Frank Dobbin: Do Anti-Harassment Programs Reduce Harassment? Evidence from the Workplace


Monday, March 5, 2018, 12:15pm to 1:30pm


Land Lecture Hall (Belfer 400)

Frank Dobbin, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University.

Frank DobbinIn twin 1998 decisions, the Supreme Court supported anti-harassment training and harassment grievance procedures. Corporations embraced both programs, but surveys suggest that workplace harassment remains widespread. Panel data from a large sample of U.S. corporations provides insights into why our current system of harassment prevention and remediation has failed, and some insights into how it might be made more effective.

About the speaker

Frank Dobbin received his BA from Oberlin College in 1980 and his PhD from Stanford University in 1987. Dobbin studies organizations, inequality, economic behavior, and public policy. His 2009 book Inventing Equal Opportunity shows how corporate personnel managers defined what it meant to discriminate.  

His evidence-based research on corporate diversity programs (with Alexandra Kalev) shows that mentoring programs, diversity taskforces, and special recruitment programs have helped to promote diversity by engaging managers, while diversity training and diversity performance evaluations have thwarted progress by stigmatizing managers. These findings have been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Le Monde, CNN, and National Public Radio.

Dobbin has published numerous books studying the social construction of economic rationality, including Forging Industrial Policy: United States, Britain, and France in the Railway Age (1994) and The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy(2008). Recent research examines rise of the shareholder value model of corporate management.

Dobbin is chair of the joint Arts & Sciences/Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Ph.D. Program, director of the SCANCOR/Weatherhead Initiative in International Organizational Studies, and Co-Coordinator of the MIT-Harvard Economic Sociology Seminar.  

Learn more about Frank Dobbin's research




See also: Spring 2018