11th Annual People & Organizations Conference

Call for Abstracts


September 28th and 29th, 2018
The Wharton School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Submission Deadline:  June 1st, 2018


The purpose of the “People and Organizations” Conference is to bring attention to macro-level research on topics associated with work and employment.  We aim to support the community of scholars from organization theory, industrial relations, economics, political science, sociology and strategy who share common interests and need a forum for interdisciplinary exchange.

Representative papers from past years have included studies exploring the effects of workplace practices on organizational performance, the causes and consequences of worker mobility, the nature of inequality within workplaces, the impact of gender on employment outcomes and careers, and the role of social networks in shaping employment outcomes. Human and social capital issues related to business strategy and performance have also become a common theme.

Among topics of particular interest are:

  • New developments in work and employment relationships
  • The effects of organizational employment practices on firm performance and worker outcomes
  • The structure and determinants of careers in and across modern workplaces
  • New insights on inequality in the workplace

In addition to a plenary program, we plan to continue our practice of roundtable sessions for specialized topics or work in progress.


If you are interested in participating in the conference, please send an email to Nancy Permsap at the Wharton Center for Human Resources – Center-for-HR@wharton.upenn.edu.  Attach an abstract (800 words or less) as a Word document. Your abstract should summarize your theoretical or empirical argument, discuss how it relates to the relevant literature and/or an extant debate, spell out the quantitative or qualitative methodology, if your paper is empirical, and highlight your key findings and/or the implications of your work.  For empirical papers, a brief overview of at least preliminary results will help our process.

Please DO NOT include names or affiliations in this word document as we will evaluate abstracts anonymously.  Instead, please include the cover page information for your paper (paper title and the names, affiliations and email addresses of all co-authors) in the body of the email.

Submissions from all fields and disciplines are welcome. We are particularly seeking studies that have not yet been published nor accepted for publication. We are less interested in studies that have no empirical results, however, unless they are explicitly theoretical. We have a special interest in studies that relate to new developments in issues around work and employment.


If you would like to attend the conference and not present a paper, please let us know by June 1st as well.  Spaces are limited, especially for overnight accommodations, but we will do our best within logistics constraints.  In the interests of maximizing participation within our limited budget, we hope that participants can handle their own travel expenses.


Feel free to contact any of the members of the organizing committee with questions.


Matthew Bidwell, The Wharton School (MBidwell@wharton.upenn.edu)
Diane Burton, Cornell University (Burton@cornell.edu)
Peter Cappelli, The Wharton School (Cappelli@wharton.upenn.edu)
Gina Dokko, University of California, Davis (GDokko@ucdavis.edu)
Peter Sherer, University of Calgary (PSherer@ucalgary.ca)