Professor Kwok Leung
In Memoriam from the Asian Association of Social Psychology
Among his many accomplishments, the aspect of Kwok Leung’s legacy that is most salient organizationally is the founding of the Asian Association of Social Psychology (AASP). We would like to offer a few words in memory of our friend, colleague, and co-founder of this Association.
Kwok was the most optimistic among the four founders (Kwok, Susumu Yamaguchi, Yoshi Kashima, and Uichol Kim) who started AASP in 1995. Not only was he optimistic, Kwok provided substantial support to the association throughout his career. He hosted the first AASP conference in Hong Kong. To promote AASP, during the first conference, he spent his personal money to host a party at his faculty apartment (which was very large (around 300 square meters, with a maid room). He also negotiated with Wiley to publish AASP’s conference proceedings (i.e., starting the Progress in Asian Social Psychology series) after the first conference. This first publication by Wiley contributed to raise the international profile of AASP.
A good way to describe Kwok is pragmatic, while always remaining optimistic in the face of uncertainty. In fact, he thrived in uncertainty – where others saw uncertainties, he saw opportunities. And he had the drive and talent to turn possibilities into reality. AASP, a risky endeavour for relatively junior researchers at the time, is the case in point. When it was only a vision and enthusiasm, Kwok constructed the machinery of the AASP that exists today. Any new association needs members, a conference, conference proceedings, and a journal. When it came time to negotiate a contract for the Asian Journal of Social Psychology with Blackwell, Kwok played a key role. He was an excellent negotiator for AASP and we got an affordable deal for a young academic association with a small number of members. AJSP was launched in 1998 with Uichol Kim as inaugural Editor-in-Chief. Kwok also later served as Editor-in-Chief of AJSP. And, of course, he served as President of AASP. At the time of his passing, he was a member of the advisory board of AASP and the managing editor of AJSP.
AASP has agreed to support the Kwok Leung Scholarship Fund and celebrate his career with a Lifetime Contribution Award. We are asking Yumi to come to Cebu, Philippines in August, 2015 to accept the award on his behalf. AASP will establish the Kwok Leung Scholarship Fund to support young researchers by providing seed money for research projects that may arise from the summer school that he helped to establish. Kwok was the Principal of the first AASP Summer School (2007) and has since helped to sustain it for training students intensively by leading social/cultural psychologists prior to our biennial conference. Although numerous research projects have been considered, only a few have actually launched, due to a lack of funding. This will fill that gap. Though future generations of AASP summer school participants will not have the benefit of the personal support he offered to so many, they will have the opportunity to take part in the spirit of his academic endeavour by being challenged to take an ambitious and entrepreneurial approach to scholarship.
As a researcher, Kwok has contributed to the advancement of a cultural perspective in various areas including social psychology and industrial/organizational psychology. In social psychology, his publication on cultural difference in distributive justice while he was a graduate student at Illinois is very well known. More recently, he initiated an international project on social axioms, which has had a great impact in cross-cultural psychology. Not content to rest on his laurels, he recently started a new project on creativity, which would have had an important theoretical impact in psychology and making a practical contribution to our lives.
Kwok, you have left us too soon, you have left us with a lot of work to do. Our thoughts are with your family as they contemplate your life. We, your colleagues, mentors, students, friends and comrades salute you: you have been a wonderful colleague, a wise mentor, a willing student, and a good friend and comrade in arms.
Professor Susumu Yamaguchi,
Professor James H. Liu,
Professor Uichol Kim,
Professor Yoshihisa Kashima,
Professor Sik Hung Ng,
on behalf of AASP, 12th June, 2015
Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Kwok LEUNG
Leung, K., Brew, F. P., Zhang, Z. X., & Zhang, Y. (2011). Harmony and conflict: A cross-cultural investigation in China and Australia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42(5), 795-816.
Leung, K., & Bond, M. H. (2009). (Eds.). Psychological aspects of Social Axioms: Understanding global belief systems. New York: Springer SBM.
Leung, K., Tong, K. K., & Lind, E. A. (2007). Realpolitik versus Fair Process: Moderating Effects of Group Identification on Acceptance of Political Decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 476-489.
Leung, K., Tong, K. K., & Ho, S. S. Y. (2004). Effects of interactional justice on egocentric bias in resource allocation decisions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 405-415.
Leung, K., & Bond, M. H. (2004). Social Axioms: A Model of Social Beliefs in Multicultural perspective. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 119-197.