Monday, October 1, 2018

Hayagreeva Rao, Stanford University Graduate School of Business

The Radical Activist Dilemma: Evidence from Bossnappings

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Shelly Correll, Stanford University Sociology Department

Inside the Black Box of Organizational Life: The Gendered Language of Performance Assessment

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Organizations implement formalized evaluation procedures to reduce ascriptive biases and achieve meritocratic outcomes. However, these procedures often fail to eliminate bias in practice. Managers play a key role in applying such procedures, but researchers have been unable to observe the thought processes guiding managers’ decisions. This paper takes a first step in allowing us to peer into managers’ heads through an analysis of the language they use when evaluating employees’ performance. Using a random sample of written performance reviews at a Fortune 500 technology company, we investigate whether gender stereotypes are reflected in managers’ reviews and whether language patterns are associated with gendered rating outcomes, which play an important role in determining pay and promotion decisions. While performance reviews contain clear descriptions of meritocratic factors, we find important differences in the language used to describe men and women’s performances. For example, women receive more vague feedback and more criticisms of their personalities, whereas men are described as more visionary. Further, some types of language, such as “taking charge,” are associated with the highest ratings for men but not women. Our analysis nuances the theoretical debate about whether formal procedures operate as a smokescreen concealing bias or a great-leveler securing meritocracy.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Mitchell Stevens, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Engineering Credentials: Educational Entrepreneurship as Statecraft in the Cold-War United States

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

co-author: Alexander T. Kindel

What mechanisms drove the expansion of a “credential society” in the United States during the twentieth century? Extant accounts emphasize status-group struggles and educational entrepreneurship, but have not fully recognized the role of the state in credential expansion. Drawing on archival records tracing administrative activity at Stanford University between 1945 and 1969, we depict how academic administrators channeled federal support for science and engineering education to expand the production of graduate degrees. Government patronage of academic training was received by schools nationwide after World War II. Our findings reveal educational entrepreneurship as a distinctive form of statecraft, and suggest closer integration of scholarship on social stratification and American political development.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Michelle Jackson, Stanford University Sociology Department

The construction of educational opportunity

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Most micro-level explanations of educational inequality at the college level focus on student demand-side characteristics, such as financial constraints, student aspirations, and measured academic ability. In these accounts, the matching of students to colleges is subsequently treated as a one-sided process, in which students decide among a range of possible colleges based on personal constraints and preferences. In this paper, we argue that the matching process is fundamentally two-sided.  This is because colleges shape student perceptions of the “ideal” applicant by signaling to potential applicants whether or not they will fit. 

We use computerized and qualitative text analysis to describe the signals that different types of colleges send to potential applicants about fit. We analyze mission statements and financial aid documents from four-year universities, liberal arts colleges, for-profit colleges, and community colleges.  We find that, just as a two-sided model would imply, colleges are actively – albeit sometimes covertly – issuing signals about the matches that interest them.  The four-year colleges that place much emphasis on “expanding access” are, for example, simultaneously signaling that they offer a type of education that is a good fit for socioeconomically advantaged students. For-profit and community colleges, on the other hand, signal that they offer an education that provides opportunities for future educational and occupational success.  These results suggest that socioeconomic inequalities are generated on two sides and that any efforts to reduce those inequalities might usefully target both sides.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Stanford University School of Engineering

Bottlenecks, Experimentation, and Organizational Form: Venture Growth in the Nascent Drone Industry

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

co-author: Robert P. Bremner

This paper explores how ventures grow in nascent markets with a comparison between two ventures - one organizing around an open innovation community and the other as a proprietary firm.  Grounded in a 10-year comparative case study of two leading civilian drone manufacturers, our emergent theory indicates that ventures grow by their entrepreneurs’ accurately identifying and resolving bottlenecks, sooner and more effectively than rivals. Further, as bottlenecks change, it is effective to fit the approach to experimentation and problem solving with changing levels of ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity. Overall, organizational form influences the range of approaches that ventures can effectively use to identify and resolve bottlenecks.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Tammar Zilber, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Marc Ventresca, University of Oxford Saïd Business School

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Monday, December 10, 2018

Daniel McFarland, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Time and Location: Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)