I am an economic sociologist with interests in the areas of signaling, organizational processes, and competitive strategy. In particular, my research examines how actors signal their capabilities and commitment in order to achieve competitive advantage in markets, advance their status, and develop social relations. I am especially intrigued by the central dilemma that arises in this process: such claims of capabilities and commitment are subject to suspicions of “cheap talk” and ulterior motives. How then does the actor navigate such a dilemma? In my research, I address this dilemma by identifying (i) how the actor’s strategic enactment of valuations (e.g., conformity; differentiation) can credibly signal her capabilities and commitment and (ii) how such microsociological mechanisms shape macro-phenomena surrounding competitive advantage in organizations and markets.
Based on a deep understanding of the contexts I study, I use both quantitative (experimental and observational) and qualitative (interview) methods to sharpen my ideas and test them.
My research has been published or is forthcoming in academic journals such as American Sociological Review, Sociological Science, and Social Science Research. It has also received the Best Student Paper Award at the Academy of Management Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division; Best Graduate Student Paper Award in American Sociological Association Section on Rationality and Society; and Honorable Mention for the Best Graduate Student Paper in American Sociological Association Section on Social Psychology.
Please contact me if you would like a copy of one of the papers below.
A Man is Known By His Cup: Signaling Commitment via Costly Conformity
Job Market Paper
Best Graduate Student Paper Award in American Sociological Association section on Rationality and Society
Honorable Mention for the Best Graduate Student Paper in American Sociological Association section on Social Psychology
Faking It is Hard to Do: Entrepreneurial Norm Enforcement and Suspicions of Deviance
With Ezra Zuckerman
Forthcoming in Sociological Science
The Hipster Effect: Selective Differentiation in Cultural Markets
With Daniel DellaPosta
Best Student Paper in Academy of Management Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division