Penn Economic & Organizational Sociology

Working Paper Abstract Series

Vol. 2 Nos. 1-2

January & March 2002

 

Editorial Board:

Randall Collins, Paula England, Mauro Guillén, Douglas Massey, and Marshall Meyer.

 

Published by the Penn Economic Sociology & Organizational Studies Group (PESOS).

© 2000, 2001, 2002 Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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CONTENTS

 

Erickson & Jacoby

The Effect of Employer Networks on Workplace Innovation and Training

 

Freeman, Hirschhorn & Maltz

Organizational Resilience: A Model of the Effect of Disaster on Organizations based on Preliminary Outcomes from the September 11th Attacks

 

Lounsbury, Ventresca & Hirsch

Social Movements, Field Frames, and Industry Emergence: A Cultural-Political Perspective on U.S. Recycling

 

Rodríguez-Gustá

Bureaucratic Complexity and Women’s Managerial Attainment: The Case of the Public Sector in Uruguay

 

Schneper & Guillén

Institutions, Power, and Corporate Governance: A Cross-National Study of Hostile Takeovers

 

 

PAPER ABSTRACTS

 

 

The Effect of Employer Networks on Workplace Innovation and Training

 

Christopher L. Erickson

Sanford M. Jacoby

Anderson School of Management

University of California, Los Angeles

sjacoby@anderson.ucla.edu

 

Paper available from: sjacoby@anderson.ucla.edu

 

Abstract

 

The authors examine the determinants of adoption and intensity of use of high-performance work practices and training. A question that has not been adequately addressed in the high-performance literature is why, if innovative work practices are beneficial to performance, the intensity of adoption varies considerably across establishments? The sociological literature suggests that social networks -- ties to other organizations -- play an important role in the organizational learning associated with diffusion of innovation. The authors develop and test hypotheses regarding the effect of networks on the use of human resource innovations and training, using establishment data on formal affiliation and other network measures. The research also includes interviews with managers, which provide data for interpreting the relationship between network ties and workplace innovation.

 

 

 

Organizational Resilience: A Model of the Effect of Disaster on Organizations based on Preliminary Outcomes from the September 11th Attacks

 

Steve Freeman

Center for Applied Research, Inc., Philadelphia

steven.f.freeman@verizon.net

Larry Hirschhorn

Center for Applied Research, Inc., Philadelphia, and The Wharton School

Marc Maltz

TRIAD, New York, and Teachers’ College, Columbia University

 

Abstract

 

Organization theory would have predicted devastating consequences for firms directly hit by the September 11, 2001 attacks. Preliminary evidence, however, indicates surprisingly successful recovery. These outcomes suggest insights into the nature of organizational resilience that could not be inferred from general organization theory. We outline the basics of a theory of organizational resilience drawing upon (1) a case study of a World Trade Center firm hard hit by the September 11th attacks, (2) general news items of preliminary outcomes of other organizations directly hit, and (3) the psychological literature on resilience.

 

Paper available from: steven.f.freeman@verizon.net

 

 

 

Social Movements, Field Frames, and Industry Emergence: A Cultural-Political Perspective on U.S. Recycling

 

Michael Lounsbury

School of Industrial & Labor Relations, and Department of Sociology

Cornell University

mdl18@cornell.edu

Marc J. Ventresca

Kellogg Graduate School of Management and Department of Sociology

Northwestern University

m-ventresca@nwu.edu

Paul M. Hirsch

Kellogg Graduate School of Management and Department of Sociology

Northwestern University

paulhirsch@nwu.edu

Paper available from: m-ventresca@nwu.edu

Abstract

 

This article examines how social movements contribute to institutional change and the creation of new industries.  We build on current efforts to bridge institutional and social movement perspectives in sociology and develop the concept of field frame to study how industries are shaped by social structures of meanings and resources that underpin and stabilize practices and social organization.  Field frames take shape in the midst of competitive, industry, and regulatory initiatives, then organize industry attention and practices, and are the focus of expert, professional, and popular challenges.  We develop the case of how non-profit recyclers and the recycling social movement enabled the rise of a for-profit recycling industry.  We use archival and historical data and contemporary evidence from interviews.  We show that social movements can help to transform extant socioeconomic practices and enable new kinds of industry development by engaging in efforts that lead to the deinstitutionalization of field frames. 

 

Paper forthcoming in Socio-Economic Review (Fall 2003).

 

 

 

Bureaucratic Complexity and Women’s Managerial Attainment: The Case of the Public Sector in Uruguay

 

Ana L. Rodríguez-Gustá

School of Politics and Government

Universidad de General San Martín

alrgusta@unsam.edu.ar

 

Paper available from: analau@internet.com.uy or alrgusta@unsam.edu.ar

 

Abstract

 

This paper focuses on how changes among public bureaucracies influence the mobility of women into upper level jobs. More specifically, I ask, how is that purposeful reform programs and incremental transformations of the State influence women’s managerial attainment? Even further, is it the culture or the structure of public bureaucracies the determining factor of women integration at the top? By means of ethnographic research taking two segments of the Uruguayan State as cases, I explore the adequacy of the structural or enabling perspective and the culture or coercive view about gender and bureaucracies, extending this discussion outside North American and Western European contexts. The empirical reality of women in the Uruguayan State suggests that public bureaucracies are complex sites. As such, they should not be assessed as either beneficial or harmful for women on the basis of one single crucial factor, i.e. their structure or culture. As I show, women face opportunities and constraints that result from the combination of gender cultural beliefs, the daily interactions among members and the work structures and procedures of bureaucracies. Second, how these factors combine to allow more women into management depends on whether the context of an agency is one of purposeful reform or piecemeal transformation. This more complex line of inquiry should be introduced to our current discussion of gender and bureaucracies, at least for the more specific occupation of managers and professionals.

 

 

 

Institutions, Power, and Corporate Governance: A Cross-National Study of Hostile Takeovers

 

William D. Schneper

The Wharton School

University of Pennsylvania

schneper@management.wharton.upenn.edu

Mauro F. Guillén

The Wharton School & Department of Sociology

University of Pennsylvania

guillen@wharton.upenn.edu

Abstract

 

Neoinstitutional theory and economic sociology maintain that economic practices occur frequently only if they are legitimate. We formulate theoretical arguments as to what institutional factors make the hostile takeover legitimate in different countries. We predict that regulative, cognitive, and normative variables increase the legitimacy of hostile takeovers and hence their likelihood. Using data on 30 countries between 1992 and 1997, we find that hostile takeovers are more frequent the greater the regulative legitimacy of shareholder rights as enshrined in corporate legislation adopted by the state, the greater the cognitive legitimacy afforded by institutionalized stock trading, and the greater the normative legitimacy due to low levels of labor militancy, restrictions on bank ownership, and high cultural individualism.

 

Paper available from: guillen@wharton.upenn.edu

 

 


 

 

EDITORIAL POLICY

 

A. Titles & Abstracts of working papers by social scientists actively engaged in research will be considered for inclusion in the Newsletter, provided they meet these criteria:

 

  1. Papers must be scientific in nature.
  2. Papers must not use inappropriate or discriminatory language.
  3. Papers must address a topic related to economic sociology, work, occupations, professions, or organizations.
  4. Papers must be at least 15 double-spaced pages long.
  5. Papers must not have been yet published, although they may have been accepted for publication at a future date.

 

B. The editors reserve the right not to include papers that fail to meet any of the above criteria.

 

C. The papers accepted for inclusion in the Working Paper Series are not refereed. Rather, the role of the editors is to make sure that the criteria under point A above are met.

 

D. Full-length papers should be submitted in Windows Microsoft Word format to: guillen@wharton.upenn.edu. Abstract submissions without the full-length paper will be returned to authors. Submissions in formats other than Windows Microsoft Word will be returned to authors.

 

E. Authors of papers accepted for inclusion in the Newsletter are requested to provide:

 

  1. Their institutional affiliation (if any), and an email contact address.
  2. An abstract of the paper not exceeding 250 words, in Windows Microsoft Word format.
  3. A means for people to obtain the full-length paper. These may include: a website or an email address. Non-electronic media of paper distribution will not be accepted.

 

F. Authors must respond to all requests for papers promptly. Failure to make the full-length paper available will result in exclusion of the paper from the Working Paper Series.