Joshua Whitford

Associate Professor of Sociology



Josh Whitford’s interests include economic and organizational sociology, comparative political economy, economic geography and pragmatist social theory. His research focuses on the social, political and institutional implications of productive decentralization (outsourcing) in manufacturing industries in both the United States and Europe. He is especially interested in the causes and consequences of, but also fixes for, a series of “network failures” that he has shown to be endemic to decentralized production regimes. Whitford joined the Columbia Sociology faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2004 and is also a faculty affiliate at the Center on Organizational Innovation. In February 2007, he was named an Industry Studies Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Whitford is the author of The New Old Economy: Networks, Institutions and the Organizational Transformation of American Manufacturing (Oxford University Press 2005) and has written numerous articles. He is currently working on three main projects: an NSF-sponsored project researching government responses to network failures in American manufacturing industries (with Andrew Schrank); When Networks Fail, a book on the general theory of the network failure (Princeton University Press; with Andrew Schrank); and Icons on the Edge, a book on the prospects for, and implications of, Fiat Auto’s merger with Chrysler (University of Chicago Press; with Francesco Zirpoli and Markus Becker).


Don't want to miss our interesting news and updates! Make sure to join our newsletter list.

* indicates required

Contact us

For general questions about ISERP programs, services, and events.

Working Papers Bulletin Sign-up

Sign up here to receive our Working Papers Bulletin, featuring work from researchers across all of the social science departments. To submit your own working paper for our next bulletin, please upload it here, or send it to
* indicates required