My research can be classified into two broad agendas. In the first one that I carried out from 2010 to 2014, I studied cross-cultural competence which can be understood as the ability to understand people from different cultural backgrounds and engage with them effectively at work. A paper published in Management and Labour Studies argues that individuals often develop cross-cultural competence when they experience or observe inclusion in their own families. In the same line of research, I studied cross-cultural management wherein I reviewed the impact of power distance in countries identified with collectivist cultures. Power distance has been found to be higher in collectivist cultures than in individualist ones and can be understood as the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations expect and accept that power is distributed unequally in their organization. My highly cited work “Power distance in organizational contexts: A review of collectivist cultures,” published in Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, argues that power distance in collectivist cultures can play a more functional role, in terms of productivity and performance, for organizations when it is based on knowledge and expertise rather than on positional hierarchies.

My current research examines the factors shaping LGBTQ identities and activism from transnational and intersectional perspectives. Specifically, I have studied gay men’s experience of parental acceptance in the United States and India; the use of politics of alignment as non-disruptive tactics by American LGBT workplace activists to win policy outcomes from Fortune 500 corporations; Indian gay men and lesbians’ use of competing sexual schemas to construct transnational sexuality; and Indian LGBTQ activists’ simultaneous use of strategies of assimilation and difference to pursue their goals. My doctoral dissertation, “After Coming Out: Parental Acceptance of Gay Men in India and the United States,” argues that gay men often experience contextual, and not continuous, parental acceptance; and this contextuality is often shaped by the forces of heteronormativity, homonormativity, and racial normativity in familial lives. Another article, “From Moral Ambivalence to Differential Congruence: Understanding Transnational Sexuality using Cultural Schemas” (published in Sexualities) shows how globally connected lesbians and gay men construct transnational sexuality using competing sexual schemas derived from different national contexts and by compartmentalizing these schemas into various spheres of their lives. My award-winning article[1], “The Politics of Alignment and the ‘Quiet Transgender Revolution” in Fortune 500 Corporations, 2008 to 2017” (published in Socio-Economic Review), uses hazard rate analysis and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to argue that activists have used non-contentious means coined as “politics of alignment” with their target entities by leveraging social movement programs to win favorable outcomes. My paper on LGBTQ activism in India (published in Gender, Work & Organization) argues that activists often use assimilationist and differentiating tactics simultaneously, instead of pursuing either of the approaches in more exclusive ways, to pursue their goals.

My current research contributes to the literature on sexualities by demonstrating that the binary understanding of non-heterosexual identities as being either in or out of the closet is inadequate in comprehending how these identities are shaped intersectionally and under the global influences. It offers important insights into the conditions under which gay people experience their sexuality homonormatively or through queerness. My research on LGBTQ social movements underscores the importance of local cultural practices and the location-specific aspirations of these groups in shaping movement goals and strategies. My research is also dedicated to filling a significant gap in the social movements literature. It highlights the ways in which social movement actors challenge their target entities through strategies of alignment instead of mounting contentious protests against them, and it investigates the conditions under which these strategies can be successful. By offering politics of alignment as a theoretical alternative to the contentious politics mode, my research fosters an inclusive conceptualization of collective challenges posed to the target entities.

[1] Winner of the 2021 Mayer N. Zald Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Student Paper Award from American Sociological Association’s section on Collective Behavior & Social Movements.