Management Prof Named Drexel Provost Solutions Fellow

Lauren D’Innocenzo, PhD, associate professor of organizational behavior and management, is an expert on teams: How they function, and which roles individuals will thrive in.

Now, as a member of the inaugural cohort of Drexel Provost Solutions Fellows, organized by the University’s Office of the Provost and the Drexel Solutions Institute, D’Innocenzo is part of a new team herself: 13 faculty from across the University, working within a range of cross-disciplinary “knowledge verticals” to build external partnerships and strengthen collaboration between colleges.

Along with the rest of the cohort, D’Innocenzo’s goal as a Solutions Fellow is to connect with and engage industry clients on custom research and solutions, including experiential-learning opportunities for Drexel students. Her work with the group is focused in the areas of Health, Consumer Insights, Strategy & Design and Training & Talent Development, drawing on her research on building effective teams and creating environments for effective leadership and team function across a variety of industries, including healthcare and pharmaceutical, and organizations, from Fortune 500 companies, to governmental agencies and hospitals.

“I try to bring the latest research findings into the classroom. By being a part of this group, I’m able to point to different connected streams of research,” she says.

One of D’Innocenzo’s current projects, facilitated by the Drexel Solutions Institute in partnership with Comcast, involves research with U.S. military veterans. D’Innocenzo is working alongside peers and undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to study how gaming impacts wellbeing and team function.

“We’re looking at how team roles and individual attributes take shape in the gaming experience and how those then translate into the organizational environment,” D’Innocenzo explains.

Serving as a Provost Solutions Fellow provides D’Innocenzo with opportunities to examine how organizational behavior intersects with other disciplines to inform the bigger picture of how organizations work: her interest in team dynamics in healthcare settings, for example, connects with the expertise of faculty in medicine and public policy, each area playing a
different role in creating better outcomes for patients and providers.

“Being part of this group allows me to have a view of the bigger system, and it’s going to affect how I speak with clients, how I approach setting up a project and the kinds of questions I ask,” she says.

In addition to aiding clients who engage the Solutions Institute for applied-research projects, D’Innocenzo envisions her collaborative efforts having an impact throughout Drexel and reflecting back onto her teaching across the undergraduate, MBA, Executive DBA and Corporate and Executive Education programs at LeBow.

“I try to bring the latest research findings into the classroom. By being a part of this group, I’m able to point to different connected streams of research,” she says.

D’Innocenzo notes that research on team dynamics has shown that teams function better in the virtual environment if they’ve already formed in a face-to-face setting, so returning to campus in the fall will present new opportunities to connect and brainstorm with her colleagues from across the University.

“I’m excited about continuing conversations with the other fellows and to learn more from them,” she says.

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