Erin Kelly


Erin Kelly

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Erin L. Kelly is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research. 

Kelly’s research has been published in many top sociology, management, and interdisciplinary journals and twice recognized with the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award. Her book with Phyllis Moen, Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What We Can Do About It, was published by Princeton University Press in March 2020.  Overload received the 2021 Max Weber Award from the American Sociological Association's Organizations, Occupations, and Work section, and an honorable mention for the 2021 Viviana Zelizer Award for best book in economic sociology. Overload was also named as one of Business Insider's 10 Books to Read to Learn about the Future of Work.

Kelly investigates the implications of workplace policies and management practices for firms, workers, and families with a joint focus on equity, wellbeing, and organizational performance. Previous research has examined scheduling and work-family supports, family leaves, harassment policies, and diversity initiatives in a variety of organizations and industries. Kelly’s early research contributed to our understanding of which diversity policies and programs seem to change organizations and which are primarily “window dressing.”

As part of the Work, Family, and Health Network, Kelly evaluated innovative approaches to work redesign with group-randomized trials in professional/technical and health care workforces. A current collaborative project investigates how work conditions in e-commerce warehouses impact workers’ experiences, well-being, productivity, and turnover. Kelly is also interested in workers’ voice on the job, and strategies for engaging workers and learning together in different work contexts. Ongoing projects explore different facets of wellbeing and engagement in low- and moderate-wage jobs, including warehouse work, with the goal of identifying promising practices and designing evaluation projects that advance both scholarly and organizational goals.  

Kelly is a sociologist and received her PhD from Princeton University and her BA from Rice University. She previously taught at the University of Minnesota.


Kelly wins research award from WFRN

June 26, 2024

Erin Kelly recognized for work-family research

“Overload” wins 2021 Max Weber Book Award


"Employee Cardiometabolic Risk Following a Cluster-Randomized Workplace Intervention From the Work, Family and Health Network, 2009–2013."

Berkman, Lisa F., Erin L. Kelly, Leslie B. Hammer, Frank Mierzwa, Todd Bodner, Tay McNamara, et al. American Journal of Public Health Vol. 113, No. 12 (2023): 1322-1331.

"How Do Employer Practices Affect Economic Mobility?"

Kelly, Erin L., Hazhir Rahmandad, Nathan Wilmers, and Aishwara Yadama. ILR Review Vol. 76, No. 5 (2023): 792-832.

"Working from Home and Worker Well-being: New Evidence from Germany."

Yang, Duan, Erin L. Kelly, Laura D. Kubzansky, and Lisa Berkman. ILR Review Vol. 76, No. 3 (2023): 504–531.

"Why Neglecting Work Relationships Can Sabotage Innovation and Productivity, According to Research."

Kellogg, Katherine C., Erin L. Kelly, and Constance N. Hadley. Fast Company, March 5, 2023.

"Employer Practices and Worker Outcomes: A Landscape Report."

Erin L. Kelly, Hazhir Rahmandad, Nathan Wilmers, and Aishwarya Yadama. Washington, DC: June 2022.

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Recent Insights


Erin Kelly Wins Award from the Work and Family Researchers Network

MIT Sloan Professor Erin L. Kelly, who is Co-Director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER), has received the 2024 Ellen Galinsky Generative Researcher Award from the Work and Family Researchers Network.

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Ideas Made to Matter

How Lotte Bailyn reframed workplace practices

Lotte Bailyn’s pioneering research connecting organizational priorities and employee well-being is foundational to work practices today.

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Media Highlights

Press Source: Business Insider

The boss is back in charge

"I think we were at a period of tight labor markets and a growing recognition of workers' desire to have a say in how they work."

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