Research

My research projects are broadly driven by a desire to understand the interrelationship between business and social problems. This interest manifests itself in studies of organizational culture and corporate social responsibility, with a particular focus on corporate philanthropy. My other research focused on how inequality and organizational settings shape how people build and use their social networks.  I take a multi-method and multi-level approach in addressing these topics, using large archival data sets, in-depth qualitative interviews, and experiments.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

Navigating Institutionally Complex Occupations. (preparing for submission). I investigate how corporate grantmakers manage long-term institutional complexity that persists due to their seemingly contradictory positio in both the corporate and nonprofit fields. I find grantmakers adopted a paradox frame that coupled elements of both business and social impact as they approached their work. Yet when interacting with others, they frame switched by deploying either a business impact frame or a social impact frame based on perceived audience preference. These strategies allowed grantmakers to balance the competing demands and maintain  occupational autonomy

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Tradeoffs Between Internal and External CSR. (with Jiao Luo and Brayden King). We develop and investigate an important tradeoff in CSR practices, distinguishing between externally-facing CSR activity and internal CSR activity rooted in firm structure. Using a longitudinal data set on the philanthropy and environmental practices of Fortune 1000 firms over 2003-2011, we find that after environmental controversies, firms increase their external CSR (philanthropy) and decrease their internal CSR practices (pro-environmental practices). I argue that firms facing controversies are at a higher risk of misaligning their internal and external CSR due to attention and resource shifts toward external impression management.

 

 

Authentic Organizational Values

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Stated-Lived Value Congruence and Expressive Authenticity. (with Rachel Ruttan, preparing for submission). We use data from 100 publicly traded firms on the Glassdoor website and an experimental design to show that when stated values are not lived out at the workplace, employees find their employers less authentic, and as a result, give their workplaces less favorable ratings. We update theories on person-organization fit by distinguishing between different value dimensions and provide a novel mechanism of why fit matters: authenticity.

 

Social Networks

networks.pngHow Stable is the Core Discussion Network? (with Mario Small and Peter McMahan, Social Networks 2015).  Our findings counter expectations that social support networks are stable; instead showing they are flexible and adaptive.

Words vs. Actions in the Network Behavior. (with Mario Small, Cayce Hughes, and Jeffrey Parker, under review). We resolve a contradiction in the literature by explaining why people in poor neighborhoods are both distrustful of others while also heavily reliant on them. We argue they have institutionally-mediated relationships that carry expectations and increase trust, even among people who do not know each other well. 

Why Employees Engage in ProBono Work. (with Christiane Bode and Michelle Rogan, data analysis). A new project investigates the network influences that encourage employees to engage in lower-paid probono work. This project uses team data from ~10,000 employees in a large, international management consulting agency over seven years.