733.

Blader, S. & Yu, S. (2017). Are status and respect different or two sides of the same coin? Academy of Management Annals, 11, 800-824.

Greer, L.L, van Bunderen, L., & Yu, S. (2017). The dysfunctions of power in teams: A review and emergent conflict perspectiveResearch in Organizational Behavior, 37, 103-124.

Yu, S. & Xie, Y. (2017). Preference effects on friendship choice: Evidence from an online field experimentSocial Science Research, 66, 201-210.

Kuwabara, K. & Yu, S. (2017). Costly punishment increases prosocial punishment by designated punishers power and legitimacy in public goods gamesSocial Psychology Quarterly, 80, 174-193.

Kuwabara, K., Yu, S., Lee, A., & Galinsky, A. (2016). Status decreases dominance in the West but increases dominance in the East. Psychological Science, 27, 127-137.