About The Center for Organizational Research


COR facilitates research on new organizational forms and processes now taking shape in a variety of contexts. As the 21st century unfolds, we increasingly find organizing that diverges from traditional bureaucratic structures. Such possibilities can be found in global teams, web-based collaboration, network structures, collective threats to security and privacy, micro enterprises, international non-governmental organizations, and alliances across private, public, and non-profit fields. These developments raise opportunities for alternative modes of decision-making, just as they present challenges for accountability and efficacy. They also raise questions about how existing distributions of power both constrain and enable organizational experimentation. COR contributes to the development of organization theory by connecting scholars from many disciplines who bring their knowledge and methods to a common understanding of these issues.

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COR Faculty Workshop: Graeme Boushey, April 24, 2015 12noon

You are invited to join us for the Spring quarter COR Faculty Workshop…

Graeme Boushey, Political Science, UCI

Discussants: Amihai Glazer (Social Sciences) and Philip Bromiley (Merage)

Date: Friday, April 24, 2015
Time: 12:00-1:15pm
Venue: SGSB 1321

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by Friday, April 17 to cor@uci.edu.

Title: Experts, Amateurs, and Bureaucratic Influence in the American States

Abstract: This paper explores the growing policy influence of administrative agencies in U.S state politics. Drawing upon a large data set of proposed and adopted regulations issued by state governments from 1990 through 2010, we explore whether eroding policy expertise of state representatives has resulted in increased bureaucratic participation in the policy process, as amateur politicians rely more heavily on professionalized executive agencies to define problems and develop solutions. Specifically, we argue that as the gap between executive and legislative compensation increases in a state, the legislature both delegates and abdicates more, leading to increased policymaking volume by the state bureaucracy. We find robust evidence for such a relationship and illustrate the importance for this finding in the context of recent and recurring debates concerning institutional reform.

Kelly Gates “The Work of Wearing Cameras” – Friday April 10, 2015 at 3pm

A talk of interest to COR community….


Kelly Gates
Associate Professor
Department of Communications & the Science Studies Program
University of California, San Diego

Date: Friday, April 10, 2015

Talk: 3:00 PM

Location: 6011 Donald Bren Hall

Refreshments: 4:15 PM, to be served in the 5th floor lobby

Talk Title: The Work of Wearing Cameras: Body-Worn Devices and Police Media Labor


The work of wearing cameras is fast becoming standard police practice. For a growing number of cops, cameras have become parts of their professional identities, now pieces of their uniforms that they attach to their bodies along with their badges, guns, tasers, handcuffs, radios, and other devices. But the wearable camera is not an isolated gadget or fashion accessory. It is a node in a distributed network of other cameras and bodies, standards and protocols, docking stations and data centers, police agencies and private companies. In this talk, Kelly Gates discusses the police body-worn camera phenomenon for what it reveals about the evolving socio-technical dimensions of policing in these times, arguing for an understanding of both police work and police power as simultaneously embodied, technical, infrastructural, performative, interpretive, and mediated.


Kelly Gates is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and the Science Studies Program at University of California, San Diego. Gates specializes in the study of surveillance, digital media, and visual culture, from an analytical perspective that bridges science and technology studies and cultural and media studies. Her first book, Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance, is a critical-cultural study of the automation of facial recognition and facial expression analysis, focusing on the applications of these experimental systems in policing, security, social media, and affect measurement. In her current research, Gates is investigating the emerging professional field of forensic video analysis, looking at the ways in which new visual imaging and archiving technologies are being incorporated into, and transforming, modern investigatory and evidentiary practices.

Sarah Otner – Perceptions of Status – March 18, 2015 3:30pm – 5:00pm

A talk of interest to the Center for Organizational Research community…

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
3:30pm-5:00pm (reception to follow)
SB1 5400
(Lyman Porter Colloquia Room)

Sarah Otner
University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, Post-Doc
Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation
“The Perception of Status: How third party observers infer status from network position”

We explore whether, how, and when TPOs’ perceptions of the social relationships of other individuals influence their (TPOs’) identification of other’s social status. We contend that an attributional process informs these inferences. In this context, the TPO attributes an event – the social relationship between two persons – either to its cause, or to the respect and admiration that one member of a dyad has for another. We propose that a TPO may attempt to construct a causal explanation for the presence and direction of an observed tie between ego and alter. By conceptualizing the information-processing mechanism underlying the TPO’s inference of status as an attributional process, our theoretical framework can account for differences in the accuracy of a TPO’s perception of ego’s ties, which may help to explain variance in how a TPO determines the status of Ego. We explore these questions in a series of laboratory experiments.

COR/Informatics – Talk with Prof. Cecilia Aragon, Friday 2/27, 3pm

A talk of interest to Center for Organizational Research community…

Cecilia Aragon
Associate Professor
Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering
University of Washington, Seattle

Date: Friday, February 27, 2015
Talk: 3:00 PM
Location: 6011 Donald Bren Hall

Refreshments: 4:15 PM, to be served in the 5th floor lobby.

The Hearts and Minds of Data Science

Abstract: Thanks in part to the recent popularity of the buzzword “big data,” it is now generally understood that many important scientific breakthroughs are made by interdisciplinary collaborations of scientists working in geographically distributed locations, producing and analyzing vast and complex data sets. The extraordinary advances in our ability to acquire and generate data in physical, biological, and social sciences are transforming the fundamental nature of science discovery across domains. Much of the research in this area, which has become known as data science, has focused on automated methods of analyzing data such as machine learning and new database techniques. Less attention has been directed to the human aspects of data science, including how to build interactive tools that maximize scientific creativity and human insight, and how to train, support, motivate, and retain the individuals with the necessary skills to produce the next generation of scientific discoveries. In this talk, I will argue for the importance of a human-centered approach to data science as necessary for the success of 21st century scientific discovery. Further, I attest that we need to go beyond well-designed user interfaces for data science software tools to consider the entire ecosystem of software development and use: we need to study scientific collaborations interacting with technology as socio-technical systems, where both computer science and social science approaches are interwoven. I will discuss promising research in this area, describe the current status of the Moore/Sloan Data Science Environment at UW, and speculate upon future directions for data science.

BIO: Cecilia Aragon is an associate professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, where she directs the Human-Centered Data Science Lab. She is a Senior Data Science Fellow with the UW eScience Institute and holds courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and the Information School, and leads UW’s Ethnography and Evaluation Working Group as one of the PIs of the $38M Moore/Sloan Data Science Environment. She earned her Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley in 2004 and her B.S. in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology.

Her interdisciplinary research focuses on human centered data science, including computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), visual analytics of very large data sets, and the analysis of emotion in social media. She has authored or co-authored over 70 refereed and 100 non-refereed publications in HCI, CSCW, visual analytics, machine learning, and astrophysics. Her research has been recognized with six Best Paper awards since 2004, and she has been awarded over $24M in research funding from NSF, DOE, NIST, and other public, private, and industry sponsors. She won the Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2013, the student-nominated Faculty Innovator in Teaching Award from her department at UW that same year, and was named one of the Top 25 Women of 2009 by Hispanic Business Magazine. In 2008, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her work in data-intensive science. Aragon has an interdisciplinary background, including over 15 years of software development experience in industry and NASA, and a three-year stint as the founder and CEO of a small company.