Tracy Anderson

Tracy Anderson
  • Doctoral Candidate

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3014 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Human and social capital, collaboration, careers and worker mobility, contracting

Links: CV, LinkedIn


Tracy Anderson is a PhD candidate at Wharton. Her research interests revolve around understanding how workplace practices and employment arrangements shape worker performance and careers. Some of her work has examined how contracting fits into the careers of managerial workers, and what contracting means for their effectiveness.  In her dissertation, she examines collaborative working and the interdependence between workers’ careers that collaboration can create. Prior to joining the doctoral program at Wharton, Tracy managed a research team at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) in London, having spent a number of years working in policy-related research. She has a Master’s degree in Social Policy & Planning and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, both from the London School of Economics.

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Papers conditionally accepted

  • Anderson, T. & Bidwell, M. Outside Insiders: The Role of Contracting in the Careers of Managers

Papers under review

  • Anderson, T. & Cappelli, P. Managing without Managers: The Limits of Organizational Embeddedness                                        

Working papers

  • Anderson, T. What about those left behind? Understanding the impact of colleague exit on the career of collaborative workers
  • Anderson, T. & Haas, M.R. My Colleague Just Left! How Co-worker Departure Affects Job Performance   

Book Chapters

  • Anderson, T., Bidwell, M., & Briscoe, F. (forthcoming). “External Factors Shaping Careers” in Gunz, H.P. & Mayrhofer, W (eds), Routledge Companion to Careers Studies. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge.
  • Tracy Anderson and Matthew Bidwell (2019), Outside insiders: understanding the role of contracting in the careers of managerial workers, Organization Science, (forthcoming).

    Abstract: We explore the role that contracting plays within the careers of managerial workers. Contracting distances workers from organizational coordination and politics, aspects of organizational life that are often central to the managerial role. Nonetheless, managerial workers make up a substantial proportion of the contracting workforce. Qualitative interviews with managerial contractors indicate that the tension between the natures of contracting and managerial work means that managerial contractors carry out substantially more bounded work than do regular employees, and that this boundedness can shape the role that contracting plays in their careers. Examining the employment histories of MBA alumni of a US business school, we show that workers with fewer subordinates and greater personal demands are more likely to enter contracting. We also find that contractors report stronger work-life balance, but receive lower pay both while contracting and in subsequent regular employment. While prior research has highlighted the financial benefits and temporal demands of contracting for highly skilled workers, our findings introduce important boundary conditions into our understanding of high-skill contracting: the nature of the occupation is critical.


Past Courses


    We all spend much of our lives in organizations. Most of us are born in organizations, educated in organizations, and work in organizations. Organizations emerge because individuals can't (or don't want to) accomplish their goals alone. Management is the art and science of helping individuals achieve their goals together. Managers in an organization determine where their organization is going and how it gets there. More formally, managers formulate strategies and implement those strategies. This course provides a framework for understanding the opportunities and challenges involved in formulating and implementing strategies by taking a "system" view of organizations,which means that we examine multiple aspects of how managers address their environments, strategy, structure, culture, tasks, people, and outputs, and how managerial decisions made in these various domains interrelate. The course will help you to understand and analyze how managers can formulate and implement strategies effectively. It will be particularly valuable if you are interested in management consulting, investment analysis, or entrepreneurship - but it will help you to better understand and be a more effective contributor to any organizations you join, whether they are large, established firms or startups. This course must be taken for a grade.


Latest Research

Tracy Anderson and Matthew Bidwell (2019), Outside insiders: understanding the role of contracting in the careers of managerial workers, Organization Science, (forthcoming).
All Research