Jacqueline M. Zalewski, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology

I have ongoing scholarly interests in the growing contingencies workers face in their jobs and employment relations. This is because of my background. I grew up in Kenosha, WI. Similar to industrial-based cities in PA like Reading, Allentown, and Pittsburgh, a significant proportion of Kenosha's population worked in durable goods and automobile production industries. This was until the 1970s and early 1980s, when many auto and industrial workers in Kenosha experienced job loss. What happened to Kenosha's auto and industrial workers was part of a larger social and economic process scholars call deindustrialization.

Through the 1970s, I grew up as part of the working class in Kenosha and this culture has had a significant effect on shaping my research interests in changes in work and organizations and technology in the workplace (a prime culprit in the reengineering of work, producing greater employment contingencies, and the job losses described above). For my master's thesis, I conducted ethnographic research of blue-collar temporary work. For my PhD, I interviewed information technologists and human resource professionals about the outsourcing of their work.

I continued doing qualitative research on the outsourcing of professional work and, in 2019, I published a book on its effects on social relations, culture, jobs, and professional work. It’s called Working Lives and in-House Outsourcing: Chewed Up By Two Masters (2019), and you can view the book here

I have used my interests in changes in work to contribute to scholarship in academic and career advising with collaborator Dr. Leigh S. Shaffer.  In 2018, our article “The Professionalization of Academic Advising: Where are We in 2010?” was awarded the first Leigh S. Shaffer Award by NACADA for significant advances made to the academic field of academic advising. 

Because of my extensive background and professional interests in college teaching and pedagogy, recently I conducted three years of survey research (2017-19) on teamwork in undergraduate Introduction to Sociology courses.  My collaborator, Susan Brudvig (Professor of Business Informatics at Northern Kentucky University), and I have one paper that was recently accepted to Teaching Sociology: “Encouraging Productive Behavior in Student Teams With Interventions (2022).”   

In collaboration, I also developed a class-wide research activity—The Sociology Majors Project (SMP)—that examines the jobs, ongoing education, and professional careers of UG sociology alumni from West Chester University (WCU).  The SMP activity was published in November 2020 in the American Sociological Association’s Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology (TRAILS).

In spring 2021, in collaboration with Dr. Johnna Capitano (Professor of Management @ WCU), I began a research study on contractor socialization (or onboarding). Dr. Capitano and I conducted qualitative interviews with three types of subjects: 1. Contractors/consultants; 2. Agency representatives; and 3. Department representatives at client organizations.  In 2022, we are presenting analysis at two conferences: Labor and Employment Relations Association Annual Meeting (June 2022) and Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference (August 2022)

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • The Social Contexts of Substance Use
  • Sociology of Organizations
  • Sociology of Work
  • Independent Study (e.g., sex trafficking, disaster, the military)
  • Sociology Internship
  • Urban Sociology
  • Senior Seminar

Current Scholarly Projects (updated Summer 2022)

Book on “In-house Outsourcing” (2019). 

My book on the “in-house outsourcing” of information technology and human resources jobs and professional workers was published by Routledge (2019).  The link to the book’s webpage is below:

My book was reviewed in Contemporary Sociology (November 2020).  You can find a copy of the review here.

TRAILS Publication (November 2020):  “The Sociology Majors Project,” Research on Sociology Alumni from West Chester University of Pennsylvania

In fall 2015, I began a research study I call the “Sociology Majors Project” (SMP) about the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education of Sociology UG alumni from West Chester University (WCU).  As part of the curriculum in two sociology classes (Sociology of Organizations and Sociology of Work), students contacted sociology alumni from West Chester University to survey them to gain a better understanding of their jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education.  This knowledge has been shared with the department, WCU faculty, current students, and alumni in a career pathways poster. 

In summer 2020, my collaborators and I submitted the SMP to the American Sociological Society’s Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology (TRAILS)—an online database of teaching and learning resources—for publishing consideration. It was peer-reviewed, deemed an “excellent resource,” and is published in the TRAILS database (November 2020).  The SMP was also featured in TRAILS resources in the Teaching Sociology April 2021 issue. 

Contributor to Investigating Social Problems, 3rd edition, A. Javier Trevino editor, Sage Publications.  (January 2021)

In spring 2020, I completed a revision of chapter 10, “Work and the Economy” for the 3rd edition of Investigating Social Problems. It was published January 2, 2021. The link to the textbook is below:

Research on Team Work: Paper Recently Accepted at Teaching Sociology (2022)

In spring 2017, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Brudvig in the School of Business Informatics at Northern Kentucky University, I began an experimental research study on teamwork development interventions (TDIs) pedagogy in sociology classes. Over three years, we collected survey data from Introduction to Sociology classes before and after three added “team development interventions.” Significant findings include significant improvement in: interactional fairness, perceptions of others, treatment of others, and satisfaction with teams.

One paper is forthcoming at Teaching Sociology (2022): 

  • “Encouraging Productive Behavior in Student Teams With Interventions.”

Current Research on Contractor/Consultant Socialization (2021 – 2022)

In 2019, Dr. Johnna Capitano (Professor of Management @ WCU) asked me to join the Center for Newcomer Onboarding (CNO).  A link to the CNO webpage is below:

In spring 2021, we combined our interests in Non-standard Employment and Organizational Socialization to explore this relationship.  We applied for IRB approval to interview 1. Contractors; 2. Agency representatives who place contractors; and 3. Department representatives at client organizations who manage them.  Since May 2021, we interviewed professionals on contractor socialization (or “onboarding”).  We are presenting a research poster and then a paper in summer 2022:

  • “A Qualitative Study of the Non-standard, Contingent Workforce and Their Socialization Into Client Organizations.” Labor and Employment Relations Association Annual Meeting, June, Research Poster, Virtual Format.
  • “A Map and Gap Analysis of the Socialization Experience of Non-standard Employees Into Client Organizations: What Typically Happens and What’s Missing?” Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, August, Research Paper, Los Angeles, CA.

Currently, we are analyzing our data and developing a manuscript for submission to Administrative Science Quarterly for publishing consideration in 2023.


Areas of Scholarly Interest

  • Changes to the Organization of Work, Occupations, Professions, and Formal Organizations
  • Contractor Socialization
  • Technology in the Workplace
  • Work and Inequality
  • Academic and Career Advising
  • Pedagogy on Team Work and Collaborative Learning

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