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Since its inception in the spring of 2020, the 19 Washington Square North Faculty Fellows program has funded a series of original collaborations between NYU faculty in Abu Dhabi and New York. Fellows have been selected from science, engineering, social science and the humanities, and have often joined forces with colleagues in disciplines other than their own.
Their joint research and/or artistic accomplishments contribute to scholarly activity at 19 Washington Square North, the home of NYUAD in New York, as well as to faculty synergies across NYU's global network and to their fields' knowledge and creative production.
Our project for the Fellowship brings together a series of initiatives: two online events, a co-authored translation, an artistic installation, and the preparation of a journal issue dedicated to the memory of the Congolese scholar Tshikala Kayembe Biaya. These activities all concur to investigate the intersections among artistic creation, social criticism, and scholarship in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pedro Monavile’s research focuses on the colonial and post-colonial history of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His first monograph (to be published in 2022 by Duke University Press) is a study of the Congolese student movement at the time of the global 1960s. He has also published articles and book chapters on colonial memory and Congolese popular culture. He is currently working on two main projects: a monograph about the decolonization of the Congolese Catholic Church, and the publication of an edited volume around the work of the writer and scholar André Yoka Lye.
Duncan Yoon is Assistant Professor at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His current book, Alluvial Dreams, examines representations of China in African literature. The manuscript was awarded the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Helen Tartar First Book Subvention in 2020. He has published several articles on Africa-China cultural relations and is an executive committee member for the Modern Language Association's (MLA) forum, African Literature to 1990. He served as a Fulbright Scholar to South Korea in 2004 and was a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress in 2018.
Proactive behavior is defined as behavior that is self-starting, future-focused, and change-oriented. It also long entered mainstream discourse as a positive trait that is valued at work. However, emerging research suggests that proactivity is not always viewed favorably, which generates a need to better understand and identify organizational conditions that are the most suitable for proactive behaviors (vs. those that will not).
Because managers often act as observers and assessors of proactive behaviors among those they supervise, we propose to study proactive work behavior by focusing on the perspectives of managers.
Situating our project in the health care industry, we aim (1) to conduct a pilot study that examines how health care managers define, observe, and assess proactive behaviors among employees; and (2) to convene a panel of scholars and practitioners to identify future research directions for integrating proactivity theory into health care management research, as well as strategies for implementing evidence-based findings from this stream of research into practice. By building on the latest research from psychology and management science, we expect our project to foster a managerial perspective on proactivity at work, and to identify a set of research directions that scholars can consider to ultimately improve the job satisfaction and wellbeing of health care workers.
Jemima Frimpong’s research focuses on the complex dynamics of decision making, and the intersection of information processing and discrimination. Frimpong has worked extensively in health care organizations, examining how managerial attributes, including decision making, affect the adoption and implementation of innovation, treatment practices, and ultimately the health of patients. She recently launched a program of research to investigate the impact of biases (encompassing stereotyping and prejudice) on managerial decision making and behaviors. Frimpong is particularly interested in studying how managers process information about job applicants and employees, and how these processes might lead to discrimination and other adverse outcomes. She is conducting a series of experiments designed to elicit the dynamics of biases in hiring and promotion decisions. Frimpong uses a broad array of methods throughout her work, ranging from survey and lab-based experiments to randomized trials.
Alden Lai is a health care management scholar who studies people's behaviors and cognition at work to understand how employees, managers, and leaders can improve workforce wellbeing, and consequently, safety performance in health care organizations. Lai uses theories and methodologies in psychology, health services research, and organizational behavior in his interdisciplinary work. Of particular interest are how health care workers engage in job crafting and experience work as meaningful, and how managers can better enable job crafting as well as "wise" proactivity among employees. Lai has consulted for federal and state governments, health systems, biopharmaceutical companies, and philanthropies internationally. He is currently Executive Advisor to the Global Wellbeing Initiative, an effort by Gallup (US) and the Wellbeing for Planet Earth Foundation (Japan) to foster a more inclusive and diverse understanding of wellbeing for research, practice, and policy. He is also the co-editor of a book on thriving at work for early career researchers to be published by Springer in 2023. Lai obtained his PhD in Health Policy and Management with a focus on organizational behavior at Johns Hopkins University, Master of Public Health at the University of Tokyo, and BA in psychology at the National University of Singapore.