My research considers the social context of entrepreneurship from both a contemporary and historical perspective. I draw on large-scale surveys of entrepreneurs in the United States to explore processes of team formation, innovation, exchange, and boundary maintenance in nascent business startups. My historical analyses address entrepreneurial activity and constraint during periods of profound institutional change. This work has considered a diverse range of sectors, including the organizational transformation of Southern agriculture and industry after the Civil War, the transition of the U.S. healthcare system from professional monopoly to managed care, and the character of entrepreneurship during early mercantile and industrial capitalism.
Ruef, M. Between Slavery and Capitalism: The Legacy of Emancipation in the American South. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.
Ruef, M. The Entrepreneurial Group: Social Identities, Relations, and Collective Action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.
Ruef, M, and Lounsbury, M. The Sociology of Entrepreneurship. New York: Elsevier, 2007. (Edited Book)
Aldrich, H, and Ruef, M. Organizations Evolving (2nd Edition). London: Sage, 2006.
Scott, WR, Ruef, M, Mendel, PJ, and Caronna, CA. Institutional Change and Healthcare Organizations: From Professional Dominance to Managed Care. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
Ruef, M. "The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860." The Historian 79.2 (June 1, 2017): 352-353. Full Text
Ruef, M. "The Port Royal Experiment: A Case Study in Development." Journal of Southern History 82.1 (2016): 185-186.
Ruef, M. "Between Monopoly and Free Trade: The English East India Company, 1600-1757." Contemporary Sociology 44.6 (2015): 794-796. Full Text
Ruef, M. "Human Capital, Inter-Firm Mobility, and Organizational Evolution." Contemporary Sociology 38.1 (2009): 90-92.
Ruef, M. "From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession." Administrative Science Quarterly 53.4 (2008): 745-752.
Ruef, M. "The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement." American Journal of Sociology 111.4 (2006): 1243-1245. Full Text
Ruef, M. "Social Movements and Organization Theory." Administrative Science Quarterly 50.4 (2005): 651-652.
Ruef, M. "Changing Organizations: Business Networks in the New Political Economy." Social Forces 81.3 (2003): 1069-1071. Full Text
Ruef, M. "The Twenty-First-Century Firm: Changing Economic Organization in International Perspective." Administrative Science Quarterly 47.4 (2002): 729-731. Full Text
Ruef, M. "Making Markets: Opportunism and Restraint on Wall Street." Administrative Science Quarterly 44.3 (1999): 624-627. Full Text
Ruef, M, and Nag, M. "The Classification of Organizational Forms: Theory and Application to the Field of Higher Education." Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education. Ed. M Kirst and M Stevens. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015. 84-109.
Ruef, M. "The Human and Financial Capital of the Southern Middle Class, 1850-1900." The Southern Middle Class in the Long Nineteenth Century. Ed. JD Wells and JR Green. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2011. 202-224.
Ruef, M. "Entrepreneurial Groups." Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research. Ed. H Landstrom and F Lohrke. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2010. 205-228.
Ruef, M, Bonikowski, B, and Aldrich, H. "Business Owner Demography, Human Capital, and Social Networks." New Firm Creation in the United States. Ed. PD Reynolds and RT Curtin. New York: Springer, 2009. 95-114.
Ruef, M. "Reason and Rationalization: Modes of Argumentation among Health Care Professionals." The Cultural Turn: Perspectives on Communicative Practices in Workplaces and Professions. Ed. C Thralls and M Zachry. Amityville, NY: Baywood Press, 2007. 93-111.
Ruef, M. "Karl Mannheim." Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. G Ritzer. London: Blackwell, 2007. 2756-2759.
Ruef, M. "Organizational Ecology." The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management, Organizational Behavior. Ed. N Nicholson, PG Audia, and MM Pillutla. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. 285-289.
Aldrich, H, Carter, N, and Ruef, M. "Startup Teams." Handbook of Entrepreneurial Dynamics: The Process of Organizational Creation. Ed. WB Gartner, K Shaver, N Carter, and P Reynolds. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004. 299-310.
Ruef, M. "At the Interstices of Organizations: The Expansion of the Management Consulting Profession, 1933-97." The Expansion of Management Knowledge: Carriers, Flows, and Sources. Ed. K Sahlin-Andersson and L Engwall. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002.
Aldrich, H, and Ruef, M. "Unicorns, Gazelles, and Other Distractions on the Way to Understanding Real Entrepreneurship in America." Academy of Management Perspectives forthcoming (January 1, 2018). Full Text
Ruef, M. "Ecological and Rational Choice Models of Endogenous Change." Rationality and Society 29.1 (2017): 55-62. Full Text
Wezel, F, and Ruef, M. "Agents with Principles: The Control of Labor in the Dutch East India Company, 1700-1796." American Sociological Review 82.5 (2017): 1009-1036. Full Text
Kwon, S-W, and Ruef, M. "The Imprint of Labor Markets on Entrepreneurial Performance." Journal of Business Venturing 32.6 (2017): 611-626. Full Text
Godfrey, P, Hassard, J, O'Connor, E, Rowlinson, M, and Ruef, M. "What is Organizational History? Towards a Creative Synthesis of History and Organization Studies." Academy of Management Review 41.4 (2016): 590-608. Full Text
Grigoryeva, A, and Ruef, M. "The Historical Demography of Racial Segregation." American Sociological Review 80.4 (2015): 814-842. Full Text
Ruef, M. "Sociology of Entrepreneurship." Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2015).
Ruef, M. "Constructing Labor Markets: The Valuation of Black Labor in the U.S. South, 1831 to 1867." American Sociological Review 77.6 (2012): 970-998. Full Text
Ruef, M. "Reply to Critics -- Between Slavery and Capitalism." American Sociological Association. Seattle. ASA Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology, 2016.
Ruef, M. "Organizational Sociology has a Past .. Does it Have a Future?." American Sociological Association. San Francisco. ASA Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work, 2014.
Ruef, M, and Harness, A. "The Myth of Modern Management: Roman and Antebellum Management Ideology in Comparative Perspective." 2007.
Kim, P, Aldrich, HE, and Ruef, M. "Fruits of Co-Laboring: Effects of Entrepreneurial Team Stability on the Organizational Founding Process." Entrepreneurship Research Conference. Babson College. 2005.
Aldrich, HE, Carter, NM, and Ruef, M. "With Very Little Help From Their Friends: Gender and Relational Composition of Nascent Entrepreneurs' Startup Teams." Entrepreneurship Research Conference. Babson College. 2002.