Stephen Barley

Emeriti Distinguished Professor, Technology Management (he/ him)

Christian A. Felipe Professor, Technology Management

Stephen R. Barley is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Technology Management at UCSB's College of Engineering.  He is also a professor emeritus of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University.  He holds an AB. in English from the College of William and Mary, an M.Ed. from the Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Organization Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Prior to coming to UCSB, Barley served for ten years on the faculty of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and for twenty-two years on the faculty of the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford.  At Stanford Barley co-founded and co-directed of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization. He was editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly from 1993 to 1997 and the founding editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review from 2002 to 2004.

Barley serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management DiscoveriesResearch in the Sociology of Organizations, and Information and Organization. He has been the recipient the Academy of Management's New Concept Award and was named Distinguished Scholar by the Academy of Management’s Organization and Management Theory Division in 2006, the Organization Communication and Information Systems Division in 2010 and the Critical Management Studies Division in 2010.  Barley has been a fellow at Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and is a Fellow of the Academy of Management.   In 2006 the Academy of Management Journal named Barley as the author of the largest number of “interesting” articles in the field of management studies.  In 2018 he won Conrad Arensberg Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Anthropology of Work by the American Anthropological Society and in 2021 the Everett C. Hughes Award from the Academy of Management's Careers Division.

Barley was a member of the Board of Senior Scholars of the National Center for the Educational Quality of the Workforce and co-chaired the National Research Council and the National Academy of Science's committee on the changing occupational structure in the United States. The committee's report, The Changing Nature of Work, was published in 1999. He also served on the National Academies' committee on the Information Technology Research and Development Ecosystem (2006-2008) and the National Academies' Committee on Automation and the Workforce (2015-16).

Barley has written over a hundred articles on the impact of new technologies on work, the organization of technical work, and organizational culture.  He edited a volume on technicians' work entitled Between Craft and Science: Technical Work in the United States published in 1997 by the Cornell University Press. In collaboration with Gideon Kunda of Tel Aviv University, Barley authored Gurus, Hired Guns and Warm Bodies: Itinerant Experts in the Knowledge Economy, an ethnography of contingent work among engineers and software developers published by the Princeton University Press in 2004.  His most recent book, Work and Technological Change was published by the Oxford University Press in 2020.

Barley has served as a consultant to organizations in a variety of industries including publishing, banking, computers, electronics and aerospace.

Recent Papers


Eberhart, R., S. R. Barley and A. Nelson.  (2022) “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose: Entrepreneurialism and the changing nature of employment relations.”  Research in the Sociology of Organizations. 81:13-41

Bailey, D. E, Barley, S. R., and Leonardi, P. (2021) “Wrestling with Digital Objects and Technologies in Studies of Work” In G. Symon, C. Hine, K. Pritchert (Eds.) Research Methods for Digital Work and Organization: Investigating Distributed, Multi-modal and Mobile Work. Oxford, ENG: Oxford University Press.

Barley, S. R. and Beane, M. (2020) “How Should We Study Intelligent Technologies’ Implications for Work and Employment?”  In S. Barley. Work and Technological Change.  Oxford, ENG: Oxford University Press.

Barley, S. R. (2020) “What is a Technological Revolution”.  In S. Barley. Work and Technological Change.  Oxford, ENG: Oxford University Press.

Barley, S. R. (2020) “How Do Technologies Change Organizations?”  In S. Barley. Work and Technological Change.  Oxford, ENG: Oxford University Press.

Barley, S. R.  and D. Bailey. (2020) “Managing the Fears of Studying Technical Work.”  In S. Barley. Work and Technological Change.  Oxford, ENG: Oxford University Press.

D. E. Bailey and S. R. Barley (2020) “Beyond Design and Use: How Scholars Should Study Intelligent Technologies.Information and Organization. 30(2):1-12

Kaynak, E. and S. R. Barley. (2019) “Shaping the political environment: An ethnography of public affairs professionals at work.Work and Occupations. 4:265-306.

Barley, S. R. (2019) “Working Institutions” Pp. 12-31 in Reay T., Zilber, T., Langley, A. & Tsoukas, H. (Eds.), Institutions and Organizations: A Process View, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Barley, S. R. (2019) “About organizational socialization at the MIT Sloan School of Management – For Ed Schein.” Pp 46-56 in G. Fatze, J. Van Maanen, D. Schmid and W. Weber (Eds.),  Ed Schein: The Spirit of Inquiry.  Innsbruck, Austria: University of Innsbruck Press.

Brunhaver, S. R., Korte, R. F., Barley, S. R., and Sheppard, S. D. (2018). “Bridging the gaps between engineering education and practice.” Pp. 128-168 in R. Freeman & H. Salzman (Eds), U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Rahman, H. and S. R. Barley. (2017) “Situated redesign in creative occupations – An ethnography of architects.Academy of Management Discoveries. 3:404-424.

Van de Ven, A, R. Adner, S. Barley, D. Dougherty, J. Fountain, A, Hargadon, M. Kamlet, B. Karlin and M. Schilling. (2017) “Increasing benefits and reducing costs to society of technological innovations.” Behavioral Science and Policy. 3:93-103.

Barley, S.R., B.A. Bechky, and F. Milliken. (2017) “The changing nature of work: Careers, identities, and work lives in the 21st century.Academy of Management Discoveries. 3:111-115.

Valdes, G. and S. R. Barley. (2016) “Be careful what you wish for: Why the need to learn causes trouble for knowledge workers and their families.Work and Occupations. 43:466-501

Barley, S. R., B. A. Bechky, and B. J. Nelson. (2016) “What do technicians mean when they talk about professionalism? An ethnography of speaking.Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 47:125-161.

Barley, S. R. (2016) “60th anniversary essay: Ruminations on how we became a mystery house and how we might get out.Administrative Science Quarterly, 61:1-8.



Barley, Stephen R. (2020) Work and Technological Change.  Oxford, ENG: Oxford University Press.

Work and Technological Change

Barley, Stephen R. and Kunda, Gideon.  (2004)  Gurus, Hired Guns and Warm Bodies: Itinerant Experts in a Knowledge Economy.  Princeton, NJ:


Kochan, Thomas A., Barley, Stephen R. et al.  (1999) The Changing Nature of Work and Its Implications for Occupational Analysis.  National Research Council: Washington, D.C.

Changing nature of work

Barley, Stephen R. and Julian Orr. (Eds)  (1997).   Between Craft and Science: Technical Work in the United States.  Ithaca, NY: ILR Press.

Between Craft and Science




The Everett C. Hughes Award for Careers Scholarship.  Careers Division of the Academy of Management.  August 2021.

Best Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Discoveries.  August 2019.

Conrad Arensberg Award, Lifetime Contribution to the Anthropology of Work.  American Anthropological Society. November 2018

Distinguished Speaker.  International Symposium on Process Organization Studies.  Kos, Greece.  June, 2016

Clarendon Lectures.  Oxford University, Oct. 2016.

Laurent Picard Distinguished Lecture, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal Sept. 2016

Distinguished Scholar, Critical Management Studies Division, Academy of Management. 2010

Distinguished Scholar, Organizational Communication and Information Systems Division, Academy of Management. 2010.

Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA.  2008-2009

Joan Woodward Distinguished Lecturer, Imperial College, London 2008

Fellow, Academy of Management.  2007-present.

Author of the largest number of interesting papers.  2006.  Academy of Management Journal.

Distinguished Scholar, Organization and Management Theory Division, Academy of Management. 2006

IBM Fellow, 2005-2006

Former and Current Ph.D. Students


Year of Degree

Ph.D. From



Gordon Meyer


Cornell ILR

Professor Emeritus of Management

Canisius College, Buffalo, NY

David Morand


Cornell ILR

Professor, Management

Penn State, Harrisburg

Hans Dieter-Meyer


Cornell ILR

Professor, Education Administration and Policy Studies

SUNY, Albany

Ralph Hybels


Cornell ILR


Leadership in Medicine, Norwich, VT

Scott Siebert


Cornell ILR

Professor, Human Resource Management

Rutgers University

Asaf Darr


Cornell ILR

Senior Lecturer, Sociology and Anthropology

University of Haifa, Israel

Bonalyn Nelsen


Cornell ILR

Associate Professor, Business Administration

American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

Lee Fleming


Stanford MS&E

Professor Industrial Eng. and Op. Research

UC Berkeley

Mario Scarselletta  


Cornell ILR

Division, VP Global Employee Relations

Corning, Inc.

Neil Kane


Stanford MS&E

Director, Global Purchasing


Beth Bechky


Stanford MS&E

Professor, Management

U.C. Davis

Kieth Rollag


Stanford MS&E

Professor, Management

Babson College

Siobhan O’Mahony


Stanford MS&E

Professor, Strategy and Innovation

Boston University

Fabrizio Ferraro


Stanford MS&E

Professor, Strategic Management

IESE, Barcelona

James Evans


Stanford Sociology

Professor, Sociology

University of Chicago

Soong Moon Kang


Stanford MS&E

Professor, Management

University College London

Stine Grodal


Stanford MS&E

Associate Prof. Strategy and Innovation

Boston University

Andrew Nelson


Stanford MS&E

Associate Prof. of Management

University of Oregon

Paul Leonardi


Stanford MS&E

Professor Technology Management

U.C. Santa Barbara

Dana Wang


Stanford MS&E



Isaac Waisberg


Stanford MS&E

Lecturer Labor Studies

Tel Aviv University, Israel

Kurt Sandholtz


Stanford MS&E

Professor Management

Brigham Young University

Dan Morales


Stanford MS&E

Director, People Analytics


Daisy Chung


Stanford MS&E

Senior Lecturer Organizational Behavior

City University, London

Yosem Companys


Stanford MS&E



Thomas Haymore


Stanford MS&E



Gonzalo Valdes


Stanford MS&E

Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Business

Catholic University, Chile

Zach Rogers


Stanford MS&E



Hatim Rahman


Stanford MS&E

Assistant Professor, Management & Organizations


Ece Kaynak


Stanford MS&E

Lecturer Organizational Behavior

City University, London

Danielle Bovenberg

PhD in Progress




Virginia Leavell



Assistant Professor in Organisational Theory and Information Systems

Cambridge University Judge Business School