Glenn R. Carroll
The Adams Distinguished Professor of Management
Additional Administrative Titles
- Organizational Culture
Glenn Carroll grew up in Indiana and attended Indiana University, followed by Stanford University, where he received his master’s and doctorate degrees. Carroll has been on the faculties of Brown University, the University of California - Berkeley, Columbia University, and Stanford University. Carroll has visited many universities and institutes outside the U.S., including the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the National University of Singapore. He has taught executives from many corporations, large and small.
- PhD, Stanford University
- MA, Stanford University
- BA, Indiana University
- Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2019–present
- Laurence W. Lane Professor of Organizations, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2001–2019 (Professor in 2000)
- Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), Department of Sociology, Stanford University, 2000–present
- Sandra Dawson Visiting Professor, Cambridge Judge School of Business, University of Cambridge, 2023
- Chair (part-time), Durham Business School, Durham University, Durham, U.K., 2004–2019
- Dean’s Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore Business School, Singapore, 2009–2013
- Professor II, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway, 2003-2009
- Professor, Management Division, Columbia Business, Columbia University, 2004–2006
- Professor (by courtesy), Department of Sociology, Columbia University, 2004–2006
- Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, 1989–2000
- Director of Ph.D. Program, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, 1989–1996
- Associate Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, 1986–1989
- Assistant Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, 1982–1986
- Affiliated Faculty Member, Department of Sociology; Faculty Associate, Institute of Industrial Relations; UC Berkeley, 1982–2000
- Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology; Director, Social Science Data Center, Brown University, 1982
Awards and Honors
- Spence Faculty Fellow, 2017–2019
- Robert T. Davis Faculty Award, 2018
- Richard D. Irwin Outstanding Educator Award, Academy of Management, 2017
- Doctor Honoris Causa (Applied Economics), University of Antwerp, 2002
- Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1997–1998
- Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1987-1988
- Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, 1990
- Max Weber Award, American Sociological Association, 2002
- Cheit Award for Teaching Excellence, 1995 & 2000
Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs
Programs and Non-Degree Courses
Carroll has directed and taught in several high-level custom executive education programs for global Fortune 50 companies, including currently the General Motors’ “Transformational Leadership Program” (five cohorts so far) and previously Caterpillar’s “Digging Deep” (four cohorts) and “Powering the Future” (two cohorts) programs. Approximately a year long, these programs typically engage a cohort of top and high potential executives in multiple modules taught at various locations throughout the world. The programs review, apply and integrate basic principles of management including critical analytical thinking, innovation and adaptiveness, personal leadership, strategy, supply chain, institutional analysis and organizational design. The programs culminate in high-profile action projects that intend to impact current and future corporate performance. Designed by Carroll and colleagues, GM’s program is soon enrolling its sixth cohort of executives; Caterpillar’s programs ran for six cohorts. Carroll also co-directs the Stanford-NUS Executive Program in International Management, held annually in Singapore in August. In this program, he teaches Organizational Culture and Social Networks among other topics.
In the Stanford-NUS Executive Program in International Management, held annually in Singapore, participants explore general management concepts in all major functional areas while gathering the latest insights on management strategy from faculty members at the National University of Singapore and Stanford GSB. Carroll serves as co-director of the program.
Stanford Case Studies
Conferences, Talks & Speaking Engagements
We attempt here to make some progress on developing a fuller understanding of the relationship between organizational size and culture. In doing so, we report on a survey we administered to a sample of full-time workers (men and women) in the US. We asked survey participants about their general beliefs regarding culture, as well as their specific experiences in the workplace with cultures and leaders. Because of its importance in cultural management, we also asked about participants’ beliefs concerning, and experiences in, the employee hiring process. In all of these analyses, we highlight the differences between small and large organizations. Among the findings, we show here that many cultural perceptions, beliefs and experiences differ systematically by size of the organization.
Consecration through a major public award grants larger resources for music artists to use in pursuing ‘purer’ aesthetic ambitions, the confidence to use them, and more leverage relative to their production partners. Negro et al. (2022) shows that albums subsequently released by Grammy-winning artists are more distant stylistically from the albums of other artists in the same genre. By contrast, future albums by Grammy-nominated artists who did not win were stylistically more similar to others.
Negro et al. (2022) did not investigate the mechanisms that connect awards with stylistic differentiation, thereby leaving open two important questions we address here: How do artists make stylistic differentiated music? Why do winners and non-winners differ so radically in their responses? In doing so, we focus on patterns of collaboration among music artists following peer recognition through a major Grammy nomination or win.
In panel regression analyses, we show that Grammy-nominated musicians are more likely to become more directly involved in the production process of their next albums. In collaborations, Grammy nominees are also more likely to: work with collaborators with whom they have not worked before; work with collaborators with longer tenure in the industry; work with collaborators with greater past commercial success; and work with collaborators who have been recognized themselves with awards. Grammy winners also have a similar enhanced tendency to be more directly involved in a production role on their next albums. However, winners show: a lessened tendency to work with collaborators with past commercial success; a lessened tendency to work with Grammy-nominated artists; and a higher tendency to work with other Grammy winners. Whereas all artists shortlisted for awards receive positive shifts in status, resources, and control over the production process, winners appear to employ them in distinct ways from other nominees.
We also examine how collaboration patterns might mediate variations in the stylistic differentiation of music. We find evidence of mediation for prior commercial success and recognition of collaborators. Grammy winners appear to increase differentiation from other artists by working with successful and publicly recognized collaborators to a lesser extent than non-winning nominees except for those who had been consecrated. In sum, when Grammy nominees and winners change their music after the award, it is typically associated with changes in their patterns of collaboration.
We attempt here to develop a fuller understanding of gender and organizational culture. In doing so, we report on a wide-ranging survey we administered to a sample of full-time workers (men and women) in the US. We asked survey participants about their general beliefs regarding culture, as well as their specific experiences in the workplace with cultures and leaders. Because of its importance in cultural management, we also asked about participants’ beliefs concerning, and experiences in, the employee hiring process. In all of these analyses, we highlight the differences between self-identifying men and women. Among the findings, we show that women express a belief–stronger than men–that culture is more important to both organizational and individual performance than is strategy or compensation. Women also say culture matters to them more than do men, and that it guides their actions and employment behavior more. Yet women are more likely than men to be critical of their employing organization’s culture and leaders, stating more often than men that the culture needs to change and that their leaders fall short of expectations. Women also claim, more often than men, that they do not feel fully engaged and supported in the organization’s hiring process.
Other research on socio-linguistics shows that women play very different roles than men in generating innovative language (Labov 1990). Samawi (2021) claims that women lead 90% of linguistic change. McWhorter (2022) summarizes: “When language changes, it’s often women who start doing the new thing first. Women as early linguistic adopters is what happened with uptalk — intoning statements as questions, something increasingly more gender neutral — as well as something as quotidian as the gradual shift to using “has” instead of “hath.” Baker (2013) quotes linguist Mark Liberman noting that “women are generally about a generation ahead of men in most cases of language change” (see also Labov 2001, 2002).
The innovative role women play in linguistic change has not been explicitly connected to organizational culture, to our knowledge. But, we suggest, the role may offer an important set of links between gender and culture. To do so requires that we assume organizational culture operates similarly to societal culture with respect to language, an assumption that appears reasonable but is unexplored.
If applicable, then the sociolinguistic research implies that women’s responses to official language from above may be part of the reason why women are sometimes seen as more compliant and less assertive within organizations. Moreover, the fact that women lead in guiding language change from below suggests that they play a central, if unrecognized, role in cultural development and maintenance: Women frame and interpret the culture.
These observations suggest that, at a minimum, leaders initiating culture change should consult with women early in the process. Women will likely have views on the current and proposed cultures and these should be taken into account. Ignoring their concerns runs the risk of creating oppositional forces, and influential ones at that. Needless to say, if you are leading a change effort, you do not want employees generating innovative language that mocks or otherwise undermines the cultural initiative.
More proactively, women’s role in linguistic change potentially offers a great opportunity. Women might be intentionally used by executives and other leaders to drive cultural change. Why not enlist women as informal cultural change leaders? All things equal, the impact and effectiveness of the change may be greater if women rather than men assist as informal leaders. Not only will the visible and active behaviors of female informal leaders impel cultural change, as Katzenbach (2018) and others suggest. But women’s central role in linguistic innovation should produce a less visible, yet perhaps more profound, impact on the language infrastructure supporting the organization’s culture. Women are more likely to come up with novel words and expressions about what is going on culturally, and they exert influence in spreading these words and expressions.
We plan to conduct experimental research on these ideas. We will discuss our experimental research designs and what we hope to learn. Ideally, we will present some preliminary findings.
Survey of working US men and women about their perceptions, beliefs and experiences regarding culture at their employing organization.
Academy of Management Annual Meetings, Boston, August 2019.
Academy of Management Annual Meetings, Boston, August 2019.
Presented at the Academy of Management Meetings, Chicago, August 2018. This paper explores how and when the institutionalized classification system for products (or services) in a specific market domain affects perceptions and demand for authenticity. We argue that “type” authenticity presupposes a well-established and taken-for-granted classification system for a product or service. In market domains with such systems, individuals will place greater value on products or markets that exhibit high type authenticity, and craft, moral, or idiosyncratic authenticity will be less salient. By contrast, in market domains without institutionalized classification systems, individuals will prioritize craft or moral or idiosyncratic authenticity over type authenticity. To test these arguments, we conducted experiments and a survey in China where we asked participants to express preferences and make choices about products described to evoke various types of authenticity. We also ask these individuals to assess the authenticity of the producers as well as their willingness to pay for associated products. Specifically, we test the arguments with data on the appeal of various fictitious producers of leather handbags and green tea among Chinese individuals. While the leather handbag is known in China, it is not highly institutionalized whereas white tea is. The findings generally support our hypotheses.
Symposium Commentary. Presented at the Academy of Management Meetings, Chicago, August 2018.
From the presentation of the Irwin Award, Academy of Management, 2017
Academy of Management Meetings, 2017.
Academy of Management Meetings, Anaheim, August 2016.
Workshop on Organizational Ecology, Barcelona, Spain, July 2014.
Medici Summer School in Management Studies, Bologna, Italy, June 2015.
Stanford GSB Affiliations
- Faculty member Organizational Behavior Group, Stanford GSB 2000–present
Stanford University Affiliations
- Professor (by courtesy) Department of Sociology 2000–present
Service to the Profession
Editor or Editorial Board
- Co-Editor, Industrial and Corporate Change, 2000-present
- Departmental Editor (Organization Design and Management), Management and Business Review, 2021-present
- Editorial Board, Organization Studies, 2003-2015
- Editorial Council, Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2002-2008
- Editorial Board, Organization Science, 2004-2015
- Consulting Editor, Sociological Science, 2013-2016
- Editorial Board, California Management Review, 1988-2005
- Editorial Board, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 1989-1997
- Associate Editor, American Sociological Review, 1989-1991; 1994-1996
- Consulting Editor, American Journal of Sociology, 1990-1994
- Editorial Board, European Sociological Review, 1990-1994
- Editorial Board, Administrative Science Quarterly, 1983-1989
- Advisory Editor, Sociological Methodology, 1984-86
- Board of Reviewers, Industrial Relations, 1987-2000
- International Academic Advisory Board, Russian Management Journal, 2004-present
- Advisory Board, Evolutionary Theories in the Social Sciences Web Page (www.etss.net), 1999-present
- International Advisory Panel, School of Business, National University of Singapore, 2008
- Chair (part-time), Durham Business School, Durham University, Durham, U.K. (2004-19)