Curriculum Vitae

Dobbin, Frank, and Alexandra Kalev. 2022. Getting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn't. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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The Economist, "Workplace Diversity Programmes Often Fail, or Backfire"

Science, "Dos and Don’ts for Achieving Managerial Diversity"

Fast Company, “This is the 4-Step Process for Implementing a Successful Flextime Policy in the Workplace

Harvard Business Review (Excerpt), "How Companies Should Set--and Report--DEI Goals"

Harvard Business Review (Excerpt), “The Surprising Benefits of Work-Life Support: It’s a Secret Weapon for Achieving Organizational Diversity

The Next Big Idea Club, "The Next Big Idea Club's September 2022 Nominees"

The Harvard Gazette, "Want More Diversity in Corporate America? Get Rid of Some Programs"

Behavioral Scientist – Business, “The Open Secret of What Works—and What Doesn’t—for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Chronicle of Higher Education, “Why Diversity Training Often Doesn't Work.”

Knight, Carly, Frank Dobbin, and Alexandra Kalev. 2022. "Under the Radar: Visibility and the Effects of Discrimination Lawsuits in Small and Large Firms," American Sociological Review 87(2): 175-201.

Dobbin, Frank, and Alexandra Kalev. 2021. "Why Diversity Training Does Not Work and Policies to Combat Bias in the Workplace More Effectively," The Economist, May 21.

Kalev, Alexandra, and Frank Dobbin. 2020. "Companies Need to Think Bigger than Diversity Training," Harvard Business Review, October 20.

Kalev, Alexandra,  and Frank Dobbin. "Does Diversity Training Increase Corporate Diversity?: Regulation Backlash and Regulatory Accountability," Working Paper. 

Dobbin, Frank, and Alexandra Kalev. 2020. "Why Sexual Harassment Programs Backfire," Harvard Business Review, May/June 2020 

Dobbin, Frank, and Alexandra Kalev. 2019. "The Promise and Peril of Sexual Harassment Programs," PNAS 116(25):12255-12260. 

Dobbin, Frank, and Alexandra Kalev. 2018. "Why Diversity Training Doesn’t Work: The Challenge for Industry and AcademiaAnthropology Now 10(2):48-55.

Dobbin, Frank, Kim Pernell, and Jiwook Jung. 2017. "Hiring Chief Risk Officers Led Banks To Take On More Risk," Harvard Business Review, July, 2017. 

Dobbin, Frank, and Alexandra Kalev. 2016. "Why Diversity Programs Fail -- And What Works Better," Harvard Business Review, Summer 2016. Link to video. 

Frank Dobbin received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1980 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1987. Dobbin studies organizations, inequality, economic behavior, and public policy. His Inventing Equal Opportunity (Princeton 2009) shows how corporate personnel managers defined what it meant to discriminate. With Alexandra Kalev, he is developing an evidence-based approach to diversity management. Innovations that make managers part of the solution, such as mentoring programs, diversity taskforces, and special recruitment programs, have helped to promote diversity in firms, while programs signaling that managers are part of the problem, such as diversity training and diversity performance evaluations, have not. These findings have been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Le Monde, CNNNational Public Radio, Fast Company, and Slate.

Professor Dobbin's work in economic sociology generally is both historical and contemporary. His Forging Industrial Policy: United States, Britain, and France in the Railway Age (Cambridge 1994), traces nations' modern industrial strategies to early differences in their political systems. The New Economic Sociology: A Reader (Princeton 2004) assembles classics in economic sociology. The Sociology of the Economy (Russell Sage 2004) compiles research in economic sociology from leading scholars. The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy (Cambridge 2008) explores the rise of neoliberal policies in the post-war period. Stanford's Organization Theory Renaissance, 1970-2000 (Emerald 2010) is a modern-day Rashomon about the revival of organizational studies in Palo Alto after 1970.

Professor Dobbin is director of the SCANCOR/Weatherhead Initiative in International Organizational Studies, member of the Advanced Leadership Initiative Faculty Executive Committee, and Co-Coordinator of the MIT-Harvard Economic Sociology Seminar.  

Professor Dobbin’s Webcast from the Human Capital Institute, April 3, 2017, “Why Diversity Programs Fail.”