I am an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the Gies College of Business, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. At Gies, I teach courses on strategic human resources management and research methods and design.
My research addresses a set of questions focused on individual employment outcomes, organizational capabilities, and innovation. I am especially interested in the process of human capital accumulation, which is an important factor in both individual and organizational outcomes. My current work is oriented around two broad themes.
First, I am working on projects that examine skill development over employees’ careers and the consequences of that human capital accumulation for workplace outcomes, such as salary raises, promotion up the career ladder, and movement into supervisory positions. This research focuses on the skills that each person in a workplace builds up over time, as well as how each person’s stock of human capital connects them to the capabilities of others in the same organization. In addition to skill-based measures of human capital, this research also considers perceptions of career patterns and the relationship between more- or less-typical career trajectories and important career outcomes.
My second stream of research connects workplace processes and employee human capital to organizational innovations. This work examines organizational features that enable innovative employee accomplishments, such as the production of patented inventions and scientific research. Part of this work involves identifying different types of innovation, especially when quantitative measures are not readily available to capture innovative employee output. A major focus of this research is on the composition of workplace and team skillsets that have different degrees of success generating innovations.
I mostly rely on large datasets to address these research topics, including US patent records and administrative personnel data on federal government employees. I employ both conventional econometrics and more recently developed computational methods to study these phenomena, including natural language processing and social network analysis.