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W. Richard Scott

W. Richard Scott

Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Ph.D., Chicago, 1961


W. Richard (Dick) Scott received his Ph.D in sociology from the University of Chicago.  He came to Stanford in 1960, where he is currently Professor Emeritus of Sociology, with courtesy appointments in the Schools of Business, Education, and Medicine.  He is an organizational sociologist who has concentrated his work on the study of professional organizations, including educational, engineering, medical, research, social welfare, and medical systems.  During the past two decades, he has focused his writings and research on the relation between organizations and their institutional environments.  He is the author or editor of some 20 books and the author of more than 200 journal articles and book chapters.

In the educational arena, between 1975-91 he collaborated with Elizabeth G. Cohen, Terrance Deal, and John W. Meyer, among others, to study the structure and organization of educational  systems, including training programs in firms and agencies.  Since 2010, he has been working with Michael Kirst and Mitchell Stevens to examine the changing ecology of higher education in the U.S.  His current projects include a study of the role of “broad-access” colleges in contributing to and sustaining the development of the regional economy of Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He is a former editor of the Annual Review of Sociology (1988-91) and former president of the Sociological Research Association (2006-7).  Awards include Phi Beta Kappa, membership in the Institute of Medicine, Distinguished Scholar award from the Management and Organization Theory Division of the Academy of Management, and the Richard D. Irwin award for Distinguished Scholarly Contributions, Academy of Management.  In 2000, The Organizations and Occupations Section of the American Sociological Association designated its annual award honoring an outstanding article-length contribution to the field as the “W. Richard Scott” award.  He has received honorary doctorates from the Copenhagen Business School (2000), Helsinki School of Economics and Business (2001), and Aarhus University (Denmark, 2010).