Research interests

Information communication technologies (ICTs), mobile technologies, social networks and capital, qualitative methods, design work and design thinking, applied social research


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles and Books

Ladner, S. (2015). “Managing The Private-Sector Research Project,” In Dingwall, R. (ed.). Sage Handbook of Research Management. Sage: London

Ladner, S. (2014). Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in The Private Sector. Leftcoast Press: Thousand Oaks, California.

Ladner, S. (2009). “‘Agency Time’: A case study of the postindustrial timescape and its impact on the domestic sphere.” Time and Society. Vol 18. No. 2/3.

Ladner, S. (2008). “Laptops in the Living Room: Mobile Technologies and the Divide Between Private time and Work Time.” Canadian Journal of Communication. Vol. 33. No. 3. October 2008.

Refereed Book Chapters    Ladner, S. (2008). “Watching the Web: An Ontological and Epistemological Critique of Web-traffic Measurement.” In Jansen, J., Spink, A. and Taksa, I. (eds.). Handbook of Log File Analysis. Idea Group: Hersey Pennsylvannia.

Spotton Visano, B., Ladner, S., Tabussam, A., Zhang, X. (2003). “Macroeconomic Perspectives of the Digital Divide.” In Sciadas, V. (ed.).  Monitoring the Digital Divide and Beyond. United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): Ottawa.


Refereed Conference Presentations

Ladner, S. (2012). “Digital Time: The Smartphone, Digital Calendars and Temporal Transformation.” Paper presented at the Canadian Communication Association Annual Meeting. University of Waterloo. Waterloo, Ontario. May 26 – June 7, 2012.

Ladner, S. (2012).“Ethnographic Temporality: Using Time-based Data in Product Renewal”. Paper presented at the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference. Savannah: Oct. 12-13.

Ladner, S. (2012). “Changing Time: Digital calendars, smartphones and temporal transformation.” Paper presented at the Theorizing The Web Conference. University of Maryland. April 12-14.

Ladner, S., Rogers, S., and Middleton, C. (2012). “Why are you always on your phone?” The use of smartphones to manage work and domestic responsibilities.” Paper presented at the Women and Families Researchers’ Network Conference. New York City: June 12-14.

Ladner, S. (2011). “Improving qualitative research in the private sector.” Paper presented at the 28th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference. Wilfred Laurier University. Brantford, Ontario.  May 12-14.

Ladner, S. (2010). “Designing better management: a call for socio-cultural frames in design thinking.” Paper presented at Convergence: Management + Design Conference. Case Western University. Cleveland: June 18-20.

Ladner, S. (2010). “The Transformation of time among design workers” Presentation to NXNEi (North by Northeast Interactive) Conference. Toronto: June 16.

Ladner, S. (2009). “’Where do I hide my time?’: Time reckoning, technology, and resistance among Web workers.” Paper presented at the 27th International Labour Process Conference. Edinburgh: April 6-8.

Ladner, S. (2009). “Billable Hours: Time reckoning, technology and labour market conditions.” Paper presented at New Voices in Labour Conference. Brock University: March 20-21.

Ladner. S. (2008). “Work/Life balance in high-technology workplaces.” Toronto Tech Week. Toronto: September 24, 2008.

Ladner, S.  (2008). “Online reputation management and monitoring.” MESH08: Canada’s Professional Web Conference. Toronto: May 22, 2008.

Milan, M. and Ladner, S. (2007). “Backcasting: How I learned to stop predicting, a methodological approach.” Paper presented at the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Las Vegas Nevada. March 22-26, 2007.

Anderson, K. and Ladner, S. (2006). “Transforming large lecture courses: report on a pilot study at York University.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. University of Toronto: Toronto. June 2006.

Anderson, K., Ladner, Sam and Dawson, Peter. (2006). “Pedagogy, environment and technology: Re-thinking introductory teaching and learning.” Paper presented at the TEL@York. York University: Toronto. May 2006.

Ladner, S. and Oliver, M. (2005). “Creating community in the classroom.” Paper presented at the Annual TA Day Conference. York University: Toronto. September 2006.

Ladner, S. (2003). “The New Economy and labour consciousness in technology-related work.” Paper presented at Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association Annual Meeting. Dalhousie University: Halifax. June 2003.

Ladner, S. (2000). “Online journalists in Canada: Exploring their working lives.” Paper presented at Power, Democracy and Communication Academic Conference. Simon Fraser University: Vancouver. October 2000.


Invited Lectures

2013. Ethnographic research and its use in product design. Master’s of Design Ethnography. University of Dundee, Scotland. April 13, 2013.

2011. Researching Culture. Master’s of Design graduate class. Ontario College of Art and Design University. October 7, 2011.

2011. Mobile Work Life: Preliminary findings from a mobile technology study. Social Media Breakfast. Ottawa. Sept. 7.

2011. Designing within Organizations. Master’s of Design graduate class. Ontario College of Art and Design University. March 23.

2011. Researching Culture. Master’s of Design graduate class. Ontario College of Art and Design University. March 17.

2010. Creating Community in the Classroom. Master’s of Design graduate class. Ontario College of Art and Design University. Sept. 8.

2010. Using Surveys in Design. Master’s of Design graduate class. Ontario College of Art and Design University. October 14.

2010. Social Network Technologies: Tools for Social Change. Introduction to Sociology. Sociology Department, York University. July 14.

2010. Open to New Worlds: Product Development, Ethnography, and Creativity. Master’s of Business Administration Product Design Class. Schulich School of Business, York University. May 19.

2010. Understanding the Social in Social Media. Social Media Breakfast. Ottawa. April 21.


Professional and Trade Publications

Ladner, S. (2011). “Canadian Businesses Need Our Social Science PhDs.” University Affairs. April 4.

Ladner, S. (2010). “The Essence of Interaction Design: A Call for Consistency.” Interactions: An ACM Journal. March/April.

Ladner, S. (2009). “Organizational Culture 101: A Practical How-To For Interaction Designers.” An Interaction Design Blog. Available online:

Research Experience

Principal UX Researcher, Amazon

01/16 to present

  • Directing research for a confidential new product
  • Designing and conducting ethnography, in-depth interviews, surveys, analytics
  • Coaching, mentoring, and managing a research team

Senior Researcher, Microsoft

11/12 to 01/16

  • Conducting ethnographic field research among early adopter users
  • Monitoring and analyzing early-stage socio-cultural behaviors that have implications for technology use and software design
  • Mentoring  junior researchers on trend analysis, foresight methods, and ethnographic research
  • Facilitating workshops for designers, developers and program managers on the implications of socio-cultural change
  • Authoring point-of-view documents and literature reviews on key technological shifts
  • Research design, analysis, and report writing

Postdoctoral Fellow

The Mobile Work Life Project

Ryerson University Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management 03/11 to present

  • Managing a mixed-method research project on mobile technology and work/life balance under Dr. Catherine Middleton
  • Directed a team of 4 research assistants
  • Recruited 29 participants for in-depth interviewing
  • Designed interview guide, Nvivo database, coding protocol and publication plan
  • Created focused research questions for purposes of qualitative analysis

Founder, Principal Researcher
Copernicus Consulting Group Inc. 01/09 to 11/12

  • Designed and conducted qualitative and quantitative research studies focusing on technological and socio-cultural change
  • Managed contract researchers
  • Personally responsible for landing over $250,000 in research contracts
  • Blogging and social media dissemination of research findings

Director, Consumer Insights
Blast Radius Inc. 01/08 to 06/08

  • Directed all technology and cultural research for interaction design
  • Designed, conducted and analyzed online surveys, in-depth interviewing and ethnographic observation

Director, Insight and Planning
Critical Mass Inc., 06/05 to 02/07

  • Responsible for cultural and social research for optimizing interactive technologies
  • Directed team four qualitative and quantitative analysts
  • Mentored junior analysts on research methodology and presentation skills

Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity 10/01 to 09/02

  • Oversaw Canadian arm of World Economic Forum’s international competitiveness survey
  • Managed annual reports and white paper publications
  • Literature reviews of technology and innovation policy
  • Provided mentorship and guidance to intern-researchers

Research Assistant
Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology, SFU 01/00 to 11/00

  • Research administration
  • Qualitative research and literature reviews under Director Dr. Richard Smith


Doctor of Philosophy, Dept. of Sociology
York University ’02 to ‘08

  • “Agency time: a study of time reckoning in the organization of work in the new economy”
    Supervisor: Professor Pat Armstrong
  • Qualitative study of time-tracking software use among Web design workers

Master of Arts, School of Communication
Simon Fraser University ’99 to ‘01

  • “Dot-com Stories: Online Journalists Talk About Their Work”
    Supervisor Professor Richard Smith
  • Qualitative study of technological change and impact of work in journalism

Bachelor of Journalism (Online focus)
University of King’s College ’96 to ‘97

  • Second graduating class with new media training


Bachelor of Arts, International Relations
University of British Columbia ’90 to ‘94


University Teaching

Course Director / Lecturer
Ryerson University, Dept.of Sociology
Research Design and Qualitative Methods
Fall 2008


Course Director / Lecturer
McMaster University, Dept. of Labour Studies
Labour Studies 1C03
Winter 2008
Fall 2008


Course Director / Lecturer
York University, Dept. of Sociology
Introductory Sociology
Fall 2007

Course Director / Lecturer
York University, Dept. of Sociology
Sociology of Work and Industry
Fall 2007

Course director / Lecturer
York University, Dept. of Sociology
Introductory Sociology
Winter 2006




Honours and Awards

Postdoctoral Fellowship

2011-2012 $32,000


Ontario Graduate Scholarship

2005-2006 $15,000


CanWest Global Graduate Fellowship in Communications

2000-2001 $4,000


Simon Fraser University

Graduate Fellowship

2000-2001 $3,500




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.