Sociology Department Chair
Research Interests: Comparative/historical sociology; organizational theory; economic sociology; public policy; stratification.
Frank Dobbin received his BA from Oberlin College in 1980 and his PhD from Stanford University in 1987. Dobbin studies organizations, inequality, economic behavior, and public policy. His 2009 book Inventing Equal Opportunity shows how corporate personnel managers defined what it meant to discriminate.
His evidence-based research on corporate diversity programs (with Alexandra Kalev) shows that mentoring programs, diversity taskforces, and special recruitment programs have helped to promote diversity by engaging managers, while diversity training and diversity performance evaluations have thwarted progress by stigmatizing managers. These findings have been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Le Monde, CNN, and National Public Radio. Dobbin has published numerous books studying the social construction of economic rationality, including Forging Industrial Policy: United States, Britain, and France in the Railway Age (1994) and The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy (2008). Recent research examines rise of the shareholder value model of corporate management.