I am a doctoral candidate in Management at Harvard Business School. I study how individuals in teams collaborate despite power differences due to professional and demographic boundaries. I use longitudinal inductive field methods to examine the micro-processes people use to challenge traditional power structures in teams to facilitate improved collaboration. In the lab, I study the influence of multicultural experience and diversity on team members’ interactions and performance. I also explore the factors that influence perceptions of team success. Taking a multi-method approach, I explore and test the multifaceted and complex underpinnings of teams, power, and collaboration.
My dissertation is based on a 31-month longitudinal inductive study of “change teams” in primary health care clinics. These teams were specifically charged with moving their organization from a hierarchical structure to a more team-based structure. Through close observation of their weekly team meetings, coupled with extensive interviews and examination of archival data, I identify the in situ moments in a team’s life when members provide information that could, over time, undermine taken-for-granted assumptions about power distribution. My dissertation extends and generates theory about power, voice, and power transitions in teams. It also has practical implications for how team members experience and engage with power differences, how they alter power structures in their own teams, and how they can help their organizations engage more fluidly with power.
Committee: Jeff Polzer (chair), Leslie Perlow, Andrew Knight, Heidi Gardner, Sara Singer
COLLABORATING ACROSS PROFESSIONAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES
I also have projects that focus on how to improve collaboration between people from diverse demographic or professional backgrounds. My lab studies test the factors that impact creativity and performance in cross-cultural groups. My field study looks at the processes and factors that help engage and integrate people from diverse professional roles so that they can successfully carry out change efforts.