Pamela Tolbert

Lois S. Gray Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Social Sciences


Professor Tolbert is the Lois S. Gray Professor of ILR and Social Sciences and professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior. She came to the ILR School after receiving her Ph.D in sociology from UCLA. She is broadly interested in processes of organizational change, culture and entrepreneurship, and organizational practices and social inequality.

Research Focus

Her current research includes work on cross-cultural differences in entrepreneurial attitudes, diversity management in organizations, and growth strategies in cultural organizations. She has served on the editorial boards of a variety of organization and sociological journals, as the book review editor for Administrative Science Quarterly, and as a senior editor for Management Science; Academy of Management Review, Organization Science and Administrative Science Quarterly. She has also been a guest editor for a special issue of Organization Studies on careers, and an issue of the ILR Review on diversity management practices.



  • Pamela Tolbert, Emilio Castilla. 2017. Editorial essay: Introduction to a special issue on inequality in the workplace, ILR Review . 70(1):3-15.

  • Ronit Waismel-Manor, Asaf Levanon, Pamela Tolbert. 2016. Impact of family ecnomic structure on dual-earners' career and family satisfaction, Sex Roles . 75(7):349-362.

  • Mallika Banerjee, Pamela Tolbert, Thomas Diciccio. 2012. Friend or foe? The effects of contingent workers on standard workers' job sttitudes, International Journal of Human Resources Management . 11:2180-2204.

  • Michelle M Duguid, Denise L Loyd, Pamela Tolbert. 2012. The Impact of Categorical Status, Numeric Representation and Work Group Prestige on Preference for Demographically Similar Others: A Value Threat Approach. , Organization Science . 23:386-401.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Robert David, Wesley D Sine. 2011. Institutional theory and entrepreneurship research: Studying choice and change, Organization Science . 22(5):1332-1344.

  • Hugh P. Gunz, Wolfgang Mayrhofer, Pamela Tolbert. 2011. Career as a social and political phenomenon in the globalized economy., Organization Studies . 32:613-620.

  • Sangchan Park, Wesley D Sine, Pamela Tolbert. 2011. Institutions in action: Tenure systems and faculty employment in colleges and universities, Work and Occupations . 38(3):340-371.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Shon R Hiatt. 2010. The shape of things to come: Institutions, entrepreneurs and the case of hedge funds, Research in the Sociology of Work . 21:157-182.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Shon Hiatt. 2009. On organizations and oligarchies: Michels in the 21st century, Sociological Classics and Organization Research .

  • Sheila Danko, Supaporn Vithayathawornwong, Pamela Tolbert. 2003. The role of the physical environment in supporting organizational creativity, Journal of Interior Design . 29:18-35.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Phyllis E Moen. 1998. Men's and women's definitions of "good" jobs: Similarities and differences by age and across time, Work and Occupations . 25:147-162.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1998. Two-tiered faculty systems and organizational outcomes, New Directions for Higher Education . 104:71-80.

  • Stephen R Barley, Pamela Tolbert. 1997. Institutionalization and structuration: Studying the links between action and institution, Organization Studies . 18:93-118.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Tal Simons, Alice Andrews, Jaehoon Rhee. 1995. Effects of gender composition on faculty turnover, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 48:562-579.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Alice A Oberfield. 1991. Sources of organizational demography: Faculty sex ratios in colleges and universities, Sociology of Education . 64(4):305-317.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Alice A Oberfield. 1989. Physicians' work, ILR Report . 26:8-13.

  • Sara Rynes, Pamela Strausser, Pamela Tolbert. 1988. Aspirations to manage: A comparison of engineering students and working engineers, Journal of Vocational Behavior . 32(2):239-253.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1986. Organizations and inequality: Sources of earnings differences between male and female faculty, Sociology of Education . 59:227-245.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1985. Institutional environments and resource dependence: Sources of administrative structure in institutions of higher education, Administrative Science Quarterly . 30:1-13.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Lynne G Zucker. 1983. Institutional sources of change in the formal structure of organizations: The diffusion of civil service reform, 1880-1930, Administrative Science Quarterly . 28:22-39.


  • Pamela Tolbert, Richard Hall. 2009. Organizations: Structure, Processes and Outcomes. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, United States: Prentice Hall, 2009.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1993. Research in the Sociology of Organizations: Collective Bargaining (co-editor). Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1993. Pamela S Tolbert, Peter Bamberger, David Torres.

  • Samuel Bacharach, Pamela Tolbert. 1992. Research in the Sociology of Organizations: Organizational Demography and Current Research Issues. Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1992.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1991. Research in the Sociology of Organizations (co-editor). Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1991. Pamela S Tolbert, Richard Majuka, David Torres.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Stephen R Barley. 1990. Research in the Sociology of Organizations: Professions and Organizations. Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1990.

Book Chapters

  • Pamela Tolbert, Ryan S Coles. 2016. Studying entrepreneurship as an institution. in Knowledge and Institutions. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag, 2016. Johannes Gluecker and Roy Suddaby. (42)(Accepted)

  • Pamela Tolbert, Lynne G Zucker. 2013. Neo-institutional theory. in Encyclopedia of Management Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA, United States: Sage, 2013. Kessler, Eric. (5)(Accepted)

  • Pamela Tolbert. 2013. Robert Michels and the Iron Law of Oligarchy. in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. Snow, David et al.. (Accepted)

  • Pamela Tolbert, Shon R. Hiatt. 2010. The shape of things to come: Institutions, entrepreneurs and the case of hedge funds. in Research in the Sociology of Work. Westfield, CT, United States: JAI Press, 2010. (157-182)

  • Pamela Tolbert, Shon R Hiatt. 2009. On organizations and oligarchies: Michels in the 21st century. in Sociological Classics and Organizational Research. London, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2009. Paul Adler. (174-199)

  • Pamela Tolbert, Mary Graham, Alice Andrews. 1999. Causes and consequences of variations in groups' gender composition. in Handbook of Gender Studies. Thousand Oaks CA, United States: Sage Publications, 1999. G Powell. (179-202)

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1996. Occupations, organizations and boundaryless careers. in Boundaryless Careers. New York NY, United States: Oxford University Press, 1996. M Arthur, D Rousseau. (91-107)

  • Pamela Tolbert, Lynne G Zucker. 1996. The institutionalization of institutional theory. in Handbook of Organization Studies. London, United Kingdom: Sage Publications, 1996. S Clegg, C Hardy, W Nord. (175-190)

  • Pamela Tolbert, Alice Andrews, Tal Simons. 1995. Effects of group proportions on intergroup relations. in Work Team Diversity: Perspectives and Paradigms. Washington, DC, United States: APA Press, 1995. S Jackson, M Ruderman.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1992. Comment on "War and Peace". in Doing Exemplary Organizational Research. Beverly Hills CA, United States: Sage Publications, 1992. P Frost, R Stablein.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1992. Future status of women in white collar and professional occupations. in Breaking the Barriers: White Collar Women on the Move. Washington, DC, United States: Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, 1992. P Wilson. (1-7)

  • Stephen R Barley, Pamela Tolbert. 1991. At the intersection of organizations and occupations. in Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1991. Pamela S Tolbert, Stephen R Barley.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Robert N Stern. 1991. Governance structures in large law firms. in Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1991. Pamela S Tolbert, Stephen R Barley.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Robert N Stern. 1990. Inequality in a company of equals: Participation in large law firms. in International Handbook of Participation in Organizations. London, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 1990. Raymond Russell, Veljko Rus.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1990. Negotiations in organizations: A sociological perspective. in Research on Negotiations in Organizations. Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1990. M Bazerman, B Sheppard, R Lewicki.

  • Pamela Tolbert, Jeffrey Arthur. 1988. Institutionalization and negotiations in organizations. in Research on Negotiations in Organizations. Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1988. M Bazerman, B Sheppard, R Lewicki.

  • Pamela Tolbert. 1988. Institutionalization and organizational culture in major law firms. in Institutional Patterns and Organizations: Culture and Environment. Boston MA, United States: Ballinger Press, 1988. L Zucker.