Background Readings on Organizational Wokeness

July 14, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Last year, Charles Lehman and I wrote pieces for the Autumn 2021 issue of City Journal (Charles’s essay, my essay) giving organizational explanations for the rise of woke capital. Here is a list of articles that Charles and I put together of scholarly works, mostly in sociology, that inspired our essays.

Background on Neo-Institutionalism

  • The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields (DiMaggio and Powell 1983)

EEO, Affirmative Action, and DEI

  • The Strength of a Weak State: The Rights Revolution and the Rise of Human Resources Management Divisions (Dobbin and Sutton 1998)
  • Have We Moved Beyond the Civil Rights Revolution? (Skrentny 2014)
  • Legal environments and organizational governance: The expansion of due process in the American workplace (Edelman 1990)
  • Legal Ambiguity and the Politics of Compliance: Affirmative Action Officers’ Dilemma (Edelman et al. 1991)

The Social Construction of Race 

Firm Responses to Activism 

  • The Nixon-in-China Effect: Activism, Imitation, and the Institutionalization of Contentious Practices (Briscoe and Safford 2008)
  • A Political Mediation Model of Corporate Response to Social Movement Activism (King 2008)
  • The Politics of Alignment and the ‘Quiet Transgender Revolution’ in Fortune 500 Corporations, 2008 to 2017 (Ghosh 2021)

Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Control

  • Social Responsibility Messages and Worker Wage Requirements: Field Experimental Evidence from Online Labor Marketplaces (Burbano 2016)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility as an Employee Governance Tool: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment (Flammer and Luo 2017)

K-12 Education


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