Monday, 12 January 2015

Mitchell Stevens - Stanford University

The Kaleidoscope: How US Universities See the World

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

Universities are constitutionally structured around the study of abstractions, not particulars.  But because particulars are so often implicated in academic production — intellectually, politically, financially, and even morally — universities routinely make space for particularistic inquiry.  I provide a synthetic overview of how US universities have organized the study of particular world regions at their arts-and-sciences cores, giving particular attention to how current academic production arrangements maintain a dynamic, cacophonous, and incoherent social science of world regions.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Marc Schneiberg - Reed College

Institutional heterogeneity in American finance: Community bank and credit union effects on communities and local economies during the Great Recession

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

Scholars of the contemporary capitalism in the US focus, with good reason, on the centrality of financialization and three related developments within American finance: deregulation, the concentration of assets and financial flows within a handful of giant global banking corporations, and the shift from traditional to market-based banking grounded in securitization, derivatives transactions and the high volume production of loans and new financial instruments.  Yet in their haste to identify new organizational tendencies, scholars have attended less, if at all, to the role that alternative, cooperative and community based banks might play in fostering economic renewal and community resilience, even in this neoliberal era.  To redress this neglect, I propose a study of the effects of community banks and credit unions on communities and local economies during the Great Recession. Preliminary analyses using county level data suggest that credit unions and especially community banks continue to play a substantial role in providing banking services in many parts of the country, warranting further inquiry into the effects of these forms on specific outcomes within local economies: new business formations, the size and growth of the small business sector, income inequality, and the surge and recovery of unemployment from 2006 to 2013.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Kate Kellogg - MIT Sloan School of Management

Subordinate Two-Step Leverage and Implementation of Reform Related to the Affordable Care Act in Two US Hospitals

Co-sponsored with The Center for Work, Technology & Organization (WTO)

Time and Location: 12:00 noon lunch seminar at Spilker 232

Prior research on healthcare, social movements and organizations has shown that implementing reform in professional organizations is difficult because professionals often resist reforms that challenge their profressional expertise, identity and jurisdictional control over expert work. While current theory of reform targeting professionals shows that it can be accomplished when adminsitrators directly control the actions of professional or when they hire advocates with reform expertise, my 2-year comparative ethnograpic study of implementation of a reform related to the Affordable Care Act in two US hospitals demonstrates that reform can also be accomplished when administrators indirectly control the actions of targeted professionals by enlisting existing lower-status workers to engage in upward influence with these targeted professionals through a process I call subordinate two-step leverage. I use the concept of two-step leverage to explain how administrators can gain leverage over the target professionals by enlisting the help of subordinate professionals who have less formal power than the target professionals but sufficient informal power to successfully accomplish upward influence with these target professionals. I also extend our understanding of the concept of two-step leverage by demonstrating how two-step leverage works in situations where the initiating party A engages a third party C who is subordinate to both the initiating party A and the targeted party B. I find that in order for two-step leverage to be successful in such situations, two-step leverage involves not only party A enlisting the help of third party C, but also party A allowing third party C members to mobilize with one another for upward influence, and party A reciprocating and channeling third party C members' upward influence attempts. These findings have implications for research on reform implementation, professions, and political processes inside organizations.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Shon Hiatt - USC Marshall School of Business

Organizational Responses to Public and Private Politics: An Analysis of Climate Change Activists and US Oil and Gas Firms

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

We explore how activists’ public and private politics elicit different organizational responses. Using data on U.S. petroleum companies from 1982-2010, we investigate how climate change activists serving as witnesses at Congressional hearings and engaging in firm protests influenced firms’ internal and external responses. We find that public politics induced internally focused technical actions while private politics induced externally focused institutional actions. The results suggest that activists can have a significant impact on firm behavior by instilling regulatory uncertainty in the early phases of the policymaking process. We discuss the implications of our study for social movement research, organization theory, and nonmarket strategy.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Mary Ann Glynn - Boston College


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

On April 15, 2013, two bombs detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring over 260 people.  From the start, the greater Boston community responded with defiance, pride, and a collective response rallied by the cry of “Boston Strong.” We sought to discover what made Boston strong, focusing on the use of social media and the emergence of an imagined community, i.e., a large-scale collective of individuals “linked primarily by common identities but minimally by networks of directly interpersonal relationships”(Anderson 1983: 96).  We gathered data from real-time online exchanges on the microblogging website Twitter, supplemented by data from more traditional sources (archives, interviews, and observations). Our analyses of thousands of #BostonStrong tweets revealed an imagined community anchored by collective affect and collective identity, bolstered by the appropriation of cultural institutions and traditions specific to Boston. We use our empirical findings to speak to how, in the wake of terror, the wide-reaching imagined community responded to tragedy, got strong, and resiled.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Lori Qingyuan Yue - USC Marshall School of Business

Community Constraints on the Efficacy of Elite Mobilization: The Issues of Currency Substitutes During the Panic of 1907

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

Organizing collective action to secure support from local communities provides a source of power for elites to protect their interests, but community structures constrain the ability of elites to translate their cohesion into this power. Building on field theory, I argue that elites are not necessarily a dominant group that shapes the order of a field, but may be just one element in several larger fields. Elites’ power is not static or self-perpetuating but changing and dynamic. There are situations in which elites are forced into movement-like struggles to mobilize support from their community. The success of elites’ mobilization is affected by cultural and structural factors that shape the collective meaning of supporting elites’ actions and the identities that are formed in doing so. I find broad support for these propositions in a study of the issues of small denomination currency substitutes in 145 U.S. cities during the Panic of 1907. Small denomination currency substitutes were more likely to be issued in places where elite cohesion was high, economic inequality was low, religious homogeneity was high, and more neighboring communities had adopted currency substitutes. I discuss the contributions of this paper to elite studies, the social movement literature, and the sociology of money.