Eunmi Mun

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

School of Labor and Employment Relations

Room 213, 504 E. Armory Ave. Champaign, IL 61820

Education

PhD, Sociology, Harvard University, 2011
MA, Sociology, Seoul National University, South Korea
BA, Sociology, Seoul National University, South Korea

Prior to joining LER in 2016, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University and taught at Amherst College.

Research Interests

Gender and organizations
Law and organizations
Work-family policies
Labor market institutions
Work and employment in East Asia

My research tries to answer why gender inequality in the workplace persists and what can be done to reduce it. These questions are of central importance to scholars, as well as policy makers, interested in the causes, consequences, and remedies of social inequalities. In three streams of research, I examine 1) organizational responses to social demands for gender equality, 2) the effectiveness of organizational practices to address gender inequality, and 3) various forms of workplace gender inequality under different institutional contexts across industrial societies.

In the first stream of research, I theorize organizational responses to societal pressures promoting gender equality and empirically assess the consequences of their responses. I examine two important examples of such pressures: a historical case of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Law and a current phenomenon of corporate social responsibility (CSR). My studies in this stream highlight the critical roles human resource (HR) managers, as well as CSR managers, play in interpreting and implementing the goal of gender equality within the workplace.

Second, I analyze the impact of organizational practices on workplace gender inequality. In particular, I focus on two organizational practices that have become widely popular and are often thought to decrease gender inequality: parental leave policies and merit-based compensation systems. From a series of papers published from this stream, I show that the impact of these practices on gender equality varies widely across organizations. In particular, parental leave policies significantly increase women’s representation in management when they are implemented in more gender-egalitarian and family-friendly workplaces.

My most recent and immediate future research focuses on comparing organizational mechanisms of gender inequality across countries and different institutional contexts. My work in this area is tied to my membership in the Comparative Organizational Inequality Network (COIN), a global collaboration network of an interdisciplinary group of inequality scholars from 15 countries. Over the last several years, we have been putting together a massive dataset combining administrative data from all members’ home countries. Analyzing data that bring together individual, organizational, and national contexts, my research from this stream allows us to comprehensively examine the sources of gender inequality and construct policies to fight them more effectively.

Selected Publications

Mun, Eunmi and Naomi Kodama. In Press. “Meritocracy at Work? Merit Pay and Gender Wage Inequality.” Social Forces.

Avent-Holt, Dustin, Nina Bandelj, István Boza, David Cort, Olivier Godechot, Gergely, Hajdu, Martin Hällsten, Lasse Folke Henriksen, Are Skeie Hermansen, Feng Hou, Jiwook Jung, Tali Kristal, Aleksandra Kanjuo-Mrčela, Joe King, Naomi Kodama, Alena Krizkova, Zoltán Lippényi, Silvia Maja Melzer, Eunmi Mun, Andrew Penner, Trond Petersen, Andreja Poje, Anthony Rainey, Mirna Safi, Max Thaning, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Zaibu Tufail. 2020. “Rising between Workplace Inequalities in High Income Countries.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117(17):9277-9283.

Mun, Eunmi and Jiwook Jung. 2018. “Policy Generosity, Employer Heterogeneity, and Women’s Employment Opportunities: The Welfare State Paradox Reexamined.” American Sociological Review 83(3):509-535.

Mun, Eunmi and Jiwook Jung. 2018. “Change above the Glass Ceiling: Corporate Social Responsibility and Gender Diversity in Japanese Firms.” Administrative Science Quarterly 63(2):409-440

Mun, Eunmi. 2016. “Negative Compliance as an Organizational Response to Legal Pressures: The Case of Japanese Equal Employment Opportunity Law.” Social Forces 94(4):1409-37. (Lead article)

Courses

LER 590CER Comparative Employment Relations Systems
LER 591 Employment Relations Systems
LER 570 Leadership for HR Professionals
LER 590RWO Research in Work and Organizations

Download CV