Welcome! I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms and processes to facilitate effective cross-boundary coordination within organizations, markets, and ecosystems. These include coordination between different professional groups (e.g., data scientists, HR executives, and IT engineers; police officers, fire fighters, and emergency dispatchers) within an organization as well as coordination among actors with varied interests, identities, and needs in an ecosystem (e.g., platform providers, customers, third-party app developers). More specifically, I examine how and in what ways novel digital innovations (e.g., social media, predictive analytics, multi-sided platforms) create uncertainties - both in the marketplace and within the workplace - and shape cross-boundary coordination, and with what consequences for organizational change and accountability.

I specialize in ethnographic and field-based methods. Using these methods, I immerse myself in the organizational worlds of those I study to develop novel theory by uncovering the empirical puzzles that arise during fieldwork and which existing organizational and innovation research cannot explain.

My research has won a number of awards and honors, including the Best Graduate Student Paper Award, Communications, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology section, American Sociological Association; Best Paper Award (Macro Track), East Coast Doctoral Conference, Organized by Columbia University and New York University’s Management Department; Donald R. Cressey Award for the Most Outstanding Dissertation Project, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy; Best Conference Paper and Best Ph.D. Student Paper Nominee, Strategic Management Society’s Annual Conference; Dissertation Fellowship from the Strategy Research Foundation (SRF)Ethnography Fellow Award from the Department of Sociology, Division of the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2017 (selected as 1 of the 6 Ethnography Fellows out of 92 applicants across the social sciences). 

Research Interests:

Theoretical Interests: Coordination; Sociology of Professions and Occupations; Uncertainties; Organizational Accountability; Navigating Technological Change 

Phenomena: Digital Innovation; Platforms and Ecosystems; Analytics in the workplace; Cloud Computing

Teaching Interests:

Managing Organizational Change; Power, Influence, and Networks; Working in Teams; Digital Innovation; Open and User Innovation; Business Analytics; Organizational Processes for Analytics; Platform Strategy; Strategic Management; Design Thinking; Organizational theory; Qualitative and Ethnographic Methods.


Copyright © Arvind Karunakaran 2018