Abbie at Google

Google Invites Dr. Abbie Shipp to Innovative Workplace Conference

Dr. Shipp’s research on time in the workplace earned her an exclusive invitation to Google headquarters to brainstorm with other researchers, thinkers and practitioners on the cutting edge of HR.  

October 28,  2014

By Elaine Cole

What if we changed the nature of the modern workplace to make people happier, healthier and more productive? That was the thinking behind Google’s first-ever re: Work event to rethink the nature of work.

Google invited 175 of the best researchers, thinkers and practitioners of innovative HR, including Abbie Shipp, associate professor of management, to explore the evolving role HR plays in applying science to organizations. The goal: To inspire changes in people practices across industries and spur science and research collaborations. Topics included decision making, the meaning of work, team dynamics and well-being.

“It was a unique combination of academics, business people, Google execs and writers, all people who want to make the workplace better, all in the same room sharing ideas, research and practices,” Shipp said. “It was one of the few conferences I’ve attended where the person asking the question from the audience was equally as impressive as the person on stage.”

Only 34 academics were invited and attended from across the U.S., putting TCU among Wharton, Stanford, USC, NYU, Berkeley, Harvard, Rutgers and more. Like, Shipp, each of the faculty members were known for thought-provoking research on workplace issues. Shipp recently published a two-volume set: Time and Work: How Time Impacts Individuals (Vol. 1) and Time and Work: How Tome Impacts Groups, Organization and Methodological Choices (Vol. 2).

Other invitees to the one-day event at Google headquarters included Google execs and HR heads from Fortune 500 companies such as Patagonia, SAS, Starbucks, Virgin America, Sears, Acumen, Kimpton Hotels, Teach for America, Genentech, FedEx, Bank of America and American Express. CEOS/founders of IndieGoGo, Coursera, Udacity, Evolv, BetterWorks and ToolWorks attended. Other attendees included nonprofit leaders, organizational psychologists, macroeconomists, New York Times journalists and student researchers.

Presenters included Shawn Achor, positive psychology expert and author; Laszlo Bock, Google senior vice president of people operations; Adam Davidson, reporter for NPR's Planet Money and The New York Times; Jack DePeters, senior vice president of store operations for Wegman’s; Bill Duane, Google superintendent of well-being and moonshot learning; Tom Friedman, The New York Times columnist and bestselling author; Tom Gardner, CEO and co-founder of Motley Fool; Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future; Paul Saginaw, co-owner and founder of Zingerman’s; and Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer for the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“Google has a strong value for connecting ideas about work and research with practitioners,” Shipp said. “They are known as a great place to work. Part of their goal for this conference is to support and encourage ideas and research so other places can be great places to work.”

For more information and videos from the conference, visit