Students and post-docs











PhD Students

Heather Altman
Heather Altman

Email: haltman [at] stanford [dot] edu
Advisor: Pamela J. Hinds

Heather is interested in team dynamics in global work environments, in particular how teams coordinate and collaborate to promote creativity and innovation. Her current research project investigates the work factors and team dynamics that influence innovation across cultures. Heather holds a B.A. with honors in Psychology from Stanford University.


Ece Kaynak

Email: ekaynak [at] stanford [dot] edu
Advisor: Stephen R. Barley

Ece is interested in the future of work, occupations, and post-bureaucratic modes of organizing. Her dissertation is an ethnography of coding bootcamps in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her previous work examined how organizations influence their political environments, which she studied through an ethnography of government affairs professionals. Ece holds a MSc in Management, Organizations & Governance from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a BA in Sociology from Bogazici University in Istanbul. Prior to starting her PhD, Ece worked for five years at Pfizer, Deloitte and Avea Telecommunications in Istanbul, Turkey.


Katharina Lix

Email: klix [at] stanford [dot] edu

Advisor: Melissa A. Valentine

Katharina is a PhD student at the Center for Work, Technology and Organization, concentrating in Computational Social Science. She’s interested in how machine intelligence can be used to manage, organize and optimize modern work. Katharina uses network science and computational linguistics to study team culture and performance. Her current projects investigate the relationship between communication patterns of virtual teams of software developers and their performance. Katharina holds a BA in Psychology and Economics from Harvard (’14). Prior to joining Stanford, Katharina worked as a manager for strategic projects at a pharmaceuticals company in Frankfurt, Germany, and taught English and yoga in Northern India. Hailing from Northwest Germany, she appreciates California’s sunshine every day and loves exploring its great outdoors.

Ryan Stice-Lusvardi

Email: ryansl [at] stanford [dot] edu

Advisor: Pamela J. Hinds

Ryan is interested in examining how changing applications and increasing adoption of data analytics are shaping the future of work and organizations. In her current research, she seeks to illuminate the ways in which assumptions and values of data analysts are embedded in analytic practices and how this shapes data insights and decisions. Her previous research has examined the impact of perceived analytic ability on HR performance evaluations and the emergence of HR analytics. Ryan has lived in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, France, and South Korea. She enjoys repurposing vintage doors, bouts of gardening, and eating gourmet takeout.

Ayinwi Muma

Email: ayinwi [at] stanford [dot] edu

Ayinwi’s research interest is primarily focused on technology-related change and adaptation in organizations. Specifically, she is interested in 1) how advances in technology affect organizational identity and work practices over time; 2) how mature organizations and embedded technology teams respond to externally-triggered transformation events; and 3) implications for the future of work. She aims to produce research which deepens our understanding and contributes to the theory and development of adaptive organizations. Before joining WTO, Ayinwi was chief of staff at education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she led strategy, operations, people and performance management for the 400+ member technology organization. She was previously a management consultant focused on helping large companies design and implement technology, process, and organizational transformation strategies.


Hatim A. Rahman

Email: harahman [at] stanford [dot] edu
Advisor: Stephen R. Barley

My research investigates how algorithms and artificial intelligence are reshaping the future of work. My dissertation examines how platform organizations, such as Upwork, Uber, and TaskRabbit, have implemented sophisticated algorithms fundamentally transforming previous ways in which people are matched, evaluated, and sorted in labor markets. My research shows that rather than conceiving of algorithmic management techniques as abstract, technical tools that provide greater transparency and accountability in labor markets, algorithms become deeply entangled with practice leading to unanticipated outcomes. Through the use of qualitative, as well as computation textual methods, I show that these unanticipated outcomes include widespread ratings inflation as well as unexpected alliances between workers and managers, which ultimately impact the success of projects and workers’ careers. These findings extend theories of work and organizing, employment relationships, and evaluations, and have important organizational and policy implications for the changing nature of work in the emerging digital economy.


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Tim Weiss

Email: timweiss [at] stanford [dot] edu

Tim Weiss joined the Center for Work, Technology & Organization in October 2016. He examines questions at the intersection of organization theory and socio-economic development with a mix of qualitative research methodologies and ethnographic techniques. Broadly speaking, his research interests revolve around the role of national organizing dynamics, the creation of organizations and the generative effects of imported organizational forms in fostering socio-economic development. Using a micro-sociological lens, he explores the cultural conditions that catalyze or limit organization formation and growth in what has conventionally been cast as resource-scarce environments and emerging markets.

His current research examines the trajectories of cultural and social change in a particular locale by longitudinally investigating the evolution of Kenya’s information and communications technology sector and its entrepreneurs to understand how technology entrepreneurship is performed. He is co-editor of the book Digital Kenya: An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making, published in 2016 by Palgrave MacMillan, and has multiple working papers on the topic. Tim runs a long-term ethnography project with 20 entrepreneurs in Kenya closely tracking theirentrepreneurial journey and performance in order to develop novel insights on successful entrepreneurial strategies.

Before joining Stanford, Tim was a research fellow and doctoral candidate in the Civil Society Center in the department for Strategic Organization and Finance at Zeppelin University in Germany. During his Ph.D. work, he was a visiting student at the Management and Organizations Department at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago. Tim has several years of work experience in Kenya and Ethiopia, among other countries, with international nongovernment organizations in both humanitarian and development aid. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Corporate Management and Economics from Zeppelin University and his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Vienna.

Gonzalo Valdes

Email: gvaldes [at] stanford [dot] edu

Gonzalo Valdes’ doctoral dissertation addresses the question of why some countries’ attempts to imitate first world approaches to innovation succeed, while others are much less successful. Specifically, his research links institutional theory to the socio-technical and socio-economic capabilities of organizations within countries to produce innovation. Additionally, he recently published a paper, together with Prof. Stephen Barley, about the need for continual learning in the information economy (“The learning imperative in postindustrial work.” In Work and occupations). He also published research about the capabilities of the public sector to harness the opportunities of ICT (e.g., “E-government maturity model.” In GIQ).