Center on Organizational Innovation

The Center on Organizational Innovation (COI) promotes research on organizational innovation as well as new forms of collaboration, communication, and coordination made possible with the advent of interactive technologies.

COI supports a number of PhD research projects, including:

Racialized Expertise and the Enabling and Constraining Character of Organizations: The Case of University Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workers

Sandra Portocarrero

This project unpacks the social organizational processes that lead to the emergence of a new form of racialized expertise by providing a case study of the everyday work-life of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) workers at a large US university. I investigate (a) how the notion of an ideally qualified DEI expert is socially constructed within an organizational context, (b) how the ethnoracial background of DEI workers shapes the perceived fit to fulfill the tasks associated with DEI work, and (c) how the organizational structure of the university enables and constrains the tasks DEI workers fulfill. Drawing from 50 in-depth interviews, a review of the evolution of affirmative action policies and DEI initiatives at the organizational and state level, as well as participant-observation of DEI events, I argue that objects, actors, techniques, devices, and organizational arrangements lead to the emergence of a new form of racialized expertise. I find that when talking about the previous experiences and skills that have prepared DEI workers to do this type of job, workers at Redwood refer to the personal experiences that Black, Latinx, Native-American, Asian American or Pacific Islander workers have lived as a form of preparation for this type of work. In contrast, when talking about the experiences that have prepared White workers for DEI work, people highlighted their previous professional experience, rarely referring to experiences related to the ethnoracial background of these workers. This project contributes to the study of organizations, the study of race and ethnicity within organizations, and the sociology of expertise by offerings insights on the variation of how the ethnoracial background of DEI workers is perceived and presented as a form of perceived credential. It also documents how the role and tasks of an overlooked group of workers – university DEI workers–is being redefined during unprecedented times.


Trials of Legitimacy -- Stress Testing and the Governance of Global Finance

Julian Jurgenmeyer

For this project, a comparative investigation of bank stress testing in the United States and the European Union, I am conducting archival and interview-based research with actors from regulatory agencies, academics, international organizations, and private institutions.  The product of this research will be a scholarly article, amenable to presentation in an academic forum in spring 2021 and, later, to publication in a peer-reviewed journal.






David Stark

Arthur Lehman Professor of Sociology


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