Hui Sun

Hui Sun

Ph.D. candidate in Management & Organizations

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Management & Organizations Department at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. I will be on the academic job market 2021-2022. Here is my CV .

My research concerns the role of cognition in entrepreneurship, social networks, and organizational learning.

  • Cognition X Entrepreneurship: My dissertation combines computational modeling with a longitudinal qualitative study to understand how founders acquire new mental models through experiential bootstrapping.
  • Cognition X Social networks : I study how individuals mentally represent their social connections. In particular, I ask, how knowledge structure alone impacts individuals’ economic returns, independent of the content of the knowledge. In simpler words, independent of what you know, how you mentally organize what you know matters.
  • Cognition X Organizational learning : I theorize language systems, both natural languages and artificial languages (e.g., programming languages), as enacted knowledge structure that interact with organizational structure and determine the communicative capacity of firms.

As a mixed-methods scholar, I use a combination of quantitative, qualitative and computational methods. You can find resources on automating surveys (Javascript), interactive network analysis (R), and network learning experiments (Python) on my Github. I am a keen advocate for women in coding and reproducible research.

Prior to Northwestern, I got my B.S. and B.A. from Tsinghua University and spent wonderful time as a member of Professor Cleotilde (Coty) Gonzalez’s Dynamic Decision Making Lab at Carnegie Mellon University.

When I am offline, I have fun playing pipa and cello.


  • Managerial Cognition
  • Organizational Learning
  • Social Networks
  • Mixed Methods (computational, qualitative, experimental)


  • PhD in Management & Organizations (minor in Computational Cognitive Science), 2022

    Northwestern University

  • MS in Management & Organizations, 2019

    Northwestern University

  • BS in Experimental Psychology, 2016

    Tsinghua University

  • BA in Game & Interactive Media Design, 2016

    Tsinghua University