Accelerators and the Decentralization of Tech Startups Globally

Can the innovation ecosystem of Silicon Valley be replicated? People often discuss the potential to create such a startup scene in other places. Accelerators, which foster high-tech startups, spread Silicon Valley values and practices and have exploded globally in recent years. Through fieldwork at startup accelerators in Singapore and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and research with others globally, I investigate the expansion of this Silicon Valley model of innovation, its implicit and explicit values and practices, and how it is transformed and implemented in other contexts, aiming to understand the broader impact on the types of technologies created and the development of startup ecosystems.

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Social Creativity in Diverse Teams

Advancement to Candidacy Research


Social creativity is integral to the design process. Many scholars suggest that diversity holds great potential for creativity, yet culturally diverse teams are often wrought with troubles in communication and collaboration. While theory abounds, few empirical studies have actually examined creativity in diverse teams to understand the balance of challenges and benefits. In this study, I take a combined approach to uncover relationships between measures of culture and cultural diversity and creative outcomes and then look more closely at the creative process to explore how these are related. I highlight the importance of embracing conflict in creative teams and discuss ways diversity might be leveraged in intercultural design teams.

Committee: Judy Olson, Gary Olson, Melissa Mazmanian, Bonnie Nardi, Christine Beckman, Sue Fussell 


Haines, J. K. (2013). Cultivating Creativity in Diverse TeamsProceedings of the ACM Conference on Creativity & Cognition (C&C 2013), ACM, 32-41.

Haines, J. K. (2014). Leveraging Diversity in Intercultural Creative Teams. In Collective Intelligence 2014, MIT.

Social Capital in Transnational Teams


The many challenges of distributed communication and the many challenges of intercultural collaboration have been researched and discussed at length in the literature. What is lacking is a combined approach that looks at both issues of distance and diversity in collaboration. We conducted research in a large, multinational technology company to better understand configurational factors in transnational work. In this case study, we found that the development of social capital is impacted by whether a person is in their home context or transplanted, and that this has implications for the development of intellectual capital in the team. We highlight factors in the creation of social capital as well as some mechanisms that may mitigate cultural difference. In addition to bringing into focus the challenges that arise in various configurations, this study contributes to the transnational literature by highlighting the importance of local context in diverse collaborations. 

Collaborators: Judy Olson and Gary Olson


Haines, J. K.., Olson, J. S., and Olson, G.M. (2013). Here or There?: How Configuration of Transnational Teams Impacts Social CapitalHuman-Computer Interaction - INTERACT 2013, Part II. LNCS, vol. 8118, Springer, 479-496.

Previous Projects

Social Networks in Small Businesses


Social networks are seeping into the workplace, but how small businesses adopt and use these tools remains unclear. We performed field and diary studies investigating adoption and use of social network sites (SNSs) in 14 small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Our findings show that adoption and use vary due to different considerations related to the individual and their work environment. We discuss how the technology has matured beyond a focus on relationships and communities and describe how they have been appropriated for productive activities and in managing knowledge. The variety of uses illustrate the interpretive flexibility of the technology, but also leads to fragmentation of collaboration, knowledge, and connections within the organization as SNSs are used in combination with other tools and channels. We discuss implications for design of SNSs that focus on small businesses as well as future considerations for research in this area.

Collaborators: Joe Tullio and Aruna Balakrishnan

Collaboration Success Wizard


The Collaboration Success Wizard is a web-based assessment tool that allows participants in a collaborative endeavor, or planning for one, to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.  Upon completion of the survey, each respondent can generate a report that not only tells them where their collaboration is good and where it might be vulnerable, but also suggests what they do to remedy the vulnerabilities.  At the same time, the Wizard collects and retains each participant’s responses as data for further analysis to refine our model of collaborative success.  

Rollout of Google Apps for Education

Google Apps are being deployed in thousands of organizations around the world, including schools and universities. This study examines the adoption and use of these cloud-based services on several campuses of the University of California system. The goal is to learn how Google Apps may go beyond simply replacing existing IT services to being integrated into the classroom curricula and the research activities of these learning environments.


An increasing amount of work happens over distance, with some collaborators able to work face-to-face and others working from distributed locations, whether telecommuting from home or working from satellite offices. Shape Factory is a simulation game that serves as a platform for studying this sort of distributed work. This study examined the complexities and challenges of working across distance and explore strategies for overcoming some of these challenges.



In my master’s capstone research, I conducted ethnographic research within a suburban Chicago hospital emergency department. I observed that one of the primary pain points for the physicians in doing patient charts is that patient contact and the physical exam occur separately from data entry to the patient’s chart. The physician must first talk to the patient and conduct part of the exam in one room, jotting any notes down on paper, and then must to go to a computer bank set up outside the patient room to enter all the chart data. This back-and-forth between the computer bank location and the patient rooms can occur for as many as 15 patients at a time per physician. Despite the complex nature of the charting tasks, I wanted the patient data entry to be very intuitive and as easy to input as possible. Using iPadʼs input methods of taps, swipes, and holds, I developed a prototype for an application that would utilize minimal touches to facilitate quick and easy data entry.

More on Chartpad

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Research

I have occasionally conducted empirical and theoretical research on EMR design and Healthcare IT issues. Two of my projects include:

EMR Design as Socio-Technical Mosaic
Emergency Medicine Interface Research