Martin Ruef
  • Martin Ruef

  • Jack and Pamela Egan Professor of Entrepreneurship
  • Sociology
  • 344 Soc/Psych
  • Phone: (919) 660-5792
  • Fax: (919) 660-5623
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Overview

    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
  • Education

      • Ph.D.,
      • Sociology,
      • Stanford University,
      • 1999
      • M.A.,
      • Sociology,
      • Stanford University,
      • 1994
      • BA,
      • Computer Science (Magna Cum Laude),
      • Virginia Tech,
      • 1990
      • B.S.,
      • Virginia Polytech Institute and State University,
      • 1990
  • Selected Publications

      • A Grigoryeva and M Ruef.
      • (2015).
      • The Historical Demography of Racial Segregation.
      • American Sociological Review
      • ,
      • 80
      • (4)
      • ,
      • 814-842.
      • [web]
      • Martin Ruef.
      • (2014).
      • Between Slavery and Capitalism: The Legacy of Emancipation in the American South.
      • Princeton, NJ:
      • Princeton University Press.
      • [web]
      • Martin Ruef.
      • (2014).
      • The Entrepreneurial Group: Social Identities, Relations, and Collective Action.
      • Princeton, NJ (paperback edition):
      • Princeton University Press.
      • [web]
      • SW Kwon, C Heflin and M Ruef.
      • (2013).
      • Community Social Capital and Entrepreneurship.
      • American Sociological Review
      • ,
      • 78
      • (6)
      • ,
      • 980-1008.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      The literature on social capital and entrepreneurship often explores individual benefits of social capital, such as the role of personal networks in promoting self-employment. In this article, we instead examine social capital's public good aspects, arguing that the benefits of social trust and organization memberships accrue not just to the individual but to the community at large. We test these arguments using individual data from the 2000 Census that have been merged with two community surveys, the Social Capital Benchmark Survey and the General Social Survey. We find that individuals in communities with high levels of social trust are more likely to be self-employed compared to individuals in communities with lower levels of social trust. Additionally, membership in organizations connected to the larger community is associated with higher levels of self-employment, but membership in isolated organizations that lack connections to the larger community is associated with lower levels of self-employment. Further analysis suggests that the entrepreneurship-enhancing effects of community social capital are stronger for whites, native-born residents, and long-term community members than for minorities, immigrants, and recent entrants. © American Sociological Association 2013.

      • M Ruef.
      • (2012).
      • Constructing Labor Markets: The Valuation of Black Labor in the U.S. South, 1831 to 1867.
      • AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW
      • ,
      • 77
      • (6)
      • ,
      • 970-998.
      • [web]
  • View All Publications
  • Teaching

    • SOCIOL 702.01
      • SECOND-YEAR PAPER WORKSHOP
      • Soc/Psych 329
      • F 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
  • ict background