Partnership will help the UC Berkeley and Stanford-based lab test a new model for understanding leadership beliefs using real-world enterprise data

Cultivate announced it has formed a partnership with the Computational Culture Lab run by Sameer Srivastava, associate professor at the University of California Berkeley, and Amir Goldberg, associate professor at Stanford University. Specifically, Cultivate will provide field data from opted-in users at enterprise customers to help validate a new model and tool that measures leadership beliefs called the Multilevel Construal Elicitation Task (MCET). This tool allows researchers to develop a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences in individuals’ conceptions of leadership and could have significant implications for leadership training and development in the future. Cultivate will use a wealth of behavioral data to uncover connections between MCET-derived mental models of leadership and users’ digital behavior.

“Not only are we excited to help with cutting-edge data science and leadership research, but we’re also excited about how this model could inform Cultivate’s leadership coaching in the future,” said Andy Horng, Co-Founder and Head of AI at Cultivate.

Research testing will begin in late Q3 / early Q4’20 and run for approximately 12 months, based on the evolving needs of the study. Cultivate users will be given the choice to opt-in for the study, and all data will be kept confidential and used only for academic research. Cultivate will ask opt-in users to take the MCET and then look for correlations between how they score on the test and their digital leadership behaviors. This will help determine if users’ beliefs about leadership actually affect behavior.

“The study aims to understand the role of cognitive similarity in social learning about effective leadership. Understanding this relationship can help in designing more effective nudges of leadership behavior by exposing people to the ideas of other leaders who vary in cognitive similarity,” said Professor Sameer Srivastava. “Our partnership with Cultivate promises to help advance research and inform organizational practice.”

The Computational Cultural Lab uses computational methods and data science to measure and model culture dynamics in social groups. Professors Srivastava and Goldberg bring decades of combined experience in academia to this work. The leadership MCET, which was developed together with assistant professor Doug Guilbeault from UC Berkeley and doctoral candidates Austin van Loon and Katharina Lix from Stanford, is unique in that it elicits leadership construals, or how participants think about the concept of leadership, using the established warmth-competence framework. Outside of this partnership, Professor Srivastava is an advisor to Cultivate.



Cultivate is a digital leadership platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to provide in-the-moment feedback and tools to enterprise employees. Our mission is to help build stronger workplace relationships, and empower people leaders and employees to be more effective, engaged, and balanced.