I am an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. My research focuses on how changes in the modern workplace (e.g., algorithms/machine learning, short-term employment contracts, variable pay) affect work and workers. I recently completed a five-year ethnography of the largest employer in the gig economy, the ride-hailing industry, exploring how algorithms are fundamentally reshaping the nature of managerial control and how workers navigate this new workplace. I am currently studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on gig economy workers on multiple platforms (e.g., Instacart, Amazon Flex, TaskRabbit) as well as looking at how ride-hailing workers on three continents navigate disputes. My research program is motivated by identifying and understanding how these changes affect how work is being organized and experienced by workers in a myriad of ways.
Inspireliving HQI am a field researcher. My methodological expertise is qualitative methods, especially ethnography and content analysis of social media, as well as experience-sampling and field experiments. In another ethnography, I examine how geographic communities can create a sense of inclusion across cultural differences. In a line of experimental work, I explore organizational interventions (e.g., pay incentives, mindfulness practices, identity affirmations) that improve workers’ well-being and performance. I am also interested in immersion learning having led or assisted in research projects and classes in Detroit, Ghana, Egypt, Mali, Malta, Algeria, and Rwanda. My work has been published in the journals Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, and proceedings of the Association of Computing Machinery and the Academy of Management. My work has been financially supported by numerous organizations including the Mack Institute for Innovation, the Dean’s Fund, and the Center for Human Resources (Wharton, University of Pennsylvania) as well as the Center for Social Impact (Ross, University of Michigan). I have spoken at a number of public and private venues including the Aspen Institute, the Ford Foundation, Microsoft, Harvard Law School, Northeastern University, and the University of Michigan as well as given expert testimony at legislative hearings. I have published opinion pieces in Fast Company and Kiplinger’s and my research has been mentioned in numerous media outlets including NPR’s Marketplace, the World Economic Forum, CNBC, Forbes, The Skim, and Inc.
In my prior career, I spent over a decade in the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic communities as a digital and political analyst and completed several overseas assignments in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. I received my PhD in management from the University of Michigan, MS from George Washington University (Engineering Management, specialization – Crisis, Risk, and Emergency Management), and SB from Harvard University (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, French minor). I also studied Arabic intensively, at the American University of Cairo, and transformative leadership. I deeply engage in life. My non-academic interests include dance (tango and fusion), competitive acrobatics (2nd in state, 2015), writing (creative non-fiction) and traveling (32 states, 46 countries). I have a deep mindfulness and meditation practice, having trained and led large group workshops over the past fifteen years, and am deeply involved in non-dual awareness lineages.