Monthly Archives

December 2022

Research Findings

How do professional knowledge workers cope with an uncertain future in the artificial intelligence age?

December 22, 2022

Artificial intelligence (AI) and other recent technologies that substitute human expertise are growing and increasingly diffused. In such an era, how can professional knowledge workers cope with their uncertain future?

In a recent study, I found a new mode of viewing the future as one of their coping strategies against advancing digitalization. Instead of searching for a “right” future projection, some professionals are increasingly accepting the future of professions as ever-changing and actively incorporating recent technologies to transform their work.

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Research Findings

Social class matters at college. What happened when campuses shut down?

December 15, 2022

Relationships with parents are a powerful—yet often hidden—source of inequality among college students.

Sociologists have extensively studied parental support in college, demonstrating how parents’ unequal socioeconomic resources produce inequalities on campus. For example, recent studies describe affluent and educated parents paying for tuition, coaching students how to interact with faculty, providing and funding internships, and editing résumés—forms of assistance not typically available to students whose parents did not attend college. However, we know less about how young adults themselves expect, negotiate, or attach meaning to these forms of parental support or how this varies across social class.

Enter the COVID-19 pandemic.

As sociologists have long recognized, major disruptions—heat waves, hurricanes, and the like—can offer novel insight into social processes that are otherwise difficult to observe. The COVID-19 pandemic upended US higher education and thrust a generation of college students into a state of crisis. Thus, it provided an ideal context to examine how students seek help from parents.

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Research Findings

Do employees mind the (gender wage) gap?

December 8, 2022

Although the gender wage gap has decreased substantially over the last 50 years, progress has stalled in recent decades. Forecasters project it would take until 2059 to eliminate the gender wage gap, if we kept up at the current pace.

The persistence of gender-based wage disparities has prompted calls for new approaches to address the issue. Prominent among these are mandatory disclosure laws, which a growing number of countries have adopted. Although the specifics vary from nation to nation, these laws require firms to publicly reveal data regarding the size of the gender wage gap. The idea is that public disclosure will “shame” firms with large wage gaps, creating pressure for them to address gender-based disparities in compensation. But does it play out that way?

In a recent paper published in Administrative Science Quarterly, we addressed this question by analyzing the reputational impacts of a 2017 mandatory disclosure law implemented in the United Kingdom. The law requires organizations with more than 250 employees to publicly post certain statistics about the gender wage gap at their organization.

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Research Findings

How startup diversity debt becomes self-reinforcing?

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December 1, 2022

Why are women less interested than men in applying for startup jobs? In a new article published in the Academy of Management Journal, we uncover an essential piece to this puzzle: Women are less interested in applying for startups when fewer women are already employed in these startups. Confused already? Let’s take a few steps back and try to explain this catch-22 situation.

Diversity debt

Women are underrepresented among entrepreneurs and their investors, but also among “joiners” – the distinct group of people who are attracted to employment in startups but have little desire to become founders.

When startups scale their workforce, they often accrue “diversity debt”– an initially skewed gender composition that demands costly and often unsuccessful attempts to remedy gender disparities as the organization grows. 

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