Organizations rank among the most important social institutions in modern societies. Therefore, the study of organizations has long been a topic of central concern to sociological analysis. It provides fertile ground for the development and testing of sociological theories of social structure and its consequences. While the roots of organizational studies lie in sociology, the prevalence and importance of organizations in society make them a central focus of study in the fields of business and management, education, public policy, political science, and public health. Hence, skills in organizational analysis can be broadly applied in a variety of settings.

The University of Chicago possesses a distinctive competence in organizational theory and research. Centered on a close collaboration between the faculties of the Department of Sociology and the Graduate School of Business, the community of organizational researchers at the University reaches into a broad range of schools and departments. Faculty and students actively engage in research at the forefront of contemporary organizational theory through ongoing research projects and regular workshops. Students attending the University of Chicago therefore have the opportunity to join and contribute to an active and stimulating research environment.

Organizational theory can be brought to bear on a virtually limitless range of topics. Some of the particular issues pursued by faculty at the University of Chicago include:

·       The effects of social structure on entrepreneurial behavior and outcomes

·       The interplay between organizations and labor markets

·       The effects of status and vertical differentiation in markets on organizational behavior

·       The consequences of organizational structure and design for organizational performance

·       The dynamics of change in organizational communities

·       The role individual and organizational networks play in structuring information flow

·       Structural and environmental constraints on organizational adaptation


Andrew Abbott

Ron Burt

James Evans

Edward Laumann

Faculty Contact:

Edward Laumann

Other Resources

Relevant faculty in the Graduate School of Business often participate in the Organizations and Markets Workshop