How do leaders work across disciplines, organizations, cultures, and networks to co-create and implement novel solutions, sustainable human-centered change, and entrepreneurial ventures? Over the past twenty years, this question has motivated Elizabeth Lingo's research, innovative project-based teaching, and efforts to advance organizational transformation and policy change to forge more equitable and creatively vibrant organizations, cities, and fields of enterprise.
As an ethnographer of work and organizations, Professor Lingo is especially interested in the situated and lived experience of everyday work, and inductively analyzes qualitative data to build new theory and unexpected insights. Her scholarship is primarily process-focused, and offers three major contributions to the field: 1) launching a stream of research on creative brokering that informs how leaders advance entrepreneurial opportunities and novel outcomes within networks; 2) illuminating the micro-processes that enable low-power and under-represented actors to advance change and innovation; and 3) exploring how digital technology both constrains and enhances creative work.
Professor Lingo’s research has been published in top-tier journals including Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ), Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Harvard Business Review, Poetics, Work and Occupations, and the Chronicle of Higher Education and featured in the New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Forbes, Fortune, and BBC Global news. She was recognized in the ASQ Editor’s Choice Collections as authoring one of the top papers focused on networks and knowledge.
Professor Lingo is Co-PI on two National Science Foundation ADVANCE grants, including WPI’s Adaptation grant, “Advancing toward “FULL” Representation of Women in STEM at WPI” and the Partnership grant, “ImPACT: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Information Technology.” As a co-PI Professor Lingo is investigating structural and systemic biases and barriers within Associate-to-Full promotion processes, with a particular interest in the transformative role of department heads. This work has great potential to lessen inequity among the senior ranks of faculty, better align rewards with institutional missions and strengths, and develop a national model for other STEM and project-based academic institutions.
Professor Lingo's next ethnographic research study is focused on the practices and systems that enable leaders—especially women and under-represented groups—to co-create and implement sustainable human-centered change, and entrepreneurial ventures at the intersection of business, global studies, and technology.
Professor Lingo joined WPI because teaching is one of her core passions. She thrives on building STEM students’ leadership capabilities and awakening their minds to the complex and messy web of often hidden interpersonal, team, and organizational dynamics that undergird personal career success and business outcomes. Her mission is to help WPI students graduate with the capacity to build more equitable, effective and humane teams and organizations; co-create human-centered solutions across disciplines and cultures; more deftly manage the ambiguity they will encounter in real-life projects; and handle potential difficult conversations and leadership challenges with resilience, grace and empathy.
Visit Digital WPI to view student projects and research advised by Professor Lingo.
Sustainable Development Goals
Professional Highlights & Honors
Quartz at Work featured the article “Daughters of Working Mothers Grow Up to Be Just as Happy as Those of Stay-at-Home Moms,” which included research by Assistant Professor Elizabeth Long Lingo, Foisie Business School.