I’m an Assistant Professor of Management at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin. I study the ways in which our connections at work can enable, or sometimes constrain, important individual and organizational outcomes like engagement, fulfillment, motivation and performance, and individual development. My work is primarily field-based and quantitative in nature. I use field experiments, quantitative analyses of archival data, and social network analysis in answering my research questions. I have conducted research across various industries–including food processing; fruit harvesting; auto manufacturing; fast food; and consulting.
I studied, and received a Doctorate in Business Administration in Management from Harvard Business School. I was formerly with The Morning Star Company, a California based integrated food processing company, where I co-founded the Morning Star Self-Management Institute. I was principally responsible for advancing Morning Star through their unique and innovative organizational system. Morning Star, which has been called, “the world’s most creatively managed company” and was named one of Inc. Magazine’s most audacious companies because of their organizational system, is widely considered one of the world’s leading organizational innovators. My leadership in advancing their philosophy and systems, combined with my drive to better understand human nature and motivation through research and experimentation, were instrumental in enabling Morning Star’s organizational system to scale as Morning Star experienced significant growth.
In addition to my teaching and research at McCombs, I also speak to, teach and advise organizations around the world, helping them apply the insights from my discipline and research to their own organizations. I’ve won numerous awards for my teaching and research, including: the 2012 Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for my work advancing Self-Management; the 2018 Joanne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award from the Harvard Extension School; and the 2017 Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research. My research has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Financial Times, the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.
I currently live in Austin, Texas with my wife, Shawna and our five children.