// Ph.D. in Sociology
// Organizations are made and molded by society. They are also 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 context of civil society and urban innovation.
// 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
// My research straddles topics in nonprofit and public organization. Substantively, I am interested how rational, economic principles of organizing enter and alter fields where social and democratic values loom large. Theoretically, this work is grounded in economic sociology and sociological institutionalism, which understand organizations' behavior as co-evolving with their external social and cultural environment. Methodologically, I combine statistical, meso-level 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.
ECONOMIC RATIONALIZATION IN THE NONPROFIT SECTOR
CITIES AND THEIR ORGANIZATION(S)
ACCOUNTABILITY AND ORGANIZATIONAL EVALUATION
// Performance-oriented management practices and professionalism have spread from businesses to nonprofit organizations. This process is called rationalization, similar to when states started to rule through civil service and corporations were run by professional managers. I am particularly interested in contradictions resulting from rationalization, which Max Weber described as the "disenchantment of the world," and, generally, how hybrid practices are actually implemented in organizations. 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
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.
// I worked 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. I am also passionate about civil society and philanthropy as social forces, topics debated vigorously at PACS. I see these topics converging in a new field for institutional analysis: social innovation in urban communities.
// I offer 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 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 are my collaborators on the Civic Life of Cities.
At Stanford, I have also worked with Patricia Bromley, Michelle Jackson, and Cristobal Young (junior faculty) as well as Aaron Silverman and Anna Lunn (grad students). Outside Stanford, I have worked with Markus Höllerer (WU, UNSW), Martin Kornberger (EM Lyon), Renate E. Meyer (WU, CBS), and David Suárez (U of Washington). 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).