Research Interests: Economic Sociology, Organizational Theory, Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship, Social Evaluation, Social Hierarchies, Mobility


Entrepreneurship and Social Mobility: Three Status Metaphors for Future Research (with Chris Rider, Brenda Myung, and Kyle McCullers)
Research in Organizational Behavior, 2023. Download paper

We consider how entrepreneurship and employment differentially shape opportunities for social mobility across people and contexts. Specifically focusing on changes in an individual’s social status, or vertical mobility, we propose three metaphors for studying entrepreneurship: (1) production (i.e., increased status); (2) preservation (i.e., maintained status); and (3) consumption (i.e., decreased status). Each metaphor features theoretical mechanisms that account for how founding an organization can facilitate inter-occupational transitions and, thus, enable status mobility. We offer a proposed research agenda for studying entrepreneurship’s role in social mobility processes, including mechanism-specific propositions at the individual and population levels of analysis as well as guidance on sampling and measurement.

Working Papers

The "Who" and "How" of Producer Authenticity: How Producers' Ascribed Identities Govern Authenticity Perceptions (Solo-authored)
Revise & Resubmit, Organization Science.

I propose the Conditional-Compensatory Framework, whereby audiences evaluate producers’ authenticity based on not only their production choices (i.e., “how one produces”), as featured in prior work, but also their ascribed identities (i.e., “who produces”). Specifically, I argue that (i) authenticity perceptions are conditional on producers’ ascribed identities (e.g., ethnicity, race), and (ii) authentic production choices may or may not compensate for producers whose identities are misaligned with audience expectations. The proposed framework is tested in a two-part study. An archival study establishes a positive correlation between identity alignment and authenticity perceptions, and an experimental study further shows that identity governs authenticity perceptions both directly, independent of production choices, and indirectly by moderating the returns of those choices. Thus, authenticity is indeed shaped by production choices but much more so by “who” makes those choices. I consider how authenticity judgments may constitute a socially legitimated basis for discrimination and further lead to producer stratification within markets, calling for a distinctly sociological view of strategy.

Cultural Brokers as Appreciatos or Appropriatiors? How Identity Shapes Evaluations of Value Capture and Redistribution (Job Market Paper)

Cultural brokers create and capture value by introducing elements of one culture to markets in other cultures. This study considers why audiences celebrate some brokers as appreciators who recognize an offering's boundary-crossing appeal, while disparaging others as appropriators who exploit cultural divides for profit. Using a mixed-methods approach, I first analyze 150 news articles featuring cultural appropriation and appreciation cases and then inductively derive a grounded theory of how audiences evaluate brokers based on their identities (i.e., “who” intermediates the exchange) and their strategic choices (i.e., “how” brokers generate and distribute surplus). Testing my theory with pre-registered experiments on cultural art sellers, I find that evaluations are conditional on a broker’s identity but, also, that brokers can mitigate negative perceptions by capturing less or redistributing more value to the origin culture (i.e., forgoing some returns to brokerage).