Research Heavy Hitters

Dana J. Johnson Management Professor Wendy Smith co published a new book "Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems."

Portions of this article originally appeared in UDaily. It is published with permission.

Highly Cited Researchers have an outsize impact on the world’s scientific community, demonstrating exceptional influence in their fields through the journal articles they publish. The University of Delaware has four of these research heavy-hitters for 2023, outpacing 71% of the institutions represented globally.

Designated each year by Clarivate, a global analytics company, Highly Cited Researchers are so named for the frequency in which their published work is cited by their peers.

Each researcher selected has authored multiple papers ranking in the top 1% in the number of citations for their field and publication year during the past decade.

Among the world’s scientists and social scientists, Highly Cited Researchers are 1 in 1,000. Wendy Smith, the Dana J. Johnson Professor of Management in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics was named to the list for the fifth consecutive year, along with UD researchers Kelvin Fu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Xiang-Gen Xia, the Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering — previously named to the list in 2020; and Yushan Yan, the Henry Belin du Pont Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering — also named to the list for the fifth consecutive year.

“We congratulate Wendy, Kelvin, Xiang-Gen and Yushan on their recognition as Highly Cited Researchers,” said Kelvin Lee, UD’s interim vice president for research, scholarship and innovation. “Their achievement is a testament to the breadth and depth of research happening at the University of Delaware, with an impact that is truly inspiring.”

Smith, who also is faculty director of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at UD’s Lerner College,  holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Harvard Business School and is an Academy of Management fellow. A frequent publisher in top journals in organization and management theory, she received the Decade Award from the Academy of Management Review in 2021 for the most cited paper in the past 10 years. Her book with Marianne Lewis, Both/And Thinking, has been named a 2023 Thinkers50 top 10 pick. The duo also recently won the 2023 Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award.

“The world is facing so many global challenges — climate change, war, economic inequality, health crises and more,” Smith said. “Scholars could come up with the best technological and scientific solutions, but these solutions are worthless unless people are willing to adopt them. Yet too often people live in either/or worlds that limit their thinking and minimize their collaboration. My research explores how people can adopt new ways of thinking and behaving to enable them to embrace complexity and competing demands and foster implementation of great solutions. In that sense, I am motivated in my research by my responsibility to my children — and to generations to come after that — to leave them a better world.”

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