Julia DiBenigno is an organizational ethnographer and field researcher. Professor DiBenigno’s scholarship seeks to advance our understanding of topics related to the sociology of work and occupations, collaboration between professional groups, diversity, and culture change in non-profit and government organizations. Her research has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly and the Academy of Management Annals and has won multiple best paper and best dissertation awards.
In her work, Professor DiBenigno seeks to understand occupational and organizational dynamics that affect important outcomes, from whether a nurse ignores or answers a patient call for help in the night to whether a soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) receives mental healthcare with the full support of his or her commander. She specializes in qualitative, ethnographic methodologies (e.g., observation and interviewing). Using these methods, Professor DiBenigno immerses herself in the social worlds of those she studies to develop novel theories by focusing on empirical puzzles discovered during fieldwork which existing organizational theory cannot explain.
She received her PhD and MS in Work and Organization Studies from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a consultant for Deloitte's Organization and Change practice and received a BA in psychology from Columbia College.
- PhD, MIT Sloan, 2016
- MS, MIT Sloan, 2014
- BA, summa cum laude, salutatorian, Columbia College, 2006
- Managing Groups & Teams MGT 401
- Power & Politics MGT 417
- Responsible Research in Management Award, IACMR-RRBM, 2019
- Outstanding Published Article Award Honorable Mention, POS Conference, 2019
- Best Paper Award, Academy of Management Annals, 2017
- Grigor McClelland Best Dissertation Award, EGOS, 2017
- Best Paper Award, Davis Conference on Qualitative Research, 2017
- W. Richard Scott Outstanding Paper Award, Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section of the American Sociological Association, 2016
- Winner of the INFORMS Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition, 2015
- Best Paper Designation, Chicago Ethnography Conference, 2015
The devastating mental health consequences of working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are already becoming apparent. Yale SOM’s Julia DiBenigno and Harvard’s Michaela Kerrissey write that typical approaches to supporting employee mental health, which require caregivers to seek help, are likely to fail in this crisis. Drawing on research on the U.S. Army, they propose assigning dedicated mental health personnel to frontline medical units.
The study suggests that for many organizations, assigning professionals from one team as points of contact to members of another—while they still maintain close ties to their own peers—may help resolve conflicts.
The Power Pod
Conversations about power and leadership co-hosted by three experts in the science and practice of management: Professors Heidi Brooks, Julia DiBenigno, and Michael Kraus. Subscribe to The Power Pod on the website, at Apple Podcasts, or in your favorite podcast app.