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 three-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. My research program is motivated by identifying and understanding how these changes affect how work is being organized and experienced by workers in positive, negative, and neutral ways.
I 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 allowing for connection 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, and Rwanda. My work has been published or in the review process at the Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, and proceedings of the Association of Computing Machinery. My work has been supported from numerous organizations including the Mack Institute for Innovation (Wharton) and 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, and the University of Michigan and my work has been mentioned in Forbes magazine.
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), traveling (32 states, 44 countries) and non-dual awareness and mindfulness practices (Tibetan Buddhism).