His research looks at how individuals relate to their work, their occupations, and the organizations they belong to. He examines more specifically the practices people engage in at work that help them sustain their chosen cultures or identities. In doing so, his research contributes to a better understanding of how these cultures and identities come to be and manifest themselves. Field settings for these inquiries have included aeronautics factory workshops, airport security teams, MBA classrooms, and whole-body donation programs.
Michel's research has appeared in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Ethnography, Organization Science, Social Science & Medicine, and Sociologie du Travail. He also is the author of two monographs: an ethnography of the Harvard Business School titled Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education (also available in French: L'Ecole des Patrons) and a study of illegal factory production titled Moral Gray Zones: Side Productions, Identity, and Regulation in an Aeronautic Plant. His work was recognized by BU's Slatkin Family Fund award, NYU's Herman E. Krooss outstanding dissertation award, NYU's David M. Graifman Memorial award and the Academy of Management's Saroj Parasuraman Award for outstanding publication on gender and diversity. He also is a recipient of the Donald & Valerie Ruth Honerkamp fellowship, a Susilo fellowship, and a Marvin Bower fellowship. He currently serves as a Senior Editor at Organization Science.
Michel earned a joint Ph.D. in management from New York University and in sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). He holds a M.A. in economics from the Sorbonne and a M.P.A. from Harvard. After growing up in France and previously working there as a consultant (focusing on labor issues), he remains affiliated as a Research Fellow with the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations in Paris. He also serves on the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth to help all branches of state government develop cultures that allow all youth to thrive.