Kristian Braekkan


I have been teaching and conducting research at Gustavus since the fall of 2010 after having earned my Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. My research seeks to elucidate the employment relationship by way of psychological contracts. Recent publications have focused on perceptions of breach/violations, implications of content differences upon employment expectations and perceived obligations, and the impact of third-party representation.

I also work on projects that examine the impact of labor rights and gender (in)equality on a number of different outcomes. I am particularly interested in the changing notions of labor rights under neoliberalism. I also examine issues of alienation and exploitation in the employment relationship - an area in which I have recently published conceptual articles and a forthcoming article on exploitation by economic necessity.

My teaching is to a great extent influenced by dialectic inquiries. Consistent with the writings of one of my main intellectual influences, Joseph Dietzgen, my teaching methods emphasize that reality is a single entity embracing all observable phenomena, past, present and future, where reality is infinite, having no beginning or end, and constantly changing. This philosophy assumes that the universe and all things in it consist of transformations of matter, which take place simultaneously and consecutively in space and time. I therefore emphasize through my own intellectual development and through my pedagogical endeavors that to solve for “the answer” is a futile and even harmful effort. Instead, I try to focus on mechanisms, processes, and change as opposed to rigid laws and predictions when working with students on issues relating to social behaviors.

When not working, I enjoy reading, spending time with my pets (1 dog and 4 cats), being outdoors, and listening to music. I spend quite a bit of time reading historical and philosophical books, particularly relating to economic systems, post-WWII events, and international relations. I particularly enjoy Norwegian authors Knut Hamsun, Jens Bjørneboe, Dag Solstad, and Ingvar Ambjørnsen. Additionally, I spend more time than necessary reading mystery novels and other literature of no particular merit.


Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) 2010

Courses Taught


E/M-350 (Human Resource Management), E/M-353 (Operations Management), E/M-365 (Strategic Management), and GWS-224 (Staying Alive)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
E/M-365Strategic Management112014/FA, 2014/SP, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2012/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/FA
E/M-351Globalizatn/Int'l Orgs52014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
E/M-353Operations Management42014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/SP
FTS-100FTS:Workplace Justice32014/FA, 2013/FA, and 2012/FA
E/M-261Organizational Behavior32014/SP, 2013/SP, and 2012/SP
POL-351Globalizatn/Int'l Orgs12014/FA
GWS-224Staying Alive12014/SP
E/M-344ST:Quality Mgmt12012/FA
E/M-268Career Exploration12012/JN
E/M-350Human Resource Management12011/SP