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Faculty members

Debra Meyerson

Academic Title 
Adjunct Professor
Program Affiliations 
SHIPS (PhD): Organization Studies
Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE)
SHIPS (PhD): Social Sciences in Education

in addition to continued work on scaling in charter schools, prompted by her stroke in 2010, Debra is now initiating research into the experience of stroke survivors in the rehabilitation process.  Specifically, she plans to explore the impact of gender and socioeconomic background on the rehabilitation process and the impact of the process on a survivor's sense of identity. To do so she plans conduct qualitative interviews with survivors, professional caregivers -- physical, occupational and speech therapists -- and caregiving family and friends.

Debra Meyerson conducts research in five areas: a) gender and race relations in organizations, specifically individual and organizational strategies of change aimed at removing inequities and fostering productive inter-group relations; b) the role of philanthropic organizations as intermediaries in fostering change within educational institutions; c) leadership and entrepreneurship in education; d) going to scale in the charter school field; and e) accessibility and the construction (and destruction) of work-life boundaries through communication technologies.

Following a stroke in 2010, Debra is now initiating research into the experience of stroke survivors in the rehabilitation process, the impact of gender and socioeconomic background on that process and its impact on a survivor's sense of identity.  

"By taking on the quality of uncontestable truth, dominant narratives in organizations keep existing arrangements in place. Alternative narratives open the way for experimentation, but the reverse is also true. Small local innovations can provide the occasion to question existing understandings and create competing narratives, which in turn provoke learning and further adaptation."

From her book, Tempered Radicals: How People Use Differences to Inspire Change at Work

  • Ph.D. Organizational Behavior, Stanford University (1989)
  • M.S. Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980)
  • B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979)

2013 Consulting Professor

2003-2013 Associate Professor of Education

1998-2002, Visiting Professor of Organizational Behavior, Center for Work, Technology, and Organization, School of Engineering, Stanford University

1999-2002, Visiting Professor of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

1997-2002, Professor of Management, Center for Gender in Organizations, Graduate School of Management, Simmons College

1994-1996, Visiting Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

1990-1994, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, University of Michigan Business School

1994, Visiting Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

  • Organizing for Diversity: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Social Change Processes and Organizations, Stanford School of Education;
  • Leading Social Change: Cases in Educational Entrepreneurship
  • Organizing for Diversity, Graduate School of Business, Stanford.

Current Syllabus: OB393_F08_student.doc

Quinn, R., C. Oelberger, D. Meyerson (Forthcoming). “ Getting to Scale: Ideas, Opportunities, and Resources in the Early Diffusion of the Charter Management Organization, 1999–2006,” Teachers College Record.

Quinn, R., M. Tompkins-Stange, D. Meyerson (2013).  “Beyond Grantmaking: Philanthropic Foundations as Agents of Change and Institutional Entrepreneurs,”  Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Meyerson, D. & L. Wernick (2012). “Power beyond the Purse: Philanthropic Foundations as Agents of Change in the California Charter School Movement,” in J. Dutton and K. Golden-Biddle,  Exploring Positive Social Change and Organizations: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation.  Routledge, Taylor, & Francis Group. Florence, Kentucky.

Barley, S., D. Meyerson, and S. Grodahl (2011). “Email as Symbol and Source of Stress,” Organization Science, Volume 22, Issue 4, July-August, pp. 887–906.

Meyerson, D. (2010). “The Stanford Organizations Community: Reflections of  a Tempered Radical,” in Stanford’s Organization Theory Renaissance, 1970-2000, C. S B. Schoonhoven and F. Dobbin (eds.), Vol. 28, Research in the Sociology of Organizations.  Bingley, England: Emerald Publishing Group.   

Meyerson, D., A. Berger, and R. Quinn (2010). “Organization and Social Movement Implications of Going to Scale: Lessons from Charter Schools,” in Scaling Social Impact: New Thinking, P. Bloom, G. Dees, and E. Skloot (eds.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Meyerson, D. & R. Ely (2010). “An Organizational Approach to Undoing Gender,” in Research in Organizational Behavior, A. Brief and B. Staw (eds.), Elsevier (Annual volume - reviewed).

Darling-Hammond, L., D. Meyerson, and M. LaPointe. (2009) Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World.  San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Meyerson, D. and M. Tompkins. (2007). "Tempered radicals as institutional change agents: The case of advancing gender equity at the University of Michigan." Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 30(2): 303–322.

Meyerson, D. R. Ely, & L. Wernick (2007). "Disrupting Gender, Revising Leadership," in D. Rhode and B. Kellerman (eds.), Gender and Leadership, New York: Jossey Bass.

Ely, R. and D. Meyerson (2006). "Beyond Political Correctness," Harvard Business Review.

Meyerson, D. (2003). Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders Inspire Change at Work, Harvard Business School Press.

Affiliated Faculty, Clayman Institute for Research on Women and Gender and Center for Comparative Studies on Race and Ethnicity

Board of Directors, Pacific Stroke Association

Board of Directors, Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI)

Advisory Board, The Girls Middle School

Editorial Board, Organization: Interdisciplinary Journal of Organization, Theory, and Society;

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