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Yangyang Zhang, Ph.D. - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Yangyang Zhang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Management, College of Business Administration | Loyola Marymount University



You can contact Yangyang Zhang at Yangyang.Zhang@lmu.edu.

Yangyang Zhang is an assistant professor of management in the College of Business Administration (CBA) at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Yangyang earned her Ph.D. in management from Stevens Institute of Technology and her master's degree in human resource management from Rutgers University. Her research focuses on strategic leadership and corporate governance. She is dedicated to advancing our understanding of the “human side” of strategy, mainly through close examination of executives’ characteristics and cognitions and their influences on various firm strategies. Yangyang teaches courses in strategy and management, and she also has valuable working experience in the field of human resources. Prior to her academic career, she worked as a compensation specialist for Otsuka Pharmaceutical company in Princeton, New Jersey from 2015-2016.

Education (3)

Stevens Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Management 2023

Rutgers University: Master in Human Resource Management 2015

Beijing Information Science and Technology University: B.B.A., Human Resource Management 2013


Areas of Expertise (2)

Corporate Governance

Strategic Leadership

Accomplishments (2)

Best Doctoral Paper (professional)

Zhang,Y., Mooney, A.,& Jeong, S.H.(2023) Scapegoats or change agents? : Examining the promotion of racial minority CEOs to firms in crisis. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of Southern Management Association, St. Pete Beach, FL.

Best Conference Paper (professional)

Jeong, S.H., Mooney, A., & Zhang, Y. (2021). Investor reactions to racial-ethnic minority CEOs appointments. Presented at the annual meeting of Academy of Management, virtual.

Affiliations (3)

  • Academy of Management
  • Strategic Management Society
  • Southern Management Association

Articles (2)

How do investors really react to the appointment of Black CEOs?

Strategic Management Journal


A recent study found that markets react negatively to the appointment of Black CEOs, with an average cumulative abnormal return of −4.2%. The authors argue this is caused by investors invoking racial biases and stereotypes. In contrast, using a comparable sampling period and analytic approach, we find markets react positively to the appointment of Black CEOs with an average abnormal return of +3.1% (or +2.0% after conservatively addressing outliers). Our results are consistent across several alternative analyses, sample adjustments, and robustness tests. We argue racial biases and stereotypes in markets are outweighed by investor appreciation for the higher bar for advancement that Black CEOs face and the exceptional attributes they must exhibit as a result. To conclude, we discuss the implications of our findings.

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The paradox of digital savviness: an examination of conditions that mitigate its power

Technology Analysis & Strategic Management


Top executives play an important role in how firms keep pace with or fall behind in today’s digital economy. In this study, we considered 246 top business executives and digital transformation projects for which they were responsible but had not yet approved. Based on surveys each executive completed, we found that commitment to digital transformation initiatives – a critical success factor for the initiative – was strongly associated with the executives’ ‘digital savviness’ but that this was weakened when executives had longer tenures with their organisations or faced greater competitive pressures. Our findings illustrate that executive commitment to digital transformation does not just require an increase in technological understanding. It is a qualitative change in the way executives prepare for, respond to, and stay engaged with digital initiatives.

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