Category Archives: Organizations

I see dead people

Well, maybe not. But I feel like the most interesting and important long-term benefit of ‘doing’ sociology is the ability to look out into the world and see things that others have trouble seeing. That is, it makes the invisible visible. A case in point: a friend of mine has a downright logical state of […]

Types of variables, drop-down menus

Over at 37 Signals, they have a regular series detailing their design decisions. It is an insightful feature and an insightful blog. Their latest discussion is about how they managed a question on their support forms. I want to drop some research methodology on this problem. While their discussion is about how to design a […]

Commensuration across commodities

Commensuration, the making comparable of qualitative differences via a common third metric, is valuable for its theoretical contributions to cultural economic sociology. It is a process that makes some things visible and hides others, resulting in an extremely impressive if underrated shaping of the social world. Qualitative distinctions across individual student applicants to college, for […]

Another name for random. Or luck.

An anthropologist attempts to explain variation in how investment banks fared in the current credit crisis. Gilian Tett argues that three elements account for it: 1) successful firms have hands-on management (meddlers); 2) successful firms have management who rose through the ranks via trading desks rather than sales or legal; 3) successful firms have a […]

Insight from Meyer and Rowan to your Organizational Life

In discussion with a colleague about how to strategically manage life in an organization, I was drawn into thinking about how cultural institutionalism would motivate a strategy. Most organizations have pretty positive stories to tell about themselves – if they didn’t, they have organizational commitment issues. My advice is simple: 1) Learn what the story […]