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.

Honors

“Overload” wins 2021 Max Weber Book Award

Erin Kelly recognized for work-family research

Publications

"How to Keep Hybrid Work from Burning Everyone Out."

Kelly, Erin L. and Phyllis Moen. The Boston Globe, May 28, 2021.

"Fixing the Overload Problem at Work."

Kelly, Erin, and Phyllis Moen. MIT Sloan Management Review, April 27, 2020.

Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What We Can Do about It.

Kelly, Erin L. and Phyllis Moen. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020.

"Cardiometabolic Risks Associated with Work-to-family Conflict: Findings from the Work Family Health Network."

​O'Donnell, Emily M., Lisa F. Berkman, Erin L. Kelly, Leslie B. Hammer, Jessica Marden, and Orfeu M. Buxton. Community, Work and Family Vol. 22, No. 2 (2019): 203-228.

"Job Strain, Time Strain, and Well-being: A Longitudinal, Person-centered Approach in Two Industries."

Fan, Wen, Phyllis Moen, Erin Kelly, Leslie Hammer, and Lisa F. Berkman. Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol. 110, No. A (2019): 102-116.

"Worker Voice in America: Is There a Gap between What Workers Expect and What They Experience?"

​Kochan, Thomas A., Duanyi Yang, William T. Kimball, and Erin L. Kelly. Industrial and Labor Relations Review Vol. 72, No. 1 (2019): 3-38. Download Preprint.

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