2011 OOW Section Awards

This past August, the Organizations, Occupations and Work section honored a number of academic works during the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Weber Award, traditionally given to a significant contribution to the literature by a book, was awarded to Martin Ruef of Princeton University. Ruef’s book The Entrepreneurial Group: Social Identities, Relations and Collective Action (Princeton University Press, 2010), takes to task the assumptions that underlie many previous studies of entrepreneurship. The Weber Award committee (Mary Blair-Loy, Elizabeth Gorman and William Finley) note that they believe “this book will redefine how entrepreneurship is studied in the future.”

The committee also extended an honorable mention to Katherine Chen’s Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event (University of Chicago Press, 2009) for its impressive contribution towards “a broader understanding of the role of organizations, both profit-making and non-profit making, in society.”

The W. Richard Scott Award, given to an outstanding contribution to the literature by a journal article, was awarded to Matt L. Huffman, Philip N. Cohen and Jessica Pearlman. Their 2010 paper “Engendering Change: Organizational Dynamics and Workplace Gender Desegregation, 1975-2005” (Administrative Science Quarterly 55:255-277) investigates how the presence of women in management affects the gender segregation of an organization and the conditions that may moderate this connection. The Scott Award committee (Jeremy Reynods, Marc Ventresca and Carrie L. Alexandrowicz Shandra) was impressed by the paper’s “strong theoretical grounding” and the authors’ presentation of “sophisticated statistical analyses.” The paper finds that the presence of women in management does reduce gender segregation and “concludes by suggesting that, although continued progress toward gender equality may require stricter enforcement of affirmative action programs, organizational context will play an important role in determining the impact that such programs have.”

Finally, the James D. Thompson Award for an outstanding graduate student paper was given to András Tilcsik, a PhD candidate at Harvard University, for “Pride and Prejudice: Discrimination against Openly Gay Men in the U.S.” (American Journal of Sociology, forthcoming). In this paper, Tilcsik describes the results of a seven-state audit study in which identical pairs of fictitious resumes were sent to approximately 2,000 job postings. The resumes varied only based on a college activity, with one resume detailing the candidate’s experience as a treasurer of a gay student organization and the other describing the candidate’s experience with a campus political organization. Tilcsik finds significant differences in the call-back rates for the two candidates, with employers hiring in typically “masculinized” occupations contacting the straight candidate at much higher rates. The Thompson Award committee consited of Julie Mec, Sheryl Skaggs, Stephen Benard and Catherine Turco.

We would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s winners and our thanks to the members of the award committees.

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