Penn State Great Valley professor honored by Southern Management Association

Paper co-authored by Great Valley's John Sosik to receive two awards Oct. 26

MALVERN, Pa. — Penn State Great Valley professor John J. Sosik and former faculty member Jae Uk Chun received accolades from the Southern Management Association (SMA) for their collaborative paper titled “Leader feedback-seeking from subordinates and evaluation of leader effectiveness in leader-subordinate relationships: Subordinate expertise does matter.” The piece received recognition as both Best Organizational Behavior Track Paper and Best Overall Conference Paper. Sosik and Chun focused on using feedback and expertise from followers to strengthen the effectiveness and management skills of leaders in a time of shared leadership and crowdsourcing.

Sosik and Chun will be recognized Oct. 26 at the annual SMA meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. An affiliate of the Academy of Management, SMA is known for its emphasis on research and methodology. About 1,000 management professors, doctoral students and executives from more than 200 colleges, universities and organizations around the world are members.

Sosik, a professor of management and organization and the professor-in-charge of the Master of Leadership Development program at Penn State Great Valley, is an internationally recognized expert on leadership, teams and mentoring. He also has provided training and consulting services to a number of corporate, military, educational and nonprofit organizations. He has published more than 100 books, book chapters, articles and conference proceedings, which have been cited by scholars and practitioners more than 8,000 times.

An expert on leadership, teams and research methods, Chun is currently an associate professor of management at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. He also serves as executive director of the Korean Academy of Management and as a reviewer on the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. Prior to joining Korea University Business School, he worked alongside Sosik at Penn State Great Valley from 2006 to 2009.

Both Sosik and Chun earned their doctorates in management from the Center for Leadership Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

During Chun’s sabbatical in the 2014–2015 academic year, Sosik reunited with him to collaborate on the paper and other projects. Together, they studied five large, high-tech companies in Korea to see how superiors sought feedback from their subordinate staff. Sosik and Chun were specifically interested in negative comments — and from whom leaders seek criticism. The two were surprised to find most leaders turned toward their mediocre staff for insight rather than speaking to their high-achieving expert employees. While favoring only informed and talented staff’s input could question a leader’s credibility, Sosik and Chun’s discovery causes them to question if authority figures are using their resources effectively.

“This could be a critical issue from a managerial perspective,” noted Sosik. “It is certainly a less-than-optimal use of readily-available resources. More attention should be paid to fostering feedback-seeking behavior as a way to improve leader effectiveness.”

Sosik will present his findings and their practical implications to the public at the Management Research Showcase event at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Penn State Great Valley campus. For more information, visit