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W. Richard Scott

Photo of Dick Scott
W. Richard Scott
Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Ph.D., Chicago, 1961
Phone: 
650-723-3416

About

W. Richard (Dick) Scott, received his PhD from the University of Chicago and is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology with courtesy appointments in the Graduate School of Business, Graduate School of Education, School of Engineering, and School of Medicine, Stanford University.  He has spent his entire professional career at Stanford, interrupted by visiting appointments at the Deparpart of Sociology and at the Business School, University of Kansas; Copenhagen School of Business; Tromso University (Norway); Kellogg School, Northwestern University; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Singapore Management University; and Said Business School and Green College, Oxford University.  At Stanford, he served as Chair of the Sociology Department (1972-1975), Director of the Research Training Program on Organizations and Mental Health (1972-1989), and as Director of the Stanford Center for Organizations Research (1988-1996).

Scott is an organizational sociologist who has concentrated his work on the study of professional organizations, including educational, engineering, medical, research, social welfare, and nonprofit advocacy organizations.  During the past three decades, he has centered his research and writing on the relation between organizations and their institutional environments.  He is the author or editor of about 20 books and more than 250 journal articles and book chapters.  His books include three influential texts: Formal Organizations: A Comparative Approach, with Peter M. Blau (1962; reissued as a Stanford Business Classic, 2003); Organizations: Rational, Natural and Open Systems, in five editions (1981-2003) [A substantially revised version, Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural and Open System Perspectives, coauthored with Gerald F. Davis appeared in 2007]; and Institutions and Organizations, in four editions (1995-2013). 

Influential monographs reporting empirical research include: Metropolis and Region, with O.D. Duncan and others (1960); Evaluation and the Exercise of Authority, with S.M. Dornbusch, (1975); Hospital Structure and Performance, with A. B. Flood (1987); Institutional Change and Healthcare Organizations, with M. Ruef, P. Mendel, and C.A. Carona (2000); Between Movement and Establishment, with M. McLaughlin and others (2009); Global Projects: Institutional and Political Challenges, with R. E. Levitt and R. J. Orr (2011); and Culture Clash! Higher Education and Silicon Valley, with M. W. Kirst (forthcoming, 2017). 

Scott is past editor of The Annual Review of Sociology 1988-1991) and past President of the Sociological Research Association (2006-2007).  He has served on multiple editorial boards and on scientific review panels at the national level under the auspices of the National Center for Health Services Research, the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Research Council.   

Scott was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1975.  Within the Academy of Management (AOM), he received the Richard D. Irwin (Distinguished Scholarly Career) award (1996), and from the Management and Organization Division of the AOM, he received the Distinguished Scholar (1988), and the Distinguished Educator award (2013).    In 2000, the Section on Organization, Occupations and Work of the American Sociological Association created the “W. Richard Scott Award” to annually recognize an outstanding article-length contribution to the field.  In 2015, he was named “Eminent Scholar of the Year” by the Academy of International Business.  Scott has received honorary doctorates from the Copenhagen School of Business (2000), the Helsinki School of Economic and Business (2001), and Aarhus University in Denmark (2010).

Related News

Aug 10 2017 | Stanford News
Stanford professors Dick Scott and Mike Kirst analyzed 45 years of higher education data in the Bay Area. Their findings showed that higher education has fallen behind the needs of an ever-changing region.