Lisa Hisae Nishii, Assistant Professor, Human Resource Studies
Lisa Nishii joined the ILR School as an Assistant Professor specializing in Human Resource Management in the fall of 2003. Her decision to join Cornell was influenced by the opportunities that she felt the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) offered in terms of scientist-practitioner collaborations.
Lisa was also attracted to the strong sense of community, institutional identity, and pride that are felt and expressed by Cornellians, and of which she desired to be a part. Lisa's research interests in International HRM were also well aligned with the ILR School's push to become more international; she felt that in such an environment, her research and teaching aspirations would be supported and appreciated.
Lisa's interest in international affairs stems from her unique background. Her Japanese father is descended from Buddhist monks, while her mother traces her ancestry back to the original Mayflower settlers. Adding to this already diverse scenario is Nishii's Korean husband and the couple's daughter, Elise, born last December, whose complex heritage can best be described in fractions -- one-quarter American, one-quarter Japanese, one-half Korean.
Lisa's current research lies in the areas of cross-cultural and international HRM, and workplace diversity issues. In her international HRM research, she is examining the moderating role of national culture on the relationship between effective HR systems and organizational performance, as well as the relationship between dimensions of national culture and the internal alignment of HRM practices. She is also actively involved in a large-scale international project in which she and her collaborators are examining the interplay of eco-historical, societal, and psychological factors in determining the "strength of situations" across 35 cultures. In cultures that have a preponderance of strong situations, behavior tends to be highly scripted and less variable, while in cultures with primarily weak situations, behavior tends to be more variable and personality-driven. She and her colleagues are exploring the many implications of these findings for organizational phenomena.
Her diversity research focuses primarily on the relationship between workforce diversity, diversity management practices, and organizational performance. The main thesis driving this work is that workforce diversity can and should positively impact performance, as long as organizations implement appropriate organizational practices and devote adequate attention to group process and leadership factors. She has a number of ongoing research projects in which she examines these issues.
Lisa is excited about the new international focus of the ILR School and believes that it is a necessary step for maintaining ILR's reputation in the world as a leader in the world of work. Lisa feels that the attention that the school is paying to the internationalization of the curriculum is invaluable. She strongly feels that the best way to understand the complexities involved with multicultural/global issues is to experience them first hand, and thus is particularly excited about recent efforts to boost ILR students international opportunities through overseas internships, study abroad, and classes with international travel components. With the guidance, vision, and support that the school is receiving from Dean Katz, Lisa is optimistic and confident about the ILR School's future as a leader in international workplace issues.
- Lisa Hisae Nishii