Alex is an assistant professor in the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship. Alex is passionate about how entrepreneurs and organizations change communities and societies for the better in a changing world of work. Through research, Alex seeks to understand entrepreneurship and workforce development in lower-income settings and among marginalized populations. He has published numerous publications on issues relating to work psychology, entrepreneurship, technology, and global development. Alex also seeks to apply research to directly benefit marginalized populations. Alex is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of the Foster Workforce Development (FWD) Institute (fwdi.org) which combines psychological insights into work with information technology to empower marginalized populations. He has consulted with a range of prominent global stakeholders including the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China, Greenpeace International, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Alex earned his Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology in 2018 at North Carolina State University. His dissertation focused on the effect of socioeconomic factors on the psychology of entrepreneurial behavior. While a doctoral student, Alex earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue research into the psychology of work in lower-income settings. He grew interested in the nexus of work psychology, entrepreneurship, technology, and global development while serving as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of South Africa. Alex grew up in Denver, Colorado and loves to draw, read history, ski, and travel.
North Carolina State University: Ph.D., Industrial-Organizational Psychology 2017
Massey University: Gradulate Diploma with Distinction, Psychology 2011
University of Colorado at Boulder: B.A., International Affairs 2006
Areas of Expertise (6)
Workforce and Economic Development
While entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is often conceptualized on a firm level of analysis, scholarship has highlighted that firm-level strategy is influenced by the psychology of managers. Because an individual's psychological approach to risk-taking is influenced by socioeconomic factors, we explored whether responses to risk-taking items in scales of individual-level entrepreneurial attitudes and firm-level EO are influenced by socioeconomic status and the socioeconomic development of regions.
The study of the psychology of workers has a decidedly POSH perspective on the world; that is, it has focused on Professionals who hold Official jobs in a formal economy and who enjoy relative Safety from discrimination while also living in High-income countries. This POSH perspective reflects an underlying bias away from people living in multidimensional poverty. We empirically illustrate some of the connections between a POSH perspective and poverty by reviewing 100 years of research, and then make a case for why a neglect of people living in poverty undermines science and practice.
The private sector can be a key driver of inclusive sustainable development at the base of the pyramid. In a report for the United Nations Development Programme, we worked with scholars from a variety of disciplines to outline important policy considerations for stakeholders to consider as they help to ensure that for-profit businesses, corporate social responsibility initiatives, inclusive businesses, and social enterprises create lasting positive change for people living in poverty.