My name is Rui Zhong (钟锐). I am an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Management and Organization Department at Penn State University. I obtained my Ph.D. degree in Organizational Behavior at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia.

I identify myself as a positive scholar on negative phenomena. In terms of topics, I study a variety of negative phenomena, or phenomena that people generally have a negative connotation with. Specifically, I study negative behaviors (e.g., gossip, abusive supervision, and ostracism), emotions (e.g., shame and anxiety), and cognitions (e.g., death awareness). My research sheds a positive light on those negative phenomena, with a particular focus on 1) the benefits of negative phenomena and 2) mitigators that reduce the harm of negative phenomena.

Most of my research projects examine the positive sides of negative phenomena in the contexts of leadership and teams, using a variety of methods, such as experience sampling methods, meta-analyses, and experiments. 

For more information about my research, please click the following links:

Google Scholar   |   CV


University of British Columbia, Canada, 2018-2023

Tianjin University, China, 2013-2017

Journal Publications

Lyubykh, Z., Zhong, R., Vuong, T., Robinson, S. L., & Hershcovis, M. S. Understanding the impact of witnessed workplace mistreatment: A meta-analysis of observer deontic reactions and employee outcomes. Accepted at Journal of Applied Psychology.

Zhong, R., Tang, P. M., & Lee, S. (2024) The gossiper’s high and low: Investigating the impact of negative gossip about the supervisor on work engagement. Personnel Psychology. 77 (2), 621–649

Zhong, R., Lian, H., Hershcovis, M. S., & Robinson, S. L. (2023) Mitigating or magnifying the harmful influence of workplace aggression: An integrative review. Academy of Management Annals. 17, 516–545

Zhong, R., Paluch, R., Shum, V., Zatzick, C., and Robinson, S. (2021). Hot, cold, or both? A person-centered perspective on death awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Applied Psychology. 106(6), 839-855

Zhong, R., & Robinson, S. (2021). What happens to bad actors in organizations? A review of actor-centric outcomes of negative behavior. Journal of Management. 47(6), 1430-1467

More About Me

I like to play badminton, jog, lift weights, listen to podcasts, and watch shows on YouTube and Netflix. Over the weekends, I often go hiking with friends. I am a big NBA fan and grew up playing basketball. 

Contact Information

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