IWER April Newsletter: Generative AI and the Future of Work

Generative AI and Worker Productivity

Generative AI and Worker Voice



MIT Sloan PhD Student Zach Tan Wins Lucea Award

Zach Tan,  a first-year doctoral student in the Economic Sociology research group at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has won the 2024 Rafel Lucea Memorial Research Award. Tan’s winning proposal, “Social Good or Bureaucratic Imposition? How Ambiguous Emissions Reporting Standards Shape Workers’ Experience of Organizational Sustainability Goals,” is for a qualitative, field-based research study he plans to undertake looking at work and technological change in the context of environmental sustainability in a power plant.

The Rafel Lucea Memorial Research Award was established at MIT Sloan in 2016 in memory of the late Rafel Lucea, who earned his PhD from MIT Sloan in 2007. Lucea, who went on to be a professor of international business at George Washington University, passed away in 2015 after a two-year battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer.

A much-admired scholar, colleague, and friend, Lucea focused his research on sustainability and social responsibility, namely, the compatibility and balance between the interests of profit-seeking organizations and the overall, long-term welfare of communities, societies, and the environment. He was committed to understanding relationships and stories in specific contexts based on direct engagement and to the use of innovative methodologies that added rigor and measurement to that deep understanding.

The MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER) is honored to be the institutional home for the Lucea Award and to continue to keep Lucea’s legacy and scholarship strong at MIT and beyond. Both doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers at MIT Sloan are eligible to apply for the annual Lucea Award,  which grants $2500 toward an innovative research project consistent with the spirit of Lucea’s interest in social and environmental sustainability, his academic legacy, and IWER’s mission of conducting and disseminating cutting-edge research that improves the lives of workers and their loved ones and that guides managers in crafting a successful and inclusive future of work.

The announcement of this year’s award took place the start of the IWER research seminar on May 14.