Back to Projects

Historical network analysis combines attention to structure (characteristic of social network analysis) and attention to temporality (characteristic of historical sociology). This is an ongoing project that I am pursuing with Balazs Vedres.

Crisis, Recovery, Innovation: Responsive Organization after September 11

On December 5, 2001, Columbia's Center on Organizational Innovation organized a roundtable discussion with senior executives and contingency planning specialists from key World Trade Center firms. This paper with John Kelly reports on that meeting and other interviews that our research team conducted in the early weeks after 9/11. It documents the importance of strong personal ties, lateral self-organization, and nonhierarchical relations in the recovery process. As a response to uncertainty, organizational factors that explain recovery are similar to those that generate innovation.

Environment and Planning A, September 2002, 34(9):1523-33.

Resolving Identities: Successive Crises in a Trading Room after 9/11

How do organizations cope with extraordinary crisis? In the second paper about the experiences of our Wall Street traders after September 11th, Daniel Beunza and I report on the process whereby they returned to their restored trading room in the World Financial Center. The trading room did not face one crisis – the immediate aftermath of September 11th – but many: anxiety about additional attacks, questions of professional identity, doubts about the future of the firm, and ambiguities about the future re-location of the trading room. A given crisis was resolved by restoring identities; but identities, once restored, redefined the situation and lead to new crises. That is, the successive waves of crisis were produced by each success in managing crisis.

Pp. 293-320 in Nancy Foner, Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11. New York, Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2005.

One Way or Multiple Paths? For a Comparative Sociology of East European Capitalism

This essay, written with my frequent co-author, Laszlo Bruszt, was published in The American Journal of Sociology (January 2001) as part of a very lively debate with Michael Burawoy.

American Journal of Sociology, January 2001, 106(4):1129-1137.