Jesper B. Sørensen received his AB from Harvard College and his PhD in Sociology from Stanford University. He is currently the Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor and Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Professor in the Department of Sociology (by courtesy). Prior to working at Stanford, Professor Sørensen was at the University of Notre Dame (1995-1996), the University of Chicago (1996-2000), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2000-2006).
Professor Sørensen is a sociologist who specializes in studying the dynamics of both organizations and careers, with work that covers a wide range of topics ranging from firm performance to social inequality. For example, his work has touched on: a) how firm characteristics (e.g., organizational age, corporate culture, incentive systems) influence organizational learning and performance; b) the impact of career experiences on turnover rates and workplace diversity, as well as firm outcomes; c) the influence of local corporate demography on promotion chances and income inequality; d) the micro-structure of social class in the United States; and e) the influence of the work environment on individual rates of entrepreneurship.
Professor Sørensen won (with Toby E. Stuart) the 2006 Administrative Science Quarterly Award for Scholarly Contribution for the article “Aging, Obsolescence and Organizational Innovation” (ASQ, 2000). He also won the 2006 Teacher of the Year award from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, and Strategic Management Journal. Professor Sørensen has also been a Senior Editor at Organization Science and Department Editor for the Organizations Department at Management Science. In 2013, he co-founded Sociological Science, a non-profit, open-access online journal devoted publishing the best in sociological research, where he is currently the Editor-in-Chief.
At Stanford, Professor Sørensen has served as a Faculty Director of the Center for Social Innovation, and is currently Faculty Director of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). SEED aims to transform the lives of people in poverty on a massive scale through entrepreneurship and innovation—and the growth and scaling of businesses. In addition, he serves as Co-Director of the Stanford Global Development and Poverty Initiative, which seeks to transform Stanford’s capacity to develop innovative approaches to economic development and poverty alleviation.
Born in Denmark but (mostly)raised and educated in the U.S., Professor Sørensen continues his life-long struggle with mispronunciations of his first name (“with a J but like a Y”) with a mixture of humor and (mostly) resignation.