Doctoral Student

Curtis Kwinyen Chan

Curtis K. Chan is a Ph.D. student in the Organizational Behavior program jointly offered by Harvard Business School and the Department of Sociology at Harvard. Curtis’s research interests include meaning-making at work, identity processes, and culture as they relate to work, occupations, and organizations. Currently, Curtis is conducting research on the work experiences of security screening officers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Before joining the doctoral program in 2011, Curtis worked as an Analyst and then as an Associate at the boutique management consulting firm Innosight, which focuses on innovation in a variety of industries.  Earlier on, he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 2008 with an A.B. in social anthropology and a secondary field in psychology, and he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society since his junior year.  In college, he conducted ethnographic research on the cultural values of street dancers in New England and Miami, and the undergraduate thesis he wrote on this topic under the advising of Professor of Anthropology Michael Herzfeld was awarded a Thomas T. Hoopes Prize. 

 

Curtis K. Chan is a Ph.D. student in the Organizational Behavior program jointly offered by Harvard Business School and the Department of Sociology at Harvard. Curtis’s research interests include meaning-making at work, identity processes, and culture as they relate to work, occupations, and organizations. Currently, Curtis is conducting research on the work experiences of security screening officers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Before joining the doctoral program in 2011, Curtis worked as an Analyst and then as an Associate at the boutique management consulting firm Innosight, which focuses on innovation in a variety of industries.  Earlier on, he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 2008 with an A.B. in social anthropology and a secondary field in psychology, and he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society since his junior year.  In college, he conducted ethnographic research on the cultural values of street dancers in New England and Miami, and the undergraduate thesis he wrote on this topic under the advising of Professor of Anthropology Michael Herzfeld was awarded a Thomas T. Hoopes Prize. 

  1. Overview

    Curtis’s research focuses on meaning-making at work, identity processes, and culture as it relates to work, occupations, and organizations.

    Keywords: qualitative research; ethnography; corporate culture; organizational behavior;

  2. Transportation Security Officers’ Work, Motivations, and Practices Study

    Because of its unique history, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a strategic setting to explore employees' possible distinct and evolving relation to their work.  Since its inception in the wake of 9/11, the TSA has hired thousands of individuals, many of which have joined at the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) level. These TSOs comes from a variety of backgrounds. The goal of this study is to better understand the TSOs relation to their work, particularly variations in such relations.