“Shocked, surprised, and absolutely privileged to look back at the previous winners and be in this lineage of scholars.”
—Brittany Bond, one of two winners of the AOM 2020 William H. Newman Award for Best Paper Based on a Dissertation
Brittany learned about AOM on her path to earning her PhD when she inquired with colleagues at MIT Sloan on what it’s like to be a PhD student and the best ways to get your research known. Brittany’s research led her to read up on AOM’s DIGs and what they offer. She used AOM’s website as a resource for DIG descriptions—which led her to submit a paper to the HR DIG, which wasn’t typical for academics in her field.
Brittany attended her first AOM Annual Meeting in 2018 after submitting her 1st published paper as a PhD student, At the Expense of Quality?,which she coauthored with fellow PhD student Tatiana Labuzova and advisor Roberto Fernandez at Sloan. Fernandez’s advice on holding off on submission until your work is complete: “Keep your powder dry until it’s time”.
“DIGs pack a punch above their weight”, Brittany said. “You can get a lot out of them even if you’re not a typical member—some cross pollination can go a surprising way!”
At first, she was apprehensive about submitting in such a nontraditional way, but it turned out to be a positive experience—people on her panel were scholars she never would have met otherwise. They were doing practical research with business and running experiments with a whole range of workers in different industries.
After learning she was one of the two recipients for the AOM 2020 Newman Award for her paper, Pride Without Prejudice: The Burden of Under-Recognition in Organizations, Brittany called the experience surreal. She was overwhelmed by the support she received on social media and from colleagues in her communities. Her research is about recognition and awards—experiencing it on the receiving end was an incredible feeling. “I got to live my research”, she said.
Brittany thanks AOM and shares gratitude for the awards process: “A lot goes into it from the academy standpoint, the work that goes unseen. It is not unnoticed or unappreciated. Especially this year seeing how much extra work had gone into putting the virtual meeting together.”
Brittany also credits AOM and the Annual Meeting with connecting her with people from different schools, which she says makes the field more manageable to work in. “I learned a ton about the different ways that programs and schools can operate, really learning what it means to be a member of AOM and its communities and circles. It’s a nice opportunity to know the Annual Meeting comes up every year. Each year builds off that knowledge and you have that growth as a member.”
Her advice to a new member on attending their first Annual Meeting: “Don’t only prepare your presentation and formal work, but also have a plan for the social side! Volunteer to run your schools’ happy hour. Everyone gets worried about standing in the corner—this is an awesome way to break the ice. It makes the whole ‘should I go or should I not’ a moot point since you’ve already planned it out!”
Brittany's advice for members on joining DIGs: “Don’t be afraid to get outside your division—the opportunity of doing reviews for an additional DIG is a nice way to get exposed in a very real way.”
Brittany has quite an impressive background. She received her PhD from the Economic Sociology Program at MIT Sloan in May 2020. Prior to MIT, she was an economist at the U.S. Commerce Department where she worked on detail at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies using internal census hiring data in conjunction with national longitudinal linked employer-household data (LEHD) on projects such as the optimization of the 2020 Decennial Census hiring operations.
She received her MS in Public Policy and Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University after working for the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a thinktank after completing her BA in International Economic Relations from American University in Washington DC.
During the last semester of her master’s program, she had the opportunity to collaborate with professor Jon Caulkins in his Policy Modeling Workshop that taught open-ended work and applied research when she caught the research bug—she enjoyed creating new research, ideas, and findings so much, she knew this was the right path for her.
Brittany found a passion through asking questions that integrated demographics and sociology. She then reconnected with professor David Krackhardt who steered her towards the Eco sociology program at MIT, which led her to where she is today.