// Ph.D. in Sociology
// Organizations are a major driver of institutional change and sites of actions that structure and shape cities and nations. My research uses a variety of methods and original data sources to explore the reciprocal relationship between organizations and society, particularly in the contexts of social innovation, the civic life of cities, and the digital transformation of the economy.
// I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in Sociology and an Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago. I am also affiliated with the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and the Research Institute of Urban Management and Governance at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. My work is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences. I hold a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University and a B.Sc. in Business, Economics, and Society from WU. I am a member of ASA, EGOS, SASE, ARNOVA, and AoM.
RESEARCH & INTERESTS
// I study questions in urban, economic, and environmental sociology through and organizational lens. My empirical research examines how rational, economic principles of organizing enter and alter fields where social and democratic values loom large. This work is theoretically grounded in sociological institutionalism, which understand organizations' behavior as co-evolving with their external social and cultural environment. Methodologically, I combine quantitative, comparative analyses of many organizations with specific knowledge of the cases I study. This sometimes takes me into the domains of qualitative interviews, experiments, and computational social science (specifically quantitative text analysis). I am excited about building original datasets from scratch to test my arguments.
MANAGERIAL AND DIGITAL CHANGE AMONG NONPROFITS
CITIES AND THEIR ORGANIZATION(S)
ACCOUNTABILITY AND ORGANIZATIONAL EVALUATION
// Performance-oriented management practices and professionalism have spread from businesses to nonprofit organizations. Sociologists call this process rationalization, similar to when states started to rule through civil service and corporations were run by professional managers. I am interested in contradictions resulting from rationalization, which Max Weber described as the "disenchantment of the world," and how rational practices are actually implemented in value-oriented organizations and communities. At Stanford PACS, I am part of the Civic Life of Cities Lab.
// In the 21st century, cities bear unprecedented responsibility for fixing socio-economic inequality, planning for economic development, and mitigating climate change. My dissertation, Cities in Action, explores how organizational infrastructures (e.g., nonprofits, businesses, and movements) and macro-institutional influences (e.g., inter-city associations and networks) shape the local capacity to act strategically and innovatively in the context of cities' climate change strategies.
// One of the most important contemporary transformations in the institutional environment of organizations is that internet and ideologies have given rise to a plethora of accountability and evaluation mechanisms that expose organizations to external scrutiny. I study how organizations respond to evaluation, especially when their constituencies disagree about what matters for success. And I am curious about how open practices interact with established bureacratic structures, which are by definition averse to the public.
TEACHING & PASSIONS
ORGANIZATIONAL AND ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY
CITIES, COMMUNITIES, &
RESEARCH DESIGN AND QUANTITATIVE METHODS
// I was a teaching assistant for Mark Granovetter's Economic Sociology and Sarah Soule's Organizational Design. I have also participated in research workshops on organizations, social networks, and economic sociology for several years, including a boot camp for young faculty on Organizational Effectiveness at CASBS, which I attended in 2016 and facilitated in 2017.
// At the Mansueto Institute of Urban Innovation, the emerging field of urban science meets the foundations of urban sociology. Before coming to UChicago, I also as a teaching assistant for Woody Powell's class on the Sociology of Innovation and Invention and for Fred Stout's Introduction to Urban Studies. These issues converge nicely with my passion about civil society and philanthropy as sources of social innovation, a topic debated vigorously at Stanford PACS.
// At Stanford, I offered statistical software consulting for undergraduate and graduate students. I also had the pleasure of instructing several stellar undergraduate research assistants in developing datasets from scratch and performing qualitative and quantitative analyses. I have an avid interest in using and teaching cutting-edge methods, from computational text analysis in historical analyses to online experiments for pinning down causal mechanisms.
// I am grateful for my collaborators in both the U.S. and Europe. If you are looking for a reference, these people can probably tell you all about me. Walter W. Powell and Aaron Horvath (and many others) are my collaborators on the Civic Life of Cities. At Stanford, I have also worked with Patricia Bromley, Michelle Jackson, and Cristobal Young (faculty) as well as Aaron Silverman, Anna Lunn, and Nick Sherefkin (grad students). Outside Stanford, I have worked with Markus Höllerer (WU, UNSW), Martin Kornberger (University of Edinburgh), Renate E. Meyer (WU, CBS), David Suárez (U of Washington), Amanda Sharkey (University of Chicago Booth), and Patrick Bergemann (UC Irvine). With Juan Pedroza I have once submitted a tiramisu titled Problem of Embreadedness to Stanford's annual dessert competition. You can read more about the sweet side of sociology in my CV.
// The people who told me to finish my dissertation are Walter W. Powell (Stanford GSE, chair), Xueguang Zhou (Stanford Sociology), and Sarah A. Soule (Stanford GSB).