Erin Kelly


Erin Kelly


Erin L. Kelly is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management and CoDirector in the Institute for Work and Employment Research. She is also Faculty Director of the the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative.

Kelly’s research has been published in many top sociology, management, and interdisciplinary journals and twice recognized with the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award. Her new book with Phyllis Moen, Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What to Do About It, was published by Princeton University Press in March 2020. 

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 project with MIT Sloan colleagues investigates how schedules and staffing strategies in e-commerce warehouses impact workers’ experiences, 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 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.


Erin Kelly recognized for work-family research


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.

"Partners’ Overwork and Individuals’ Wellbeing and Experienced Relationship Quality."

​Shafer, Emily Fitzgibbons, Erin L. Kelly, Orfeu Buxton, and Lisa F. Berkman. Community, Work and Family Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018): 410-428.

"Effects of a Flexibility/Support Intervention on Work Performance: Evidence From the Work, Family, and Health Network."

Bray, Jeremy W., Jesse M. Hinde, David J. Kaiser, Michael J. Mills, Georgia T. Karuntzos, Katie R. Genadek, Erin L. Kelly, Ellen E. Kossek, and David A. Hurtado. American Journal of Health Promotion Vol. 32, No. 4 (2018): 963-970.

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Ideas Made to Matter

Redesigning the link between worker well-being and company goals

A dual-agenda work redesign requires managers to step back from how they’ve managed in the past and give employees more control over their work.

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MIT Sloan Experts

Join the #Overload Twitter chat with Erin Kelly on May 6 to discuss workplace burnout and what we can do about it

To learn more about how companies can adopt healthier practices, tune into the Overload Twitter Chat on Wednesday, May 6 at 11 a.m. ET. Use the hashtags to ask your questions and share your experiences and ideas on how to combat workplace burnout.

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