Heather Caruso focuses her teaching and research on several aspects of human behavior in organizations. These interests center on: the dynamics and social psychology of diverse (e.g., cross-functional, multicultural) teams; the management of identity, power, and influence in organizations; and strategies for optimal judgment, decision making, and behavior. She is a strong proponent of lifelong learning for management excellence, and encourages students to make the most of their professors’ knowledge and ongoing research not only while they are here, but also throughout their careers.
In addition to her teaching and research, Caruso consults for both private- and public-sector organizations on management and teamwork issues, and serves as the Executive Director for the Center for Decision Research (CDR) at Booth.
Caruso’s formal interests in organizational and social psychology first developed when she was an undergraduate at Stanford University, primarily in the course of doing cross-cultural negotiation research with Jared Curhan and Lee Ross. These interests grew deeper when, while serving as Director of Engineering in a multinational Silicon Valley startup, she became fascinated with real-world experiences related to cultural variation in identity, and the failure of promising collaborations among dissimilar individuals. These experiences helped Caruso decide to pursue a career in teaching and research, so she proceeded to Harvard to do her A.M. in Social Psychology and her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior - Social Psychology.
Caruso is a member of the Behavioral Science and Policy Association, the Academy of Management, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Reading, tea, dance, tennis.
Collaboration across group boundaries; the negotiation of identity and interpersonal congruence; the influence of group identity on judgment, decision making, and behavior.
Clair, J.A., Humberd, B.K., Caruso, H.M., & Morgan Roberts, L. Marginal memberships: Psychological effects of identity ambiguity on professionals who are demographically different from the majority. Organizational Psychology Review, 2, 71-93 (2012).
Greer, L.L., Caruso, H.M., & Jehn, K.A. The bigger they are, the harder they fall: Linking team power, conflict, congruence, and team performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116, 116-128 (2011).
Caruso, H. M. , Rogers, T., & Bazerman, M.H. Boundaries need not be barriers: Leading collaboration among groups in decentralized organizations. In T. Pittinsky (Ed.), Crossing the Divide: Intergroup Leadership in a World of Difference. Boston: Harvard Business School Press (2009).
Caruso, H. M., & Woolley, A. W. Harnessing the power of emergent interdependence to promote diverse team collaboration. In E. A. Mannix, M. A. Neale (Series Eds.), & K. W. Phillips (Vol. Ed.), Research on managing groups and teams: Vol. 11. Diversity and groups. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press (2008).
Polzer, J. T., & Caruso, H. M. Identity negotiation amidst diversity: Understanding the influences of social identity and status. In A. Brief (Ed.), Diversity at work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2008).