Bio


Arvind Karunakaran is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Management Science and Engineering. His research draws on organizational theory and sociology of work and occupations/professions to examine authority and accountability in the workplace, especially in the context of technological change. He received his Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

His current research focuses on understanding (a) tensions among the overlapping and often interlaced strands of authority in organizations (e.g., line authority, staff authority, functional authority, professional authority), and how it shapes consequential outcomes such as exclusion/inclusion in the workplace, perceptions of powerlessness, workplace harassment, employee voice and change implementation; (b) mechanisms for enforcing accountability during periods of organizational and technological changes (e.g., introduction of algorithmic evaluation tools, social media platforms, sustainability initiatives).

He specializes in ethnographic and field-based methods (e.g., participant observations, interviews), examining the empirical and theoretical puzzles discovered during fieldwork that existing research cannot fully explain. He complements these methods with comparative-historical analysis of primary archival data and quantitative/computational analysis of large-corpus of textual data.

His research has been published in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, and Research Policy, and recognized with awards from professional associations, including the American Sociological Association (ASA), Academy of Management (AOM), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Association for Information Systems (AIS), Industry Studies Association (ISA), Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA).

Academic Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Management Science and Engineering

Honors & Awards


  • Jagdeep & Roshni Singh Faculty Fellow, Stanford University (2022)
  • Recipient, Best Published Paper, Communications, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology, American Sociological Association (2022)
  • Recipient, William H. Newman Best Dissertation Paper, Academy of Management (2019)
  • Recipient, Louis Pondy Best Dissertation Paper, Organization and Management Theory (OMT) division, Academy of Management (2019)
  • Honorable Mention, Junior Theorist Award, Theory Section, American Sociological Association (2019)
  • Recipient, Giarratani Rising Star Award, Industry Studies Association (2022)
  • Recipient, Gerardine DeSanctis Best Dissertation Paper, Communications, Technology, and Organizing (CTO) Division, Academy of Management (2019)
  • Recipient, Best Conference Paper, Communications, Technology, and Organizing (CTO) Division, Academy of Management (2019)
  • Recipient, Emerging Scholar in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Industry Studies Association (2019)
  • LERA Best Papers, Labor and Employment Relations Association (2019, 2021, 2022)
  • Finalist, Best Submission with Practical Implications, MOC Division/Behavioral Science and Policy Association, AOM (2019)
  • Runner-up, Best Paper in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Industry Studies Association (2022)
  • Runner-up, Best Working Paper Award, Technology, Innovation Management, and Entrepreneurship, INFORMS (2019)
  • Recipient, Best Doctoral Dissertation, Association of Information Systems (AIS)/Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (2018)
  • Honorable Mention, Shils-Coleman Memorial Award, Theory Section, American Sociological Association (2018)
  • Recipient, Best Graduate Student Paper, Communications, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology, American Sociological Association (2017)
  • Recipient, Best Paper (Macro Track), East Coast Doctoral Conference, Organized by Columbia University and NYU (2017)
  • Ethnography Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago (2017)
  • Recipient, Donald R. Cressey Award for the Most Outstanding Dissertation Project, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy (2016)
  • Recipient, Above & Beyond Call of Duty Award (top 2% of reviewers), Organization and Management Theory (OMT) section, AOM (2013)
  • Recipient, Vincent Cerf Graduate Student Paper Award, Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technologies (2012)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Areas of Research:
Sociology of Work and Occupations/Professions
Organization Theory
Technological/Organizational change

Topics:
Authority in the Workplace
Accountability (Professional, Organizational, Algorithmic)

Phenomena:
Conflicts in Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Relations
Social/Algorithmic Evaluation (of Job applicants, Employees, Startups)
Social Media Scrutiny of Frontline Professionals
Diversity and Inclusion in Tech
Sustainability/ESG initiatives

Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral (Program)
    Noah Benjamin-Pollak, Amanda Pratt

All Publications