News and Presentations

2019 CASBS Summer Institute: Organizations and Their Effectiveness 

Organizations are all around us: not just firms, plants, and work groups, but also hospitals, schools, and governments. Furthermore, construing an “organization” as something that can be first organized and then managed, one can also include certain contractual relationships—not only between firms (such as some hand-in-glove supply relationships, joint ventures, and alliances) but also between a government and a firm (such as some regulatory relationships and public-private partnerships). Indeed, noting that the examples above are all opportunities to collaborate, one can move beyond formal organization charts and formal contracts to include communities, networks, and other informal institutions as organizations.

If organizational effectiveness is so important, one might think that academics would be studying the issue actively. To some extent, this is true, but the field is badly fragmented: different disciplines operate mostly in isolation; many professional schools focus on only their own kind of organization (e.g., hospitals, schools, public agencies); social science departments often regard organizational effectiveness as outside their purview; and doctoral training in professional schools often lacks the depth available in social-science departments. The collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of the CASBS Summer Institute, run by co-directors Bob Gibbons (MIT) and Woody Powell (Stanford), provides an important opportunity to integrate, broaden, and deepen the study of organizations and their effectiveness outside of such traditional methodological and institutional constraints.

To learn more about the CASBS Summer Institute fellowship click here. The 2019 syllabus is also available for your review.

The 2019 Summer Institute participants are listed here.

Students and Postdoctoral Fellows on the Job Market

Consuelo Amat (Ph.D., Political Science, Yale). Consuelo Amat is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and a Senior Research Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Her research interests include state repression, social movements, political violence, and the development of civil society in authoritarian regimes, with a focus on Latin America. Her personal website is:

Postdoctoral Fellows

Anders Krabbe (Ph.D., Management, University of Southern Denmark)

Wei Luo (Ph.D., Sociology, Yale)

Wenjuan Zheng (Ph.D., Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center)


Powell and Sandholtz on Amphibious Entrepreneurs (Click Here)

The Civic Life of Cities (Click Here)

The Problem of Emergence (Watch YouTube Video – Click Here)

Why do life science cluster form in some regions and not others? University of Hamburg (Watch Video – Click Here)

Social Media and Social Change, London School of Economics (Watch Video – Click Here)

Related Organizations and Partners

Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

Santa Fe Institute

Social Science Research Council


Speaking Engagements, 2019 – 20

April 3:  Columbia University, Graduate School of Business

April 7: Yale University

May 18: University of Chicago

August 31: Alto University, Helsinki