Brannen, Mary Yoko

Professor and Jarislowsky CAPI East Asia (Japan) Chair


Phone number: (472) 4616
Department: Business

Research description:

- Cross-cultural management
- Ethnographic methodology
- Post-merger integration
- Knowledge-sharing across contexts

Expertise Profile
Mary Yoko Brannen studies people with backgrounds similar to her own - individuals of mixed cultural heritage who are the incoming workplace demographic.

As a cross-cultural consultant with over 25 years of experience, Dr. Brannen actively helps multinational firms value, integrate, manage, and deploy their organizational resources - managerial talent, employees, and partners - so they can better achieve their global strategic goals and maintain a competitive advantage.

She is also an expert on how knowledge and ideas get shared across, and integrated into, different cultural contexts.

Born to American missionary parents and raised in Japan, Dr. Brannen is bicultural, having internalized two distinct cultural profiles.

Biculturals and multiculturals can be immigrants, children of immigrant parents and grand-parents, or descendants of inter-racial marriage.

Currently, Dr. Brannen's global research project on biculturals aims to better understand how biculturalism impacts individuals and business organizations. Her research has shown that there are different types of biculturals who contribute different skillsets to their organization.

As the world becomes increasingly global, with a more culturally-diverse labour force and customer base, Dr. Brannen's work helps organizations realize the strengths biculturals bring to their teams. Managers can then deploy their employees in situations that suit them best, or train monoculturals with cross-cultural skills.

For those who feel caught in the middle of two different cultures, worldviews and attitudes, Dr. Brannen's research can inform clinical cross-cultural psychologists and immigration educators on the best practices for people coping with these inner conflicts.

In the Gustavson School of Business, where she's the research director, Dr. Brannen brings her broad international teaching background and consulting speciality to her classes, which emphasize experiential learning. She places students in cross-cultural simulation settings that go against their expected norms so they can get a better appreciation for cultural differences.

Related Links
Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives profile:

Dr. Brannen's departmental website:

International activities:

Dr. Brannen helps multinational firms realize their global strategic initiatives. Some of her clients include Cisco Systems, Ford Motor Company, Intel, Proctor and Gamble, Sony Electronics, UNESCO and the Walt Disney Company.

Countries lived or worked in:

Dr. Brannen has lived and worked in Japan, France, China, Spain and the United States.


Japanese, French, Spanish, Mandarin

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