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Rae Tan

"Rae" Yunzi Tan

assistant professor
School of Public and International Affairs

Contact Information:

Phone: 410.837.5329 

Ph.D., M.Phil, M.A., Columbia University
B.A., University of Southern California


(Rae) Yunzi Tan’s professional and research interests emphasize the functioning and effectiveness of work groups and organizations from the perspectives of social and organizational psychology. Specifically, Tan has conducted research on social categorization processes and triggered displaced aggression in intergroup contexts, effective diversity training evaluation, team conflict management processes, and mindful interventions in online group learning. Some of her current research projects focus on team conflict management dynamics, workforce diversity and conflict management training, collective narcissism in organizations, and anger rumination in workplace aggression.

At the University of Baltimore, Tan teaches graduate courses, such as organizational conflict and conflict management systems, research methods, and the capstone seminar, as part of the M.S. in Negotiations and Conflict Management program. Her core teaching interests include organizational conflict and conflict management systems, team diversity and conflict management dynamics, workforce diversity and conflict management training, and organizational change and development.

Prior to joining UB in 2013, Tan taught as an associate adjunct professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. At Teachers College, she taught graduate courses and topics on groups and teams, experimental research designs, organizational culture and change, and conflict management in organizations. In 2012, Tan was awarded a competitive visiting research fellowship to conduct research on team conflict management with the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at the Singapore Management University in Singapore. In 2011, she received the International Association for Conflict Management’s “Best Theoretical Paper” conference award for her conceptual work on conflict management as configural profiles within teams.

Aside from her academic and teaching experiences, Tan also spent several years as an experienced professional in strategic change consulting, organizational development, market research, marketing, and business development in both private and nonprofit sectors. She has served as a strategic change advisor and resource to business leaders and senior executives at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional services firm, and at Disney Consumer Products, the retail and consumer products division of The Walt Disney Company. Tan also worked as part of the organizational research team at Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit organization that is committed to creating and building more diverse and inclusive workplaces around the globe.

Key research interests:

  • Team conflict management dynamics
  • Diversity and conflict management training
  • Anger rumination and workplace aggression
  • Collective narcissism in organizations

Scholarly publications:

  • Tan, R. Y., Michaels, J., & Strawinska-Zanko, U. (in-press). A dynamical approach to conflict management in teams. In U. Strawinska-Zanko & L. Liebovitch (eds.), Mathematical Modeling of Social Relationships: What Mathematics Can Tell Us About People. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Tan, R. Y. (in-press). Using the Person-Environment Analysis in diversity training needs assessments. In J. Alber, S. Kaiser, & G. C. Schulze (eds.), Die feldtheoretisch basierte Person-Umfeld-Analyse als Instrument zur Anamnese und Förderprozessplanung in der Sonder- und Rehabilitationspädagogik. Lehrbuch zur Theorie + Praxisbeispiele aus unterschiedlichen Handlungsfeldern. Bad Heilbronn, Germany: Verlag Julius Klinkhardt.
  • Tan, R. Y. (2017). Goal interdependence, subgroup formation, and conflict in teams. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, 20(4), 500-524.
  • Tan, R. Y., & Molinari, C. (2017). Being mindful may not make you a team player. Does meditation help or hurt online group learning? Journal of Educators Online, 14(2).
  • Tan, R. Y. (2016). Exploring the presence and impact of variability in team conflict management on team effectiveness. Journal of Conflict Management4(1), 38-58.
  • Molinari, C., Freshman, B. L., & Tan, R. Y. (2015). Mindful awareness training in online and face-to-face learning environments: A comparative analysis. Journal of Health Administration Education, 32(4), 579-604.
  • Roberson, L., Kulik, C., & Tan, R. Y. (2013). Effective diversity training. In Q. Roberson (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Diversity and Work. (pp. 341-365). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Vasquez, E., Pedersen, W. C., Ensari, E., Tan, R. Y., & Miller, N. (2007). Personalization and differentiation as moderators of triggered displaced aggression in intergroup contexts. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37(2), 297-319.

Selected conference presentations:

  • Tan, R. Y., Michaels, J. L., & Strawinska-Zanko, U. (2018, March). Moving forward: Emerging research and future directions for advancing the dynamic systems approach to understanding team conflict dynamics. Poster to be presented at the Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Atlanta, GA.
  • Tan, R. Y. (2016, June). Dynamical conflict management profiles in work groups. In Tan, R. Y. (Chair), Understanding the dynamics of conflict and its management in individual, dyadic, and group contexts. Symposium conducted at the 29th annual conference of the International Association for Conflict Management, New York, NY.
  • Tan, R. Y. (2014, July) Different me's in us: Investigating the presence of varying team members’ conflict management approaches and their effects on team effectiveness.  Paper presented at the 27th annual conference of the International Association for Conflict Management, Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Tan, R. Y. (2012, April). Training diverse teams to manage conflicts effectively using constructive controversy. Paper presented at the 27th annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, San Diego, CA.
  • Tan, R. Y. (2011, July). Variant conflict management: A conceptual model on the development and influence of relative variation in conflict management within work teams. Paper presented at the 24th annual conference of the International Association for Conflict Management, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Tan, R. Y., Roberson, L., & Kulik, C. (2011, April). Directions in diversity training research. In Goren, M., & Dawson, B. (Co-Chairs), Diversity training: Linking theory and practice. Symposium conducted at the 26th annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Chicago, IL.