The Center for Organizational Research (COR) facilitates research on organizations by connecting scholars from many different disciplines, providing a focal point and common meeting ground for scholars, creating a venue for and financial support for developing collaborative research projects, and offering educational and financial resources for graduate students.
Organizing has always been fundamental to economic, political and social well-being. 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, privacy and legitimacy of science, 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 encourage or limit organizational experimentation. Our concerns, and activities, align very well with those of national funding agencies about The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier, Harnessing Data for the 21st Century Science, and Enhancing Science Through Diversity.
UC Irvine has enjoyed a long tradition of innovative, interdisciplinary organizational research that dates back to the founding of the campus in the mid 1960s. COR continues and solidifies this tradition with affiliates from anthropology, business, computer science, economics, education, humanities, informatics, law, nursing, organizational studies, political science, public health, public policy, public management, sociology, and urban planning.
By providing a focal point and common meeting ground for organizational scholars, COR creates a venue for developing collaborative research projects. COR also offers educational resources for graduate students. Activities include the on-going COR paper development workshops, public lectures by noted organizational scholars (from UCI and other universities), the small grant program, and several other events which bring together diverse faculty and students from the COR community to share ideas, provide feedback and guidance, and spark thought and inspiration. Funding for COR’s activities has been generously provided by the School of Social Ecology, School of Social Sciences, the Paul Merage School of Business, and the Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences.
COR sponsors the following types of events:
COR Paper Development Workshop: In a supportive, yet rigorous, forum scholars can receive feedback on articles, book chapters, and grant proposals that are far enough along to be disseminated but not yet submitted for formal review. The COR Paper Development Workshop is especially geared toward developing the publishing careers of younger faculty and enabling their work to become known to the UCI community of organizational researchers and the field, more broadly. Senior scholars are also invited to submit papers for discussion. The author briefly presents the paper and goals for the seminar, and two faculty discussants from two different schools lead the discussion, before opening to the whole group.
COR Colloquium: Organizational scholars invited to campus present their research to the faculty affiliates, graduate students and other interested community members.
COR Community Building and Skill Development Workshops: COR offers at least one community building and career building or skills development activity per year. In the past several years, these development workshops have focused on a methodological technique, academic writing, or a discussion of general field issues. We have also increasingly organized activities that pay attention to organizational issues that relate to diversity and inclusive excellence.
COR Small Grant Program: The small grant program for UCI faculty and students aims to seed organizational research. The competition is open to any regular ranks faculty member on the campus as well as graduate students with a faculty letter of support. The program requires that applicants prepare a brief proposal that outlines how their proposed research or conference addresses organizational issues (broadly understood) in a multidisciplinary way. The grant proposals are reviewed by the members of the COR executive committee, and funding decisions are based on those reviews. This program has been highly successful in providing crucial funding to doctoral students to complete their dissertation research, to seed additional intramural and extramural funding, to support publication of articles and books, and thus help place COR graduate student affiliates into academic and research jobs.