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David Strang



  • Political sociology;
  • organizations;
  • models and methods for dynamic processes

Current Research Interests

Diffusion of management practices within the American business community, with a focus on “quality” programs that combine quality control techniques and participative management; managerial rhetorics (the way consultants, managers, and academics argue for or against “innovations”); the appearance of consulting communities and the way consultants move across innovations (e.g., from quality circles to TQM); innovation decisions taken by a global financial services corporation in a variety of areas including quality, work-life balance, and the Internet

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • (With Michael W. Macy) “Pluralistic Ignorance and the Top Secret Management Handbook: A Computational Model of Fashionable Innovation.” In A. Lomi and E. Larsen, eds. Simulating Organizational Societies: Theories, Models and Ideas. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.
  • (With Sarah A. Soule) “Diffusion in Organizations and Social Movements: From Hybrid Corn to Poison Pills.” Annual Review of Sociology 24, 1998. Pp. 265-90.
  • (With Victor Nee) “The Emergence and Diffusion of Institutional Forms.” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 154, 1998. Pp. 706-15.
  • “Contested Sovereignty: The Construction of Colonial Imperialism.” In C. Weber and T. Biersteker, eds. State Sovereignty as Social Construct. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Pp. 22-49.
  • (With Henrich R. Greve and Nancy B. Tuma) “Specification and Estimation of Heterogeneous Diffusion Processes.” In P. V. Marsden, ed. Sociological Methodology. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995. Pp. 377-420.
  • “Health Maintenance Organizations.” In G. R. Carroll and M. T. Hannan, eds. Organizations in Industry: Strategy, Structure, and Selection. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Pp. 163-82.
  • “The New Institutionalism as a Form of Structural Analysis.” In C. Prendergast and J. D. Knottnerus, eds. Recent Developments in the Theory of Social Structure. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1994. Pp. 151-74.
  • “British and French Political Institutions and the Patterning of Decolonization.” In T. Janoski and A. Hicks, eds. The Comparative Political Economy of the Welfare State: New Methodologies and Approaches. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Pp. 278-95.
  • (With Nancy B. Tuma) “Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity in Diffusion.” American Journal of Sociology 99, 1993. Pp. 614-39.
  • (With John W. Meyer) “Institutional Conditions for Diffusion.” Theory and Society 22, 1993. Pp. 487-511.
“Economic action is ‘social’ insofar as its subjective meaning takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its course.”— Max Weber