My research is fundamentally concerned with "What relational, structural and systemic conditions in groups, organizations and institutions lead to generative conflict?" My research challenges extant assumptions that conflict must be managed or controlled in order for individuals, groups, organizations or institutions to perform well. In other words, I theorize how conflict can be transformed and ultimately contribute to the social good and collective well-being. Further, my research exposes how conflict practices in relational systems (including groups, organizations and fields) are better examined from embodied perspectives, which includes a consideration of how environmental cues contribute to how organizational members' perceptions of conflict, fairness and justice contribute to their sense of well-being. My research on generative conflict is translated into three dimensions discussed below.
Why do organizations, institutions and their members so often fail to harness the generative potential of conflict? Taking on a process view of conflict, I examine effective conflict practices of leaders and raise the connections among their intraindividual experiences of conflict and their experiences with relational conflict in the workplace.
How do activist leaders use ethical voice, along with other social practices such as restorative justice practices, to justify disruptive acts in organizations? I examine the ethical implications of disruptive practices and conflict practices aimed at the "social good." I also explore the ethical grounds upon which leaders and stakeholde
How do activist leaders use ethical voice, along with other social practices such as restorative justice practices, to justify disruptive acts in organizations? I examine the ethical implications of disruptive practices and conflict practices aimed at the "social good." I also explore the ethical grounds upon which leaders and stakeholders engender reconciliation or bridging across identity and ideological differences to achieve collective well-being for communities and organizational members.
What role does generative conflict play in creating the conditions for social innovation in organizations? I examine how conflict arises in new virtual and digital contexts, including how online organizing creates or thwarts the conditions for generative organizing processes.
How are social innovations cultivated in organizations, such as equity roundtables and restorative systems change, translated into broader institutional practice?
Across the course of my academic and practice careers, I have applied research insights to support the development and sustainability of organizations, communities and governments across the globe. These projects have included studying and investigating equity movements in institutions, the implementation of restorative justice in organizations, equitable education practices in the Middle East, transformative justice practices (including culturally relevant and sustainable health practices) in West African countries, and others.
How does Generation Z positively disrupt contemporary organizations and workplace environments?
In Fall 2022, I launched a research lab that investigates workplace conditions that support the development, inclusion and leadership of Generation Z in contemporary organizations. Based on participatory research values, I train exemplary undergraduate and masters-level researchers who show an interest in DEIB research to co-design and execute research projects that focus on themes including intergenerational dynamics, conflict and well-being of Gen Z in contemporary workplaces.