Jack and Pamela Egan Professor of Entrepreneurship
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 the Industrial Revolution.
Ph.D., Stanford University 1999
M.A., Stanford University 1994
B.S., Virginia Polytech Institute and State University 1990
Awards and Honors
Viviana Zelizer Award (for Best Book). American Sociological Association, Economic Sociology Section., 2015
W. Richard Scott Award (for Best Article). American Sociological Association. Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work., 2014
Finalist for George Terry Award (for Outstanding Contribution to Management Knowledge). Academy of Management., 2011
Max Weber Award (for a Scholarly Book Publication). American Sociological Association, Section on Organizations, Occupations and Work., 2011
Fellow. Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS)., 2008
John F. Mee Award (for Contribution to Management History). Academy of Management., 2007
Eliot Freidson Award (for Outstanding Book). American Sociological Association, Medical Sociology Section., 2002
Max Weber Award (for a Scholarly Book Publication). American Sociological Association, Section on Organizations, Occupations and Work., 2001
Service to the University
- Chair, Department of Sociology. 2016 - 2019
- Certificate Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. 2014 - 2015
- Director/Associate Director, Markets and Management Studies. 2013 - 2016
Service to the Profession
- Board Member, American Sociological Review. 2015 - 2017
- Chair, W. Richard Scott Award Committee. 2015
- Board Member, Social Forces. 2014 - 2017
- Guest Editor, Academy of Management Review (STF). 2014 - 2016
- Chair, Max Weber Award Committee. 2012
- Associate Editor, Administrative Science Quarterly. 2010 - 2012
- Council Member, ASA Economic Sociology Section. 2009 - 2012
- Session Organizer, Social Networks (ASA Conference). 2006
- Board Member, Administrative Science Quarterly. 2005 - 2009
- Board Member, Strategic Organization. 2002 - 2005
- Board Member, American Journal of Sociology. 2002 - 2004
- Board Member, Social Forces. 1999 - 2002
- Ruef, M. (2017). Ecological and Rational Choice Models of Endogenous Change. Rationality and Society, 29 (1), 55-62.
- Ruef, M, & Kwon, SW. (2016). Neighborhood Associations and Social Capital. Social Forces, 95 (1), 159-190.
- Godfrey, P, Hassard, J, O'Connor, E, Rowlinson, M, & Ruef, M. (2016). What is Organizational History? Towards a Creative Synthesis of History and Organization Studies. Academy of Management Review, 41 (4), 590-608.
- Grigoryeva, A, & Ruef, M. (2015). The Historical Demography of Racial Segregation. American Sociological Review, 80 (4), 814-842.
- Ruef, M. (2015). Sociology of Entrepreneurship. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
- Kwon, SW, Heflin, C, & Ruef, M. (2013). Community Social Capital and Entrepreneurship. American Sociological Review, 78 (6), 980-1008.
- Ruef, M. (2012). Constructing Labor Markets: The Valuation of Black Labor in the U.S. South, 1831 to 1867. American Sociological Review, 77 (6), 970-998.
- Ruef, M, & Reinecke, D. (2011). Does Capitalism Produce an Entrepreneurial Class?. Research in Organizational Behavior, 31, 225-252.
- Ruef, M. (2010). On the Social Embeddedness of Greed. Sociological Forum, 25 (3), 607-610. (Scholarly Commentary)
- Ruef, M. (2010). "Let a Hundred Flowers Blossom": The Cross-Fertilization of Organization Studies at Stanford. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 28, 387-393. (Essay)
- Ruef, M, & Patterson, K. (2009). Credit and Classification: The Impact of Industry Boundaries in 19th Century America. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54, 486-520.
- Ruef, M, & Patterson, K. (2009). Organizations and Local Development: Economic and Demographic Growth among Southern Counties during Reconstruction. Social Forces, 87, 1743-1776.
- Ruef, M, & Harness, A. (2009). Agrarian Origins of Management Ideology: The Roman and Antebellum Cases. Organization Studies, 30 (6), 589-607.
- Ruef, M. (2009). Economic Inequality among Entrepreneurs. Research in the Sociology of Work, 18, 57-87.
- Ruef, M, & Lounsbury, M. (2007). Introduction: The Sociology of Entrepreneurship. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 25, 1-29.
- Xu, H, & Ruef, M. (2007). Boundary Formation in Emergent Organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 25, 125-153.
- Ruef, M. (2006). Boom and Bust: The Effect of Entrepreneurial Inertia on Organizational Populations. Advances in Strategic Management, 23, 29-72.
- Ruef, M. (2005). Origins of Organizations: The Entrepreneurial Process. Research in the Sociology of Work, 15, 63-100.
- Xu, H, & Ruef, M. (2004). The Myth of the Risk-Tolerant Entrepreneur. Strategic Organization, 2 (4), 331-355.
- Ruef, M. (2004). The Demise of an Organizational Form: Emancipation and Plantation Agriculture in the American South, 1860-1880. American Journal of Sociology, 109, 1365-1410.
- Ruef, M. (2004). For Whom the Bell Tolls: Ecological Perspectives on Industrial Decline and Resurgence. Industrial and Corporate Change, 13 (1), 61-89.
- Ruef, M. (2003). A Sociological Perspective on Strategic Organization. Strategic Organization, 1 (2), 241-251.
- Ruef, M, Aldrich, H, & Carter, N. (2003). The Structure of Founding Teams: Homophily, Strong Ties, and Isolation among U.S. Entrepreneurs. American Sociological Review, 68, 195-222.
- Ruef, M, & Fletcher, B. (2003). Legacies of American Slavery: Status Attainment among Southern Blacks after Emancipation. Social Forces, 82 (2), 445-480.
- Ruef, M. (2002). Strong Ties, Weak Ties and Islands: Structural and Cultural Predictors of Organizational Innovation. Industrial and Corporate Change, 11 (3), 427-449.
- Ruef, M. (2002). A Structural Event Approach to the Analysis of Group Composition. Social Networks, 24 (2), 135-160.
- Ruef, M. (2002). Unpacking the Liability of Aging: Toward a Socially-Embedded Account of Organizational Disbanding. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 19, 195-228.
- Ruef, M. (2000). The Emergence of Organizational Forms: A Community Ecology Approach. American Journal of Sociology, 106 (3), 658-714.
- Thornton, PH. (1999, August). THE SOCIOLOGY OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Annual Review of Sociology, 25 (1), 19-46.
- Ruef, M. (1999). Social Ontology and the Dynamics of Organizational Forms: Creating Market Actors in the Healthcare Field, 1966-1994. Social Forces, 77 (4), 1403-1432.
- Ruef, M, Mendel, P, & Scott, WR. (1998). An Organizational Field Approach to Resource Environments in Healthcare: Comparing Entries of Hospitals and Home Health Agencies in the San Francisco Bay Region. Health Services Research, 32 (6), 775-803.
- Ruef, M, & Scott, WR. (1998). A Multidimensional Model of Organizational Legitimacy: Hospital Survival in Changing Institutional Environments. Administrative Science Quarterly, 43 (4), 877-904.
- Ruef, M. (1997). Assessing Organizational Fitness on a Dynamic Landscape: An Empirical Test of the Relative Inertia Thesis. Strategic Management Journal, 18 (11), 837-853.
- Ruef, M. (1997). Prolegomenon to the Relation between Social Theory and Method. Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 22 (3), 303-332.
- Ruef, M. (1996). The Evolution of Convention: Conformity and Innovation in Task-Oriented Networks. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 2 (1), 5-28.
- Ruef, M. (2016). The Port Royal Experiment: A Case Study in Development. Journal of Southern History, 82 (1), 185-186.
- Ruef, M. (2015). Between Monopoly and Free Trade: The English East India Company, 1600-1757. Contemporary Sociology, 44 (6), 794-796.
- Ruef, M. (2009). Human Capital, Inter-Firm Mobility, and Organizational Evolution. Contemporary Sociology, 38 (1), 90-92.
- Ruef, M. (2008). 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), 745-752.
- Ruef, M. (2006). The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement. American Journal of Sociology, 111 (4), 1243-1245.
- Ruef, M. (2005). Social Movements and Organization Theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50 (4), 651-652.
- Ruef, M. (2003). Changing Organizations: Business Networks in the New Political Economy. Social Forces, 81 (3), 1069-1071.
- Ruef, M. (2002). The Twenty-First-Century Firm: Changing Economic Organization in International Perspective. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47 (4), 729-731.
- Ruef, M. (1999). Making Markets: Opportunism and Restraint on Wall Street. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44 (3), 624-627.
- Ruef, M, & Nag, M. (2015). The Classification of Organizational Forms: Theory and Application to the Field of Higher Education. In M Kirst and M Stevens (Eds.), Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education (pp. 84-109). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Ruef, M. (2011). The Human and Financial Capital of the Southern Middle Class, 1850-1900. In JD Wells and JR Green (Eds.), The Southern Middle Class in the Long Nineteenth Century (pp. 202-224). Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press.
- Ruef, M. (2010). Entrepreneurial Groups. In H Landstrom and F Lohrke (Eds.), Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research (pp. 205-228). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
- Ruef, M, Bonikowski, B, & Aldrich, H. (2009). Business Owner Demography, Human Capital, and Social Networks. In PD Reynolds and RT Curtin (Eds.), New Firm Creation in the United States (pp. 95-114). New York: Springer.
- Ruef, M. (2007). Reason and Rationalization: Modes of Argumentation among Health Care Professionals. In C Thralls and M Zachry (Eds.), The Cultural Turn: Perspectives on Communicative Practices in Workplaces and Professions (pp. 93-111). Amityville, NY: Baywood Press.
- Ruef, M. (2007). Karl Mannheim. In G Ritzer (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Sociology (pp. 2756-2759). London: Blackwell.
- Ruef, M. (2006). Organizational Ecology. In N Nicholson, PG Audia & MM Pillutla (Eds.), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management, Organizational Behavior (pp. 285-289). London: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Aldrich, H, Carter, N, & Ruef, M. (2004). Startup Teams. In WB Gartner, K Shaver, N Carter & P Reynolds (Eds.), Handbook of Entrepreneurial Dynamics: The Process of Organizational Creation (pp. 299-310). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Ruef, M. (2002). At the Interstices of Organizations: The Expansion of the Management Consulting Profession, 1933-97. In K Sahlin-Andersson and L Engwall (Eds.), The Expansion of Management Knowledge: Carriers, Flows, and Sources Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Ruef, M. (2014). Between Slavery and Capitalism: The Legacy of Emancipation in the American South. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Ruef, M. (2010). The Entrepreneurial Group: Social Identities, Relations, and Collective Action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Ruef, M, & Lounsbury, M. (2007). The Sociology of Entrepreneurship. New York: Elsevier. (Edited Book)
- Aldrich, H, & Ruef, M. (2006). Organizations Evolving (2nd Edition). London: Sage.
- Scott, WR, Ruef, M, Mendel, PJ, & Caronna, CA. (2000). Institutional Change and Healthcare Organizations: From Professional Dominance to Managed Care. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Ruef, M, & Harness, A. (2007). The Myth of Modern Management: Roman and Antebellum Management Ideology in Comparative Perspective.
- Kim, P, Aldrich, HE, & Ruef, M. (2005). Fruits of Co-Laboring: Effects of Entrepreneurial Team Stability on the Organizational Founding Process. Entrepreneurship Research Conference. Babson College.
- Aldrich, HE, Carter, NM, & Ruef, M. (2002). With Very Little Help From Their Friends: Gender and Relational Composition of Nascent Entrepreneurs' Startup Teams. Entrepreneurship Research Conference. Babson College.