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Frank Dobbin

Frank Dobbin is Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and chair of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University.

Dobbin studies organizations, inequality, economic behavior, and public policy. His book Inventing Equal Opportunity (Princeton University Press, 2009) shows how corporate personnel managers defined what it meant to discriminate. His evidence-based research on corporate diversity programs (with Alexandra Kalev) shows that mentoring programs, diversity task forces, and special recruitment programs have helped to promote diversity by engaging managers, while diversity training and diversity performance evaluations have thwarted progress by stigmatizing managers. These findings have been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Le Monde, CNN, and National Public Radio. Dobbin has published numerous books studying the social construction of economic rationality, including Forging Industrial Policy: United States, Britain, and France in the Railway Age (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Recent research examines rise of the shareholder value model of corporate management.


  • Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University
  • Chair, Department of Sociology, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University