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Frank Dobbin

American sociologist

Frank Dobbin (born 1956) is an American sociologist, Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, and Chair of its Ph.D. Program in Organizational Behavior, known for his work in economic sociology.

QuotesEdit

  • The fact that each nation came to believe in the virtue of whatever policy happened to be in effect when recovery began supports [the] argument that haphazard economic vacillations play an important role in determining which policy strategies become constructed as economically efficacious. This also tends to undermine the realist/utilitarian view, which suggests that policy improves over time as rational policymakers learn more about universal economic laws from experience, because wildly inconsistent policies won favor in different contexts.
    • Frank Dobbin (1993), "The Social Construction of the Great Depression: Industrial Policy during the 1930s in the United States, Britain and France," in: Theory and Society 22, p. 47; As cited in: Kieran Healy, "The new institutionalism and Irish social policy." Social Policy in Ireland: Principals, Practices and Problems. Oaktree Press, Dublin (1998).
  • Shared cultural meaning, as it is institutionalised in public policies and state structures, influences the pragmatic solutions groups envision to such instrumental problems as economic growth.
    • Frank Dobbin (1993), "The Social Construction of the Great Depression: Industrial Policy during the 1930s in the United States, Britain and France," in: Theory and Society 22, p. 49; As cited in: Kieran Healy (1998)
  • Modern institutions are transparently purposive and that we are in the midst of an evolutionary progression toward more efficient forms.
    • Frank Dobbin (1994), "Organizational Models of Culture: The social construction of rational organizing principles," in: Diana Crane (ed) The Sociology of Culture: Emerging theoretical perspectives. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 138; As cited in: Kieran Healy (1998)
  • If you peruse the table of contents of a textbook on organizational theory or search the web for courses in organizational sociology, you cannot help but notice how many of the key contributors to the field spent time at Stanford between 1970 and 2000, as faculty members, post-docs, or graduate students... Of the five most influential macro-organizational paradigms in play today — institutional theory, network theory, organizational culture, population ecology, and resource dependence theory (in alphabetical order) – Stanford served as an important pillar, if not the entire foundation, for all but network theory. By the 1990s, it became an important site for network theory as well.

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