Chen’s Research

My Research Streams

In the main stream of my research, I investigate work designs and redesigns, integrating considerations of time, energy, and well-being issues at work. For example, I examine how individuals organize their work and non-work activities over the course of the day, or how teams allocate their attention and efforts over time across concurrent projects, as well as the implications of these arrangements for workers’ energy, well-being, and performance.

In a second stream of research, I examine individuals’ proactive behaviors in work settings (e.g., leading informally, learning new things, contributing ideas and suggestions), investigating how people exercise agency to go beyond formal requirements at work and the challenges they face in doing so.

Overall, with a focus on work designs and human agency, my research aims to shed light on ways in which we can achieve both work effectiveness and human sustainability in organizations.


Current Research

In my ongoing research, I explore a variety of issues related to temporal work designs, including using mixed methods to explore the temporal arrangement of work activities. For example, in a working paper, I examine how the arrangement of difficult versus easy tasks over time during the day may influence individuals’ energy, well-being, and performance outcomes, using a combination of field experiments, experience sampling methodology, and electroencephalogram (EEG) assessments. In another working paper, I use large-scale electronic data records to investigate the temporal pacing of team projects, including how individuals’ multiple memberships on different projects shape the over-time pacing pattern of a focal project .