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Christine M. Beckman


Christine Beckman is The Price Family Chair in Social Innovation and Professor of Management and Policy in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at University of Southern California, with a joint appointment at the Marshall School of Business and Department of Sociology. She is the current editor at Administrative Science Quarterly. Her research focuses on organizational learning, interorganizational networks, entrepreneurship, and social innovation, particularly on how collaborative relationships and diverse experiences facilitate change. Recent work examines the organizational reaction to and individual experience of operating in a technology-enabled world where boundaries between the personal and the professional are blurred.  Her research sites are varied and include F500 companies, Silicon Valley start-ups, mutual funds, law firms, the U.S. Navy, German football teams, American baseball teams, and urban charter schools. She is a native Californian and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University.


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We argue that a social innovation trap, resulting from disciplinary silos, has limited our inquiries thus far and led the field to overlook three key insights. First, fragmentation across disciplines obscures the particular advantages of different sectors to social innovation. Second, the dominance of management within the social innovation field has led us to ignore the extent to which social innovation is embedded in space and place, which makes scale a fundamental dimension in need of exploration. Third, the management bent within social innovation scholarship has favored market perspectives and resisted more democratic approaches.


Dreams of the Overworked: Living, Working and Parenting in the Digital Age was published by Stanford University Press in June 2020.  Co-authored with Melissa Mazmanian, a former colleague at UC Irvine, the book takes a close look at the everyday life of nine families in Southern California. We recently did a podcast with the Ethnography Atelier on the challenges of doing ethnography in intimate spaces based on our experience collecting data for the book., and here's a review that I thought was insightful.

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