Hi, I'm Kam.


Welcome to my site that tells you a little bit about me, mainly as a researcher.


ABOUT ME

I grew up in a small countryside town as an uninvited guest on the unceded traditional territories of the Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc/Shuswap First Nations within the province that we know today as British Columbia, Canada, but I have also lived, studied, and worked in an array of places around the world, including: Botswana, China, France, Japan, and Norway.

In my professional life, I am mainly a researcher and am currently a PhD Candidate in Organization Studies and Vanier Scholar at the Schulich School of Business - York University (Canada), where I study the organizational and entrepreneurial underpinnings of social innovation and change.

I have contributed to building social, environmental, and financial technology startups in Canada, and worked in sustainability-focused consulting firms, social enterprises, and not-profit organizations around the world, and draw on these ground experiences in my research in an effort to derive insights that drive action and social change.

Education

PhD in Organization Studies, Schulich School of Business - York University (In Progress)

  • Minor: Business and Society

MSc in Economics and Business Administration, Norwegian School of Economics

  • Major: Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment

MSc in Sustainable Development, HEC Paris

  • Specialization: Social Enterprise and Poverty

BCom in International Business, Gustavson School of Business - University of Victoria

  • Distinction: Co-operative Education

Academic Positions

Vanier Scholar and Instructor, Schulich School of Business - York University (2017-Present)

  • Affiliations: Organization Studies Area (ORGS); Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (COERB); Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research (DIGHR); Global Labour Research Centre (GLRC)

Visiting Researcher, Sauder School of Business - University of British Columbia (2020)

  • Affiliation: W. Maurice Young Centre for Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Research

Select Awards and Honours

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

  • SSHRC Storytellers Research Communications Challenge - Top 25 Finalist (2020)

  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - #3 Ranked National Application (2020)

  • SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarhip - #1 Ranked National Application (2017)

Academy of Management

  • Evaluation Committee, Best Business Ethics Paper Award (2019; 2020; 2021)

  • Best Social Issues in Management Paper Award (2018)

  • Best Business Ethics Paper Award (2018)

  • Chair of the Academy-wide New Doctoral Students' Consortium (2017)

Other Recognitions

  • ThinkList Next, Centre for Business, Organisation and Society

  • Financial Times Business School Research with Social Impact - Top 100

  • Mitacs Accelerate Research Funding

  • Dean’s Recognition for Outstanding Teaching Contribution, Schulich School of Business

  • Best Master’s Thesis Finalist, Norwegian School of Economics

  • Dean's List for BCom, Gustavson School of Business

  • Canadian Millennium Scholarship Laureate

  • Governor General's Bronze Medal for Academic Excellence

Industry Experience

Startups

Before starting my PhD, I spent several years in the depths of Vancouver’s startup scene with two close friends — Tom Kineshanko and Kevin Starke — actively contributing to a series of social, environmental, and financial startups at various stages of development centered around the deployment of digital technologies to create a better society and planet. The bulk of this time was spent within the confines of a holding company (Habitat Enterprises) that Tom and Kevin founded embracing a lean startup approach to build and contribute to a United Nations Clean Development Mechanism carbon credit development company (Habitat Carbon Assets), the world’s first “roof auction” for solar (Gridbid), and a suite of experimental financial technology solutions to societal problems (PowerLend), which spurred the initial development of a decentralized data and cryptocurrency platform (Walter.ai). Together with Tom and Kevin, I also founded an omega-3 fish oil company (Today) committed to science-backed evidence, sustainable sourcing, and ocean species preservation.

Professional Service Firms

During my time in Paris, I also gained experience working in professional service firms that were in the early stages of developing and implementing new social and environmental initiatives, including an energy access program for social enterprises in development countries (ENEA Consulting) and an ISO 26000 social responsibility audit program (Label Lucie).

Not-profits

Some of my earliest work took place in not-for-profit organizations focused on community and socio-economic development. The scope of this work included the creation and maintenance of social enterprises in and around the rural village of Palapye, Botswana (Action for Economic Empowerment Trust) and the promotion of local businesses in and around Victoria, Canada (Tourism Victoria).

Today, as a researcher, I frequently work hand in hand and in close quarters with organizations and entrepreneurs on my projects and continue to maintain strong ties to industry, enthusiastically embracing an engaged approach to research.

Learn about my PhD training and experience at the Schulich School of Business, York University

RESEARCH

My research centers around the interplay between organizational and entrepreneurial settings and large-scale change in the context of social and environmental issue. As a researcher, my goal is to advance our understanding of what perpetuates and disrupts pressing societal issues, so we can better design effective interventions to address them and realize positive social change.

I study a diverse range of organizations and forms of organizing such as startups, established organizations, collaborative efforts, social movements, and new forms of organizing from across sectors, but tend to focus on entrepreneurial settings centered around social change efforts and maintain a particular eye on how social and cultural institutions shape and are shape by such efforts.

In my past and current projects, I study these dynamics in the context of the specific issues of modern slavery, stigma, and climate change as well as the broader context, technology, social innovation, and responsible business, including in my doctoral dissertation based on a multi-year ethnography entitled: Translating lightning in a bottle: Idealists, pragmatists, and the reorientation of translators at the intersection of blockchain and climate.

Scholarly Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Crane, A., LeBaron, G., Phung, K., Behbahani, L. & Allain, J. (2021). Confronting the business models of modern slavery. Journal of Management Inquiry: Forthcoming.

Phung, K., Buchanan, S., Toubiana, M., Ruebottom, T., & Turchick-Hakak, L. (2021). When stigma doesn't transfer: Stigma deflection and occupational stratification in the sharing economy. Journal of Management Studies, 58(4): 1107-1139.

Crane, A., LeBaron, G., Phung, K., Behbahani, L. & Allain, J. (2018). Innovations in the business models of modern slavery: The dark side of business model innovation. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (1): 13381.

Book chapters

Phung, K. Slavery and its links to organizations. (2018). In R. Burke, & C. Cooper (Eds.), Violence and abuse in and around organisations: 273-291. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Phung, K. & Crane, A. (2018). The business of modern slavery: Management and organizational perspectives. In J. B. Clark, & S. Poucki (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of human trafficking and modern day slavery: 177-197. London, UK: SAGE.

Conference Proceedings

Paper Presentations

Sadri, M., Helms, W. Phung, K., & Piazza, A. (2020). Unpacking stigmatization: Labeling, audience heterogeneity, and market-based sanctioning. 80th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 7-11: Virtual.

Helms, W., Patterson, K., & Phung, K. (2019). Ideological passion and the empowering sanctioning work of stigmatized actors. 35th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium. Jul 4-6: Edinburgh, UK.

Phung, K., Toubiana, M., Buchanan, S., Ruebottom, T., & Turchick Hakak, L. (2019). When stigma doesn’t stick: Occupational stratification in the sharing economy. 10th Oxford Reputation Symposium. Aug 28-30: Oxford, UK.

Crane, A., LeBaron, G., Phung, K., Behbahani, L. & Allain, J. (2018). Innovations in the business models of modern slavery: The dark side of business model innovation. 78th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 10-14: Chicago, USA.

  • Published as a “Best Paper” Proceeding (Top 10%)

  • Recipients of of Social Issues in Management “Best Paper” Award

  • Recipient of Social Issues in Management “Best Business Ethics Paper” Award

  • Featured in Financial Times Research with Social Impact

Helms, W., Patterson, K., & Phung, K. (2018). This isn’t for everyone: The origins of defiance and the preservation of stigmatized practices. 34th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium. Jul 5-7: Tallinn, Estonia.

Phung, K., Toubiana, M., Buchanan, S., Ruebottom, T., & Turchick Hakak, L. (2018). Uber’ing away stigma: The impact of technology of stigmatized occupations. 34th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium. Jul 5-7, 2018: Tallinn, Estonia.

Crane, A., Phung, K., LeBaron, G., Allain, J., & Behbahani, L. (2017). The dark side of creativity: Innovation in the business models of modern slavery. 28th International Association for Business and Society Meeting. Jun 29-Jul 2: Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Organized Symposia

Lodge, J. & Phung, K. (2021). The climate emergency and social evaluations: Constructing a new research agenda. 81st Academy of Management Meeting. Jul 30-Aug 3: Virtual.

Phung, K. (2020). Organizing for the climate emergency: Organizational underpinnings of climate action. 80th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 7-11: Virtual.

  • Designated a “Showcase Symposium” (Top 10%)

Phung, K. & Lu, C. (2020). Decentralized organization theory: Distributed trust and blockchain. 80th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 7-11: Virtual.

Caruana, R., Crane, A., & Phung, K. (2019). Advancing research on modern slavery and business: New theoretical and empirical directions. 79th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 9-13: Boston, USA.

  • Designated a “Showcase Symposium” (Top 10%)

Phung, K. & Lyons, B. (2019). You cite Goffman (1963) too? Exploring avenues for cross-level dialogue and research on stigma. 79th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 9-13: Boston, USA.

  • Designated a “Showcase Symposium” (Top 10%)

Organized Consortia and Workshops

Phung, K., Zhang, R., & Patterson, K. (2021). Demonstrating stigma in research: Practical and theoretical considerations. 81st Academy of Management Meeting. Jul 30-Aug 3: Virtual.

Aranda, A., Helms, W., & Phung, K. (2020). Expanding stigma research: Exploring stigmatized actors and stigmatizing audiences. 80th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 7-11: Virtual.

Micelotta, E., Hampel, C., Phung, K., & Patterson, K. (2019). Developing stigma research: Exploring how our lenses affect our research. 79th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 9-13: Boston, USA.

Phung, K. & Helms, W. (2019). OMT stigma café and chat. Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 9-13: Boston, USA.

Phung, K., Landay, K., Tribble, L., & Lee, S. (2017). New doctoral students’ consortium. 78th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 4-8: Atlanta, USA.

Participation in Panels

Panelist. (2021). The platform economy: Racialized and gendered. Association of Canadian Studies Metropolis Conference. Mar 22-26: Virtual.

Panelist. (2019). Social media for responsible business scholars. 79th Academy of Management Meeting. Aug 9-13: Boston, USA.

Practical Translations and Op-eds

LeBaron, G., Phung, K., Behbahani, L., Crane, A., & Allain, J. (2021). Business models have evolved to keep profiting from slave labour. Thomas Reuters Foundation News.

Lam, L. & Phung, K. (2021). How should Canada design policies to protect gig workers? Policy Options.

Phung, K., Buchanan, S., Toubiana, M., Ruebottom, T., & Turchick-Hakak, L. (2021). How Uber drivers avoided – and contributed to – the fate of taxi drivers. The Conversation.

Industry, Policy, and Public Engagements

Industry Reports

Phung, K., Greig, D., & Lewchuk, S. (2019). The straight goods: Canadian business insights on modern slavery in supply chains. Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business, SHARE, and World Vision Canada.

Key Engagements

Accredited Observer Delegate. (2021). United Nations Climate Change Conferences (COP26 - Glasgow). York University Delegation.

Speaker. (2021). The cost of child labour: Ending child labour through supply chain transparency legislation. World Vision Ottawa Youth Council. Mar 28: Virtual.

Speaker. (2021). Modern slavery in supply chains: The case for corporate social responsibility considerations. Canadian Association of University Business Officers. Jun 15-17: Virtual.

Accredited Observer Delegate. (2019). United Nations Climate Change Conferences (COP25 - Madrid). York University Delegation.

Speaker. (2019). The straight goods: Canadian business insights on modern slavery in supply chains. Supply Chain Management Association of Canada. Jul 25: Virtual.

Speaker and participant. (2019). Roundtables on supply chain legislation. Employment and Social Development Canada – Policy Consultation. Jun 11: Vancouver, Canada.

Speaker and participant. (2019). Roundtables on supply chain legislation. Employment and Social Development Canada – Policy Consultation. May 23: Toronto, Canada.

Public Panels

Panelist. (2021). Blockchain and sustainability. American University. Mar 24: Virtual.

Panelist. (2020). COP25 delegation reports back. York University. Jan 14: Toronto, Canada.

Moderator. (2019). Beyond pure profit maximization: Navigating the human side of business. Schulich Research Day. Mar 28: Toronto, Canada.

Other Contributions

Blog. (2019). Having an impact within and beyond the ivory towers. University of Bath.

Podcast interview. (2019). Modern slavery. York U Grad Life.

Watch my video recognized as one of the Top 25 Finalists in the SSHRC Storytellers National Research Communications Challenge

TEACHING

I am passionate about preparing my students for a changing society and do so by incorporating timely real world examples that are relevant to and resonate with my students. To do this, I take the time to get to know my students so I can tailor course content to those in the classroom.

Recognizing that how I teach is equally if not more important than what I teach in the classroom, and that how ideas are delivered and engaged affects our ability to understand and appreciate them, I am constantly exploring and updating how I can best deliver my courses to create effective and safe learning environments that enable my students to thrive in both in-person and virtual settings.

I invest in making the most of the time that I spend with my students and ensure that my teaching gives them the tools and knowledge that they need to continue to explore ideas beyond the classroom and develop as members of society.

Portfolio

Courses Taught

Organizations and Their Environments (ORGS2200) - Core Course

  • Schulich School of Business, York University

Guest Lectures

Emerging Perspectives and Issues in Blockchain and DLTs (ARST575N/LIBR559U)

  • Blockchain Summer Institute, University of British Columbia

Select Evaluations

“Kam was the best professor I had this semester or even in all my years at university. He made this course very interesting by bringing in real case scenarios of organizations and current news events. The way he brought in real case scenarios made me think further and I started noticing companies I wouldn't have otherwise. He not only helped me with the course but also my overall career growth.”

“I loved his energy, enthusiasm for the subject, and the fact that he would bring up examples within class that we were able to relate to but also related back to the course content. Definitely one of my favourite professors I have had thus far.”

“Kam was very passionate about the course and I loved that he was able to address us all by name. He gave time for everyone to speak and was very encouraging and respective of everyone's responses. He is very knowledgeable about the course content and provided insightful real life experiences. Really enjoyed having him as a professor, his 8:30am classes were always full as we all benefited greatly from his lectures.”

“Took time to make sure concepts were explained clearly and addressed all questions and concerns. Overall, one of the best instructors I've had at Schulich thus far. He made a 3-hour long, 8:30 am lecture not only more bearable, but one that was definitely inclusive and enjoyable to all.

“I liked the enthusiasm he showed for the subject and how clearly he was able to explain course material. Furthermore, he was very strong at inducing class discussion and easy to speak with in class.”

“Kam was amazing, very insightful, helpful, kind, and prepared. He wanted us to succeed, and showed true enthusiasm for the course.”

CONNECT WITH ME