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.
Areas of Interest
Organizational Theory Economic Sociology Historical / Comparative Sociology Network Analysis
Computer Science (Magna Cum Laude),
Seok-Woo Kwon, Colleen Heflin, and Martin Ruef.
Community Social Capital and Entrepreneurship.
American Sociological Review
Constructing Labor Markets: The Valuation of Black Labor in the U.S. South, 1831-1867.
American Sociological Review., forthcoming
Martin Ruef and David Reinecke.
Does Capitalism Produce an Entrepreneurial Class?.
Research in Organizational Behavior
The Entrepreneurial Group: Social Identities, Relations, and Collective Action..
Princeton University Press.
Martin Ruef and Kelly Patterson.
Credit and Classification: The Impact of Industry Boundaries in 19th Century America.