Carnegie goes to California: Advancing and Celebrating the Work of James G. March

ISBN: 978-1-80043-979-5, eISBN: 978-1-80043-978-8

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 26 October 2021


(2021), "Prelims", Beckman, C.M. (Ed.) Carnegie goes to California: Advancing and Celebrating the Work of James G. March (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 76), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xxi.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited

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Series Editor: Michael Lounsbury

Recent Volumes:

Volume 53: Structure, Content and Meaning of Organizational Networks: Extending Network Thinking
Volume 54A: Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions
Volume 54B: Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions
Volume 55: Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-market Strategy
Volume 56: Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-market Strategy
Volume 57: Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
Volume 58: Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority
Volume 59: The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory
Volume 60: Race, Organizations, and the Organizing Process
Volume 61: Routine Dynamics in Action
Volume 62: Thinking Infrastructures
Volume 63: The Contested Moralities of Markets
Volume 64: Managing Inter-organizational Collaborations: Process Views
Volume 65A: Microfoundations of Institutions
Volume 65B: Microfoundations of Institutions
Volume 66: Theorizing the Sharing Economy: Variety and Trajectories of New Forms of Organizing
Volume 67: Tensions and paradoxes in temporary organizing
Volume 68: Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Volume 69: Organizational Hybridity: Perspectives, Processes, Promises
Volume 70: On Practice and Institution: Theorizing the Interface
Volume 71: On Practice and Institution: New Empirical Directions
Volume 72: Organizational Imaginaries: Tempering Capitalism and tending to communities through cooperatives and collectivist democracy
Volume 73A: Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Learning from Belief and Science
Volume 73B: Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Investigating Social Structures and Human Expression
Volume 74: Worlds of Rankings
Volume 75: Organizing Creativity in the Innovation Journey
Volume 76: Carnegie goes to California: Advancing and Celebrating the Work of James G. March

Series Editor


Series Editor

Michael Lounsbury

Professor of Strategic Management & Organization

Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

University of Alberta School of Business

RSO Advisory Board

  • Howard E. Aldrich, University of North Carolina, USA

  • Shaz Ansari, Cambridge University, UK

  • Silvia Dorado Banacloche, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA

  • Christine Beckman, University of Southern California, USA

  • Marya Besharov, Oxford University, UK

  • Eva Boxenbaum, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

  • Ed Carberry, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA

  • Lisa Cohen, McGill University, Canada

  • Jeannette Colyvas, Northwestern University, USA

  • Erica Coslor, University of Melbourne, Australia

  • Gerald F. Davis, University of Michigan, USA

  • Rich Dejordy, California State University, USA

  • Rodolphe Durand, HEC Paris, France

  • Fabrizio Ferraro, IESE Business School, Spain

  • Peer Fiss, University of Southern California, USA

  • Mary Ann Glynn, Boston College, USA

  • Nina Granqvist, Aalto University School of Business, Finland

  • Royston Greenwood, University of Alberta, Canada

  • Stine Grodal, Northeastern University, USA

  • Markus A. Hoellerer, University of New South Wales, Australia

  • Ruthanne Huising, Emlyon Business School, France

  • Candace Jones, University of Edinburgh, UK

  • Sarah Kaplan, University of Toronto, Canada

  • Brayden G. King, Northwestern University, USA

  • Matthew S. Kraatz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

  • Tom Lawrence, Oxford University, UK

  • Xiaowei Rose Luo, Insead, France

  • Johanna Mair, Hertie School, Germany

  • Christopher Marquis, Cornell University, USA

  • Renate Meyer, Vienna University, Austria

  • William Ocasio, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

  • Nelson Phillips, Imperial College London, UK

  • Prateek Raj, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India

  • Marc Schneiberg, Reed College, USA

  • Marc-David Seidel, University of British Columbia, Canada

  • Paul Spee, University of Queensland, Australia

  • Paul Tracey, Cambridge University, UK

  • Kerstin Sahlin, Uppsala University, Sweden

  • Sarah Soule, Stanford University, USA

  • Eero Vaara, University of Oxford, UK

  • Marc Ventresca, University of Oxford, UK

  • Maxim Voronov, York University, Canada

  • Filippo Carlo Wezel USI Lugano, Switzerland

  • Melissa Wooten, Rutgers University, USA

  • April Wright, University of Queensland, Australia

  • Meng Zhao, Nanyang Business School & Renmin University, China

  • Enying Zheng, Peking University, China

  • Tammar B. Zilber, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

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University of Southern California, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2021

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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-80043-979-5 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-978-8 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-980-1 (Epub)

ISSN: 0733-558X (Series)

Dedication Page

To Jim and his students – past, present and future


List of Figures and Images xi
List of Tables xiii
List of Contributors xv
About the Contributors xvi
Foreword xix
Alternatives and Complements to Rationality
Christine M. Beckman 3
PART I: Building on the Post-1970 Legacy of James G. March
Marching to the Sea: Little Ideas and Small Innovations in the Evolution of Amphibious Operations
Mie Augier and Sean F. X. Barrett 21
Management Systems for Exploration and Exploitation
M. Diane Burton and Charles A. O’Reilly III 53
Adaptive Rationality, Garbage Cans, and the Policy Process
Scott C. Ganz 79
“Fools” with Impossible Goals: Mobilizing March’s Technology of Foolishness to Tackle Grand Challenges
Yanfei Hu and Claus Rerup 97
The Variance of Variance
Chengwei Liu and Chia-Jung Tsay 129
Truth, Beauty, and Justice in Models of Social Action
Mark J. Zbaracki, Lee Watkiss, Cameron McAlpine and Julian Barg 159
The Logic of Appropriateness – A Central Concept in Institutional Theory
Tom Christensen and Per Lægreid 179
Bringing the Logic of Appropriateness into the Lab: An Experimental Study of Behavior and Cognition
Daniel A. Newark and Markus C. Becker 201
PART II: Reflections on Jim March as a Teacher and Educator
James March’s Lessons on Teaching
Thierry Weil 233
A Few Notes on Jim March as a Mentor
Mie Augier 245
A Personal Reflection on My Long Relationship with Jim March
Zur Shapira 249
Learning About Scholarship and Being a Scholar: The Courage of Foolishness
Sim B. Sitkin 255
Pictures At An Exhibition
Daniel A. Newark 261
Index 303

List of Figures and Images

Introduction Photo of James G. March, January 22, 2017, Palo Alto, California © Marianna Cook 2017 1
Fig. 2.1 Example Product Portfolio Map 64
Fig. 2.2 The Relationship between Mechanistic Management Systems and Project Performance for Explore and Exploit Projects 71
Fig. 2.3 The Relationship between Monitoring and Project Performance for Explore and Exploit Projects 73
Fig. 3.1 Coupled Issues and Fluid Participation 89
Fig. 3.2 Coupled Issues and Static Participation 90
Fig. 3.3 Uncoupled Issues and Fluid Participation 91
Fig. 3.4 Alternative Assumptions 92
Fig. 3.5 Hybrid Institutions 93
Fig. 4.1 A Process Model of Mobilizing Irrationality and Foolishness in OWIGs to Tackle Guarded Societal Institutions 109
Fig. 4.2 Global Meat Production 110
Appendix 1 Kneeling Animals – Still Images from PETA’s Super Bowl ad “Don’t Stand for Injustice” 125
Appendix 3 Examples of Human Bodies in PETA Campaigns 127
Fig. 5.1 How (A) Average Skill, (B) Variance in Skill, and (C) Improvement Ratio Among Survivors Vary With Selection Rounds 137
Fig. 5.2 Risk Taken as a Function of Cumulated Resources for Two Fixed-focus (Survival and Aspiration) Models of Variable Risk. Aspiration Level is Assumed to Be a Resource Level of 30 In This Illustration 140
Fig. 5.3 Two Versions of the Impact of Luck on Future Performance Regressions to the Mean 143
Fig. 5.4 Performances of Firms with CEOs Featured in Barron’s Top CEO Lists 145
Fig. 5.5 The Results of a Reanalysis of March and Shapira’s (1992) Model 147
Photo of James G. March, Stanford School of Business 253
Conclusion Abstract/Exhibition Map 261

List of Tables

Table 1.1 Marchian Themes in US Amphibious Operations History 23
Table 2.1 Descriptive Statistics and Pairwise Correlations 69
Table 2.2 OLS Regression: Project Performance as a Function of Management System (Aggregate Scale) 70
Table 2.3 OLS Regression Results: Project Performance as a Function of Management System (Components). 72
Table 3.1 Example of Xt 84
Appendix 2 Data Utilized to Develop the Illustrative Case 126
Table 5.1 Standard Predictions versus Chance Models 133
Table 5.2 Our Key Extensions of the March and Shapira (1992) Model 149
Table 8.1 Ratings and Predictions 212
Table 8.2 Experimental Results 218
Table 8.3 Conceptual Categories from Qualitative Analysis 220
Table 8.4 Average Number of Mentions Per Person in Each Condition of Money, Moral Value or Characteristic, Emotion, Other Person, and Ambivalence 221

List of Contributors

Mie Augier Naval Postgraduate School, USA
Julian Barg Western University, Canada
Sean F. X. Barrett US Marine Corps, USA
Markus C. Becker University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Christine M. Beckman University of Southern California, USA
Tom Christensen University of Oslo, Norway
M. Diane Burton Cornell University, USA
Scott C. Ganz Georgia Institute of Technology, and American Enterprise Institute, USA
Yanfei Hu University of Surrey, UK
Per Lægreid University of Bergen, Norway
Chengwei Liu ESMT Berlin, Germany
Cameron McAlpine Western University, Canada
Daniel A. Newark HEC Paris, France
Charles A. O’Reilly Stanford University, USA
Claus Rerup Frankfurt School of Finance and Management gGmbH, Germany
Zur Shapira New York University, USA
Sim B. Sitkin Duke University, USA
Chia-Jung Tsay UCL School of Management, UK
Lee Watkiss Western University, Canada
Thierry Weil Mines Paristech PSL, France
Mark J. Zbaracki Western University, Canada

About the Contributors

Mie Augier is a Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School. She has published in areas such as organizational studies, strategy, leadership, and the history of management education; and researches and teaches in the areas of strategy, critical and strategic thinking, and strategic leadership; and the history, organization, and strategy of US Marine Corps.

Julian Barg is a PhD candidate in Sustainability at Ivey Business School. His work focuses on the environmental impacts of large corporations. He works both with qualitative and quantitative data on those environmental impacts, and analyzes how social processes give rise to discrepancies between those two dimensions.

Sean F. X. Barrett is a Major and Active Duty Intelligence Officer in the US Marine Corps. He has previously deployed in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM-PHILIPPINES, and INHERENT RESOLVE. He is also a PhD student in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

Markus C. Becker is Professor at the Strategic Organization Design Unit, University of Southern Denmark. His research focuses on how organizations adapt and learn, especially if work in organizations is to some degree accomplished through organizational routines. His work has appeared in, for example, Organization Science and the Strategic Management Journal.

Christine M. Beckman is the Price Family Chair in Social Innovation and Professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California. Her research spans organizational learning, interorganizational networks, gender and inequality, and innovation and entrepreneurship. She is the current Editor-in-Chief at Administrative Science Quarterly.

M. Diane Burton is a Professor at the ILR School at Cornell University and the Chair of the Human Resource Studies Department. Her research focuses on entrepreneurship and employment, organizational design, and human resource management practices.

Tom Christensen is Professor Emeritus at Department of Political Science, University of Oslo. He is also Visiting Professor at Renmin University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University. He has published extensively on central civil service, comparative public sector reforms and national sector reforms – crisis management, police, higher education, welfare administrative, etc., based on central perspectives from organization theory.

Scott C. Ganz is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and a Research Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His research integrates organizational theory and political economics in order to better understand political processes within organizations and governments and the non-market strategies of firms and interest organizations.

Yanfei Hu is Lecturer in Sustainability, Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on sustainable development and social change. In particular, she is interested in how advocacy organizations tackle deeply rooted social and environmental problems.

Per Lægreid is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Administration and Organization Theory, University of Bergen, Norway. He has published extensively on public sector reforms, public governance, public management, central civil service, accountability, crisis management, and comparative public administration from organizational and institutional perspectives.

Chengwei Liu is Associate Professor of Strategy and Behavioral Science at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin). He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. His research interests include the role of luck in management, behavioral strategy as arbitrage, and organizational learning and design in the age of artificial intelligence.

Cameron McAlpine is a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior at Ivey Business School. A career in communications and advocacy work gave him a keen interest in power, politics, and creativity. His research focuses on political processes through which organizations negotiate rules and status hierarchies at the institutional level of analysis.

Daniel A. Newark is an Assistant Professor at HEC Paris. His research focuses on individual and organizational decision making.

Charles A. O’Reilly is the Frank E. Buck Professor of Management at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. His research spans studies of organizational demography, culture, leadership, and executive compensation, and organizational innovation and change.

Claus Rerup is a Professor at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany; he studies organizational routines, attention/sensemaking and learning dynamics. His work has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Organization Science and several other journals and handbooks.

Zur Shapira is Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Society and Academy of Management and former Editor-in-Chief of Organization Science. His books include Risk Taking: A Managerial Perspective; Organizational Decision-Making; Technological Innovation: Oversights and Foresights; Organizational Cognition; and The Evolution of a New Industry: A Genealogical Approach.

Sim B. Sitkin is Michael W. Krzyzewski University Professor and Professor of Management and Public Policy at Duke University. His research focuses on the effects of leadership and organizational control on trust, risk taking, experimentation, learning, and innovation. His most recent books are Organizational Control, The Six Domains of Leadership, and The Routledge Companion to Trust.

Chia-Jung Tsay is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at UCL School of Management, University College London. She received her PhD from Harvard Business School. Her research examines the psychological processes that influence decision making and interpersonal perception, and nonconscious biases in professional selection and advancement.

Lee Watkiss is an Assistant Professor of General Management at Ivey Business School. His research focuses on how choices get made in and by organizations. In particular, he explores the cultural processes that undergird how actors create the situations that in turn shapes the choices they make.

Thierry Weil is a Professor at Mines Paris PSL, working on the future of industry and work, and a member of the French Academy of Engineering. He has held different positions related to R&D and management in companies, universities, and government. He wrote Invitation à la lecture de James March, a biography of Pr. March.

Mark J. Zbaracki is an Associate Professor of General Management at the Ivey Business School at Western University. His research interests include the social construction of managerial practices, decision making, strategy implementation, routine dynamics, and organizational learning.

Foreword: Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Research in the Sociology of Organizations (RSO) publishes cutting edge empirical research and theoretical papers that seek to enhance our understanding of organizations and organizing as pervasive and fundamental aspects of society and economy. We seek provocative papers that push the frontiers of current conversations that help to revive old ones, or that incubate and develop new perspectives. Given its successes in this regard, RSO has become an impactful and indispensable fount of knowledge for scholars interested in organizational phenomena and theories. RSO is indexed and ranks highly in Scopus/SCImago as well as in the Academic Journal Guide published by the Chartered Association of Business schools.

As one of the most vibrant areas in the social sciences, the sociology of organizations engages a plurality of empirical and theoretical approaches to enhance our understanding of the varied imperatives and challenges that these organizations and their organizers face. Of course, there is a diversity of formal and informal organizations – from for-profit entities to non-profits, state and public agencies, social enterprises, communal forms of organizing, non-governmental associations, trade associations, publicly traded, family owned and managed, private firms – the list goes on! Organizations, moreover, can vary dramatically in size from small entrepreneurial ventures to large multi-national conglomerates to international governing bodies such as the United Nations.

Empirical topics addressed by RSO include: the formation, survival, and growth or organizations; collaboration and competition between organizations; the accumulation and management of resources and legitimacy; and how organizations or organizing efforts cope with a multitude of internal and external challenges and pressures. Particular interest is growing in the complexities of contemporary organizations as they cope with changing social expectations and as they seek to address societal problems related to corporate social responsibility, inequality, corruption and wrongdoing, and the challenge of new technologies. As a result, levels of analysis reach from the individual, to the organization, industry, community and field, and even the nation-state or world society. Much research is multi-level and embraces both qualitative and quantitative forms of data.

Diverse theory is employed or constructed to enhance our understanding of these topics. While anchored in the discipline of sociology and the field of management, RSO also welcomes theoretical engagement that draws on other disciplinary conversations – such as those in political science or economics, as well as work from diverse philosophical traditions. RSO scholarship has helped push forward a plethora theoretical conversations on institutions and institutional change, networks, practice, culture, power, inequality, social movements, categories, routines, organization design and change, configurational dynamics, and many other topics.

Each volume of RSO tends to be thematically focused on a particular empirical phenomenon (e.g., creative industries, multi-national corporations, and entrepreneurship) or theoretical conversation (e.g., institutional logics, actors and agency, and microfoundations). The series publishes papers by junior as well as leading international scholars, and embraces diversity on all dimensions. If you are scholar interested in organizations or organizing, I hope you find RSO to be an invaluable resource as you develop your work.

Professor Michael Lounsbury

Series Editor, Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

University of Alberta