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Chapter 25 “Let a hundred flowers blossom”: The cross-fertilization of organization studies at Stanford

Stanford's Organization Theory Renaissance, 1970–2000

ISBN: 978-1-84950-930-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-931-2

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 25 March 2010


When I arrived at Stanford in the fall of 1993, the university was a thriving site of organizational research. The department of sociology served as a sort of epicenter, with workshops on organizational ecology (led by Mike Hannan), organizations in the world polity (John Meyer and Francisco “Chiqui” Ramirez), and healthcare organizations (Dick Scott). In the school of education, Jim March was intriguing a new generation of students with his puzzles and wisdom. In addition to Mike Hannan's joint appointment, the Graduate School of Business featured such luminaries as Jeff Pfeffer, Joanne Martin, Jim Baron, Joel Podolny, and Bill Barnett. Slightly further afield, Ray Leavitt and Michael Fehling had begun to train engineers to think about organizational issues, as they developed computer simulations with nuanced attention to cognitive and decision-making processes. Steve Barley would join (what was then) the department of industrial engineering in 1994 and Mark Granovetter would join the department of sociology in 1995, adding fresh insights from the sociology of work and economic sociology, respectively, to what was already a firm foundation for organization studies. The umbrella organization that linked many of these efforts was the Stanford Consortium on Organizational Research (SCOR), which had been guided by Dick Scott's able leadership since 1988 and hosted an annual organizations conference at the beautiful Asilomar retreat in Monterey, California.


Ruef, M. (2010), "Chapter 25 “Let a hundred flowers blossom”: The cross-fertilization of organization studies at Stanford", Bird Schoonhoven, C. and Dobbin, F. (Ed.) Stanford's Organization Theory Renaissance, 1970–2000 (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 387-393.



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