Her areas of interest include Chinese Communication, Communication Competence, Intercultural Communication, Language and Social Interaction, and Organizational Communication. Her interest in the role of culture in communication in different social contexts at various level of interaction and in intercultural encounters has been a center of her research and scholarship. She has published 2 books and more than 50 articles in journals such as Communication Monographs, Communication Research, Human Communication Research, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Management Communication Quarterly, Research on Language and Social Interaction, etc. and conducted research on such topics as verbal adaptive strategies in native-nonnative speaker interaction, managerial communication in Chinese business organizations, friendship dialectics among Chinese in Hong Kong, cultural learning of sojourners, cultural identity as a production in process, Chinese traditional value orientations, argumentative tendency of Chinese and Japanese.
Chen has been active in professional associations and served in a variety of capacities, e.g., as Intercultural Communication Division Chair of the International Communication Association, President of the Association for Chinese Communication Studies and Vice-President of China’s Association for Intercultural Communication Studies. Chen is currently Editor of Management Communication Quarterly, Associate Editor of Communication Theory, has also served and is serving on the editorial board of a number of international journals, in communication and related disciplines, e.g., Chinese Journal of Communication, Communication Studies, Discourse and Communication, Human Communication Research, Howard Journal of Communications, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, and Management Communication Quarterly.