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Darla Moore School of Business


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Sherry M. B.  Thatcher

Title: Professor
Department: Department of Management, Master of Human Resources
Darla Moore School of Business
E-mail: sherry.thatcher@moore.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5975
Office: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 406F
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Sherry Thatcher

Biography

Sherry M.B. Thatcher is a professor of business administration and a Moore Business Partnership Foundation Fellow in the Department of Management at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Her research revolves around teams and includes the study of intragroup conflict as it relates to diversity, faultlines, identity and the effects of computer-mediated communication. She has authored numerous scholarly publications in these areas, including articles in the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Science, Journal of Management and Decision Support Systems. She received the prestigious Educational Foundation Award for Research from the University of South Carolina in 2016 and has received numerous best paper awards. Her research has been funded by both private and public organizations, including the National Science Foundation. Thatcher is currently an associate editor at the Academy of Management Review and serves or has served on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management and Small Group Research.

What courses do you teach?

Why should a student take your class? How does your class help students become employable?

My class contains a blend of experiential exercises, case studies, consulting projects and discussion assignments. I would like for students to not only learn from my experiences and expertise, but also to learn from the experiences of their student peers as well. The goal is to provide students with the tools to effectively manage and interact with colleagues at all levels in an organization.

What do you research? What kind of projects are you working on?

My research is aimed at understanding how organizations can get the most out of teams, especially diverse teams. Thus, I investigate how team demographic configurations contribute to conflict, information processing, performance and creativity.

How do your research projects make a difference?

Employees are often expected to work in teams without any formal training or understanding of what it takes to be an effective team member. My research provides employees with insight into how to be effective team members. Furthermore, the results of my research can be used by leaders as they create, and manage, teams.

Briefly describe a few of your current projects.

I am involved in a number of projects that investigate how perceptions of diversity influence teams over time. In one project, we investigate how perceptions of conflict and perceptions of team factions change over the life of a team project. In another project, we explore how the team structures their task as a result of perceived demographic factions. A third project explores how perceptions of demographic factions influence perceptions of fairness, status conflict and ultimately team performance.

How do you involve students in your projects?

Doctoral students are often the inspiration for many of the projects and are actively involved in the development, implementation and writing of the research projects. I also employ a number of graduate students to help with data collection, coding and analysis. At times, undergraduate students have also participated in coding and collecting data. 

What inspires you about your work?

I grew up in Hawaii, which is extremely racially diverse. People from all backgrounds and cultures are able to live and work in such a way that differences are respected and appreciated. I’m excited about discovering the conditions under which diversity of all forms (gender, race, age, sexual orientation) can be accepted and appreciated in organizations throughout the world.

What are you doing when you’re not working?

Tennis, travel, hanging out with my children, reading trashy novels