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Assistant Professor of Management Science and Engineering

Arvind Karunakaran

Assistant Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Arvind Karunakaran is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Management Science and Engineering. He is a Core faculty of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization (WTO), Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), and a faculty affiliate of the Stanford Institute for Human-centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) and the Digital Economy Lab (DEL).

His research draws on organizational theory and sociology of work and occupations/professions to examine authority and accountability in the workplace, especially in the context of technological change. He received his Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management. His current research focuses on understanding (a) tensions among the overlapping strands of authority in organizations (e.g., line authority, staff authority, professional authority), and how it shapes consequential outcomes such as exclusion/inclusion in the workplace, perceptions of powerlessness, employee voice and change implementation; (b) mechanisms for enforcing accountability during periods of organizational and technological changes (e.g., introduction of Generative AI and algorithmic evaluation tools).

He specializes in ethnographic and field-based methods (e.g., participant observations, interviews), examining the empirical and theoretical puzzles discovered during fieldwork that existing research cannot fully explain. He complements these methods with comparative-historical analysis of primary archival data and quantitative/computational analysis of large-corpus of textual data.

His research has been published in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Annals, Research Policy, and Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, and recognized with awards from professional associations such as the American Sociological Association (ASA), Academy of Management (AOM), Industry Studies Association (ISA), Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA).

Selected Publications:
Karunakaran, A. Frontline Professionals in the Wake of Social Media Scrutiny: Examining the Processes of Obscured Accountability. Forthcoming, Administrative Science Quarterly.

Karunakaran, A. 2022. Status-Authority Asymmetry between Professions: The Case of 911 Dispatchers and Police Officers, Administrative Science Quarterly, 67(2), 423-468.

Karunakaran, A. 2022. In Cloud We Trust? Co-opting Occupational Gatekeepers to Produce Normalized Trust in Platform-mediated Interorganizational Relationships, Organization Science, 33(3), 1188–1211

Karunakaran, A, Orlikowski, W.J., and Scott, S.V. 2022. Crowd-based Accountability: Examining how Social Media Commentary Reconfigures Organizational Accountability, Organization Science, 33(1), 170-193.

Van Angeren, J., and Karunakaran, A. 2023. Anchored Inferential Learning: Platform-specific Uncertainty, Venture Capital Investments by the Platform Owner, and the Impact on Complementors, Organization Science, Forthcoming. **Equal Contribution**

Rahman, H., Weiss, T., and Karunakaran, A. 2023. The Experimental Hand: Examining How Platform-based Experimentation Reconfigures Worker Autonomy. Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming. **Equal Contribution**

Rahman, H., Karunakaran, A.,and Cameron, L. Taming Platform Power: Taking Accountability into Account in the Management of Platforms. Academy of Management Annals, 66(6), 1803–1830. **Equal Contribution**


PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018)