Associate Professor, Management Science & Engineering
Co-Director of the Center for Work, Technology & Organization
Pamela is an Associate Professor in Management Science & Engineering and Co-Director of the Center for Work, Technology & Organization at Stanford. Her research and teaching leverage the social sciences, organizational behavior in particular, to understand the effects of technology on groups and teams in organizations. One of her passions is to understand and improve how people work across boundaries, including geographic distance, cultures, disciplines, and expertise. This draws her into the domains of perspective-taking, empathy-building, communication, awareness, and, to some extent, the technologies that support these accomplishments.
Pamela is probably most known for her research on internationally distributed work teams and she is increasingly interested in culture. She just embarked upon a study of how design practices and design thinking vary in different regions around the work. Pamela believes that cultural context shapes the practices that are possible and appropriate in different settings and that honoring these differences is a key to innovation. She is co-editor with Sara Kiesler of the book Distributed Work (MIT Press).
For many years, Pamela taught a course on Contextual and Organizational Issues in Human-Computer Interaction. The focus of this project-based course was on the process by which designers develop an understanding of users or potential users of a technology and then design a product accordingly.
Together with Banny Banerjee and Michael Barry, Pamela is teaching the Winter/Spring d.school course Cross-Cultural Design.
Although Pam’s goal is for work to be so enjoyable and engaging that it doesn’t feel like work, she also thrives when she is designing culinary experiences, making glass beads and beaded jewelry, scuba diving in exotic locations, and spending quality time with her husband and their two dogs.