Tag Archives | Organizations

Pathways to Carbon Pollution: The Interactive Effects of Global, Political, and Organizational Factors on Power Plants’ CO2 Emissions

Don Grant, Andrew K. Jorgenson, Wesley Longhofer

Sociological Science, January 25, 2018
DOI 10.15195/v5.a4

Climate change is arguably the greatest threat to society as power plants, the single largest human source of heat-trapping pollution, continue to emit massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Sociologists have identified several possible structural determinants of electricity-based CO2 emissions, including international trade and global normative regimes, national political–legal systems, and organizational size and age. But because they treat these factors as competing predictors, scholars have yet to examine how they might work together to explain why some power plants emit vastly more pollutants than others. Using a worldwide data set of utility facilities and fuzzy-set methods, we analyze the conjoint effects of global, political, and organizational conditions on fossil-fueled plants’ CO2 emissions. Findings reveal that hyperpolluters’ emission rates are a function of four distinct causal recipes, which we label coercive, quiescent, expropriative, and inertial configurations, and these same sets of conditions also increase plants’ emission levels.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Don Grant: Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder
Email: Don.GrantII@colorado.edu

Andrew K. Jorgenson: Department of Sociology and Environmental Studies, Boston College
Email: jorgenan@bc.edu

Wesley Longhofer: Department of Organization and Management, Emory University
Email: wesley.longhofer@emory.edu

Acknowledgements: Direct all correspondence to Don Grant, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder CO 80309. This research was supported with a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation (#1357483, 1357495, 1357497). We thank Jamie Vickery and Urooj Raja for their excellent research assistance. We also thank Jason Boardman and Ryan Masters for their technical comments and assistance. Liam Downey, Giacomo Negro, David Frank, Elizabeth Boyle, Sarah Babb, Juliet Schor, and audiences at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, 2016 Future of World Society Theory Conference, Boston College’s Environmental Sociology Workshop, and Emory Law School provided helpful comments on earlier drafts.

  • Citation: Grant, Don, Andrew K. Jorgenson, and Wesley Longhofer. 2018. “Pathways to Carbon Pollution: The Interactive Effects of Global, Political, and Organizational Factors on Power Plants’ CO2 Emissions.” Sociological Science 5: 58-92.
  • Received: November 15, 2017
  • Accepted: December 8, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v5.a4

The Partial Deinstitutionalization of Affirmative Action in U.S. Higher Education, 1988 to 2014

Daniel Hirschman, Ellen Berrey

Sociological Science, August 28, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a18

Since the 1990s, affirmative action opponents have targeted colleges’ and universities’ race-conscious admissions policies and secured bans on the practice in eight states. Although scholarly and media attention has focused on these dynamics at a handful of elite institutions, little is known about race-conscious admissions across the broader field of higher education. We provide a descriptive, quantitative account of how different types of colleges and universities responded to this political context. Through analysis of almost 1,000 selective colleges and universities, we find a dramatic shift in stated organizational policy starting in the mid-1990s. In 1994, 60 percent of selective institutions publicly declared that they considered race in undergraduate admissions; by 2014, just 35 percent did. This decline varied depending on status (competitiveness) and sector (public or private). Race-conscious admissions remain the stated policy of almost all of the most elite public and private institutions. The retreat from race-conscious admissions occurs largely among schools lower in the status hierarchy: very competitive public institutions and competitive public and private institutions. These patterns are not explained by implementation of state-level bans. We suggest that the anti–affirmative action movement had a diffuse impact whose effects varied across different strata of American higher education.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Daniel Hirschman: Department of Sociology, Brown University
Email: daniel_hirschman@brown.edu

Ellen Berrey: Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
Email: ellen.berrey@utoronto.ca

Acknowledgements: We thank Prabhdeep Kehal for his excellent research assistance and instructive comments. Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur, Ronit Dinovitzer, Steve Hoffman, Ashley Rubin, and Terri Taylor provided feedback that improved this article. Research funding was provided by Brown University’s Program in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations.

  • Citation: Hirschman, Daniel, and Ellen Berrey. 2017. “The Partial Deinstitutionalization of Affirmative Action in U.S. Higher Education, 1988 to 2014.” Sociological Science 4: 449-468.
  • Received: June 21, 2017
  • Accepted: July 28, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a18

A Comparative Analysis of Corporate and Independent Foundations

Justin Koushyar, Wesley Longhofer, Peter W. Roberts

Sociological Science, December 15, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a28

Notwithstanding some visible debates, systematic evidence about the implications of greater corporate involvement in the social sector is sparse. We provide some of this evidence by examining one channel of corporate influence within the nonprofit sector–company sponsorship of philanthropic foundations. Our analysis shows that corporate foundations raise more funds and distribute grants with lower overhead than similar independent (i.e., non-corporate) foundations. However, their grantmaking is also more dispersed and less relational, and they tend to be governed by more ephemeral groups of officers and trustees. These findings suggest that corporate foundations benefit from having access to the resources of the companies that sponsor them but are constrained by their additional market-based motivations. The findings also update and refine what nonprofits might expect from corporate foundations relative to their more traditional independent counterparts.
Justin Koushyar: Goizueta Business School, Emory University  Email: justin.koushyar@emory.edu

Wesley Longhofer: Goizueta Business School, Emory University  Email: wesley.longhofer@emory.edu

Peter W. Roberts:  Goizueta Business School, Emory University  Email: peter.roberts@emory.edu

Acknowledgements: The authors thank Joe Galaskiewicz, Giacomo Negro, faculty at Georgia State University, and participants at the 2012 EGOS Colloquium, the 2013 Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting, the 2013 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, the 2014 Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Research Conference, and the 2014 Academy of Management Annual Meeting for their insightful feedback and suggestions.

  • Citation: Koushyar, Justin, Wesley Longhofer and Peter W. Roberts. 2015. “A Comparative Analysis of Corporate and Independent Foundations.” Sociological Science 2: 582-596.
  • Received: December 15, 2015.
  • Accepted: February 19, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a28