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Curtis Chan

Doctoral Candidate at Harvard University

About Me

I am an ethnographer and field researcher studying how people experience and interpret their work, as well as how these processes shape workplace inequality, perceived job quality, and organizational outcomes. I specialize in utilizing in-depth, inductive field studies to discover and theorize the hidden, nuanced processes in these areas. My work contributes to organizational and sociological literatures on culture, framing, inequality, and job quality.

Current work

In my dissertation research, I conduct an ethnography of professional consultants at a strategy consultancy. My primary chapter examines the role of a legitimized yet ambiguous frame—of having “Impact”—in generating surprising worker and organizational consequences. I theorize the processes through which this legitimized and ambiguous frame produces a puzzling, nonlinear commitment dynamic: an initial rise and then fall of members’ organizational commitments.



  • Three Lenses on Professions and Occupations in Organizations: Becoming, Doing, and Relating

    Michel Anteby, Julia DiBenigno

    Forthcoming Academy of Management Annals, Volume 10.

  • Task Segregation as a Mechanism for Within-job Inequality: Women and Men of the Transportation Security Administration

    Michel Anteby

    2016 Administrative Science Quarterly. 61(2)

  • Book Review: Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs, by Lauren A. Rivera

    2016 Industrial and Labor Relations Review. 69(2)

  • Task Segregation: A Mechanism for Work Inequality

    2014 Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings

  • Book Review: Money At Work: On the Job with Priests, Poker Players, and Hedge Fund Traders, by Kevin J. Delaney

    2013 Work & Occupations. 40(3)

  • Invisible Work

    Michel Anteby

    2013 Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia, edited by V. Smith. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

  • At the Cutting Edge of Comparative Cultural Sociology: A Mini-Conference Report from the 2013 Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting

    Stefan Beljean

    2013 Culture: American Sociological Association Section on the Sociology of Culture Newsletter. 26(1)


  • Best Student Paper Award

    2014 Academy of Management, Organization and Management Theory Division

  • Distinction on Qualifying Paper

    2014 Harvard University

  • Distinction on Organizational Behavior Qualifying Exam

    2013 Harvard University

  • Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize

    2008 Harvard College

  • Harvard College Research Program Grant

    2007 Harvard College

  • Goelet Fund for Anthropological Research

    2007 Harvard College

  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society “Junior 24”

    2007 Harvard College

  • Summer Science Institute

    2006 American Psychological Association

  • John Harvard Scholarship

    2005 Harvard College

  • Detur Book Prize

    2005 Harvard College

Courses Taught

  • Organizational Failures: Leadership in Crisis


    Harvard University


  • Culture Run Amok: The Ambiguous and Legitimized Frame of ‘Impact’ at a Consulting Firm

    2016 May Meaning Meeting

  • From Excitement to Disillusionment: The Ambiguous and Legitimized Frame of ‘Impact.’

    4/2016 HBS Doctoral Student Symposium

  • From Excitement to Disillusionment: The Ambiguous and Legitimized Frame of ‘Impact.

    4/2016 NYU-Columbia Doctoral Conference

  • From Excitement to Disillusionment: The Impact of ‘Impact’ as an Ambiguous and Legitimized Frame in a Consulting Firm

    4/2016 HBS Gender and Work Conference

  • A Key Word Underlying Disconnects in Meaningful Work: The Impact of ‘Impact’ at a Consulting Firm

    11/2015 Harvard Culture Workshop


  • Organization Science

    2014 - Present Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Organizations, Occupations, and Work (OOW) Section of American Sociological Association (ASA)

    2014 - 2015 Student Affairs Committee Member

  • Academy of Management Annual Meetings

    2013 - Present Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • American Sociological Review

    2012 - Present Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Harvard University, Sociology Department

    2012 - 2013 Co-Organizer for Culture and Social Analysis Workshop


  • Academy of Management
  • American Sociological Association
  • Boston Field Research Community
  • Gender, Race, and Organizations (GRO) Group at Harvard Business School