Dr. Shan Ran

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Shan Ran (Ph.D., Wayne State University, 2017) joined Mercer in 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Her specialty area is industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology. She teaches Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics, and Industrial Psychology. Her research interests focus on the broad question of diverse worker success, such as boosters (i.e., leadership capacity, training) and barriers (i.e., bias and discrimination) to individual success along demographic (e.g., gender, age, etc.) and cultural characteristics in the workplace.


  • B.S., Psychology, Zhejiang University, 2008
  • M.A., Industrial-Organizational (I-O) psychology, University of Detroit Mercy, 2011
  • Ph.D. Industrial-Organizational (I-O) psychology (minor in quantitative methods), Wayne State University, 2017

Courses Taught

  • PSY 101 – Introduction to Psychology
  • PSY 235 – Industrial Psychology
  • PSY 306 – Research Methods and Statistics I



Research Interest

My primary research interest surrounds the overarching question: How can individuals from diverse backgrounds succeed in the workplace? Employee success takes many forms. As a worker, an employee can be successful by being a valuable individual contributor, effective leader, and/or suitable candidate for advancement. For individuals, success can involve fulfilling personal goals and maintaining a high level of well-being through work. Both the formal and social aspects of the workplace can facilitate or hinder employee success. Effective training, mentoring, leadership development, and desirable interpersonal treatment exemplify boosters of success. In contrast, bias, prejudice, and discrimination can create barriers that interfere with workers’ effort to become successful.

In the meantime, as the contemporary workplace is increasingly diverse in terms of demographic and cultural factors, individuals from diverse backgrounds tend to undergo different experiences when striving for occupational and personal success. Diversity encompasses a wide range of characteristics, including gender, age, culture, and many other observable and unobservable factors. Workers from disadvantaged groups (e.g., women, ethnic minority, older workers, non-Anglo cultural origins) tend to have poorer access to development and advancement opportunities (i.e., fewer boosters) compared to their advantaged counterparts. They are also vulnerable to unfavorable judgment and treatment (i.e., barriers) regarding important indicators of success, such as negative perceptions of their leadership and quality of their interpersonal interactions. Organizations, as well as society, face many challenges related to effectively curbing these differential experiences, as well as leveraging diversity for better synergy among individuals.

My research program, therefore, seeks to address why such differential experiences occur, how various factors facilitate or hinder the success of diverse workers, and what can be done to promote the success of diverse employees. In particular, employees’ adaptive application of training contributes to their overall success at work (Huang, Ran, & Blume, in press; Ran & Huang, under review). My doctoral dissertation “Are transformational leaders sustainable? The role of organizational culture” examines individual capacity to exhibit leadership as a key driver for long-term success. For accurately capturing workers’ experience of discrimination, I contributed to a multi-sample project in which we developed and validated a scale of employees’ perceptions of age discrimination at work (Marchiondo, Gonzales, & Ran, 2015). Also, I am overseeing a series of studies to understand and mitigate perpetration of prejudice and discrimination against women leaders (Ran, Marchiondo, & Caleo, 2016, AOM; Ran, Marchiondo, & Caleo, 2015, APS).

Moving forward, I am interested in further investigating the intrapersonal process of diverse workers when encountering boosters and barriers to their success. When workers have opportunities to receive training and develop their leadership capacity, I will discover how they self-regulate to apply new knowledge and skills to become more productive at work, particularly how this process may differ across individuals from diverse backgrounds, such as gender, age, and culture. In addition, regarding the multifaceted success, I will explore how diverse workers value and balance different levels of success, such as high performance in terms of a job, advancement in terms of a career, and well-being as a person. I will also continue incorporating various contextual factors (e.g., organizational culture, discrimination, and interpersonal treatment, etc.) that influence the intrapersonal process.


(Undergraduate student authors are underlined.)

  • Ran, S. & Huang, J. L. (in press). Enhancing adaptive transfer of cross-cultural training: Lessons learned from the broader training literature. Human Resource Management Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2017.08.004
  • Huang, J. L., Ran. S., & Blume, B. D. (in press). Understanding training transfer from the adaptive performance perspective. To be published in K. G. Brown (Ed.) The Cambridge handbook of workplace training and employee development. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Odeh, A.Bruce, T. J., Krenn, D. R., & Ran, S. (2017). A broader perspective on subtle discrimination interventions. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 10, 118−123. doi: 10.1017/iop.2016.112
  • Huang, J. L., & Ran. S. (2016). Facilitating survey response. In S. G. Rogelberg (Ed.) Encyclopedia of industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed., Vol.2, pp. 477−479). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781483386874.n163
  • Marchiondo, L. A., Gonzales, E., & Ran, S. (2016). Development and validation of a workplace age discrimination scale. Journal of Business and Psychology, 31, 493−513. doi: 10.1007/s10869-015-9425-6
  • Marchiondo, L., Ran, S., & Cortina, L. (2015). Modern discrimination. In A. J. Colella & E. B. King (Eds.) The Oxford handbook of workplace discrimination. New York: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199363643.013.15
  • Ran, S., Liu, M., Marchiondo, L. A., & Huang, J. L. (2015). Difference in response effort across sample types: Perception or reality? Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 8, 202−208. doi: 10.1017/iop.2015.26
  • Ran, S., & Tjitra, H. (2008). Psychology of intercultural behavior: The fourth direction in the cultural oriented psychology (In Chinese). Psychological Exploration, 28, 21−24.

Recent Presentations

  • Thrasher, G. R. & Ran, S. (2017, April). Cultural values moderate the relationship between age and leadership behaviors. In S. Ran & L. A. Marchiondo (Co-chairs), The aging workforce and sustainable workplace around the world. Symposium to be conducted at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Orlando, FL.
  • Ran, S., Marchiondo, L. A., & Caleo, S. (2016, August). Mitigating the attractiveness double bind for female leaders. In C. L. McCluney & M. M. Henderson (Co-chairs), Mixed messages: Paradoxes for women in leadership. Symposium to be conducted at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Anaheim, CA.
  • Sood, B. G., Ran, S., Trepanier, A. M., Kottam, A. R., Roth, L. M., & Orchard A. A. A. (2016, June). Gender differences in employment and salary in an urban university. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of University Professors in Washington, DC.
  • Ran, S. (2016, April). Response quality of convenience samples: Possible misconceptions? In R. N. Landers & S. Highhouse (Co-chairs), IGNITE debate: Should we trust or avoid online convenience samples?. Alternative session presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Anaheim, CA.
  • Ran, S., Huang, J. L., Liu, M., & Nieminen, L. R. (2016, April). Negatively Worded Items in Surveys: Method Bias and Interventions. In N. A. Bowling & J. L. Huang (Co-chairs), Your attention please! Measuring, predicting, and preventing insufficient effort responding. Symposium conducted at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Anaheim, CA.
  • Ran, S. & Marchiondo, L.A. (2016, April). Bridging aging research and policy-making: An international perspective. Symposium conducted at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Anaheim, CA.
  • Gonzales, E., Marchiondo, L.A., & Ran, S. (2015, November). Age discrimination at work and correlates with health/occupational well-being. In T. Gendron & E. Gonzales (Co-chairs), Age discrimination examined through a life-course perspective: Insights from interdisciplinary research. Symposium presented at The Gerontological Society of America’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, FL.
  • Gonzales, E., Marchiondo, L., & Ran, S. (2015, November). Development of the Workplace Age Discrimination Scale (WADS).Poster presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.
  • Thrasher, G. R., Ran, S., & Marchiondo, L. M. (2015, November). The negative effects of bullying on work and health outcomes: The moderating role of age. Poster presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.
  • Ran, S., Sood, B. G., Trepanier, A. M., Kottam, A. R., Roth, L. M., & Orchard A. A. A. (2015, November). An examination of gender differences in employment and salary in an urban school of medicine. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Baltimore, MD.
  • Thrasher, G. R., Ran, S., Marchiondo, L. A., Mullins, M. W., & Fragoso, Z. L., (2015, August). A psychometric evaluation of workplace mistreatment constructs. In G. R. Thrasher, S. Ran, & L. A. Marchiondo (Co-chairs), Toward a better understanding of workplace mistreatment: Experiences, perpetration, and measurement. Symposium conducted at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Gonzales, E., Marchiondo, L.A., Ran, S., Brown, C., & Goettge, K. (2015, July). Age discrimination in the workplace and its association with health and work: Implications for social policy. Research brief presented at the 2015 White House Conference of Aging in Washington, DC.
  • Ran, S., Marchiondo, L. A., & Caleo, S. (2015, May). Differential effect of attractiveness on female and male leaders. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science in New York, NY.
  • Ran, S., Nieminen, L. R., Liu, M. & Huang, J. L. (2015, April). Combating the negative impact of negatively worded items in surveys. In J. L. Huang (Chair), Insufficient effort responding: From detection to solution. Symposium conducted at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Philadelphia, PA.

Contact Dr. Shan Ran

(478) 301-2855