Kyoung-Hee's research examines how work and employment experiences are impacted by and can motivate institutional and organisational change. Her recent reseach has examined the influence of commitments to social causes--such as social and evironmental justice--on the employment relationship. Kyoung-Hee's research also addresses the impact of international migration on individual migrants, collective action, as well as implications for diversity and inclusion in organisations.
Kyoung-Hee is the recipient of a US-Korea Fulbright fellowship. She is currently an associate editor of the journal Organization, an advisory board member of the Journal of Industrial Relations, and an editorial member of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. She served as book review editor and editorial board member of the journal Organization Studies. Kyoung-Hee's papers have been recognised by the American Sociological Association (best student paper, Labor and Labor Movements section), the Labor and Employment Relations Association (best dissertation award runner-up), the Academy of Management (best paper runner-up, Careers Division), and the Australia New Zealand Academy of Management (best paper, Critical Management Studies division). Kyoung-Hee earned her PhD from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Can supervise: YES
Changes in the form and organisation of work
Professions and professional work
'Otherness' in the employment relationship
Comparative employment relations
Management Capstone (21504), Undergraduate subject
People, Work, and Employment (21928), Postgraduate subject
© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. This article uses the concept of partial organization to examine how organizing principles can facilitate the effective operation of networked forms of corruption. We analyze the case study of a corruption network in the South Korean maritime industry in terms of how it operated by selectively appropriating practices normally associated with formal bureaucratic organizations. Our findings show that organizational elements built into the corruption network enabled coordination of corruption activities and served to distort and override practices within member organizations. The network was primarily organized through the hierarchical organization of a bounded and controlled set of members and, to a lesser extent, through processes of monitoring and sanctions. Given its clandestine nature, the network avoided the use of explicit rules to govern behavior, instead relying on habituated routines to ensure consistent and predictable action from members. We find that organizational elements were rescinded when the corruption network was exposed after the sinking of a passenger ferry, the Sewol. By rolling back its hierarchical organization and reverting to core relationships, the corruption network sought to preserve its center. The article illustrates the explanatory value of studying how the activities of corruption networks are enabled and adapt to existential challenges through partial organization.
Yu, KH 2019, 'Inclusive unionism: Strategies for retaining idealism in the Service Employees International Union', Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 33-56.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018, Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA), SAGE Publications Ltd, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. Despite the vast amount of scholarship covering the progressive turn in unions in the US and in Europe and a widespread recognition that it has been driven by the staff working for reformed unions there has been no examination of the causes, beliefs, and identities that new generations of staff bring into the labor movement. The question asked in this article is how personal projects – defined as a motivational narrative for social action – held by progressively minded union staff can impact inclusiveness in unions. A key focus is how staff's personal projects interact with organizational structures and practices. The study finds that personal projects vary in terms of the way that staff construct role boundaries in their jobs to invest more in certain roles than, others which also affected their investment in skills development. These strategies have theoretical implications for understanding the nexus between staff careers and organizational outcomes in unions in particular and in 'social movement organizations' more generally. Results also have practical implications for skills development and knowledge transfers within and across organizations, as well as for union capacities to deal with competing goals.
While culture is beginning to be understood as a mechanism of stratification in the labor market alongside attribute-based discrimination, we lack a corresponding understanding of how skilled migrants deal with their otherness in the labor market. This article seeks to contribute to an understanding of the lived experiences of skilled migrants by identifying the material and social consequences of performing extra work to obtain cultural legitimacy. In contrast to the recent focus on understanding cultural others' responses to pressures for conformity in terms of identity conflict, this study identifies the context in which cultural legitimacy is required and constructed, both in terms of macro-societal and institutional influences on identity regulation within organizations as well as interactional dynamics and power relations. Based on interviews with migrants in the field of accounting and finance in Australia, I draw out the main features of 'cultural work' and show the potential consequences of not performing cultural work as well as the means of migrants' resistance against pressures for conformity.
Andrijasevic, R, Rhodes, C & Yu, K-H 2019, 'Foreign workers: On the other side of gendered, racial, political and ethical borders', ORGANIZATION, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 313-320.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Today it is common to see news headlines decrying the wildfire spread of the 'gig economy'. We ask the exact opposite question: why aren't more jobs now conducted via labour-based digital platforms, the primary method used in the gig economy? Surveys in the United States, United Kingdom and elsewhere indicate that gig work remains a very minor component of the labour market, and certainly isn't overshadowing either regular employment or the contingent workforce (e.g. on-demand, part-time, contract, seasonal). The size of the gig economy is probably exaggerated because it is conflated with casual work per se (which has indeed grown) and non-labour platforms. Our paper argues that a central reason why labour-based digital platforms produce so few jobs is because it is inspired by a purist version of neoliberal capitalism, reductio ad absurdum, including strict market individualism and anti-unionism. This renders the gig economy unsustainable on its own terms, revealing its basic internal limits. The gig economy is a potent and dangerous pro-market fantasy, yet one whose imagined perfection is unsuitable to the realities of work on a large scale, hence why it has not proliferated more widely, thriving on the fringes instead.
In the past few decades, scholarship on immigrant workers has produced two contrasting images that remain theoretically unresolved. In the '70s and '80s low-wage immigrant workers were viewed as target earners whose attachment to jobs in the US was seen as temporary. By contrast, recent scholarship has depicted immigrant workers as a potent social force whose quest for dignity and full societal membership is seen as having galvanized a moribund labor movement. This study draws from the lived experience of low-wage immigrant workers to examine how they relate to their socio-economic circumstances, and what, if anything, motivates their resistance to the status quo. Analyzing interview data from immigrant workers in janitorial and nursing assistant occupations in the US, I delineate how workers construct dignity by reframing the meaning of work, transferring aspirations for social mobility to their children, and resisting stereotypes of immigrant workers to generate dignified collective identities. I conclude with a discussion that aims to shed light on the contrasting and contentious views of immigrant workers and their position in the American labour movement.
Yu, K, Kim, S & Restubog, S 2015, 'Transnational contexts for professional identity development in accounting', Organization Studies, vol. 36, no. 11, pp. 1577-1597.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Global expansion in the boundaries of professional work, the introduction of managerial concepts and thinking, and changes in the organizational form of professional service firms all impact the process by which professionals come to identify with their profession. The focus of this paper is on transnational professional careers and professional identity development, which remain an under-researched aspect of how globalization affects the professions. Based on original survey data from Australia, we chart the influence of social and organizational contexts on professional identity development for migrant and local accounting professionals respectively. Findings suggest that unlike the "boundaryless" opportunities associated with globe-trotting professionals, the majority of professional migrants are significantly constrained by the organizational and inter-subjective settings in which they work. Theoretically, we extend the concept of professional identity development to include not only formative early career experiences, but also large institutional jolts such as those provided by migration. Findings also help expand current understandings of organizations as sites of professionalization by shedding light on their impact on transnational careers.
The institutional logics perspective holds the promise of delivering where neo-institutionalist theory has disappointed—the ability to address key societal problems such as inequality, social discrimination, and economic insecurity—a promise that, as of yet, has been unrealized. In this review I provide an overview of the body of work within the institutional logics perspective that addresses the co-existence of multiple institutional logics influencing identities, values, cognitive frameworks, and practices—institutional pluralism. I demonstrate how pluralism diverges from conventional neo-institutionalist theory in its view of institutional fields as heterogeneous spaces. I then review the implications for organizations and social actors responding to multiple logics in the institutional environment. In the discussion section, I argue that the study of pluralism, in acknowledging human agency, politics, and collective mobilization, opens the door for creative resolutions to societal problems hitherto overlooked in neo-institutional theory. Despite the promise, I address key research areas that remain unresolved or under-addressed in the institutional pluralism perspective.
Extant theories of member participation in unions have sought mainly to explain spot decisions to participate in collective action and therefore are limited in explaining how members can have an impact on union governance. This article conceptualizes life-long activism as informal careers that begin with politicizing life experiences, are nurtured through the fulfilment of organizational roles and develop by gaining status and skills both within the union and in the members' community. Data are reported from the Los Angeles Justice for Janitors campaign two decades after initial mobilization occurred there. Existing literature has depicted activism as a response to calculus and stimulus rather than as a search for meaningful work. An alternative perspective is advanced where the force of a calling acts as the main driver of activism in which the union is seen as a vehicle for the pursuit of social justice. © The Author(s) 2013.
Institutionalizing a new organizational template in a pluralistic environment where multiple institutional logics co-exist entails unique challenges where actors must negotiate conflict and carry out integrative and adaptive work. This paper examines how organizational actors in a large service sector trade union managed to craft integrative processes out of contentious processes in institutionalizing a new organizational template. Recently, renewed attention has been placed on politics as a means through which integration is achieved in organizations under multiple institutional pressures. However, we know relatively little about how politics achieves organizational integration in pluralistic contexts. This paper sheds light on how successful institutionalization processes actually unfold in organizations. While extant literature on intra-organizational political processes has depicted politics mainly as a zero-sum game, findings in this study suggest that politics can be a generative process through which organizations adapt to changing conditions.
Yu, K 2012, 'Formal Organizations and Identity Groups in Social Movements'.
Formal organizations advancing the goals of identity-based social movements and identity groups have become increasingly interdependent. The former often lacks legitimacy in the eyes of stakeholders and the latter typically possesses insufficient organizational capacity. In principle, the transfer of ideas and resources between formal organizations in social movements and social identity groups can result in organizational innovation that revives the formal organization while at the same time enhancing the status of the identity group. But in practice, collaborations between formal organizations and identity groups often result in identity groups being overpowered by formal organizations. This article compares outcomes for identity groups in two cases of trade unions adopting the causes of identity-based social movements to examine the role of organizational processes in explaining outcomes for identity group members. The findings from the comparative cases analyzed here suggest that identity group members must be able to influence organizational processes in order to impact how they are incorporated into the formal organization. © The Author(s) 2012.
Yu, K & Levy, F 2010, 'OFFSHORING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES: INSTITUTIONS AND PROFESSIONAL CONTROL', British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 758-783.
We examine the reasons why one might expect the world to be less flat for offshoring professional work than for manufacturing work. We then provide data on the variations in a specific case - the offshoring of diagnostic radiology from the U.S., U.K., and Singapore. We show that existing theories on the "offshorability" of jobs have not captured how national institutions and occupational regulations continue to define professional work. We then review the question of supply from India's perspective and report that both macro-institutional and organizational contexts make it complicated for Indian doctors to supply much of this service.
Fine, J, Han, H, Yu, K-H & Sparks, A 2018, 'Organizing as a Career: Results from the AFL-CIO OrganizingInstitute National Survey' in Fine, J, Burnham, L, Griffith, K, Ji, M, Narro, V & Pitts, S (eds), No One Size Fits All Worker Organization, Policy, and Movement in a New Economic Age, Labor and Employment Research Association.
This volume brings together stories of innovative efforts that are being made to improve working conditions across the country, while acknowledging the structural dynamics that challenge and condition them in twenty-first century America.
Yu, K & Noh, S-C 2017, 'State and HRM in Asia' in Routledge Handbook of Human Resource Management in Asia, Routledge, pp. 23-45.
This handbook provides an up-to-date and intellectually engaging overview of HRM in the Asian context.
Yu, K & Frenkel, S 2014, 'Employment Relations and Human Resource Management in Asia: Explaining Patterns in Asian Societies' in Witt, MA & Redding, G (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems, Oxford University Press, pp. 383-418.
The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems explores the shape and consequences of institutional variations across the political economies of different societies within Asia.
Yu, K 2013, 'Social movement unionism' in Smith, V (ed), Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia, SAGE.
Covers curricular subjects that addresses why we work, ranging from business and management to anthropology, sociology, social history, psychology, politics, economics, and health.
Yu, K-H & Noh, S-C 2018, 'Negotiating the crisis of meaning: Professional careers and the legitimation of commercial organizations', EGOS Colloquium, Tallinn, Estonia.
Noh, SC & Yu, K 2017, 'The role of emotions in degenerative political processes in pluralistic organizations', European Group for Organization Studies annual colloquium, Copenhagen.
Yu, K & Noh, SC 2017, 'OF CONQUESTS AND EXODUS: SETTLEMENTS AND THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION PROCESS', Academy of Management annual meeting, Atlanta, GA.
Yu, K & Noh, S 2016, 'Inter-Linkages Between Organizational Politics and Collective Action in Institutional Fields', European Group for Organizational Studies, Naples, Italy.
Kim, S, Chan-Serafin, S & Yu, K 2015, 'An empirical examination of ethnicity-based workplace discrimination in Australia', ANZAM.
Yu, K 2015, 'Negotiating Cultural 'Otherness' Through Cultural Work: Professional Migrants in Multicultural Australia', European Group for Organization Studies, Athens, Greece.
Yu, K, Kim, S & Restubog, S 2014, 'Unlikely Torchbearers: Migrant Accountants and Professional Identity', Society for the Advancement of Socio Economics, Chicago, USA.
Yu, K 2014, 'Moral and emotional reasoning in responses to stigmatized work', European Group for Organization Studies, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Yu, K, Kim, S & Restubog, S 2013, 'Migrant professionals and the professionalization project', Academy of Management annual meeting, Orlando, USA.
In recent decades, the environment for professions has changed significantly. In particular, the professions have globalized due to increased trends in study-abroad, particularly in professional degree programs, and cross-national migration of skilled professionals. The globalization of professionals posits a challenge to the theory of professions, which has depicted the professionalization project as a function of special relationships with the nation state and national institutions of education and training, as well as a function of excluding outsiders. We compare levels of professional identity between migrant and non-migrant accountants in Australia and find that contrary to admonitions that migration might damage the professionalization project, migrant professionals demonstrate higher levels of identification with the accounting profession. We also identify two key work-related predictors of professional identity—professional experience and work setting—whose relationship to professional identity is moderated by migrant status. Based on our findings, we argue that a compelling case can be made to revise the theory of professions for an era of global mobility.
Yu, K 2013, 'Social identity and extreme work', Proceedings of the 27th ANZAM Conference, Australia-New Zealand Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Hobart, Australia.
This paper aims to add to recent literature that has explored why workers might accommodate, accept, or even embrace extreme work. Most work in this vein has found that workers enjoy the psychological—constantly being challenged, working with highly competent peers—and financial benefits of extreme work. By contrast, this study focuses on how the social identity roles of workers influence their attitudes towards extreme work. Two aspects of social identity roles are examined here—membership in low status and marginalized groups, and identification with work as a calling. Findings suggest that willingness to take on extreme work has clear boundaries that arise from subjective value. Workers are sophisticated about assessing the conditions under which extreme work enables the pursuit of identity-motivated goals.
Yu, K 2012, 'Explaining Patterns of Employment Relations in Asian Societies', Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics Conference, Boston, USA.
Yu, K 1970, 'The Revival of Formal Organizations Using Identity Repertoires', Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, Madrid, Spain.
Yu, K 2010, 'Agency through inter-organizational collaboration: the creation of a new economic regime in the low wage service sector', Organization Studies Summer Workshop, Margaux, France.
Yu, K 2010, ''Value Commitments in Radical Organizational Change and the Development of Routines', Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.
Yu, K 2010, ''Agency through inter-organizational collaboration: the creation of a new economic regime in the low wage service sector', Organization Studies Summer Workshop, Margaux, France.
Yu, K & Levy, F 1970, 'Offshoring Professional Services: The case of diagnostic radiology', British Journal of Industrial Relations Symposium on Government Regulation of Occupations, London School of Economics, London.
Yu, K 1970, 'Linking movement to organization: Staff careers in the Justice for Janitors', Labor and Employment Research Association annual meeting.
Yu, K 2009, 'Institutional change and organizational form: Revisiting the relationship between ideas and structure', 26th EGOS Conference - European Group for Organizational Studies 2009, ESADE Business School, Barcelona,.
Yu, K 1970, 'Linking movement to organization: Movement careers in the Justice for Janitors', Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Boston, USA.
Yu, K 1970, 'Origins of social movement unionism', Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, Madrid, Spain.
Yu, K 1970, 'Narratives and agency: political careers in a movement organization', Colloquium of the European Group for Organization Studies, Vienna, Austria.
Yu, K 1970, 'Organizing immigrants: Linking life stories to broader discourse', International Labour Process Conference 2006, London, UK.
Levy, F, Goelman, A & Yu, K 2006, Paging Dr. Gupta: The barriers to reading MRIs long distance.
Yu, K 2012, 'Explaining Patterns of Employment Relations in Asian Societies'.
Yu, K 2009, 'Bureaucracy and Social Movement in the American Labour Movement'.