Research

My research has two foci. The first is the identification of processes and mechanisms that help to produce outcomes such as cohesion, commitment, trust, affective regard, and group identification (in short, what we might casually call ‘community’ or ‘belonging’) in groups and organizations. The second is the examination of how these outcomes generate support, stability, and productivity.  My approach to these questions is informed by theories theories and perspectives from several core subfields, including sociology of organizations, social psychology, and sociology of culture. In particular, I specialize in ecological and institutional theories, social exchange theory, social cognition, and symbolic interaction. I’m primarily a qualitative researcher, and have employed participant observation, interviews, and focus groups in my work.

My work has been published in outlets such as Qualitative Sociology and Research in the Sociology of Organizations and I am the recipient of the University of Notre Dame Sociology Department’s John J. Kane Memorial Award, presented annually to an outstanding graduate student. I have also been recognized for excellence in teaching by the Kaneb Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Graduate School of the University of Notre Dame.