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.

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Consuelo Amat (Ph.D., Political Science, Yale)

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

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

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


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

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, 2018 – 19

September 3, 9:30 am – Copenhagen Business School

Week of November 12 – University of San Andreas, Buenos Aires

November 29, 12 – 1:30 – Wharton School of Management, University of Pennsylvania