News and Presentations

2018 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.

2018 Summer Institute participants have been announced. You can review the participant list here.

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Ling Han (Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, San Diego)

Julia Kirch Kirkegaard (Ph.D., Technical University of Denmark)

Jean Lin (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago)

Current Students on the Market

Swethaa Ballakrishnen, Sociology



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)

Related Organizations and Partners

Santa Fe Institute

Social Science Research Council

Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society


Interesting Sites for News and Debates

Crooked Timber

Brain Pickings

Deliberately Considered

Speaking Engagements, 2017 – 18

September 5, 17:00 – University of Bordeaux, EPIP Conference, Amphi Duguit

September 11, 9:30 am – WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

February 23 – Marshall School of Business, USC

March 22 – 24 – Organizing for Resilience, LAEMOS Conference, IAE Business School, Buenos Aires, Argentina

April 23 – Price School of Public Policy, USC