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Bedford, Olwen
, Ph.D.


Olwen Bedford draws on a diverse background of professional and academic experience working with international organizations, NGOs, and governments to conduct I/O research using a Chinese indigenous approach. Her early research used an ethnographic method to map out the roles and functions of the two moral emotions that support moral functioning: guilt and shame. Dr. Bedford built on these findings to formulate a cross-cultural framework of guilt and shame in relation to identity and morality in Western and Confucian cultures. Two subsequent interrelated lines of research build on this framework. The first focuses on morality, identity, and interpersonal relations in the workplace with an emphasis on guanxi (relationships) and mianzi (face). The second takes an organizational perspective to examine the relation between an organization’s operating environment and its culture and ethics.


Ph.D., Sociocultural Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder
M.B.A., Thunderbird School of International Management

Research Interests

  • Moral emotions and face (mianzi )
  • Conflict resolution & negotiation
  • Building relationships for business (guanxi)
  • Filial piety and career selection