Delegating Morality: An examination of the effects of - SHRM ...
An examination of the effects of employment regulation on the HR profession
A research proposal submitted to the SHRM Foundation August 16, 2010
Total amount of funding requested: $99,788
Topic keywords: Social movements, HR identities, ethics compliance, employee rights
Principal Investigator: Co-Investigator:
Stephen R. Barley Kurt W. Sandholtz
Richard Weiland Professor Ph.D. Candidate
Phone: 650-723-9477 Phone: 801-318-7398
Fax: 650-723-2826 Fax: 650-723-1614
Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Work, Technology and Organization
Department of Management Science & Engineering
Stanford, CA 94305
Institutional Authorized Official:
Sponsored Project Administrator
Office of Sponsored Research
340 Panama Street
Stanford, California 94305-4100
Phone: (650) 725-6864; Fax: (650) 724-2290
ABSTRACT: This proposal outlines a research project to examine how employment regulation
– an inheritance from the Civil Rights movement – has affected the status of HR and the work
identities of HR practitioners. Our findings will address a gap in the social movements literature
by empirically testing the identity implications of instrumental social movements. We also will
offer HR practitioners insights into how best to organize required compliance activities,
including implications for sub-departmentalization and outsourcing. Our mixed methods
approach blends hypothesis-testing econometric analysis with an inductive multi-case
comparative study. Anticipated findings will inform the current movement toward increasing
HR’s responsibility for corporate ethics.
To the Review Committee:
I am submitting a substantially revised research proposal to the SHRM foundation. We took
seriously the feedback from the review committee, and have made the following changes:
1. We have repositioned the study to address an issue of current relevance to the HR
profession, namely, the call to have HR increase its responsibility for corporate ethics in the
wake of the financial meltdown.
2. We have increased the methodological rigor by completely revamping the methodology. The
current proposal features econometric analysis of archival data, followed by a multi-case
comparative qualitative study.
We remain convinced that our research topic is of vital interest to both scholars and
practitioners. At the recent Academy of Management meetings in Montreal, I sponsored a
caucus session on the topic of "Tensions in the HR profession." It attracted a core group of
highly interested academics, many of whom formerly worked as HR practitioners. In addition, at
the 2010 SHRM Annual Conference, I had the opportunity to discuss our research with
numerous attendees, all of whom expressed great interest in the findings.
SHRM Foundation Grant Proposal Submission Checklist
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or with your university or organization for the grant funding?
_____ Researcher ___X___ University or Organization
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__X___ The full proposal, checklist and appendices are contained in one single Word document.
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__X___ The abstract includes all of the information outlined in the proposalformat guidelines.
Contributions to the HR academic literature
__X___ The proposalmakes the case that the research will advance the HR academic literature such that the review
committee would agree that the expected findings would likely result in a top-tier HR academic journal
__X___ In articulating that contribution, the relevant literature is reviewed, a theoretical basis or conceptual
framework is provided, and specific research questions or hypotheses are proposed.
Implications for HR Practice
__X___ The proposalmakes the case that the research will be of practical value to HR practitioners and will have
direct, actionable implications such that the expected findings would be of interest to outlets such as
HRMagazine, BusinessWeek, Financial Times, or Wall Street Journal.
__X___ In doing so, specific practical implications are provided for how the expected findings would enhance the
effectiveness of (a) HR professionals,(b) specific HR practices, functions,or systems,and/or(c) the
effectiveness of organizations through HR.
Statement of Methodology
__X___ The methodology is described in sufficient detail for the committee to assess the viability and rigor of the
__X___ The proposed sample has been secured and described and the rationale for the proposed sample and
sampling procedures are provided.
__X___ The proposed data collection method(s) are described including details on the measures to be used.
__X___ The analytical techniques to be used are described.
__X___ A project timeline is provided.
__X___ A breakdown and brief explanation of the requested funds are provided along with an explanation of any
other funding sources.
__X___ The requested funding amount does not exceed $200,000 and the amount is appropriate to the scope and
nature of the project.
__X___ If relevant, evidence of IRB approval or exemption is provided, or plans to obtain this approval/exemption
are included in the project timeline. [NOTE: sent as a separate attachment.]
__X___ If relevant, copies of data collection instruments are provided.
__X___ A vita or resume for all principal investigators are provided.
An examination of the effects of employment regulation on the HR profession
A lot of what many HR people end up doing is what we might call prophylactic.“You can’t do this!”
We end up being the moral police: “You can’t sleep with your assistant,you can’t grab someone
inappropriately,you can’t fire someone for that reason.” We keep people from getting sued,or from
getting theirnames in the news. . . . We’re the “no” people,in terms of the data we collect and how we
have to safeguard it, the government regulations about privacy,tons of legislation we’re forced to
enforce. Somewhere in that role is the heart of why HR has a bad rap, you know,the Dilbert cartoons – it
all traces back to the protective role. – SVP of HR, Fortune 50 financial services firm
Social movements have had profound effects on the landscape of corporate America.
Wal-Mart’s environmental initiatives, Nike’s efforts to eliminate child labor in its manufacturers
worldwide, and Starbucks’ insistence on “Fair Trade” coffee are but three examples of the power
of social movements to alter corporate behavior. When activists harness societal energies to
encourage organizations to “do the right thing,” lasting change can result. But what happens
when the task of defining and enforcing “the right thing” falls to a single corporate function?
What are the implications for the function’s status and the identity of its practitioners?
These questions are of vital importance to contemporary HR. In a post-Enron world now
staggering through the aftermath of a historic financial meltdown, a growing chorus of voices are
recommending that HR “raise its game” to become the “corporate conscience” or “arbiter of
ethics” (Stern, 2009; Rothwell et al., 2008:4). The current “ethics” movement bears a
resemblance to a previous social movement that has profoundly shaped HR: Civil Rights. Over
the past 40 years, the HR function has been tasked with being the “moral police” in matters
relating to discrimination and fair treatment. Our proposed study will examine what happens
when organizations attempt to compartmentalize managerial morality within a single corporate
function. By tracking the impact of the “rights revolution” on the identity and status of HR, we
seek to build a conceptual foundation for assessing the potential impact of HR assuming greater
responsibility for corporate ethics.
That the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s has dramatically affected HR is beyond
question. The list of federally mandated employment regulations is imposing and constantly
changing as laws are challenged and interpreted in court (see Table 1, Appendix). This
“legalization” of HR work has fueled an expansion of the profession in two ways. First, in
companies with existing personnel or HR departments, regulatory compliance provided a
bedrock rationale for HR’s existence: an expanding set of socially meaningful and non-optional
tasks. Second, because the new laws were enforceable in companies with as few as 15
employees, regulatory compliance prompted the diffusion of HR practices and practitioners into
ever smaller companies. Indeed, recent research shows that from the creation of the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission to the end of the 20th century (roughly 25 years), the HR
occupation grew tenfold while the workforce only doubled (Dobbin, 2009:5).
Economic sociologists portray this growth as evidence of plucky institutional
entrepreneurship, noting how HR outflanked the legal profession and guaranteed its own job
security (Dobbin et al., 1993; Dobbin and Sutton, 1998; Edelman et al., 1999, 2001; Dobbin and
Kelly, 2007). Analysts closer to the practitioner world, however, offer a more ambivalent
assessment of HR’s compliance role. In 2005, for example, HR Magazine commemorated its 50th
year in print with a feature entitled “10 Changes that Rocked HR.” Topping the list was an article
celebrating HR’s pivotal role in the implementation of U.S. Civil Rights legislation. The article’s
title (“With Justice for All”) is suggestive of HR’s allegiance to the state, a pledge that blends
uneasily with another of the changes that “rocked” HR – the evolution of the “strategic partner”
While serving as compliance champion captured the CEO’s attention, it also placed HR
in the position of surrogate cop, a role that too often played as ‘the people who say no.’.
. . As HR moves into its highest strategic role, then, it will need to wean itself from
strict compliance responsibilities that increased its prominence but can limit it to a
tactical, rather than strategic, role (Mirza, 2005a, 2005b).
This tension between the “strategic” and “prophylactic” aspects of HR work is noted not
only in the colorful quote that opens our proposal, but also in much of the recent practitioner-
oriented literature. Rothwell, Prescott, and Taylor (2008:6-7) describe five common line-
manager complaints about HR, the first being “HR practitioners who push a presumably social
agenda without taking time to show how such efforts will help their organizations meet business
needs and achieve strategic objectives.” Libby Sartain (2003:xvii), former head of HR at
Southwest Airlines and Yahoo, laments the widespread view of HR as “a single-minded
administrator with a big, red, rubber stamp that reads: ‘No! Against Policy and Procedures!’”
These sentiments were echoed by many of the HR practitioners we interviewed in preparation for
our study (see Table 2 in the Appendix for a list of our preliminary interviews). In almost as
many cases, however, HR practitioners told us that handling legal compliance was central to
their value as contributors and had a positive influence on the profession. Clearly, employment
regulation continues to be a powerful force within HR, but its valence is a matter of debate.
Thus, our general research question is: What has been the effect of regulatory compliance
responsibilities on the relative status of the HR function, as well as on the nature and
organization of HR work?
As our research question implies, we propose a two-stage study that will examine this
phenomenon at both macro and micro levels of analysis. In the first stage, we will statistically
analyze archival data on salary trends and EEOC discrimination filings by industry, to test the
hypothesis that HR is less highly valued (in comparison to other corporate functions) in
industries where its work is closely associated with regulatory compliance than in industries
where regulatory compliance figures less prominently in its work. The second stage of the study
will entail a qualitative, multi-case comparison of HR work in two different panels of companies
that vary on the compliance-intensity of their respective industries (as measured by the statistical
analysis from the first stage of the study). The remainder of this proposal will review the
theoretical literature that is foundational for our inquiry, outline our mixed-methods approach,
and identify our study’s anticipated contributions to both the academic and practitioner
Macro-foundations: Social movement theory. A unique aspect of our proposed study is its
integration of two important theoretical perspectives: social movement theory, and work-related
identity theory. Our research extends social movement theory by examining the unintended
impact that a social movement can have on the status and identity of an occupation. Social
movements are generally defined as collective efforts to effect change in the political and
cultural domains of the social world (Snow, Soule, and Kriesi, 2004). Established theory
differentiates instrumental movements (aimed at influencing political institutions in order to
address perceived injustices) from identity movements (targeted toward enhancing the autonomy,
mutual identification, and cultural standing of a group of participants). Prior research has linked
instrumental movements to the creation of new institutions such as consumer watchdog
organizations (Rao, 1998), alternate dispute resolution systems (Morrill, 2008), and – most
germane to our proposal – equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity offices within HR
(Dobbin, 2009). In contrast, an oft-cited study in the identity movements tradition is Rao et al.’s
(2003) analysis of the reinvention of the French chef and the birth of nouvelle cuisine.
Missing from both perspectives is the recognition that instrumental movements can have
profound, lasting, and unforeseeable effects on the identities of the groups and individuals
involved. Dobbin (2009) carefully documents how an instrumental movement – Civil Rights –
culminated in the passage of landmark legislation in 1964, then triggered a subsequent
movement within organizations as personnel professionals championed a series of measures to
operationalize ambiguous Title VII mandates and create more humane workplaces. By focusing
on the instrumental outcomes of the movement, however, this line of research fails to illuminate
its identity implications. The “macro” part of our proposed study will directly address this gap by
examining the unintended identity consequences of instrumental social movements.
This theoretical contribution may have practical implications at the level of SHRM
policy. As the preeminent HR professional association, SHRM’s mission is provide advocacy,
thought leadership, and a community for HR professionals and others involved in solving people
management challenges (SHRM website, 30 July 2010). Among the formal mechanisms for
fulfilling this mission are SHRM-sponsored publications and conferences. Regarding
publications, article counts from The Personnel Administrator/HRMagazine from 1961 through
2008 indicate that regulatory compliance became the most frequent topic in the early 1970s and has
continued to be featured in more articles than any other topic area, including a broad category that
includes such HR basics as compensation, performance appraisal, and recruitment techniques (see
Figure 1, Appendix). Tracking session topics and speakers for eight of the 10 most recent SHRM
Annual Conferences shows a similar trend, with a juris doctorate now the most common credential
among speakers at the annual meetings (see Figure 2, Appendix). Clearly, SHRM members find
great practical value in such information. We submit, however, that it may be worthwhile to
carefully examine the effects of the “legalization” of HR on the identities of its practitioners.
Micro-foundations: The constructionof work-relatedidentities. Inorder to examine these
identity effects, our study draws upon recent research in the construction of on-the-job identities.
Much prior research on identities at work as focused on stigmatized occupations (Kreiner, Ashforth
and Sluss, 2006), or overall career development (Ibarra, 2003). A growing body of research,
however, provides evidence that positive work-related identities – defined as an individual’s
favorable self-construal at work – are associated with such desirable individual and organizational
outcomes as greater resiliency, creativity, resourcefulness, and pro-social behaviors (Dutton,
Roberts and Bednar, 2010).
The issue of work-related identity for HR professionals has a long research history, dating
back to Ritzer and Trice’s 1969 treatise, An Occupation in Conflict: A study of the personnel
manager. Recent papers have focused on role conflict resulting from the many hats that HR
practitioners wear (Ulrich and Beatty, 2001; Truss et al., 2002; Caldwell, 2003; Rynes, 2004).
Research has been silent, however, on the identity implications of HR’s social movement
inheritances. What is unquestionably a boon to society – the creation, diffusion, and enforcement of
employment policies that promote the fair treatment of everyone – may have, paradoxically,
become a ball-and-chain for HR generalists as they attempt to construct a positive identity at work
(Pritchard, 2010). Thus, the second phase of our study will use qualitative methods to provide a rich,
nuanced and comparative account of the complexities involved in forging a professional identity in
HR, in “compliance-intensive” vs. “compliance neutral” industries.
Data and Methods
Phase 1: Quantitative analysis.
In order to test our hypothesis regarding the impact of compliance-related work on the
relative value of HR, we have identified the following variables and measures.
Our dependent variable is the average wage in HR-related occupations relative to the
average wage in other corporate functional occupations. Relative wages are a reasonable proxy for
the status of an occupation. The fundamental definition of status hinges on deference, or the degree
to which others defer to the focal entity (Podolny, 1993). Wage differentials within a common
occupational category, then, are a reflection of budgetary deference, and thus constitute a measure
of relative status. Data on relative wages will be extracted from the March supplement of the
Current Population Survey (CPS) from survey years 1962 – 2009. The CPS is a monthly survey of
approximately 50,000 U.S. households conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The March
supplement (also known as the Annual Social and Economic Study) contains detailed demographic
and income data which can be aggregated by occupation (using Standard Occupational
Classifications) and industry (using SIC codes). Various CPS utilities include weightings for
occupational and industry classifications, allowing the creation of a statistically representative
national sample. For each year in the sample, we will derive a ratio of average pay in HR
occupations vs. other functional occupations, and aggregate these by three-digit SIC code.1 The use
of a wage ratio offers a number of advantages. First, it is a direct test of the relative value of HR
work in the broader labor market. By comparing the ratio of HR pay to other corporate functions by
industry, we avoid having to correct for a variety of secular trends that may affect all wages in an
industry (Philippon and Reshef, 2009).
Our primary independent variable is the extent of HR’s involvement in regulatory
compliance activities. In our exploratory interviews with HR professionals, we have asked , “Is
there an industry or company in which you would be reluctant to take an HR job?” The most
common response has been, “Companies that have recently been through an employment-related
investigation or lawsuit, because your work will dictated almost entirely by compliance.” Thus, we
1 All wage data will be selected from four SOC categories: 11-3000 (Operations Specialties Managers), 11-2000 (Advertising,
Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and Sales Managers), 13-1000 (Business Operations Specialists), and 15-1000
(Computer and Mathematical Specialists). For details on thesubcategories included in the wage ratios, see Figure 3 in the
believe it is reasonable to assume that in industries where the rate of EEOC discrimination filings is
significantly higher, HR work will be more compliance-intensive.
We will operationalize “compliance intensity” as the rate of Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) discrimination filings by industry. The EEOC maintains a data base of all
discrimination filings received in any of its offices each year. This data base, known as the Charge
Data System (CDS), is not publicly accessible but can be obtained by filing a Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) request. Indeed, past research on discrimination rates by industry used a
FOIA request to obtain all EEOC filings for the years 1990 – 1998 (Gersen, 2007), and we have
been granted access to these data. In addition, we have submitted a FOIA request to obtain all
available EEOC data from the CDS for the years before 1990 and after 1998. Once we receive these
data, we will aggregate and standardize them by year and three-digit SIC code, thus computing a
“compliance intensity” measure for each applicable industry-year in our data set.2
Our regression analysis will include a vector of control variables for each year, based on
factors that prior research has shown to be influential. For example, numerous scholars have
commented on the feminization of HR (Dobbin, 2009; Legge, 2005; Simpson and Lenoir, 2003).
Thus, our study will control for gender ratio within HR by industry. In addition, Jacoby (2005)
posits that HR’s fortunes are closely tied to such labor market factors as overall unemployment
and union activity. Our model will therefore include controls for unemployment rate by industry
and a variety of measures of union activity. To control for exogenous economic forces not
already mitigated by our use of a wage ratio, we will include dummy variables for each year.
Finally, because compliance intensity and various controls may be expected to have a delayed
2 Comparing “compliance intensity”across industries requires a careful method of standardizing the rate of EEOC filings. Gersen
(2007) offers a thorough discussion of various options, including our preferred technique of standardizing by totalemployment in
the industry, with controls for percentage of women and minority employees. Also, prior to theEEO Act of 1972, the EEOC had
no authority to litigate discrimination cases. We expect to find little systematicdata on EEOC filings prior to this date, and spotty
information for theyears immediately following 1972.
effect on HR’s relative wages, we will lag the independent and appropriate control variables by
three to five years in order to specify a model that provides the best fit.
The resulting time-series regression model can be summarized as follows:
wageratio(HR/other functions), t = α + β1(compintenst-3) + β2(controls) + β3(year) + εt
“Wageratio” is the relative wage in HR vs. other corporate functions within each three-digit SIC
code, “compintens” is the rate of EEOC filings by three-digit SIC code, “controls” is a vector of
control variables as indicated above, and “year” is the year dummy.3
Phase 2: Qualitative analysis
Informed by the results of our quantitative analysis, we will select and arrange access to
two contrasting panels of company sites for qualitative study. Our criteria for selection will be
both empirically and theoretically guided. Our first panel of companies will be selected from
industries that have consistently scored well above the mean on the compliance-intensity
measure; our second panel will be selected from industries that have tended to score below the
mean. Thus the research sites are likely to exhibit variance on the crucial independent variable in
our study: relative intensity of compliance-related activities in HR. This will offer a unique
vantage point on the dynamics of work-related identity construction in two contrasting settings.
We envision selecting three to four companies for each panel. Our research design
precludes us from selecting these companies prior to obtaining the results of our Phase 1
analysis.4 Data gathered at each of the six to eight research sites will include:
3 It is worth noting that our working hypothesis – that β1 will be significant and negative, net of other factors – may or may not be
supported. Wewould expect a negative beta if enforcement is perceived as low status work. Alternatively, we might get a
positivebeta if enforcement is seen as an important role, even if it carries low status. In this case, rewards would be negatively
related to perceived status of the work. Finally, the relationship could prove to be curvilinear, suggesting a positiveeffect early
on and a negative effect in later years. Any of these outcomes would be theoretically interesting and allow us to advance or
modify our argument regarding the effect of regulatory compliance on thestatus of HR.
4 Gersen’s (2007) analysis identified the following industries as having higher than average rates of EEOC filings over thenine
years in his study:Miscellaneous Manufacturers (SIC code 3390), Miscellaneous Food Stores (5490), AutomotiveDealers
(5590), Hotels and Motels (7010), Hospitals (8060), and Elementary and Secondary Schools (8210); industries with lower than
A census of all HR practitioners within each organization (or division) studied, including
demographics, educational background, performance data, and career history. Such data are
typically available from corporate HR information systems.
Semi-structured interviews with a representative sample of HR practitioners in different roles
and different hierarchical levels. These interviews will focus on career backgrounds, reasons
for choosing HR as a career, and individuals’ views of what it means to be an HR
professional. In addition, we will conduct interviews with a representative sample of non-HR
employees, focusing on their perceptions of HR. All interviews will be recorded and
Observation of HR practitioners in the course of their day-to-day work. It will be vitally
important to document the activities occupy HR people’s time, the issues they discuss and
with whom, the frequency and nature of their interactions with others in the organization, and
(most importantly) the meaning they attach to all of these aspects of their work.
Coding of interview and observational data. Coding of these data will follow established
“grounded theory” practices (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). We envision an iterative process
using NVivo software to catalog and analyze relationships among data points. Ongoing
thematic analysis will help clarify relationships between broad categories of findings.
The timeline below identifies key milestones in the two-phase project. The chief task in
Phase 1 will be to construct the data base for regression analysis. Phase 2 will be more labor-
intensive, as it requires extensive field work among HR practitioners in a minimum of six
companies. The fieldwork schedule includes time for mid-stream data coding and analysis. An
average rates were Textile Mills (2200), Accounting, Auditing, and Bookkeeping (8720), and Research, Development, and
Testing Services (8730).
advantage of our two-phase design is that each phase will result in a draft of a scholarly paper. In
the first phase, the paper will be a traditional hypothesis-testing econometric study. The second
phase will produce an inductive, theory-generating paper based on grounded research (Charmaz,
2006). Additional scholarly and practitioner-oriented papers will flow from the synthesis of the
two phases of the study.
Phase 1: Regression Analysis ofHR Wage Ratio by Compliance Intensity
1. Extract relevant data on wages by occupation and industryfrom CurrentPopulation
2. Obtain EEOC claims data for 1972 – 1989 and 1999 – present.(Currently in
possession of1990-1998 data;FOIA requestsubmitted for remaining data.)
3. Constructfinal data base combining CPS and EEOC data by industry Oct 2010
4. Perform regression analyses to testhypothesized relationship between HR wage
ratio and compliance intensity
5. Prepare working paper based on findings from Phase 1 Dec 2010 – Jan 2011
Phase 2: Field Study of HR Identity within Industries with varying Compliance Intensity
1. Initiate IRB approval (completed)
2. Complete institutionally-mandated Human Subjects training (completed)
3. Site selection and approvals (minimum ofthree sites each from compliance-intense
and compliance non-intense industries,based on analysis in Phase 1)
Jan – Feb 2011
4. Fieldwork at first group of companies (“Panel A”) Mar – Apr 2011
5. Reflection,initial coding,and data analysis from Panel A companies May 2011
6. Follow-up fieldwork,Panel A companies Jun 2011
7. Write case summaries ofHR within Panel A companies Jul – Aug 2011
8. Fieldwork at second group ofcompanies (“Panel B”) Sep – Oct 2011
9. Reflection,initial coding,and data analysis from Panel B companies Nov 2011
10. Follow-up fieldwork,Panel B companies Dec 2011
11. Write case summaries ofHR within Panel B companies Jan – Feb 2012
12. Comparative analysis ofHR identity in Panel A vs. Panel B companies Mar – Apr 2012
13. Draft working paper on HR identity construction in compliance-intense vs.compliance
May – Jun 2012
Proposed Budget and Justification
Considering the magnitude of the research proposed – a two-phase study including
fieldwork within six different companies – we feel that the proposed budget represents a highly
efficient allocation of research funds. In effect, the first phase of the project will be self-funded;
SHRM Foundation resources would be invested primarily in the unique (and labor-intensive)
second phase. The SHRM Foundation, however, would be acknowledged as the sponsor on all
research output resulting from both phases of the project.5
For ease in relating our budget justification to the spreadsheet below, each item in the
following numbered list corresponds to a similarly numbered line on the spreadsheet.
(1) Dr. Barley is the principal investigator, requiring our institution’s minimum of 1% support
for the duration of the project, although his supervision of the project will consume far more
than 1% of his time.
(2) Kurt Sandholtz will perform the majority of the data gathering. The budget indicates a 50%
research assistantship during the academic year and 90% summer funding at standard
institutional rates, as well as the reduced TGR tuition allowance. (Note: All personnel costs
include institutionally-specified benefits rates.)
(3) Travel costs include one trip during the first year and three trips during the second year to
present findings at research seminars, academic meetings, and professional conferences.
Each trip is estimated for one person at $500 airfare, $200 lodging, and $175 for ground
transportation, parking, and meals.
(4) A transcriptionist for field interviews will allow quick conversion of taped interviews into
text, which is required for the coding of qualitative data. We estimate a total of 100
interviews (15 to 20 per site) at transcription costs of $62 per interview.
(5) The total project budget is subject to institutional overhead of 15%, to defray facilities and
other indirect costs.
5 We currently have neither applied for nor received funding for this project from any other source.
Project: MS&E FY10-86 SHRM Foundation
Department: Mgt Sci & Engr
Principal Investigator: BARLEY, STEPHEN (Prof) - MGTSCI
Administrator: Bill Murphy
Budget Period 1 Period 2 All Periods
Justification 01/01/11 - 12/31/2011 01/01/12 - 6/30/2012 01/01/11 - 06/30/12
Notes % Amount % Amount Total Amount
(1) Barley, Stephen (Prof) acad yr 1 1,971 1 1,340 3,311
summer 1 651 0 0 651
(2) 2011, All Students (Res Asst) acad yr 50 23,634 50 16,068 39,702
summer 90 14,040 0 0 14,040
Total Salaries 40,296 17,408 57,704
Faculty 839 429 1,268
Graduate 1,884 803 2,687
Total Salaries and Benefits 43,019 18,640 61,659
(3) Conferences and Site Visits 875 2,625 3,500
(4) Transcriptionist 6,200 6,200
Tuition Allowance (TGR Rate) 10,169 5,236 15,405
Total Direct Costs 60,263 26,501 86,764
Modified Total Direct Costs 60,263 26,501 86,764
University IDC Costs
(5) IDC Costs on MTDC 9,039 3,975 13,014
Annual Amount Requested 69,302 30,476
Total Amount Requested 99,778
NOTE: Rates Used in Budget Calculations
Faculty: UFY11 32.00%; UFY12 32.00%;
Graduate: UFY11 05.00%; UFY12 05.00%;
Indirect Cost Rate
Special Rate: UFY11 15.00%; UFY12 15.00%;
The researchers bring a unique combination of skills to the project. Steve Barley, the
Principal Investigator, is a former editor of Administrative Science Quarterly and was the scholar
whose work received the greatest number of “most interesting paper” nominations from the
Academy of Management Journal review board (Barley, 2006). He has considerable experience
in the design, execution, and supervision of robust qualitative research, having conducted or
supervised field studies of such diverse professions as radiologists and radiological technicians,
morticians, computer programmers, automotive engineers, and recruiters (Barley, 1983; Barley,
1986; Barley, 1996; Evans, Kunda and Barley, 2004). Kurt Sandholtz is a seasoned researcher
with a unique background, having spent more than 17 years consulting with HR departments
prior to entering a doctoral program in 2007. His understanding of the HR practitioner world is
reflected not only in his work experience, but in his co-authorship (with Dave Ulrich and Wayne
Brockbank) of HR Competencies: Mastery at the intersection of people and business (2008). He
spent the early years of his career as a staff writer and editor for Dow Jones & Co.
Specific publications targeted. Our research stands to make fundamental contributions to
three streams of literature. First, we offer a deductive test of the impact of government-spawned
regulatory duties on the identity of a profession rather than its spread. Our hypothesis is that the
state indeed has power to extend a profession’s reach, but may at the same time unintentionally
alter its identity. Such a finding would constitute a bridge between the instrumental and identity
aspects of social movements. Articles emphasizing this aspect of our research would be
contribute to an on-going scholarly conversation on this topic in such journals as Administrative
Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, Organization Science, and Academy of
Second, our findings will contribute to important current work on the social construction
of identity, especially in HR. Articles summarizing our findings in this area would fit well in
publications such as the theory oriented journals mentioned above, as well as Human Resource
Management, and Human Resource Planning Journal.
Finally, our research will have direct implications for the way the legal aspect of HR
work is organized, and for the way the training of HR professionals affects their future identities
on the job. Articles and press releases on “the true nature of HR work” will be targeted toward a
broad range of practitioner-oriented and popular publications such as HR Magazine, Human
Resource Development Quarterly, People & Strategy, Fortune, Business Week, The Wall Street
Journal, and Financial Times.
Implications for Practice
Our study will offer an important supplement to the current corpus of research on HR
competencies and effectiveness. Important insights have been gleaned from various analyses of
survey data, correlating the knowledge and behavior of HR professionals with their perceived
competence (Ulrich et al., 2008; Lawler, Boudreau, and Morhman, 2006). In contrast, our
approach will use econometric analysis to identify industries in which HR work is more heavily
influenced by regulatory responsibilities, followed by an in-depth qualitative study of the
organization, activities, and work-related identities of HR practitioners within companies at
different ends of the “compliance intensity” spectrum.
As such, our research will provide the following potential benefits to HR practitioners
and those whom they serve in organizations. First, we will offer insights into more effective and
less effective ways of organizing (structurally) the legal compliance aspect of HR work. Second,
we will identify concrete individual strategies for coping (psychologically) with the challenges of
regulatory compliance when no structural solution has been implemented (based on detailed
observation of the tradeoffs made by effective individual practitioners). Finally, our results will
offer concrete strategies for HR practitioners when faced with requests to be the “moral police”
within their respective organizations.
In summary, our study is designed to test whether the noble aims of a past movement
(Civil Rights) have had unintended side-effects for HR. Our research will help illuminate an
important paradox that has received little scholarly attention. When organizations attempt to
compartmentalize managerial morality within a single corporate function, the resulting identity
dynamics may instead marginalize the function and hinder the achievement of the higher goal.
1. Figures and Tables 19
2. References 23
3. CVs of Principal Investigator and Graduate Student Researcher 26
FIGURES AND TABLES
Table 1: Legislative Actions with Implications for HR
Co.s with x
Implications for HR
1963: Equal Pay Act
1 Amendment to FLSA forbidding discrimination in pay on the basis of gender.
1964: Title VII of the Civil
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and
1965: Affirmative Action
Requires the development of Affirmative Action Plans for employers with
$50,000 or more in federal contracts.
1967: Age Discrimination
in Employment Act
20 Forbids the discrimination on the basis of age (40 and over).
1970: Occupational Safety
and Health Act (OSHA)
1 Employers must furnish a workplace that is free from recognized hazards.
Security Act (ERISA)
Regulates benefits through a complex series of rules covering pensions,
profit-sharing, stock bonus, and most insurance and other benefit plans.
Discrimination Act (PDA)
Forbids discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related
Requires that employees wholose coverage under group health plans be
given a continuation option.
1986: Immigration Reform
and Control Act (IRCA)
Employers must verify that workers are legally entitled to work in the United
States by filing I-9 forms for all employees.
Polygraph Protection Act
1 Forbids most employers to use lie detectors.
1990: Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA)
15 Forbids discrimination against the disabled.
1993: Family and Medical
Leave Act (FMLA)
Mandates up to 12 weeks of leave in any 12-month period for certain
1994: Uniformed Services
Reemployment Rights Act
Prohibits discrimination against those who serve in the military; mandates
military leave of absence.
1996: Health Insurance
Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Limits the duration of preexisting condition exclusion in group health plans
and gives new enrollees credit for prior coverage.
Requires that federal government contractors and subcontractors make
special efforts to employ and promote specific types of veterans.
Requires organizations with Federal contracts of $100,000 or more to
develop and enforce policies to maintain a drug-free workplace.
Table 2: Analysis of Informants (Preliminary Interviews)
Industry Informants Gender Informants
Manufacturing 8 Women 22
HR consulting 6 Men 20
Software/e-commerce 6 Total 42
Pharma/biotech/med devices 5
Consumer products/retail 5
Financial services 4
Executive recruiter 3 Co. size (# employees) Informants
Hospital/assisted living 2 >10,000 14
Real Estate 1 1,000 – 9,999 5
Construction 1 100-999 10
Employment law 1 <100 13
Total 42 Total 42
Figure 1: Percentages of articles from Personnel Administrator/HR Magazine
dedicated to legal compliance versus other popular topics, by 5-year increments
1961-65 1966-70 1970-75 1976-80 1980-85 1986-90 1990-95 1996-00 2001-05 2006-08
Basics Business Compliance Unions
Figure 2: Credentials of Speakers at SHRM Annual Conferences, 2001-2010
2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2008 2010
Year of SHRM Annual Conference (data missing for 2004 and 2009)
Figure 3: Aggregation of SOC Codes Used to Compute Wage Ratios
For a given industry, wage ratios will be computed at two levels:
HR & Related Managers’ Wages / Other Functional Managers’ Wages
aggregateof SOC codes: aggregateof SOC codes:
11-3111 (Comp. & Ben. managers) 11-2021 (Marketing managers)
11-3121 (HRmanagers) 11-3021 (Computer and I.S. managers)
11-3131 (Training & Dev. managers) 11-3031 (Financemanagers)
11-3061 (Purchasing managers)
HR & Related Specialists’ Wages / Other Functional Specialists’ Wages
aggregateof SOC codes: aggregateof SOC codes:
13-1141 (Comp. & Ben. specialists) 13-1161 (Marketing specialists)
13-1071 (HRspecialists) 15-1120 (Computer systemsanalysts)
13-1151 (Training & Dev. specialists) 13-2051 (Financialanalysts)
11-3061 (Purchasing agentsexcept
wholesale, retail, and farm)
Note: Manager and specialist data will be analyzed both separately and combined.
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Stephen R. Barley
School of Engineering 787 Mayfield Avenue
Management Science and Engineering Stanford, CA 94305
Huang Engineering Center – 475 Via Ortega (650) 493-1044
Stanford, CA 94305-4121
1984 Ph.D. in Organization Studies. Alfred P. Sloan School of Management. Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.
1977 M.A. in Student Personnel Administration. Ohio State University.
1975 A.B. in English. The College of William and Mary in Virginia.
1996-on Professor. The Richard Weiland Professor of Management Science and Engineering, School
of Engineering, Stanford University
1994-96 Associate Professor. Management Science and Engineering, School of Engineering,
1990-94 Associate Professor. New York State Schoolof Industrial and Labor Relations. Cornell
1984-90 Assistant Professor. New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Cornell
1983 Instructor. Radcliffe Seminars Program, Radcliffe College.
1982 Instructor. Northeastern University.
1977-79 Residential Coordinator. Department of Residence Life, Cornell University
OTHER PROFESSIONAL ROLES
2007-on Professor by Courtesy Appointment. School of Education, Stanford University
1996-on Co-Director and Founder. Center for Work, Technology, and Organization.
Management Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Stanford University
2004-10 Co-Director. GeneralMotors/Stanford University Collaborative Research Laboratory on
2007-08 Visiting Professor Department of Management Science and Innovation, University
2007-08 Visiting Professor Said Business School, Oxford University, Oxford, England
2006-07 Deputy Department Chair. Management Science and Engineering. Stanford University.
2002-04 Editor. Stanford Social Innovation Review.
1994-2009 Series Editor. Series on Technology and Work. Cornell University Press
1993-97 Editor. Administrative Science Quarterly.
1990-94 Director. Program on Technology and Work. Center for Labor Market Policy. School of
Industrial and Labor Relations Cornell University.
1989-94 Adjunct Professor. Program in Science, Technology and Society. Cornell University.
1987-94 Instructor. Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Summer Program Sponsored by the
American Banking Association.
Technology's role in occupational and organizational change. Science and innovation in industrial
settings. Organizational and occupational culture. Corporate power. Social network theory. Macro-
Organization theory. Technological change. Sociology and anthropology of work and occupations.
Research Methods. Network Theory.
PAPERS IN JOURNALS ANDRESEARCH ANNUALS
Barley, S. (forthcoming). Signifying Institutions. Management Communication Quarterly.
Barley, S. R., D. E. Meyerson and S. Godal. (Forthcoming) “Communication Technologies and Stress in
Everyday Life.” Organization Science.
Bailey, D. and S. R. Barley. (Forthcoming) “Teaching-learning ecologies: Mapping the environment to
structure through action.” Organization Science.
Leonardi, P. M. and S. R. Barley. 2010. “What’s under construction here? Social action, materiality,
and power in constructivist studies of technology and organizing.” The Academy of Management
Barley, S. R. 2010 Corralling the Government: An Agenda for Organization Studies. Organization
Leonardi, P. M. and S. R. Barley (2008) “Materiality and change: challenges to building better theory
about technology and organizing.” Information and Organization. 18:159-176.
Barley, S. R. (2008) “Rejoinder.” Journal of Management Inquiry. 17:168-171.
Barley, S. R. (2007) “Corporations, democracy and the public good.” Journal of Management Inquiry.
Barley, S. R. (2006) “When I write my masterpiece:Thoughts on what makes a paper interesting?”
Academy of Management Journal. 49: 16-20.
Barley, S. R. and G. Kunda (2006) “Contracting: A new form of professional practice.” Academy of
Management Perspective. 19:1-19.
Bailey, D. and S. R. Barley. (2005) “Return to work: Toward a post-industrial engineering.” IIE
Evans, J., G. Kunda and S. R. Barley. (2004) “Beach Time, Bridge Time, and Billable Hours: The
Temporal Structure of Technical Contracting.” Administrative Science Quarterly,49: 1-38.
Reprinted in Amy S. Wharton (ed.) (2007) The Sociology of Organizations. Oxford,
Eng.: Oxford University Press.
G. Kunda, S. R. Barley, and J. Evans. (2002) “Why do contractors contract? The experience of highly
skilled technical professionals in a contingent labor market.” Industrial and Labor Relations
Orlikowski, W. and S. R. Barley. (2001) “Technology and institutions: What information systems
research and organization studies can learn from each other.” MIS Quarterly 25:145-165.
Barley, S. R. and G. Kunda. (2001) “Bringing work back in.” Organization Science 12:76-95.
Barr, D., P. Vergun and S. R. Barley. (2000) “Problems in using patient satisfaction data to assess the
quality of care of primary care physicians.” Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management. 7:19-
Barley, S. R. (1999) “Computer-based distance education: why and why not.” The Education Digest.
O’Mahony, S. and S. R. Barley. (1999) “Do telecommunications technologies affect work and
organizations? The state of our knowledge” Pp. 125-161 in B. Staw and R. Sutton, (Eds) Research
in Organizational Behavior, Volume 21, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
W. Kaghan, A. Strauss, S. R. Barley, M. Y. Brannan, R. Thomas. (1999) "The practice and uses of field
research in the 21st century organization." Journal of Management Inquiry.
Barley, S. R. (1998) "Military Downsizing and the Career Prospects of Youth" Annals of the American
Academy of Social and Political Sciences. 559:141-157.
Barley, S. R. (1998) “What can we learn from the history of technology?” The Journal of Engineering
and Technology Management. 15:237-255.
Nelsen, B. J. and S. R. Barley. (1997) "For love or money: Commodification and the construction of an
occupational mandate." Administrative Science Quarterly,42:619-653
Barley, S. R. and P. S. Tolbert. (1997) "Institutionalization and structuration: Studying the links between
institutions and actions." Organization Studies, 18:93-117.
Zabusky, S. E. and S. R. Barley. (1997) "You can't be a stone if you're cement: Re-evaluating the emic
identities of scientists in organizations." Research in Organizational Behavior, 19:361-404.
Barley, S. R. (1996) "Technicians in the workplace: Ethnographic evidence for bringing work into
organization studies." Administrative Science Quarterly,41:404-441.
Stern, R. N. and S. R. Barley. (1996) "Organizations and social systems: The neglected mandate."
Administrative Science Quarterly,41:146-162.
Barley, S. R. (1996) "Commentary on Pentland." Technology Studies. 2:89-92.
Barley, S. R. and B. Bechky. (1994) "In the backrooms of science: Notes on the work of science
technicians." Work and Occupations. 21:85-126.
Barley, S. R. and G. Kunda. (1992) "Design and devotion: The ebb and flow of rational and normative
ideologies of control in managerial discourse." Administrative Science Quarterly,37:1-30.
Reprinted in Keith Grint (Ed.) (2000) Work and Society: A Reader. Blackwell: Oxford,
Reprinted in Timothy Clark and Stephanos Avakian (Eds.) (2009) Management
Consulting. Edward Elgar Publishing: Camberly, UK.
Barley, S. R. and D. K. Knight. (1991) "Toward a cultural theory of stress complaints." Pp. 1-48 in B.
Staw and L. L. Cummings, (Eds) Research in Organizational Behavior. Volume 14. Greenwich,
CT: JAI Press.
Barley, S. R. (1990) "Images of imaging: Notes on doing longitudinal field work." Organization
Reprinted in G. Huber and A. Van De Ven (eds). (1995) Longitudinal Field Methods,
Thousand Oaks,CA: Sage.
Barley, S. R. (1990) "The alignment of technology and structure through roles and networks."
Administrative Science Quarterly,35: 61-103.
Barley, S. R., G. Meyer and D. Gash. (1988) "Cultures of culture: Academics,practitioners, and the
pragmatics of normative control." Administrative Science Quarterly. 33:24-60.
Reprinted in Frederico Butera Ed. (2008) Studi Organizativi: Nuova Serie
Reprinted in P.Frost and R. Stablein (eds) (1991) Exemplary Organizational Research.
Beverly Hills, CA: Sage
Barley, S. R. (1988) "Technology, power, and the social organization of work: towards a pragmatic
theory of skilling and deskilling." Pp 33-80 in N. DiTomaso and S. Bacharach (Eds.) Research in
the Sociology of Organizations. Volume 6. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Reprinted in Frank Ackerman,et al. (1998) The Changing Nature of Work. Island Press. .
Barley, S. R. (1986) "Technology as an occasion for structuring: observations on CT scanners and the
social order of radiology departments." Administrative Science Quarterly, 31:78-108.
Reprinted in Gerry Johnson et al. (eds.) (2007) Strategy as Practice. Cambridge Eng:
Cambridge University Press.
Barley, S. R. (1986) "Changing roles in radiology." Administrative Radiology,5:32-41.
Barley, S. R. and L. K. Williams (1985) "Could a funny thing happen on the way to the office of the
future?" I.L.R. Report, 23:11-21.
Van Maanen, J. and S. R. Barley (1984) "Occupational communities: Culture and control in
organizations." In B. M. Staw and L. L. Cummings (Eds.) Research in Organizational Behavior,
pp. 287-365. Volume 6. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Reprinted in B. Czarniawska (eds.) (2005) Organization Theory. Cheltenham,Eng:
Edward Elgar Publishing.
Barley, S. R. (1983) "Semiotics and the study of occupational and organizational cultures."
Administrative Science Quarterly, 28:393-413.
Reprinted in P.Frost,L. Moore, M. L. Louis, C. Lundberg, and J. Martin (eds.) (1991)
Framing Organizational Cultures. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Reprinted in C. L. Cooper (ed.) (1999) Classics in Management Thought. Cheltenham,
Glos, U.K.:Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Reprinted in A. Beck,P,Bennett, P. Wall (eds) (2004) Communication Studies: The
Essential Resource. London: Routledge.
Barley, S. R. (1983) "Codes of the dead: the semiotics of funeral work." Urban Life,12: 3-31.
PAPERS IN BOOKS
Barley, S. R. (Forthcoming) “I Save a Technician’s Butt and Another Saves Mine” Pp. xxx in Jane
Dutton and Arne Carlson (eds) Copenhagen Business School Press: Copenhagen, DK.
Barley, S. R. (2008) “Letter to editors.” Opening the Black Box of Editorship. Y Baruch,Aguinis, A.
Konrad & W. Starbuck, eds. Palgrave: New York.
Barley, S. R. (2008) “Coalface institutionalism.” Pp. 490-515 in R Greenwood, C. Oliver, R. Suddaby
and K. Sahlin-Anderson eds. Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism. Thousand Oaks,CA:
Barley, S. R. and G. Kunda. (2006) “Itinerant professionals: Technical contractors in a knowledge
economy.” Pp 173-193 in J. O’Toole and E. E. Lawler, Eds. America at Work: Choices and
Challenges,New York:Palgrave Macmillan.
Barley, S. R. (2005) “What we know (and mostly don’t know) about technical work.” In Stephen
Ackroyd, Rosemary Batt, PaulThompson and Pamela Tolbert eds. The Oxford Handbook of Work
and Organization. Oxford University Press:Oxford, Eng.
Barley S.R. (2004) “Puddle jumping as a career strategy.” In R. Stablien and P. Frost. Eds. Renewing
Research Practice: Lessons fromScholar’sJourneys. Stanford University Press:Stanford, CA.
Barley, S. R. (2002) “Foreword.” Pp. ix-xii in Peter Meiksins and Peter Whalley, Putting Work in Its
Place: A Quiet Revolution. Cornell University Press:Ithaca,New York.
Barley, S. R. (1999) “Competence without Credentials: The Promise and Potential Problems of
Computer-Based Distance Learning.” Pp. 5-13 in Nevzer Stacey (ed) Competence without
Credentials. U.S. Department of Education. Washington, D. C.
Barley, S. R.. (1997) “Forward.” Pp. ix-xv in Leslie Perlow, Finding Time. Ithaca,NY:ILR Press.
Barley, S. R. and Julian Orr. (1997) "The neglected workforce: An introduction." Pp. 1-19 in S. Barley
and J. Orr (ed.) Between Craft and Science: Technical Work in U.S. Settings. Ithaca,NY:ILR
Whalley, P. and S. R. Barley (1996) "Technical work and the division of labor: Stalking the wily
anomaly." Pp. 20-52 in S. Barley and J. Orr (ed.) Between Craft and Science: Technical Work in
U.S. Settings. Ithaca,NY:ILR Press.
Barley, S. R. (1996) “Preface.” In J. Orr, Talking about Machines: An Ethnography of a Modern Job.
Ithaca,NY: ILR Press.
Zabusky, S. E. and S. R. Barley. (1996) "Redefining success: Ethnographic observations on the careers
of technicians." Pp. 185-214 in PaulOsterman (ed.) Broken Ladders: Managerial Careers in
Transition. Oxford,Eng: Oxford University Press.
Barley, S. R. (1996) Sections on "Culture," "Structuration," and "Ethnography" in Nigel Nicholson, (ed.),
Dictionary of Organizational Behavior. London: Basil Blackwell.
Barley, S. R., J. Freeman,and R. Hybels (1992) "Strategic alliances in commercial biotechnology." Pp
311-345 in N. Norhia and R. G. Eccles (Eds), Networks and Organizations: Structure,Formand
Action. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Meyer, G., S. R. Barley, and D. Gash (1991) "Obsession and naivete in upstate New York: A Tale of
research." Pp. 22-35 in P. Frost and R. Stablein (eds) Exemplary Organizational Research.
Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Barley, S. R. and P. S. Tolbert. (1991) "At the intersection of organizations and occupations." Pp 1-15
in P. Tolbert and S. R. Barley (eds), Research in the Sociology of Organizations: Organizations
and Professions,Volume 7. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Barley, S. R. (1991) "Contextualizing conflict: Notes on the anthropology of disputes and negotiations."
Pp 165-199 in M. Bazerman, B. Sheppard, and R. Lewicki, (eds) Research on Negotiations in
Organizations. Volume 3. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Freeman, J. and S. R. Barley. (1990) "The strategic analysis of inter-organizational relations in
biotechnology." Pp 127-155 in R. Loveridge and M. Pitt (eds.) The Strategic Management of
Technological Innovation. New York:Wiley.
Hybels, R. and S. R. Barley. (1990) "Co-optation and the legitimation of professional identities: human
resource policies in high technology firms." Pp. 199-213 in L. R. Gomez-Mejia and M. Lawless
(eds.) Organizational Issues in High Technology Management. Greenwich,CT: JAI Press.
Barley, S. R. (1989) "Careers,identities, and institutions: the legacy of the Chicago School of
Sociology." Pp 41-65 in M. Arthur, T. Hall and B. Lawrence (Eds.) The Handbook of Career
Theory. Cambridge,Eng.: Cambridge University Press.
Reprinted in D. T. Hall (editor) (1994) Career Development. International Library of Management,
Dartmouth Publishing Co: Hampshire, Eng.
Barley, S. R. (1988) "The social construction of a machine: Ritual, superstition, magical thinking and
other pragmatic responses to running a CT scanner." Pp 497-539 in M. Lock and D. Gordon
(eds.) Biomedicine Examined. Dordrecht,The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Barley, S. R. (1988) "On technology, time, and social order: Technically induced change in the temporal
organization of radiological work." Pp 123-169 in F. A. Dubinskas (ed.) Making
Time: Ethnographiesof High Technology Organizations. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University
Van Maanen, J. and S. R. Barley. (1985) "Cultural organization: Fragments of a theory." In P. Frost et
al. (Eds) Organizational Culture, pp. 31-54. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publishing Co.
BOOKS and MONOGRAPHS
Barley, S. R. and Kunda, G. (2004) Gurus, Hired Gunsand WarmBodies: Itinerant Experts in a
Knowledge Economy. Princeton,NJ: Princeton University Press.
Chapter 1 reprinted in:Robert Perrucciand Carolyn Perrucci(eds.) (2007) The
Transformation of Work in the New Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kochan, T. A., Barley, S. R. et al. (1999) The Changing Nature of Work and Its Implications for
Occupational Analysis. NationalResearch Council: Washington, D.C.
Barley, S. R. and J. Orr. (Eds) (1997). Between Craft and Science: Technical Work in the United States.
Ithaca,NY: ILR Press.
Barley, S. R. (1996). The New World of Work. Washington, D.C.: National Planning Association.
Tolbert, P. S. and S. R. Barley (Eds). (1991) Professions and Organizations. Special edition of
Research in the Sociology of Organizations:Organizations and Professions. Volume 8.
Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Barley S. R. et al. (2000) Mobility Among Sun Employees. Report on research conducted for the
Workplace Effectiveness Group, Sun Microsystems.
Barley, S. R. (1998) “The Professional and Technical Labor Force.” Committee on Techniques for the
Enhancement of Human Performance-OccupationalAnalysis. National Research Council.
Barley, S. R., Hofstader, R. and Chapman, K. (1997) "Skill Standards in Context: Models of
Technician's Work." Pp. 13-25 in R. Hofstader and K. Chapman, Foundations forExcellence in
the Chemical Process Industries: Voluntary Industry Standardsfor Chemical Process Industries
Technical Workers. American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C.
Barley, S. R. and B. J. Nelsen. (1995) The Nature and Implications of InfrastructuralTechnological
Change for the Social Organization of Work. Office of Technology Assessment,Congress of the
United States,Washington D.C.
WORKING PAPERS and MANUSCRIPTS UNDER REVIEW
Bailey, D. E, P. M. Leonardi, S. Barley. Icons, Symbols and Digitization: The Persistence of Physical
Artifacts in and Increasingly Virtual Workplace. (Under review, Organization Science)
Barley, S. R. and B. Bechky. “Is Stress Talk Contagious? Investigating the Cultural Dynamics of Stress.”
Nelsen, B. J. and S. R. Barley. "Toward an Emic Understanding of Professionalism among Technical
Workers." Working Paper. National Center for the Education of the Workforce. University of
Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA.
National Science Foundation. (Diane Bailey, Co-PI) Transformation of Engineering Design: Digitization
and Global Distribution of Engineering Work. $1.2 million (2004-2009)
National Science Foundation. Communication Technology and the Social Construction of Availability.
National Center for the Education of the Workforce. $450,000 to conduct a series of ethnographies on a
variety of technical occupations 1990-95.
Sloan Foundation. $27,484 to hold a conference on the Technical workforce. March 1993
U.S. Department of Labor. $10,000 to hold a workshop on the Technical Workforce. October 1992.
National Science Foundation. (with John Freeman) $90,000 to study "Niche and Network: The Evolution
of Organizational Fields in the Biotechnology Industry." 1988-89.
R. Brinkley Smithers Institute for the Study of Alcoholism and Workplace Problems. $25,000 to study
"Stress as a Vocabulary of Organizing." 1986-89.
National Center for Health Services Research DoctoralDissertation Grant. (HSO5004) $32,000 to study
"New Imaging Modalities and Social Change in Radiology." 1983-84.
AWARDS & HONORS
Distinguished Scholar, Critical Management Studies Division, Academy of Management. 2010
Distinguished Scholar, Organizational Communication and Information Systems Division, Academy of
Derber Lecture. School of Labor Relations. University of Illinois. 2010.
Best Published Article Award. International Conference on Information Systems. 2009.
Listed on ISIHighlycited.com 2009.
Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA. 2008-2009
Best Article Award. Journal of Management Inquiry. 2008.
Joan Woodward Distinguished Lecturer,Imperial College, London 2008
Fellow, Academy of Management. 2007
Outstanding Mentor Award: The American Indian, Alaska Native and native Hawaiian Program, Stanford
University, Stanford. 2006
Author of the largest number of interesting papers. 2006. Academy of Management Journal.
Distinguished Scholar, Organization and Management Theory Division, Academy of Management. 2006
IBM Fellow, 2005-2006.
Senior Research Fellow. Center for Work, Interaction and Technology, Kings College, London, 2004.
Distinguished Visiting Scholar. INSEAD. Fountainbleu, France June, 2004.
Charles M. Pigott, Chaired Professorship, School of Engineering, Stanford University, 2003-2009.
Distinguished Speaker Award. Technology Management Section. INFORMS. November, 2002.
Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in Leadership, Stockholm School of Economics 2001-on
Breaking the Frame Award. Journal of Management Inquiry. 2000.
Distinguished Lecturer. School of Management, Uppsala University, Sweden. 1999.
Morgenthaler Chaired Professor,School of Engineering, Stanford University, 1994-1997
New Concept Award. Organizational Behavior Division, Academy of Management. For "Occupational
Communities: Culture and Control in Organizations." August, 1985.
Outstanding Paper Award. Presented by the National Industrial and Organizational Psychology and
Organizational Behavior Doctoral Student Convention. April, 1982.
Member National Academy of Science, Committee on Impacts of Changes in the
Information Technology Research and Development Ecosystem. 2006-
Member Organizing Committee. Nobel Symposium on the Foundations of
Organizations. Staltsjobaden, Sweden, 2007-08
Co-Organizer Workplace and Employment Relations Conference 2004-2006
Co-Chair National Research Council, Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement
of Human Performance:Occupational Analysis. 1996-99
Board of Senior Scholars Center for Educational Quality of the Workforce. University of
Book Review Editor Administrative Science Quarterly. 1988-93
Advisory Board Economia e Politica Industrial (Journal of Industrial and Business
Editorial Board Academy of Management Journal. 1985-87, 2004-on
Editorial Board Research in the Sociology of Organizations. 2005-on
Editorial Board Academy of Management Annuals. 2005-on
Editorial Board Engineering Studie. 2008-on
Editorial Board Information and Organization 2006-on
Editorial Board Journal of Management Studies. 1996-06
Editorial Board Organization Science. 1987-93.
Editorial Board Administrative Science Quarterly. 1986-92.
Academy of Management
American Sociological Association
International Network for Engineering Studies
Macro-Organizational Behavior Society
Born: Feb 16, 1953
Married, with two children (ages 22 and 26).
Kurt W. Sandholtz
Center for Work, Technology, and Organization 397 Mulqueeney Street
Management Science & Engineering Livermore, CA 94550
475 Via Ortega, Suite 212 (925) 292-4675
Stanford, CA 94305
2012 Ph.D. in Organization Studies, Dept. of Management Science & Engineering,
(expected) Stanford University
1988 M.Sc. in Organizational Behavior, Marriott School of Management,
Brigham Young University
1983 B.A., English cum laude, Brigham Young University
2006-07 Senior Consultant, The RBL Group, Provo, UT
Designed and delivered customized seminars for HR managers
2004-06 Visiting Instructor, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University
Redesigned and taught introductory and graduate-level OB courses
2003-04 Managing Director, Zenger Folkman Co., Orem, UT
Delivered leadership development seminars and one-on-one executive coaching
2002-03 Principal, Sandholtz Consulting LLC, Provo, UT
Independent consultant specializing in career development and work-life balance
1990-02 Consultant and Partner, Novations Group, Inc., Provo, UT
Consulted with organizations on business and human resource issues
1986-90 Staff Writer and Senior Editor, Dow Jones & Co., Princeton, NJ
Researched and wrote weekly articles on employment and career development
Institutional theory and occupational sociology. The origins, evolution, and work practices of
HR. The genesis of novel organizational forms. The standardization of professional work.
Ulrich, D., W. Brockbank, D. Johnson, K. Sandholtz, and J. Younger. 2008. HR Competencies:
Mastery at the intersection of people and business. Alexandria, VA: Society for Human
Sandholtz, K., B. Derr, K. Buckner, and D. Carlson. 2002. Beyond Juggling: Rebalancing Your
Busy Life. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Powell, W.W., and K. Sandholtz. (forthcoming). “Chance, Necessite, et Naivete: Ingredients to
create a new organizational form,” in J. Padgett and W.W. Powell, eds., The Emergence of
Organizations and Markets, chap. 12. Princeton University Press.
Terry, R. and K. Sandholtz. 2001. “Development Tools for Both Pre- and Post-Tenure Review.”
Proceedings of 2001 Frontiers in Education Conference, Reno, NV.
Terry, R. and K. Sandholtz. 1999. “Empowering Graduates to Manage Professional Careers for
Greater Satisfaction and Contribution.” Proceedings of 1999 ASEE Annual Conference,
Terry, R. and K. Sandholtz. 1999. “A Non-traditional Faculty Development Program.”
Proceedings of 1999 Frontiers in Education Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Perry, L. and K. Sandholtz. 1988. “A ‘Liberating Form’ for Radical Product Innovation.” In Urs
E. Gattiker and Laurie Larwood, eds., Managing Technological Development: Strategic and
Human Resources Issues, pp. 9 – 31. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Ulrich, D., N. Smallwood, and K. Sandholtz. 2006. “Making Intangibles Tangible.” Strategic
Sandholtz, K., B. Derr, and K. Buckner. 2004. “Beyond Juggling: Finding a Work-Life
Balance.” Marriott Alumni Magazine (Winter).
Sandholtz, K. 2003. “How to Take Control of a Lopsided Life.” CareerJournal.com, The Wall
Street Journal Executive Career Site.
Sandholtz, K. 2002. “Are You In Danger of Plateauing?” CareerJournal.com, The Wall Street
Journal Executive Career Site.
Sandholtz, K. 2000. “How to Find Your Career Best.” CareerJournal.com, The Wall Street
Journal Executive Career Site.
Sandholtz, K. 1998. “A Career Management Model.” Dr. Dobbs Journal (Fall).
Younger, J. and K. Sandholtz. 1997. “Helping R&D Professionals Build Successful Careers.”
Research Technology Management 40(6): 23 – 28.
Brandl, J. and K. Sandholtz. 2010. “Dare or Duty? The ‘caring’ role and other tensions
in contemporary HR.” Proposed and led caucus session at the Academy of Management Annual
Meeting, August 9, Montreal.
Sandholtz, K. 2010. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The persistence of contested legitimacy
in contemporary HR.” Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, August
PAPERS UNDER REVIEW
Sandholtz, K. “The transformation of social regulation: Standards as catalysts of coupled vs.
decoupled compliance .” Under review at Organization Studies.