Monday, April 6, 2015

David Johnson, University of South Florida

The Physique Era: Building and Consolidating a Gay Consumer Market, 1951-1967

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

In 1951, Bob Mizer launched Physique Pictorial, the first magazine targeting a gay audience.  Soon physique magazines were the central node of a vast gay commercial network of photographers, artists, booksellers, and other mail-order businesses. By 1967, a gay mail-order conglomerate named DSI had the power to win a major censorship battle with federal prosecutors.  I examine how these entrepreneurs, by identifying and cultivating a gay market, while fighting the forces of censorship, played a key role in promoting the formation of an increasingly self-conscious and visible gay male community.  Combining the approaches of the history of sexuality and the history of capitalism, I examine the relationship between the emergence of a gay market and a gay movement, and, more broadly, the complicated relationship between consumer culture, identity formation, and political activism.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Corey Fields, Stanford University

To Whom Are We Beholden?: Identity, Interests, and Organizing among African American Republicans

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

African-American Republicans are rare in both the black and Republican communities. Only about 5% of African Americans identify as Republican, and estimates suggest that African Americans represent only 3% of self-identified Republicans. Given their small absolute numbers, general agreement on most policy issues, and shared unique status, one might imagine that African-American Republicans would have little trouble organizing. However, the opposite is the case. This paper draws on ethnographic observations and interviews with African-American Republican activists to explore their limited organizing capacity. The findings show how differences in their approaches to thinking about race and their framing of conservative social policy prevent African American Republicans from forming stable, long-term organizations. The paper draws on multiple cases of organizational failure to explore how conflict over black interests is reflected in basic organizational tasks like defining audiences, developing organizational missions, and determining tactics. I contend that fights about operations are actually manifestations of competing beliefs about the role of black racial identity in the political arena. Because these underlying issues of identity are never addressed, African-American Republicans are rarely able to resolve their conflicts.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Love Börjeson, SCANCOR Postdoctoral Fellow

Change and Critical Responses – Changing Practice and Meta-Practice in Professional Service Firms

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

The scholarly proclaimed truce between professionals and managers in professional knowledge firms (PSFs) is presently being threatened by changes at a societal level, calling for coordination superordinate to the single professions. The issue of managing professionals in PSFs consequently needs to be re-addressed. We do so by using correspondence analysis to explore interrelatedness between change initiatives and critical attitudes in response to these changes, in an interview-based case study. Drawing on our findings and by distinguishing between practice and meta-practice, we can tentatively model responses and outcomes of change initiatives in a PSFs. Our model suggests that managers can successfully change meta-practice without particular consideration of the professionals in the firm, but also that professionals can successfully change practice in an unassuming and “practice-like” fashion: with actions rather than with words. Managers who wish to change practice, however, need to negotiate the content, scope and purpose of the change initiative with the professionals in the firm.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Brandy Aven, Carnegie-Mellon University

Returns to Structural Complementarity: Roles in Entrepreneurial Teams

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

How do corporate founding teams cope with weak and unreliable institutional support for entrepreneurship? We argue that diversity in brokerage roles among the partners of a founding team provides complementary access to resources and an effective coping strategy within uncertain economic environments. Our findings show that brokerage role diversity in new venture teams creates a competitive advantage in the mobilization of investor capital over more relationally uniform teams. We investigate the salience of entrepreneurial team composition for organizational emergence in the exemplary historical setting of the transition economy in late imperial Russia (1869-1913). Supporting evidence comes from the corporate charters of 2,446 founding teams of large-scale industrial enterprises and the affiliation networks of 10,113 individual business partners engaged in these founding teams.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Roberto M. Fernandez, MIT

Does Competition Drive Out Discrimination?

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Economic theory suggests that competitive market pressures should drive out discrimination (Becker 1957). In the labor market context, this means that employers recruiting in labor market conditions where jobs are difficult to fill should be more likely to look past any prejudices they may harbor than when jobs are easier to fill. While there is much evidence that employers discriminate in screening for employment, no empirical studies have been marshalled to test whether such discrimination is lessened when candidates are scarce. We test this proposition using unique data on hiring into 491 firms in the high tech sector during the 2008-2012 time period. We find evidence that employers disfavor nonwhite candidates, even after controlling for their qualifications and other candidate characteristics. We find evidence of discrimination against women, but only in the case of male-typed IT/Engineering jobs. Consistent with economic theory, the observed preference for whites is lessened for most groups when market competition for candidates is high. However, African American males and females being considered in IT/Engineering jobs constitute exceptions to this pattern. In these two cases, candidate shortages do not ameliorate employers’ biases.

Keywords: Discrimination, race inequality, gender inequality, hiring, screening, labor queues